Foundational Truths


You Must Die First to Live at Last

You Must Die First to Live at Last


Posted By on Jan 1, 2021

Agrarian Metaphors for Resurrection Truth It is concerning how many Christians are increasingly adhering to this temporal life, when believers know death is inevitable and heavenly bliss awaits.  Scripture teaches we will “obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven” (1 Pet. 1:4); yet some cling to that which is fading away.  When a Christian dies his soul immediately is with Jesus Christ in heaven, “…absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8, cf. Luke 23:43).  Moreover, in the future our physical bodies will resurrect, be united with our souls and live gloriously with the Lord for all eternity.  Jesus used an agrarian illustration when instructing His disciples; not only of His death and resurrection, but the miraculous power He will have when He is glorified: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (Jn. 12:23b, 24—emphasis added).   Dr. John MacArthur explains: “As the sown kernel dies to bring forth a rich harvest, so also the death of the Son of God will result in the salvation of many.” 1 The Apostle Paul also employed an agrarian metaphor when he rebuked the doubting Corinthian believers, regarding the certainty of the resurrection and the amazing metamorphosis which takes place: “You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  And that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.  But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. (1 Cor. 15:36-38).   As Dr. John MacArthur states: Before Christ could bear fruit of salvation for us, He had to die.  Likewise, before we can participate in the fruit of His resurrection, or bear fruit in His service, we too must die…The seed loses its identity as a seed and becomes more and more like a mature plant.  But the seed itself…looks nothing like the mature plant, the body which is to be.  Only after ceasing to be a seed does it become the mature plant the farmer harvests 2     When we receive resurrected bodies, wewill become complete and equipped for everlasting life in heaven.  That truth appears inconceivable and unimaginable to our finite understanding; yet we will no longer have a veiled understanding of God: “Beloved, now we are children...

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“Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’” John 4:26 Recognizing Jesus as the Messiah is integral part of understanding His completeness and omnipotence in the Bible.  Dr. John MacArthur writes: The hope of the Messiah lies at the heart of the Old Testament.  From the third chapter of Genesis (Gen. 3:15) to the third chapter of Malachi (Mal. 3:1), the Hebrew Scriptures repeatedly proclaim that the Savior is coming.  In fact, all three parts of the Old Testament canon—the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets—make precise predictions about Him and His ministry (cf. Luke 24:25-27, 44-45). 1   Scripture unquestionably reveals Jesus as the Messiah—Israel’s Deliverer.  The definition of the Hebrew word “Messiah” (Mashiach) and means “anointed one”. The New Testament counterpart is the Greek word “Christ” (Christos).  Dr. John MacArthur elaborates: “Christ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Messiah, God’s long waited deliverer of Israel, the supreme ‘Anointed One’, the coming High Priest, King, Prophet, and Savior.” 2   Dr. Greg Harris writes: “Christ and Messiah are interchangeable words that mean the same thing.  John 1:41 states that Andrew first found ‘his own brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which translated means Christ).’” 3 As Jesus was passing through Samaria and wearied from His long journey, He stopped to rest at [Jacobs] a well at about noon.   Shortly after a Samaritan woman came to retrieve water.  Jesus asked her for a drink.  Perplexed by Jesus’ request she said: How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)  Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water… the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.’ (Jn. 4:9-10, 14b).   When the woman requested for Jesus to give her living water, in His omniscience He recited the woman’s promiscuous past and her current immoral relationship.  Awestruck, she perceived Him to be a prophet (Jn. 4:15-19).  After further dialogue with Jesus, “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.’  Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.”’ (Jn. 4:25-26 emphasis added). Jesus revealed to the lowly, irreputable Samaritan woman that He is the Messiah. The MacArthur Commentary on the Gospel of John...

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The aged, Simeon was righteous, devout, and a strong man of faith, who ministered in the Temple. He patiently waited his entire life for the “Consolation of Israel”; that is, for the Messiah to alleviate the stress, persecution, and suffering of the nation of Israel. The Holy Spirit was powerfully upon this man of strong faith as he ministered in God’s Temple in Jerusalem.  It was revealed to Simeon that he would not see death until he had laid his eyes on God’s Messiah (Luke 2:25,26). Simeon would receive the blessed moment he had hoped for when the Child Jesus was handed to him by His parents Joseph and Mary. What a moment that must have been!  The exuberant Simeon took the Babe in his arms, blessed His parents and uttered a most profound benediction, realizing God had fulfilled His Word: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation.” (Luke 2:29-30). It is most comforting that all Christians have peace with God through salvation. Simeon’s entire benediction is stunning, including his concluding prophetic words for all believing humanity: “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:32).  The “Light” was revealed: “Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.’” (John 8:12).  Sadly, at His first coming Jesus was rejected by His own (Jn. 1:11), but at His second coming, Israel will repent and He will forgive, redeem, and rescue them from their millennia of suffering and misery; when the “Consolation of Israel” will indeed gather His people unto salvation. It was this promise Simeon patiently waited for; the promise God had made to Abraham and the prophets centuries prior (Gen. 12:1-3, 15:17-21, 2 Sam 7:12-16, Ps. 110) of which God’s covenants and promises assure Israel will see and believe in the “Glory” of Jesus Christ, at His second coming (Zech. 12:10-31:1, 14:3-9, Ezek. 36: 25-28, Rom. 11:26-27). Acts 2:1-4).  In closing, like Israel’s aged physical deliverer, Moses, who stood on Mt. Nebo and looked upon the Promise Land (Deut. 34:1-4), the aged Simeon looked upon the Child Jesus who would become Israel’s spiritual Deliverer.  When both Jew and Gentile will worship King Jesus in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem—forever and ever! (Rev. 21-22). ...

