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In my last presentation in this series I made two errors that I must apologize for. The first was attributing the wrong Greek word to two New Testament passages, in an argument that the world was not the same as the planet in the language of our Scriptures. The argument is still valid, but I have emended the program notes to correct the error. The second, which began as an extemporaneous remark, was to attribute to Christ the words of John the Baptist later in this chapter, and I have also corrected that mistake. I cannot promise that I won’t make mistakes in the future, but Yahweh willing, I pray that I will be able to correct them once they are identified, and even better, I hope be the first to find them.
On the Gospel of John, Part 10: The Only-Begotten is Not the Only
In our last presentation in this series on the Gospel of John, which was subtitled The World of Salvation, among other things we had discussed were several aspects of the statement of Christ which is recorded in John 3:16. This is a favorite verse of the universalist denominational Christians, but it certainly does not mean what they imagine it to mean. They read this verse as if it says that Yahshua, or Jesus Christ, is the only Son of God, and had come to die in order to save the entire planet and everything, or, at least, everyone, dwelling thereupon. Of course, that is absolutely contrary to the entire body and context of the Scriptures. But with their interpretation of one verse, and only sometimes with imagined support from a couple of other verses, they would negate the entire meaning and value of all of the books of the prophets, as well as the complete substance of the epistles of the apostles and many of the other statements of Christ Himself.
So we began to address this particular passage by explaining that the Greek words translated as world were never intended to describe what we now know as the planet, and that even in the Medieval English of the King James translators, or in the German of Martin Luther, the concept of world did not imply the inclusion of the entire planet and everything on it, as the word is usually understood in modern times.
Now we are going to address another aspect of this passage, which is the use and translation of the Greek term μονογενής (Strong’s # 3439). In its most literal sense it means “only-born”, and it is the word which the King James translators rendered as “only-begotten” in John 3:16. But is that what the Gospel writers really meant to convey when they used the term? This is debatable, but we would rather understand it according to the idiom of the times, and especially its use in the idioms of the Greek Old Testament, where we will find that it was not necessarily used in that literal sense in our Scriptures.
This word first appears in this Gospel in John chapter 1, where we read: “14 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His splendor, splendor as the most-beloved by the Father, full of favor and truth.” When we encountered that passage in Part 4 of this commentary on the Gospel of John, subtitled The Lamb of God, we said in part that: “Here we also see the first of five occurrences of the word μονογενής in John’s writing, four of which are in his gospel and one in his first epistle, all of them in reference to Christ. The same word appears three times in Luke, where none of them refer to Christ, and once in Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews, in chapter 11, where Paul used the term in reference to the patriarch Isaac.” Saying that, we repeated what we had said concerning the meaning of this term, μονογενής, in our December, 2016 commentary on chapter 11 of Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews. Now we shall summarize much of that, but also augment it with some additional information.
We have already elucidated the fact that the term μονογενής, a Greek word that literally means only-begotten, was often used in reference to a particular son in cases where there were clearly other sons, which by itself informs us that the term must represent a Hebrew idiom where it often appears in Scripture, and therefore it should not necessarily be literally translated as “only-begotten”. The translators of the Septuagint must have understood this idiom, where they wrote “thy son, the beloved one” in reference to Isaac in Genesis 22:2, where in the King James Version the corresponding Hebrew was literally translated as “thy son, thine only son”. In his Antiquities of the Judaeans, in Books 1 (1:222) and 20 (20:17), first century Judaean historian Flavius Josephus also used this Hebrew idiom in the same manner. William Whiston, in his translations of Josephus, makes a note of this idiom at those points in his translation, where Josephus had used the Greek word μονογενής, it shows that the term was used to describe the “best beloved” or “most loved” son, as we translate the term here in John 3:16, and as the Septuagint translators clearly understood when they translated Genesis 22:2 into Greek from the original Hebrew. So we have also translated the term in that manner where it appears in several other places in the Gospel and epistles of John (1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; and 1 John 4:9).
In Hebrews chapter 11 Paul used the term μονογενής where he wrote: “17 By faith Abraham, being tried, had offered up Isaak, and the best-beloved being offered up took upon himself the promises, 18 in reference to whom it was said: ‘That in Isaak shall your offspring be called.’” Isaac is called the “best beloved”, which is how we rendered μονογενής, because Abraham clearly had another son. Paul had quoted Genesis 21:12, where Isaac is distinguished from Ishmael and it says: “12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”
While μονογενής does not appear in that passage, a little further on, in Genesis chapter 22, we read where Yahweh said to Abraham: “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah…” In the corresponding passage in the Septuagint, Brenton literally reads the Greek where he wrote “Take thy son, the beloved one, whom thou hast loved – Isaac…” In all fairness, the word μονογενής does not appear in the Greek of that passage either. The phrase “the beloved one, whom thou hast loved” comes from an adjective employed as a substantive, which is a noun, and an appropriate pronoun, then a verb form which basically means you loved [τὸν ἀγαπητόν ὃν ἠγάπησας]. But in Hebrews chapter 11 Paul did use the word μονογενής to describe what the Septuagint writers had described using that literal Greek phrase. As we shall now see, while the Septuagint translators conveyed the meaning of the idiom, Paul’s use of μονογενής to describe the same thing is a more literal expression of the original Hebrew. So this shows that the Septuagint translators understood the idiom, while Paul did us a favor which helps us to understand it for ourselves.
In the Hebrew language of Genesis 22:2 there is a word, yachiyd (Strong’s # 3173, יהיד) which the original Strong’s lexicon defines as “properly united, i.e. sole; by implication beloved; also lonely; [in the] (feminine) the life (as not to be replaced)…” The popular Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew lexicon defines it as only, only one, unique, solitary, one (as an adjective or a substantive) and also, citing the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, as only begotten son. Then they also recognize the idiom which Strong’s illustrates, that in certain instances the word can refer to one’s life.
This word yachiyd is the word that the ancient Hebrew speakers who translated the text of Genesis 22:2 into Greek had written as “the beloved one” in reference to Isaac, rather than literally writing “the only one”, when they were making the Septuagint. But the King James translators in Genesis 22:2 rendered it literally, where they have “only son”, even though for this same word, in Psalm 22:20 the King James Version has darling. In that passage we read the cry of David to “Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.” It appears in the feminine form there, and that passage along with another similar utterance at Psalm 35:17 is the usage to which Strong was referring when he wrote that yachiyd could mean “the life (as not to be replaced)”. But from the Septuagint in Genesis 22:2 we see that it can also refer to “the beloved one” where it is in the masculine form.
Of course in the transcendental interpretation, this statement by David in Psalm 22:20 is a Messianic prophecy. The similar passage in Psalm 35:17 may also be interpreted in that manner. But the immediate meaning and application of the word, which must have precedence, is in pleas to Yahweh made by David for the deliverance of his own life. By saying precedence, I mean that the statements in the Psalms cannot be interpreted as Messianic prophecies in a way so as to invalidate their immediate application in David’s life, so the language must apply to David in an immediate sense, as well as to Christ in a prophetic sense.
In the Latin Vulgate, where the King James Version has “my darling” in those passages from the 22nd and 35th Psalms, the Latin phrase is unicam meam. Like the feminine form of yachiyd which appears in the Hebrew of that passage, unicam is a feminine form of the adjective unicus. The Latin word unicus, from which we get the English word unique, means “single”, and unicam meam is literally “my single”, or “my only”. According to the New College Latin & English Dictionary by John C. Traupman, unicus is an adjective meaning “one and only, sole; singular, unique; uncommon”. Another word, unigena, means “only-begotten, [or] only”, and also, quite interestingly, it can mean “of the same parentage”. So while the translation in the Latin Vulgate maintained the feminine form of the Hebrew word yachiyd in these passages, the translators missed the idiom, which the King James translators did not miss in these instances.
Therefore the supposedly very literal Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition of the Vulgate renders the passage corresponding to Psalm 22:20 to say “Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword: my only one from the hand of the dog.” Then it has the one corresponding to Psalm 35:17 to say “Lord, when wilt thou look upon me? rescue thou soul from their malice: my only one from the lions.” But as we have explained, this is David making an appeal for Yahweh to preserve his own life, and not that of another – even if it may apply to Christ in that manner in a prophetic sense. The King James translators, who missed the idiom in Genesis 22:2, certainly seemed to have understood it in Psalms 22:20 and 35:17, and they wrote darling. In this sense, if I myself were to translate those Psalms I would write it as dearest, which is a synonym for most-beloved, or best-loved, as I have often translated μονογενής in that same manner in the Christogenea New Testament.
This is not an innovation. In the Septuagint version of Psalms 22:20 and 35:17, where we have yachiyd in Hebrew and unicus in Latin, the Greek word is μονογενής. So we see μονογενής in place of a Hebrew word which as an idiom can mean dearest, or as the King James has it in those passages, darling. We would contend that yachiyd, therefore, can also mean special, but not in the sense of the Latin phrase sui generis, which is “one of a kind”, as some of the secular Greek writers may have used the term μονογενής. Rather, we would interpret μονογενής according to the Hebrew idiom which is made evident in Paul’s interpretation of Genesis 21:12 and 22:2 found at Hebrews 11:17, and the Septuagint use of the word μονογενής where it was used to translate yachiyd, which means dearest in Psalms 22:20 and 35:17.
