The American Wisdom Series


Chapter 3

Caution to students of God's Word - Please remember two things when using our studies: #1. Our commentary is not God's Word. It is only our interpretation or understanding of "His Word" and even though we try our best to be accurate we may or may not be correct. #2. The King James translation, or any other translation, of the original Hebrew text has some words which were given different translations at different places probably because of the interpreters preconceived ideas of what they think God meant to say. For example: According to the notes in the "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible" the Hebrew word hayah in the KJV is Trans. (became) 67 times, (becamest or came to pass) 505 times, (become) 66 times, and (come to pass) 131 times, but for some reason in Genesis 1:2 it is translated (was)! That sure changes the way a person perceives the original creation of the earth, doesn't it?  Gen. 1:2 And the earth was (became) without form, ... Having said that, let us continue with our "Key Knowledge" lessons. These are pamphlets containing knowledge, we believe, you must have to fully and accurately unlock and understand the Word of God.

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:13-14
[13] Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. [14] He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

This Bible Study was originally written by Roger Christopherson,
published at

You can view it at the season`s web site (address above) as originally published
or here, as now edited by people at
The American Wisdom Series  

Without the leading by the Holy Spirit, there is no understanding of the truths, for all the truth of the Scriptures are revealed to us by God's Spirit.

 Now here is our revised study of:


Chapter 3

"Questions by Nicodemus; the Evangelist's, Salvation."

John 3:1 "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:"

Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, and according to secular writings of Rabbinical tradition, he was one of the three richest men in Jerusalem [Lightfoot, vol.xii, page 252] when Christ walked the earth. The word "Nicodemus" means "conqueror of the people". Nicodemus will later become a disciple of Christ, and he will be with Joseph of Arimathea when the body of Christ is claimed in Pilate's court, and he will also be part of the group that prepares and anoints the body of Christ for burial.

Though Nicodemus was a member of the high court, the Sanhedrin, he was a believer in Christ and truth that is based on fact. Nicodemus had the eyes to see, and he could see and understand Christ's teachings.

John 3:2 "The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, "Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him."

This same Nicodemus came to Jesus in the night to ask Jesus some questions. "Rabbi" in the Hebrew tongue means teacher [or Master], and Nicodemus was a well educated man who was in a position of seeking out the truth in events. He was one of the men at the top of the religious order in the Temple, that was sending these scribes, Pharisees, and chief priests out to witness exactly what Jesus is doing, and the results of Jesus actions. Nicodemus was a man in the know, a man with sound logic.

When Nicodemus saw and heard of the miracles done by Jesus Christ, he knew that no human could do such miracles except it be from God. He came at night to Jesus, and was careful because of the position in the religious community that he held. It is not a popular thing to be seen with this one that [Jesus] who was tarring down the traditions of men that the Jewish Kenite religious order had built up.

John 3:3 "Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

This is a very interesting statement, and in most King James Bibles the margin reads "again" as being "from above". In Strong's Greek dictionary, # 509, the word is "Anothen", "from above". You will never understand this statement that Jesus made unless you understand what it means to be "born from above." In a later verse, it is documented that you must be "born from above", or your soul will be lost for eternity.

The church world has their sayings and songs that "Ye must be born again", and yet these verses, they say, miss the mark, because they do not understand what it means to be "born from above" [born again]. This is part of God's plan that everyone [every soul] be born of woman, from above. For documentation we find in the Book of Jude whereby the penalty of the fallen angels is given, in as much as they left their place of habitation and mated with daughters of Adam. 

Jude 6; "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."

Angels are not to be on the earth in the flesh age, except on special mission by God Himself. These angels that are in chains and bound for destruction, left the heavens without the permission of God, and as it is written in Genesis 6, were not born from above, but came from above. They were not born of woman, but observed woman and made play mates out of them.

Genesis 6:1, 2; "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, " [1] "That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." [2]

These angles cohabited with them, and the offspring of this weird relationship between these Nephilim, or fallen angels, and women were the "geber" which is to say "giants". They were the misfits that roamed the earth. This was contrary to God's plan, and it was in this way that Satan and his tribe of fallen angels hoped to destroy the daughters of, God's later day formation of a certain individual man Adam and his wife Eve, whereby there would not be a womb of humanity fitting to bring forth the promised Messiah, the Christ child. What would be left would only be Satanic, angelic hybrids which would be a mixture of man and angel.

This is why the flood of Noah's day came to pass.

Genesis 6:4; "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God [the angels] came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare (children) [the word children is not in the text] to them, the same (became) [not in the text] mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

This inbreeding caused the entire population of Adamic man, except for Noah, his wife and their three sons along with their wives, to be contaminated, and to be worthless for God's plan. These offspring of the wicked angels had the mind of their parents, "and wickedness was great upon the earth". The children of these angels were as wicked as their fathers, which were the fallen angels.

Genesis 6:8, 9; "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." [8] "THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH; Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." [9]

Notice the phrase, "perfect in his generations". "Perfect" is from the Hebrew word, "tamin", meaning "without blemish as to breed or pedigree". This perfection is talking about ones blood line. The blood line [pedigree] of Noah and his family. There was only one Adamic family (8 souls) left in the land that was perfect in it's generations, and had not mixed with the fallen angels. So God destroyed the land, where this people lived, and all those wicked ones with Noah's flood. They were destroyed, and their souls as recorded in Jude 6 are being held for destruction.

Back to John 3; in other words, this "death" was to go contrary to God's plan. The people did, but it is essential that one be "born from above". Your soul comes from above, from God, for we were with God in that first earth age, and upon death Ecclesiastes 12:7 tells us that our souls return immediately to God.

Within God's plan, because of what happened in the first earth age, all souls must be born innocent (not remembering their first earth age experience) from above. God's plan requires that each soul come into this world age through it's mother's womb, and make its own mind up whether that soul will follow God or Satan. That is free will, the right to chose the final destination of your own soul. They must be born innocent of the what happened in the first earth age, and the result of that first overthrow by Satan's downfall, as recorded in Genesis 1:2, when "the earth became void".

Therefore Christ is giving the very basics of salvation to Nicodemus.

John 3:4 "Nicodemus saith unto Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"

Nicodemus still just did not understand what Jesus was saying, because he could only see the flesh realm and the law. He was looking only at the flesh.

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."

"Verily, verily" is "truly, truly". Jesus is telling him that there must be two births necessary; the birth of the water and of the spirit. Many people teach that this "born of the water", means to be baptized, and this is not what is being talked about. To be born from above is to be born of the womb of your mother. Every child is born in a bag of water, in fact the normal birth is announced by the breaking of the waters with in the birthing bag. So we see in this that one must be born of woman, in innocence, and then "be born of the spirit".

