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Venden Seminar Notes #3 – Born Twice

03/22/2015 @ 10:21 pm
by dchale5050
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How to live forever.

I once heard that,

Without a conversion experience,

you will never live forever”.

If that’s true, then logic tells me I need to know exactly what it is,

and how to experience it.

What is conversion?

I decided to check the net,

and to my surprise up popped a website called

Online Conversion.com.

WoW! How convenient!

It sounded like the perfect place to learn about conversion.

On the site, there are

conversion charts and calculators,

and tables and such

that can be used to convert all kinds of things;

such as currencies,

volume measurements of all kinds,

or weights and measures of all types,


no conversion calculator

for converting a sinner to a saint,

or a stranger to a friend,

or even a hostile relationship into a loving one!

That’s really what needs to be converted if I’m not mistaken.

A stranger or enemy of GOD

needs to be converted into

a friend of GOD sharing a relationship of Love,

right? so…

How do you fall in love?

Can anyone force you to fall in love?

Without a conversion experience

you will never have

a genuine relationship with Jesus.

Where can I find out more?


So, let’s take a look at The New Birth story. Who was Nicodemus?


John 3: 1-21 HERE’S THE SET UP.

Jesus knows exactly Nicodemus status, background, and especially his education. [I like Nic. He wasn’t like the other conceited, proud, obnoxious Jewish leaders we hear so much about, despite his wealth and status.]

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

3 Jesus answered and said to him,

Most assuredly, I say to you,

unless one is born again,

he cannot


the kingdom of God.”

[Notice that Jesus totally ignored the complement that was meant (as ALL complements are) to create an acceptance or good will toward the issuer, but which ultimately plants & nurtures the seed of pride, and we all know what pride leads to.

Lee is saying that see the kingdom of GOD actually means that without a spiritual rebirth Nicodemus couldn’t even understand spiritual things. How many of us have always thought the phrase meant “could not go to Heaven”?

It’s amazing how a small misconceptions can create significantly incorrect conclusions, But, believe it or not, Jesus intentionally spoke in parables to confuse those who chose not to believe.

Mathew describes the problem like this… excerpts from Mt 13:13-15]

Jesus said,

13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables,


seeing they do not see,

and hearing they do not hear,

nor do they understand.

14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

Hearing you will hear

and shall not understand,

And seeing you will see

and not perceive;

15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.

Their ears are hard of hearing,

And their eyes they have closed,

[This discourse is all talking about the Spiritual realm where the New Birth needs to take place.]

Another example…

2 Corinthians 4:3-4The Voice (VOICE)

3 Now if our gospel remains veiled,

it is only veiled from those who are

lost and dying,

[Why can’t they see it?]

4 because

the evil god of this age

has blinded the minds of unbelievers.

As a result

[the parables of Jesus seem like difficult riddles to them.]

the light of the good news,

the radiant glory of the Anointed

who is the very image of God—

cannot shine down on them.

[Jesus parables are riddles]

John continues…

ch. 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him,

How can a man be born when he is old?

Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

5 Jesus answered,

Most assuredly, I say to you,

unless one is born of water and the Spirit,

he cannot

enter the kingdom of God.

Where On Earth is the kingdom Of GOD right now?

In the hearts & minds of man!

So how do we enter that kingdom?

What’s the real deal with the water baptism?

Could it symbolize the drowning of the physical body,

symbolically killing it off,

since it is the weakness of the flesh

that holds us in bondage to sin?

It has always been taught

that baptism symbolizes

the washing away of sins.

But, taking a bath just didn’t fit into that picture of getting rid of sin for me, until It was tied to “the Spirit” part of the verse. Who wants to put clean cloths (The robe of Christ’s Righteousness) on a dirty body, so you take a bath first.

That covers the physical part

but the only way to get the robe

is through the heart & mind

in the Spiritual realm.

The Spiritual heart & mind

is reborn into a new family,

the family of GOD,

(Referred to as “the seed remains in me”)

and it’s God that gives you the free robe.

~The robe is a Family heirloom that you get to keep forever!~

You could throw it away… but who would want to?

That’s the robe of Christ’s Righteousness,

A Free Gift

that covers every imperfection of this imperfect life

and makes you look like brand new,

day one,

& perfect in GOD’S EYES.

Nothing else matters.

The reason why you look like brand new, day one, & perfect in GOD’S EYES is because it is a complete overhaul, a total rebirth.

The ‘washing away’ of sin = the confession of sorrow for the sins in our lives, and then the Spirit = the robe of Christs Righteousness, which is our new ‘outfit’ that God is putting on that body. God is playing the role of a servant to us…

We aren’t putting the robe on, God is doing it for us.

He supplied the robe as a free gift,

and we know it will fit,

because He is our tailor!


6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh,


that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

[Jesus clearly separates the two realms here, & Verses 5 & 6 are basically saying that the birth being referred to is not a physical one. Nicodemus (Nic) is still thinking in the physical realm when he needs to be thinking in the Spiritual realm. In verse 6 Jesus basically tells Nic that he needs to “get the difference”.

