John chapter 03 - Only the born-again can see
JOHN 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
Pharisee means “separate”.
“Nicodemus” means “conqueror of the people”.
The Pharisees had separated into a separate strict religious organization or denomination.
This first verse gets to the main problem of the religious world, human rulers or leaders who conquer or subject the people to the leader's own opinions and limitations.
Pharisee can also be written "Phar - I - see" or "Far - I - see".
They thought they had a deep insight into Scripture.
When the Jews were in captivity in Babylon they got separated from the Temple. Jewish human wisdom then developed "churches" which they called synagogues with one man in charge as the leader. This seemed a very clever idea. This one-man leadership was finally hijacked by the group called Pharisees.
But human domination of the synagogue led to the leader or ruler imposing his opinions and traditions on the congregation. Under this "I am the head of the church" philosophy, the Pharisee rulers separated their congregations from the written Word of God and succeeded in getting their people to miss the fact that Jesus was fulfilling the written Word of God at His first Coming. The Jews clung to their leaders, the Pharisees, instead of following Jesus.
The Pharisees had conquered most of the Jews with their synagogues after they returned from their Babylonian captivity. A Pharisee was in charge of a synagogue in the same way that a pastor rules a church. These human rulers took control of the people and ultimately taught them to reject Christ.
The congregation soon becomes subjected to the human ruler or leader. Then they are conquered.
This is the source of nicolaitanism which is to conquer the laity or congregation. The elevation of a holy man to be in charge of a church.
God hates this.
REVELATION 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
A grim irony emerges. The church that should lead people to prepare for the second Coming of Jesus, gets people saved which is good but then leads them away from believing only what is written in the Bible.
Nicodemus came to speak to Jesus and discovered that he was ignorant of crucial issues. He realized that the people in the synagogues were thus bound to the ignorance and errors of their rulers or leaders. The churches have the same problem today. There are 45 000 different types of denominational and non-denominational churches in the world today, all claiming to be right. Something is seriously wrong. This is a real spiritual swamp.
This ruler, who has conquered the people in his sincere efforts to serve God, comes to Jesus ( the Word of God ) and discovers that he does not know what he is talking about. He is seriously ignorant of God’s plan for his hour. Ignorant church leaders have much in common with African dictators. They refuse to stand down.
JOHN 3:2 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.
He sneaked along at night. No one must see me. A sad reflection of the fear in our religious systems. A man realizes that something is wrong but is scared to say so openly. He also is scared to admit that he wants to be corrected by Jesus, the Word of God, the Bible. Such is the emphasis today on preaching from human quotes.
“It is written…" is not the correction that the churches want anymore. Being Scriptural is actually regarded as being subversive.
If churches were Scriptural they would not have a pastor as the leader and ruler. No church did that in the New Testament. They were small groups that met in houses.
ROMANS 16: 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
COLOSSIANS 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
Church meetings in a house. This is good advice for the Laodicean church age.
Nicodemus accepted that Jesus was special. God was with Him.
“We know…” shows that all the Pharisees knew Jesus had the truth. But they were also tied to their synagogues because that is where their pay packets came from.
So churches admit that the Bible is the Truth but at the same time they hang onto their unscriptural traditions. Christmas, Christmas tree, 25 December, archbishop, cardinal, pope, steeple, one-God-in-three-Persons, of the same essence, second Person of the Godhead, Trinity, easter egg and bunny, evolution, Big Bang.
So we live in a dangerous age of believing parts of the Bible, ignoring other parts as unimportant, and adding in extras from paganism and scientific theories ( which are guesses ).
We also do not interpret a Scripture in terms of other Scriptures.
We baptize in the Name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost because Jesus said so.
But there is no name here. Just three titles.
MATTHEW 28: 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
But we dismiss baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ because Peter says so, and he is not as important as Jesus.
Here a name is mentioned, the Name of Jesus.
ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
Paul also baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.
ACTS 8:16 ... only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Again a name is mentioned, the Name of Jesus.
So Jesus was the Name that the apostles used for baptism. We simply say they were wrong.
But Paul said if we preach any other Gospel, then we are cursed. So we cannot say he was wrong.
GALATIANS 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
If you disagree with Paul, you are in serious trouble.
Paul also said that whatever we do we must do it in the Name of Jesus.
COLOSSIANS 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Only one name is mentioned here, the Name of Jesus.
"Whatever we do in word or deed". Baptism is a deed or physical act that is accompanied by speaking certain words.
So baptism is an expression of both words and deed.
So that makes Paul's baptism correct and baptism in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost wrong ( because no name of Jesus is mentioned ).
Baptism is symbolic of death, burial, and resurrection.
Only Jesus did this.
The Father and the Holy Spirit never died, were never buried, and never rose again. So how are they involved in the baptism?
The key question is to ask, "What is the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”?
The churches cannot answer. They cannot give one name for all three People in the Godhead.
The apostles say that the name is Jesus.
How did they see the Godhead?
As the Father, God was above the Jews. They called Him Jehovah. This means Lord.
As the Son, God was with the Jews. Emmanuel. They called Him Jesus.
As the Holy Ghost, God is in us making us “anointed ones”, which means Christos in Greek. Christ.
The human name of God is Jesus. But you need at least one Title to show which Jesus, because some nations use Jesus as a name for men.
So Lord Jesus. Or Jesus Christ. Or Lord Jesus Christ is the Name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
This way we get the different Scriptures to merge together, instead of ignoring Scriptures or else saying that the apostles got it wrong. That is a cheek. Jesus had trained them and they knew what He was talking about.
JOHN 3:3 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.
To “see” the kingdom of God is to understand the Bible and be able to join the Scriptures together so that they all agree with each other.
The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth
Only the Word of God is truth.