Born of the spirit means to accept the Spirit of Christ. That soul choosing by free will the Spirit of Christ into their spirit. That is what the marriage of Christ is all about; to become one in Christ.

This is why most people simply do not know what being "born from above means", when they disregard what happened in the book of Genesis, and in that first earth age. They overlook all of Satan's attempts to destroy the womb of woman, and God's plan to send us His Son that we might have redemption. God intervened in Satan attempt, as He always will do. This is why the book of Jude is so important.

John 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

To understand this, lets go to I Corinthians 15:50; "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."

No soul in its flesh and blood body can enter the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of Heaven is where ever God is, and for the soul to enter that kingdom, it must first die or be changed. The soul must be separated from the flesh first before that soul returns to the Father that created it. This is the basic principle of the plan of our heavenly Father.

Remember back in Ecclesiastes 12:7; God told us what happens to the soul and the flesh when the flesh body dies. "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God Who gave it."

Our flesh bodies are the accumulation of all the elements from the earth that we consume by eating. Upon death of ones body, the process then returns the decaying flesh body back to those elements. The soul's spirit came from God, and it will return to God when this flesh body dies. All will return to the Father, for He is the judge of your soul; whether for destruction or eternal life.

Jesus is teaching Nicodemus here, and Jesus knew that Nicodemus should have understand, but didn't.

John 3:7 "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."

"Ye must be born again", as we have see, "ye must be born from above." If you are not born from above, that is to say, "born of woman", then you would be either a demonic spirit, or from a fallen angel. This is against God's law and the plan of God.

John 3:8 "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell from whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

Jesus is using an analogy here. He is saying you can hear the wind, but you can't see it. You can see the objects that are blown about in the wind, but the flow of the air itself you can not see.

When man's spirit separates from the flesh body, the soul's spirit goes where the soul goes. Man's spirit is the intellect of his soul which is that part of him that controls his soul and tells him what to do. The soul and the spirit are as one. The spirit is where your emotions come from and it gives you the ability to know right from wrong. It is from your spirit that your conscience gives you directions.

Jesus is saying that you cannot see where your spirit goes, for it is like the wind to our flesh senses, when it ascends to the Father. When you are with a loved one at the moment of death, you will not see the soul and spirit depart that physical body at the moment of death. But if you are familiar with that soul, your spirit will know when that soul has departed. Many times it has been reported that the ones that have died have spoken and talked to a loved one that has passed on, just prior to their giving up the spirit of life. God will send an angel to accompany the departing soul, into that transfer of the soul back to the Father that gave it.

Each soul must enter into an embryo once, and live in the human flesh as man [women] once, and during that life time most all people have the free will to chose whom he will follow God, or Satan, although some of us our predestined. At the close of this life; at God's appointed time, and for God's purposes, that flesh body is discarded, and the soul departs from the body, and returns to the Father that sent it. There is no transmigration of souls, as is taught in the eastern religions, but one soul, that enters one body, and lives in the body, until God appoints that soul to return home to heaven with Him.

Live Link to-  Predestinationl

What you do in this body is important, for your works do follow you, and at judgment day that is what you will be judged upon. That is why it becomes important to repent and believe on Jesus Christ, for in Him only is there salvation for your soul and your sins removed from your soul's judgment at judgment day.

Paul addresses this in Hebrews 9:27, 28; "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" [27] "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin, unto salvation." [28]

When this happens you will not see the transfer of that soul when its spirit goes back to our Heavenly Father. In the eons of time this is reality, and what we see with this flesh eyes can be a deception. Though you can not see it, it happens.

John 3:9 "Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, "How can these things be?"

When you do not understand the spiritual realm, then this is a normal question. Nicodemus had seen Jesus perform miracles enough to know that those miracles did not come from the physical realm so they must come from God. Nicodemus is opening his mind up to Jesus for understanding.

John 3:10 "Jesus answered and said unto him, "Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?"

Jesus then reverses the question back to Nicodemus; "Are you not a teacher to Israel, and you do not know these things?" This is the same reason that so many fall short in their teaching even today. There are many that claim to be teachers of God's Word, yet they peddle their wears of false teaching for many different reasons. If you have the understanding of God's Word, that is a gift from God, then that knowledge belongs to God. Jesus is telling Nicodemus, you claim to be a teacher, and you don't even know this?

Nicodemus didn't know the Word because he didn't study the word. Nicodemus studied the traditions that were accepted by the religious community of that day. In fact, he was one of the spiritual leaders of that community.

John 3:11 "Verily, Verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness."

Truly, Truly Jesus is saying to him, I'm sharing these things that I know to be true, and it appears that you are questioning our witness to those words.

John 3:12 "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?"

Jesus is telling Nicodemus, now that I have told you where and how the soul has come into the flesh and departs to the Father; these things that are fleshly and you still can not understand. There is then no way that you can understand the revelation that Christ brought of the spiritual realm without the Spirit of God. It is impossible.

John 3:13 "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He That came down from heaven, even the Son of man Which is in heaven."

Here now is the second witness to those things given, as to how you must be born from above. There is no way that you can make baptism out of this verse. It sums up the whole matter of being born from above.

No man, no one goes to heaven, but that he first was born from above. That soul must first be born of women, where the soul entered the womb at conception, and when the flesh body dies, it is returned to the father. There is not a living being on this earth, that did not come down from the Father first, and at death shall return to the Father. That is just plain common sense.

This doesn't mean that they are all going to have eternal life, but heaven is where the Father is, and that is where the judgment takes place. But what is meant here is in reference to obtaining salvation for their soul, or eternal life. All souls return to the Father, and many of those that do return will be condemned to destruction. The judgment takes place at the time of the great white throne judgment. Until that time, those sinning souls will stay right there in paradise where there is a great gulf between God and the sinning soul This is stated in the parable of the rich man, in Luke 16. There has been no soul destroyed to this date, that has passed on after death.

So what this thirteenth verse is saying, is about being born again. It means that you must be born from above. You can't be as those fallen angels, and take short-cuts, but it must be done according to God's plan of salvation.

John 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:"

Lets go to Numbers 21:9; "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live."

The children of Israel had left Egypt, and were starting their wandering in the wilderness. They have been fed manna and quail by God, and had a fire to warm them at night, and a cloud to shade them from the hot sun in the day time. After a while the Israelites were tired of the easy life and they started to grumble to Moses.

