“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto 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? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
(John 3:3-5 KJV)
The concept of ‘born-againism’ was introduced in this text to Nicodemus, a well-to-do Jewish ruler who had all along seen and enjoyed the paraphernalia and appurtenances of the kingdom of heaven, as a Pharisee, but has no inkling of what the kingdom of God was all about.
God in his benevolence and magnanimity can make a sinful man to enjoy the kingdom of heaven here on earth even when he is still far from the kingdom of God. In other words, a man may not necessarily be born again to enjoy the benefits of the kingdom of heaven but he must be born again to ‘see’ the kingdom of God. In the Bible book of Mark 12:34, Jesus made a statement there: “And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question”.
The reason why a man may enjoy the benefits and blessings of the kingdom of heaven even when he is still far from the kingdom of God is because the blood of Jesus – the blood of redemption, mercy and grace, avails and prevails over every voice of accusation and legal grounds of the enemy. It may interest us to know that the kingdom of heaven is earthy – wealth, riches, mansions, fleets of cars, all physical blessings, etc are benefits of the kingdom of heaven.
For example, when the devil came to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11, in verse 8-9, he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world (the kingdom of heaven which we are talking about, of which Jesus is the head) and the glory of them and then requested Jesus to bow down and worship him so that he, the devil, can give to Jesus what belongs to him (Jesus) already (…because all things were made by Him, and for Him). This is absurd! How can the devil, a cursed and condemned criminal and temporary tenant on earth, whose days are numbered on planet earth, now turns round to claim ownership of what he knows nothing about and even going further to promise giving what he doesn’t have? And that is exactly what that ‘wicked one’ does; he goes about promising human beings what he does not have. Don’t be hoodwinked by his antics, friend!
The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are two different, though similar concepts. They are like identical twins – born from the same womb, looking exactly alike but different entities and make-up. We would discover that Jesus, in all his ministerial assignment here on earth, did not promote the kingdom of heaven beyond measure, because he is the head (as he always de-emphasized his authority and glory just to honour the father [Philippians 2:6]), but talks more of the kingdom of God, of which God the father is the head. It is just like he referring to himself on several occasion as the son of man rather than addressing himself as the son of God. This is absolute submission to the will, plan and purpose of the almighty God, the father of all.
“But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruit; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all..” (I Corinthians 15:23-28 KJV)
At the end of the age, the Son shall surrender his authority over the kingdom of heaven to the father and His kingdom, and the father will be become the King over the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, and the head over all, and all in all.
Except a man be born…
Every man is born into the world; every man is born into a race or tribe; every man is born into a family; every man is born by combined efforts of a father and a mother. When a man is not born into a family by birth, it means he must have been adopted and therefore, has joined that family by right of adoption and not by birth. This invariably means that a man who joins a family can also decide to change his mind by un-joining the said family and his absence would not be felt when he decides to leave. But what about a man who is born into the family, even when he decides to ‘un-born’ himself, what happens eventually?
Have we ever wondered why so many so-called ‘men of God’ with high-sounding titles fall smash bang into the very sins – fornication, adultery, fraud, etc, they preached against on the altar? Do we know why the sins of fornication and adultery or infidelity in general are rife among big-title wielding ‘men of God’ of recent?
Find out in the next post.
God bless you!