John 3:1-17 – For God so loved the world he let the wicked be bitten by poisonous serpents

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There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?


“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.


“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.


“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.


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This is the Gospel selection to be read aloud by a priest on Trinity Sunday, Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. This reading will follow the Old Testament selection from Isaiah, where we read: “And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips.” That is followed by a reading of Psalm 29, which sings: “And in the temple of the Lord all are crying, "Glory!"’ Lastly, a reading from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans will be read aloud, saying “we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you live according to the flesh, you will die.”


The first verse of this reading says [NRSV]: “There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews.” In the accompanying reading from Romans, it begins by stating, “So, brothers,” but the Episcopal Church has not accepted that truthful translation. Instead, they become little-g gods on earth and rewrite Scripture, in order to satisfy their need to appease people of the feminine gender. They put the words in Paul's pen that writes, "So, brothers and sisters." This raises the thought in my mind, here with this reading, “Why stop there? Why not rewrite this Gospel selection too?” There should be questions in everyone’s mind that asks, “Why should we put up with the ‘male only’ stereotypes of ancient Judea? Why can't we have John write: “There were two Pharisees named Nicodemus and Nicodema, one a leader of the Jews and the other a female Temple priest”?


Certainly, there is mockery in my questions; but the point I make by raising them is this: Modern Christianity is made up of a sea of Nicodemus’, with so many being elevated into leadership positions now, being females, that I feel the females that make up those leadership positions should not be kept from the guilt of a Nicodemus. The character Nicodemus reflects a priest with a complete lack of spiritual knowledge. Since both men and women now routinely come from the same ‘puppy mills’ that are seminaries that feed 'wet-behind-the-ears young priests' to the Episcopal Church, it is those who are blind now routinely leading the blind of belief to ruin. Because Paul’s use of “brothers” has been ignored by the Episcopal Church, as to why he would use that specific word as an divine instrument of Yahweh [an Apostle-Saint], the same lack of divine understanding in male priests has been passed on [like an unholy spirit of ignorance] to the women and children of the Church, so all [women and men] are now reflections of Nicodemus.


I always encourage all readers of Scripture to see himself or herself as the weakest link in a Biblical story, rather than the strength. In this reading, Jesus is the strength and all Christians prefer to side with Jesus and cast condemnation on Nicodemus, who is clearly the weak link. By using the philosophy of successful addiction programs, where the first step is to identify “I have a problem,” one needs to identify with Nicodemus, if one wants to realize his weakness are reflections of the self in need. Unfortunately, most people have been in denial for so long, most people could not see himself or herself as having any weaknesses that need fixing. Therefore, rewrite Scripture, by all means, to make the modern women of Christianity equally see themselves as just as flawed as the men – none are Jesus resurrected.


Seeing the flaws mirrored in Nicodemus must begin from understanding the name “Nicodemus” means “Victory of the [Common] People.” When the capitalization takes that meaning to a divine level of understanding, this has to reflect on the name being Latin-based [Roman, in Judea], so a "ruler" – a member of the Sanhedrin – was more a reflection of telling the “People” what they wanted to hear, than finding the “Victory of God” as what he took to the people. The Hebrew word for “Yah[weh] Is Salvation,” also meaning “Victory,” is “Yeshuah.” That is the name “Jesus.” Both Nicodemus and Nicodema [Latin male and female endings on the same meaning] reflect pride in self-actualization. Thus, this meeting of Nicodemus and Jesus reflects on two opposites coming together. All who serve self over Yahweh seek “Victory as [Common] People.”


When in the reading John says, “He came to Jesus by night,” the symbolism of “night-time” [“niktos”] must be seen as the darkness of insight, which is one misled by the ways of the world. The light of truth is missing. While this fact most probably means Nicodemus was prohibited by Jewish laws to travel outside Jerusalem [as far as Bethany] on a Sabbath, “by night” means Nicodemus had to wait until after 6:00 PM to go meet with Jesus. That then says the Passover week [Festival of the Unleavened Bread] ended on a Sabbath.[1] Still, it is the symbolism that aligns this reading to all modern priest [“rulers” of Christians] who are just as ‘in the dark’ spiritually now, as was Nicodemus then.


When Nicodemus said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God,” John capitalized the word “Rhabbi,” as a sign of recognition that Jesus was a divine “Teacher.” That recognition was then voiced by Nicodemus stating the word “didaskalos,” as a stand-alone statement meaning "teacher," which says Jesus spoke with insight others had not heard before. Jesus expressed new ideas that were applied to old texts. Nicodemus then recognized that ability as coming from Yahweh, which means “Rabbi” being capitalized made Jesus the equivalent of a Prophet of God [like a Samuel or Elijah or Isaiah]. Nicodemus seeing this trait in Jesus, causing him to follow him after it was legal to travel on a Sabbath, along with his third person plural use of “we know,” says neither Nicodemus nor those who were also “rulers of the Jews” had the ability Jesus displayed naturally. This recognition of a personal lack of divinity by Nicodemus was a confession that all priests of the Episcopal Church should admit personally – being righteous and wanting to be good are two different things.