Because of the grumbling, God brought fiery serpents that killed thousands of the Israelites. God then gave Moses a sample of the type of Christ, He told Moses to put a serpent on a pole, which is a type of Christ on the cross, and God told Moses to tell the people to look upon it and their lives will be saved from the serpent bites. Did the serpent on the pole save the person that had been bit? Of course not.

What Christ is saying here in John; it was the belief that they had, and their faith in their following the instructions of God that saved them. Jesus is telling Nicodemus that if you believe in Jesus Christ, and His death on the cross, just as those Israelites looked to that pole with the serpent hanging on it, and their lives were saved, then you also will be saved. Jesus had not died as of that point in time, yet the death of a promised Messiah was well known to Nicodemus.

John 3:15 "That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."

To perish means to turn your soul into ashes, and to eliminate all memory of you at the lake of fire, following the great white throne judgment.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

The conditional action required on the part of a person to prevent him or her soul from perishing, is that his or her soul must "believeth in Him". The one that you believe in is Jesus Christ. All those that believe in Jesus Christ shall not be turned to ashes at judgment day, but shall have everlasting life. The word "everlasting" is better translated from the Greek text, "eternal", because eternal means "from the very beginning of creation of that soul, into the eons of infinity of time, there is no break".

What this is saying then, is that the person's soul would not die, but will live from the time that their soul was created in that first earth age, in the distant past, through this earth age, and right into eternity. There would never be any spots of void in the life of that soul. This eliminates the pagan worship of "soul sleep", such as those that teach that when you die, your soul stays in the ground until a so-called rapture. Their very tradition will lead them to the Antichrist in a short time ahead.

When you take the word "everlasting" as used in John 3:16, and go to Strong's Greek dictionary, # 166, we find, "Aion", "Perpetual, of past time, present and future, eternal, from beginning without end." If you believe on Christ, then you will never see nor taste of death, even when your soul sheds this decaying flesh body. There will be no soul sleep.

The serpent that Moses placed on the pole was an example to the Israelites to obey God, and they would be given life by their believing and obeying, and there were no side trips to perform. Jesus is telling us that this is exactly as it is with eternal life. The pole that we look to is the cross that Jesus Christ shed His blood on, and when we look to Him and accept that shed blood for our forgiveness, through repentance, then we have eternal life. When Nicodemus was talking with Jesus here, the crucifixion had not taken place, but Nicodemus would be one of the men that would prepare Christ's body for burial.

It is nice to be baptized because Christ was, but that is not what gives the eternal life. Nor does membership in the church, with all the other dos and don'ts it sets forth, for they have nothing to do with your eternal salvation. What is important is that you look to the cross that God's only begotten Son died upon, and believe on His only begotten Son, and that is where eternal life comes from; believing in Jesus Christ the only begotten Son.

Don't let people rob you of the simplicity of God's Word, it is simply those that believe in Him and repented in Jesus name that shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:17 "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved."

God sent His Son into the world for the sole purpose of being crucified, in fulfillment of His Word. When He did this, He did not condemn the world for the actions taken against His Son. Why? Because this was the only way that God could draw you and me back to Himself. Christ's death on the cross paid the full price for every sin that you could ever commit, and by His death the Father is offering you eternal life for your soul, and an inheritance shared with His Son, Jesus Christ. My fellow Christian, that is something all the wealth of this world can not buy, and it is offered to you, but it is up to you to accept it.

God loves you, and you can come to Him by repenting and believing on Jesus Christ.

John 3:18 "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Why? If you don't have eternal life, then you are already condemn and sentenced to perish. It is cut and dry, you either believe or you do not believe. There is only one "only begotten Son of God" and His name is Jesus Christ.

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."

John 3:20 "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

What this is saying is that if you are going to be a thief, a murderer, or do any of the other acts of darkness, you will flee to the darkness. You will not seek the light, but you will seek to operate in the darkness, and keep your wicked deeds hidden.

John 3:21 "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God."

When you believe in Jesus Christ, you become a member of the body of Christ. As a member of the body of Christ, God will give you gifts to serve Him, and those gifts are to be used in the light. You are to use those gifts to draw others to the light, and the more you use them, the more the world can see God in you. God's Word is simple and it is truth, and our message to the world is that God loves you and sent His only Son to die for you. When you believe on Jesus Christ you are brought into the light, and given eternal life.

Once you understand what happens at death, then the fear of death is removed, and God's will is done. We know then that our eternal home is with Him, and this life of the flesh age is but a vapor in time and any pleasure can not be compared to what our heavenly Father has in store for each of us.

John 3:22 "After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judaea; and there He tarried with them, and baptized."

The translation here is off a little, for Christ never helped baptize anyone. The way that He becomes part in ones baptism is that He paid the price, and it is in His name that you are baptized in. Jesus Christ took away the sins of the world for only those that would repent, and believe upon Him. So when we are submerged in baptism, it is in His name. He is the Messiah and Savior. "He took the stripes and we get the healing".

It is not important which man performs the baptism, for the baptism is strictly between the person being baptized, and his [her] looking to the throne of God, with Christ there.

John 3:23 "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized."

Jesus along with His disciples came to this place Aenon where John the Baptist was baptizing, and many were baptized there by John. "Disciple" means "one disciplined", and that is why we must be baptized, because it is part of the discipline a Christian and all follower of the Lord must obey.

John 3:24 "For John was not yet cast into prison."

So we see that the disciples were being baptized in one place in Judaea, and just a little ways away down stream at Aenon John was baptizing. While this is going on, we will see these Kenites, scribes and Pharisees came to John and tried to pit John against Jesus' disciples. This is how the Kenites work and it is very similar to how they work today, by pitting one ministry against another, and trying to set up conflicts within the Christian community. However, there is no difference between those of the elect, regardless what the different groups call themselves.

When you truly accept Jesus from the heart and believe on Jesus name, and have repented of your sins, there is no difference regardless of the physical world around you. You all must be saved the same way, your inheritance is laid out the same, and both Christians love the same Lord. Friend you are both of the same family of God, and that family tie is eternal, so it is time to get that in your mind.

John 3:25 "Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying."

Here John's followers are met and challenged by men sent from the religious leaders about purifying. These Jews were sent there for the purpose of arguing, and creating conflict. John has not been put in prison yet.

John 3:26 "And they came unto John, and said unto him "Rabbi, He That was with thee beyond Jordan, to Whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him."

This Kenite tribe of religious misfits are calling attention to John, that Jesus, the one that he had baptized in the Jordan, had a much bigger crowd down the river a ways. Do you see the trouble that these men are trying to make? They are comparing one ministry with another, and the comparison is on the basis of numbers.

