Just what do you mean ... BORN AGAIN?
by Herbert W. Armstrong
1962, 1971, 1972 edition
Don't be too sure you know! Many professing Christians sincerely
believe they have been "born again" -- but do not understand what
Jesus meant by those words. The true answer is not only surprising-
-it is startling! -- THE MOST IMPORTANT truth you can know, here made
SO PLAIN you will UNDERSTAND!
WHY did not the Pharisee, Nicodemus, understand when Jesus
said to him: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom
WHY do people not understand those words today?
How MANY know, today, that Jesus' Gospel was a sensational,
never-before proclaimed NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT?
Jesus Was a Newscaster
Those in Judea knew -- or should have known -- Malachi's prophecy
concerning this. It was the Gospel of God -- and the word "gospel"
means GOOD NEWS!
Jesus was a NEWSCASTER. His news was something absolutely NEW
-- never before proclaimed to mankind. It was the most wonderful NEWS
ever reported. Actually almost too wonderful for humans to believe.
It was news of the utterly transcendent potential of man.
A humorous columnist wrote a bit on the news printed in daily
newspapers. It is actually NOT news, he insisted, since it is a
reporting of events that already have happened. Therefore it is no
longer NEW, but OLD when printed. He insisted it really ought to be
The tremendous Message that Jesus brought was NEWS! It was not
a report of past events. It was ADVANCE news! -- news of an almost
unbelievable UTOPIAN WORLD TOMORROW!
And it is SURE!
And it was news that we may be BORN AGAIN! Yet almost nobody
How MANY, even today, know that Jesus' Gospel was NOT in any
sense a new or different religion -- yet it was actually SO
BREATHTAKING -- so seemingly incredible, so startling, it should have
left its hearers in a daze of awe! It didn't. WHY?
WHY has it never been recognized by the world as the
stupendous NEWS that it actually was?
Simply because the leaders in Judea rejected it -- hated it --
hated Jesus for announcing the wonderful great news -- turned most of
the people against it. And it has been so MISrepresented, so
distorted and maligned, that the whole world has been deceived -- and
has totally MISUNDERSTOOD IT! Your Bible says the WHOLE WORLD -- all
nations -- have been deceived about that Gospel!
The time was at hand, then, for this Message to be announced!
The time is at hand, today, for its true MEANING to be made SO
PLAIN that people may UNDERSTAND IT!
It WILL BE, in this booklet! And it is a crucial CHALLENGE to
you who now read it!
And you have to UNDERSTAND what was that news announcement, or
you can never UNDERSTAND what Jesus meant about being "born again."
What Was The News?
Notice, briefly, first, what that astonishing NEW Message was!
The pre-announcement, in Malachi's prophecy, says: "Behold, I
will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and
the Lord, whom ye seek [the Messiah], shall suddenly come to his
temple, even the Messenger of the covenant ..." (Mal. 3:1).
Now notice the beginning of the Messenger's proclamation of
It is recorded in Mark's Gospel, chapter 1: "The beginning of
the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the
prophets ...." Then follows the citation from Malachi, written
above. That is followed by the account of John the Baptist,
preparing the way before the Messenger.
Then, verses 14-15: "Now after that John was put in prison,
Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the KINGDOM OF
GOD, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is
at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel." That is, BELIEVE the
What IS the Kingdom of God?
What did He mean -- the Kingdom of God?
Jesus' whole Message -- His Gospel -- was about the KINGDOM OF
GOD! Yet few know anything about it, today.
A Kingdom is a), a NATION composed of people, and b), the
GOVERNMENT of the nation.
In some cases, the people of a nation are the descendants -- the
children -- of one man. The nation of Turkey is the descendants of
the ancient Esau, twin brother of Jacob, whose name was changed to
Israel, father of the nation Israel. Before the twins were born,
God said to their mother, Rebekah, "Two nations are in thy womb ..."
Now Jesus the Messiah was to come as "the Messenger of the
COVENANT." The "Old Covenant" had established the human children of
Israel as a NATION or KINGDOM of humans, called the KINGDOM OF
ISRAEL. Jesus came as the Messenger -- heralding the Message of the
NEW Covenant that shall set up the Spirit-composed children of GOD
as the Kingdom of God!
As the ancient Kingdom of Israel was composed of the human
FAMILY of the human man Israel, so the Kingdom of God will be
composed of the divine family of the divine GOD!
