With my own thoughts [in brackets] inserted into original scriptures.
John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
Not a civil magistrate; for the civil government was now in the hands of the Romans; but an ecclesiastical ruler; i.e., a religious leader; he was a member of the Sanhedrim (or, sometimes spelled Sanhedrin), which consisted of the doctors, or wise men, priests, chief priests, Levites, and elders of the people; and so was a dignified person, and as afterwards called, a master in Israel . . . As incredible as it may sound, some actually believe this man to have been a certain Nicodemon ben Gorion, brother of the famous Josephus ben Gorion (i.e. Flavius Josephus), famous writer of the Wars and Antiquities of the Jews.
John 3:2a The same [Nicodemus] came to Jesus by night…
Jesus was already a controversial figure by this time, and was looked upon suspiciously by the Jewish leaders. And, because of peer pressure, it would have been beneficial for Nicodemus to come to Jesus under the cover of night, as to not be seen doing so. Jesus, obviously, was a threat to their authority, because many of the people were already following Him, and He also could not be controlled. To stay on top of things in the Jewish religion of that day, you really needed to have been educated by the Pharisees. It wasn’t the only sect, but was the top religion of that day; and, they were holders of the Sanhedrin council, and who had the reigns of the Temple. To have been seen consulting with Jesus may have been grounds for dismissal, excommunication; or, even a worse kind of punishment. We see several examples of how the leaders acted around our Lord in the Gospels; such as:
Matthew 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him [Jesus] in his talk.
Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him [against Jesus], how they might destroy him.
And, ultimately, the Jewish, religious leadership were responsible for Jesus’ death:
John 19:5-6 [Also, see Mark 15:9-15] Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.  But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
John 3:2b-3 …and [Nicodemus] 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. [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.
Seemingly ignoring his first statements, Jesus sets right into teaching this teacher…
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?
Looking at things only naturalistically, and carnally, Jesus’ obvious metaphorical language went right-over this man’s head…
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.
Even though, as we’ve already seen in a previous chapter, water can sometimes be metaphorically compared to the Spirit of God, Jesus certainly wasn’t saying: “Except a man be born of water AND water…” But, water, like a lot of other words in our Bibles (such as “world,” “earth,” “stars,” “moon,” “sun,” etc.), can actually have more than a single meaning to them. But, what else could Jesus have meant besides “natural” water? (i.e. of what’s needed to be born a second time) Because, certainly, nothing of this natural world, including natural water, can cause a spiritual birth. It should actually be seen, rather, as to say that this water is the washing of the water by the Word of God, as Paul illustrates in Ephesians 5:26. And, this, in turn, brings us a full circle back around to the true “communion” of God that we’ve already explored in chapter one of John. Therefore, being born of water and Spirit is the workings of the Word of God and the Spirit of God being used together to give us eternal life, and true salvation. Even though it’s sometimes easier to understand being born of the Spirit, how can we justify, biblically, being born of the Word?
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God [i.e. by the washing of the water by the Word], which liveth and abideth for ever.
James 1:18a Of his own will begat [birthed] he us with the word of truth…
Therefore, it’s a combination of these two elements that gives us life eternal. One minister plants a seed – a teacher of the Word of God; then another, in an evangelistic Spirit, helps to bring in the Holy Ghost amongst the listeners, watering that seed. Then, God Himself gives the increase (1st Corinthians 3:6) . . . But, even so, just what is this Word of God that will give us eternal life? Simply reading our Bibles? Simply feeling God’s Spirit during a church service during a fantastic sermon? Or, does it actually go deeper than that?
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
We are now coming upon the true Gospel of Jesus Christ; which, though not being the literal story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (in the history), it should at least reflect (i.e. a simile) those literal events in our own lives; but, spiritually (in a mystery).
Simile, from Webster’s Dictionary (1828, public domain): A comparison of two things which, however different in other respects, have some strong point or points of resemblance.
For, just knowing that story in history, about what Jesus did (dying on the cross, then resurrecting from the dead), cannot save me; but, living the story in my everyday life actually can (being a doer of the Word). I, therefore, declare that living the Gospel is living within the confines of Loving one another as Jesus Loves us. For, in a similar fashion – of Jesus literally dying, getting buried, and resurrecting 2,000 years ago – it’s true Godly Love that kills our Outward Man’s ways; buries him in baptism; and, then, causes our Inward-Man (named Jesus – his surname: Ephesians 3:14-15) to resurrect on the inside of us (death, burial, and resurrection; but, spiritually!) . . . Now, Loving one another may sound just too simple, but it’s actually the hardest thing that a person, who lives after a fleshly lifestyle, could ever try to do! And, besides, it’s totally impossible without God’s help anyway. It’s easy to love people who already love you (Matthew 5:46); but, have you ever tried to love your enemy?
Matthew 5:44-45 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Let’s explore this important idea further:
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Romans 13:8b-10 …he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8a Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [charity = true Godly Love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity [true Love], I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…
Charity/Love (Agapē “ag-ah'-pay”) G26, Strong’s Greek Dictionary: From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast: - (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.
This “charity” is true, Godly Agape Love – which has nothing to do with fake, put-on, pretended love. And, if we get this correct in our lives, then, finally, we’ll see that this true Agape, Godly Love is the last ingredient needed for our inner, spiritual resurrection – from death unto life:
1 John 3:14-15 We know that we have passed from death unto life [an inner resurrection], because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
John 3:6-7 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [3:7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
This second birth is a true birth – which, though it reflects a natural birth, it’s this second birth by which we can have eternal life. Being born a second time gets much, much deeper than just saying that I understand things better now, or that I have a fresh new way of seeing things. The Bible describes an actual “birth” – a cause and effect after we’ve adapted this Godly Love – an “action” not to be mistaken as mere philosophy; or, just a simple way of saying: “Yeah, I’m a Christian now, because I go to church like my parents do.” So, it’s not a coincidence that it’s called being born-again, because it’s describing an actual, literal birth inside of us; and, the Bible gives us enough scripture to back that notion in saying that we actually receive a new “container” in which to hold the Spirit of God within us; of which our old container only had holes within, to where water (metaphorically compared to the Holy Spirit in this instance) would leak out, and not stay:
Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters [i.e. the Holy Ghost], and hewed them out cisterns [containers], broken cisterns, that can hold no water [that cannot hold-in the Holy Ghost].