Once the conclusion is reached, that μονογενής, like yachiyd, stood as an idiom for dearest or most loved, and that this is how the Septuagint translators, Paul of Tarsus, and Flavius Josephus had all understood μονογενής, at least at times, it becomes evident that the passages which refer to Christ as God’s “only-begotten Son”, are only expressing a Hebrew idiom for the “most beloved Son”, and they do not at all conflict with the many statements which describe the children of Adam or the children of Israel as the children of God, statements found in passages such as Deuteronomy 14:1; in the Septuagint at Psalm 28:1; Psalm 82:6; Matthew 5:45; Luke 3:38; John 10:34-36; Acts 17:28-29; Romans 8:14-39; Hebrews 2:13 and 12:8; 1 John 3:1-2. Christ, the first-born among many brethren, is the dearest, or most-loved, of the many sons and daughters of Yahweh. As David, a type for Christ, could consider his life his darling, or dearest, then Yahweh, incarnate as Christ, could certainly also consider His Own life as His dearest. Paul had referred to Christ as the “last Adam”, as opposed to the first, in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Ostensibly, only two members of our Adamic race were sons directly from Yahweh, and in that sense our first father preceded Christ, while Christ alone – being Yahweh – had existed first in the Spirit. Yahshua Christ, who is Yahweh God incarnate, is not the “only begotten Son”, and neither is He the only Son. Rather, He is the foremost of a particular race of sons, which are all of the children of Adam.
There is one more aspect of John 3:16 which must be discussed, and that is the phrase “would not be lost” where the King James Version has “should not perish”. Our text reads in part, in reference to Christ: “in order that each who believes in Him would not be lost but would have eternal life.” The Greek verb in question is ἀπόλλυμι (Strong’s # 622), where we have lost, but the word was sometimes used to convey an even deeper meaning than what we can readily express in English. In their Intermediate lexicon, Liddell & Scott define ἀπόλλυμι as “to destroy utterly, kill, slay, and of things, to destroy, demolish, [or] waste…” and that is the literal meaning, as it was interpreted here in the King James Version, but then they explain that it means “in [a] pregnant sense, γᾶς ἐκ πατρίας ἀπόλλυμι to drive me ruined from my fatherland…” as the Tragic poet Euripides had used the term. Then in its secondary sense, it means “to lose utterly…” and in the medium voice, which is how it is used here, “to perish utterly, die… to be undone… done for, lost, [or] ruined…” and finally, “to be lost, slip away, [or] vanish….”
The way that Euripides had used the word, and the way that other writers had used it to describe something which was lost, is also perfectly descriptive of the ancient children of Israel. It is apparent that Christ used the term in that same manner, for example in Luke chapter 19, where upon the profession of the chief publican, Zacchaeus, we read: “9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Zacchaeus was not saved because he did well, but because he was a son of Abraham who did well. Neither did He become a son of Abraham because he did well, but rather, he was already a son of Abraham and he decided to do well. The statement “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” can only refer to the ancient children of Israel for whom the new covenant was promised exclusively, and Zacchaeus being one of the children of Israel, was already a party to that promise.
The “lost sheep”, the children of Israel who were driven ruined from their fatherland, as Euripides had employed this word ἀπόλλυμι, were lamented by the prophet Ezekiel, in Ezekiel chapter 34, over 600 years before Christ began his ministry. There we read: “1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.” The healing miracles of Christ were performed in answer to this very prophecy, in order to demonstrate that He is The Shepherd who can do these things, and therefore the lost sheep should flock to Him.
Continuing with the prophet, who is indeed speaking in relation to ancient Israel: “5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. [Here ‘beasts of the field’ is an analogy for the other nations, just as ‘sheep’ is an analogy for Israel.] 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. 7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. 11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” This also describes Yahshua Christ, who is Yahweh fulfilling His promise to seek out and deliver His sheep. As Paul explained in his epistle to the Hebrews, Christ Himself had supplanted the Levitical priesthood, which were the shepherds that had originally failed to keep His sheep. This is the context of the Old Testament and the promises to the children of Israel which was the purpose of the coming of Chirst.
The language of Ezekiel in relation to Israel is also found in Jeremiah chapter 23: “1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. 2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.” Then in Jeremiah chapter 50 we see a promise which culminates in the new covenant in Christ: “4 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. 5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. 6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.”
Of course, men cannot bind God to a perpetual covenant, but Yahweh had promised the children of Israel a new and everlasting covenant in Jeremiah chapter 31, and also in Ezekiel chapter 37 where we read, speaking exclusively of the children of Israel: “26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” This is the perpetual covenant of Jeremiah chapter 50.
The ancient children of Israel are “that which was lost”, as we see in the words of the prophets, and in the King James Version in Matthew 18:11 [a passage which admittedly is not found in the oldest manuscripts,] as well as in Luke 19:10 where Christ had exclaimed that “the Son of man is come to save that which was lost”, and the word lost is from the Greek word ἀπόλλυμι. That is also the word used in the Septuagint where it describes the “lost sheep” in Jeremiah 50:6, and in the last verses of Psalm 119 where we read “174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight. 175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.”
