What is Being Born Again?

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Jesus, when speaking with the Pharisee Nicodemus, said at John 3:3:

Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

What did Jesus mean by this?

Today the church-systems of the world teach this to mean a spiritual rebirth (regeneration) of the human person, contrasted with the physical first birth everyone experiences. Is this what Jesus was really talking about or was he talking about something else that the world-wide Church-systems have totally missed and ignored?

If we look at 1 Peter 1:21-23, we can see that the Apostle Peter associated being born again with the physical resurrection. Notice very closely how 1 Peter 1:23 is worded:

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (KJV)

Note: Firstly, notice who is performing the act of “Born Again.” It is “The Word of God! Who is The Word of God? Christ Jesus! If you look at other Bible translations of this verse, you can see how the translators struggled with the translation. The King James Version does not use the word “you” to imply that it is Christs followers who are the ones being spoken of here as being Born Again. Rather, it is speaking of Christ – in this particular passage – as being Born Again, incorruptible and living forever. No human today can say this about themselves. That is, that they are incorruptible and living forever? Only Jesus has been resurrected from the dead by God. No human today has had a resurrection yet – a re-birth.

One must consider the experience Jesus, our Lord, had. He died and was resurrected with a new incorruptible body. Again, notice the latter part of 1 Peter 1:23. It says that those Born Again would not have bodies that would perish or would be corruptible, but ones that would not rot away or perish – incorruptible. This is mentioned in one breath in association with a resurrection. (See 1 Peter 1:21)

Lastly, all resurrections we read of in Scripture were physical. The person with the physical body was brought back from the dead. Examples of this were Lazarus, the daughter of a “certain ruler,” and Jesus Christ himself.

Born Again and The Promised Resurrection

Jesus promised a condemned man, one who barely knew him long enough to be taught by him, that he would one day be with him in paradise. How so? By the promised future resurrection Jesus said that all of mankind would have.

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 good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:28-29)

The writer of the Book of Acts, Luke,  also understood at that there would be a resurrection of all persons – good and bad.

And I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. (Acts 24:15)

That condemned man, according to Jesus, will have a resurrection just as Jesus promised him. That condemned man and all persons who have ever lived and died, are in their graves waiting to be called out – or Born Again.

All persons – dead or living today – have one thing in common: They had a first birth. All have a mother and a father. No one will deny this. In order to be Born Again, that is a second time, one first must die. One simply cannot be born again while alive as that would not be being Born Again.

What Jesus was teaching at John 3:3 was not a spiritual re-birthing, but an actual physical being brought back from the dead – a resurrection. All resurrected bodies have no corruption in them. How do I know this? The Scriptures teach it.

Death Is Full Payment For Sin

The Apostle Paul at Romans 6:7 teaches that one’s death is full payment for any sins that they committed while alive. When the person dies, their sins die with them:

Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

So, it stands to reason that when a person is resurrected from the dead, there is no sin in them. Any sins they committed while they were alive, died with them according to Romans 6:7.

This is in harmony with the thought at 1 Peter 1:23, that those Born Again from the dead would be incorruptible – that is, have bodies with no sin in them. Only sinless bodies can see and exist within the Kingdom of God that will come to the earth. (Matthew 6:10)

So, why do the Church-systems teach of a spiritual re-birth instead? Quite frankly, because they are in error in their understanding of Scripture. They have elected to take the easy way out by way of explanation. And, unfortunately have been party to one of the greatest deceptions pushed upon mankind.

When Was The First Spiritual Birth?

In order to properly understand that Jesus was not referring to a spiritual re-birth, one must reason: “In order to have a spiritual re-birth, there must be a first spiritual birth.”

As stated earlier, all of us have had a physical birth from parents. We definitely know this as fact. Now, to have a spiritual re-birth, one would think somewhere along the line, there was a first spiritual birth. How can one have a spiritual re-birth, if there was not an initial spiritual birth?

No where in Scripture do we read of an initial spiritual birth of anyone. This is something those who speak of being Born Again totally overlook and refuse to give thought to.

Will There Be a Spiritual Re-Birth?

Yes. It goes hand in hand with the new life those resurrected from the dead will have. The opening of the eyes of those who were dead and re-born (resurrected) will see a fresh new world under a new system of Government over the entire earth: God’s promised Kingdom.

The new incorruptible bodies all will have, will allow them to physically exist within this physical Kingdom that comes down and is felt on the earth. But there is more to this new human than the physical; there is also that part inside the incorruptible body that needs to fill it: spiritual qualities. Qualities absolutely necessary for life and worship of God.

While those resurrected will have new bodies, these are just  empty shells devoid of the spiritual qualities required to enter into the Kingdom of God that comes down out of heaven to the earth.  Notice what Jesus said concerning worship of God:

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

That this is the manner in which mankind must worship God, he must cultivate spiritual qualities. He has a new body that has no sin in it; but will be largely empty of the spiritual qualities that complete him and allow him to worship God in spirit and truth.

