Who Killed Christ - Part
As the cross worship spread to various nations, it took on varied
forms and was used in varied ways: Among the Chinese, "the cross is...acknowledged
to be one of the most ancient devices...it is portrayed upon the walls
of their pagodas, it is painted upon the lanterns used to illuminate the
most sacred recesses of their temples." (The Cross in Tradition, History,
and Art, p. 13)
The cross has been a sacred symbol in India for centuries among
non-Christian people. "In Northern India, the cross is used to mark the
jars of sacred water taken from the Indus and Ganges...In Southern India
the cross is used as an emblem of disembodied Jaina saints...The east Indians
(revered the cross symbol)...centuries before our Lord appeared upon earth."
(The Cross in Tradition, History, and Art, p. 10)
In the central part of India, two rude crosses of stone have been
discovered which date back to a time centuries before the Christian era.
One of these crosses is over 10 feet high; the other over eight feet. (The
Cross in Tradition, History, and Art, p. 12) Among the Hindoos of India,
the cross was regarded as sacred to their god Agni. (Monumental Christianity,
p. 14) The Buddhists, and numerous other sects of India, marked their followers
on the head with the sign of the cross.
On the continent of Africa, "at Susa, the Abyssinia...the natives
plunge a cross in the River Gitche...the Kabyle women although Mohammedans,
tattoo a cross between their eyes...In Wanyamwizi, or the land of the moon,
the inhabitants decorate their walls with crosses...the Yaricks established
a line of kingdoms from the Niger to the Nile...on their shields (was)
painted the image of a cross." (The Cross in Tradition, History p. 9) Here
then is mention of the use of the cross by numerous heathen tribes in Africa
who knew nothing of Christ!
When the Spaniards first landed in Mexico, "they could not suppress
their wonder," says Prescott, "as they beheld the cross, the sacred emblem
of their own (Catholic) faith, raised as an object of worship in the temples
of Anahuac. The Spaniards were not aware that the cross was the symbol
of worship of the highest antiquity...(and was used by many) pagan nations
on whom the light of Christianity had never shone."
In Palenque, Mexico, founded by Votan in the 9th century before
the Christian era, is a heathen temple known as "the temple of the cross."
There inscribed on an altar slab is a central cross six and a half by eleven
feet in size! (Encyclopedia or Religions, Vol. 3, p. 70) In olden times,
the Indians of Mexico worshiped the cross as TOTA (Our Father).
This practice of addressing a piece of wood with the title "father"
is also mentioned in the Bible. When God's people of the Old Testament
mixed idolatry with their religion, they worshiped pagan gods and said
to a stock, "Thou art my father!" (Jeremiah 2:27) But it is contrary to
the Word of God to call a piece of wood (or a priest!) by the title "father."
"...call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which
is in heaven." (Matthew 23:9)
Ages ago in Italy, before the people knew anything of the arts
of civilization, they believed in the cross as a religious symbol. Even
at this early period, they believed it was a protector and it was placed
upon tombs. (The Cross in Tradition, History and Art, p. 99) Through the
centuries, it was used as a religious symbol right on up to the days of
the pagan Roman empire. In 46 B.C. Roman coins show Jupiter holding a long
scepter terminating in a cross. (The Cross in Tradition, History and Art,
p. 26) This was his symbol. (Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol. 1, p. 495)
The vestal Virgins of pagan Rome wore the cross suspended from their necklaces,
as the nuns of the Roman Catholic church do now. (Two Babylons, p. 198)
The Greeks depicted crosses on the head band of their god corresponding
to Tammuz of the Babylonians. In the Eleusinian Mysteries, a cross was
placed on the breast of each initiate. (Bible Myths, p. 343) Porcelli mentions
how that Isis was shown with a cross on her forehead. Her priests carried
processional crosses in their worship of her. The temple of Serapis in
Alexandria was surmounted by a cross. The temple of the Sphinx when it
was unearthed was found to be cruciform in shape.
Ensigns in the form of a cross were carried by the Persians during
their battles with Alexander the Great (B.C. 335). Bible Myths, p. 346.
The cross was used as a religious symbol by the Aborigines of South America
in ancient times. (Curiosities of Popular Customs, p. 297) New born children
were placed under its protection against evil spirits. The Patagonians
tattooed their foreheads with crosses. (Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol.