But, if we can actually receive a cistern (container) that doesn’t have any holes (all metaphorically speaking, of course), then the Spirit of God can stay within us, giving us a true salvation experience:
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead DWELL in you [i.e. stay forever], he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
And, by the way, this “mortal body,” of which Paul was speaking, doesn’t mean that our actual meat and bone body, that we were born with, will remain with us forever; but, the original Greek gives us, rather, the indication that this mortal body, which it’s actually speaking of, is the entire spectrum of our mortal-selves, but not the natural, literal body; indicating, rather, that we, who were only mortal, will now be an eternal Being. If Paul did mean a meat and bone body by his words, then he should have used the Greek word Sarx instead of what he did use:
Sarx, G4561, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: Probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), that is, (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred, or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such): - carnal (-ly, + -ly minded), flesh ([-ly]).
Restricting the meaning (mostly, that is) to the flesh body itself ... But, let's view the meaning to Paul's actual Greek word that he used in this instance:
Body, Sōma, G4983, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: From G4982; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively.
Which gives us a wider range of definitions to work with; including, as it says, figurative meanings also (i.e. metaphorical). But, even so, how can this help us understand what Paul actually meant? Well, before pinpointing a specific definition, let's also view the root word from which this one derived:
Sōzō, G4982, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: To save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): - heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
So saying, "saving a body as a whole" could very well be our meaning – of which definition is a combination of both Soma and Sozo; that is, pointing a finger as to the saving of ourselves, as a whole . . . This is important to understand, because I do not believe that we will have our natural bodies in the New Testament Resurrection; but, a new body, instead. A body, that is, which actually comes up on the inside of us whilst we still live upon this earth! A body, that is, which will eventually, after physical death, replace our natural bodies; and it’s the new container that not only holds-in the Mind of Christ, but also strongly holds-in whom we’ve already been on this earth, too. Not our carnal-selves, though, but our redeemed personality, and of our memories of who we were whilst here . . . In fact, rather than looking like Jesus’ meat and bone body, that He came up with at the end of the four Gospels, in His resurrection, I believe that John the Apostle, in his 1st letter, tells us, instead, that our new body will look like the Father’s “spiritual” body – which doesn’t look human, at all. How do I know this? Well, first of all, we’ve already read where Jesus told those folks that nobody, at any time, had ever heard the Father’s voice; and, He also added that nobody has ever seen the Father’s shape (John 5:37); meaning, in my mind, His body shape.
Shape/Eidos (i'-dos), G1491, from Strong’s Greek Dictionary (as used in John 5:37): From G1492; a view, that is, form (literally or figuratively): - appearance, fashion, shape, sight.
For, if it were human in “appearance,” then we do see it on an everyday basis. But, let’s read from John’s 1st letter:
1 John 3:1-2 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God [sons of the Father]: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him [the Father] not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God [the Father], and it doth not yet appear what we [of the New Testament] shall be: but we know that, when he [the Father] shall appear, we shall be like him [the Father]; for we shall [finally] see him as he is.
First of all, when John began speaking on the Father in these verses, he continued to do so. Showing us that he didn’t switch-up and begin speaking about Jesus – even when he said: “when he shall appear.” Which I don’t read as the second coming of Jesus here, but of the Father’s presence only (of which I believe – and, as I’ll continue to explain during this Gospel’s teaching – is when we immediately appear in the Father’s presence at physical death; for, I do believe that we leave this physical, natural plane as a live soul – an immediate transfer. Of which thought, again, I will cover herein, in upcoming chapters). Secondly, John said that “it doth not yet appear what we shall be.” That’s curious because he certainly was one of the eyewitnesses of the risen Christ; so, if we are to look like Jesus did, at His resurrection, then John’s statement here doesn’t make any sense. This tells me that whatever that Inward-Man body looks like, it’ll look like nothing that we’ve ever seen before; but, then, “we shall (finally) see the Father as He is;” and, we’ll actually look like Him. Of which thought shouldn’t bring on confusion – seeing as many believe that we will experience the exact same kind of resurrection as Jesus, and with a similar body as His. As we’ll explore in just a moment, Jesus wasn’t the only resurrected Being on that day, but so were the Old Testament worthies who arose on that same exact day, also. However, they didn’t come-up before Him, but just afterward (1st Corinthians 15:20). All of these, including Jesus, were “bodily” witnesses to the days of the Old Testament – which reflected more on the natural side of things in God’s Kingdom, whilst the New Testament reflects more on that which is spiritual; for, even Jesus lived upon earth during the Old Testament days (Hebrews 9:16) – as we’ve also already explored in an earlier chapter; but, and though He Himself had begun the New Testament, it wasn’t until after He ascended to the right-hand side of the Father that it actually commenced for any of the New Testament folks; and, He then began a new, more spiritual world. Certainly, in this new setting (which actually begun for mankind on the Day of Pentecost), this new resurrection would have to reflect that which is more spiritual, as well.
2 Corinthians 5:1-8 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved [our natural bodies], we have a [new] building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens [our Inward-Man]. For in this we groan [which groaning we’ll compare to Romans chapter 8 very soon], earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked [not nude! But, to be clothed upon with something spiritual rather than natural, or carnal]. For we that are in this [natural] tabernacle do groan, being burdened [with the carnality of the Old, fleshly Man]: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the [natural] body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the [natural] body, and to be [physically] present with the Lord.
To our natural minds, this is far from easy to be understood; though, we should be happy to at least know that our meat and bone body, that we were born with, is merely temporal grave-clothing, and nothing eternal; for, even if one were to believe that their own bodies will come up in a futuristic grave-opening, Ezekiel shows us that, despite “bones” arising, new skin will come upon them that rise-up – for, that which had decayed still lies as dust in the ground.