This can cause jealousy and strife in some people, and discourage a ministry that is not geared to numbers. Some ministries are for evangelism of large numbers, while others are for teaching and pastoral work. When you set forth to use the gifts that God has given you, each gift is to fill the part that God has equipped you to perform for Him. When this fact came to John's attention it did not disturb him a bit, for he knew that he had a mission, and a duty to perform his service for God, and he knew where all gifts came from.

If God has given you a great gift, then He expects a great service from you. He expects you to develop the gifts and talents that you have, and for you to give one hundred percent of that talent to Him. We should each thank the Lord for what we have, and pray for our fellow Christians as they strive to use their talents for the glory of God.

When John baptized Jesus, he saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and landing on Jesus, and then John heard God speaking from heaven. Lets go to Matthew 3.

Matthew 3:16, 17; "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him:" [16] "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." [17]

John knew that Jesus was the very Son of God, so these Kenites could never cause a conflict between Jesus and his disciples, and John and his followers.

John 3:27 "John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven."

We must be on guard when we see a power play such as this, to identify it for what it is. Remember earlier in this chapter when Jesus told Nicodemus that every man must be born from above? Everything that comes to this earth comes from God, and that includes your soul and spirit, as well as your gifts and all blessings and wealth that you enjoy. John is telling these Jews that there is no exception to this rule, for a man can receive nothing except it be given by God from heaven.

You receive your heavenly rewards from the works and services that you give to Him, according to your ability. God even places those souls before you to witness to, and help, when they are in need. Then He watches to see how you use the gifts that He has given you, and rewards you when you do. God knows the thoughts and intents of your heart and mind, and that is what the rewards are based on what you do with what you have.

John 3:28 "Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him."

John is calling attention again to these same men, when he told them that he was not the Christ. This was recorded back in John 1.

John 3:29 "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled."

John is telling these Pharisees that it is for this reason that I was sent, to prepare the way for the one that would come later. John is telling them, don't try to make me jealous of Jesus, for that is why I was sent in the first place.

"He that hath the bride is the bridegroom;" many teach that the bride is Israel, and the bridegroom is Jesus. However Revelation 19:6-9 tells us that Jesus, the Lamb of the world had both a wife and a bride, and this has to do election and free will. It has to do with what happened in that first earth age, and the judgment that took place then, as recorded in Ephesians 1:4-5.

Jesus is the bridegroom, and those in the service of Christ are not in competition with each other. Those that hear and preach the Word of God are not all on the same level of understanding, and any person who is a friend of the bridegroom can only find joy for himself [herself], when the bridegrooms finds joy.

John is saying, I am the bridegroom's friend. I announced that He [Jesus Christ] is coming to the bride, and how can I be jealous when His bride is going to Him in multitudes and are being baptized by His disciples. I see this happening and I rejoice, and my joy is fulfilled. John accomplished a good work, and he paid quite a price for his work, and seeing the success of that work gave John much joy.

There are many that will try this on you, and the work you do for the Lord. They will pit your work with another's work drawing many more souls, and by this try to downgrade you because of numbers. My fellow Christian, all the work is important. If you reach but one soul and that requires 100% of your talents, then you are just a successful as as the ministry that has reached thousands. God requires you to take the responsibility for what He has given you, and you are not required to give answer for another person's talents. When God's work succeeds anywhere, that is cause for all Christians to rejoice.

John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."

How do you determine if your ministry is successful? If Christ is increased in that ministry, and the focus by the outsider is drawn to Christ, then your ministry is of God and the ministry is fulfilled. If your ministry is focused on the person preaching, or the size and reputation of the ministry rather then on Jesus Christ, then Christ is decreased, and it is time to look at the purpose of the work you are trying to do.

John 3:31 "He That cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He That cometh from heaven is above all."

Christ is the anointed one that comes from above, and is above all men. The thing to consider here is that all flesh men [women] that come through the womb are earthly, and their physical end will be their physical decay back to the elements. Those demonics and angels, or "sons of God", as spoken of in Jude 6, refuse to come through woman, and are judged and condemned already.

However, Jesus Christ did not come as all other men came to this earth, by flesh man, for The Spirit of God conceived the Christ child in the virgin Mary's womb, and this was the fulfillment of the promises of God, for all ages. Jesus Christ was above all for He was conceived from above, from God, and not as all other men are conceived.

John is telling them that He that came from above [Jesus] could never compare with earthly man, for God is the Father and creator of all. The creation can never be above the creator of it. Even Satan is a created being, and as such can never be compared to the one that created him. Jesus is God, and we will get into this in John 10. Jesus told this to the Jews in John 10:30; "I and My Father are one." When the Jews heard Him they took up stones to kill Him.

There is no way that any human being can understand the total revelation that Christ would bring in the New Testament. And naturally, the more man knows of Christ, all the more John will decrease as Christ is increased through heavenly revelations.

John 3:32 "And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony."

A human being can only testify as to what he has seen and heard, and this is why it is not possible to understand the mind of God.

John 3:33 "He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true."

If you can understand the testimony or teachings of Christ, then you have set God's seal in your mind. Not only is that seal in your mind, but you know that the Word that Jesus brought is true. This isn't a theory but it becomes reality to the believer. Religion is formed by man for man; however the truths that Jesus Christ spoke are reality.

Religion today is no different then it was in Athens when Paul stood there on Mars hill. The people didn't know who to worship so they built a statute to all the gods, and because none of them satisfied, they though that their must be an unknown god, so they built a statute to the unknown god.

Acts 17:22-26; "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, "Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious." [22] "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you.." [23]

Acts 17:25, 26 is Paul's declaration. "God That made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;" [25] "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; [26]

God has total control over all events of history, and happenings on earth, as well as the universe.

These men in Athens were as the "higher critics" of God Word are today. They claim to know all about God's Word, but yet they are nonbelievers, however there are some exceptions to this rule. The "higher critics" is one who makes an effort to study the ancient manuscripts for the sole purpose of destroying them. Some who do so are even converted to become believers. In there striving to disprove truths, God allows the light of His word to shine on their hearts [minds], and they no longer continue as "higher critics", but believers.

John 3:34 "For He Whom God hath sent speaketh the Words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him."

John is comparing the Messiah with an earthly born man, himself. He said that God sent this one [himself] with the Word of God, for God giveth the Spirit by full measure to any human being. The reason for this is that it would be impossible for any human being to receive the full measure of understanding, as Jesus had. Jesus is God, and man is limited by his created body, and limited understanding. Jesus Christ was very special, for in the flesh body, he experienced the emotions, experiences and temptations that we have, yet He was God. He remained perfect and innocent to stand in our place, and pay the price on the cross.

