1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 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.
We are told explicitly in verse three that a person must be born again to see the kingdom of God. To be born again, one must have first been born, or they would not be born again, but rather just birthed or just born.
4 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?
5 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.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
In verse five we are told that unless a person is born of water and of the Spirit, they can not enter the kingdom of God. Many people teach that when you are born of your mother, that this is being born of the water that was spoken of by Jesus. This teaching goes against the fact that verse three and verse seven both tell us we must be born again. It is impossible to be born again, if you were never born the first time. And when you are born the first time, that would not be being born again, but that would again be as stated above, just birthed or just born.
The very word again means, “to do once more; another time; anew; in addition.” So the very word again lets us know, that it has to be in addition to the first time that it has taken place.
Verse six also goes completely against the teaching that when you are born of your mother, that this is being born of the water that was spoken of by Jesus. We are told in verse six that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. So to be born of your mother would be of the flesh. But we were just told that which is born of the flesh is of the flesh. We want to be born again of the Spirit and as Jesus told us, this will also involve water. Listen carefully again to what Jesus tells Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
If you have not partaken of being born again of water and of the Spirit, you will not be able to enter into the kingdom of God. This is not something you just want to shrug off or worry about at another time. Death can happen at any time. And when it does, the opportunity for forgiveness is gone.
Now that we understand that the Cup of Life, the kingdom of God involves being born again of water and of the Spirit, let’s find out where the kingdom of God is.
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Now that we know where the kingdom of God is, let’s continue in the book of Acts chapter one, where the author Luke is writing a second time to a man named Theophilus of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
The teaching continues on what took place in the upper room, and the fulfillment of the instructions of how to be born again of water and of the Spirit, in chapter two of the book of Acts.
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
At this point we are told that this outpouring of the Holy Ghost was a fulfillment of the prophet Joel. Remember, Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and is establishing a New Covenant or a New Testament.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
O the Cup of Life, wherein righteousness is found, from the Cup of Blood that was poured out on the ground! The Cup of blood that will never run dry! The Cup of Love wherein grace doth abound! The Cup of Death wherein my King shall be crowned! The Cup of the Spirit, wherein are redemption is nigh!
Continuing from Acts chapter 2 verse19……..
19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
These three verses that we have just read, have not yet taken place. This is a prophecy concerning the Sixth Seal and the time just prior to the Battle of Armageddon.
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
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?
Also it is important to understand that Verse 21 of Acts which read, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” is speaking of the Nation of Israel. During the Battle of Armageddon, Jerusalem will be invaded. This is when God will fulfill his Covenant with them, as we were told in Romans chapter 11 There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
In the breaking of the Sixth Seal recall there was a Great Earthquake and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. When Jesus’ feet stand upon the mount of Olives, this will be the Great Earthquake. We are told that the mountain shall cleave in the midst thereof and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
When the people of Israel that remain run to their Messiah, we are told in……
6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
Continuing from Acts chapter 2 verse22……..
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Now that Apostle Peter has explained unto the men that were gathered together from every nation at Jerusalem what was taking place that they were both seeing and hearing; that being the Holy Ghost that was poured out as the Prophet Joel had prophesied of and that God had made Jesus, whom they had crucified both Lord and Christ, he will now continue and tell everyone what they must do, to partake of the Cup of Life from the Cup of Death.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Apostle Peter has just given us the instructions for eternal life. Notice in verse 39 he tells us the promise is unto all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. I would say, he made certain that he expressed that this promise was for everyone not only that was present there at the time, but to every generation that was to come.
So to partake of the Cup of Life, Jesus told Nicodemus we must be born again of water and of the Spirit. And now Apostle Peter has told us to, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, (being born of water) and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (being born of the Spirit.) This is the promise we have from God of eternal life.
If you have not followed the instructions for what Apostle Peter has told us to do, to partake of eternal life, then this should become your number one priority. Don’t be one of those people who never follow instructions correctly.
Now that you can understand the fulfillment of Jesus’ words concerning being born again of water and of the Spirit, we will focus are attention on the importance of obedience.
Romans 16:25-27 [Apostle Paul speaking]
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
Here Apostle Paul has revealed something of great importance to us. He starts out by speaking of God who has the power to establish us. But notice how we are established. Apostle Paul words it as, “according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ.” This would be the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He then tells us the mystery has been kept secret since the world began but now is made manifest by the scriptures. The ending of verse 26 is what Apostle Paul reveals to us that is of great importance. This was made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.
Obedience is and has always been what the Lord requires from us. Whether it was Adam and Eve when told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or when Noah was told to build an arc and preach that it was going to rain and kill everyone not in the arc, or when Abram was told to sacrifice his only son, the son of promise, or when Moses gave the Law unto the people of Israel, or when the children of Israel were told to take and possess the Promise Land but instead were of the spirit of doubt. Just as they were required to be obedient, we too are required to be obedient. We are to be obedient to our faith in Christ.
Let’s first clarify the Gospel of Christ as Apostle Paul tells us what it is in……..
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Now we know what the Gospel of Christ is. That Jesus Christ died, was buried, and on the third day, he rose again. So we must be obedient to our faith in the Gospel of Christ, which would be that we are born again, by partaking of the Lord’s death (repentance), burial (water baptism in Jesus name), and resurrection (being filled with the Holy Ghost).
To exercise one’s faith in something, one must produce some type of action. To better understand this concept of obedience of faith, let’s read what Apostle James tells us……..
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
So we find that faith is an action word. If there is no action attached to your faith, then your faith is dead. We also are told that we must be obedient to faith. So not only must you put forth an action, it must obey your faith. For example.
If I say that I have faith that a smoke detector will save me if my home were to catch fire, and I purchase a smoke detector that instructs me that I must install a battery, and I did not. If my home were to catch fire, would the smoke detector save me? Was I obedient to my faith in the smoke detector?
So if I say that I have faith that Jesus Christ will save me, and I was instructed that I must be born of water and of the Spirit the way that Apostle Peter has told us to do, and I have not. When Jesus Christ returns to catch away his Saints will He save me? Was I obedient to my faith in Jesus Christ?
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
What doctrine that was delivered unto you? The doctrine of the Gospel of Christ. Which was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that fulfills being born again of water and of the Spirit, which leads us unto a life of separation, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
So not only must we be obedient unto our Faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we now will learn that this obedience unto faith will lead us to a life of separation, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 7:1
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
So once we become a New Creature in Christ Jesus, we then move into a life of separation, perfecting holiness in the FEAR of God.
1 John 2:15-17
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
In Closing of the Cup of Death for the Cup of Life,
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
The Cup of Life, being born again! The body of sin put to Death!! A New Creature the Lord has made! For obedience in His name!! The Cup of Wisdom poured out from above! Foreordained from the only Just One. Predestinated according to His Will! Purge yourself for you are part of Him! Until Time be taken out of the way! So that all things can be fulfilled! Behold, the Ancient of Days!!! World without end!!!
To download any of our free audio or written sermons or to listen to our free radio station be sure to visit us @ http://www.ensnaredindistractions.com/