Ezekiel 37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Which (and, there will be some who will disagree with this – and, that’s okay) I see this passage from Ezekiel as a prophecy for the Old Testament saints’ resurrection, and not ours – who did come up from their own graves just after Jesus did in and around AD 30, as Matthew attests to:
Matthew 27:52-53 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his [after Jesus’] resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Again, a prophecy being fulfilled from Ezekiel; for, compare they going into the holy city, here in Matthew – appearing unto many, with what the Old Testament prophet says, here:
Ezekiel 37:11-14 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the WHOLE house of Israel [i.e. ALL the worthies from the Old Testament days]: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel [i.e. into the holy city]. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
And, even though Jesus shared in their Resurrection (arising in a human-shaped body, with meat and bone), I, again, do not connect this with a “New Testament” resurrection – where God will give us a body that pleases Him – not having to be a meat and bone body as the ones before us – as so explains Paul when speaking on the resurrection:
1 Corinthians 15:38a But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him…
Adding, also, that there are both natural bodies and spiritual bodies…
1 Corinthians 15:40 There are also celestial bodies [heavenly bodies], and bodies terrestrial [earthen bodies]: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
…proving to us that we don’t only have to think of a “natural appearance” when thinking on the resurrection. But, was, instead (in one respect, anyway – for, there are different ways of reading this last quoted verse), reminding the reader that there were bodies which “appeared” to be natural (for, so was the resurrection – grave opening – of Jesus and the Old Testament saints not too long-off in the past, as many who witnessed that event were still living at the time that this letter was written, early circa AD 60’s – about 30 or so years after that incredible event – though I could also read this verse as to be speaking of the Inner and Outer Man, which is another subject for another time!). But I also say that, as it was for them, in their terrestrial-type bodies (ending the Old Testament era – again see Hebrews 9:16-17), there will now be, in a spiritual resurrection, a spirit-body arising, with no meat or bone, at all. For, though Jesus and the Old Testament saints were glorified in their grave-opening, they still had bones (because, we see Jesus’ bones not being broken at the cross: Psalms 34:20 “He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken;” and John 19:31; neither did Joseph want his bones left in the ungodly land of Egypt – because, he knew that the grave-opening was to be held at Jerusalem: Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:19; and Joshua 24:32) . . . But, once more, the New Testament scriptures speak more on what’s new than on what had been in the natural:
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW creature [a new creation, within ourselves]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.
Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ [an inner creation] be formed in you.
2 Corinthians 4:16b …though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
As these last two verses show, the inward man is not a futuristic thing for us, but a present, very real experience . . . And, now, let’s go even deeper with these thoughts:
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed IN us.
The key here is as Paul says at the end of the verse “which shall be revealed IN us.” Thus, this sets us up for what’s to come next – things that will happen on the inside of us…
Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature [i.e. a created Being] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Again, the Inward Man (this inner Being), that’s born on the inside of us, has certain abilities that we, ourselves, don’t control; such as, in this instance, having patience to wait on its completed state of attainment – as it actually is already showing some manifestations of it. A completeness, that is, which it cannot attain to when it has to deal with the ways of the Old, Outer Man: the devilish nature of mankind that we all are born with. For, so the thought continues…
Romans 8:20a For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly…
Of which vanity, again, are the devilish ways of our own Outer Man. But, even though patient, it’s still not really wanting to deal with such malarky! it’s will, rather, is to be glorified in God’s Spirit.
Romans 8:20b …but by reason of him [God] who hath subjected the same [who has subjected this new creature] in hope…
Of which “hope,” we should understand this to say is to achieve its completed state of being:
Colossians 1:26-27 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now [in a New Testament world – not being available in the Old Testament world] is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you [this Inner-Man], the hope of glory.
Which ties-in perfectly with the hope of life eternal; for, such is this new creature’s longevity. It shall live for eternity. Therefore, the “hope” that we have is in life eternal; and, that life eternal is wrapped-up in the Inward Man himself – the hope of glory; the hope of eternal life . . . Also see Titus 1:2 and Titus 3:7 . . . But, let’s continue:
Romans 8:21-22 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Of which groanings we’ve seen and spoken on from 2nd Corinthians 5:1-8 – of which “groanings” and “travailings” I will continue to speak on in this chapter – showing that such a process is a “slow” process, in that it doesn’t happen overnight, nor instantaneous. This is despite the fact that the actual birth itself can be instantaneous – but, I am speaking of the “growing” process (which I’m calling the “birthing process”), when the actual groanings and travailings takes place – i.e. our “growing pains.” Which pains only come after the birth has already happened. I connect such thoughts with this verse:
Isaiah 66:7 BEFORE she travailed, she brought forth [i.e. before travailing even started, she had already given birth]; BEFORE her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.
Of which man child – though many will not agree to such an assessment of mine, and that’s okay – I believe to be the Inward Man himself! So, as far as the “pain” that’s caused, it can only come in the fashion of the evilness of mankind (our Outer Man) – carnality, filthiness, fleshliness (Galatians 5:19-21); ways that can certainly upset any mother! However, our mother isn’t the only one feeling this pain; we too hurt ourselves in this process, for the full-blunt of God’s chastising falls onto us (Hebrews 12:6-8) – grieving the spirit of our Inward Man, who only wants us to do good. So, during our “birthing process,” we must work all that junk out of ourselves . . . Certainly, herein, I am linking Isaiah chapter 66 to spiritual births, which had first begun on the Day of Pentecost. For, as Daniel reminds us, it’s the day when the Comforter finally came to earth:
Isaiah 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in [new] Jerusalem.
John 14:26a …the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost…
And, even though many may not agree that this is a prophetic picture of the Day of Pentecost (of the births that were to finally begin commencing on that glorious day in the upper room), the verse just before this one shows us that those were the days when the Gentiles were to also come in – an event that did indeed happen not too long after that fabulous day:
Isaiah 66:12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision [the Jews] which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. [11:17-18, Peter speaking] Forasmuch then as God gave them [the Gentiles] the like gift as he did unto us [the Jews], who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they [the Jews] heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
Therefore, when Isaiah 66:7 says: “BEFORE she travailed, she brought forth; BEFORE her pain came, she was delivered of a man child,” it shows us a really huge difference between a natural birth and a spiritual birth. Meaning, specifically (spiritually, that is), that the travailing and groanings continue on through our growing years, as we build-up to the full stature of Christ. Again, I will continue to speak on this during this chapter . . . Since the Day of Pentecost (circa AD 30), even unto Paul’s current day (circa early AD 60’s, when writing his letter to the Romans), the upper-room experience (from the Day of Pentecost) still continued on, effecting folks almost on an everyday basis (i.e. the whole of God’s new creation – with both Jews and Gentiles experiencing these births); for, we must understand that this “groaning” and “travailing,” which Paul speaks on in Romans 8:22 (“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now”), is speaking about a birthing process – being born a second time (born again) – the birthing process of the Inward-Man, of whom we are particularly speaking here.