JOHN 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
We are not here to correct or modify or reject the Scriptures. We are here to join them all together. This can only happen if we are born again, which means we must repent so that God can inject a portion of His Spirit into our hearts. Then that Spirit grows within us to clean out our hearts. Then the Spirit grows more until it takes over our lives as the Holy Ghost baptism. Then the Spirit grows within us even more to place us in our position in the spiritual Body of Christ so that we can understand or see the revealed Word of our day. Only then can we really see from God's revealed Word what He is actually doing.
By then God has to take us over totally. We can never find His will or His way with our own human wisdom.
So the essential step is to offer up our self-will as a personal sacrifice to Jesus. Then God’s Will replaces our very limited self-will and God can begin to use us in His Big Picture which is totally different to what we would think of doing. God wants to be in supreme control of our lives.
ISAIAH 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
He wants us to learn to think His way. He wants us to only believe what is written in the Bible. He wants no man to stand between us and Jesus.
JOHN 3:4 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 had no idea of a spiritual rebirth. He could only think in terms of the natural birth.
But the natural birth is all wrong as it dooms us to die.
Eve was supposed to be the virgin Mary. She would be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and Jesus would have been born of her. He would have grown up and there would be no sins to die for. Then He would have spoken and created all His saints from the dust of the earth. He would have created just enough people to properly fill the earth. There would have been no over-population. No extras to burn in hell.
But Eve chose to bring forth life through sex, which is called carnal knowledge. The one human activity that is good and evil. Good after marriage and evil outside of marriage.
The day you eat thereof, that day you die.
GENESIS 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
PROVERBS 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
Sex is symbolized as eating.
A day with God is 1 000 years.
II PETER 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
No human ever made 1 000 years. The oldest was Methuselah who made 969 years.
But Jesus is talking of a very different birth that produces eternal life, since any baby born of natural birth is doomed to finally die of old age.
JOHN 3:5 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.
Water is God’s Word. We have to believe and obey everything that is revealed in the Scriptures for our day.
We also have to repent and ask the Spirit of God to come into our hearts. Then we must surrender our self-will so that the Spirit of God can grow within us until it totally controls every aspect of our lives. The Holy Spirit alone can then guide us into all Truth so that we can fully understand the revelation of the written Word for our day.
Then we will never say that a Scripture is unimportant or unnecessary or irrelevant. We will never say that a Scripture is wrong. We will never try to change or modify a Scripture to mean something different.
Considering the end-time church of today. The King James Version of the Bible, developed in the age of the Man-beast that stands around the throne of God, will be our Absolute. In that age of Reformation, God blessed human language skills so that they could accurately translate the Bible. They did not try to understand it all, but they put an emphasis on word-for-word accurate translation. We must not waste our time trying to modify or change the Bible. We must listen to the Eagle-beast that has the piercing insight into what the symbols and events of the Bible actually mean.
Then, we will be able to join the Scriptures together, instead of making them contradict each other which forces us to leave certain Scriptures alone.
We must always interpret a Scripture only in terms of other written Scriptures. Not in terms of some clever man-made opinion.
DANIEL 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,
The majority of churches claim that "he" is the antichrist making a covenant with the Jews for seven years in the Tribulation.
But no other Scriptures say such a thing.
A note of caution. The covenant is confirmed, not made. Thus when was the covenant made? No definite answer, because there is no Scripture to support this viewpoint.
Look what happens when we interpret this Scripture in terms of other Scriptures. We get a totally different answer.
GENESIS 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
So God made a covenant with Abraham and his seed, the Jews, to give them the Promised Land of Israel.
But this covenant had a much deeper spiritual meaning.
Christ was the spiritual seed of Abraham's faith.
GALATIANS 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Isaac as the natural seed of Abraham could claim the land of Israel for the Jews as a promised land.
Jesus, as the spiritual seed of Abraham, could claim far more.
GALATIANS 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ,
This covenant, when confirmed by God in Christ's sacrifice on the cross in the promised land, gave eternal life to "many" ( no longer confined to the Jews ) in the new Heaven and the new earth ( a much bigger and eternal promised land with no violent enemies ).
DANIEL 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Jesus should have had a seven year ministry. But after three and a half years He was killed. This was the middle of the week or seven years that the Jews were promised.
When Jesus died, God tore up the Temple veil. That brought the animal sacrifices of the Jewish Law to an end. No sacrifice could compare with the sacrifice that He had made.
MATTHEW 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;
The Temple was destroyed in AD 70 and now a Muslim mosque of Omar and the Muslim Dome of the Rock stand on that Temple mount site that was once the holy place of the Jewish Temple.
MATTHEW 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
This refers to a number of events, judging from the words in brackets.
But from today's point of view there are only Muslim buildings standing on the Temple site. Islam is thus part of the abomination that makes desolation.
Islam rejects Jesus as being God. Islam rejects Jesus as dying for our sins on the cross.
Thus Islam offers no Saviour to save the Muslims. They have to save themselves. So Islam only offers the uncertain fruits of good works as a path to Heaven. No human can ever be sure that they have done enough good works to make Heaven. The grim paradox is that militant Islam offers suicide as a "definite" path to Heaven. This reduces militant Islam to being a religion of death.
ISIS is one face of militant Islam. They live to hate, destroy, and lay desolate.
JOHN 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
The flesh is doomed to die. The flesh is in bondage to sin. So human beings have a fallen human nature that can never understand the truth.
I CORINTHIANS 15:31 ...I die daily.
We have to die to ourselves daily. We cannot trust human leaders to guide us because, like us, they are flawed by their ignorance and errors. Human culture does not lead us towards God.
The imaginations of sinful human minds are ruled by the Devil and are not to be trusted.
There is no-one, outside of Jesus who can be trusted.
All humans are doomed to death and hell and just as no human can save him or herself from death, so no human can earn salvation from hell by any good works that they perform.
All flesh is doomed from the moment of birth.
As such, life is a pointless exercise in terms of human wisdom or efforts.
