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Saturday, September 23
When And Where 'Born Again' Is Really Going To Happen
"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, September 23
63 BC: Gaius Octavius, commonly known today as Octavian, was born. A grand-nephew of Julius Caesar, Octavian, with the official name Caesar Augustus, was the first emperor of the Roman empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). He reigned from 31 B.C. to 14 A.D., which covered the birth and early life of Jesus Christ. Augustus is mentioned in the Bible (see Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate?).
1122: The Concordat of Worms ("Worms" is the English rendering of the name of the German city Vorms) was signed between Roman Catholic Pope Callistus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V (a German king). The agreement ended the Investiture Controversy - a centuries-long (and not-yet-done) power struggle between the German emperor and Catholic pope (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation and Emperors and Popes).
1338: The Battle of Arnemuiden became the first naval battle of the Hundred Years' War and the first naval battle using artillery. The English ship Christofer was armed with three cannons (see also The Rockets' Red Glare).
1459: The Battle of Blore Heath, the first major battle of the English Wars of the Roses.
1553: The Sadians became the rulers of Morocco in opposition to the Ottomans (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1578: English explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed from Plymouth, England, in search of the Northwest Passage. The passage was not actually found until 3 centuries later. Sir Humphrey Gilbert did however make a greater discovery, as shown below.
1723: The site of present-day Toronto was purchased from the Mississauga Indians.
1817: Britain and Spain signed a treaty to end the slave trade.
1846: The 8th planet from the sun was discovered by astronomers at Berlin University. A British astronomer had earlier calculated the presence of the planet, but it was not searched for at Cambridge until after the German discovery. We know the planet today by the pagan name Neptune.
1905: Norway and Sweden signed the Karlstad treaty, thereby ending their national political union.
1913: Roland Garros of France became the first to fly in an airplane across the Mediterranean Sea (see also Who Was The First To Fly?).
1939: The famous Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud died at age 83.
1941: During the Second World War (1939-1945; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), the first NAZI gas chamber experiments were conducted at the Auschwitz concentration camp (the gas chamber was not a German-NAZI invention; the U.S. began using it as a means of execution in 1924).
1972: Martial law was declared in the Philippines by Ferdinand Marcos.
1973: Juan Peron was re-elected as President of Argentina (he was overthrown in 1955). His wife, Evita, became the Vice President.
2004: Hurricane Jeanne killed over 1,000 people in Haiti (see also The Origin Of Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons).