"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" (John 3:16).
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31).
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
The first two Scriptures listed are foundational verses used to validate becoming a believer in Christ Jesus. They are used in most fundamental evangelical doctrines. The third Scripture is one that Jesus said while speaking to the religious leaders establishing His position of "I AM."
These religious leaders were the experts of the time, believing they had the correct pathway for a relationship with God. They were the ones the people entrusted to deliver what God was saying or doing at the time. (This would be compatible to pastors, priests, and rabbis of today). They considered themselves the children of God, yet Jesus is giving them insight that the devil is not hanging around the pagan worshippers, but them. They were the ones that studied and knew Scriptures yet used it out of context to justify a doctrine, a doctrine God never intended.
When the first church was established over 2,000 years ago after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the enemy couldn't overturn it, even though many Christians were persecuted. The anointing of Christ was still carried throughout the lands, people, nations, and history. It still exists today just as strong and powerful in a company of people around the world as it did with the first Apostles. The presence of Christ flowing through the first Christians was evidenced by the signs and wonders following their presence, including raising the dead. This is still happening around the world, especially in third world countries, yet people in developed realms of the world have limited their hope of experiencing these miracles because of the church preaching a Gospel of goodness as a ticket to get to the other side called heaven, instead of being the vessel of God – Christ in you – to bring the blessings of heaven into the earth.
So why are most churches today getting only a trickle of the evidence of this anointing? The answer to that question is knowing the tactics of the enemy of God – the antichrist spirit – and where he roams. Let's begin this thought with the first Scripture.
"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" (John 3:16).
This Scriptures is probably the most quoted verse from the Bible than any other. Most often the agenda of validating this verse as a "thus says the Lord" into a conversation is to justify that if you don't receive Jesus as your personal Savior, you won't go to heaven; you will perish into an eternal lake of fire. Is this really the conversation taking place between Nicodemus and Jesus? Is this what Jesus was saying?
Go with me to John chapter three to look at who and what is really taking place:
In the first verse of this chapter, Nicodemus was coming to Jesus at night. He is a scholar of the Old Testament teachings, and an active part of the temple functions of leadership. This would be compatible to a Christian leader in a church-- pastor, priest, deacon, elder, bishop, cardinal, Pope, Bible college professor, Sunday school teacher, etc. They all have different roles but have a foundation that they are believers in Christ Jesus.
Nicodemus was not coming to Jesus to find out how to be "born again." That was NOT his purpose. He came complimenting Jesus of being a great teacher with a curiosity of how Jesus came into this role as a teacher without being trained through the pathway of the traditions of the Old Testament. Today, it would be similar for a Bible college professor with a Ph.D. in religion to say to someone that had no formal education (yet miracles and lives are being healed) "I know you're a great teacher and healer on a supernatural level that only God can do, yet how did you gain this knowledge without any formal education?"
Jesus' response to Nicodemus's question is the answer to the question. Jesus is not telling him how to be "born again" to avoid going to hell. Look at verse three:
"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 is answering the question along with teaching something to Nicodemus. He is not giving him a message on when one dies where they will go. Jesus was not recognized as the Son of God in this meeting, but as the Son of Man. We know today that Jesus is both, but at this time in history he was being known only in His humanity, not His Divinity. Nicodemus acknowledges the witness that the teachings of Jesus have an authority behind them, but how is Jesus receiving it? Nicodemus was under the impression that the authority of God flows from the Old Testament priesthood to impart to the people, yet Jesus didn't come into being a great teacher that way.
In verse four, Nicodemus responds with a human's perception of what Jesus says, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" This was the best Nicodemus – an Old Testament scholar – could comprehend to respond to Jesus' statement. His response with logic and reason is still the way that Christian's today process the wisdom of God. Nicodemus was not understanding what Jesus was saying because He wasn't being led by the Holy Spirit. He couldn't – Jesus hadn't yet ascended from death to release the Holy Spirit to the world.
In John chapter three, verses 5-7 we read Jesus' response: "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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
WOW! Read these verses again if you didn't get what Jesus said. Entering the Kingdom of God – heaven was not about saying a "sinner's prayer," but about knowing one is born of the WORD (water) AND Holy Spirit. When humanity tries to get into the Kingdom of God by logic and reason, it's impossible. Then Jesus brings comfort, telling Nicodemus not to "marvel" (worry) over what He was saying, because it will happen, but not yet because I have not sent the Holy Spirit.
