Is The Popular Teaching of Being Born Again Wrong?

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Suppose – just suppose – that the “popular” teaching of being “Born-Again” is wrong? I propose that it is.

One thing God and Christ said mankind would not escape, is death. Never do they say that mankind will never die.


The prophecy uttered in Scripture is at Genesis 2:16-17. This was a pronouncement of death – not just to Adam – but also for all of his offspring: Us.

And the LORD God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.

This pronouncement of death has not changed and is in full force today. We ALL grow old, get sick, and eventually, die. This is a fact no one can deny. Why? Because of Adam.

How does this tie into what Jesus spoke concerning being Born-Again?

Well, if it is accepted that all of us are under the Adamic curse and ALL of us WILL die, then the meaning of what Jesus meant by being “Born-Again” begins to take on a clear meaning.

If ALL of mankind is under an Adamic curse, then ALL of mankind MUST die. This so stated at Genesis 2:15-17. It seems that there are many who wish to bypass what God said WILL happen and HAS happened to the human family: It is under the Adamic curse of death.

If ALL of mankind MUST and WILL die, how can mankind be afforded an opportunity to “see” the Kingdom of God according to John 3:3?

By being resurrected from the dead.

What is often overlooked is that Jesus spoke of a Great resurrection of ALL of the dead. Something he said we are not to be amazed at. John 5:28-29:

Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out; those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

The point here is that Jesus promised a resurrection for all. Some attempt to divert attention to the outcome of “those who have done evil.” The point is that they, too, will be resurrected. That should be the focus of John 5:28-29; namely, that ALL will be resurrected.

When Jesus conversed with Nicodemus about being “Born-Again,” Jesus was referring to the resurrection.

All mankind since Adam had a human mother and father. That was our FIRST BIRTH. Because of Adam, we grow old, get sick and die Our FIRST DEATH.

The promised resurrection of all of mankind represents our Second Births or being “Born-Again” from the dead. (It should be noted that Scripture also speaks of a SECOND DEATH in The Book of Revelation).

The man Job spoke of returning to his mother’s belly (womb) at Job 1:21:

And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither : the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

This Scripture at Job 1:21 bears very close examination because it helps us understand who Job considered his mother in this context.

Obviously, Job was not speaking of his literal human mother because it would be impossible for him to “return to his mother’s womb.” (Nicodemus was stuck at this point and did not understand what Jesus was saying).

Job was referring to the earth itself as his mother.

When we die, we all return to that from which we were taken: The earth. When we die, we are placed in the belly or womb of the earth just as Jesus was.

The 33 Chilean coal miners who were trapped underground for over two months, were in the “belly” or “womb” of the earth. Had they not been rescued, it would have been their grave or tomb.

The earth is the mother of mankind. God is our Father. It was from the earth that man was formed.

So when Jesus spoke of being “Born-Again,” he was referring to coming to life again, being raised from the dead. He was referring to the promised resurrection.

It is absolutely impossible for any human who has ever been born, lived, died, and still living (Jesus the exception), to see the Kingdom of God having a FIRST BIRTH, that is, born from Adam: A Flesh and Blood birth.

Our Second Births must be with water and spirit. What does this mean?

The water is not literal water. When we are conceived by human means, we exist 9 months in our literal mother’s womb. We exist in her water.

However, since the earth is our Mother in relation to the resurrection from the dead, being in the earth as dead persons mean that we are in the earth’s water or womb.

The Spirit is the power that calls us out of the earth’s womb: God’s power. It was by God’s power that Jesus was resurrected from the “womb” of the earth.

So when Jesus said at John 3:3-6 that “unless one is Born-Again and born of water and the Spirit”, he was referring to the resurrection of the dead.

Jesus was essentially saying to Nicodemus that: “Unless you DIE and are RAISED up again, you will not be able to “see” the Kingdom of God.”

The the “seeing” of the Kingdom of God coming does not occur until AFTER a person has died and has been resurrected. Then, they will be able to see it coming from afar (another 1000 years away from the point of the resurrection). At present, no human alive today can see “God’s Kingdom” as none have been resurrected out of the earth by God.

The Church-systems have wrongly taken Jesus’ words and turned them into a simple ritual that has persons making a statement that if they accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and this makes them “Born-Again.”

When Jesus was baptized in water by John (a man), he was symbolizing a going into and coming out of the “belly of the earth.” He was symbolizing DEATH (going into the womb of the earth) and then LIFE (coming out of the womb of the earth).

Since in the future, the COMING OUT of the womb of the earth will not be performed by any human – but by God – the baptism is not by literal water.