There will be a time period on the earth where this new man – from the dead – will be taught these spiritual requirements. Satan will not be able to interfere as he is locked up for the 1000 years.

This is a wonderful arrangement as we will have:

  • New sinless bodies.
  • Be taught how to populate it with the spiritual requirements that God requires for worship of him and to gain entry into His Kingdom that comes down.
  • Satan is locked up and mot able to interfere.

When Does God’s Kingdom Come Down?

God’s Kingdom cannot and will not come down to an earth and a people that are not prepared for it’s reception.  At present the world of mankind is corrupt. There can be no marriage of the perfect Kingdom of God to an imperfect world of mankind. Mankind must be fixed or prepared and made perfect to join with God’s Holy Kingdom.

Sending Jesus to the earth was the first step in the preparation of a corrupt people. He made it possible for all of mankind to have a resurrection. That resurrection – rebirth – from the dead produces a new body that was sown in corruption but will be raised incorruptible. This new sinless body has to be in this condition if mankind is to exist in his new environment longer than the short life expectancy we have today.

The next stage in mankind preparation to receive the Kingdom that is coming is for Christ to lock Satan up. Satan cannot be allowed to interfere with the spiritual restoration of the human family.

The last stage is preparing the human family in a spiritual way, by teaching, so that when God’s Kingdom does come down, the entire human family is fully prepared to join with that Kingdom and worship their God in spirit and in truth.

We read at Revelation 20:7-8, that before God’s kingdom does come down, Satan must be released to mislead mankind again. In fact, he will lead a rebellion against what is coming and will be established on the earth: God’s Kingdom.

God’s Kingdom will not come until this rebellion is dealt with and Satan and those among mankind who chose to follow him in this rebellion are put away forever.

Even though the entire human family will have incorruptible bodies and will have been taught the spiritual requirements to worship God, it does not mean that all will use those qualities to worship him. We should remember that Adam had these very same qualities. In fact, he was closer to God as he did not have a mediator. Adam was misled in that state too and he knew God’s requirements.

Likewise, once Satan is released after the 1000 years, he will see an entirely new human society that have sinless bodies and who will have a knowledge of God’s spiritual requirements. They – like Adam – will have no excuse.

It is after Satan and this followers are destroyed – after the 1000 years – that all that is remaining on the earth are righteous persons.

It is at that time that we see God’s Kingdom coming down. All of the human family is fully prepared to receive it. All of the human family will be holy.

Notice at Revelation 20:7-10 we see Satan and his final rebellion put down and he himself and all who followed him in this rebellion are destroyed, never to be seen again.

Notice that after this – at Revelation 21:2 – that we see God’s Kingdom coming down.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It now comes down because the human family has been prepared to receive it.

In fact, God’s Kingdom is referred symbolically as a Woman. Prepared mankind is her Husband.

This woman – God’s Kingdom – finally comes down the aisle adorned to be wedded to and joined to her husband – a physically incorrupt human family, spiritually prepared and qualified to have God’s Kingdom with them.

So Are Any Born Again Today?

No. There will be no being born again of anyone on earth until they first physically die and are resurrected.

It is not as simple as the Church-systems explains it. What they have done is produce a belief in people that does not require them to think.

They strike up the emotion in them and build an emotional wall that prevents them from hearing and learning this valuable truth.

They have forgotten what Jesus said of many claiming to be his followers:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers! (Matthew 7:21-23)

Yet, they all claim that they are now Born Again. Well, not according what Jesus says above.

Any who blindly follow this false teaching about Being Born Again, have been misled in a very large way.

There is no such thing as a “Born-Again Christian.” Few have stopped to think that this is a made up phrase.

The truth is that the Born Again experience Jesus referred to was simply the promised resurrection of all mankind. It is a necessary in order for mankind to benefit from the sacrifice Jesus made for us all when he gave his life for us.

Jesus’ death took our sins upon him. So when we die, our sins die too. So when we are resurrected from the dead, we meet one of the requirements for entry into God’s Kingdom to come after the 1000 years: An incorruptible body.

All of mankind should thank God and His Christ for making it possible for all to be Born Again from the dead. 

What they do once they are Born Again from the dead will be the judgment by God that will determine if they enter into God’s Kingdom.

What Can We Learn About What Born-Again Means By Looking At Jesus’ Resurrection?

Notice what the Apostle John says concerning Jesus’ resurrection at Revelation 1:5 (NIV):

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

Notice that Jesus is said to be the FIRSTBORN from the dead. In other words, Jesus was the first to be resurrected NEVER to die again. Also, that he is the ruler of those who will rule with him as kings in his 1000 year kingdom on earth, they to will be the first to be resurrected among mankind never to die again.

So Firstborn means being resurrected. Born-Again means to be resurrected from the dead.

That is What Judgment Day is.

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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1 Comment

  1. I am a relatively new convert and bible reader and I belong to a church in Charleston SC. In the back of my mind what my parishioners teach about being born again just did not sound right to me. Your article makes more sense than anything that I have read and been told. Very insightful.

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