When Jesus replied to Nicodemus saying, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above,” that was Jesus knowing Nicodemus was a lawyer who had memorized all the books written to become Jewish guidance. Still, no one could begin to explain what their words meant. Nicodemus had a high public position, which came with wealth and respect, even the fear of the common Jews because Nicodemus was one who could easily place punishment on those caught breaking the laws; but neither he nor any of his cohorts could explain how not to break them.


What Jesus said is the truth [“Verily,” from a capitalized “Amēn”], which all modern Christian leaders think they know. However, when Jesus said “no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above,” all Christian leaders today are exactly like Nicodemus. The reason is none can “see the kingdom of God” that is relative to understanding Scripture. No one today can explain how not to break the laws any better than Nicodemus, because none have been “born from above,” meaning none have become Jesus himself or herself. It is much easier, as Nicodemus knew, thinking about the now, explaining away sins or condemning sinners, than knowing how not to sin and then telling others.


This means the absurdity of Nicodemus asking, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” is the same absurdity shown by modern Christian leaders, who never once have taught an individual [much less a flock] how to be born from above and understand Scripture. From being able to see one’s parallel to Nicodemus, one must realize that speaking flowery sermons that are all fluff and no Spiritual substance leaves all the innocent lambs still in the sheepfold, depositing their wealth to the Church, while never being led to the green pastures of God’s kingdom.


Jesus saying, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Says water in a bowl by the front door of a church and wafers and wine at the church railing by the altar is all “flesh.” "Flesh" means physical "things," all made of matter. Everything offered in an Episcopal Church is “flesh,” not Spirit.


Here, “water kai Spirit” [“hydatos kai Pneumatos”] is the same thing repeated as “Spirit , spirit is” “Pneumatos , pneuma estin”. In that, the use of “water” is metaphor for the flow of life that is a “soul.” Water is the element that maintains life in physical beings, which is metaphor for the soul; as without water or souls, all matter would revert to a state of death. A “soul” [“water” and/or “spirit”] must be married-joined-unified with Yahweh, which is His “Spirit.” All that is “flesh” or “matter” is death; and, death cannot enter into the “kingdom of God” [heaven], because death is only found in the darkness of the physical realm.


When Jesus then expanded on this divine insight by saying, “Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above,’” that says there is no other way to Salvation. When John wrote of Jesus using the capitalized word “Dei,” that speaks of divine essence that elevates “must be born from above” to “Necessary, Inevitable, Proper, and Duty,” that capitalization demands one “be born from above.”


For Jesus to then say, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit,” this relates to Acts 2 and Pentecost Day, when “came a sound like the rush of a violent wind.” Wind is movement that is unseen; and, while modern meteorologists employ instruments that monitor wind currents in weather prediction, with much of the movements based on the rotation of the earth, the predictability of the weather is still a difficult endeavor, because the winds can change at any given moment. To then compare this to the “birth from above,” which demands the presence of Yahweh’s “Spirit” within, that says human beings [body and soul] are not the ones who determine when such a “birth” takes place. As such, one does not guarantee Salvation by going to seminary and earning a diploma to be employed by a Church, for as much as that might predict the current of one’s soul, it does not make it so. Nicodemus was proof of that.


The proof of that pudding was Nicodemus asking, “How can these things be?” While it seems he is being astounded by Jesus talking about being born from above and the winds that blow, Nicodemus was not a stupid person. Nicodemus was an intellectual, with a great brain in his head. He was able to memorize everything written in Scripture; and, he made a pretty penny from that intellect. Nicodemus is just as logical as are modern Episcopal priests, who scoff at Christians of other [lesser?] denominations, which believe in such nonsense as speaking in tongues and being filled with a Holy Spirit. I know Episcopalians of leadership wealth who ask, “What does God’s voice sound like? I have never heard it?” implying there is no voice of God, or “I would have heard it speak to me.”


When Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?” every priest of the Episcopal Church should hear Jesus asking them that. In reality, the Greek written by John literally has Jesus make a declaration that says, “You are this teacher this of Israel , kai these not know ?” In that, the capitalization of “You” [“Sy”], followed by the word “ei” or “are,” becomes a elevated state of being [“are”] that is totally focused on “Self” [“Yourself”]. That must be seen as the selfishness all priests of Christianity possess – Self-worth above the ability to truly “teach” the Word – where their inability to lead others to be Saved says they do not care about knowing the truth, because they only care about saving himself or herself. At no time have they been “born from above,” so at no time do they “know” anything of value Spiritually. The use of "kai" denotes a question of importance that asks, "How can you call yourself holy, when you have never known Yahweh personally?"