Keep in mind that the subject that is running through these chapters, is the wedge that the Jews are trying to drive between John the Baptist, and Jesus and His disciples. The Jews were telling John that he was the one that started the ministry, and Jesus and His disciples are the ones that are getting the crowds.

John in turn is telling them that that is what I came for, I'm happy, and I can't even be compared to Jesus.

John 3:35 "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand."

God did not give man the full measure and He did not give John the full measure, but God gave His Son, Jesus Christ the full measure of all authority into His hand. Jesus Christ now sits at the right hand of the Father until all things are put under His feet.

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."

Don't make this confusing because it is the simplicity of the Gospel. "He that Believeth on the Son [Jesus Christ] hath everlasting life." Even a small child can understand this statement. He that believeth not [in] the Son [of God], shall not see [everlasting] life. You either do see, or you do not see; and if you do, eternal life is given to you, and if you do not, then then your soul is under the condemnation of judgment.

There are no qualifications to this statement, or requirements of things to be preformed, for the price has already been paid for the eternal life, and all the inheritance that you will receive is set. So what do you do to receive the gift? You reach out and take it, by your repentance in Jesus name for all your sins. By doing so means that you are not going to hell, and your soul will not be destroyed and turned to ashes in hell fire. That time of judgment is after the great white throne judgment, for only then will come the time of destruction. This is given to us in Revelation 20:11-15.

Revelation 20:11; "And I saw a great white throne, and Him That sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them."

Revelation 20:12; "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

The "book of life", is "the Lamb's book of life", listing all those that "believe on the Son of God, Jesus Christ", and their name is there because they will not be judged by their works, for all their evil deeds and the rejections of Christ before repentance are blotted out by the blood of Christ. Their name simply doesn't exist in the books that list every man, whereby they are judged according to their works.

Revelation 20:13; "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."

Revelation 20:14; "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

This judgment of hell, and the lake of fire will happen at the end of the Millennium age of Christ's kingdom. In that thousand year period there will be no grace offered to men, for grace is of this period of the flesh age, where we accept Christ by faith. We have His word and believe Him sight unseen. In the Millennium age, Christ kingdom will here on earth and all will see him and bow to Him, and be taught and disciplined. If you are saved out of the Millennium age, at the end of the Millennium it will be by your works only.

In Ezekiel 40-44 we are told exactly how the Millennium age will be, and on the first day of that age, God's elect, and all those that have been sealed in their minds through the great tribulation will receive their inheritance, their incorruptible bodies and immortality, and will rule throughout the Millennium age as the Zadok, the teachers and joint heirs with Christ. The Millennium age is the time of teaching, discipline and works.

Revelation 20:15; "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

God's wrath at the end of the flesh age is to correct His children, and bring them back into His fold of love and understanding. God doesn't chose to correct anyone, for that is why He gave each of us free will. Even though we all fall short, IF; that is a qualification, upon repentance to God in Jesus name, it is though we were perfect as Jesus was perfect, for our sins are removed from us, and our names are written in that "Lamb's book of life", of Revelations 20:12.

There is no church to join or oath to take, and there is no money to pay or even a ridged guideline to follow. There is only to believe on Jesus name, and we do that by confessing our sins to Him, and telling Him that we love Him. We express our love to Him in the studying of His Word, and allowing His Spirit to work in our lives. The Bible reveals the Will and Testament of God, so as we study His word, God's Holy Spirit will open our minds to what we should know so our spirit or conscience will guide us in all matters of our lives

American Wisdom Series Editor's Note: Now that we've completed this 2015 study of the  "BOOK OF JOHN chapter 3" we have placed a earlier 2002 John chapter 3 study to follow for your comparison. I don't believe you will find much difference in the general opinion of these 2 authors, but to read another person's perspective of events that took place may prove helpful in your understanding of the gospel of John.

Pamphlet 1503
John chapter 3

You must use your eyes to see and understand what Jesus teaches in this chapter!
If you do not understand, go to John 3:3 and go over it again until you do!
You need to understand this!

Now we are going to read some of the most quoted verses in all the Bible. And you know what?  Most people who read them believe they say something which they don't.  Ironically, what they believe one of them says is actually a true statement, though that verse doesn't actually speak of it. The second one is in direct conflict with one of the traditional beliefs of mainstream Christianity, but in full accord with the rest of the scriptures.

So before we begin, let's think about the magnitude of what was just said, and in doing so consider an excerpt from one of the great Christian scholars of all time, E.W. Bullinger, from his book titled, "How to Enjoy the Bible", American Christian Press, Knoxville, OH.

    "If any think they know all, or that they have exhausted the Divine Word; or that what they set out to learn is only to be in addition to what they already know, instead of sometimes substitution for it, then we shall be of little service to them: and they need not follow us any further.

    When we come to ask ourselves, and say, "Where did I learn this?" it is astonishing to find how much we have imbibed from man, and from tradition; and not directly and for ourselves, from the Word of God.

    All that we have learned from our youth up must be tested and proved by the Word of God. Where we find it is true we must learn it over again, from God. And where it will not stand the test of His Word we must be not only content, but thankful to give it up; and receive Divine revelation in the place of man's imagination. ("How to Enjoy the Bible", E. W. Bullinger, pg.6)

John 3:1
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
The word "Pharisees" means a separatist, i.e. exclusively religious.

And the name "Nicodemus" means "victorious among his people". He was a wealthy ruler in the Sanhedrin and a friend of the shipping magnate, Joseph of Arimathaea, Jesus' Uncle. It would be this Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea who would be Jesus' legal defense team at the illegally held trial of the council preceding the crucifixion, and they would be victorious in obtaining His acquittal.

[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.
Nicodemus had no doubts whatsoever that Jesus was a teacher sent from God. You see, the witnessing of divine miracles by a person with common sense is conclusive evidence itself of the presence of God.

For the benefit of those who haven't studied with us long let's do a little recapping:

In order to fully understand the next few verses one must be familiar with the 3 World Ages (II Pet. 3) and the overall plan of salvation. We read at beginning of this Gospel of John about the Light that came into the world of darkness, a world that had been destroyed and made tohu va bohu (Gen 1:2) because of the rebellion of Satan and his drawing away from God one third of His sons (Rev. 12:4). God held judgment for Satan at that time and sentenced him to "perish", but suspended the judgment of the rest of His sons until the plan to "salvage" [save] them and bring them back to Him is completed. The actual perishing of all that are wicked, including Satan, will occur at the lake of fire following the Final Judgment of the rest of the sons of God. And so it is written they will be either sentenced to "perish" or receive eternal life.