Romans 8:23a And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves [continue to] groan within ourselves [during the “growing pains” years]…
Not only the Gentiles, who have also been having this experience for quite a while now, but the Jews, as well – who were the first to experience all this; or, as Paul says it, the Jews were the firstfruits of the Spirit; that is, who had first received the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; which, in turn, caused this Inner-Man to be born. Therefore, not only the Gentiles, but even many Jewish people were still being birthed on a daily basis, coming into God’s spiritual Kingdom many years after the Day of Pentecost. And, also, all had continued in that “birthing process” (their continual growth) through their groanings and travailings, in trying to work-out the evil ways of their Outer Man; and, in turn, waiting for the fullness of a new kind of adoption to take place – where we can fully cry-out “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15)
Romans 8:23b …waiting for the adoption, to wit [that is to say], the redemption [the full-salvation] of our body [of our completed-selves – not our natural bodies, as I’ve already discussed earlier in this chapter].
Adoption, here, is not for the Gentiles only, but is for all the new creation itself (including the Jews), in that everyone first comes in as Adam’s child (with their evil, Old Man ways), and are then adopted by God (as they were, at first, Adam’s carnal child only); then, afterward (from old Adam to new Adam), are then “born” into God’s Kingdom as a new child; a new creation; a second Adam. And, together, both Jews and Gentiles, wait for the completeness of their Inner-Man bodies.
Romans 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.
Showing us that it’s not just the Gentiles to whom adoption bespeaks. However, and at the same time, Romans 9:4 does not speak on the same kind of adoption that we can experience now – for, theirs was an “old-kind” of adoption, as I’ll get into in an Explanatory Note on “adoption” at the end of this chapter; for, as I’ll show, their adoption was fresh-out of the ungodly world without any New Testament salvation attached, as we ourselves can gain now. Please refer to that Explanatory Note for a full explanation. But, for now, let us continue our thoughts in Romans chapter 8…
Romans 8:24-26a For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities…
Must we imagine that the spirit, of which this last verse speaks, is God’s Holy Spirit? Do we not know that we ourselves have a spirit, too?
Romans 1:9a For God is my witness, whom I serve with MY spirit in the gospel of his Son…
1 Corinthians 14:14a For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
What would we say if we began to believe that the spirit, of what Paul spoke on in verse 26a, was, instead, our Inward Man’s Spirit-Being? Remember when we spoke on the difference between a living soul and a quickening spirit? That there are only two verses in the Bible that separates those two things from each other, showing (at least in Paul’s letters) that they are two different things entirely?
Hebrews 4:12a For the [Living] word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit [i.e. “dividing asunder” means splitting the two apart from each other]…
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam [from Genesis] was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus] was made a quickening spirit.  And as we have borne the image of the earthy [1st Adam, as a living soul only], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [after being adopted, then born again; and, like Jesus, become a quickening spirit, too].
What could this quickened (living) spirit, which is inside of us, do for us?
Romans 8:26b …for we know not what we should pray for as we ought…
As 1st Corinthians 14:14 told us, when praying in a tongue, it’s Paul’s own spirit (his Inward-Man) praying: “my spirit prayeth.” And, he said further that, when such a thing happens, his own “understanding is unfruitful;” for, apparently, the Inward-Man makes prayers on our behalf (prayers that our Outward-Man won’t allow ourselves to do, on our own, when we aren’t in our right minds – which, the Old Man is never in his right mind!); because, once again, when we’re not allowing ourselves to do what’s right in God’s eyes, or that we just simply haven’t obtained to a Godly level that we should, we know not what we should pray for. But, thank God for a chance to have done what’s right:
Romans 8:26c …but the Spirit itself [possibly this inner creation? – of which thought, I’ll actually make clearer just ahead] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Again, we’re speaking of “groanings” during our continued birthing-process (i.e. of us slowly growing into the full stature of Christ – of what slow birthing-process I’ll continue speaking on in my upcoming Explanatory Note on “adoption” at the end of this chapter); showing us that whilst we are travailing, this Inner Creature knows just what to say to God on our behalf, when we, who are so enveloped in carnality and flesh, cannot utter it ourselves. that is, until we, like Jesus, can finally become twain one new man (Ephesians 2:15): that is, the “fusion” of both the son of man and son of God within us – but, only after the “evil ways” of the son of outward man are destroyed: that is, its carnality (Psalms 119:101; Proverbs 8:13). Or, at least, when we can overcome the wicked one – the “evil ways” of the Old Man – just as some students of the Apostle John actually did:
1 John 2:13b …I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. [14b] …I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
As I’ve already made mention of, I’m seeing the actual birthing-process taking many years to do; for, even though the actual, initial birth itself is quick enough, we literally know absolutely nothing about God’s Kingdom when we first come in – it’s just a very small, planted seed that needs much spiritual water to grow. The key to the whole thing is “changing,” from what we once were out in the ungodly world, into becoming an understanding child of God. And, just how do we know we’re changing? i.e. growing up? (Ephesians 4:14-15) Well, are our “fruits” reflecting the Fruits of the Spirit, or the workings of the flesh? (Galatians 5:19-23) People will actually know us by the fruits which we bare (Matthew 12:33). But, again, it takes years (only a moment to God, though) for us to change; because, those who endure until the end, the same shall actually be saved (again, Matthew 24:13 and Mark 13:13) . . . But, all this doesn’t take the intercession job away from Jesus, though; for, eventually, He gives us our own spirit (this Inward-Man, to have life within ourselves – just as the Father gave Jesus to have life within Himself: John 5:26), an inner spirit; whose name, also, is Jesus (our new surname/last name – Ephesians 3:14-15); and, that new Jesus, that Inward-Man, becomes the ruler over our Old-Man – just like, in a parallel (that is, in a metaphorical understanding) of a certain verse in Genesis. But, in reading this verse, please don’t mistake my intentions in saying that there’s not also a natural parallel to this; for, indeed, I also read this as a natural occurrence in the creation of the world. But, for now, let’s see the spiritual side:
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Could this really be a “spiritual” way of seeing an otherwise natural scripture? Which, again, I do also see this speaking naturally, too, of Genesis chapter 1 describing the literal creation of the world, of the heavens, and of mankind. So, here, we have, in one way, the creation of natural man, having dominion over the animals of this earth; and then, turning right around and re-reading it “spiritually,” as a futuristic look (a prophetic outlook) at the creation of the Inward-Man; who, in a simile, reflects the natural man, but is completely spiritual. In fact, and in other places of the Bible, these kinds of animals (again, spiritually speaking now) can actually correspond to the spirit of carnal, fleshly man:
Habakkuk 1:14 And [God] makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them…
Ecclesiastes 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Matthew 23:33 (speaking to men) Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
And, if that’s not enough for comparison, right smack-dab in the middle of talking about the resurrection, Paul began to speak about zoology . . . Or, did he?
