Bernard Schnippert taught that Nicodemus did not understand that Christ was the Messiah. Joseph Tkach Jr. then denied that Schnippert had ever taught such a thing, and contradicted Schnippert by saying that Nicodemus did understand that Christ was the Messiah.
Bernard W. Schnippert, "The Breathtaking Miracle of Being Born from Above," Worldwide News, February 3, 1992:
"Notice that Nicodemus addressed Christ as a rabbi and said that the Jews knew he, Christ, was a teacher come from God."
"But to Christ the statement was a gross understatement, almost like an insult."
"Christ was not merely a teacher come from God or a rabbi. He was God in the flesh, the Messiah, the Lamb of God and Savior who would take away the sins of the whole world. But Nicodemus didn't understand that."
"Nicodemus, in spite of his religious title, was in spiritual darkness."
Joseph Tkach Jr., "Born from Above," taped sermon, September 1992:
"Another assertion that is made is that Nicodemus was completely blinded as to Jesus' Messiahship — and this is what is leveled at us, that we're saying that, and that, of course, that's not true. We don't say that, because it isn't true. Nicodemus recognized Christ as a Messiah, but he was more than just the Messiah to the Jews, he was the Son of God. That's what Nicodemus didn't see."
Joseph Tkach Jr., "Where Is the Church Headed?" Worldwide News, May 31, 1994:
"Some experience a spiritual identity crisis whenever an error in our interpretation of scripture is corrected. Such feelings prevent people from understanding our responsibility to God to be consistent and accurate in doctrine."
"It seems harder for some than others to admit that the church made mistakes."
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