There is, however, one exception. There were 7,000 sons of God who came to earth in the days of Noah and took to wife the daughters of Adam. You can read about them in the 6th chapter of Genesis. The union between these "fallen angels", who Jude records as having left their first estate, i.e. their abode in heaven, and the daughters of Adam produced giants, who roamed the earth, the evidence of which can easily be found. So pervasive were these supernatural beings, angels, that all of Adams descendents except Noah and his family had corrupted their bloodline. You see, the Messiah would be born through the seed of individual man, Adam, and his wife Eve and it came down to only 8 people who were left in the land through which God's Word could be fulfilled. So God brought about the flood of Noah to destroy these giants.

Understand then that these fallen angels were not born of woman.They did not enter into the womb of woman, the bag of water, and become born of water, which is to say born in the flesh.They came directly to earth, bypassing the decree that all the sons of God should dwell in the flesh, for as it is written, it is given unto all the sons of God to die once [the first death, which is of the flesh] and then the judgment will occur which will determine whether or not they will die the "second death", the one in which their souls will "perish".Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

Yes, we were all with God before we came to earth to be placed in the embryo at conception, at our appointed time for the journey. To be born in the flesh is to be born innocent without any prior knowledge of the world that then was (II Pet. 3) and therefore no remembrance of what we did in the first earth age; now with the opportunity in this flesh life, during this period of grace to choose to love God or follow after Satan.

And once we die, or are born instantly back into our spiritual bodies if we happen to be alive in the flesh at the second advent (I Cor. 50:51), we return to the Father from whence we came.

Eccles. 12:6
Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
These are Hebrew expressions which have somewhat lost their "punch" in English, but they mean to die, just like we would say "Kick the Bucket".
[7] Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Cremated, buried, blown apart or vaporized by a nuclear bomb, it doesn't matter. When you are through with the flesh body, you are through with it forever. For as Paul documents in I Cor. 15 there are two bodies, one is of flesh and one is of spirit. So when you die in the flesh you are raised, shall we even say born, into your spiritual body.
1 Cor. 15:44
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
He goes on to say that unless you are back into a spiritual body, you cannot literally enter into the kingdom of God. You can be saved, by repentance and claiming the blood of Christ to cover your sins, but you must at the death of your flesh body, or at Christ's return, (which ever happens first) be reborn into a new spiritual (celestial) body to literally enter Christ's kingdom. 
1 Cor. 15:50
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
This same Paul would also make it crystal clear in 1 Thes. 4:13-17 that the dead are not sleeping in graves but rather they are with Jesus NOW! So when He returns they will come with Him. You can read those verses for yourself.

Now, remember the excerpt from "How to Enjoy the the Bible" that we just read?  Most of Christianity believes that in this next verse Jesus is merely telling Nicodemus that a person must be "begotten" by the Holy Spirit, else he cannot be saved. But is that really what He is saying?

Let's return to John and see what Jesus has to say to Nicodemus.

John 3:3
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Of course, flesh and blood cannot see the kingdom of God so you must first be born back into your celestial bodies when this flesh and blood life ends and we are no longer in our terrestrial bodies. Verse 3 has nothing to do with being saved; You are saved when you believe in Jesus Christ, repent of your sins, and invite Him into your heart, i.e. you are then begotten by the Holy Spirit. No, this is talking about being born again into a spiritual body; Which happen when you die (the shadow death of your flesh or at Christ's return, which even happens first). We repeat 1 Cor. 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Look up the Greek word for "again". It is anothen, Strong's #509, and it means from above which is how it is most often translated. Dr. Moffat's translation of the Bible has it so:

John 3:3 Jesus replied, Truly, truly I tell you, no one can see God's Realm unless he is born from above. (Moffat)
You must first come down from heaven and be born of woman, in the sack of water.

However, either way you look at it, the next verse shows that Nicodemus is thinking about another birth.

[4] Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Nicodemus was a smart man and he understood what "born" means, but he couldn't get his mind off the flesh and it is obvious by his reply that he didn't understand about the spiritual body (which Paul so simply explained to us).
[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.
Unless you come down and be born of woman, and then go into, be born, into your spiritual body, you cannot literally enter into the kingdom of God. Got it? First of water, of flesh, and then of spirit. The fallen angels did not do this and so as it is written in Rev. 11, they shall perish at Christ's return at the 7th Trump.

And again, we've already documented that flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom. You must be born of woman first and then be born in the spirit.

Note: This is not talking about being begotten by the Holy Spirit. Of course you must be begotten by the Holy Spirit to be saved. Some like to call that begettal being "born again". Call it what you like but that is not what is being discussed here.

As Paul said  "There is a natural body (terrestrial), and there is a spiritual body (celestial)." So when you are born in the flesh body you are flesh and when you die and are born into your spiritual body you are spirit. Let's continue with Christ's explanation to Nicodemus:

John 3:6
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
If you've followed along to this point then this verse is really quite simple, though tradition struggles with it and the next few verses.
[7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Do you marvel at the Words of Christ? Here's Dr. Moffat's translation of this verse:
[7] Do not wonder at me telling you, "You must all be born from above."
There's no need to wonder. The next verse gives us some further detail about those who are born of the spirit:
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.
This verse is a "no-brainer". Those who are in their spiritual bodies are not visible to those of us who are in the flesh, in this dimension. They are just like the wind, you cannot see them. So you can tell me you are "born again", and I will certainly understand that you are begotten of God and have received the Holy Spirit, and eternal life, but if I can see you, then you have not gotten to this point yet! And you haven't literally entered into the kingdom of God because you are still flesh and blood! I'll pinch you and prove it!
[9] Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Yeah, how can these things be? Good question!
[10] Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Uh oh, Nicodemus was a teacher of Israel and he didn't know about these things?

You know what? We can say the same of many Christian ministers today, they do not know these things? I'm not bashing them. Many of them mean well, but the traditions of men have overridden the Word of God and have made it of non effect.

Now before Jesus puts the finishing touch on this precious knowledge He's giving to Nicodemus, and so to you and me, here's one more excerpt from "How to Enjoy the Bible":

"The cloud that now rests over its [God Word] intelligent study arises from the fact that it is with us to-day as with the Jews of old - "The Word of God has been made of none effect by the traditions of men" (Mat. 15:1-9).