1 Corinthians 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
All this is telling us is that the Inward-Man is supposed to rule and reign over the beastly-natured Old-Man – keeping him in subjection to the will of God; who, when left alone, acts like an animal; a beast; having a beastly nature about him only. And, so, during this Inner-Man’s own intercession, and on our behalf, he will tattle on us to God when we’re behaving badly. This is that intercession of which Paul refers to here in Romans, and nothing more; and, certainly not interfering with Jesus’ own intercession:
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
To where I am seeing this particular intercession for us when we first come into God’s Kingdom, as new-born babes. Therefore, when that Inward-Man grows up inside of us, I see him working on us for God’s sake; and, for our salvation to become “complete” – Christ in us, the hope of glory – the “mystery” within us which had been hidden from many generations during the Old Testament days.
Hebrews 9:11-12 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle [i.e. that Inward-Man being the perfect tabernacle: 1st Corinthians 3:16], not made with hands, that is to say, not of this [natural] building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
That is, Jesus having obtained this eternal redemption for us by He dying on the cross for sins – this initial “intercession” on our behalf. Then, after the Inward-Man is finally born inside us, he (according to the will of God) begins to plead on our be-halves for God to spare us for our sins thereafter. And, what this should tell all of us, is that the Inward-Man is more than just a new way of thinking; or, of us just acting a bit better than when we were in the ungodly world. It’s an actual Being – a “container” that holds God’s Spirit within us (i.e. the “blood” [Holy Ghost] which keeps this Inner-Man alive), and is the container in which we’ll live for eternity – having the same body shape as the Father Himself . . . Let’s continue…
Romans 8:27a And he [God] that searcheth the hearts [our hearts] knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit…
Continuing his same exact thoughts, which he begun with the first quotes here in Romans chapter 8, we see that Paul had been speaking about the Inward-Man this entire time with the mentioning, once again, of the spirit. Why? Well, just think about what Paul just said. God searches the hearts – our hearts – and knows what is the mind of the spirit. This cannot be talking about God’s own Holy Spirit; because, God doesn’t need to search our hearts (i.e. our minds) to see what’s in His own Spirit. This “spirit,” again, is speaking of that inner-spirit that’s inside of us . . . Then, after Paul speaks about the Spirit-Man inside us, he continues his dialog about him, thus:
Romans 8:27b …because he [this spirit – our Inward-Man] maketh intercession for the saints [tattling on us] according to the will of God.
Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind [Mind of Christ]; And that ye put on the new man [Inward-Man], which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Colossians 3:9-10 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge [the Mind of Christ giving us Godly knowledge] after the image of him that created him.
Now, let’s continue in John, and of what Jesus continues to tell Nicodemus:
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 [i.e. of God’s Spirit].
This “wind,” of course, is indicating the Holy Ghost itself. We see it blow in, in its fullest, on the Day of Pentecost – a time, of which, we’ve been speaking on quite often herein:
Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Song of Solomon 4:16 Awake, O north wind [i.e. the Holy Ghost, coming from above]; and come, thou south [downward, where we are]; blow upon my garden [in which dwells a fountain of Gardens – God’s people: Song of Solomon 4:15], that the spices thereof [goodly things] may flow out [as a sweet-smelling savour for our Lord]. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits [fruits of the Spirit, which hang from our personal tree].
Literally, and just like natural wind, you never know where the Spirit will hit, and strike, and cause a new birth.
John 3:9-10 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? [3:10] Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
John 3:11-12 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. [3:12] If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Here, Jesus informs Nicodemus (and, indeed, John reminds his reading audience) of the differences between literal, natural understandings of the Word of God, and of those things that are metaphorically understood and interpreted.
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 [present-tense] in heaven.
As we’ve already gone over this particular verse earlier, I will simply remind the reader that Jesus was in a place (a heavenly place) where nobody else on earth was at that particular moment, and before anybody else could even get in. Again, Jesus had to “create” the way in for all others to follow – which things included fulfilling the ways and rituals of the Old Testament Law; which He did by the time of His baptism by John. And, this meeting with Nicodemus did not happen until after His baptism, and until after His ministry actually begun – right at, or right around the time of He being 30 years in age. But, nobody else followed into this heaven that He spoke on, or even could get in, until the Day of Pentecost – the day that the Comforter came in its “fullest” force unto mankind. For, even though we’ve discussed the Holy Spirit being here during the days of the Old Testament, it was not in its fullest form; and, neither could anybody hold it within themselves long enough to obtain salvation, as we’ve also discussed, because of their broken cisterns. But, if it wasn’t here at all, then how could the folks of the Old Testament write with Holy Ghost inspiration?
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
1 Peter 1:10-11b Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you [the New Testament audience]: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify…
John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: [3:15] That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Numbers 21:8-9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
As we’ve already saw, serpents can be the evil spirits of man themselves. Let’s see it again:
Matthew 23:33 [speaking to the Pharisees – see verse 29] Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
This thought was nothing new in the scriptures:
Psalms 58:3-4b The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent…
Psalms 140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.