And what does this have to do with "being BORN AGAIN"? It has
everything to do with it!
DANIEL FORETOLD IT
The Prophet Daniel wrote of this Kingdom of God. In his second
chapter, after foretelling of the Chaldean Empire (Babylon), the
Persian Empire, the Graeco-Macedonian Empire with its four
divisions, and the Roman Empire, stretching even into the now-
forming resurrected "Holy Roman Empire" in Europe, we read the
following: "And in the days of these kings [the forthcoming United
Nations of Europe] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which
shall never be destroyed ... but it shall break in pieces and consume
all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Dan. 2:44). To
"stand forever" it will, of necessity, be a Kingdom of IMMORTALS,
It will be a WORLD RULING Kingdom!
Daniel's 7th chapter portrays it again -- and shows the
connection with being "born again." The four world empires -- Babylon
through Rome and its coming resurrection in Europe -- are pictured as
four beasts -- wild animals.
Saints Become Immortal
Verse 17: "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings
[kingdoms], which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of
the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom
forever, even for ever and ever." To possess it FOR EVER, the
saints will have to be IMMORTAL!
Then the Babylonian religious power, now Roman, "made war with
the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days
[Christ at second coming] came, and judgment was given to the
saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints
possessed the Kingdom" (verses 21-22). Read also verse 27.
The second coming of Christ is described thus: "And the
seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven,
saying, 'The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our
Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever'"
Yet in spite of these and many more such scriptures, many
deceived theologians today mislead the people saying that the
CHURCH is the Kingdom of God! Or, that "the Kingdom" is some
mysterious ethereal nothing "in men's hearts."
Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is
What did He mean? WHY had this Message never been proclaimed
before? The answer requires a pre-history background.
There Was Once PEACE on Earth
It isn't popular, today, to mention the existence of a devil. But
the Bible, again and again, puts great emphasis on the presence of
a real, literal devil.
Biblical revelation shows that originally, this earth was a
place of PEACE, happiness -- a real utopia. It was then ruled by the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD. That Government will be once again RESTORED
(Acts 3:20-21) by Christ returning to earth in the supreme POWER
and GLORY of God!
But what happened? WHY don't we have that Government, now? Why
is there no PEACE on earth?
When the earth was originally created, the angels shouted for
JOY! (Job 38:7.) It was beautiful. It was PEACEFUL. It was
populated by angels -- not then by humans. It was governed by the
GOVERNMENT OF GOD. There was a super arch-angel -- a cherub named
Lucifer (meaning bringer of LIGHT) -- one of two cherubim whose wings
stretched over the very throne of God in heaven. Lucifer was
thoroughly trained in the administration of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD
(Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-17).
God governs by His spiritual Law -- a Law based on the principle
of LOVE. Love, first, to God with submission and obedience, and
secondly to His creatures -- the way of outgoing concern for the good
and welfare of others. But Lucifer's heart was lifted up in vanity,
because of his beauty and vast knowledge. He rebelled against God,
mutinied, set out to organize his angels into an invading army and
to conquer GOD -- in order to rule the entire vast UNIVERSE. This
disqualified him as earth's ruler. However, the very principle of
God's Government requires that the ruler retain office until a
successor qualifies and is inducted into office.
Lucifer's name was changed to Satan, the devil. His angels
became demons. As a result of this universal rebellion on earth,
universal destruction and chaos struck the surface of the earth. In
six days God reshaped the earth's surface (Genesis 1), creating
fauna and flora -- and MAN!
Jesus Qualifies to Replace Satan
God formed MAN, not after any animal kind, but in God's own
likeness -- not of spirit composition as is God, but of material
flesh and blood. The first man, Adam, father of the human race,
allowed Satan's attitude of REBELLION to enter his heart, failing
to qualify as Satan's successor.
When Jesus was baptized by John (Mark 1:9-11), immediately He
underwent the most titanic struggle ever, in His temptation by the
devil (verses 12-13).
Jesus had come to qualify to replace Satan -- to restore the
Government of God on earth, and bring back WORLD PEACE! But, as the
first Adam had undergone and succumbed to Satan's temptation, Jesus
had to face and overcome this disqualified Satan.