Let's remember that Nicodemus's interest was how Jesus was doing the works of God in the earth, not his personal salvation. Jesus is telling him that the works of God come from the Kingdom of God (Heaven) to be unveiled in the earth as blessings of healing and wholeness to humanity from Father God to His children (all humanity). It comes when a human being understands they were born the first time in the spirit, not in the flesh. It is the Holy Spirit that brings this revelation, and it is the Word (Christ in you) that confirms it through the Scriptures.
Jesus was speaking a prophetic moment into time with this conversation He has with Nicodemus. In verses 8-12, we read the confusion that Nicodemus is having because he is trying to process a heavenly message with a natural mind. The things of God will be foolish to man's logic and reason (1 Corinthians 2:14).
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:12-16).
This is where the religious spirit has taken a partial WORD of God and made it into a message that God – Jesus – never meant. Remember when Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness? "The devil said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, it is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:3-4).
The enemy of God will use portions of the Word of God to justify a belief pattern that divides and separates the TRUTH from the Tree of Life to the Tree of Knowledge (death). This first temptation comes from Deuteronomy chapter eight. Satan creates a temptation with "If thou be the Son of God," from verses 6-9 in this chapter. Jesus speaks verse 3, which states "every word," not just one stone. Jesus is the ROCK (1 Peter 2:7), and the BREAD (John 6:51) of EVERY written WORD. This is the wisdom and understanding of how we bring heaven into the world.
Satan wasn't interested in whether Jesus the man was physically hungry. He was tempting Him when His physical body was weak to Speak the Word of God from within Him for His own personal need. Not as Spirit blessing, but Self-gratification of soul.
This is still the tactic of the enemy of God being used today through believers in Christ – when the WORD of God is broken down to a verse to justify, divide, and separate the body of Christ with a good or evil, heaven or hell message that brings fear and insecurity. That subtle voice of the thieves on the cross – "If you are a Christian, then… or someday when you die, where will you be?" The enemy of God isn't interested in your salvation, but the anointing that comes with it. If he can keep you suppressed into a "me" mentality, instead of Christ flowing through you to bless the world, your anointing has just been handed to him.
Jesus DID NOT come to the world to condemn the world. He finished the work of paying the price for the sin of humanity. The word "might" is a question that shouldn't exit in John 3:16. It is a diversion that was placed in the English translation of KJV to keep control over the people with fear and judgment of God versus "God so loved!" Instead of sharing the "good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God being Now" (Matthew 10:8), John 3:16 became a quote of the Word used to justify the individual words: Whosoever, perish, and everlasting. It became a tool used by the enemy within the church to separate and divide the body of Christ Jesus into a message of looking out for self. Jesus never told anyone to bow down to Him and say a "sinner's prayer" as a means of getting to Heaven to avoid eternal hell. However, today many denominations of the Christian church use this theology as their foundation to Be a believer in Jesus Christ.
"Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:9-11). When Paul wrote this, it was a decree of God's Love conquering all words that humanity ever created that did not line-up with the glory of God – Christ in you. It is not a bowing down of unworthiness, but a submission to LOVE as a bride in love with her beloved.
Jesus finishes His statement to Nicodemus with a prophetic decree that Nicodemus would not have understood. "BUT that the world through HIM (Christ in YOU) be saved – sanctified, delivered, and made a whole new creation" (John 3:16b).
Jesus was decreeing that the anointing within each one of us, placed there by God the Father (Eccl. 3:11) as His eternal DNA Spirit LIFE would be released through humanity as believers join their heart and soul to Jesus as His body, and not the idea of a ticket to get to heaven when we die. When we understand that we ALREADY died with Jesus, and are NOW raised with HIM, and NOW seated with HIM in Heaven – where is Heaven? (Ephesians 2:6, 2 Corinthians 5:17). This message of Salvation is about the Kingdom of God being released in the people of God in the earth.
A key to understanding this conversation falls in the same pattern when Jesus was tempted by Satan. Taking one part of Deuteronomy 8, instead of the whole conversation with the heart and mind of God as LIGHT, LIFE, and LOVE – Satan was tempting Jesus with justification, not the Good News of the Gospel.