In the opening lines of Psalm 74 we read in the words of Asaph, who wrote in the early years of the captivity, “1 O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? 2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.” In Psalm 79 Asaph prayed that Yahweh would avenge Israel, and concluded that in result of that avenging “13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.” In Psalm 95, which Paul of Tarsus had quoted in part in chapter 3 of his epistle to the Hebrews, we read: “ 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.”
Throughout the Scriptures, the ancient children of Israel are described as the sheep of Yahweh’s pasture, the ancient children of Israel are described as that which was lost, specifically as “lost sheep” in the books of the prophets, and in Matthew chapter 15 Yahshua Chirst is recorded as having said to a dog, which had no apparent opportunity to ever become a sheep, that “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Furthermore, where we see the word ἀπόλλυμι for lost in Matthew 15:24, the word is in the perfect tense, a perfect active participle, which describes sheep which were already lost, and not sheep which may somehow become lost at some point in the future. At Matthew 18:11 and Luke 19:10, the word is also a perfect active participle. One grammar course for New Testament Greek found on the Internet says of this grammatical form that “The perfect participle functions pretty much as one would expect. It is used to describe a state that exists at the time coincident with that of the leading verb as a result of action completed prior to the time of the main verb.” So, for example, where the leading verb is sent in Matthew 15:24, the sheep which Christ was sent for were already lost before He was sent. The same is true in Luke 19:11, where seek and save are aorist infinitive verbs, but lost is a perfect active participle, describing sheep which were already lost at some point in the past. We would assert that the context of the Sciptures, even in the very words of Christ, demands that we understand the appearance of this occurence of the word ἀπόλλυμι in that same manner here in this passage, in John 3:16. The sheep were already lost, when Christ came they were still lost, but He came so that they would no longer be lost, having promised in the words of the prophets to call them back to Himself, so that they would live.
Reading John 3:16-17 once more:
16 For Yahweh so loved the Society, that He gave the most-beloved Son, in order that each who believes in Him would not be lost but would have eternal life. 17 Indeed, Yahweh has not sent the Son into the Society in order that He would condemn the Society, but in order that the Society would be saved through Him.
Since beginning our commentary on this chapter of the Gospel of John, we hope to have established that in New Testament times the society, which is the κόσμος, was the Adamic world, which at that time could be considered the Greco-Roman world, within which dwelt what we would now consider to be the White race, although there were a few non-White and mixed tribes in diverse places on its fringes. But even this is not quite the world of the promise of the Scriptures, although by the time of Christ, in a process which had begun even before the Exodus, scattered tribes of the ancient Israelites – in the form of Romans, Parthians, Dorian and Macedonian Greeks, Scythians and Phoenicians, had become predominant within that world. The other Genesis 10 Adamic nations were all marginalized from that time.
We hope to have demonstrated in Part 8 of this series, subtitled Origin and Destiny, that what is “born from above” was described by Solomon in Wisdom chapter 19 where he wrote, as we translate the passage, “6 For the whole creation in his proper kind was fashioned again from above, serving the peculiar commandments that were given unto them [only Israel ever had the law], that thy children might be kept without hurt”, and that in the context in which Solomon had written these words, it is a reference to the society of the children of Israel which was established by Yahweh at Mount Sinai. To Solomon, this was the “whole creation”. There we also explained that only the Adamic race has the Spirit of Yahweh God which He bestowed upon Adam, which the same writer informs us in Wisdom chapter 2 is also the “image of His own eternity.” With the call of Abraham, the other Adamic nations were disregarded and all of the promise of the Adamic race fell to him: his seed was to inherit the earth.
In several aspects, Isaiah chapter 49 is relevant to these last lines of these statements made by Christ to Nicodemus, which are also a Messianic prophecy. It is addressed to Israelites already “lost” in their captivity: “1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. [In a transcendental sense, this is actually speaking of Christ Himself.] 2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; 3 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. 4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God. 5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. 6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Nations, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. [Israel was already scattered into many nations, and spread to the ends of the earth.] 7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. [Yahweh shall choose Israel, as Christ came for no one else.] 8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; [Paul cited this in his second epistle to the Corinthians, who were also Israelites scattered thirteen centuries earlier. The passage is only relevant to the scattered Israelites.] 9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.” The reference to “them that are in darkness” is to scattered Israelites, who had become alienated from their God.
