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Friday, May 13 2016
John 3: Born Again In The Coming Kingdom Of God
"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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit"
Nicodemus was a Pharisee (see also The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees) and a member of the Sanhedrin (the Sanhedrin, or Sanhedrim, is from the Greek word pronounced soon-ed-ree-on, meaning and variously translated as joint session, tribunal, or council) at the time of the coming of the Messiah. Nicodemus became a strong and courageous believer - he not only did not oppose the Christ when many of his peers did, but he later became a public follower of the Messiah, even after the lynching (see The Night Of The Messiah And The Lynch Mob and Joseph and Nicodemus: Making A Stand).
It was to Nicodemus that two of the most well-known (but least understood) teachings of the Messiah were given - being "born again," and the famous "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" of John 3:16 (see the Fact Finder question below to understand when "born again" will truly happen).
Notice carefully that while millions quote John 3:16 as though it means that the LORD is going to save everyone no matter what they do (see Who Can Be Saved?), that single verse was only part of the complete lesson - and warning. The Messiah followed it with the admonition that "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" (see Christ Died For Repentant Sinners). Merely claiming Christ's Name for a man-made church or religion is a dead end (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).
"7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)
That actual complete lesson that was given to Nicodemus (see also What Did The Pharisees Teach Differently From The Sadducees? to understand why Nicodemus the Pharisee would have already been a believer in a resurrection, while other members of the council did not):
"3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 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.
The prophet John, popularly-known as John the Baptist, knew and understood his timely purpose. John would not even have existed if not for it (see The Miraculous Birth Of John The Baptist).
"3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. 3:23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. 3:24 For John was not yet cast into prison. 3:25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. 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.
Fact Finder: When will "born again" actually happen?
This Day In History, May 13
609: Pope Boniface IV dedicated the pagan Pantheon (which means "all gods"; see How Did Rome Change True Time?) in Rome as a church in honour of the "Blessed Virgin and all martyrs" (see What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary? and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1568: Mary, Queen of Scots was defeated by the English at the Battle of Langside in Glasgow.
1607: Captain John Smith and 103 crew in 3 ships landed in what is today Virginia. The patriotic Englishmen named the location "Jamestown" after King James (the same James from which the King James Version of Bible was named) and established what was the first permanent English settlement in the New World wilderness.
1619: Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, statesman and founding father of the Netherlands, was executed by Prince Maurice of Nassau on a charge of subverting religion.
1648: Margaret Jones of Plymouth was found guilty of witchcraft and was sentenced to be hanged (see also What Is Sorcery?).
1779: The War of the Bavarian Succession ended.
1787: Captain Arthur Phillip sailed from Portsmouth, England with eleven ships of convicts (designated as the "First Fleet") to establish a penal colony in Australia.
1846: The U.S. declared war on Mexico, beginning the "Mexican-American War" (a geographically erroneous term; Mexicans, as well as everyone else in the countries located on the continents of North and South America, are as much "Americans" as people in the United States of America - imagine if, for example, the people of Germany proclaimed themselves to be the Europeans).
1861: Pakistan (which was then a part of British India) opened its first railway line, from Karachi to Kotri.
1861: The Great Comet of 1861 was discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia (see also What Can You See In The Firmament Of The Heavens?).
1888: Slavery was abolished in Brazil.
1912: The Royal Flying Corps was established in England, the predecessor of the Royal Air Force.
1913: The first 4-engine aircraft was flown in Russia; it was built by Igor Sikorsky.
1917: Near Fatima, Portugal, three shepherd children claimed that Mary, the mother of Jesus, had appeared to them. Since 1930, the alleged incident has come to be known as Our Lady of Fatima (if the children actually did see something, it was a demon, not Mary - who is dead, in her grave, awaiting her resurrection on the day of Christ's return - see What Happens When You Die? and What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary?).
1940: Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and her daughter Juliana fled the Nazis and sought sanctuary in Britain. Later, in June 1941, Princess Juliana took her children to Canada to escape the bombing, and gave birth to a daughter in Ottawa (the Government of Canada extended diplomatic Embassy status to the hospital room for the moment of the birth, so that the Princess was born in Netherlands territory).
1940: In his first speech as Prime Minister of Britain, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." He went on to become one of the greatest leaders that Britain has known.
1958: French troops took control of Algiers.
1965: Israel and West Germany established diplomatic relations.
1981: Pope John Paul II was shot 4 times (2 bystanders were also wounded) by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square.
1993: Ezer Weizmann was sworn in as Israel's seventh President. His uncle, Chaim Weizmann, was the first President at the time of modern-day Israel's founding in 1948 (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate, A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
1996: Over 400 people were killed and 30,000 injured from a tornado in Bangladesh.
1998: India detonated two nuclear tests at Pokhran, following the three conducted on May 11. The U.S., despite having done the very same sort or tests hundreds of times, imposed economic sanctions on India.