Jesus underwent this test under the most trying and difficult
conditions possible. He had been almost totally depleted of
physical strength by fasting 40 days and nights -- no food and no
water! Yet even in this physical weakness, He was made the stronger
Few have ever realized the stupendous struggle that took place
in that crucial temptation. Jesus resisted Satan's supreme
temptations. He did it by quoting Scripture and OBEYING GOD. He
proved under the maximum possible test that He would obey God's
Laws and administer God's GOVERNMENT faithfully. Then, in utter
physical weakness but supreme spiritual strength, He proved He was
Satan's Master, by giving Satan a crisp command to leave -- and the
defeated Satan slunk away!
Then (Mark 1:14), having qualified for the executive
administration of the Government of God on Earth, Jesus came into
Galilee, saying, as quoted above, "The time is fulfilled, and the
Kingdom of God is at hand"! (Verse 15.)
WHY the News Was NEW
How was the time fulfilled?
WHY was the Kingdom of God then at hand -- and not before?
Simply because the wonderful news of the coming Kingdom of God
could not be announced UNTIL a successor had QUALIFIED to replace
Satan as Earth's ruler!
At last the Kingdom of God -- GOD'S GOVERNMENT over the earth --
was at hand! At last, it was assured, and the time was fulfilled!
The One who had qualified to rule the earth was now free to
announce His coming Government!
WHY Kingdom Not Yet Set Up
Yet Jesus was not going to take over the reign immediately. There
were a number of reasons:
1) God had set a definite PLAN, with a definite time-program,
for working out His PURPOSE here below! It is a 7,000-year plan of
seven millennial "days," of which the first seven literal days of
re-creation were a type. The first six of these millenniums were
allotted for man, of his own free volition (though swayed by Satan)
to go his own way. Also, in effect, they were allotted as the six
millennial "days" for Satan's "labor" of deception over humanity,
to be followed by the millennial "Sabbath," in which Satan will
observe enforced rest from his work of deceiving the nations, and
God will teach humanity His TRUTH!
2) Jesus, in God's PLAN, was first to choose and teach
disciples to become apostles, to carry on the proclamation of the
GOOD NEWS -- and to become the foundation of His Church.
3) Christ is going to set up a world government over all
earth's nations only with the administration of a thoroughly
trained and experienced organization. The first six thousand years
of human experience has proved abundantly that man, under Satan's
sway, is utterly incapable of ruling himself. Human-devised
governments always have failed to bring world PEACE. Yet man, even
now, seems unwilling to admit that fact. Men are still trying, in
vain, to work and fight for PEACE. And that is where being "born
again" comes in.
And that, also, is where being "born again" has been
tragically misunderstood and misrepresented! God's Government will
be DIVINE GOVERNMENT, by the saints converted into divine SPIRIT
PERSONS, born of GOD! As those born of humans are human beings, so
those born of the divine God will be DIVINE BEINGS, having been
given IMMORTALITY! They shall be born into -- enter into -- inherit the
KINGDOM OF GOD.
Kingdom Is a Family
A KINGDOM is a nation composed of people, as well as the GOVERNMENT
of that nation. The Kingdom of GOD is composed of the divine FAMILY
of God. The One Being we habitually think of as GOD is the FATHER
of that Family.
Christ is a Son of God -- a member of that divine FAMILY, even
as we may be!! That divine FAMILY is the Kingdom of God.
There are five KINGDOMS -- the vegetable kingdom, the animal
kingdom, the human kingdom (we are not of the animal kingdom,
erroneous education to the contrary notwithstanding!!), the angel
kingdom -- and the GOD Kingdom!
God (Heb. Elohim -- the uni-plural name, meaning more than one
Person, forming the ONE GOD) said, "Let US make man in OUR image,
after OUR likeness." We were made of material flesh, but in the
form and shape of God, and with MINDS on a totally different plane
than animal brain. The human family was made so that we might be
able to receive God's Spirit, and become His children. Animals were
NOT so made.
In God's wonderful Plan for working out His PURPOSE here
below, God has allotted the time-period between Jesus' first coming
in human flesh, and His second coming in power and GLORY, for the
calling of some to receive His Spirit, and be spiritually educated
and trained, through His Word, to become rulers with Christ when He
sets up His KINGDOM.
THE CRUX OF SALVATION
Point 4) In order that man might be reconciled to God, Jesus also
came for the express purpose of DEATH, by His shed blood paying for
us, in our stead, the death penalty we have incurred as the penalty
of sin. In order that we might be given God's gift of ETERNAL LIFE,
Jesus' resurrection from the dead was necessary before we could
receive eternal life.