ECCLESIASTES 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
The richest man and the wisest human philosopher will ultimately die and go to hell. Human thoughts cannot penetrate the veil of death and tell us about the next life. Human thinking and deeds cannot wipe out a single sin, nor the consequences of sin, nor the penalty for sin in the next life.
The Spirit of God does not trust human flesh and human ambitions at all.
The Spirit wants to come into our hearts to kill our self-will. The Spirit of God wants us to follow His salvation plan which has got nothing to do with human thinking or efforts.
The way to Heaven is entirely in the hands of God. He does not have to explain every event of suffering if He does not want to. That is mainly because our limited human brains could not understand the depths of His thinking nor the complexity of unravelling a sin-cursed humanity and creation.
He simply commands obedience. The Spirit requires only one thing from fleshly humans. We must have complete faith in the revealed Word of God for our day. We must leave everything to Him.
JOHN 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
When a baby is born it knows nothing and is completely helpless. It must be looked after by the parents and it must obey the parents. They love the baby and will do their best for the baby. When tiny and helpless, the baby is safest because it can do nothing wrong to harm itself. The more it can do, the more chance there is of the baby getting hurt. The baby simply does not have the knowledge of its surroundings to know the difference between what is safe and what is unsafe. The baby that is most obedient to what the parents say and do for it, is the safest baby.
So we need to be born again. A new Holy Spirit has to grow within us. Our human spirit has to die down to nothing. The more helpless our old nature becomes, the more obedient and dependent we become to God’s Spirit that always directs us towards Scripture.
We are completely helpless, in our own strength, of defeating Satan and reaching Heaven.
Satan is a formidably powerful enemy. Only Jesus can defeat him. No human has a chance.
JOHN 3:8 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.
The real battle is in the higher dimensions of the spirit world. It is actually a struggle between God and Satan. We have absolutely no idea of how God is fighting Satan in the higher spiritual dimension. We do not understand spirits. We do not even know where a wind starts and stops. We are just aware of its effects as it blows over us.
God’s thoughts and strategies are much higher than our own. No general reveals his plans to the enemy.
So in this spiritual battle that cannot be seen, we are just aware of certain movements of God when He intervenes in certain obvious ways. For the rest of the time we have no real idea what is going on. God follows His own agenda. God, keeping His battle plan secret from Satan, wants to sweep up our lives into strange and difficult situations that we would avoid or never think of doing, so that God can work out His will through our lives.
Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the cross of Jesus. He would never have done that of his own free will. Yet it was the most useful thing that he ever did with his life.
Thus we have to know the Bible and develop a mindset that only wants to obey the Bible, not some human leader. Then God can move us in a Scriptural way that is very different to human opinions and ambitions. We have to demand Scripture for what we are expected to believe.
We must be able to disagree with any human leader, however famous and powerful, if what he says is not found in the written Word of God. We have to put God first. In comparison to Jesus, all human leaders fade off the scene.
When we are born of the Spirit we are only subject to the written Word. No one else. Every human is flesh and thus makes mistakes. No human knows it all. No human knows enough. Every human needs to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
There is only one perfect Man, Jesus Christ. And He is the written Word of God that has been revealed to us. We only obey Him by only believing the written Word.
That way we become useful to God in His unseen deadly struggle with the spirit of Satan and his demons. When you demand to be completely Scriptural then you become part of God’s solution rather than being part of God’s problem.
JOHN 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Nicodemus is totally lost. All the wise advice that a ruler of the Jews is telling the people to do is actually just a waste of time. The Jews are not becoming better people. They are not losing their desire to sin. Their religious leaders are actually opposed to Jesus. Yet Jesus is the only Man Who knows what He is talking about.
The Jews have followed the Old Testament but under the guidance of their leaders and rulers they have actually got nowhere. Human leadership has made Israel spiritually bankrupt. The Jews do not know what to do now that Messiah has come. Their leaders will not allow them to follow Jesus. Their leaders are clueless about the real issues of faith. Now that the Scriptures of Messiah are about to be fulfilled, despite being forerun by John the Baptist, the Jews will reject Him rather than accept Him.
Jesus never changes.
At His second Coming, which is forerun by the mysteries of the written Word being revealed, the Message leaders will also reject the written Word as they frantically try to interpret the unwritten Word of the seven Thunders, seventh Seal, and new Name of Jesus in terms of quotes. There are many varieties of opinion on these topics. So take your pick if you are not sufficiently self-disciplined to stay with what is written in the Scripture.
If you believe these doctrines, then you believe what is not written in the Bible.
The Pope also believes doctrines that are not written in the Bible.
To begin with, the word “Pope” is not written in the Bible. Nor is “cardinal”, nor is “archbishop”, nor is “the pastor is the head of the church”.
Splicing and interpreting quotes makes Message pastors claim that the mighty Angel of Revelation Chapter 10 has come down sometime between 1963 and 1965. Many claim that the Lord has come already, way back in 1963. Then mercy was over at that time. Except for the Bride. ( Try proving that from the Bible ).
None of these doctrines can be proven by starting in Genesis and then moving through the Bible to end up in Revelation. The dates about the Cloud that appeared just after sunset on 28 February 1963 at Flagstaff and the visitation of the seven angels near Tucson on the morning of 8 March 1963 makes it clear that the angels did not form the Cloud when they left brother Branham. Check the quotes carefully before believing them. The failure of the 1977 prediction about the destruction of America should act as a warning against Message leaders who claim that all quotes are the absolute truth. Before that date of 1977 we were told to give up our jobs as proof that we believed the prediction.
The same preachers who pushed the date are now in denial. Human leadership?
JOHN 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Jesus points out how inadequate religious leaders are. They reject the Scriptures that they cannot understand and also believe that they have the full truth. This is a contradiction. If there are Scriptures that you cannot explain then you do not have the full truth.