Before the well-known verse of John 3:16, we have the verses of what Jesus spoke that unveils the blessings for the corporate body of Christ, not the individual "sinner saved by grace" message.
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:12-15).
Jesus is telling Nicodemus that humanity cannot ascend to heaven, including Himself, unless one knows that they first came from heaven. Jesus continues with the conversation, directing Nicodemus to the story of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness. Why was Moses doing this? The children of God had already come out of Egypt and crossed the Red Sea. This is significant of the Evangelical church's doctrine of becoming a believer in Christ – coming out of the world's system, and then being baptized.
While the children of God are being led through the wilderness by Moses to get to the promise land, they begin to grumble and complain. Scripture refers to this as the "serpent's bite" (Numbers 21:8-9). They were hurting their own children by their words coming from the Tree of Knowledge justifying what they thought was God's way, but the reality was their own self looking for their mansion in the sky sitting on a street of gold. Nicodemus was familiar with this doctrine – remember the money changers in the temple? (John 2:14-15).
Moses lifted up the serpent on a pole – Jesus became sin who knew NO sin, so we became righteous (Hebrews 7, Romans 6:18). This pole is the cross which is made from a tree. This tree is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Tree of LIFE, LOVE, and LIGHT was crucified on the Tree of Knowledge. Jesus spoke the completion of this BEFORE He was crucified.
"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die" (John 12:31-33).
Do you see the words "now, and all men" that Jesus spoke? This is huge! The church is denying the finished work of the cross when they take the words of Jesus and justify a heaven and hell message (John 19:30). They don't realize that they have become allies with the works of the antichrist spirit.
So, what was Jesus talking about when He said, "You must be born again?" For the Kingdom of Heaven to flow through the children of God to BE the blessings to the world, there must be a remembrance of when one is spiritually born the first time. Jesus is NOT talking about your natural birth when you came out of your mother's womb. He's not even talking about the day you were conceived in your mother's womb. Those were physical births. That was the best that Nicodemus could comprehend.
When the Holy Spirit comes and "quickens" a spiritual awakening of the DNA spirit of Christ in us, then we are born again. "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). We suddenly remember that we were created in our Father's image and likeness in Genesis 1:27-28. We remember that ALL of heaven, earth, and the hosts of them were finished. We were part of that finished WORD spoken. We were part of the beginning of ALL BEFORE humanity was given a bodily form in Genesis 2. The DNA WORD our Heavenly Father placed in us before the foundations of the world (Ephesians 1:4), will NOT return void to Him (Isaiah 55:11).
Our logic and reason thoughts can't comprehend what the Holy Spirit is telling us, yet our hearts will burn with excitement and joy as our true identity IN CHRIST unveils that God IS our FATHER before we had earthly parents. No matter what our earthly parents were like - good or bad – we have a Heavenly Father that is ALWAYS GOOD, LOVING, and KIND. We did not choose Him, but He chose us first while we were ignorant of His existence (John 15:16). Nothing can separate us from Him because we were first created from HIM (Romans 8:35-39). Can God separate Himself from himself?
The WORD is CHRIST, whom Jesus is the head and we are the one body made of many – zillions – of cells carrying His DNA. Each cell of His body has LIFE, LIGHT, and LOVE for the LIFE of HIS body is the blood. His body is the flesh – the living bread of Life. His blood is the Light that flows through every human to bring LOVE – the anointing of overcoming death – the Tree of Knowledge.
When we remember the Sabbath as our resting IN God (Genesis 2:1-2), we remember that the wine of transformation is His blood of Life, and the stony heart of our natural ways becomes His bread – His flesh so together we manifest in the earth His glory as ONE NEW MAN (Ephesians 2:10-18).
"Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:26-29).
On the same day of the resurrection of Jesus, He appears to two of His followers, a man, Cleophas, and his wife Mary traveling towards Emmaus. They did not recognize Jesus as the resurrection but saw Him as a man. They didn't even recognize Him as Jesus of Nazareth whom they had followed before the cross.
Jesus almost seems to insult them of their foolish concerns, yet before offense can take hold, He says, "Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" (Luke 24:26). Then He immediately unveils the revelation of Christ – the glory of God in humanity – through the Old Testament beginning with Moses. The Passover Lamb has been sacrificed. Today we are the resurrected body of Christ Jesus found in a peculiar people in the earth.
"Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32). Does your heart burn?
"You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9).