Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
November 2, 1997
Last Updated :
December 31, 2012
We Are Winning The War Because Christ Has Already Won, Keys Of Death And Hell, Firstfruits Of The Resurrection, Blessed Hope, Why We Witness, Conclusion, My Suggested Reading List
We Are Winning Because Christ Already Won
While we may not win every battle as we wage our spiritual warfare in the witnessing fields of the world; while we may be cruelly mocked and laughed at, scorned and scoffed at, belittled, criticized, persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and perhaps even killed; we can all take comfort in knowing that this great war of the Spirit has already been won. In fact, it was won almost two millennia ago when the Son of Man was hung upon a tree; that is, a Roman Cross. As I amply explain in other articles, it was at that time that through His own Death and miraculous Resurrection, Jesus handed a victory to all Believers through faith in His Name. Thus it is written:
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33, KJV
"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 15:57, KJV
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
1 John 5:4, KJV
Firstfruits of the Resurrection
Through His victory over death and the grave, Jesus opened wide the way to Salvation, Redemption and Eternal Life for us all. In fact the Scriptures inform us that He became the Firstfruits of the Resurrection, as well as the Firstborn of a whole New Nation of resurrected Sons and Daughters of God. This New Nation has been in the process of being populated since the First Century when Christ and the Old Testament Saints rose from their graves, as we see by the following verses:
"Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
Matthew 27:50-53, KJV
"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body . . . For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Romans 8:22-23, 29, KJV
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming . . . Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
1 Corinthians 15:19-23, 51-52, KJV
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature . . . And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Colossians 1:12-15, 18, KJV
"To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,"
Hebrews 12:23, KJV
"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."
James 1:18, KJV
"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
Revelation 1:5, KJV
"These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb."
Revelation 14:4, KJV
What you may find rather interesting is the fact that the amazing events which are described in Matthew 27:51-52 by Matthew, appear to be a type of foreshadow of what is also described as occurring at the sound of the Last Trump -- or Seventh Trump -- in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 in this set of verses.
Keys of Hell and of Death
Hidden in the Scriptures appears to be a mystery which seems to indicate that in some way which currently remains unknown to me, Satan acquired the power and control over death and hell. If we consider that in the Scriptures, the word "hell" often refers to the common grave, perhaps this occurred when he was cast down to Earth. Satan was the symbolic keeper of the keys. However, as we learn in the Book of Revelation by Jesus' own mouth, through His own Death and Resurrection, He took back ownership of these important keys. Please consider the following verses which verify this point. As you read the verse, notice that the phrase "had the power of death" is in the past tense. This seems to indicate that Satan no longer retains this power:
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;"
Hebrews 2:14, KJV
"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Revelation 1:18, KJV
Our Blessed Hope / Why We Witness
This promise of Resurrection and New Life in the Kingdom of Heaven is the central hope of our Faith. It is this important message of hope which we offer to a world which has no hope, unless they too place their faith in the atoning, redemptive Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is what should motivate us to witness and share our Faith with others. If your desire and goal is to witness to the world, this message regarding Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected from the dead is the primary message that you should share. Everything else is secondary to it. You may understand Old Testament history, the ancient laws and traditions of the Jews, the Levitical priesthood, the successes and failures of the ancient Jewish kings, and many other things; but if you are not really preaching Christ crucified and resurrected, then you are not actually giving people what they really need to hear the most.
In conclusion, witnessing -- regardless of what kind you are engaged in -- can be a very rewarding experience. By sharing the light of Jesus Christ with the world -- at least with the world of your own neighborhood, city and country -- not only are you pleasing the Lord through your obedience to His Word, but equally important, through your witnessing endeavors, you are helping to save souls from the snare of death; that is, eternal death. So, in the words of the Apostle Paul, please continue to "Preach the word" and "be instant in season, out of season". If you do, if you remain faithful, then in God's time you will hear that blessed "Well done, good and faithful servant . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Please consider the following verses:
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise."
Proverbs 11:30, KJV
"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
James 5:19-20, KJV
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
2 Timothy 4:2, KJV
". . . Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
Matthew 25:23, KJV
With these final verses I will bring this series to a close. I trust that you have enjoyed it, that it has encouraged you, that you have learned something from it, and that it has been a great blessing in your life. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc, I would really appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thank you so very much! May God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which contain topics which are related to this series. All of these articles are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
A Treasure in Earthen Vessels: God's Promise of the Spirit
A Verse a Day to Keep the Doubts Away!
All Are Given a Chance, But . . .
Are You a Burning Ember for the Lord?
Civil Disobedience and Christian Persecution
Do You Want Love and Light, or Rod and Wrath?
Elijah: Where Are the True Prophets of God?
Exposing the Tactics of the Enemy!
Free Will and Personal Choice
He Who Fights and Runs Away: Choose Your Battles Wisely
Hell, the Lake of Fire and Universalism
Is the Message of Salvation Meant for All Men?
Not Everyone is a Child of God
One From Beyond: Hebrew of Hebrews
Parable of the Sower: Salvation and Service
Should Christians Engage in Doctrinal Debates?
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Satan: His Origin, Purpose and Future
Satan: King of Empires, King of Tyrus
Sluggards and Sloths: Are You Diligent and Faithful in the Affairs of God's Kingdom?
Study, Work, and Don't Be Ashamed
The Fruits of Disobedience
The Internet: Our Final Frontier; Your Last Chance?
The Mystery of Cornelius the Centurion
The Only Credentials You Need!
The Royal Law - Thou Shalt Love
To Pray or Not to Pray? That is the Question