Our deaths and being raised again from the dead IS our baptism. This baptism has two parts:

  1. A going into the womb of the earth: OUR DEATHS

     

  2. A coming out of the womb of the earth: OUR RESURRECTION (being born again from the dead).

The reality is that all humans will be baptized whether they realize it or not. Meaning all will die and all will be resurrected out of the womb of the earth.

This teaching was so great, that Jesus had to speak it in parable because he knew many would not be able to bear its’ truth. That truth is: All of mankind has to die.

This is a truth many today simply do not realize nor will accept. They struggle just like Nicodemus did.

What Jesus did on that day when he was baptized by John the Baptizer has a meaning far greater than a literal “ritual” being dipped in water.

R. Jerome Harris

A Disciple of Christ in the strictest sense. I belong to no religious organization. I view Christ as my only Head, Master, Teacher, Owner, and Lord. (John 8:31-32, 1Cor 11:3) His God is my God and I champion his teachings above anything issuing out of ANY religious organization.

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4 Comments

  1. Strange thing to mix together resurrection and birth from God.

    resurrection means to get new body(redemption of the body) and birth from God or from spirit means to get new spirit in our body(temple).

    • The Pharisee Nicodemus felt as you do. It is all strange. (John 3:1-8)

      Why is it strange? Because it is not something “popularly” taught in the religious system called Christianity. Christianity is not teaching Christ or his teachings. It is teaching exactly what you comment: it’s own brand of teaching. Yes indeed, the truth will be strange to the many not accustomed to hearing.

      Scripture speaks of a Second Death, implying a First Death. If there is a First Death, then there has to be a First Birth. If there is a First Birth, then there is a Second Birth (born again from the dead; being resurrected.)

      What men call Christianity does not want to hear this. It prefers to “water” down and dismiss what Christ was REALLY teaching. It shows no real interest in what Christ teaches.

      It makes statements without substance about what the resurrection is; when Christ plainly states what it is.

      This “New Birth” or being “Born Again” is the promised resurrection from the dead of all mankind. (John 5:28-29)

      The Pharisee Nicodemus did not understand Christ, neither does what men call Christianity.

      That this “New Birth” (Born Again) is “The Resurrection From The Dead” can be seen at 1 Peter 1:3:

      “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

      Our hope is also in the promised resurrection.

      This is not rocket science. It is sad that what men call Christianity spins it as strange. Why? Because it does not listen to or respond to Christ teachings. It listens to a “strangers” voice. (Luke 9:35 and John 10:1-6)

  2. I do not believe Jesus was referring to being born again when he spoke to Nicodemas

     

    Here is a commentary from the REV

    “born from above.” The Greek text reads gennaō anothen (#1080 γεννάω; #509 ἄνωθεν), and literally means “born from above.” Unfortunately, gennaō anothen is mistranslated as “born again” in most English versions, and that mistranslation has caused a lot of confusion in Christianity. The word anothen occurs five times in John, and all of them mean “above” or “top” (John 3:3, 7, 31; John 19:11, 23).

    “Born from above” refers to the resurrection from the dead that will occur when God above puts His spirit in dead people who are then “born” from the grave. Saying, “born from the grave” is biblically accurate, because Isaiah 26:19 says that “the earth will give birth to her dead,” as if the earth is a big womb that gives birth to people at the resurrection (the KJV, which says the earth will “cast out” the dead, is not as clear as versions such as the ESV, NIV, or NASB, which have “give birth to.” The Hebrew word can refer to birth; cp. Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew English Lexicon). This same truth about the dead coming up out of the ground is found in Ezekiel 37:12-14 and Daniel 12:2. The imagery of resurrection as “birth” is in the New Testament as well as the Old. Besides here in John 3, Jesus is called “the firstborn from the dead,” referring to the fact that he was the very first one to be raised from the dead (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5. Cp. Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15).

    The Jews had no knowledge of what the New Testament calls the “New Birth” (1 Pet. 1:3) or being “born again” (1 Peter 1:23). There was no “New Birth” mentioned in the Old Testament or the Gospels. From Genesis until the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), God gave His gift of holy spirit only on a relatively few people, and when He did give it, He gave it conditionally, meaning that He could take it away. So, for example, God took His spirit from King Saul (1 Sam. 16:14), and after David sinned with Uriah and Bathsheba, David prayed God would not take it from him (Ps. 51:11).

    In contrast to the way God gave the gift of holy spirit during the OT and Gospel period, after the Day of Pentecost when the Christian Church started (Acts 2), God gave holy spirit in birth, and so the Epistles refer to this as the “New Birth.” Today, Christians get “born again” when they believe. However, the New Birth was never mentioned in the Old Testament and therefore the Jews knew nothing of it.