JOHN 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
Jesus is a combination of Man and God. As a human Man He is totally in submission to the supernatural Spirit that dwells within Him.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Jesus alone knows the full truth. That truth has been written in the Bible. But the religious leaders of that day would not accept what was written in the Scripture concerning Him.
Today, church leaders do not stay within the confines of the written Word. They love to speculate as that makes them appear clever. This lack of interest in the written Bible has a sad consequence which sees modern Christians being largely Bible illiterate. Ask a Christian to prove something from the Bible by following the idea through a number of Scriptures. They soon give up.
Ask them to start their idea in Genesis. They are stumped.
JOHN 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
The spiritual things are a deep pattern that is hidden beneath the symbols and events in the Bible. We need someone to reveal these written mysteries to us by linking together the relevant Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation.
We do not even really understand earthly or physical things.
No scientist can explain the mechanism whereby gravity pulls something downward.
We do not know what an electric charge is.
We have no clue where the laws of nature came from nor why an electric force is millions of times stronger than the gravity force.
Our predictions of the weather are often wrong. Stock markets do strange things with people's money.
Doctor Robert Oppenheimer led the team that created the first atomic bomb in 1945. He was a scientific genius. When asked by a reporter what an atom actually was, he replied, “Something unknown is doing we do not know what”.
So Jesus warns us that if there is so much of the natural world that we do not understand, then there is no way that our human intelligence is going to understand the spiritual world.
So we have to die to ourselves and our own opinions and just believe what the Bible says. The Bible is the only safe guide that we have.
If you want to see the spirit world, you have to die to get in there. Be careful, there is a good and a bad destination. Ending up in the regions of the lost is not a great idea.
So, while we are still on earth, we have to "die to ourselves" if we want the Holy Spirit to teach us from the Bible about what is going on in this invisible spiritual war.
EPHESIANS 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
JOHN 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
To get heavenly wisdom from the higher spiritual dimensions, which is where the real battle between God and Satan is being fought, we need to be taught by someone who has been up in Heaven and seen what is going on. There is only one candidate. Jesus Himself.
The fact that He came down to earth from Heaven, proves that He has been up in Heaven.
Because He is both God and man, He does something which is totally impossible for any human. He lives in Heaven and on earth at the same time.
Human wisdom will never solve the problems of explaining where we come from, why we are here, and where we are going to.
Scientists will never solve the problem of how at the beginning nothing became something. Nor will we discover how dead substances somehow became alive.
We need wisdom from above if we are to get some clue about these vital topics.
A deep insight. How can Jesus be in Heaven when He is on earth? Heaven is a higher dimension, it is a realm of the spirit. The spirit of life within us is the only avenue that we have to contact Heaven. That is why we pray.
The fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Jesus. Thus the Spirit of God Who was within Him was in Heaven, while His physical Body was on earth.
Picture earth as one dimension, a long straight line.
Heaven is a higher dimension which is the rest of the page.
Notice how the higher dimension of Heaven touches the line. But because the short green lines cannot move up and down, they can only move sideways, thus the short green lines are unaware of Heaven.
Pretend that a man is then a short green line.
Jesus as a man is also a short green line. The Son of God. So where is the fulness of the Godhead that dwells within Him?
That is a whole series of lines drawn above Him. There is no limit to the number of these lines.
So Jesus is essentially a "Line of lines". The Bible refers to this unlimited Spirit in Him by calling Him “King of kings”.
I TIMOTHY 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
Thus Jesus is unique. He moves in Heaven and earth at the same time. There is no human who can compare with Him.
JOHN 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Moses lifted up a serpent on a stick to heal the people from snakebites. It is till our medical logo today.
There is the evil of sin which is symbolized by the serpent. But when was evil lifted up? After all, Satan was cast down from Heaven.
The Son of Man is God dwelling in a human Body of flesh. He must be lifted up between Heaven and earth when He is crucified. That means He must carry our earthly burden of guilt, shame, and sin. Yet only Heaven offers an antidote to sin. That means God has to suffer because of human sin. We humans cause the suffering of the only innocent Man who never sinned.
So Jesus is the ultimate paradox. The sinless One from Heaven who carries the sins of the world.
The innocent One from Heaven who suffered torments and died so that guilty people on earth could live.
The Creator from Heaven, being killed and mocked by His creation.
The One Who loved mankind, being destroyed by the hatred and viciousness of mankind.
Calvary was such a display of opposites, that only Jesus could handle those events. No other man was in any way worthy to do what He did.
JOHN 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Thus we have to have complete trust in Him and what He did on our behalf.
We cannot atone for our own sins. The shed blood of an innocent lamb atoned for sin in the Old Testament. But an animal is below man, so the innocent life of the lamb could not come into the heart of the believer to make him better. Thus he was forgiven of sin but did not lose the desire to sin. Consequently he had to continually kill animals and offer up blood sacrifices for his sin.
Animals were innocent of sin but did not have eternal life. So they could not give us eternal life.
Therefore there was absolutely nothing that man could do as a sacrifice to gain eternal life.
Jesus now says that the key to eternal life is simply faith. Believing that His death on the cross will atone for our sins and give us eternal life.
The just will live by faith. Salvation is not won by our good works.
HABAKKUK 2:4 ... but the just shall live by his faith.
EPHESIANS 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Grace is undeserved favour. Faith is a gift of God. Works are useless if we think that they will save us.
So our salvation is totally in God's hands, not our own.
JOHN 3:16 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.
Man is hopelessly entangled in sin. But such is God’s love towards us that He would become a Man and then offer to take the guilt of our sins on Himself. He takes our sin from us and then, because we are thus sinless, He can put a measure of His Holy Spirit into our hearts. The Holy Spirit is the only eternal life that there is. Thus we can have everlasting life, thanks to the good works and supreme sacrifice of Jesus.
But all this depends on our free will. We are not robots. We have to be willing to repent and accept Jesus as our personal Saviour. We have to be willing to let Him control our lives in the same way that a parent controls the life of a baby.
