Greetings in Christ!
This week we come to one of the high-water marks in Scripture. John 3 takes the most profound truths of the gospel and encapsulates them into thirty-six verses. The word must appears four times in this chapter. Therefore, we must must must must carefully consider what John has to tell us. Father, please give each of us an unction of the Holy Spirit, that we may rightly divide your word and receive all that You, your Son, and your Spirit have to tell us concerning the new birth. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
As a Pharisee, Nicodemus had been studying and memorizing the Tanakh from early childhood. John tells us he was a ruler of the Jews, meaning he was a member of the Sanhedrin. Shortly after Herod the not-so-great came to power in 37 BC as a client king of Rome, he had forty-six members of the Sanhedrin killed. Herod tried to make up for it by giving the temple in Jerusalem an extreme makeover; the work of rebuilding the temple began in 19 BC. Forty-six years later (John 2:20) the temple was an awe-inspiring architectural wonder. Made of marble and gold, it was surrounded by four courts on lower successive levels: for priests, Israel, women, and Gentiles. The temple was bordered by colonnades that were supported by white marble pillars, each pillar being forty-feet-high and made from a single stone. Surrounded by 1000’ long walls on each side, the temple complex occupied about four city blocks. (1) Nicodemus’ whole life revolved around the temple. As a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus was part of the establishment, the theocratic elite that ruled Israel. The position carried with it a lot of power and prestige, but Jesus called these rulers hypocrites … whited sepulchres. He said Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! … Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? There was something different about Nicodemus though. When Jesus healed someone, He would send him to the temple to offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. (Matt 8:4) Nicodemus may have been visiting Jesus in an official capacity to investigate and learn more. In any case, he was intrigued by the miracles and he had a sincere interest in Jesus’ teaching. (John 7:50; 19:39)
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Nicodemus is often criticized for going to Jesus at night. He may have been embarrassed to be seen with Jesus as some say, but even if he was, Jesus did not fault him for it. Jesus meets us where we are. If you have just enough faith to start reading a chapter a day, Jesus will take that and wait for you to take the next step. Even if you are too embarrassed to tell anyone you have started reading the Bible, Jesus will meet you where you are. He is patient.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Jesus immediately changes the subject. The miracles were the hook. Now He starts reeling Nicodemus in.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Nicodemus does not get it. Jesus explains:
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
In John 1:33 it was established that water is a type of the Holy Spirit (cf John 7:38f). Water is also a type of the word of God (Eph 5:26). The word of God and the Holy Spirit are closely related to one another. (John 6:63) Therefore, the word of God works together with the Spirit of God for an individual to be born again. (1 Pet 1:23; 1 Cor 12:13) When someone receives the gospel (the word of God) by faith (Eph 2:8f), they receive the Holy Spirit and are born again. Warren Wiersbe points out that for a child to be born it takes two parents. Likewise, for an individual to be born again it takes both the word of God and the Spirit of God working together in the heart of the believer.
Baptism is important but it is not what Jesus is talking about here. Baptism is connected with death, not birth. (Rom 6:3f; et al) Jesus said 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. (John 12:24) To be born again, one needs to die to self that Christ may live in her. Baptism is symbolic of this, ie being buried with Jesus in his death. If someone has no desire to be baptized that would indicate that he is not born again. On the other hand, if someone got saved but she was stuck in a desert where she died before she could be baptized, that would not be a problem. The thief on the cross was not baptized yet Jesus told him Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Contrariwise, if an unbeliever gets baptized, he does not get saved. He just gets wet. Some well-meaning people say you have to be baptized a certain way. For example, some people make a big deal out of whether it was sprinkling or emersion. Others say the words have to be correct for it to be a legitimate baptism. ‘Jesus only’ they say, but quibbling about these petty differences is missing the point of baptism. Jesus suffered and died for us. He rose again from the dead. To reduce salvation to a baptism formula is to diminish and dismiss what Jesus did for us on Calvary.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
If you are born again, the Spirit will lead you to do things and go places that others will not understand. You cannot see the wind, but you can feel it. The Spirit is the same way, except only believers can feel it. Unbelievers are left wondering why Christians do the things they do.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
In John 1:48 we saw Jesus demonstrate his omniscience. Here in John 3:13, we see He is also omnipresent. He was on earth talking to Nicodemus, but at the same time He was also in heaven. In John 11, He will demonstrate his omnipotence. In times like these, it’s important to remember who Jesus is. Our problems may look big to us, but they are not big to Jesus. Jesus is still in control. He is still on his throne and prayer still works. If current events have you feeling uneasy, imagine how Abraham must have felt as he ascended Mount Moriah with Isaac. When Isaac asked where the lamb for the burnt offering was, Abraham said God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering. God did not provide a lamb, though. He provided a ram, which is a better sacrifice than a lamb. Two-thousand years later, God fulfilled Abraham’s prophecy and provided Himself as the Lamb, not just for Isaac but for us all. In our darkest hours, Jesus has a deliverance prepared for us, a far better deliverance than we hope or pray for. The new birth of a believing Christian is merely the first stage; the new birth is complete when she receives her new body. (Acts 13:33) Furthermore, the new birth of a believer is a microcosm of the new birth that is awaiting planet earth. Jesus is making all things new, but none of that matters if you are not born again. You must be born again. Nicodemus was a brilliant scholar, a man of upstanding character, and a pillar in the community, but Jesus told him he must be born again. Whether you are an intellectual giant or were born with Down’s syndrome, you must be born again. Whether you are a goody two-shoes or a Hell’s Angel, you must be born again. Whatever you are guilty of, God is ready to wipe the slate clean and start over from scratch if you will simply call on his name. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Father, thank You for the precious promises we have in your word and in your Son. I pray that all who read this will be born again through faith in your Son and the precious blood He shed for us on Calvary. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
(1) Halley’s Bible Handbook, p 535.