So when Nicodemus professed to believe Christ, which we see in the opening verses of this chapter, Christ then explained to Nicodemus that “unless a man should be born from above, he is not able to see the Kingdom of Yahweh.” The Wisdom of Solomon helps us to establish what it is that is “born from above”. Christ was not informing Nicodemus that he had to be born from above at some point in the future. Rather, Christ was explaining to Nicodemus why he believed Him, in response to his profession, because only those who are born from above can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Nicodemus, being a man of Israel, was indeed born from above, so Christ was informing him in that respect. But where Nicodemus wrongly imagined that a man may be born a second time, Christ corrected him by explaining a distinction between what was born of flesh from what was born of the Spirit, thereby also describing what is born from above. Before John wrote his Gospel, Paul of Tarsus had made an effort to explain this same thing in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 and elsewhere. One must be born from above as a circumstance of one’s existence, and one cannot choose that for himself, so Christ likened it to the movement of the wind, over which a man has no control. Being born of the flesh alone is not good enough to attain the Kingdom of Heaven; one must be born of flesh and of the spirit, a circumstance which belongs to the Adamic man and to no others.
In this regard, the apostle Peter had written in chapter 1 his first epistle, as we have translated it in the Christogenea New Testament: “22 Your souls having been purified in the obedience of the truth for brotherly love without hypocrisy, from of a pure heart you should love one another earnestly, 23 being engendered from above not from corruptible parentage, but from incorruptible, by the Word of Yahweh who lives and abides, 24 since ‘All flesh is as grass and all of its glory as a flower of grass; the grass withers and the flower falls off, 25 but that which is spoken by Yahweh abides for eternity.’ Now this is that which is spoken, which is announced to you.” So abiding by the law, for one to be engendered from above one must be born of incorruptible parentage, meaning from parents of the same Adamic race, as race-mixing is contrary to the law.
In Part 9 of this commentary, subtitled The World of Salvation, we established the fact that the writers of the New Testament actually described two “worlds”, a world which Christ had come to save, and the world which was corrupted, which Christians were instructed to despise. These two worlds begin to become evident when the words of Christ are compared at John 3:16, 15:19, and 17:6 and 15. The world which Christ had come to save is not the world of the devil, but rather, it is the world as it was originally ordained by God, and everything contrary to His law can neither be accepted nor saved.
Then once again we referred to that world which was fashioned from above out of the Israelites of the Exodus, described in the Wisdom of Solomon in chapter 19, by citing another verse from that same writer. In Wisdom chapter 18, Solomon had referred to the garment worn by the high priest, which had on its breastplate twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, and he wrote: “24 For in the long garment was the whole world, and in the four rows of the stones was the glory of the fathers graven, and thy Majesty upon the diadem of his head.” This is the world, or society, which Yahshua Christ had come to save, the world of the already-lost sheep which Yahweh had formed from above. Along with that explanation, we exhibited at length from the prophetic writings that Yahweh had promised to save this world at the expense of the other tribes, nations and races, and He never said anything about saving any of them.
So where we read in verse 17 that “Yahweh has not sent the Son into the Society [or world] in order that He would condemn the Society [or world], but in order that the Society [or world] would be saved through Him,” understanding that the κόσμος, or world,or order, which is spoken of is the arrangment of the children of Israel into a Godly society, these words are in full keeping with the prophecies concerning Israel that, as Yahweh had told them in Amos chapter 3, “2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities”, and with the promise of a New Covenant found in Jeremiah chapter 31 which states “35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: 36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.” This is an expression of the mercy promised to Israel in the New Covenant, immediately following the promise to Israel of a new covenant. So long as there is a sun, moon and stars, the children of Israel shall always be a nation, which is a genetic people. To this very day, Israel is not a church, however the true Church of God consists exclusively of the people who are descended from ancient Israel, in accordance with a keeping of the promises to the fathers.
There are many other ways to establish this from Scripture. However we shall now continue with the words of Christ to Nicodemus which are recorded in John chapter 3, where it is apparent that this is Christ Himself still speaking through verse 21, and here in reference to Himself, as He is the Son of the preceding verses:
18 He believing in Him is not condemned, but [א and B want “but”; the text follows P36, P63, P66, P75, A, 086 and the MT] he not believing is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the most-beloved Son of Yahweh.
It seems that a name in the ancient world was much more than the label itself, but rather the word was used to describe the full character, reputation, esteem and persona of the individual. The name itself, which we spell as Yahshua, is cognate to Joshua in the Old Testament, and is means “Yahweh is salvation”. While it was actually a popular name at the time of Christ, as we hope to exhibit when we present our commentary on chapter 4 of this Gospel many people at the time were expecting a Messiah who would bring salvation. So while Christ bore the name of Yahshua, according to prophecy, in the ancient sense His name was much more than the mere label which He shared with others. Rather, included in the concept of His name must be everything that the prophets and apostles had professed concerning Him.