    The New Birth is part of the Administration of Grace, which is also called “the Administration of the Sacred Secret (see commentary on Ephesians 3:2 and commentary on Ephesians 3:9). John 3:1-12 is not referring to the Christian New Birth. Jesus was speaking about a “birth from above” that the Jews were supposed to know about and understand. That is why Jesus chided Nicodemus, saying, “Are you the well-known teacher of Israel, and yet do not know these things?” (John 3:10). Thus we have to look in the Old Testament for the kind of birth Jesus spoke of, which is the birth of the body from the ground, which will happen at the resurrection (Isa. 26:19 (NIV); Ezek. 37:12-14; Dan. 12:2). Unfortunately, at the time of Christ, most Jews were ignorant about the resurrection from the dead and entrance into the Messianic Kingdom. The Sadducees did not even believe in a resurrection (Matt. 22:23). The Pharisees, on the other hand, of which Nicodemus was one, generally believed in immediate life after death, like the Greeks (see commentary on John 3:1; “Pharisee”). So when Jesus told Nicodemus about being born from above, he did not understand what Jesus was saying. Nicodemus, who had read the Old Testament many times, should have known what Jesus was talking about. Instead, however, due to his theology, he was confused by the “birth” terminology.

    The Jews believed that God opened the womb allowing childbirth, or closed it causing barrenness (Gen. 20:18; 29:31; 30:2; 1 Sam. 1:5; Ps. 127:3; Isa. 66:9; Hos. 9:14). Thus, when Jesus spoke of being “born from above” Nicodemus would have correctly thought of Jesus’ words in terms of “being born with the help of God.” However, instead of correctly thinking that the dead are born from the ground by the power of God, he incorrectly thought about how a person could once again be born from his mother’s womb with God’s help. Jesus’ words are actually quite simple, but they were completely outside any theology that Nicodemus understood, so he misinterpreted them. Jesus was saying that in order to “see” (i.e., enter) the Kingdom of God, the Messianic Kingdom that will be set up on earth (Dan. 2:44; 7:14), the dead will have to be resurrected by the power of God and then enter it.

    In summary, what Jesus said to Nicodemus is actually very simple: no one will see God’s Messianic Kingdom unless he is “born from above,” i.e., raised from the dead by God.

    • Of course Jesus was referring to “born again” in his conversation with Nicodemus; and, specifically with reference to the resurrection or being “born-again from the dead.

      It is also obvious that Nicodemnus did not understand  that Jesus was indeed talking about and connecting “seeing” (not entering) the kingdom of God with the promised resurrection.

      In other words stating that unless one has died and is resurrected from the dead (as he was), it will not be possible to “see” the kingdom of God.

      Jesus made no mention of being “born from above.” Mankind is not from the heavenly realm and thus cannot be born or reborn from that place. We are from the “lower region” (the earth) and when we die, we return to that from which we were taken: The earth. It is from the earth, we are born-again (resurrected).

      Jesus teaches at Matthew 6:9-10 that Gods kingdom will come DOWN to the earth. Thus, there is no need for mankind to go to heaven. Thus, the only way one will be able to see and utimately enter into that PERFECT  kingdom when it comes down to the earth is that they die (cast off these sinful and imperfect bodies) and be reborn (resurrected from the dead) with new sin-free bodies suitable for entry into that perfect kingdom.

      I place no confidence in commentaries of so-called scholars. Most are biased and use many words to confuse what is simple to understand.

      Many make what Jesus spoke about concerning being “born-again” magical and mystical or “acceptance” of Jesus as ones personal savior. Jesus never taught such a thing and the religious system of Christianity has proven to be an enemy of Christs teachings and has misled the world in this regard.  Born again is simply being resurrected from the dead. Mankind MUST die. If the Master died, so will we. If he was resurrected, so will we. If any think they will have an experience different than he, then they believe that they are greater than the Master. “No slave is greater than his Master.”

      Jesus was clear at John 5:28-29, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out …” The keyword here is ALL. ALL must die. ALL WILL BE resurrected.

      I place confidence in God and his Son as turn to them for understanding, not men.

      What many claiming to follow Christ forget is that Christ taught at a level that even a child could understand. What has been disemminated today is confusing and no child can understand it.

      That the discussion Jesus was having with Nicodemus was about the promised resurrection from the dead as being a requirement for seeing and eventually entering into God’s Kingdom when it comes down out of heaven to the earth is clear and simple to understand even by a child.

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