5) The PLAN called for Jesus' ascension to God's throne in
heaven -- the throne of the Government of God over the UNIVERSE -- to
become our High Priest, during these years of training and
spiritual development of the heirs of God to be used in the
executive administration of the Government of God when Christ does
set up that Government over earth's nations.
6) Jesus could not induct Himself into the office while here
on earth in human form. It was necessary for Him, as explained in
the parable of the pounds (Luke 19), to go to heaven to there
receive the authority of the Kingdom from God (the Father) -- and to
be CROWNED! The coronation ceremony will take place in heaven at
God's throne, before Christ's return in POWER and GLORY!
7) Then He must return in all that POWER and GLORY and supreme
authority to RULE!
Those are the reasons why Jesus did not then, immediately, set
up or establish the Kingdom of God!
But even Jesus' own disciples could never seem to understand
that He was not going to set up the Kingdom of God immediately. It
is human to want things NOW!
WHY Jewish Rulers Hated Message
The Jewish rulers of Jesus' day, also, thought He was proclaiming
a government to be set up immediately -- to overthrow the Roman
Empire, then ruling Judea as a vassal state.
One of these rulers of the Jews was a man named Nicodemus. He
was a Pharisee, and the Pharisees were hostile to Jesus, because of
this new Gospel. Nicodemus, however, wanted to meet this
astonishing Messenger and discuss it with him. To avoid criticism
from his colleagues, he came to Jesus by night.
"We know," he said, "that you are a teacher come from God."
The "we" implies that the divine identity of the Messenger and
the Source of His Message was known to the Pharisees. But they were
"NOW" people, concerned with protecting their status as rulers
under the Roman government, not with receiving revelations from
Judea was a vassal state, under the rule of the Romans. The
Romans were shrewd enough to force leaders among the Jews to
administer most of the details of government, under higher Roman
officials. Of course, the Roman rule was protected by occupying
military forces. This system made life for the Jewish sub-rulers
very desirable -- a status worth maintaining.
At once Jesus perceived the import of Nicodemus' first words.
His Message was the good news of the coming WORLD GOVERNMENT of
GOD -- that is, the KINGDOM OF GOD -- the GOVERNMENT of God.
These Jewish rulers feared that Message. Jesus was of their
race -- a Jew. If they did not oppose Him, they feared being shorn of
their power, and perhaps put to death as subversives threatening
the overthrow of the Roman government. And the Pharisees thought
Jesus proclaimed the immediate take-over of that rule!
Not of This Age
Therefore Jesus did not waste words. He struck straight through to
the crux point -- the Kingdom of God is not of this world -- this time-
-this age -- but of the WORLD TOMORROW -- a different and a following
AGE. Not composed of humans, but of immortals -- the GOD FAMILY!
So Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
Notice carefully, please -- being "born again" has a vital
connection with the Kingdom of God -- with THE FACT that it is not of
this time -- this age. And -- I repeat -- Jesus' Gospel -- His Message
the Kingdom of God.
But Jesus' abrupt opening statement left Nicodemus confused.
The religious leaders, and the hundreds of denominations and sects
professing Christianity today are confused and deceived! Today's
religionists put a different twist on it than did Nicodemus,
Nicodemus did understand clearly what is meant by being born.
He knew it meant being delivered from his mother's womb. It meant
being delivered into the WORLD! Today's religious leaders read into
it a different meaning! What Nicodemus could not understand was
how -- in what manner -- anyone could be born AGAIN! And of course,
being carnal-minded, he could only conceive of a second physical
birth. But he knew what being born meant!
Born Human a Second Time?
Puzzled, he asked, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he
enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" He was
not confused about what is meant by being BORN. What Nicodemus
could not understand was a second birth. He thought Jesus was
talking about a second human birth.
He was unable to conceive of any but a second physical birth --
his mind could not grasp spiritual things.
Now Jesus had made clear that the Kingdom of God is something
that can be seen -- but not until or UNLESS one is "born again." Not
during this physical lifetime! Also, verse 5, the Kingdom of God is
something a man may enter into -- but not until after he is born
AGAIN -- another and entirely different birth.
Then Jesus came quickly to the point -- that the Kingdom of God
is not of this present human LIFE in this present WORLD -- it is not
of this TIME -- this present life-TIME -- or age -- it is the succeeding
age -- and the life to come.
Here is the crux point that explains it all: Jesus said:
"That which is born of the flesh IS flesh: and that which is
born of the Spirit is spirit."