Jesus then said, “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony.” In that, Jesus said “I say” [“legō”] what “we know we speak” [“oidamen laloumen”]. That begins in the first person, but leads to twin words in the third person – from “I say” to “we know we speak.” This is not Jesus referring to him and Nicodemus, because Nicodemus knew nothing of value. It says Jesus was “born from above,” having his soul [“spirit” - 1] joined with the “Spirit” of Yahweh [“Spirit” – 2], so that union created the plurality of “we.” That was what Nicodemus lacked; and, it is what the vast majority of people wearing collars, employed by the Episcopal Church lack. There is no “we” connecting human souls to the divine possession of Yahweh’s “Spirit.”


That plural number of “we” then carries over to implying “we testify to what we have seen.” That becomes a statement that God has shown Jesus [Father joined with Son] the truth of the Word. That divine ‘eyesight’ of Jesus is what “we have seen we bear witness to” [“heōrakamen martyroumen”]. That “we bear witness to” element written has been omitted from the above NRSV translation, as they simplify it through 'osmosis,' in the following use of “You do not receive what we bear witness to [“testimony”].” The omission denies the repetition of "martyroumen" and "martyrian," both referencing "witnessing." In that, Jesus is making a point of showing how the “we” of himself was different from the “You are” of Nicodemus and all his Temple buds. The same “we” difference exists in that which separates the Apostles [each a “we”] and the mutations that have become today’s priests of Christianity [“You are”].


The element of “bearing witness” was stated by Peter and Paul [et al “born from above”], relative to the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. This must be understood as Spiritual insight, not a physical demand that one having seen Jesus’ resurrected body walking around. A witness becomes a legal person that can testify in court, as to the truth of something seen and personally experienced. The resurrection of Jesus is then the truth known by personal Spiritual experience. That is what only Jesus had, when visited by Nicodemus [there was no “we” in the material realm then]. That is what all the Apostles-Saints had [all reborn as Jesus, being “we”]; and, that was what Nicodemus did not have. He could not receive that testimony of truth, because he was “You are,” not “we.” That is the same failure so many priests of Christianity have: they cannot testify to the truth of faith, because they can only recite stuff memorized by brains.


Jesus then asked Nicodemus questions that still apply today, to all the false leaders of churches: “If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?” The “earthly things” [“ta epeigeia” – “this earthly”] are the sounds of invisible winds. Nicodemus was no expert in meteorology, just as no priest of a Christian flock today is. They might understand some basic concepts, but the weather patters are still unknown. Therefore, if you cannot understand the weather, then how can you even begin to understand the divinity of Scripture? There is no Christian seminary on planet earth that teaches young goody-goody brainiacs to speak in divine tongues. So, even if they read Scripture and think they know how to tell about such things, they can never testify to the truth of what those things mean.


A simple example of this inability to understand was then stated by Jesus. He said, “No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” Quick. Go look up who that “Son of Man” is [actually written “Huios tou anthrōpou,” which actually says, “Son this of man”]. Was it Jesus? Do you know? Who do you teach people who question who the “Son this of man” was-is-will be?


The answer is Adam. Adam was made by Yahweh and placed in Eden, which is heaven on earth. Adam was divine, not animal-like; which was what the mass population on earth prior was, along with female animal-like humans. Humans are not born divine; never have been and never will be. Adam descended from Eden after he sinned; but he was still of divine creation. He then ascended after living a devoted soul joined with the “Spirit” of Yahweh for nine hundred thirty years [see if your non-divine flesh can last that long!]. hen this meeting with Nicodemus took place, Jesus had not yet died, nor had he ascended. Do the math! However, Jesus was the soul of Adam reincarnated into a most divine body, which was the DNA of Adam, placed Spiritually within the womb of Mother Mary [a virgin]. It must be realized that Adam is the original Son of man, with Jesus the soul of Adam reborn.


From that realization, Jesus then said, “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” In that lesson from Numbers 21 recalled by Jesus [which Nicodemus would have known immediately], the serpent was the bite of death to all who turned away from Yahweh. Yahweh told Moses how to save the Israelites from their own self-inflicted punishments; he should make a bronze serpent [a replica of himself [a graven image] as having died and then repented to salvation]. Yahweh then told Moses to mount that replica of himself on a pole, which had to be raised high for all to see.

Look at the fang on that serpent! The bite of death comes to all mortals, due to the serpents of sin being hidden everywhere in the world. The only way to go beyond the cross of death is to marry Yahweh and become the Son of man resurrected.


