Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, is a good case study of a man who had to choose between putting his faith in God’s Word or his own, admittedly high, standards of behavior under the Mosaic law. Nicodemus met with Yeshua / Jesus to try to negotiate a peaceful end to the growing challenge he posed to the ethnic rulers of the nation of Israel, AKA “the Jews“. He starts by trying to minimize Jesus as a mere teacher. Despite the fawning compliment, Jesus knows what’s in his heart and cuts to the heart of the matter, forcing Nicodemus to chose between 1) relinquishing his superiority complex and accepting a demotion to student with Jesus as truly rabbi / master, or 2) rejecting him.
John Chapter 3
“…a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews [think Senate Majority Leader]…came to Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua / Jesus by night, and said unto him,
- Rabbi [possessive “My” Master], we [the ethnic therefore politico-religious rulers of the province of Judea within the Roman Empire] know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. [starting the win-win negotiation strategy with a positive – we know you are one of us]…
- Yahweh’s Savior answered…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…[Immediately shoots down this talking point. I am not part of your petty kingdom allied with the Roman Empire, I am in the Kingdom of God.]
- Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? [The middle part of the negotiation, the negative – establish authority. “Come on now, what you’re teaching is ridiculous.”]
- Yeshua answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. [You’re not the authority and I’m not one of you and somebody is going to walk away the loser.]
- If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not [demonstrated by rationalizing away the miracles despite their supposed Master Moses’ prophecy that another miracle-worker like him would come to lead them], how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven…
- 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. For God sent not his Seed of the Woman / Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believed on him is not condemned:
- but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name [Yeshua, which defines his attributes- Yahweh’s / Creator’s Savior] of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
- For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. [Yeshua just condemned Nicodemus and the ruling Jews and negotiations failed.]” (John 3:1-20)
Yeshua gave Niodemus and his colleagues three and a half years to gather evidence regarding his claim to be Yahweh’s Promised Savior as prophecied in scripture.
We have to reference back to these hundreds’ and thousands’ years old writings, supposedly revered, definitely read in the synagogues, to understand Yeshua’s claims as they were understood by the people who heard him as he tirelessly preached this message.
“And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And…as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the LORD / Yahweh is upon me, because
- he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;
- he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
- to preach deliverance to the captives, and
- recovering of sight to the blind,
- to set at liberty them that are bruised,
- To preach the acceptable year of the LORD / Yahweh…
And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness,” (Luke 4:14-22)
Unfortunately, the rulers’ response, not just to his single, oft-repeated message, but to the proofs provided in scripture as well as in his miracles, was to reject his authority. John’s gospel, like his later Revelation, relates escalating conflict between The Seed of the Woman / Promised Deliverer / Christ and his loyal followers and the Seed of the Serpent / Antichrist and his rebels until the climax in which the winner takes all.
There is so much more than just the soft-pedaled message of chapter 3 verse 16 in John’s tension-filled account of the Messiah’s battles with the enemy. Read this like the World War documentary that it is.
John Chapter 5
“After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Yeshua went up to Jerusalem…And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years…he saith unto him…Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
- The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
- He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. [In essence, “You’re not the boss of me.” This guy knows the scriptures. You want the healing, you do what you’re told.]
- Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? The man told the Jews that it was Yeshua, which had made him whole.
- And therefore did the Jews persecute Yeshua, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. [That’s their justification, since they can’t very well “accuse” him of healing. This goes along the lines of “It’s not what you said (which they can’t deny was true), it’s how you said it.”)
- But Yeshua answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
- Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he…said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. [Which clearly he was in working miracles transcending humanity’s limitiation to four dimensions, just like their founder Moses, who had told them that another Prophet, just like him, would come to them in the future.
- Then answered Yeshua and said unto them, [no new idea, just a logical proof from accepted truth demonstrated in human relationships as explained in depth in the post Father Abraham] Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth / teaches, demonstrates, makes known to him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
- For the Father…hath committed all unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not Father which hath sent him. [Again, no new concept. This is standard practice in passing on inheritance rights of property and authority.]
- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
- Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
- And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of (hu)man / Seed of the Woman.
- Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
- I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
- If I bear witness of myself, my witness [by itself] is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me...ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth…He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
- But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. [Just like he sent their founder Moses, proven by the miracles – but mainly the plagues – heads up!.]
- And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me…ye have not his word abiding in you…Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life…
- Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words [as he quotes Moses]?
There is no independent humanity when it comes to the spirit dimension. Our only options are to
1) remain under the control of sin and perish in Satan’s kingdom:
“the son of perdition;
- Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God…
- whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
- And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (II Thessalonians 2:3-10)
2) or be rescued from doom and live in the kingdom of God:
“Giving thanks unto the Father…
- Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,
- and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son…
- For by him / the Father were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
- And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1)
Just like there are legal processes one must undertake in order to gain entrance into an earthly nation, there is a legal process required before being granted access to God’s spiritual kingdom.
The Jews’ plight in Nazi Germany provides one of the best examples. Hundreds of thousands of German and Austrian Jews tried to escape the persecution of the racist Nazi government, with the full cooperation of the Nazi government. This was their first solution. Eventually they had to resort to a more costly and complicated final solution because no other country wanted them either. Of 525,000 Jews in Germany in 1933, of which about 400,000 were German citizens, only 345,000 Jews managed to find refuge. This was mainly in neighboring countries, which was only a brief reprieve as Germany quickly conquered those countries. Only about 85,000 beleaguered Jews, out of far greater numbers of immigration applicants, reached their haven of choice, the United States.
In one well-publicized case, the United States refused to admit 908 Jewish refugees who had sailed from Hamburg, Germany in 1939. The ship circled back to Europe, where most were accepted into countries which were soon occupied by the Nazis. A fourth of the ship’s passengers are known to have died in the Holocaust.
Even after Nazi policy towards Jews became known, America tightened restrictions on European Jewish immigration still further, giving as a reason the threat of enemy subversion during the war.
America, England and other democratic countries greatly – and realistically – feared a Communist revolution toppling their governments as had just happened in Russia and China. A world-wide overthrow of the existing forms of government is the explicit objective of Communism and many under-cover agents were actively pursuing that goal.
Jews have a rich history of involvement in anarchism, socialism, Marxism… many Jews worldwide welcomed the Russian revolution of 1917, celebrating the fall of a regime that had presided over antisemitic pogroms…With the advent of fascism in parts of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, many Jews responded by becoming actively involved in the left, and particularly the Communist parties,
And many individuals seeking a place in the kingdom of God will be rejected, whenjudged and proven by documented evidence of their works that they were never born again into God’s spiritual kingdom of a community of shared life, they chose to remain slaves to a flawed humanistic system that denies their need for God.