Man is now flesh -- human. He is MATERIAL SUBSTANCE. "Dust thou
art," said God to Adam, "and unto dust shalt thou return." Again,
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a
living soul" (Gen. 3:19 and 2:7).
Those Born Again to BE Spirit
But, said Jesus plainly, when one is born of the Spirit HE WILL BE
SPIRIT! Look at it! Read it in your own Bible.
The Kingdom of God will be composed of SPIRIT BEINGS -- not of
At birth of human flesh, one is delivered from his mother's
womb into this world. When born of the Spirit one will be delivered
from the CHURCH of God (physical) into the KINGDOM of God (a
Kingdom of SPIRIT BEINGS!).
Man is now COMPOSED of flesh -- material substance -- matter.
When BORN AGAIN he will BE Spirit -- a SPIRIT BEING, no longer
human. He will be COMPOSED of spirit -- of spirit composition -- with
life inherent -- with self-containing life -- not then existing by the
breath of air and the circulation of blood.
Of the next age when the Kingdom of God will rule the world --
the next LIFE -- Jesus said "they neither marry, nor are given in
marriage, but are as the angels of God ..." (Matt. 22:30). Marriage
is a physical, fleshly union. In the age of God's Kingdom -- when
"born again" -- we shall BE spirit, not flesh. Born of God as SPIRIT
BEINGS, no longer human. Angels are spirits -- composed of spirit
(Heb. 1:7). Jesus did not say we shall then be angels -- but AS the
angels -- sexless and composed of SPIRIT. Angels are spirit beings --
created as such -- but not begotten and BORN of God as God's own born
children. We therefore shall be much higher than angels!
Jesus explained this further to Nicodemus:
"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound
thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:
so is everyone that is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).
You cannot see wind. Wind is compared to spirit. It is
That's why mortal FLESH, as we now are, cannot SEE the Kingdom
of God. Those who inherit it will be spirit -- normally invisible to
eyes still human.
Energy of an A-Bomb?
Jesus was comparing also the POWER of one born of the Spirit to
that of wind. A scientist of the U.S. Weather Bureau, Dr. J. Murray
Mitchell, Jr., Research Climatologist, said that the energy of one
average hurricane is much greater than an A-bomb such as destroyed
Hiroshima. I am quite certain that no human claiming to have been
"born again" in this human life is capable of exerting a tiny
fraction of that kind of energy. But -- as I shall show in this
article, one when he becomes spirit will have that kind of POWER!
Not While Flesh and Blood
The Apostle Paul made clear that the Kingdom of God is something a
human may INHERIT, but not in THIS AGE -- not while he is composed of
material flesh. He may, now, become only an HEIR, not YET an
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit
the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption"
(I Cor. 15:50).
Leading up to this verse, Paul had made it very clear.
"The first man is of the earth, earthy [human]: the second man
is the Lord from heaven [-- a divine GOD Being]" (I Cor. 15:47).
This is what Jesus was saying to Nicodemus. He was of the
earth, earthy -- human -- he was flesh, not spirit. He was born of the
flesh, so that's what he was -- FLESH. When one is born of the
Spirit, he will BE spirit. Paul is here explaining the same truth.
But we cannot BE spirit in this present age.
THERE IS A TIME ELEMENT CONCERNED WITH BEING BORN AGAIN!
Continue, now, in I Corinthians 15:
"As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy" (verse
48). That is precisely what Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus. He
was born of the flesh -- he was flesh. He was born of the earth -- he
was earthy. And so are we all! And, same verse, " ... and as is the
heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." But for us humans,
WHEN? Not in this life!
Next verse: "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we
shall [future-resurrection] also bear the image of the heavenly"
(verse 49). As we are now flesh, we shall be SPIRIT -- at the
resurrection. That is when we shall be "BORN AGAIN" -- when we shall
see, enter into, the Kingdom of God -- when we are spirit -- at the
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit
the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [be dead], but
we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall
be raised incorruptible, and we [the then living] shall be changed"
(verses 50-52). There is the TIME when we may be born again -- when
we may see, enter into, inherit the Kingdom -- when "BORN AGAIN" -- and
How CHANGED When Born Again
HOW shall we be changed? The next words answer!
"For this corruptible" -- (flesh, as we now are) -- "must put on
incorruption" -- (spirit -- that which is born of God is spirit) -- "and
this mortal must put on immortality." Be changed from material
flesh to spirit!
