Why must we be born again? Or, what does it mean to be born again?
THE SPIRIT OF GOD VERSUS EVIL SPIRITS:
Let us begin by learning that THE SPIRIT OF GOD, unlike the evil spirits, WILL NOT ENTER one’s heart unless LET IN (Rev 3:20, Jn 10:2-4 etc.).
Yes, while the Spirit of God may only be LET IN, the evil spirits are those that BREAK IN (Matt 12:44-45, Jn 10:1). This distinguishing nature in which they operate also reveals their true purposes. While the evil spirits, like thieves, break in to loot, plunder or destroy, the Spirit of God, if let in, enter to revive, restore, replenish and redeem. IN THE SPIRITUAL LANGUAGE IT IS KNOWN AS BEING BORN AGAIN.
THE IMPREGNABLE SHROUD OF DEATH:
Just as was forewarned in Gen 2:17, man’s fall came to be sealed by Death or the ‘shroud of Death’ as it is called in Isa 25:7. It began instantly with his Spiritual Death in Eden, which later on went on to be manifested in his Physical Death on earth, making itself undeniably conspicuous to one and all.
Thus, man’s fall which began with his Spiritual Death went on to be manifested in his Physical Death to seal the dying or the perishing fate of his Soul (Gen 3:17-19). Therefore it is but inevitable that man’s restoration should begin with his spiritual reawakening or spiritual revival.
DEATH, THE GREATEST LIE-BREAKER:
All mankind who are merely born of flesh is governed by sin, curses and above all death. This is the reason Jesus explains “Flesh gives birth to flesh..”, and like the flesh all perish. But the “Spirit gives birth to spirit…”, and like the Spirit those that are born of the Spirit live eternally because it is the Spirit which gives life and flesh counts for nothing (Jn 6:63). THEREFORE, THOUGH ONE MAY DENY ONE’S SINFUL OR CURSED STATE AND EVEN TRY TO COVER UP ONE’S EVIL THOUGHTS, NONE WILL BE ABLE TO DENY ONE’S DYING STATE.
Death is the greatest lie-breaker of them all. The Word of God teaches that owing to the fall of Adam all mankind are born in Adam’s likeness (eg. Gen 5:3), with the marred trinity – which begins to first show forth in our sinfulness, an apt proof of our spiritually dead soul that we are born with. So the stamp of death, the stench of our evil selves (eg. Matt 23:27) is already within us when we are born. What remains are the next TWO deaths of this world – called the First Death and the Second Death i.e. the death of our physical or outward selves and finally the death of our true or inner selves, i.e. our souls (eg. Rev 2:11, Rev 20:6, 12-15, Rev 21:4 etc.).
WHY IS THERE THIS LONG GAP BEFORE PHYSICAL DEATH FOLLOWED THE SPIRITUAL DEATH? :
Why is there this long gap between the two? In order that one may recognize the stamp of death that is upon oneself and be reconciled to God while one may, before it overtakes one completely – Body and Soul! For the death of the soul that would ultimately (or lastly) follow would make it permanently irrevocable.
The reason being that our souls are eternal, dead or alive. Hence the usage of terms ‘eternal death’ and ‘eternal life’. It is given to us by the very breath of God (Gen 2:7). Read Lk 11:40, “You foolish people! Did not the One who made the outside make the inside also?” Or as Jesus reminds yet again in Matt 22:21b, “……Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, AND TO GOD WHAT IS GOD’S.”
GIVE TO GOD WHAT BELONGS TO GOD :
Do we ever stop to consider what it is we possess which belongs to God and God alone? That which we owe to God and God alone? We think we have mastered science when we attribute our physical traits or personal characteristics, that is here now and gone tomorrow, to our genes inherited from our ancestors. How is it then that we fail to trace our souls, which are permanent, to their Eternal Source?
Therefore understand that until the eternal condemnation is received, the souls that take birth in the body, though born ‘spiritually dead’ thanks to the ‘sin-borne’ legacy passed down to us by our first father, MAY ONLY BE REVIVED AND RENEWED WHILE YET IN THE BODY.
Yes, thanks be to God, our Heavenly Father, who Alone makes it possible. So that we may live even though we die and lose our temporal body of flesh! Refer Jn 11:25, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.” Also refer Jn 6: 39-40, Jn 6:51 & 57. He Alone may equip us to truly give to God what belongs to God just as He Himself exemplified upon the cross, “…’Father, into Your Hands I commit My Spirit.’….” (Lk 23:46).
Know that it is is only while yet in our bodies that we may hear His voice and of our own volition be able to respond to Him without hardening our hearts (2 Cor 6:1-2, Heb 4:7). And it is only while yet in our bodies we may translate His Words into deeds so that they may testify to our transformation (Matt 5:16) and thus prove our faithful allegiance to Him.