We also have to be willing to believe everything that is written in the Bible. We also have to be willing to live by the Bible.
We must want to obey Him and not have to be forced to obey Him.
JOHN 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Jesus did not come to condemn the sinful world, He came to save it. He came to give us a chance that we certainly do not deserve. He came to the ordinary people, however sinful they were. These people praised Him on Palm Sunday when He rode in on a donkey. But then the religious leaders convinced these same people to crucify Him on the following Friday.
So there were people that He did condemn as hypocrites. The religious leaders of the Jews because they opposed Him and taught the people to reject Him instead of leading the people towards Him.
MATTHEW 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Religious leaders do not stay with the Bible and they intimidate the people to follow them on their wrong path.
There are 45 000 different denominational and non-denominational churches today. Each claims that they are right. So plenty of Christians are being fooled.
Today God wants to reveal the hidden mysteries of the written Word to the people. He wants people to understand the Bible. But church leaders, who do not understand the mysteries themselves, teach the people to reject many Scriptures by calling them unimportant, or irrelevant, or unnecessary, or simply wrong. Just as Jesus was condemned in Pilate’s Judgement Hall, so the King James Version of the Bible which is the most accurate word-for-word translation is condemned by modern church leaders.
After all, Jesus is the Word. He is the Bible. So history repeats itself.
Through Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary we are saved from hell. He has already saved us from hell because He paid the price 2 000 years ago. We cannot save ourselves from hell. We can only, by faith, accept the free pardon that He offers us. This is an undeserved favour. It is purely His grace that makes it available.
But we also need to be saved from the great Tribulation that is coming.
Only by having a deeper understanding of the written mysteries in the Bible we can learn enough truth so as to escape the doctrinal and prophetic errors of the church systems and thus allow the Lord to guide us by the revealed Scriptures and thereby save us from the great Tribulation that is coming.
We should not be looking at Bible verses and saying, “I do not know what it means and thus it is unimportant and I do not need to know it”. This attitude will never make the Bride of Christ. No bride-to-be speaks of her beloved’s statements in that attitude of indifferent lack of interest.
Take a typical example. Jesus fed the 5000 and had 12 baskets left over and fed the 4000 and had 7 baskets left over. When He questioned the disciples he asked them if they understood why the left over baskets were 12 and 7.
MATTHEW 16:9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
:10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
Jesus expects His Bride to understand what He does. He is not impressed with evasive answers that cloak our ignorance. Bible-illiteracy is no recommendation.
The Jewish Tabernacle had 12 loaves of shewbread on a table and a candlestick with 7 branches.
So 12 and 7 have a special significance in God’s plan. These symbols are important and God expects us to understand them. What is He trying to tell us with the feeding of the people and the vessels in the Tabernacle?
Only the Bride will be interested to find out. The foolish virgins ( clean, saved churches ) are foolish because they thought that large chunks of the Bible were not important. The did not need to know.
The wise virgins say, "I must know". It is by learning that we become wise.
The foolish virgins say, "Must I know?"
JOHN 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Believing God is the foundation of faith. Your body is run by your brain that co-ordinates all your thoughts, actions, and bodily functions. So Jesus is the Head of the church.
EPHESIANS 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:
He wants to co-ordinate all our beliefs and actions so that He can build up everything that needs to be done to fulfill His revealed Word for our day. We have to be totally subject to Him and only do what His revealed Word requires of us. His Body was judged at Calvary. So if we stay within the confines of the written Word, then we are in His Body and we have already been judged. Then we cannot be condemned.
If we do our own thing or live by our church traditions and our pastor’s opinions then we move out of Scripture. That is unbelief. If we do not believe what is written in the Bible, that is the greatest sin. Then we are guilty to begin with.
We must believe in the Name of Jesus. There is no other Name that can save us.
ACTS 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The Son of God died for us, was buried, and rose again.
The Father and the Holy Ghost never died, never were buried, and never rose again. Thus, if they are separate Persons, they cannot save us. The Father and the Holy Ghost are Spirit, they have no Blood to cleanse our sins. Thus only the Name of Jesus saves us.
The Father was called Jehovah. The Holy Spirit is not given a Name in Scripture. Christ means Anointed One. But that refers to the person who is anointed. It is not the name of the Holy Spirit that does the anointing.
If there are three People in the Godhead, then only Father and Son have names. Two names for three People. Jehovah and Jesus. Not a good fit.
But there is certainly not one name for all three People. So God loses His name.
When saying , “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, please notice that you are only saying Titles and you have evaded the issue by not mentioning the name of God.
The Son of God is when God became a human being. His human Name is Jesus. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit which made Him the Anointed One or the Christ.
The fulness of God lived inside the physical Body of Jesus.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
So the human Name of God is Jesus Christ.
This Name alone can save us until He comes to fetch His Bride and transforms them into eternal bodies.
Then they can sin no more. Then the Bride will no longer need salvation. That is why, when Jesus returns, He will have a new Name. At this stage, no man knows that new Name.
REVELATION 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
JOHN 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
The condemnation of mankind is that we prefer evil to good. Darkness hides our wrong deeds where we scheme and intrigue unseen with practiced hypocrisy. We would not want our motives to come out into the open as selfishness is not nice to look at.
Bar means “Son of”. Abba means “father”.
So by rejecting Jesus, the Jews chose Barabbas which means “son of his father”. Barabbas was a murderer.
MARK 15: 7 And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.
John 8: 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Barabbas was thus a son of his father the Devil. That is who the Jews preferred to Jesus.
Why did the Jews make this bad choice? Because their religious leaders forced them to do so.
MARK 15:9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
The chief priests had arrested Jesus out of envy. His holy life showed them up in a bad light.
MARK 15:10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.
: 11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
The religious leaders persuaded the people to reject Jesus, Who is the Word of God, the Bible.