Thus, being bit with an urge to sin could bring redemption by looking upon that image of Moses saved by Yahweh - as the bronze serpent. Eternal life defeats sin. The image of Yahweh is found in His Son [Moses became a Son of Adam reborn], meaning Salvation then was for the same reasons – turning away from Yahweh to sin. Salvation required the same external way to be reminded of the path of righteousness, seeing how Adam had sinned and died; but Adam was ascended through faith. Of course, the only thing modern Christians can think of here, in verse 13, is Jesus being crucified so all are saved, without having to do a thing. No one understands looking upon the death of Jesus on a cross means one must also die [self-sacrifice], in order to be resurrected as the Son of man. Nicodemus was not about to give up all he had worked to earn materially; and, modern priests of Christianity have the same selfish flaws born in them.


This leads to the one verse that is taken out of context and made to be memorized by all Christian children, such that none ever connects the dots to Moses and Adam. Everyone is trained to think only of Jesus dying for all the sins of the world. That famous quote is: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”


When that verse is read out of context, no one ever takes the time to realize Yahweh only made one Son – Adam. Jesus was born of a woman, so even though the holy DNA of Adam was Spiritually placed in the womb of Mary and even though Yahweh’s hand guided the development of Jesus, Yahweh’s hand guides the development of all human-born babies. Jesus was "flesh," just like everyone else. Adam was flesh, but he had Yahweh personally fill him with His Spirit. Jesus also had that Spirit with his soul at birth ["we"]. So, Adam is still the only hand-begotten Son of Yahweh.


In addition, no one becomes “born from above” ever thinking that “believing” is what Yahweh expects. Believing is what memorizers like Nicodemus do. The Greek word written by John is “pisteuōn,” which means “having faith in; trusting in; is entrusted with” (Strong’s Usage); and, only weakling souls think “belief in Jesus” means anything of value. The meaning, which should always be the translation in divine Scripture says, “everyone who has faith in him may not perish.” In the third person pronoun – “him” – that is the same Yahweh who Adam never lost faith in, where having one’s soul be married to Him means faith that is built from personal experience as the Son of man reborn. Having such faith is then being “born from above,” so that is the only way to “eternal life” and “not perishing” in soul.


When Jesus then told Nicodemus [and all reading here today], “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him,” that still speaks of Adam. Adam was known by Yahweh to sin; and, that sin was known by Yahweh to cause Adam to be punished for his sin, by being banished from the heavenly realm and sent into the material realm. That was known by Yahweh, because that was the plan. Adam was the first seed of divine thought planted into the world. Adam would begin a line of divine priests of Yahweh, which would begin religion in a world that knew nothing of God or Spiritual matters. Thus, the world before Adam was like a world of Nicodemus’ and Nicodema’s. The seed of Adam would beget a lineage that would lead to Jesus, born of a woman in Bethlehem, called a Nazarene. But, then, all that flew over the head of Nicodemus, just like no one teaches that today; meaning no one is teaching flocks to become married to Yahweh and keep the lineage alive and strong.


As the Gospel selection to be read aloud in the aisle of Episcopal churches by collared and berobed priests on Trinity Sunday, were the Trinity speaks of one’s soul being in union with the Father, through His “Spirt,” the great failure is to preach to that title. The state of Christianity has regressed back in time, to be like that of Judea, when the Temple elite never led anyone anywhere, other than to the treasury boxes. The serpents of the wilderness are those in the lineage of the serpent in Eden – the craftiest of the animal kingdom. Souls are routinely suffering from the bites of sins; and, the graven image of Jesus on a cross is not meant to represent what will happen to your body of flesh. Death comes to all flesh; but if one do not marry Yahweh and become Jesus reborn, then there will be no resurrection, no Salvation of a soul. Only those reborn as Jesus get down off that cross of death and ascend to heaven. All the failures – like the Nicodemuses reborn in modern Episcopalian churches – go to hell in a handbasket.


With Trinity Sunday being the first of roughly half a year of time, relative to a life led to ministry, that reflects when all souls should be flowing away from the pews (born of water), into service to Yahweh (born of Spirit) as true priests [not seminary graduates and church employees] having been taught the Word by being Jesus reborn. There are few becoming Saints today; and, all those keeping the Spirit of Jesus alive are individual choosing to be self-sacrificed, from personal devotion to finding the truth that leads one to faith. There is now little more than community organizers masquerading as Episcopal priests, leading flocks to the slaughter, for their own personal gratification. They signal a time to find Yahweh directly, with His Word needing to be explained so one’s soul knows truth.


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[1] This was the case in 22 A.D., the Hebrew year 3783.