Once again here, we have translated μονογενής as most-beloved, and I have already discussed that word to the fullest extent of my ability. The foremost expression of the prophesied Messiah as a special, or dear Son, is found in the 2nd Psalm, and again in Isaiah chapter 9. The verb κρίνω (Strong’s # 2919), which is basically to judge, is condemn in the context of verse 18, and the noun κρίσις (Strong’s # 2920), which is often judgment, is condemnation. This is the same way that the King James translators had rendered these words in this verse.
Here the denominational pastors frequently like to point out that the word believe in John 3:16 is a so-called “continuous action” present tense verb, and then they interpret it so as to apply to anyone who at any time makes a profession with their lips. What they miss is that in order to believe Christ, one must believe everything that He said. If He said “I have come but unto” the already-lost “sheep of the house of Israel”, then to believe Christ is to accept and believe that the scope of His purpose is limited to the people who are descended from the ancient children of Israel, and to reject that is not a belief in Christ, it is a rejection of Christ. To believe Christ, one must believe every word of God, as Christ Himself had said that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4). So to reject the Word of God found in the Old Testament is to deny both God and Christ.
Christ had said that “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 15, and Christ had also said that “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”, in John chapter 10. Then in that same place, one verse prior, He said to His adversaries, “26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” When Christ was present among them, those who believed Christ were of His sheep, and those who rejected Him did so because they were not His sheep in the first place. As Yahweh said to the children of Israel in Amos, “you only have I known of all the families of the earth”, and no one else can claim to be known by God. So even those who claim for themselves to know Christ are not necessarily known by Christ, which is instrumental in order to be saved by Christ, as He Himself explained in Matthew chapter 7: “21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
He believing in Him is not condemned: Merely professing a belief as we generally use the term is not sufficient, as there are men claiming to believe Christ, whom Christ Himself said that He would profess not knowing, whom for that reason alone He would cause to depart, in spite of what they professed with their lips. So where it says here that “he believing in Him is not condemned”, there must be a greater restraint on the context which limits the intended scope of that statement to a more specific group. In Romans chapter 8 Paul of Tarsus wrote that “1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Yet to walk after the Spirit, one must have the Spirit of God in the first place, which was bestowed only upon those of the Adamic race, those who are “born from above” and bear the image of God. Thus Paul had written in Romans chapter 8, where he said “9 However you are not in the flesh, but in Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you; and if one has not the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him….” We have already explained that a man cannot choose to have the spirit for himself, as we assert that Christ had told Nicodemus in His analogy of the wind here in John chapter 3. Rather, the spirit is transmitted down through the generations through incorruptible parentage marrying within the constraints of the law, as Peter explains. So Paul explained that it is sown a natural body, and raised a spiritual body, speaking in relation to the Adamic man.
It is the objective of Yahweh that ultimately all of the seed of Israel are called to be obedient to Him, and therefore Paul of Tarsus beckoned his readers to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. Speaking of the children of Israel in their captivity, the word of Yahweh says in Isaiah chapter 45: “22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. [This refers to the children of Israel who were prophesied to be scattered to the ends of the earth.] 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
Many denominational Christians use this passage at John 3:18 to condemn for themselves anyone who does not accept their own version of Jesus, frequently in attempts to coerce people into such an acceptance. But this word translated as condemnation simply means judgment, even though there is a negative implication, but the children of Israel are nevertheless promised mercy. Men are not Christ, and no man today can pretend to be an apostle of Christ, because a true apostle is not self-appointed. Christ Himself had said, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 24, “24 For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and they shall present great signs and wonders so as to deceive – if possible – even the elect.” In the end, the elect will not be deceived, even if many of them are presently deceived. Likewise, Paul had warned the elders of the Ephesians, as it is recorded in Acts chapter 20: “28 You take heed for yourselves and for all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit appointed you overseers to tend to the assembly of Yahweh, which He preserved for Himself by His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure oppressive wolves shall come in to you, not being sparing of the sheep! 30 And from among you men shall arise speaking distortions for which to draw away the students after themselves.”
So today, when someone rejects Christianity, we must not take for granted that they are actually rejecting Christ, or that they would reject Him. They have certainly not heard the true Christ, and there are many more false gospels in the world now than there are bearers of the truth. For that reason Christ Himself had said, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 7, “16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” We can understand who are the thorns and the thistles, as they are identified in the Old Testament, and we shall know the grapes by their actions. Immediately after saying that, Christ also said “21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”, informing His listeners that many of those professing His Name would not be accepted, and He also gives us the reason why, where He then said that “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you…” On the other hand, those who believe Christ without having seen Him are blessed all the more for that very reason. This is found in the words of Christ to Thomas, recorded in John chapter 20: “29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. ”
He not believing is already condemned: Christ had just begun His ministry, yet “he not believing” has no chance for repentance and is apparently given no opportunity for instruction. In other words, John the Baptist expressed this same concept where he said, as it is recorded in chapter 3 of Matthew: “8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Yahweh could raise up children to Abraham from stones, but that would not make them children of the covenant or the promises. Likewise, the Edomites of Judaea claimed to be children of Abraham, and they were, but they were not children of the covenant or the promises, as Paul explains later in Romans chapter 9, and in Galatians chapter 3. However even an Israelite must bring forth fruits worthy of God, and John’s warning was meant for them. The axe was laid to the root of the trees because those who rejected Christ were already judged: they were not His people in the first place and they had no chance of repentance. Because their only alternative was a hope to escape, John had already said to them: “O race of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” They could try to escape by pretending to be Christians, but Christ will say to them “Get away from Me, I never knew you!”