The church leaders of today, being unable to understand many Scriptures, spend their time proclaiming that there are mistakes in the Bible. Thus they convince people to reject certain Bible verses.
JOHN 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Believing something that is not written in the Bible just means that we are spreading darkness. There is a hatred of the Bible by those who are unscriptural.
Divorced people who wish to remarry stay away from Scripture.
MARK 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Gay rights activists condemn the Scriptures that forbid this homosexual lifestyle.
ROMANS 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
The Bible will always oppose those who wish to do wrong. They in turn will always oppose the Bible.
JOHN 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
A person who puts an emphasis on truth does not pursue what is popular with the people
We spend our lives removing absolutes. A shallow view of life that can’t match reality or real evil.
Pastors spend their time creating a spiritual product that religious consumers will buy with their tithes. They will change the product to suit the market and satisfy the whims and changes of the people. The congregations are not taught to search the Scriptures to find truth. Ignorance of the Bible prevails. Bible verses are endlessly changed to fit their beliefs. This is a form of doctrinal puff pastry that lacks real substance.
JOHN 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
Judah means, “ Let God be praised”. This has to be our attitude to events, both good and bad.
ROMANS 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
To cope with the hazards of life we have to start with the basics. God is in control. He uses both good and evil to shape our lives. They are simply opposite sides of the same coin.
If we feel that something terribly wrong has happened to us, it means that we actually do not love God.
If we want to serve God's purpose, we must not complain about the circumstances.
Sin produces evil consequences. But in the worst of events God still has a plan and can achieve His purpose.
If we have surrendered our lives to Him then we must be content to go down the path that He is taking us. We must always remember that His purpose is very unlikely to be the set of events that we would have chosen. We just cannot think at the level that God thinks.
So we have to learn to praise Him in all circumstances. This is an incredibly difficult exercise.
We come to the biggest human dilemma : why is their suffering and pain?
When God is praised for everything, we indicate that He has supreme control over our lives. Good and bad events merge and become blended like dark lines on white paper which are used to draw a beautiful picture. The cup that holds our joy is carved out by the sharp knife of sorrow. Both are beneficial to us. Joy boosts our emotions that are symbolized by our hearts. These make us human. Emotions are like the sap in a tree, they are life-giving but offer no protection from harm. Logic, faith, and truth guide our brains to sensibly cope with sorrow and pain. So the head is a symbol of our ability to survive and flourish in an evil age. It is like the bark that protects the tree. Head and heart have to work together. Good sense and emotions intermingle in a complex relationship.
Let us look at our reality.
I JOHN 5: 19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
REVELATION 12: 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
EPHESIANS 2: 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Satan rules the atmosphere so please do not blame God for the weather hazards. Satan loves to destroy.
When Adam allowed sin to enter, Satan took control of the earth.
Eve believed that Satan had knowledge that God was withholding from them. She wanted Satan’s kingdom with the Devil’s clever and exciting ideas. She believed that she was quite capable of deciding for herself what was right and wrong. What was good and what was evil.
Eve resented the limits of Paradise. She wanted more.
Eve was a woman. As such she represented the church.
Like her, the churches feel quite capable of modifying the Bible and correcting it and adding in extras that are not written in the Bible and leaving out the bits of the Bible that are irrelevant, unimportant, or just plain wrong.
Eve wanted more knowledge and wisdom. She had free will. She could choose. So God had to grant her request. She was not a robot that is programmed to obey. She was not an animal that is driven by instinct.
Eve did not realize the consequences of her sin. She was expelled from Paradise and now had to live in Satan's kingdom.
If you are unhappy about what is going on in the world, just remember that it is run by Satan. He is to blame for what is going on. Eve wanted Satan's wisdom. The Jews wanted a murderer, Barabbas. In reality we have to pay for our choices, not blame someone else. Not blame God.
So God has allowed Satan to show us how he would rule mankind.
Satan was given a paradise and look what he has done with it? War. Sickness. Suffering. Death. Hatred. Cruelty. Selfishness. Drugs. Sexual immorality and perversion. Poison. Pollution.
By now it should be getting through to all of us that Satan is totally incapable of running this complex world system. Just like a dictator who loots and wrecks his country. The dictator smiles, the people suffer. The country heads for collapse.
HEBREWS 6:18 … in which it was impossible for God to lie,
God cannot lie. So if humans want to follow the Devil’s advice, God must allow them to do so. That is free will.
God cannot then stop the horror and tragedy of the consequences of Satan’s evil schemes.
If He did that, God would be lying to us as we would not be seeing the full disaster that satanic sin causes.
Humanity wanted this choice of sin so we must be exposed to all the horrors of sin.
Eve wanted Satan’s advice. So for 6 000 years Satan has advised mankind and succeeded in turning God's paradise of Eden into a dismal show where the technological brilliance of men’s brains are undermined by the rottenness of mankind’s lusts and motives.
God has also allowed humans to govern themselves under Satan’s guidance.
Adam and Eve wanted to do their own thing without God’s interference and control. Humans ruled themselves with politics which produced dictatorship, tyranny, corruption, injustice, violence and war, crime, greed, and poverty. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The inequality of wealth distribution gets worse with time.
Clever humans became scientists. But the tree of human knowledge is a paradox that produces good and evil. Amongst all our great inventions they also managed to invent alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, pollution, poisons, bombs, weapons of war, ammunition, climate change, pornography.
We have learned how to split the atom and also how to split up marriages.
Our best science is medicine which stops children dying and keeps old people alive. But human wisdom is a paradox. The net result of good medical care is a population explosion that adds a thousand million extra people to the earth in about every thirteen or so years. It is impossible to provide adequately for such population increases. Half the world now lives in cities and towns, where the growth of slums is the biggest change that has occurred on the surface of the earth in the last century. Population pressure produces survival, rather than living. In the future looms the frightening thought of over-population.