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Why it is Imperative to Read Scripture “I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”   Ps. 138:2—NKJ According to the Scriptures Christians are living in the “last days” (2 Tim. 3:1).  Sadly, in this bleak American culture that was once greatly influenced by the words of God, is now having all identifiers of Him tragically removed.  Truth as we know it, and as clearly presented in the Bible, is either being compromised, twisted, or denied altogether to accommodate the wickedness and perversity of this nation.  Furthermore, most all genres of history are being rewritten, so that our children and our children’s children, are receiving a multiplicity of erroneous information.  The altering of history will indeed have a tragic result, because those generations will not even know the historical truth, to which they are being defrauded.  Additionally, Christians who linger as spectators of social media, specifically the news, are subjecting themselves to a repository of hatred, violence, and deception—unedifying to the Christian walk.  So, how can Christians both endure and prosper in this nefarious and morally deteriorating society?  Answer: by reading the only source of truth, the Bible, God’s Word–by feasting daily on the pure milk of the Word (1 Pet. 2:2).  Reading and ruminating on Scripture is the remedy in this evil day.  It is the balm that mollifies the pain and suffering and puts into perspective, the injustices the sinful world inflicts. Unfortunately, there are many professing Christians who say, “I don’t have time to read the Bible.”  This is a troubling and dangerous statement!  C. H. Spurgeon known for his convicting words, said: “There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write the word ‘damnation’ with your fingers.” 1   That said, it is difficult to believe the Holy Spirit would take up residence in the heart of a “new creation” in Christ [2 Cor. 5:17] and fail to implant a desire to know God through reading His Word.   Rather, it seems likely to believe the indwelt Holy Spirit, would stir-up a believer’s desire to find time to readtheirBibles and implant a deep desire to know God’s “special” revelation.  The Psalmist wrote: “Thy word is very pure, therefore Thy servant loves it.”  (Ps. 119:140).  “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105).  “Thy word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee.” (Ps. 119:11). Additionally, the writer of Hebrews reminds us that we possess the eternal words of Jesus (in the Gospels), the greatest...

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God Requires Contrition of the Heart

God Requires Contrition of the Heart


Posted By on May 17, 2020

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”                  1 Sam. 15:22b Although King David was exceedingly great, he was fallen just like every human being; sinful and in need of God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness (1 Kin. 8:46, Eccl. 7:20, Rom. 3:23).  God was incredibly merciful to David, for David wrote in Psalm eighteen: “Great deliverance He gives to His king, and shows mercy to His anointed, to David and his descendants forevermore.” (Ps. 18:50–NKJ).  For example, God’s law [the Mosaic Law] condemned anyone to death if caught in the act of adultery as well as the sin of intentional murder. (Lev. 20:10, 24:7).  King David was guilty of committing both offenses, adultery with Bathsheba and the murder her husband Uriah (2 Sam. 11:4, 24).  He deserved to be put to death on two counts, yet God mercifully spared his life: “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ and Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.’” (2 Sam. 12:13).  What incredible lovingkindness God extended to David!  Moreover, God who sees the heart (1 Chr. 28:9, 2 Chr. 6:30), was pleased at what He saw in David’s heart (1 Sam. 16:7, cf. 1 Kin. 14:8), and mercifully forgave him.  David did however pay a dear price for his acts of adultery and plotted homicide.  God, in perfect justice would take the life of David’s newborn son born of Bathsheba. (2 Sam. 12:13-19).   Every believer will receive God’s merciful forgiveness, if confession of sin is contritely made: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn. 1:9).  However, as David experienced, although believers will be forgiven, they may receive God’s loving, yet heavy hand of discipline: “…My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.’” (Heb. 12:5-6, cf. Prov. 3:11-12).  Therefore, it is far better to be loved and experience God’s heavy hand of discipline, than to be unloved and eternally rejected by...

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Satan: A Murderer From The Beginning

Satan: A Murderer From The Beginning


Posted By on Apr 11, 2020

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”  Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.  Now when He heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee.”                                                                                   Matt. 4:10-12 From the outset of Jesus Christ’s incarnation Satan went full bore on the attack, trying to thwart God’s redemptive plan.   The ministry of Jesus Christ had just commenced after He was baptized by John the Baptist, immediately after He was impelled by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted by the devil (Mark 1:12).  While Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus to sin, John the Baptist was thrown into prison and soon after executed.  Jesus’ baptism would be the last time they would ever meet (Matt. 4:1-10, 14:3-12).  Jesus would never see His cousin and forerunner again—what a powerful gospel force they would have made.  And even though John declared: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), he probably had not figured decreasing by way of death, John’s sudden execution was at the hands of the prince of darkness, working his evil through human instruments.   However, thanks be to God, Jesus Christ not only endured with perfect obedience, the temptations from the devil, but ultimately defeated Satan by His sacrificial death on the cross.  “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;  in which also He went and made proclamation to the [demonic] spirits now in prison.” (1 Pet. 3:18-19).  Jesus delivered Himself unto death, so that we could be delivered from death.  Praise be to God for our Wonderful...

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