As we have already elucidated, Christ had told His adversaries, as it is recorded in John chapter 10, “26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” They rejected Him because they were not of His sheep in the first place. The reasons for this are made fully evident in John chapter 8, so He said there in John 10 “ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” The denominational churches often claim that they were not His sheep because they did not believe Him, yet He said just the opposite: they did not believe Him because they were not His sheep to begin with. They were actually of the seed of Esau, and of a bastard race, rather than of the true children of Israel, which is basically what He had said unto them in John chapter 8. It is also what Paul explained in Romans chapter 9. So for that reason, they were already condemned, even before they rejected Him, and it was inevitable that they would reject Him.
Reading once more from the Wisdom of Solomon, from the beginning of chapter 4: “1 Better it is to have no children, and to have virtue: for the memorial thereof is immortal: because it is known with God, and with men…. 3 But the multiplying brood of the ungodly shall not thrive, nor take deep rooting from bastard slips, nor lay any fast foundation. 4 For though they flourish in branches for a time; yet standing not last, they shall be shaken with the wind, and through the force of winds they shall be rooted out. 5 The imperfect branches shall be broken off, their fruit unprofitable, not ripe to eat, yea, meet for nothing. 6 For children begotten of unlawful beds are witnesses of wickedness against their parents in their trial….” Unlawful beds which produce bastard children are the beds of mixed-race marriages, which are contrary to the law of God. So John the Baptist had said that “the axe is laid unto the root of the trees”, and Christ says here “he not believing is already condemned”.
19 Now this is the condemnation: that the [P66 wants “the”] light has come into the Society yet men loved the darkness more than the light, since their deeds were evil.
What Christ is saying here, we read in a prayer of David in the 43rd Psalm: “1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. 2 For thou art the God of my strength: why dost thou cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. 4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
We see this message again in the prayer of Zacharias in Luke chapter 1: “74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest [John the Baptist]: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord [Yahshua Christ] to prepare his ways; 77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
One function of the light is to bring truth to men, specifically to the men of the children of Israel. Another function of the light is so that the children of Israel may be able to distinguish themselves from their enemies, who do not have the laws of their God written in their hearts and who cannot come to the light. But the children of Israel, as Paul explained in Romans chapter 7, can indeed sin by following after the flesh rather than after the spirit, whereby they remain in darkness. Paul makes this same analogy in another way in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5: “2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”
20 For anyone [or each, as we insist on translating πᾶς at verse 15] who is practicing bad things hates the light and does not come to the light, that his deeds would not be censured.
The 3rd century papyrus P66 inserts the words “because he is evil” at the end of this verse. Our text follows the 4th century codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B), the 6th century codex 086, the Majority Text, and the 3rd century papyrus P75, which varies slightly.
For this same reason, speaking of the judgment of God upon the sinful and the idolaters, in Isaiah chapter 2 we read in part: “19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” A similar illustration is made in Hosea chapter 10, in Luke chapter 23, and again in Revelation chapter 6: “15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
As for judgment, those who are not of Israel have already been condemned: they have no alternative but destruction, as Christ Himself relates in the parable of the sheep and the goats found in Matthew chapter 25, whereby the goats share in the same fate as the “devil and his angels”. So in Hosea chapter 10 we see a distinction between the “children of iniquity” who did not prevail against Israel, and the sinful children of Israel who would receive punishment from God in spite of the fact that He had delivered them, and we read: “7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water. 8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us. 9 O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them. [At that time, their enemies did not overcome them even though they were sinful.] 10 It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them…”, or in other words, the other nations and races would be used by God to punish the children of Israel in their sin. Once the punishment is accomplished, those other nations and races are disposed of, as many other prophesies also explain. So we read in Jeremiah chapter 46: “28 Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.”
As we have seen in the prayer of Zacharias recorded in Luke chapter 1, the coming of the Light into the world is an assurance of salvation from our enemies, so long as we are of Israel and so long as we turn to the Light. So what was pertinent under the Old Covenant is still pertinent under the New, and we see a similar message in the words of Ethan the Ezrahite [or properly, Zarahite], who was a son of Pharez the son of Zarah, in the 89th Psalm: “14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. 15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. 16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. 17 For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. 18 For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. 19 Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. 20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: 21 With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 23 And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. 24 But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.” David stands as a type for Christ, and mercy and truth are coupled, where truth is described as God keeping the revelation of His Word.