1, p. 495) Ancient pottery in Peru has been found that is marked with the
cross as a religious symbol. (Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol. 1, p. 386)
Monuments show that Assyrian kings wore a cross suspended on their
necklaces, (Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol. 1, p. 494) as did some of the
foreigners that battled against the Egyptians. These warriors wore a small
cross suspended to a necklace or to their collar. The cross was also figured
upon the robes of the Rot-n-no as early as the 15th century before the
Christian era. (Wilkinson, Vol. 1, p. 376)
Much more could be said about the many uses of the cross as a
religious symbol and object of worship among those who lived in olden times.
But enough has been said to well establish the fact that the cross was
in use long before the Christian era. To sum it up, there is hardly a pagan
tribe where the cross has not been found. (Two Babylons, p. 199) "In some
form, all through the ages, the cross has existed and has had a vital significance
and influence." (The Cross - Its History and Symbolism, p. 16)
As an instrument of death, of crucifixion, the cross is also very
ancient and pagan. "The cross was used in ancient times as a punishment
for flagrant crimes in Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Palestine, Carthage, Greece,
and Rome...Tradition ascribes the invention of the punishment of the cross
to a woman, the queen Semiramis!" (The Cross in Tradition, History, and
Art, p. 64)
"But since Jesus died on a cross," some ask, "does this not make
it a Christian symbol?" NO! The fact that Jesus was killed on a cross shows
that it was already an established form of punishment and death - among
pagans. However, Christ was not killed on a cross, He was crucified on
It was not a Christian symbol when Jesus hung on it, and nothing
has ever changed to make it a Christian symbol now! As one has asked: Suppose
Jesus had been killed with a shot-gun; would this be any reason to have
a shot-gun hanging from our necks or on top of the church roof? Would this
make a shot-gun a Christian symbol of virtue? No!
It is not what killed our Lord, but what his death accomplished
that is important! As the cross symbol spread to the ancient nations (as
we have seen it did), it took on different forms in different countries
until there were many forms of the pagan cross. Catholicism, adopting the
pagan idea of cross worship, also adopted these various forms of the cross.
Thus, to this day, the Catholic church does not adore just one type of
cross, but numerous types. Now we ask: If the Catholic use of the cross
originated with the cross of Christ, then why are so many different forms
of the cross used? It is evident that Christ only hung on one cross.
If cross worship originated with the cross of Christ, would it
not seem that only one type would be used? The fact is that cross worship
did not originate with Christ and all of these various forms of the cross
were pagan symbols before the Christian era. A noted writer said: "Of the
several varieties of the cross still in vogue, as national and ecclesiastical
emblems, distinguished by the familiar appellations of St. George, St.
Andrew, the Maltese, the Greek, the Latin, etc., there is not one amongst
them the existence of which may not be traced to the remotest antiquity!"
(The Pentateuch Examined, Vol. 6, p. 113)
Now let's notice a few examples of how these different crosses
were actually sacred symbols long before the Christian era: That form of
the cross which is known as the Tau cross was widely used in Egypt. What
is known as the Greek cross may also be found on Egyptian monuments. This
form of the cross was used in Phrygia where it adorned the tomb of Midas
(B.C. 718). (Doane, p. 344; The Cross in Tradition, p. 21) In the ruins
of Nineveh, a king is shown wearing a Maltese cross on his bosom. The form
of the cross that is today known as the Latin cross was used by the Etruscans.
Its use on an ancient pagan tomb with winged angels to each side of it.
Who Killed Christ - Part 14
What has been called the St. Andrew's cross was highly venerated
among the Cumas in South America. It was regarded as a protector against
evil spirits. (Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol. 1, p. 494) It appeared on
the coins of Alexander Bala in Syria in 146 B.C. and on those of Baktrain
kings about 140 to 120 B.C. (Needless to say, this was long before "St.
Andrew" was ever born!)
Most of the crosses on the Protestant Churches is called the Calvary
cross, yet this cross is taken from an ancient inscription in Thessaly
which dates from a period prior to the Christian era! Now the fact that
these various forms of the cross have all been adopted by the Romish Church,
makes it obvious that such cross- sacredness did not originate with the
cross of Christ, for he died on only one cross!
What type of cross was it upon which Jesus died? The word "cross"
in the Bible is translated from "stauros" which comes from the root "sta,"
that is, "to stand." As far as the Word itself is concerned, there is no
indication of any cross piece whatsoever. In his scholarly "expository
Dictionary of New Testament Words," W.E. Vine states that the Greek word
"stauros" means simply an upright stake and is, "to be distinguished from
the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed cross...(which) 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...In order to increase the prestige
of the apostate ecclesiastical system, pagans were received into the churches
apart from regeneration by faith, 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." (Encyclopedia of Religions, Vol. 1, p. 256)
As to the exact shape of the cross upon which Christ hung, we
need not be too concerned, for it is not the shape of the cross that is
the important thing. It is the one - The Lord Jesus Christ - that hung
there and what He accomplished that is ALL important.