Until born again, we cannot see the Kingdom of God -- (Jesus to
Nicodemus, John 3:3).
Until born again, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God --
(Jesus to Nicodemus, John 3:5).
Until no longer flesh, but changed into SPIRIT, we cannot
enter into the Kingdom of God -- (Jesus to Nicodemus, John 3:6-8).
While still flesh and blood (as Nicodemus was and we are) we
cannot inherit the Kingdom of God -- (Paul to the Corinthians, I Cor.
Until the resurrection, at Christ's coming, we shall not be
changed from corruptible flesh into incorruptible SPIRIT (Paul -- I
Cor. 15:50-53 and verses 22-23).
Until the resurrection, therefore, we cannot see, enter into,
or inherit the Kingdom of God. WE CANNOT BE BORN AGAIN UNTIL THE
Now Heirs -- Not yet Inheritors
While in our present status, born of the flesh and composed of
flesh, we cannot see, enter into, or inherit the Kingdom of God.
Notice, now, the status of the truly converted Christian, in this
life -- this world:
"Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of
his" (Rom. 8:9). Unless one has received the Holy Spirit, and this
Spirit is dwelling in him, he is not a Christian. Joining a church
does not make one a Christian. Receiving and following God's Spirit
Holy Spirit Entering Compares to Sperm Entering Ovum
But now see how God's Spirit entering and dwelling in one compares
to the physical sperm impregnating the ovum -- the imparting of
eternal SPIRIT life, later to produce -- to bring forth -- a SPIRIT
PERSON! A fertilized ovum -- an embryo -- is NOT a born human person.
Life from the father has been imparted to it -- he has begotten it --
but neither embryo nor fetus is YET a born person. In the same
manner the Spirit-begotten human is not, yet, a SPIRIT PERSON or
BEING, as Jesus said he shall be when born again!
Continue: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from
the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall
also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you"
UNDERSTAND THIS! There is a direct comparison between having
been born of the flesh, and being born AGAIN of God. Jesus said,
that which is born of the flesh is flesh -- a born human. That which
is born of the Spirit (God) is spirit -- a born SPIRIT PERSON!
A mortal human life starts when a sperm cell from the body of
the father impregnates -- imparts physical LIFE to -- an ovum (egg
cell) in the mother. At this point the father begets, sires. He
does not "bring forth": the mother does that, later. His part in
the PROCESS leading to final birth is then done. BUT THERE IS A
TIME ELEMENT. At the TIME of begettal, birth (parturition) has not
It is necessary to make this explanation, at this point,
because the popular deception of a deceived traditional
"Christianity" is to claim that when one "receives Christ" --
"accepts Christ" -- "professes Christ" -- or first receives God's Holy
Spirit to dwell in him, that he is already "BORN AGAIN."
First, then, notice the physical type and comparison.
The TIME Element
In human physical reproduction, there is a TIME ELEMENT. From
impregnation -- begettal on the part of the father -- having conceived
on the part of the mother -- to BIRTH, or parturition, or being
delivered from the mother's womb is a TIME ELEMENT of nine months.
That nine-month period is called gestation. Upon conception,
the now fertilized ovum is called an embryo. A few months later, it
is called a fetus. But during this nine-month period of gestation,
we do not speak of the embryo-fetus as having been born. It is in
the PROCESS toward birth. It is the child of its parents. But it is
then the unborn child of its parents. The father has already
begotten it -- sired it. But the mother has not yet given birth to
it. Yet it is, during the gestation period, the unborn child of its
Now in being "born again," the PROCESS of this birth begins
when GOD'S divine SPIRIT-LIFE is imparted to us by the Holy Spirit,
from His very PERSON, entering to dwell within us. Repeat, from
"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead
dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also
quicken [change to immortal spirit] your mortal bodies by his
Spirit that dwelleth in you" (verse 11). This is describing the
same thing explained in I Corinthians 15:50-53, the resurrection.
I want to make this crystal clear. Millions of sincere
professing Christians believe that when they profess Christ (or
receive His Holy Spirit) they are "born again." What actually
happens is this:
The Church Our Mother
When one, after repentance, faith and baptism receives the Holy
Spirit, the Spirit of God puts him into -- baptizes him into -- God's
Church. The Church is called the Body of Christ. So we read: "By
one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" (I Cor. 12:13).