Hence it is that on some of the most important questions... we are, still, in what the great Lord Bacon calls "a desert". He alludes to those "deserts" in history, where discovery or research comes to a stand-still, and we get schoolmen instead of philosophers; and clerics instead of discoverers.

The Reformation came as an oasis after one of these deserts. Men were sent from the stagnant pools of tradition to the fountain-head of truth. But within two or three generations the Church entered the desert again; Creeds, Confessions, and Catechisms took the place of the open Bible; the inductive method of study was abandoned, and to day it is scarcely understood." ("How to Enjoy the Bible", E.W. Bullinger, pg. xv.)

This is not only the Catholic Church that entered the desert again, but most Protestant churches have also entered the desret today.

Come out of the desert and drink some of the new wine of truth.
[11] Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
[12] If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
If you can't believe the literal things, how can you believe that which is spiritual?

Now get this next verse.

John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
So no man [son of God] has ascended [or entered into] heaven [the kingdom] except he that came down from heaven [and was born of water]. Even Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of the Living God came down from heaven and was born of water!! IT'S THE GOOD NEWS!

Did you use your eyes to see and understand what Jesus just taught?
If not go back to John 3:3 and go over it again!
You need to understand this!

Next,  Jesus will tell us "WHY" He came down, even as required of all the sons of God, to dwell in the flesh, to tabernacle among men.

It's the most precious and important thing you'll ever read!

So far in Chapter three we learned that just as all the children of God must come down and dwell in the flesh, so did the Son of man, the Word of God, who was from the beginning with God, for He was God (Jn. 1:1).

And there was a very special reason why the Son of God went through that  process of being born in the flesh. We read about in the opening chapter of this Gospel. It was to be the Lamb of God, the sacrificial Lamb Who would pay the price and atone for the sins of the world.

And just how difficult do you suppose it is to accept that sacrifice and be "saved" from death and receive eternal life?

Well, Jesus is about to give to us an example, a type set forth, of the Simple Salvation Message which will then be expressed in one famous verse in John 3:16. He draws the analogy to the serpent in the wilderness.

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
You should go back to Numbers and read the whole account of what happened. (We are expected by our Lord to know these scriptures.) The Children of Israel were murmuring and complaining and speaking against God, Who had provided for their safety and nourishment with numerous miracles in the wilderness. So much for the thought that seeing a miracle will give you the faith to keep you on track for the rest of your life. These folks saw multiple miracles!

So God sent a bunch of fiery serpents to the ungrateful Children of Israel to bite them! Ouch!

Numbers 21:6
And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Assuming that you know a little bit about the Bible you should be able to draw the analogy to that old serpent, the devil, Satan. If you get bitten by him you will surely die!

So here we see in the wilderness [the world], that unless something is done to "save" the people, they will surely die. And there's no doubt about it, they were dying!

Numbers 21:7
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
The sinners make their plea for salvation from the fiery serpents. (Isn't it wonderful that today we have the Gospel Armor (Eph. 6) to protect us from the fiery darts of the serpent?)
[8] 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.
ALL THEY HAD TO DO was to look to the serpent on the pole and LIVE!

Note: Don't try to make any more out of this than the lesson Christ is teaching here in John. God could have put a frog or a door knob on the pole as the savior of the people. But the point is HE HIMSELF would become the One on the pole [cross] Who would ultimately be the SAVIOR. And all we have to do is look upon Him and believe!!

Let's continue in John now that we have filled in some of the details between John 3:14 and 3:15.

John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Seems simple enough, doesn't it?

And now for the most quoted verse in all the Bible which will explain WHY Jesus Chirst became the sacrificial Lamb.

[16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
It is Because God Loves His Children so much!

Yes, He loves you and me and all His precious children and desires so much in His heart that they would all turn to Him and love Him. And He showed forth His love by allowing His only begotten Son to be placed on the cross [by guess who?... the serpent], and as it was in the wilderness, all we have to do is BELIEVE in HIM and receive ETERNAL life.

It doesn't get any better than that! There is no greater love!

So the question is, "What must a person do to receive eternal life?" John 3:16 says it all.

Now for a couple of notes on this verse:

1.) The word "everlasting" in John 3:16 is the same word as "eternal" in the prior verse (15) and should be rendered as such, i.e. "eternal life" not "everlasting life".  There is a difference in the Greek between "eternal" and "everlasting". "Eternal" means "from the beginning", even continuous for ever and ever from the creation of your very soul in the first earth age.

2.) If you recall earlier we mentioned that one of the well known and often quoted verses we would be covering is misunderstood and conflicts with a main "tradition of men", which is an unscriptural doctrine of Christianity, of which there are many! And that verse happens to be John 3:16.

You see, the opposite of Eternal Life is Eternal Death. And the word "perish" in John 3:16 means just that, to cease existing, which is for ever and ever. Traditionalists teach that our Father is going to torture His unrepentant children in an everlasting burning hell fire, when He Himself said that hideous thought NEVER even crossed His mind.

It's amazing how that we have laws that protect even dumb animals from being tortured and yet we will allow someone who claims to be a representative of Christ and teach the love of God, tell us that our Father is going to torture His children for ever and ever. Don't allow it! Stick to and believe the Word of God.

Even the very fate of Satan, whose name by the way is also the "son of perdition", which means the "son who will perish", is well documented in Ezekiel 28. Read the entire chapter of how iniquity was found in this once beautiful son of God and how he will ultimately be "destroyed" and cease to exist. We pick it up in verse 18, speaking about Satan:

Ezekiel 28:18
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
God is a consuming fire as Hebrews 12:29 shows: "For our God is a consuming fire."
[19] All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Note:That is what eternal death is. "never shalt thou be any more." Yes, you perish!

When Satan, whose name is also death [because he's as good as dead having been sentenced by God already] is cast into the lake of fire, he will cease to exist, perish, along with everyone else who is cast in with him. That is why the lake of fire is called the second death. It kills, destroys, the soul!

Rev. 20:14
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Rev. 21:8
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Can your soul be killed, i.e. DESTROYED? Yes it can. Here are the very words of Jesus Christ:
Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The first death is the death of your flesh. (Which Psalms 23 calls "the shadow of death") The second death is the killing of, the destruction of, the perishing of your soul. Only God can do that, because He is a consuming fire.

So the question is, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" Do you know Him? John has already gone to great lengths to document that He is the Word of God.

Then I've got great news! You will be raised to immortal status at Christ's second coming and therefore the second death doesn't even apply to you!

Rev. 20:6
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Is He good to us, or what?

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

So you see, it was because of the love our Father has for His children that Christ was sent from above to dwell in the flesh, to pay the price once and for all for the sins of the world.

