John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

II Corinthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I Corinthians 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.

MEMORY VERSE: So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. —I Corinthians 15:54

CENTRAL THOUGHT: A dual analogy from the scriptures is in our lesson: we must be crucified with Christ in order to spiritually live and bear fruit; and, just as in the spiritual resurrection to life in Christ, so our bodies when we die, as seed, lie dead in the ground, until they are quickened into incorruptible bodies in the literal resurrection.


John 12:25 “Hateth”: from the verb “I hate,” meaning “to detest (on a comparative basis); hence, denounce; to love someone or something less than someone (something) else, i.e., to renounce one choice in favor of another” (HELPS Word Studies).


Jesus had just come triumphantly into Jerusalem riding upon a colt, while people spread their garments on the path and waved palm branches, singing and shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord!” Later, visitors from Greece who had come to worship at the Passover feast came looking for Jesus. Jesus chose this time to speak about what death he was soon to suffer. Contained in this little message was the object lesson about grain. He likened Himself to a kernel of wheat that would remain intact, but dry and alone if it was spared from falling into the ground. However, if it was planted, the individual kernel would indeed swell, rot, and fall apart, never to be “itself” again, but a wonderful miracle would take place. Out of the death of the lone seed would come a beautiful plant, bearing many fruits with multiple seeds. Jesus had spoken about the paradox before, declaring the truth that a man must “lose his life” in order to find it. If a man sought to “spare” his life, he most assuredly would lose his soul for eternity.

The Apostle Paul picked up on this theme in both his second letter to the Corinthians, in which he explained and defended the many sufferings he was enduring for the sake of Christ; and in the epistle to the Galatians. Suffering in the flesh and dying to self is the way we “bear about in the body” the dying of the Lord Jesus, he wrote. It is the only way we can clearly show His life to the world.

Paul, in his first writing to the Corinthians—probably to combat the no-resurrection heresies infiltrating the groups of believers—revealed how the resurrection was illustrated by a seed planted in the ground and a new plant bursting forth from it in glory and honor. He mentioned twice in I Corinthians 15 about Jesus being the “firstfruits,” a reference to the Jewish Feast of Firstfruits, which came right after the Passover. Jesus was crucified on Passover, fulfilling the type of the sacrificial lamb. He rose on the first day after the Sabbath, which was the first Sabbath after the Passover, thus fulfilling the type of the firstfruits of grain which were given to God on that day, the Feast of First-fruits, as a token of thanksgiving at the beginning of harvest; fifty days before the Feast of Pentecost at the end of the harvest.

Our memory verse contains the truth of both analogies: death is swallowed up in victory. Jesus’ death brought eternal life for all of us who were dead in trespasses and sins. Truly, gain comes out of loss, the crown comes out of the cross, and out of death comes everlasting life!

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. In your own words, how does the planting of grain symbolize Jesus’ death and resurrection?
  2. How does it describe the spiritual resurrection which takes place in our hearts?
  3. Explain the meaning of “it abideth alone.” Apply it to Christ; apply it to the Christian.
  4. Explain how the planting of grain symbolizes the final resurrection.


This is a most sublime concept! One year as we commemorated Jesus’ death and resurrection, I was inspired to make loaves of wheat bread to give to friends and neighbors, along with a card explaining the miracle of the grain and how it revealed the truth about resurrection. It was such a joy to share the story that grows more dear and wonderful “each time I tell it”!

But there is a very serious side to this lesson as well. The idea of “it abideth alone” nearly brings a shudder to my spirit. An awful “what if” comes to my mind. What if Jesus chose to “abide alone”? How could you or I have been redeemed? He was our only hope for salvation! What if you or I choose to “abide alone”? This is what many are choosing today! What are the implications?

Alone means no fruit. No peace, no joy, no gentleness. No faith, no self-control. And no one influenced to be saved because of our witness. No souls won by our lives, and nothing accomplished in the kingdom of God through us as vessels.

Alone means I choose to live selfishly. I avoid the cross; I do everything I can do to avoid any personal sacrifice, suffering or giving up of my desires, preferences or dreams so that God’s will may be done in my life. Alone means an absence of God’s presence and blessing in my life. There may be plenty of activity, busy-ness “in His name,” noise, crowds, entertainment. My flesh may rest easy. But I abide alone spiritually.

Alone means shut out from the presence of God for eternity. There will be no triumphant shout as I leave the ground, forever to be with the Lord. Only—the resurrection of damnation, however dark and full of terror that may be (John 5:29).

Oh, take heed to the lessons from the wheat field! In this issue we have shared several, but not all that there are in the scriptures. Can you think of more? Use this study as a springboard to more discoveries of the truths presented by God’s creation of a SEED. May God bless this series of lessons to many hearts is my earnest prayer.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


I enjoy road trips, and one of my greatest desires since childhood has been to see the “amber waves of grain” to which the author Katherine Lee Bates refers in the wonderful, patriotic hymn “America the Beautiful.” During my teenage years, I had hoped a family trip through Kansas, one of the top producing wheat states in the U.S., would give me the opportunity to fulfill my wish, but alas, the day we drove through the state it was dark! However, I expect that one day I will be able to realize this personal dream of mine.

Naturally, the golden beauty of fully mature wheat is only temporary, as eventually the grain must be harvested and used for the purpose in which it was grown: as flour for baking, as seed for growing more wheat, or as livestock feed, for which most of the wheat in my home state of California is grown. Wheat isn’t grown to look good, but to eventually be crushed, broken, planted; expended and sacrificed for a greater, more productive purpose.

In much the same way, each of the institutions established by our Heavenly Father require sacrifice and death. The sacrifice and death of His Son was required to establish His church. In the family, the sacrifice of parents is needed to bring about the maturity and well- being of their children. Teachers must sacrifice for their students, whether in time or money, or both. A pastor sacrifices for his or her congregation with thousands of prayers and often a lack of sleep. Good neighbors sacrifice, sometimes even their rights, for the sake of the community in which they live. Yes, we may choose to live selfishly to ourselves, but the fruit that is yielded from our dying, whether figuratively or literally, brings about an abundance of life so much greater!

“Broken and spilled out just for love of you, Jesus.
My own precious treasure lavished on Thee.
Broken and spilled out and poured at Your feet.
In sweet abandon let me be spilled out and used up for Thee.”

(By Gloria Gaither)

—Bro. Fari Matthews

Note of Clarification

In the previous issue (January/February/March 2019, Volume 51, No. 1), in Word Definitions, on page 34, for the word “Holy” in Leviticus 20:7-8, it reads, “Separate from human infirmity…”

I was not comfortable with this definition, which neither I nor the proofreaders caught before printing, and I could not find the source from which I may have copied it.

I did not intend to teach that being “holy” meant you were separate from the weakness and infirmities of humanity. That characteristic obviously belongs only to God. Although He imparts His holiness to us (I Corinthians 1:30), it is a moral separateness from sin, and does not remove us from being human. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Also, on page 51, I made a mistake and used the term “Jehovah El Roi” twice, once in the Discussion and once in Comments and Application. The correct term is “Jehovah Rohi.”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck