I doubt if any among us have not seen this phrase on shirts, signs, billboards, etc:”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have ever lasting life”. The phrase depends upon the intent conveyed in one little word, the word “so”, from the Greek, οὗτος, (hü’-tos), which means “In this manner” or “Thus”: “For God (IN THIS MANNER) loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.
The phrase does not quantify the love of God, it qualifies it. In other words, it does not say how much God loved the world, but HOW God loved the world. The question of how much, if one is asking it, is only answerable by knowing “how much” love the Father had for His only begotten Son, and has for all who receive Him. It is not a question I presume to be able to answer. In fact, reading on in John 3, you come to these concluding words which Jesus spoke, “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” The nature of the new testament, the new covenant, is that of an heir and joint heirs. Jesus Christ is the heir of all things, the heir in total, of all the fullness of God. All who receive Him, and believe on Him, are joint heirs together with Him. The new testament is not half of a book. It is between the Father and the Son. There is no other. No other arrangement exists for any to come to the Father. And there are no special arrangements with any flesh, outside of this.
Nicodemus, coming to Jesus under cover of darkness, did not come to Jesus alone. He came as an emissary of his sect, the Pharisees. This is revealed in his opening words, calling Jesus “Rabbi”, and saying “WE know you are a teacher sent of God”. This “outreach” was on the behalf of a group who had (so they thought) much in common with Jesus. The “fear” they had in choosing the cover of darkness, was of “the people” knowing they went to Jesus, and therefore did not have all the answers. Among the perceived “common ground”, was a belief in a resurrection. They knew He was a teacher sent by God. They thought He would be a formidable addition to their ranks. What Nicodemus did not know, was that he was not hailing, as a peer, another teacher sent by God, but THE TEACHER sent by God. He was not talking to one who believed in a resurrection, he was talking to THE RESURRECTION. The very name “Nicodemus” means “Ruler of people”. The ensuing interchange between Jesus and Nicodemus, magnified these distinctions, and revealed that the only access to that which is in Christ, is by birth. To be a teacher, you must be born of THE TEACHER. The body of Christ is called to be, and is, a teaching body. Increase in the body, comes by “that which every joint supplies”. The current prolific arrangement of believers periodically assembled as a bundle of sticks, to hear nothing but the same individual , spoon feed the same “approved” franchised messages, over and over, can never, and will never produce increase. “Every joint” does not describe a pyramid scheme by which the body traces access to the head through some network that is funneled through a hierarchical structure. “Every joint” is defined as every member, every individual, holding expressly to the head. The supply, is the fruit of the union of each and every member with Christ, the head of every individual, via the indwelling Spirit. John 3 is an expose’ on the two conditions which are diametrically opposed, and that which is represented in Nicodemus, can never be part of that which is in the body of Christ. It is antichrist. And the apostles wrote that even in their day, there were many antichrists…many such arrangements. It is interesting to note that “Nicodemus” means essentially the same thing as “Nicolaitan”. Both names embody the idea of “divide and rule”, for both names are formed as a compound of two words. Nico (Nike) means to vanquish…to utterly conquer. Laity and demos both mean “people”. The clergy-laity division is antichrist. Jesus , finding it in the churches (Rev. 2 and 3), says He hates the deed and doctrine of it. Those assemblies afflicted with the malady, will never see increase. I am not admonished to examine myself whether I be in a church. I am admonished to examine myself whether I am in THE FAITH. There is one faith, one baptism, one body, one God and Father who is above all, through all, and IN YOU ALL. This describes the body of Christ, not an elitist cult of clergy. Jesus described to Nicodemus, the individuals, born of the Spirit. Nicodemus knows they exist, as we can hear the sound of the wind, but Nicodemus knows not whence they come, and whence they go. Who can bind the wind? No one need labor all their life as a son and heir, but experiencing nothing different than the life of a servant, not walking as the wind, where it “listeth”, but bottled and confined, hearing and doing what it is told. Who the Son makes free, is actually free. “Listeth” means “purposes”. Them born of the Spirit are lead of the Spirit. Jesus took every other entity out of the way. (Col 2:14 & 15). These systems of mediators still exist, and many choose to travel them. But they are not in the “way” Christ has made for you.
The prophet Samuel was dedicated to God as a child. Very early on, when the Lord would call to Samuel, Samuel would go to Eli, the priest, and say, “You called me?”. At least Eli had the integrity to encourage Samuel to know that the Lord was calling him, not Eli. It says that the word of the Lord was not yet revealed to Samuel. But the word of the Lord would later be revealed to Samuel in Shiloh (peace). The lamp would go out in the “house of the Lord” , the house of Eli ended, but all Israel knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet in Israel…the Word of the Lord was in him. This experience gives life and hope to them laboring under today’s “Elis”. Eli means “ascension”. This was ended in the “house of the Lord” , but came to abide in Samuel. There is “ascension” when one comes to realize that the bread of heaven is in you. The words to John on Patmos, in departing the assemblies, for the seat and throne of God, were “Come up here”. The lamp stands of Revelation 2 and 3 are removable, and the candle of them can go out, as was prophetically depicted in Samuel’s experience. But the hidden manna within you, opened up to them who go on in faith , as the Word of God revealed to Samuel in Shiloh, is inexhaustible. Jesus, alluding to the hidden manna, was referring to the meaning of Exodus 16. Christ in you.
The scriptures conclude with a lesson from the tabernacle. A people who have no need of light of sun or moon (outer courts), no need of candle ( holy place). But the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the light of them (holy of holies). I do not say there are not people who need the lesser things. But consider that “Manna” means “What is it?”. If Christ be in you, the manna, the bread of heaven is in you. Who do you want to answer for you, the question, “What is it?”. Do you want governors, tutors, theologians, politicians, social networks, etc., to give you their endless opinion about everything? or do you want to know the Mind of the Lord? Whosoever will, let him come and drink of the Waters of Life freely. The choice is there.
Consider that it is written, “No prophesy (message) of scripture is given for any private interpretation”. The author is alive. He will teach you. He will not authorize any to interpret scripture. He will open your understanding, to understand scripture…to know His thinking in them. This is the domain of the Teacher…the Spirit of Christ. These are the inspired words of Jeremiah:
“…And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”