With the death of our bodies, the fate of our souls would have been sealed for ever to go either which way – eternal life or eternal death. Therefore, understand that it is while we are yet in our bodies that we may revive our spirits and our souls towards eternal life and perfect freedom, having first commended our spirits to Him with confidence. THE OPPORTUNITY AND, ABOVE ALL, THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE IS HERE AND NOW!
For only the living souls (Jn 11:26) will rise at the First Resurrection, the resurrection of the righteous. Their spirits will rise to receive eternal life in a revived and transformed body that is as glorious as it is heavenly and imperishable as the Living Body of Christ. It is to exemplify the same that God sent His Son, that our eyes may be opened to receive His Gift of Salvation.
The dying souls, on the other hand, will rise at the Second Resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous to be condemned to die eternally in the Lake of Fire.
RELIGIOUS FALLACIES VERSUS SPIRITUAL TRUTH:
OBVIOUSLY, FAILING TO UNDERSTAND THIS, ALL RELIGIONS, INCLUDING JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY (NEVER MIND THE DENOMINATION), BEGIN AND DELVE ON THE PHYSICAL OR OUTWARD MANIFESTATIONS OF THEIR ‘SO-CALLED FAITHS’ ONLY, WHICH IN ITSELF IS THEIR BIGGEST GIVE-AWAY!!! There are those who even go as far as to deny their trinity by teaching that the spirit of life and the soul are one and the same.
Like the Israelites who fed on the manna and yet died (Jn 6:49), these ascribe to the hunger and thirst of the body only. Theirs is neither the labor for real food nor the fruit of real food which is life (Jn 6:27). And thus they are all exposed along with their lies.
The fact that THEY CHOOSE TO REMAIN BLIND TO THEIR SPIRITUALLY DEAD SOULS WITHIN THEM, all their attempts to appear spiritual on the outside is no more than a mere whitewashing of tombs. Read Matt 23:27-28, “…. You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Read Matt 5 to 7 and learn how Jesus explains the same and exposes their folly. For egs., Matt 5:27, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Thus, outwardly one may not appear to be an adulterer, a liar, a blasphemer, a murderer, a deceiver etc. but God who searches one’s heart, the innermost thoughts of one’s minds, and exposes them, will testify for them contrarily!!
All thoughts and motives of men are weighed on His scales, so that in spite of all the outward manifestations of one’s pseudo well-being – robust health, riches, renown and religious rantings (thanks to their physical outlook), He will expose the decay and stench of their spiritually dead souls.
Ask yourselves, ‘How can a cup that is not clean inside offer anything clean?’ Refer Matt 23:25-26. This is why it is written, Isa 64:6, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
THE EXAMPLE OF NICODEMUS:
The example of Nicodemus who went on to experience the Salvation of God should help us understand better.
Nicodemus, a member of the ruling council and a teacher of Judaism, had sufficient cause to conclude that Jesus had indeed come from God (Jn 3:2). Therefore seizing an opportune time, he went to meet Jesus. And that is when he learns of the Only Way to God – FROM THE VERY MOUTH OF THE ONE WHO CAME FROM GOD (Jn 3:13) – “No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is Born Again.” (Jn 3:3). [Indeed, it is a fact that all the others only pretend to show the way even though they have neither been to Heaven nor know The Way!! Refer Deut 8:3, Matt 4:4, Jn 3:34, Jn 7:18]
It is but natural that Nicodemus, like rest of the mankind, should fail to understand at first. That he was himself Israel’s teacher didn’t make any difference. He continued to struggle to understand.
HENCE JESUS EXPLAINS FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL: “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the Truth, NO ONE CAN ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD UNLESS HE IS BORN OF THE WATER* AND THE SPIRIT. FLESH GIVES BIRTH TO FLESH, BUT THE SPIRIT GIVES BIRTH TO SPIRIT…..’” (Jn 3:5-8)
Further, “……. No one has ever gone into Heaven except the One who came from Heaven – the Son of man. ……..so the Son of man must be lifted up (refer Isa 52:13) that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life……. FOR GOD DID NOT SEND HIS SON INTO THE WORLD TO CONDEMN THE WORLD, BUT TO SAVE THE WORLD THROUGH HIM. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe STANDS CONDEMNED already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s One and Only Son. THIS IS THE VERDICT. Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of Light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and will not come into Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the Truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen THAT WHAT HE HAS DONE HAS BEEN DONE THROUGH GOD.” (Jn 3:10-21).
HOUSES OF DEMONS:
And what is more? As Jesus explains in Matt 12:43-45, at some stage or the other, all mankind will grow into full-blown houses of demons owing to the fact that evil spirits will inhabit them as these spirits find brief respites in human beings only (eg. Lk 8:31 & 33), who in addition to housing them, become their evil agents and carry out all sorts of unthinkable acts and atrocities! Eg. Rom 1:24-32.
UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRIT AND THE WATER*:
Only the infallible and irrefutable Word of God can cleanse us (Jn 15:3, Eph 5:26-27) and nurture us to grow into Spiritual fruitfulness (Jn 15:5-8) so that the Salvation of God may be consummated in us. For only then we may truly lift the Son of man up or truly glorify Him within ourselves just as Nicodemus did (eg. Jn 19:39). So that we who are spiritually revived may be physically revived at the appointed time (Matt 24:30-31, Rev 20:6, 1 Thess 4:15-17 etc.) and escape the Second or Eternal Death.
Therefore, please understand that “Water” here means the Word of God (egs. Jn 15:3, Isa 55:1-2, Jn 7:37-38, Eph 5:26 etc.), and not ‘Baptism by water’ as the churches falsely interpret. As such, note how all visible churches, without exception, FOOLISHLY MISINTERPRET ‘WATER’ AND MAKE MUCH TO-DO ABOUT THE SPRINKLING OR BAPTISM OR IMMERSION BY PHYSICAL WATER rather than on learning and teaching the Truth which is God’s Word, THE SPIRITUAL WATER (Jn 4:14, Jn 3:34).
And they go on to validate their fallacy by teaching and practicing vain teachings of men (eg. Matt 15:7-9) for the furtherance of their own glory! As Peter explains in 2 Pet 2:9-22, their condemnation is certain. Refer Jn 7:18, “He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the One who sent him is a man of Truth, there is nothing false about him.” For examples, read 1 Pet 2:21-22, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you as an example, that you should follow in His steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.’ “ and Rev 14:4-5, “These are those who did not defile themselves… for they kept themselves pure…… They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.”
Therefore understand that ‘Baptism by water’ is only one among the very many surpassing righteousness of God that ought to be fulfilled in the knowledge of His Word (Matt 3:11a, Matt 3:15). It should not be misconstrued as the be-all and end-all of our spiritual awakening.
Ask yourselves: ‘If so, what then about the Baptisms that Jesus came to baptize us with? Namely, the baptism of Holy Spirit and Fire (Matt 3:11b, Matt 5:20, Matt 6:33)?’ Are we not to receive those and how?
And why? Yes, why, if it was not for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, to ensure that we are led into all Truth as promised, and the Baptism of Fire, which is as aforementioned the Word of God, to ensure that we are judged and convicted by the Spirit in regards to Sin, Righteousness and Judgement in order that we may not be judged with the world? Read Mal 3:2-3, “But who can endure the Day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap….. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness.”
For the Judgment of the world is the judgement of the souls and it will surely and most certainly come to pass at the Appointed Time. The Lord will judge the world with Fire, which is the Word of God, and cast their souls to eternal Fire, which is the physical and unquenchable fire from heaven (eg. Lk 12:49, 2 Pet 3:7, Rev 20:9b & 14-15)? Also refer Jn 16:13, Jn 16:8, 1 Cor 2:12-15, 1 Cor 11:32, Heb 12:8-11.
Why is the Spirit of God likened to water? To understand the same one ought to understand the second differentiating nature of the Spirit of God versus that of the evil spirits.
Man may house a legion of evil spirits within himself, but he will never be able to house the Holy Spirit in entirety even though the Spirit of God is only One. Because the Holy Spirit is the River of Life which flows from the Throne of God. In other words, the Holy Spirit is the Omnipresent God Himself. Therefore, as children of God, we may only partake of the Holy Spirit. And the more we partake of it, the more we are given until it wells up to eternal life within us and we begin to partake of the eternal nature of God (Jn 3:34, Jn 4:14). Hence, Jesus testifies, “…Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (Jn 4:14b). It is the River of Life which flows from eternity unto eternity. It is the River of Life which fills the heavens and the earth, which sustains life and which Alone grants eternal life.
THE BORN AGAIN EXPERIENCE:
This is why Jesus has said that we must be born of the Spirit and the Water, the Word of God. For, those whose hearts are not tuned to God’s Word will not recognize His voice. But those whose hearts are tuned to God’s Word will recognize His voice and follow Him. Such a one then learns to resist the evil spirits just as Jesus exemplified for us (Matt 4:3-11). Also refer Jn 10:5, Jas 4:7, Eph 4:27 etc.
The simplest way one may explain the Born Again experience is like this:
The Spirit of God chooses His own and washes them anew by the Blood (of the Son of God) which acts as the ‘spiritual soap’ and cleanses them from all impurities of sin and of this world by the daily and regular fellowship of the Word (the infallible words of the Father) which acts as the ‘spiritual water’.