It’s interesting that Jesus makes this distinction between the flesh & the Spirit here. It fits quite well with the description in the last seminar(#2) where Paul is talking about the struggle between his physical desires (flesh) and his mental desires (spiritual).]

7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it,

but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.

So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

[in other words, you can’t see the Spirit but you can see the results of it being present in the persons life.]

9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

[Now, Lee skips over the next 4 verses, (10-13) and I can’t say that I blame him much because there are some conundrums in there that I’m trying to figure out, and he didn’t have time to cover them right now. You can skip to the next ——– down to continue with where Lee continues.]


10 Jesus answered and said to him,

Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?

11 Most assuredly, I say to you,

We speak what We know

and testify what We have seen,

and you do not receive Our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe,

how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

[To what earthly things is Jesus referring?]

13 No one

has ascended to heaven

but He who came down from heaven,

that is,

the Son of Man who is in heaven.

[I don’t get it. This whole verse 13 just doesn’t make sense.

Didn’t Enoch ‘walk with God & God took him’?

So, if Enoch didn’t ascend to Heaven, where is he?

AH Ha! That’s the answer!

Took vs. Ascend

Enoch had to be taken, but Jesus had the power to go on his own!

This whole ‘Ascended & came down’ thing doesn’t make sense though.

What exactly is Jesus point in saying this,

since He has not yet died and ascended to his father?

Also, how is the ‘Son of man’ in Heaven

when He is sitting there talking to Nic?

Is He making reference here to the fact that

He & “The Father” are one and so He is in both places at once?

Is he simply giving Nic a hard saying

in order to give an example of the point mentioned in the previous verse,

because it is certainly working that way for me right now.


Lee continues here with Jesus answering Nic’s last question, “How can this be”, or as Lee believes Nic meant to say ‘How can this happen’, or ‘How can I be born of the Spirit’ or even, ‘what can I do to get this‘?

Now Jesus goes to an example that he knows the ‘well read Pharisee’, Nic has read and perhaps taught many times. The story of the snake in the wilderness has many parallels and plenty of symbolism.

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

Numbers 21 New King James Version (NKJV)

v4 Then they journeyed from Mount Hor


Well, when you look at the view from Mt Hor toward the Red Sea (now known as Jabal Aron because of the tomb of Aron built on its top [it is modern day Petra in Jordan]) you can see what they had to travel through.

“by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom;”

Looking at the map below this makes the phrase “wandering in the wilderness” really come to life, because Mt. Hor {Green arrow} is right in the middle of ancient Edom (red dotted line).


That means they (pink diamond) were heading south, AWAY from the promised land! The dark blue line shows the approximate route they took to the east of the gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea) to eventually arrive and pitch camp at Ije-abarim (which literally means “in the border of Moab”).

When you search Ije-abarim on Google Earth, it takes us strait to Mt. Nebo which is the Mountain that God told Moses to climb so he could see the promised land. You can easily see that Jericho isn’t much further from there.

So, they traveled eastward around Edom, and then north through the vast wilderness until they arrived at Moab which was directly north of Edom on the Dead Sea, and the snake story apparently happened somewhere along the way around Moab.

On top of Mt. Nebo today you will find two memorials Honoring Moses.

Mt. Nebo is just across the Jordan river from the city of Jericho.

[Edom was the land of Esau, you know the guy! Jacob ripped him off for the family fortune, (the Birthright Blessing) which shows that sibling rivalries between twins is nothing new! (Self centered Pride) Cain & Able may not have been twins, but you know that story…

Self centered Pride ~

~ The Opposite of Love,

…is always the core issue in evil.

You can understand why they (Jacobs kids) were not supposed to mess with Edom (Esau’s kids), since they were close cousins, & Abraham’s seed right?]

and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way.

When we look at the desolate land, it certainly breeds sympathy for the Israelites, but what was it that would cause God to become so angry He would send Vipers in among them?

5 And the people spoke against God

and against Moses:

Why have you brought us up out of Egypt

to die in the wilderness?

For there is no food

and no water,

and our soul loathes

this worthless bread.”

WoW! Now here in this passage are parallels & symbols that Jesus used often in his parables (or riddles, depending on your relationship with God) Let’s break it down.

spoke against God and against Moses:

It’s always a bad idea to speak against God! (If you aren’t FOR HIM you are against Him)

You may recall that Moses had been set up by God, to ‘be God’ at the very beginning of ‘his calling’ when God spoke to him at the burning bush.

He was “as God to Pharaoh” and it seams that Arron was God’s ‘voice’, (or word) symbolizing Jesus, (the word of God made flesh) and Arron then became the ‘High Priest’, another characteristic of what Jesus does for us in Heaven.

Why have you brought us up out of Egypt

Here their complaint is symbolic of man preferring slavery to sin vs. freedom from it through Jesus.

no food and no water, (Where’s their faith after all they’ve seen God do!?!)