Now we are going to be given a little more detail and learn the status of those who choose not to believe in Jesus Christ, but rather prefer darkness.

John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
The word "condemn" is often translated "judge". Remember, Jesus came to pay the price as the Lamb of God, not to hold judgment which has been postponed until after the Millennium. Again, the reason Jesus was sent so that the world, through Him and through Him only, might be saved. There is no other way, as the next verse declares.
[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.
We just read that if you believe in Him then you will be in the "first resurrection", the first raising to eternal life, and therefore the "second death" does not apply to you. In other words you will not be judged at the great white throne judgment.You are exempt, having already received eternal life.

And since the only way to receive eternal life, and therefore not ultimately PERISH, is to believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, and since we have all broken the laws of God which condemn us as sinners, then "he that believeth not" is in Big Trouble, for he is as good as dead already.

Yet it is so simple to receive eternal life. Just as the serpents bit the children of Israel in the wilderness, and the deadly venom was injected into their bodies ready to kill them, all they had to do was look to the serpent on the pole and live.  And now that Jesus has paid the price, all we need to do is look to the son of God and believe in Him and receive Eternal Life!

But if you choose not to believe in Jesus Christ, you are a dead man (or woman).

[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.
Christ is the Light and Satan is the darkness, and even though it is hard to imagine, the rest of the verse speaks for itself.
[20] For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Now here is a verse that could easily refer to the current political climate.

People always try to hide their evil deeds and keep the truth, the light, from exposing them.  Even the thief comes in darkness, which can easily be the ignorance of those victims who are being robbed even in the broad daylight (I speak of the hidden dynasty of the economy). Too bad they won't come to the Light, which is Jesus Christ, which is the Word of God and be reproved. If they just believed in Him they could receive eternal life. Then they could be doers of the Word!

John 3:21
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
And let it shine, baby!
Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
We hear a great deal today about one's "self esteem" and "self image". Well, each and every Christian is to be a reflection of the Light, and shine forth. Of course it goes without saying that we all sin and fall short of that Glory. But when we do, it is not our "self image" that needs to be improved.

You see, if we've never been to the Light, or if we move away from the Light, it won't matter how much we polish our self image and try to boost our self esteem. We will still be dimly lit. But when we come to the light or move back into the Light, that Light is so brilliant that you won't be able to even see those smudges and blemishes on your self image. So it's not one's "image of self" that improves their quality of life and brings peace of mind. It's their image of God.

[22] After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there He tarried with them, and baptized.
It was the disciples who were doing the baptizing. And of course old John the Baptist, he's still out there baptizing folks in Aenon, near to Salim, because there were a lot of natural springs and water pools there. John's motto was "Have Water, Will Baptize".
[23] And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
Of course John hadn't been cast in prison yet for being politically incorrect.
[24] For John was not yet cast into prison.
You see, those who are in power who do immoral things, don't like the light of truth to shine on them. They certainly don't like the "right" imposing their moral values upon them. Here's how old John got himself tossed into the slammer:
Mark 6:17
For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.
Attacking the accuser did not originate in the 20th century. Here we see that the Commander in Chief, Herod himself, laid hold of John and bound him in prison. Why? Here's what the man of God had the guts to say:
[18] For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
Of course Herod was above the law and would ultimately have John beheaded for bringing forth the truth.

Meanwhile, while John still had his head on, he was out there baptizing.

[25] Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
Note: If you have a Companion Bible you will notice that the Greek word "Iou" is used here and is singular meaning "a Jew", not "Jews" plural. Iou was also used as an abbreviation for Jesus. But either way there was a controversy which arose, an attempt by Satan to cause division, perhaps create a new denomination or two.

Here's their "dig" into John:

[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.
"Hey John", they goaded, "Jesus and His disciples got a bigger ministry going than you do you know?"

Of course John was just too smart for them. Remember, ate he locusts for lunch! (That's an inside pun for those who have studied the 9th chapter of Revelation and the book of Joel.)   Joel  &  Rev.9

John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
[28] Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
"Of course, if you guys will recall, you've heard me say this before! Remember I specifically told you that I was not the Messiah, but that He would come after me! Perhaps you did not understand what I was saying, so here's a little analogy for you:"
[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.
John, like the best man and friend of the Bridegroom, helped make the preparations for the Bridegroom's entrance. He was that voice in the wilderness crying "Make ye ready".

You see, it is the bridegroom that weds the bride, not the best man who goes forth and helps make the preparations. And once the bridegroom comes the best man stands by His side and rejoices greatly as the Bridegroom makes a New Covenant with His bride.

[30] He must increase, but I must decrease.
So at this point John the Baptist has basically fulfilled his commission, his ministry, as one the who cried in the wilderness saying, "Get ready, here He comes"!
[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.
The Greek word for "above" in "He that cometh [down] from above" is anothen, exactly the same word translated "again" used in verse 7, "ye must be born again", meaning "from above". To be "born again" means to be born from above as in "cometh [down] from above".

Now, what John the Baptist is saying is that Christ, Who came from above [heaven,] is above all that is earthly in that He speaks the words directly from heaven, directly from God (verse 34 coming up), for He is God.

[32] And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
Not only has no man seen or heard the revelations that Christ has seen and heard and testifies to, but even though His testimony is directly from God, the world will not receive it.
[33] He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
But he that does receive His testimony "sets to his seal" that God is true, and that God is true to His Word. Now isn't it interesting that in this generation of the fig tree you must have the "seal of God" in your forehead, else you have the seal [mark] of Satan [the beast] in your forehead.

So which will it be, the Light or the Darkness, the Truth or Deception, the Word of God or the words of man [traditions of men], the True Jesus or the Instead of Jesus [Satan as the spurious messiah]?  Are you familiar with the 7 seals given in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and the book of Revelation?

John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
This verse should read "For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God, for the Spirit gives not (the Words of God) by measure unto Him.

And the Father has given Him everything!

[35] The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

That is why He is the ONLY WAY and there is no other. This same John, who wrote this Gospel of John also wrote the three epistles of John, and he documents several times that if you don't have the Son you don't have the Father either!

1 John 2:23
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
That's right! If you don't have the Son you don't have the Father either! And John will say the same thing again when we get to chapter 5.
John 5:23
That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
Is their another path to Eternal Life other than through Jesus Christ? There is not!
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.
This verse says the same thing as John 3:16. If you believe in Jesus Christ then you will receive eternal life.  But if you don't believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, you shall NOT see LIFE! Why? Because you will PERISH in the lake of fire and be gone forever and ever. The choice is yours.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

The "American Wisdom Series"


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