So humanity has the wrong leader in Satan. But that is who humans chose.
God’s basic problem. How can God give mankind free will and yet have man, of his own free will, wanting to be totally in subjection to God?
Charles Darwin who invented the theory of evolution thought that a single living cell was simple. He thought it could suddenly come alive by sheer chance from dead chemicals in some random process that has never been observed. Modern scientists, who have learned a lot more than Charles, describe his “simple” cell as being a bottomless pit of complexity. There is no minimum level of complexity that life requires. Life is a spirit that comes from a higher fifth dimension. Thus there is no end to its complexity in our lower four dimensions of space and time.
Just as we cannot fully analyze the complexity of natural life, so we cannot analyze and govern the complexity of human society. There is no apparent limit to human imagination in both the good and the evil dimensions. Thus mankind advances technologically with amazing inventions but deteriorates in terms of our humanity. Society is just getting rotten.
The complexity of sin is so vast that we humans cannot cope with its complications. Asking, “Why does God not stop this?” is a futile question. Even if God did stop that, it would not solve and eradicate the sin problem. Sin is like cancer. Doctors achieve a measure of success in their fight against cancer but they have been unable to eliminate cancer. Equally, sin continues however hard people try to stop it.
Baal and Molech worship involved sacrificing babies in the Old Testament pagan days. Today we have abortions as a modern day pagan worship. The helpless are torn apart by the same medical people who keep adults and children alive. Abortion was championed by Hillary Clinton who won the popular vote in the 2016 American Presidential election. Fortunately, she never became President where she could boost this slaughter rate further.
In the 37 years since 1980 it is recorded that there have been one and a half billion abortions worldwide.
Humanity is sick to its soul. We live in dark times. The light is going out.
I John 3: 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Only Jesus can destroy sin. No one else. So we must have faith and leave the battle to Him. Whatever is happening, He knows what He is doing and we must trust Him. Our opinions are worthless. The issue is far too complex for us to unravel. The battle is spiritual, fought in a higher dimension. What happens on earth is just a shadow of the real fierce struggle. Prayer, Praise, believing the Bible, and fully trusting God to win is what is required of us.
Blaming God for the Devil's nastiness is a waste of time.
II PETER 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
God put life on the earth over six Days. Six thousand years. In that time He brought forth a Paradise.
Eve then felt she could learn more and become a god. Her eyes could be opened. She could tell the difference between good and evil. Because she had free will, God had to allow her to go down that path. So for another six Days, six thousand years of human history, God has allowed human beings to try every form of government and every form of religious worship that they could think of. Self-will means that every human can do their own thing. It also means that Satan can do his own thing and scheme up every form of evil that his twisted mind is capable of. And Satan is far cleverer than we are. So he fools mankind time and again. Satan dwells in the higher fifth dimension, the regions of the lost. Human brains are so complex that our thoughts can surf through this dimension and be influenced by the Devil and his demons. Then we make the wrong decisions on earth.
So at the end of 6 000 years of human history that has been basically controlled by Satan, the world breaks up into four groups. The true church or Bride of Christ that trusts nothing human, wants no one-man leadership, and only believes what is revealed in the written Word of God. We call these the wise virgins. Then there is the sleeping virgins, clean churches that are saved but not enough oil to make enough light to read the Bible with. Thus they do not understand much of the Bible. They are make believers as they believe parts of the Bible and reject other parts. They huddle together in their churches believing that loyalty to their church leader ( and his family ) and regular church attendance will save them. Their fate is the Tribulation. Only that will wake them up to the full extent of their spiritual deception.
Then the unsaved. These are church-going unbelievers who prefer their church to the Bible. It also includes all the unsaved who have nothing to do with the churches. Tribulation and Judgement Day awaits them. A grim future.
The fourth group is the Jews who are returning to their Promised Land. God has a special plan with them during the great Tribulation.
Finally, the purpose of 6 000 years of human history is to make us well and truly sick of Satan and his sin as well as the uselessness of human political and religious leaders.
Everything humans have tried has not worked and church leaders were only capable of keeping the wise and foolish virgins asleep.
The portions of Scripture that they know is off-set by the ignorance and errors of the church leaders due to their rejection of the revealed portions of the written Word of God. No longer do church pastors prove what they believe by joining Scriptures together. They can no longer understand sections of the written Word as their beliefs are now based on human quotes. There are now 45 000 different types of church belief, both denominational and non-denominational. This hopeless swamp of human opinion is a quagmire for getting stuck.
We return to John the Baptist.
Baptism would become symbolic of the death and burial of self will. Genuine repentance is a desire to kill self and offer our self will to God as a sacrifice. We invite Jesus to dwell within us and take over our lives which we have messed up. Rising symbolically out of the water in a resurrection of a new life, God’s Life within us. We must die to ourselves because humanity is incapable of thinking up truth. We must rely only on the written Word.
JOHN 3:23 And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
Aenon means a spring or natural fountain or a place of fountains
Salim is a town. Salim means safe or undamaged.
The only fountains of truth that are safe and undamaged by human opinions are the written Scriptures.
The written Word of God, as we believe it and obey it, is the only water that washes us clean.
EPHESIANS 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
JOHN 3:24 For John was not yet cast into prison.
John pointed people to Jesus Who is the Word. One consequence of John preaching the Word was that he told Herod that it was sinful to marry a divorced person. Standing up for the Bible was neither popular nor politically correct. He ended up in jail.
This indicates how the world rejects truth. They rejected the prophet who was to forerun the first Coming of Messiah.
Jesus does not change.
HEBREWS 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
So the same thing will happen at the second Coming of Messiah.
MARK 10: 11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
A divorced person getting re-married is against Scripture. But churches, to retain their popularity, allow it. So church leaders move away from Scripture and lead their people astray. Jesus the Word, is not wanted.
But this is dangerous territory. Divorce and re-marriage means living in adultery.