Part 2 of this commentary on the Gospel of John was subtitled The Light of the World, where we discussed the exclamation of the apostle that Yahshua Christ is the Light come into the world, and “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” There, in reference to Genesis chapter 1, we explained that Yahweh did not really create darkness, but that when He spoke light into existence, the existence of darkness also became manifest. This might be a difficult concept for some, as it seems to conflict with a passage from Isaiah chapter 45 where the Word of Yahweh says “7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” But we must ask, what evil and what darkness is Yahweh referring to in that passage? We would assert that Yahweh creates evil out of necessity when He executes judgment upon men, so for the the children of Israel who were taken into captivity, which are those whom Isaiah was addressing, what happened to them was evil, but to Yahweh, that evil was for the purpose of good, since they required His judgment. So it is that they were henceforth described as sitting in darkness, because as another part of their punishment, Yahweh withdrew His light.
This we may also read in the punishments for disobedience, which are given in Deuteronomy chapter 28: “ 29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.” So in that sense, Yahweh creates darkness. So I believe that my position is vindicated in this explanation, and also in 1 John chapter 1 where we read: “5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Men are in darkness when they have not God, and darkness can be created by God when He withdraws Himself from men, which is the context of that passage in Isaiah. But it must also be noted, that all those who are not of Israel are still in darkness, and they remain in darkness because the true Light did not come for them. Now we have the conclusion of the words of Christ to Nicodemus where He says:
21 But he doing the truth comes to the light, in order that his deeds would be made manifest because it is with Yahweh that they have been accomplished.”
With this we must ask: what is “He doing the truth”? Since it is set in opposition to “anyone who is practicing bad things”, then “he doing the truth” must first be a reference to one who keeps the laws of God, as Christ says here that doing the truth is something which is accomplished with God. Yet there is more to this word truth than we may perceive in our modern use of the English word. In English, the opposite of truth is falsehood, and while no falsehood is true, there is more to the Greek word than that alone. The Greek word ἀλήθεια is truth, and it was actually formed as a negative of another word, λήθω, a form of the verb λανθάνω, which, according to Liddell & Scott, means in the active tenses to escape notice, or as an adverb unawares, without being observed, in a causal sense to make one forget, or in a passive sense, let a thing escape one, forget. So ἀλήθεια, the negated form of λανθάνω, is more than merely the opposite of falsehood. It must also refer to something which is not concealed, which is observed, which can be understood or which has not escaped notice nor been forgotten. In this context, we would assert that “he doing truth” is he who keeps the Word of God, which his His will revealed to man, as it is God who is the true Light, and the revelation of that Word is found in both Old and New Testaments, but was only intended for the children of Israel.
We have already seen, in Isaiah chapter 49, a clear correlation between the Messiah who would be “a light to the Nations, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth…. the Redeemer of Israel” who would be given “for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth” that He would “say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, shew yourselves”, and the purpose of Christ which was to call those same children of Israel back into the light in obedience to the Word of that Old Testament God. When they were wicked, Yahweh withdrew from them, creating darkness in reference to them. With the advent of Christ, once again the light came into the world, and they are given opportunity for repentance. As we had also already elucidated earlier, for that same purpose it was said in Isaiah chapter 27 that, upon avenging His enemies, “6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” Once again, that is the world which Christ came to save.
In chapter 4 of the Wisdom of Solomon, we read, “12 For the bewitching of naughtiness doth obscure things that are honest; and the wandering of concupiscence doth undermine the simple mind.” So we see in the deeper meaning of the Greek word ἀλήθεια that truth is something which is not obscured, which is clearly seen, and not forgotten nor undermined, whereby it should escape notice. The Biblical truth concerning the children of Israel and the enemies of God is quite plain, it is not hidden, and that is the real truth which man must do if he can claim to have come to the light.
For this we read, in the 82nd Psalm, a psalm of Asaph written in the captivity, yet another chastisement by Yahweh against the children of Israel, and this is also a prophecy which is fulfilled in Christ: “1 God stands in the congregation of the mighty [or properly gods]; he judgeth among the gods. [These gods are His children.] 2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. 7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit [or possess] all [the] nations.”
Even if one is “born from above”, one shall be held responsible for one’s sins. So Paul, who only wrote in reference to the lost sheep whom he sought to reconcile to God in Christ, had said in 1 Timothy chapter 5 that “24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.” Men may think that they can hide their evil deeds from God, but in the end they shall learn that they only deceived themselves with such thinking.
This concludes our commentary on the exchange between Yahshua Christ and Nicodemus.