John 3 – conversation with Nicodemus – taught by Pastor Don Moore
Notes from Bible Study of 1/11/13
John 3:7-10 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
Nicodemus is a teacher of Israel and deals with circumstances of great significance, but the simple spiritual things this teacher of Israel doesn’t know.
John 3:11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.
Notice, Jesus is speaking in the plural. It isn’t because the apostles are present at this meeting. Jesus is speaking as Son of God and the Holy Spirit, expressing Himself in the plural. He had a perpetual consciousness of the multiplicity of His identity. We are striving to get the awareness our spirit man in us is speaking. We will understand our value as a triune being when we learn to live in Christ and walk around with WWJD (What would Jesus do) perpetuation of the truth that Adam and Eve had in the garden. As we walk with Christ, we grow closer to this truth.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
God’s design was He wanted to hang out with Adam and Eve. He knew it would take 6000 years to develop us so we could hang out with Him again the way He did with Adam and Eve before the fall.
James 4:11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
Speak evil of no one. We habitually do two things. 1) We blow ourselves up as important as we step over the carcasses of people we tear down. 2) We magnify ourselves by reducing other people rather than making ourselves bigger by becoming more Christ-like.
Someone asked a question of how long did Adam and Eve stay obedient to God. Pastor Don said we don’t know, because God didn’t tell us how old Adam and Eve were at the time of their fall, when they gave dominion over the earth to satan by disobeying God.
We have our filters in place, stuff we don’t let through because we don’t want to hear it. And when people speak in these areas things we don’t want to hear, we find ways to justify why we are doing what we are doing.
In the Scriptures, Jesus is saying stuff you should hear.
John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
This is an indictment. Good things are happening in the Body of Christ. We should learn earthly things from Biblical things, so we don’t make the same mistakes the people in the Bible made. Heavenly things are not of the earthly realm; but we should be able to believe them. Jesus used earthly examples of things from daily life like sowing and reaping, to speak of Heavenly things. If the people didn’t believe the earthly examples of truth, then how can they believe the Heavenly things?
Someone mentioned a book, Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgen who had a near-death experience. Even with his scientific background, he came back with tales from Heaven
John 3:13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
Jesus is making an exclusive claim that flies in the face of teaching. No one on earth has gone up into Heaven except the One who came from Heaven (Jesus). This is a prophecy – Jesus will be the only one. Jesus is talking about body and Spirit.
Another mystery. The Son of Man who is in Heaven is standing in the room with Nicodemus. The Rhema Word. God, on earth and in Heaven, is in both places at the same time.
He must ascend at will. This won’t be revealed until the Son of Man who is in Heaven doing through Jesusm with the Father in Heaven, what is on earth.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
An Old Testament illustration is Jacob and the Ladder with the angels ascending and descending. The angel of the Lord (Jesus) wrestled with Jacob and threw Jacob’s hip out of joint. We are seated in Heavenly places at the right hand of the Lord. Even before the resurrection, Jesus is spiritually sitting at the right hand of the Lord. We don’t understand this mystery – it is IN CHRIST.
We need to accept, know, and believe we are spiritual beings, although we perceive it through our carnal mind.
Jesus is always with the Father, doing what the Father says. He is always perpetually aware, always Jesus of Nazareth, always the Son of God.
Pastor Don reminded us of the Footprints poem – where there is one set of prints and that didn’t mean Jesus left us, it was when Jesus carried us. This is an example of the perpetual persistence of God.
Our spiritual journey allows us to show deeper and deeper levels of connectedness. So we do not want to deter this connectedness by speaking evil.
God judges everything from the view of eternity. Our carnal judgment is not the same as God’s; so do not speak evil of anyone. We can leave judgment in God’s hands.
Paul and Silas confronted a real medium and when they confronted Simon the Sorcerer – they realized these people were doing the work of satan, but they did not condemn them to hell. They just condemned their actions. Unless the Holy Spirit commands and we discern it, we must be careful whom we judge and how we condemn them.
Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
If you hold anyone in unforgiveness, then God may not forgive you your sins. Forgiving someone who is evil may be the salvation of someone tomorrow.
John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus in verse 13 – Son of man ascending and descending. Jesus has a sense of perpetual presence and purpose by transference with faith – this is necessary to prepare both the disciples and us, and for us to get a sense of steadfastness in purpose. Then we have the Son of man is lifted up – way beyond. This is written for us, not for the heavenly Jesus – so we can conceive what was prophesied for Jesus.
Nicodemus did not get this, but we have the Book (the Bible)– the whole story. Nicodemus only got the picture, which he didn’t understand. He didn’t have the fullness of the Scripture that we have. Even the disciples didn’t get it.
When we understand who we are in Christ, there will always be a spiritual component where we say, I wonder what is going on spiritually. Sometimes we prophetically hear things from God that are for our own information, not something to be said to anther person. The Spirit of the Lord gives you understanding of what level you have to deal with the situation.
Numbers 21:1 The king of Arad, the Canaanite, who dwelt in the South, heard that Israel was coming on the road to Atharim. Then he fought against Israel and took some of them prisoners.
Bad idea to take the people of God prisoners.
Numbers 21:2 So Israel made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.”
Jesus is always aware of the plurality of His existence. When God looks down, He sees the nation as a singular individual. We tend to see ourselves as individuals; we don’t take responsibility for America – we see our self as – here is Christ, here is America. The founding fathers saw this as one and the same.
Israel sees themselves as one person acting.
Judgment that falls on America will fall on the Church as well. We let the nation drift off as if it is independent of God.
Numbers 21:3-4 And the Lord listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of that place was called Hormah. Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way.
They had to go around Edom which discouraged the people. Edom was populated by Lot’s descendants. Sometimes when you choose to do well, certain spirits are not happy and come to attack – in this case a spirit of discouragement. This is a natural process – if you make a sacrifice for God, the devil comes to discourage you. The testing will make you stronger.
Numbers 21:5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”
This is a bad combination – they should have stood with Joshua, Caleb, and Moses, believing on God.
Numbers 13 as we saw previously, ten of the twelve spies came back with a bad report saying that we looked like grasshoppers in our own eyes.
We have to be careful or we might speak a curse over our life. If we speak negative, the devil is happy to bring it and God has to let it happen because we spoke that outcome into existence. It’s a lie to say no food, no work. God gave the Israelites Manna from Heaven and would help them win against the enemy. We must remind ourselves of the abundance God has given us and trust God.
Numbers 21:6 So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.
Because of their complaining, God sent fiery serpents among the people to bite many and those bitten died. Many churches today do not teach that God is capable of doing something like sending fiery serpents. God sends judgment, but many think God is only love and would never hurt the people. Untrue. We need to realize that God is God of love and of judgment. Both are necessary.
Numbers 21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
So Moses interceded for the people and God gave him the cure.
Numbers 21:8-9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
A prophetic picture of what Jesus was going to do, a picture that neither Nicodemus nor the disciples were able to understand.
Have a blessed day.