Again, being the evil ways of man . . . In fact, when confronted with the Rock (Jesus), they merely squirm:
Proverbs 30:18-19 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a Rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
When serpents bite us, and if there’s poison behind that bite, we can die; but, if we look toward Jesus, and the salvation that He gained us by dying on the cross, we’ll live. This is why we are required to be as wise as a serpent (they’re not stupid, just evil!), and as harmless as a dove (Matthew 10:16). Therefore, we need to understand serpent wisdom, but without being overtaken by their evil ways (1st John 4:1 and Romans 12:21) . . . In fact, and speaking of the serpent made of “brass,” a certain Being, whom many scholars consider to be Jesus Himself, appears to Ezekiel as a man made of brass:
Ezekiel 40:2-3 In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south. And he brought me thither, and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.
In Revelation, it boldly declares that Jesus’ own feet were like fine brass:
Revelation 1:15 And his feet [Jesus’ feet – see verse 13; were] like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
Of whom Daniel spoke:
Daniel 10:5-6 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
This fine brass, as Revelation speaks on in chapter 1, verse 15, we see Strong’s Greek Dictionary describing it as brilliantly white in color…
Fine Brass / Chalkalibanon (khal-kol-ib'-an-on) G5474, Strong’s Greek Dictionary: Neuter of a compound of G5475 [copper] and G3030 [frankincense] (in the implied mean of whiteness or brilliancy); burnished copper, an alloy of copper (or gold) and silver having a brilliant lustre: - fine brass.
…which, apparently, we cannot compare completely with anything natural (unless, of course, it’s with a “simile;” or, of something metaphorically understood); but, that we are speaking of a strong, brilliant compound of precious metals, which the Bible, in another place, describes as the pure Word of God; for, that’s the only place for us to obtain Godly wisdom and Godly understanding; that is, in the Word of God:
Proverbs 3:13-18 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold [any natural, precious metals and jewels]. She [this Godly knowledge, wisdom and understanding] is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand [eternal life]; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She [get this!] is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
That is, Jesus, as the Word, was also lifted up, like the brass serpent in the wilderness; but, upon the cross, and to take away sins from mankind – keeping us safe from evil serpents; i.e. from evil man.
John 3:16-18 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. [3:17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [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.
Again, as in chapter one, we see that Jesus was the only begotten Son of the Father. For, Jesus Himself had birthed everybody else; that is, this “second” birth of which we’ve been particularly speaking of in this current chapter. But, not only so, but I’ll go as far as to say that it was Jesus who had “created” Adam at the beginning of time – whom I also believe to have been the very first human on earth. Yes, I am a “young-earth” theorist; in that there were no other humans on earth prior to Adam. I see this conclusion by several methods in scripture, including the fact that, for one, the word “replenish” does not mean today what it meant in AD 1611 when the first copy of the King James Version appeared – as if God was telling Adam to “refill” the earth; insinuating, perhaps, that there were other people before him.
Genesis 1:28a And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…
Replenish/Mâlê' (maw-lay'), H4390, Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary: A primitive root, to fill or (intransitively) be full of, in a wide application (literally and figuratively): - accomplish, confirm, + consecrate, be at an end, be expired, be fenced, fill, fulfil, (be, become, X draw, give in, go) fully (-ly, -ly set, tale), [over-] flow, fulness, furnish, gather (selves, together), presume, replenish, satisfy, set, space, take a [hand-] full, + have wholly.
The word “refill,” or anything similar, was not in this definition . . . Also, for the fact that as everybody else who birthed children, in the Bible’s genealogies (and, even though listing Adam therein, too), Adam had no earthen father shown, as the others, but God Himself:
Luke 3:37-38 …Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
1 Chronicles 1:1-4 [no name listed before:] Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
And, not only, but when speaking of the inhabitants of the earth, Deuteronomy quickly calls all mankind the descendants of Adam:
Deuteronomy 32:8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
To me, these are good clues as to seeing that no other person came before Adam; and, even if one were to believe this, it would be very hard to prove by scripture – which must be the final authority on all things doctrinal.
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.
Again, telling us that sons of Adam prefer ignorance of God’s ways and knowledge to the full enlightenment of God’s Word.
John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
When facing the truth, it can and will convict mankind. Though, it’s needed for life eternal to be achieved.
John 3:21-22 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest [made known], that they are wrought [worked] in God. [3:22] After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
This is not indicating that Jesus Himself was baptizing people in natural water; for, it was His disciples actually doing the act. We see this in the next, upcoming chapter:
John 4:2 Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.
But, they were baptizing for His name. Therefore, it’s not a mistake to say the He did so, for He did it through His disciples’ actions.
John 3:23-24 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they [many folks] came, and were baptized. [3:24] For John was not yet cast into prison.
Not because he robbed a bank, or stole a lady’s purse who was crossing the street; but, he was imprisoned for speaking the truth.
John 3:25-32 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. [3:27] John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. [3:28] Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. [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. [3:30] He must increase, but I must decrease. [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. [3:32] And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
Or, we could say, no person in flesh can receive true testimony. The same then as it is now. Nobody can receive the testimony of Christ, or even hear John the Baptist himself as a witness to the truth, or even believe in Jesus, unless it be given them from above, by the grace of God: for the natural man receives not divine and spiritual things.
John 6:44a No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him…
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
John 3:33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
Some may think me overzealous with what I have to say about this, but this looks to me as to receiving the “seal” of God in our foreheads; which, after much study, reveals that this simply means that we’ve received the Mind of Christ – that which lies behind our foreheads.
Revelation 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the SEAL of God in their foreheads.
This seal is “sealed” (fastened, or closed securely) in people’s forehead, and of which cannot forcefully be removed by man . . . What the folks of Revelation 9:4 actually had was the Mind of Man – that which is the exact opposite to the Mind of Christ; of what we are all born with; of which all boils down to the evil thinking of mankind – the works/fruits of the flesh, which we’ve already seen displayed in Galatians 5:19-21; and, of which, are the exact opposite to the Fruits of the Spirit, as we also read about in Galatians 5:22-23; i.e. love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance . . . What helps us to understand this is the fact that most of the references in Revelation, which speak of people’s foreheads, it mostly talks about being IN their foreheads as opposed to being ON their foreheads. The translators of the King James Version had epi, a particular Greek “preposition,” to work with; and, in the many instances of this Greek preposition, and in different areas, they took this single word and translated it differently in different areas of that book. As in saying “in” at times, and “on,” or “upon,” at other times. But, as I’ve said, they mostly translated this one word, for all these instances, as “in.”