Again, the Church is called "Jerusalem above," or "the
heavenly Jerusalem" (Heb. 12:22-23). Now notice, in Galatians 4:26:
"But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us
The analogy is this: When begotten by God the Father by
receiving His Holy Spirit, we are put into the Church, which during
this gestation period is our MOTHER.
The human mother of the fetus within her womb serves the
function of feeding her unborn child with physical food, so that it
may develop and grow physically. And also she carries it where she
may best protect it from physical injury or harm, until
parturition -- delivery from her womb.
The spiritual mother -- the Church -- is commissioned to "feed the
flock" (I Pet. 5:2) through the ministry which God has set in the
Church "for the perfecting of the saints ... for the edifying of the
body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of
the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man ..." (Eph.
4:11-13). Just as the human fetus develops and grows physically
during the PRE-birth gestation period, SO WE, after begettal by
God's Spirit, develop and grow SPIRITUALLY in PRE-birth state.
But not only is the Church to feed the members on the Word of
God -- spiritual food -- but also to protect these conceived but yet
unborn children of God from spiritual harm, as the very next verse
shows: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro,
and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of
men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to
deceive ..." (Eph. 4:14).
Then, at the time of the resurrection, we in the Church -- the
spiritual Mother -- shall be DELIVERED from her, and born into --
brought forth into -- the Kingdom -- the spirit-composed FAMILY of God.
Sons Of God NOW
Now, further: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they
are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14). The unborn child in his mother's
womb is the child of his father and mother, though not yet born --
delivered from the womb. So are we, if God's Spirit dwells in us --
if we are being led by God's Spirit -- children of God. Yet, at this
time, we are in the gestation state, not yet that parturition. And
only HEIRS. Not inheritors!
Continue: "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we
may be [future -- at resurrection] also glorified together" (verse
Now see how this passage designates the resurrection into
GLORY -- when we shall BE spirit -- as a BIRTH!
"For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation]
waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God" -- that is the time
of Christ's coming to REIGN, and of the resurrection to [being born
of] SPIRIT composition -- " ... because the creation [RSV] itself also
shall be delivered [a birth] from the bondage of corruption into
the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the
whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now"
What could be more clear?
Here is another comparison: we shall be delivered from this
world (the Church is in, though not of this world) into the
glorious WORLD TOMORROW and the Kingdom which shall rule it.
The CREATION is waiting for this time of Christ's coming, the
resurrection, and the Kingdom of God. Because the creation shall be
DELIVERED from the bondage of corruption. Not now delivered -- SHALL
BE -- at the resurrection time! Although this is not referring
directly to our being born again, it is a direct comparison to the
BIRTH of a child being DELIVERED from its mother's womb.
The resurrection -- the time when we are changed to BE spirit
and to INHERIT the Kingdom will be a time of DELIVERY FROM the
bondage of corruptible flesh and from this world of SIN -- A REAL
Christ Born a Second Time By the Resurrection
Continue in Romans 8:
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be
conformed to the image of his Son, that he [Jesus] might be the
firstborn among many brethren" (verse 29).
Now compare with Romans 1:3-4: "Concerning his Son Jesus
Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to
the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God ... by the resurrection
from the dead."
Jesus was, in the human flesh -- His first birth -- a descendant
of David, and, by the resurrection from the dead -- (born AGAIN) -- the
Son of God, now no longer human, but composed of SPIRIT -- a Spirit
Being. He thus became the FIRST SO BORN of many brethren who shall
be BORN AGAIN at the time of the resurrection of those who are
Of course we understand, and so did Paul in writing the above,
that Jesus was also the Son of God while in the human flesh. Though
born of a human woman, He was sired by God. But this is comparing
the two births -- the one from the human Mary, as descended from the
human David -- the other, by His resurrection to glory, as Son of God
by His resurrection, in the same manner we may be.
Emphatically this does NOT imply that Jesus was a sinner
needing salvation. He was the pioneer, setting us the example, that
we, too, may be BORN of God.
When Born Again What Shall We Be Like?
When we are born again, what shall we be like?
Here is the answer: "For our conversation [citizenship] is in
heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus
Christ: who shall change our vile body [FLESH], that it may be
fashioned like unto his glorious body ..." (Phil. 3:20-21). And what
is Christ's GLORIOUS body like? His eyes are as flames of fire -- His
face bright as the sun at full strength -- Revelation 1:14-16.
