|John 3:1-8 |
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no man can do these miracles that you do, unless God is with him."
3 Then Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you that unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus said to 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?"
5 And Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you that unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.1
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell from where it comes, and where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
1 Truly, truly, I say to you that unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. The water is not an outward water; it is a holy water that washes your inside and out; it is the spiritual water of the word. From George Fox's Letter 265.
"So Christ the light teaches his people to believe in the light which manifests all things; and they that believe in the light have the witness in themselves of Christ, in whom they believe. They have the witness in themselves, that he is their redeemer, and savior, and their way, their truth, and their life; for with the light they see him, they believing in the light that makes manifest; and after they believe in the light, become children of the light; they witness themselves, that they are sealed, for their belief in the light stands in Christ the light, who has bought and purchased them; and after they are sealed by the spirit of promise, having God's mark or stamp set upon them, they can set to their seal, that God is true in all his promises, in all his prophets concerning Christ Jesus; who taught them to believe in the light. With the light they see, and come to know the "three that bear record in heaven", and the "three that bear record on earth, the spirit the water, and the blood."
- First, the spirit that bears witness in the earth, which mortifies them, which circumcises them, which leads them into all truth; in which spirit is their fellowship, and a bond peace, that keeps down that which troubles them; by which spirit the believers are baptized into one body; brought out of the many bodies; and so by the spirit they are brought to the one head, who is Christ Jesus, (though there are many heads in the world), by which spirit they are sanctified, by which spirit they are instructed, by which spirit they worship God, by which spirit they are covered, by which spirit they pray, and by which spirit they sing praises to God who is a spirit, by which spirit they have an understanding, the spirit of wisdom and knowledge, which is to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, which is eternal life.
- Secondly, They come to know the water which is a witness in the earth; by which they are washed, their minds, their souls, their spirits, and in their bodies, with this pure water. And this is a witness in the earth with the light; to those who believe in it, it manifests these two witnesses in the earth, and with the light they see the pope's counterfeit holy water, which he has set up since the apostles' days, who with the light bear witness against it, not to be God's witness, nor of God's setting up. And so the children of the light, who believe in the light, their bodies, their souls, their spirits, and their minds are washed clean in this pure, clean, holy water; that comes from above, from the pure holy God, which is one of these witnesses in the earth.
- The third witness is his blood, with which the hearts of people are sprinkled, and their consciences are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. As Moses sprinkled the outside of the posts, etc. with the blood of bulls and goats; which blood of bulls and goats, Christ's blood ends, which sprinkles the heart and conscience of people. So this blood of Jesus Christ, the heavenly man, is felt in the hearts and consciences of people; by which blood they are sanctified, they are cleansed from all their dead works, to serve the living God, and to serve their dead works no longer. So by this blood they are cleansed from all sin. Those who walk in the light, and believe in the light, they are children of the light, and children of the day; and the blood of Jesus Christ, the son of God, cleanses them from all sin; and their garments are made white in the blood of the Lamb; by which they come to testify of Jesus; they overcome the beast, the whore, the false church.
And so every true believer, believes as Christ has taught them, to believe in the light, that so they may become children of the light. They have these three witnesses that bear witness in the earth, to bear witness in themselves; and they can set to their seal, that God is true in all his works, in prophets and apostles, and his son; and they shall come to know, and do come to know, the three that bear record in heaven, and the three that bear record in the earth."
From the Word of the Lord within: "The three witnesses: these three clearly must be manifest; eyes have to germinate." You must clearly see the three witnesses with the eyes of your heart, and the eyes of your heart must first be developed, which comes with persistent and patient waiting on God in humble silence to hear and see His revelations from the Word and light within your heart.
To be born of the Spirit is to first have died to the selfish nature on the inward cross of self denial. You must lose your life to save it. You must become an entirely new creature, with a new heart and new mind. This does not happen with reading scripture, saying a prayer, getting wet, or saying Jesus is Lord. If you are born again, your lust and desires have been crucified to the death of self on the inward cross of self denial. Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed [Christ] remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9. This is the final judgment, the Day of the Lord, which occurs to individuals who have prepared the way of the Lord. The true baptism of the Holy Spirit into the death of Christ; this is the sharing of his death. When your selfish spirit has died on the inward cross of self-denial, then Christ joins in the marriage of the Lamb with your soul, and you are born again; as Jesus is resurrected in you to be your true Lord. 2 Cor 4:14,Col 2:11-12,3:1, Eph 2:5-6, Gal 2:20, Rom 8:1.
from George Fox's Journal:
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. 1 Pet 4:12-13
If you will reign with him, you must suffer with him. 2 Tim 2:12
if you will live with him, you must die with him. 2 Tim 2:11 (there must be a "dying daily.")
And if you die with him, you must be buried with him, Rom 6:4
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him. Col 2:12
There must be "a coming into his death, a suffering with Christ;" and this is of necessity to salvation;
and not temporarily, but continually: there must be a "dying daily."
In 1 John 5, John carefully defines what are the qualifying experiences of a believer who is born of God, which are summarized here:
Those who say that they are born-again Christians still living in the fleshly lusts and pleasures of the world, and so still slaves to sin, are maligning the truth and create confusion. From the Word of the Lord within:
Presumption of being born again, instead of experiential reality, is make-believe Christianity.
Such Christianity is of Babylon and the beast with horns like a lamb that the whole world follows.
If you are born again, Christ has been revealed [seen, heard, felt, experienced] in you.
Jesus is resurrected in us to be our true Lord. 2 Cor 4:14, Col 2:11-12,3:1, Eph 2:6, Gal 2:20, Rom 8:11
Paul said: it has pleased the Father to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him. Gal 1:15-16
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Gal 5:20
If you are born again, your selfish nature no longer lives, it has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial.
The single scripture verse, taken out of context, which people use to fool themselves to believe they are born again, is:
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. 1 John 5:1
"See," they say — "scripture proves I am born again because I believe that Jesus is the Christ."
If you have been born again, you know Him to be in total control of you; you don't have to search the scriptures to try to prove to yourself that you have eternal life.
Another huge error is to assume that a spiritual experience is to be born again — when it is only your wake up call — it is only God's visitation to you, giving you a hunger for more of him, and motivating you to seek him with your whole heart — to seek to see his face and be in his presence continually.
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor 5:17
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision benefits anything, but only a new creature. Gal 6:15
And have [purposed to] put on the new man, who is renewed in knowledge after the image of him who created him. Col 3:10
And put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness. Eph 4:24
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:53
(John Richardson, 18th Century Quaker Minister): "Except a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." No, the natural and unregenerate man cannot so much as see the heavenly and spiritual kingdom of Christ, which stands not only in power, but also in righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit; and to be born again is not to be done imperceptibly, no more than the natural birth can be brought forth without trouble; and to pretend to be in Christ and not to be new creatures, is preposterous; and to pretend to be new creatures and yet not able to render any account how it was performed, is unreasonable; for it could not be without our knowledge; for to be born again signifies to be quickened and raised into a spiritual and new life, by which the body of the sins of the flesh is mortified and we come to live a self-denying life. Those who are crucified with Christ are crucified to their sins, so that as he died for sin, we ought to die to sin. In that state we live not after the flesh, although we live, as the apostle Paul said, in the flesh; but the life which these live is through faith in the Son of God. And to supposedly have all this, and much more wrought in us, and we know nothing of it, is unaccountable.