Revelation 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God IN their foreheads.
Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written IN their foreheads.
Revelation 22:3-4 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name [nature/mind] shall be IN their foreheads.
Does this make a difference in Bible study? That is, between IN or ON? It actually makes a huge difference; for, when we say on or upon the forehead, something literal and visual comes to mind. But, when we say in the forehead, that can denote the mind itself. This also explains (more understandably, I believe) the “mark” of the beast as to actually being the Mind of Man, too:
Revelation 13:15-16 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand [an evil ministry: Acts 20:34; Hosea 14:3; Deuteronomy 4:28], or IN their foreheads.
Revelation 14:9-10a And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark IN his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God…
For, we should remember, that man himself is that beast:
Ecclesiastes 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Job 18:3 Wherefore are we counted as beasts, and reputed vile in your sight?
Psalms 49:12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
Titus 1:12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
In other words, He had no small portion of the Spirit of His Father upon Him – He had, rather, a rich abundance of supply.
John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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.
“Adoption” Explanatory Note:
This word adoption could get a bit confusing, so I’d like to explain my take on it; but, before doing so, let’s see the official Strong’s Dictionary meaning for our English word:
Adoption / Uihothesia (hwee-oth-es-ee'-ah), G5206, from Strong’s Greek Dictionary: the placing as a son, that is, adoption (figuratively Christian sonship in respect to God): - adoption (of children, of sons).
Basically, whom ever is adopted by God becomes the children of God; but, in the modern-sense of the word, a child who is adopted had been born by other parents. That’s not too far-off from what I’m seeing here. Certainly, we’re all born from first man Adam and not God. So, and unlike first man Adam, we’re born from our natural, earthen parents; Genesis chapter 5 boldly illustrates this:
Genesis 5:1-3 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God CREATED man [i.e. Adam – as we see in Genesis 1:27], in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female [Adam and Eve] CREATED he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam [mankind], in the day when they were CREATED. [But, then:] And Adam [the man whom God had created] lived an hundred and thirty years, and BEGAT [birthed, not created] a son in his [Adam’s] own likeness, after his [Adam’s] image; and called his name Seth.
Therefore, when we become God’s children, we are actually adopted by Him from other parents – our own natural parents – who were, in turn, born from Adam’s likeness and image . . . This adoption process began with the Hebrews/Jews in the Old Testament:
Romans 9:3b-4 …my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.
According to Paul’s words, the natural Jews/Israelites/Hebrews were the firstfruits of the adoption of God; and, had shown such adoption by them participating in God’s covenants, the receiving of Gods Laws, doing divine services in His Temple, and of receiving God’s promises. But, all this was prior to the Day of Pentecost, of when the Spirit of God would come into folks for salvation purposes. Though the Spirit of God was still with the Israelites during the Old Testament, it was not IN them as in an Acts chapter 2, full Holy Ghost experience kind-of-way. We, in fact, see examples of the first covenant occupants having the Spirit of God in a lesser way – that is, once more, not in a Acts 2, full Holy Ghost submersion:
1 Peter 1:10-11 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST WHICH WAS IN THEM did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
Though we see that the Spirit of Christ was actually in them, this should not be confused, once again, with it being the same thing as a New Testament, Holy Ghost indwelling; as what, again, had first appeared on the Day of Pentecost. For, Peter continues the thought:
1 Peter 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed [in prophesy], that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things [preached beforehand of what would come], which are now [during these New Testament days, and since the Day of Pentecost] reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Colossians 1:26-27 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations [i.e. hid during the Old Testament], but now [in the New Testament] is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory [i.e. this Christ in you being a new BODY, the Inward-Man].
Now, and even though it was the same exact Holy Spirit that was in them as is in us, the real difference between they and us is that they had no “container” in which to KEEP the Holy Ghost within (to actually “dwell”/stay) for salvation purposes . . . Let’s see this again:
Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, BROKEN CISTERNS, that can hold no water.
This container (this “cistern”), of course, is the “body” of the Outer man – the flesh body of mankind – of which I will speak repeatedly of here in John’s Gospel. The broken cistern is that which was born by first man Adam, and of which was carnally used for worship purposes, for fleshly, ritualistic worship of God. On the other side of the coin is the UNBROKEN cistern/container, which is the Inward-Man: of which “true” Temple of God is used to worship God in Spirit and in Truth . . . Now, I said all this to show you the difference between the “old” adoption and the “new” adoption; for, today, adoption is only gained by having this new container (the Inner-Man) placed within ourselves during a second-birth process, so that no water (the Holy Ghost this here signifying) can leak out of it, as did the old cisterns (again, see Jeremiah 2:13).
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead DWELL in you [stay forever without leaking out], he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
And, that Spirit/Water can only dwell within you if you have a cistern/container that cannot leak. So, without it (without this new, inner body – born of God this time, as opposed to that which was formally born of Adam), we cannot experience this NEW KIND of adoption (a New Testament adoption), whereby we now can cry-out: “Abba, Father!” – for, our births are on this-side of the grave!
Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear [of that which was gained by first man Adam]; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption [not just adoption only, as in an Old Testament-type way – but, of the SPIRIT of adoption, gained only from the Holy Ghost], whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Just like all other things in the Bible, this “old” adoption of the Old Testament was but a shadow, an example of the greater adoption that would follow . . . Therefore, now – in our New Testament world – when we first come on into God’s Kingdom (at obtaining this Spirit of adoption), we at first know nothing about Godly ways or thoughts – a slow process of time is needed in order for us to grow-up into that full stature of Christ…
Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may GROW UP [eventually mature] into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.