Election Update: On Sunday I posted a link to a New York Times article saying Trump was not going to resign, along with a statement from Lt General McInerney, saying among other things, that Trump has possession of Nancy Pelosi’s laptop. Five days later, Trump has not changed his statement that he is committed to a “smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power,” but I think I would have been remiss if I had not mentioned it. Indeed, there are many rumors swirly about emergency orders and secret arrests. The only problem is there has not been any evidence of these things. Nevertheless, we have never seen anything like this in modern times in America. What has been happening right before our very eyes this week is unprecedented. With the inauguration only five days away, the president has been impeached again. Rudy Giuliani claims that he, the president, and Don Jr have all been indicted in DC. There is a standing army patrolling DC, projected to be 25,000 troops strong by Inaguration Day. The president says he will not be attending Biden’s inauguration on the 20th. In the meantime, here is what we know and what we can verify:
My takeaway from last week is that we were dealt a major blow with the false-flag event at the Capitol. The Capitol Police officer who reportedly gave the order to stand down and allow the protesters to enter has “committed suicide.” Now that the BLM leader who filmed the death of Ashli Babbitt has been arrested, it has come out that his dad is an Air Force general who was disciplined for sending nuclear bomb parts to Taiwan, the Republic of China. He then subsequently retired. We are in uncharted waters here. The deep state smells blood and God only knows what the next four years will bring. I’m thankful that we had four years with no new wars. I’m thankful that after four years with a pro-life president we now have our first 100% abortion-free state, Missouri. I’m thankful the 2020 Real ID program was put on hold and pushed back. President Trump has exposed the deep state and even the most ardent skeptic should now be able to see the shadow government/ Fascist-corporate-media cabal for what it is. With Trump out of the way, I expect things will accelerate quickly. I expect to see more false-flag events to demonize Trump supporters, aka Christians. They have already been releasing deep-fake videos of leaders in the liberty movement saying terrible racist things. Roger Stone’s wife has been attacked and hosptialized. Moving forward, we need to make an honest appraisal of the situation and play the hand we have been dealt. So here it is: Unless there is a miraculous turn of events, the Democrats (who are controlled by the CCP) will be in complete control of the government in five days. They will control the Executive Branch and both houses of Congress. Even the Supreme Court (and the lower courts as well) appear to be under the control of the deep state. Essentially what we are looking at is Obama 2.0. We can expect all the things I wrote about in Dragon Slayer Jesus Christ to resurface. For example, expect to see ISIS come back and wars in the Middle East to return. Added to this is the fact that Biden is 100% committed to medical tyranny in the name of COVID. Take heart though. All these are the beginning of sorrows [birth pangs]. Although dark times are upon us, the good news is we have a new birth of freedom coming. (See prophecy update below.)
Prophecy Update: Last July, I posted a prophetic-dreams video from Pastor Dana Coverstone. It looks more likely than ever that what Pastor Coverstone said he saw in his dream may soon be upon us. Pastor Coverstone said he had a dream where he saw a red-dawn event, with Chinese and Russian soldiers invading America. If America were to have a hot civil war, it would make such an invasion more attractive to the enemy and therefore, all the more likely. The answer is not in taking up arms. We are engaged in a spiritual war and it needs to be fought with spiritual weapons. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Here is where I see all this all leading: A new birth of freedom is in progress now, better than any new birth we could have achieved through a political revolution. The water has broke and the contractions are getting closer together. Birth is not a pleasant process. It is painful and bloody. When Jesus died for our sins it was painful and bloody. There were three hours of darkness and a massive earthquake. However, three days later He rose from the dead and we had a new birth of freedom in the new covenant of grace. Jesus said I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen. That is what is called a new birth. Now we are approaching another new birth of freedom with the coming kingdom age. Each of us who have put our faith in Christ will experience the same new birth that Jesus did. The age of grace is coming to an end and soon the world will be plunged into the great tribulation period. This old earth is travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. The great tribulation period will be the final birth pangs that unveil our Messiah and usher in the millennium, ie the new birth. (Jer 30:6f) How close we are, of course I cannot say, but it doesn’t matter. The point is everything the Bible said would happen is happening. Whether some of us have to be put in reeducation camps while we are waiting for Jesus to come back doesn’t matter. What matters is that we settle it in our hearts that we will remain faithful to the gospel and trust in Christ. Jesus said And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Jesus said Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Jesus said For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
PS: Don’t take the mRNA vaccine. I think Steve Quayle said it best: Shot in the arm or shot in the head, either way they want you dead.