Constantine and The Cross
When considering the above information concerning the cross, someone
will, almost always bring up the so-called vision of Constantine. So we
include the following with that in mind. A factor that caused the adoration
of the cross image to become firmly established in the church of the falling
away was the famous "vision of the cross" and the so-called "conversion"
of the Roman Emperor Constantine.
On the day before the Battle of Milvian Bridge, Constantine prayed
to his sun-god and there appeared a cross - we are told - over the setting
sun with the inscription: "In hoc signo Vinces;" that is, "In this sign
conquer." The next day, Constantine advanced the battle behind a standard
portraying a Cross. He was victorious in this battle and professed conversion.
Of course such a seeming victory for Christianity, the conversion of the
emperor - as the result of the cross vision did much to further the use
of the cross in the Roman Church.
But are we to suppose that the Lord Jesus gave such a vision to
the Emperor Constantine? Actually there is little reason to consider this
vision as authentic, especially since it has no real historical basis,
and due to the fact that Constantine's vision was supposedly in answer
to him. The only authority from whom the story has been gathered by historians
is Eusebius, who confessedly was prone to edification and was accused as
a "falsifier of history."
If Constantine ever did, in reality, have such a vision, we can
be sure its author was not Almighty God or the Lord Jesus Christ. The very
idea that our Lord would command a pagan emperor to make a military banner
embodying the cross and to go forth conquering and killing in that sign,
is altogether inconsistent with the general teachings of the Bible and
with the Spirit of true Christianity. This Roman empire (of which Constantine
was the head), had been described in the scriptures as a "Beast."
Daniel saw four great beasts which represented four world empires.
These were Babylon (lion), Medio-Persia (bear), Greece (leopard), and Rome.
This fourth beast, the Roman Empire, was so horrible in the eyes of God
that it could not be compared to any earthly beast. (Daniel 7:1-8) Considering
then how wicked this beastly Roman Empire was in the eyes of God, are we
to suppose that the Lord Jesus Christ became the leader of this beast system?
Or would Jesus give a wicked emperor a vision and tell him to kill and
fight as his representative?
Did Jesus ever tell his people to go forth to kill others under
a cross-banner supposedly representing him? Of course not! The very basis
of Christianity is opposed to the unfairness of war, hate, and murder.
Why then should we suppose that Christ would tell Constantine to conquer
in His name and sign to further the Beast system of Rome?
Obviously, such a vision came not from our Lord Jesus Christ!
But if the vision was not of God, how was it that Constantine was converted
as a result? The fact is that the "conversion" of Constantine WAS A HOAX!
Even though this man had much to do with the establishment of certain doctrines
and customs within the fallen church, the facts plainly show that he was
not truly converted, not in the Bible sense of the word. Historians admit
that the conversion of Constantine was "nominal, even by contemporary standards."
(Man and His Gods, p. 220)
Probably the most obvious indication that he was not truly converted
may be seen from the fact that AFTER his supposed conversion, he committed
several murders - including the murder of his own wife and son! According
to the Scriptures, no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. (1 John
Constantine's first marriage was to Minervina, by whom he had
a son named Crispus. His second wife was named Fausta who bore him three
daughters and three sons. Now Crispus, his first born son, became a great
soldier and a help to his father in the battles. Yet, in 326, very shortly
after the directing the Nicaen Council! Constantine had this son put to
death. The story is that Crispus had made love to Fausta, Constantine's
wife. At least he was so accused by Fausta. But this may have been her
way of getting Crispus out of the way, so that her sons would have claim
to the throne!
However, Helena, Constantine's mother, persuaded him that his
wife "had yielded to his son." And so, Constantine had Fausta murdered
also. (The Story of Civilization - Caesar and Christ, p. 663) But these
were not the only murders he committed. About the same time that Constantine
had his son murdered, he decreed the execution of Licinianus, his sister's
son. Constantine also put Licinus, his sister's husband, to death - even
though he had promised her that he would spare his life! (The Story of
Civilization - Caesar and Christ, p. 663; Medieval Italy, p. 4)
After Constantine's supposed conversion, he still remained the
Pontifix Maximus or High Priest of the pagan state religion. (The Growth
of the Christian Church). As Pontiff, he was required to carry out the
ceremonial of the traditional cult. Likewise, when he dedicated Constantinople,
he used both pagan and Christian rites in the dedication. Further evidence
of how Constantine attempted to unite and mix together both paganism and
Christianity, is seen on coins of the period which he had made.