…which maturity, indeed, can be obtained this side of the grave. However, that’s not insinuating, at all, that we can’t also be born-again at the very same time of this New Testament adoption; for, and as I continue to illustrate in this Gospel’s teaching, the birthing “process” does not happen instantaneous, nor overnight. We’re slowly “changing” over time, from what we once were in the ungodly world and “growing” unto a whole new, mature creature – a life-time’s achievement. That’s how I understand what Jesus told His disciples about enduring until the end before salvation fully comes unto us, as is seen here:
Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
However one may want to understand what this “end” to be, I truly believe that one of its meanings can certainly be attributed to the end of our personal journey here on earth. But, unlike the Old Testament saints’ adoption – having to await a literal grave-opening in the far-off future to become fully what they had waited for (which they finally did receive on the very same day that Jesus arose) – we of the New Testament world will raise up “spiritually” on the inside of ourselves this side of the grave, on unto a new creation . . . Again, and in consideration of this verse:
Romans 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.
They, as a whole (unlike us who come in as “individuals” now), we’re also adopted into the pre-salvation world of 1st man Adam; so, during their Old Testament adoption (during their full occupancy of that old world), they were as of yet to reach the complete-salvation of God – since true salvation of the Day of Pentecost was still far-off into the future; so, they remained in their adoption (in which state they, once more, had gained the covenants, the law, ritual services in their Temple, and the promises for the future); then, those who had actually made-it to the end of their journey – those clouds of witnesses, as seen in Hebrews 12:1, who actually arose on the very day that Jesus did…
Matthew 27:52-53 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his [Jesus’] resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
…I say they, who had literally arisen with Christ, had finally received their reward of becoming, no longer adopted children, but of becoming full-fledged children of God, born of Him in this resurrection – for, they had endured until the end of their journey . . . Much in a similar fashion (but, yet, spiritually experienced now), we of the New Testament also get adopted out of this ungodly world of Adam, too, on unto His New Testament Kingdom. But, and of why I said that adoption and birth can happen at the same time for us now (and, unlike the Old Testament adoption – where literal death had to occur first before a birth could come afterward, at a literal resurrection/grave-opening) is because now at Baptism (and, I am meaning Spirit Baptism in the Holy Spirit and not natural water – for, natural water does NOT and CANNOT bring life, only repentance), we are now “spiritually buried,” awaiting a spiritual (yet, very real) resurrection before physical death ever reaches us. Let’s see this work in scriptures that I’ll repeat several times during our exploration of John’s Gospel:
Romans 6:3-6 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by [Spirit] baptism into death [and, this is when we first come in at adoption]: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we [also, by this same Spirit – in a step-process from the Old to the New] also should walk in newness of life [later-on, that is, at full “maturity,” when we arise from death unto life on the inside – for, until such time, there’s still a possibility that we could still fall! – that is, if we do NOT endure until the end of our journey]. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death [i.e. buried in initial Spirit Baptism, and not just coming to church only – but, an actual experience with God’s Spirit], we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection [when we finally arise at full maturity]: Knowing this, that our old man [Adam, of whom we were only prior] is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Trying not to sound just too complicated with this whole process, I certainly will continue to speak on all of this throughout this book – for such, to me, is the process of the New Testament Gospel resurrection-arising for us saints. Though metaphorically illustrated here, this, again, is a very real process of going from death unto life (on the inside of us this time as opposed to a literal grave-opening that the Old Testament saints experienced) . . . And, if all this just doesn’t make much sense now, I ask the reader to please stick with me throughout this entire book, here on John’s Gospel, for I will build this case one chapter at a time.
QUIZ ON JOHN CHAPTER 3 (Should be taken after Lesson is read)
1. True or False? Nicodemus came to Jesus by night in order to hide the fact that he wanted to talk with Jesus from his religious colleagues?
2. True or False? According to Matthew 12, after Jesus began to become popular, the Pharisees held council to see how they might destroy him?
3. According to John 19:5-6; & v. 15, who was responsible for Jesus’ death?
The Roman ruler Pilate
The Jewish Chief Priests
The Roman soldiers
The regular Jewish citizens
Greek citizens of Judea
4. What following best describes being born of water?
Washing of water by the Word
5. Is it possible that the “last name” of our Inward Man is Jesus?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
6. According to John 13, what’s a sure way of knowing that we’re Jesus’ disciples?
When we dress in religious, New Testament robes
When we’re a member of a church
It’s according to how much money we have
By our love toward one another
7. According to 1st Corinthians 13, is having Godly Love better than speaking in tongues?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
8. According to 1st John 3, is it possible to have an actual resurrection on the inside of ourselves when we have perfect Godly Love also inside of us?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
9. Is it possible that the Inward Man can be an actual body inside of us before we physically die?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
10. According to Hebrews 9:16-17, did Jesus preach and have His ministry during the Old Testament?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
11. Why does the New Creature groan?
Has to deal with carnality
His normal sound
12. According to Romans chapter 8, is it possible that the Inward Man can make prayerful-intercession on our behalf if we can’t pray rightly ourselves?
I don’t know
Romans does not say
13. According to the theme of the Bible, do you think the New Testament Resurrection is with a body like Jesus’ (meat and bone body), or will the Inward Man have a body that looks like the Father’s “spirit” body?
Meat and bone like Jesus
Spirit body that looks like the Father’s
14. Who is the “Comforter?”
The Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost and Father mixed
15. Circle “all” that apply … Holy Ghost, metaphorically, can be compared to:
16. According to Old English in 1611 AD, in Genesis 1, replenish meant what?
Fill for the first time
It means nothing
I don’t know
17. In your personal belief, was Adam the actual first man on earth?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
18. What can the seal of God mean metaphorically?
A spirit animal
19. Why are mankind compared to beasts in the Bible?
They eat grass then die
They have beastly natures
They like to eat meat
20. What does this KJV statement mean: “God gives [Jesus] not the Spirit by measure”?
God didn’t give Jesus the Spirit
God gave Jesus a lot of the Spirit
God gave Jesus some of the Spirit
God waited until Day of Pentecost to give Jesus Spirit
21. Do you think that the King James Version is closer to the truth when they say that “marks” are IN the forehead or ON foreheads?
Doesn’t matter which
Both are the same
22. In John 3, is this true? “No person in [carnal] flesh can receive true [Godly] testimony.”
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
23. Was John the Baptist cast into prison for telling the truth?
I don’t know
The Bible does not say
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