No Faith? No salvation.

and our soul loathes

In their hearts and minds they had hatred for

this worthless bread.”

Ouch! That must have really hurt God right there.

When they ate the Manna where was it?

Inside them…

Manna, The “Bread of Life” (Jesus),

‘Sent down from Heaven’ (yes He was),

to sustain their lives

(representing ever lasting life

through the indwelling Jesus)

…and the Israelite s are calling it worthless,

and saying they hate it all in one sentence!?!

It’s no wonder that God sent another symbol to show them the results of their ingratitude. This symbol he took strait from the Garden of Eden & used it in Edom. (That Eden/Edom thing could be confusing if you don’t pay attention. ;o)

6 So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.

I can imagine Him symbolically snatching it right off the tree of knowledge of good and evil and tossing it into their midst, and when it hit the ground it shattered into thousands of vipers.

So God used

the symbol of

the Originator of Bondage to Sin

to illustrate

to the people

exactly what it was that they were asking for.

Satan chose a serpent in the original temptation of man,

& the serpent brings death to the people!

There is absolutely NO WAY that Nicodemus can miss this lesson, right?

Nu 21:7 And the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against Jehovah, and against thee; pray unto Jehovah, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. (ASV)

The people admitted their guilt! So,

Moses went back to God to pray for the people who are suffering and dying

from ‘their close association to the snake”.

(a snake has to ‘be close’ to bite, right, and the snakes were all around,

So they were really hanging out with the devil right there,

and YET GOD saved them!)

God then has Moses make a snake of brass (polished brass, a Fiery serpent) on a cross/standard and lift it up on a pole so all the people could see it.

Nu 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

I wonder how many people died while Moses was making the large brass snake & cross combo? He’d have to get some guys to make a mold, gather plenty of wood to melt the brass in some kind of furnace and so on. Someone needs to collect the brass, etc.

That could take a lot of time, days? Weeks in fact, unless it happened as another miracle, but there is no mention of one here. We know that they are just repeating a process they’ve used at least once already. They disobeyed God when they made & worshiped the golden calf, so here we go again.

At least this time God ordered the image to be made. Why a fiery serpent . A highly polished brass ball will flash like fire in the hot desert sun and can be seen for miles in about a 160 degree radius! Imagine all the flashes coming off the angles on the body of a coiled snake.

Nu 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon the standard:

and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man,

when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived.

No conditions are attached to this salvation.

At least none are mentioned and

I’m certain God will never omit

a life & death necessity!

You could get bit, and then

look unto the serpent”

on the pole

by accident”

and live.

Did anyone get bit twice? Would looking at it a second time work again? It doesn’t list a single requirement in order to be saved other than to look (unto Jesus), but I’m pretty certain that Moses waiting for the people to repent holds plenty of significance. If we don’t think that we need to be saved, why would we seek to be saved?

Side note: The Israelites left Egypt with 600,000 men. Add their families and NOW think about how large a serpent would need to be made & lifted up, & how high, in order for everyone to see it? Have you ever seen a crowd of 1.5 million people? I haven’t.

Imagine that many people pulling up stakes (literally) and moving/changing countries as a group… wait for it to hit you! Yep, I would hate to be a part of that crowd.

That’s 1 man + 1 woman + 1 child (a small family) times 500,000. Israel was much larger than that when they left Egypt. It’s a Port-A-Potty maintenance mans nightmare for starters! “Don’t ask me” to fill in for Moses when he’s on vacation, right!?!?

Moses! Why would you want to deal with 2 million people, out in the middle of a wasteland?

Well, as we recall, he didn’t want to do it. He tried to argue his way out of it at the burning bush. However, you can’t win an argument with God, and Moses quickly ran out of reasons why‘he couldn’t do it’.



God always provides a solution

for everything,

and Moses

believed and trusted

in God.

God’s solution has always been,

I know you can’t do it,

and that’s why I’m doing it all for you.

Just fasten your seat belt & Hold on Tight,

& I’ll negotiate the bumps in the road.”

My grace is sufficient for you!”

Jesus knows that Nicodemus,

knows this HISTORICAL FAILURE by his forefathers, very well.

So he continues

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

All that the people had to do is to look at, or towards the uplifted snake and they would be saved & live. They just had to look. By looking they were healed and the healing gave them faith. We aren’t required to have faith to look at Jesus! Seeing the work that God does in our life, grows & strengthens our faith.

Joh 1:29 The next day John sees Jesus coming to him and says, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (MKJV)

Behold, or Look @ Jesus. And HE takes away your sin.

Joh 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to Myself. (MKJV)

The power of a look!








Bible Study

Is ALL you’ll Need!

Give GOD that each day

And just watch what He’ll do with you!

Everything else will just fall into place!

It did for me, and it can for you!

What if we all tithed our time? 16 ours awake, @10% tithe = about an hour and a half with GOD each day. Hmm, an hour in the AM & a 1/2 at night sounds like a great beginning. But I know that you’ll soon be at 2 hours and up without even realizing it.

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