On these coins he put a cross (to please the professing Christians)
while on the same coins were representations of Mars or Apollo. While professing
on one hand to be a Christian, yet on the other hand, he continued to believe
in pagan magic formulas for the protection of crops and the healing of
disease. (The Story of Civilization, p. 656) Constantine did show numerous
favors toward the Christian faith however.
He abolished death by crucifixion. He stopped the persecutions
of the Christians which had become so cruel at Rome. Why them, if he was
not truly a Christian, did he do these things? The answer to this is also
clearly written in history. Persecutions had not destroyed the Christian
faith. Constantine knew this. And since his position was being challenged
by a rival emperor and because of his dire need for support from every
quarter, he turned to the Christians.
Instead of the empire constantly being divided - the pagans opposing
the Christians - why not take such steps as might be necessary to mix both
paganism and Christianity together, and thus bring a united force to the
empire? This was clearly the reasoning of Constantine. By this time, most
of the church leaders were thinking in terms of numbers and popularity,
rather than in terms of spirituality and truth anyway, and thus were ready
to make compromises with paganism.
This was especially the case at Rome. Soby adopting the cross
as a symbol on the banners of his army, Constantine figured he could establish
a unity among his troops. The apostate Christians would think they were
fighting for the cross of Christ; the pagans could not object because the
cross was also one of their sacred emblems. Says the noted historian Durant:
"To the worshiper of Mita (the pagans) in Constantine's forces, the cross
could give no offense, for they had long fought under a standard bearing
a Mithraic cross of light." (The Story of Civilization, p. 655) And thus
the so-called Christians and pagan Mithraists in the army of Constantine
were united and successfully fought the battle.
Who Killed Christ - 15 (Last
Another factor that contributed to cross-worship in the church
of Rome centered around Helena, Constantine's mother. In 326, when she
was almost eighty - according to the legend - she made a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem and there by the help of a Jew who understood her superstitious
tastes, found three crosses.
The original cross was identified, we are asked to believe, because
it is said to have worked miracles at the suggestion of Macarius, bishop
of Jerusalem. The other two crosses produced no miracles. And so Helena
- according to the story - had found the original, the true cross! But
that the true cross was found is no doubt false, for laws among the Jews
required crosses to be burned after being used for crucifixion. (Fausett,
p. 145) That Helena did visit Jerusalem seems to be historically correct.
But the story of her discovery of the original cross was evidently a later
addition, for it did not appear until 440 A.D. - 114 years later! (Encyclopedia
of Religions, Vol. 1, p. 494)
Let us just suppose that someone did find the actual cross upon
which Jesus died. Would there be any virtue in that piece of wood? No,
absolutely none. The Calvary cross served its purpose even as the brazen
serpent had served its purpose when the children of Israel were bitten
by snakes. We will remember that Moses had made a brazen serpent and raised
it up on a pole. This was a type of the way that Christ was to be lifted
up. (John 3:15)
Nevertheless, after the brazen serpent had served its purpose,
the Israelites kept it around and finally began to worship it. (2 Kings
18:4) They made it a relic and attempted to copy the heathenistic use of
relics and mix it into their religion! And so Hezekiah "did that which
was right in the sight of the Lord" by breaking the brazen serpent to pieces.
In like manner, if we actually had the original cross - if it
were still in existence - there would be no reason to set it up as an object
of worship. Why? Because its purpose has been fulfilled. If then there
would be no power in the ORIGINAL cross, how much less is there in a mere
piece of wood in its shape?
In view of these things, it becomes obvious that the use of the
cross - in sign or symbol, in any shape or form - as an object of worship,
is a mockery to true worship, which is the worship of Christ himself! But
each century brought more superstition into the Romish church in connection
with the cross image.
It came to be recognized as a protector. Had it not helped Constantine
win the battle of Milvian Bridge? Had not the cross worked miracles for
Helena? And so it came to be regarded as an image that could scare away
evil spirits. It was worn as a charm. It was placed high up on church steeples
to frighten away lightning. But because of the high position of the cross
upon the steeple, it was often the very thing that caused lightning to
strike the building! The use of the cross in private homes was supposed
to ward off trouble and disease. And so even as the pagan Egyptians had
set up obelisks, image was believed to possess supernatural powers, even
so did people come to worship the cross. Thousands of pieces of wood -
supposedly pieces of the "original cross" were sold as protectors and charms.
Under the heading of "A brief History of the Terms for Jew" in the 1980
Jewish Almanac is the following: "Strictly speaking it is incorrect to
call an ancient Israelite a 'Jew' or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite
or a Hebrew." (1980 Jewish Almanac, p. 3)