Yes, the Born Again experience is only possible by this Triune act of God made possible to us through no ‘mortal man’ but the Son of man Himself who Alone has come into the world by the Three that will testify for us: The Water (meaning the Word), The Blood and The Spirit. Refer 1 Jn 5:6-8, “This is the One who came by Water and Blood – Jesus Christ. He did not come by Water only, but by Water and Blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the Truth. For there are Three that testify: the Spirit, the Water and the Blood; and the Three are in agreement.” In other words, one’s Born Again experience and the spiritual growth thereafter can only be validated by the Three: the Spirit of God, the Word of God and the Blood of God through Jesus Christ, His Son. Refer Jn 12:48.
As Jesus has clarified in Matt 12:43-45, it is those that fail to nurture themselves by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, by the daily and steady growth in the knowledge of the Word of God, who come close to experiencing the salvation of God but soon retract only to become at least SEVEN TIMES WORSE THAN HIS OR HER PREVIOUS SELVES! Also refer 2 Pet 2:20-22.
This is the reason why we MUST UNDERSTAND that NO MAN CAN BE FORCED OR BRIBED INTO SALVATION. Likewise, NO MAN OR NOTHING CAN THWART THE SALVATION OF THOSE WHOM GOD HAS CHOSEN (eg. Rom 8:38-39, Phil 1:6, Matt 16:18 etc.). Therefore, Salvation or the experience of being saved is NOT TO BE misconstrued as religious conversion. For, of course, religious conversions may be forced, enticed and even bribed into if one is not, as the religious-minded claim, are already, i.e. physically born into it!!!
Understand that only the Word of God can help you reckon your marred trinity. Likewise, it is the Word of God, revealed to us in the Flesh and the Spirit and the Blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, which Alone can help you become whole again, beginning with the spiritual revival of your soul.
And as the Spiritual permeates into the Physical, you will live and grow with the certainty that the physical renewal will follow at the Appointed Time and you will partake of the eternal life and glory of God. Otherwise, it will be just as it is written, for eg. Lk 13:5, “….. But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” and Matt 3:10, “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Most important of all, lest it goes amiss, understand that just as Jesus concludes the lesson in Jn 3:21b “….SO THAT IT MAY BE SEEN THAT WHAT HE HAS DONE HAS BEEN DONE THROUGH GOD.”, we ought to realize that Salvation is the work of God and God alone. No man can bring it about. Not even one who preaches and teaches the Word. For, one may teach or preach the Word of God but it is God who knows and gathers His own (Jn 3:8, Isa 34:16b, Num 16:5, 2 Tim 2:19, Jn 3:8, Jn 6:44, Isa 34:16b, 2 Cor 1:21-22, Phil 1:6 etc.). Hence Jesus’ reassertion, “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH” (eg. Matt 16:18).
FINALLY, A WORD OF CAUTION AND WARNING!!!!
As such, as I conclude, let me warn you do not believe the church leaders or elders who only teach and advocate the lies their forefathers planted alongside the Word of God. For example, read 1 Cor 7:14 which I quote here: “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through his believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” WHAT AN UTTER LIE!!! WHAT AN UTTER BLASPHEMY!!!! AND WHAT AN ABSOLUTE CONTRADICTION TO THE WORD OF GOD!!!!
When God’s Word clearly states that flesh counts for nothing, and day in and day out we experience this truth in our bodies, how can we even assume that our flesh will sanctify another? Refer Ps 49:7-9. And, how can our children who are born of flesh be deemed holy? These liars teach these lies so they can put themselves on par with Jesus Christ and usurp all glory and honor due to Him for themselves just like they are in the habit of doing and continue to do so before your very eyes while you willingly and readily subject yourselves to them – body and soul!
UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVEN’T EVEN BEGUN TO PRONOUNCE THE GOSPEL UNLESS WE FIRST DENOUNCE MAN WHO IS NOTHING BUT MORTAL FLESH CREATED OUT OF DUST AND WILL RETURN TO DUST!! No man can equal Jesus Christ who is the Son of God just as the Word of God testifies of Him and proves it to us by the FACT THAT HE WAS NOT BORN OF THE SEED OF THE CURSED MAN BUT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT!!! AS SUCH, JUST AS HE PROVED, IN HIM IS LIFE. AND THERE IS NONE BUT JESUS CHRIST ALONE WHO IS WORTHY OF IMPARTING THE SPIRIT TO US, WHO IS ABLE TO MAKE US HOLY AND TO GRANT US ETERNAL LIFE just as it is proved to us by the FACT THAT HE ALONE HAS RESURRECTED FROM THE DEAD AND ASCENDED IN TO HEAVEN and no man or woman however great in our foolish eyes!!