I CORINTHIANS 6: 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Church pastors who re-marry divorced people are actually keeping them out of the kingdom of Heaven.
Refusing to allow divorced people to get re-married got John thrown into prison at the first Coming of Jesus.
So the prophet who foreruns the second Coming of Jesus will be rejected by all the churches who permit divorced people to remarry.
Divorce is not the way for the Bride to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb.
JOHN 3:25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
Because baptism was a new thing that John had introduced, the Jews thought that water baptism had something to do with washing or purifying. The Levites who helped the priests had to be purified by washing in water.
NUMBERS 8:6 Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them.
:7 And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.
Levi means “joined”.
The Levites owned no land in Israel and they lived in cities amongst the tribes of Israel and helped to join the Jews to God by helping the priests with their religious duties.
But a physical washing with water was no longer the real purifying.
After Calvary, the Holy Ghost was due to come into the hearts of repentant men and women, and that would clean them out from the inside rather than the outside.
ACTS 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
The emphasis in the New Testament was no longer about outward washing but rather about inner faith to believe the Bible. Accepting a new Spirit, the Holy Spirit, into our hearts to clean out our thoughts and motives.
JOHN 3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
The Jews came to Aenon to tell John the Baptist that Jesus, Who was baptized when John was near Bethabara on the other side of the Jordan river, was also baptizing. This Jesus was becoming quite an attraction. Everyone was going to Him. Jesus was becoming more popular and better known than John.
John had pointed people to the Word ( Jesus ) and now the Word was becoming better known than John. Didn’t John feel upset? Message preachers put the emphasis on brother Branham and his quotes. But establishing one’s beliefs in the Word of God should be more important.
JOHN 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
God gifts every person who serves God. So whatever a person does for God, God must get the credit. Thus if the person gets no credit for doing the right thing, that is immaterial. As long as God’s plan goes forward, that is all that counts. Not being important is irrelevant.
JOHN 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
John never claimed to be Jesus. John was sent to introduce Him to the Jews. A prophet is not God.
JOHN 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
The prophet is happy to stand near God.
Jesus the Bridegroom wins the Bride during 2 000 years of church history. Jesus alone can travel down the 2 000 years and pull out the Christians who believe for their age. So Jesus alone is important. John the Baptist came before the first church was born on the Day of Pentecost. So he was not part of the first church. He was the last of the prophets to the Jews before their Messiah came. John classifies himself as a friend of Jesus. What an honour. Now that Jesus is beginning to preach, John can rejoice in the realization that he had introduced God’s Voice to mankind.
Only Jesus Himself is the Voice of God.
John realized that things would move beyond the Jews because the Jews are the servants of God. Somehow another group, a Bride, is going to come on the scene. John knew nothing about the Gentile church of the future. He just knew he had done his job well and Jesus, the Voice of God, was speaking to the people. This gave John great joy.
The prophet of the first Coming was not the Voice of God, but he rejoiced that his preaching, his message, had revealed the Voice of God, Who is Jesus the Word of God.
The people were now listening to Jesus, not to John.
JOHN 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
The quotes of John the Baptist revealed the Word ( Jesus ) to the people. Jesus has no competition or rival. So as the Word of God grew in people’s minds, so the importance of the prophet John decreased.
The prophet was great but he could not save them. Only Jesus could.
The prophet was not God in the flesh. Jesus was God in the flesh. Emmanuel.
The prophet was not born of a virgin, Jesus was.
John the Baptist towered over the people in a spiritual sense. But Jesus towered over John the Baptist.
JOHN 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
John could speak of earthly things like an axe cutting down the roots of a tree. He described the Jewish religious leaders as vipers.
But now we have to deal with Jesus who is God living in a human Body. He comes from the higher dimension of Heaven where He has a panorama view of all the past and future human history. Jesus is thus above all, not just in knowledge and vision, but also in power. No-one can teach Him anything.
JOHN 3:32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
Jesus can tell us all about mankind. He will reveal the present state of the Jews and their religion as well as the future when the Jews reject Him and He turns to the Gentiles. But the Jews will be inspired by their religious leaders to reject Him.
The church members today reject the revealed Word of God that contradicts the teachings and doctrines of their church leaders.
JOHN 3:33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
But those who believe the revealed Word of God then claim that the written Word is true and that it is a seal that no man can break in order to change the Word.
JOHN 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
God only sends a man who speaks from the Bible.
Jesus was the full Word of God because the fulness of God dwelt in Him.
Jesus never changes.
So He is still the full Word of God. The Bible is thus our Absolute.
Jesus does not have a measure of the Holy Spirit like you and me. He has the Spirit without measure, totally unlimited.
Only when a man runs his ideas through the various verses of the Bible can you have any assurance that what he says is true.
JOHN 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
The only part of Jesus that we can see for ourselves is the Bible. Jesus agrees with everything in the Bible. He will not change anything that is written. So if you believe the written Bible, you then have God’s thoughts to guide you and sustain you. Jesus, as the Word of God, has everything that God wishes for mankind.
JOHN 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
The basic Gospel. Accept Jesus into your heart as your personal Saviour when you repent of your sins. Let His Spirit grow within you to sanctify and cleanse you. Then allow His Holy Spirit to take over full control of your life and reveal the Word of God to you as it makes you believe the written Word. This Holy Spirit that grows within you is eternal life.
But those who do not believe the Bible shall not see life. It is not your experiences. It is not your successes in life. It all depends on whether you believe the Bible or not.
If we do not believe the revealed Bible we are in trouble.
So it all depends on how well we believe the written Bible. It does not depend on our successes and failures as they are secondary. As humans, we are small change in the hands of God in terms of what we did or did not do.
But what is essential is that we fully believe in what Jesus did and said. He alone is the Kinsman Redeemer. He alone saved us from hell. He alone can save us from the great Tribulation which is the wrath of God upon mankind.