A TIME When Begotten but Not YET Born
Thus, scripture after scripture -- analogy after analogy -- comparison
after comparison -- shows that being BORN of God is a PROCESS, in
which there is a time element. Just as being born of the human
flesh is a process.
At the time when the father begets and the mother conceives --
of the union of sperm cell and ovum -- the fertilized ovum becomes an
embryo. But it is not yet delivered from the womb -- not yet born!
And will not be for nine months. A pregnancy is in progress. Yet
during this period of physical development and growth, it is the
unborn child of its parents.
In like manner, at the time when the Spirit Father, God,
begets a human with the Spirit (the spiritual counterpart of the
physical sperm) -- the Holy Spirit -- he becomes a son of God! He is
then already a son of God.
But he is still human -- he is still material flesh and blood.
He must now undergo a period (until death, the resurrection) of
spiritual development and growth. He is in the gestation state in
the PROCESS toward being born. He is in the CHURCH of God, but the
Church is not the KINGDOM of God.
The Church is composed of human, flesh-and-blood children of
God. And, flesh and blood cannot see, cannot enter into, cannot
inherit the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is made up of
spirit-composed children of God. The Spirit-begotten human in the
Church is in the process of being born of God, BUT he has not yet
entered the Kingdom of God. He has not yet been BORN of God.
He is in the gestation state toward spirit-BIRTH, but not yet
BORN of the Spirit. He yet has a lot of spiritual developing and
growing to do -- acquiring the spiritual character -- image of God.
POWER Greater Than Energy of Wind
There is another passage, understood by almost none, that reveals
our astonishing transcendent potential!
It begins in Hebrews 2, verse 6. But first, notice about
Christ, in chapter 1:
"God ... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom
he hath appointed heir of all things [Moffatt and others, the
universe], by whom also he made the worlds; who, being the
brightness of his glory, [Moffatt] stamped with God's own character
and upholding [sustaining] the universe by the word of his
power ..." (Heb. 1:1-3). ALL POWER, in heaven and earth (Matt.
28:18) has been given to Christ. He is now Chief Executive of God's
Government of the UNIVERSE.
Now continue with Hebrews 2:6; a citation from Psalms 8:4-6:
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him?"
Yes, why should the Great God be concerned about us mortals?
WHY did He put us here on earth? What is the PURPOSE of life -- what
is our transcendent potential? It is so far above and beyond
anything you have thought or imagined, it seems shockingly
Can you believe it? Are you willing to believe what is now
plainly stated? Here comes the astonishing answer, beginning verse
"Thou madest him a little lower than the angels." Some
translations have it, "for a little while lower than the angels."
Continue: "Thou crownedst him [kingship] with GLORY and honour, and
didst set him over the works of thy hands ..." -- that is, God's
NOT YET the Universe!
"Thou hast put ALL THINGS [Moffatt: the UNIVERSE] in subjection
under his feet. For in that he put ALL in subjection under him, he
left nothing that is not put under him ...." Can you grasp that? The
entire vast, endless UNIVERSE! But that is for BORN sons of God.
Man is not yet BORN -- except Christ only! Continue: Here comes the
" ... But now [in this present gestation state] we see NOT YET
all things [the universe] put under him" (verse 8). (Emphasis
But what do we see, NOW?
"But we see JESUS ... crowned with glory and honour" (verse 9).
Yes, as revealed in chapter 1, Jesus has already been given the
executive administration of God's Government -- the KINGDOM of GOD --
over the entire UNIVERSE! Only, until our time to inherit and
possess the government of EARTH, at Christ's return, He is allowing
Satan to continue on this earth his work of deception. Now
"For it became him [Jesus], for whom are all things, and by
whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto GLORY, to make the
captain [margin, leader -- or, forerunner, pioneer -- the One who has
gone on before us, as we are to follow] of their salvation perfect
through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are
sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to
call them brethren" (verses 10-11).
Christ First Born of Many
We are, as quoted before, heirs of God, and joint-heirs -- as
BRETHREN -- with Christ. He has gone on ahead, through a
resurrection, to GLORY as the pioneer!
He is the firstborn of many brethren! He has INHERITED all
things" -- the UNIVERSE! We are still heirs -- still in the gestation
stage of the process of being BORN of God. Jesus is now our High
Priest, supervising our spiritual development -- preparing us to be
kings and priests, reigning with Him! The first thousand years we
shall reign ON THE EARTH. For He shall have "made them kings and
priests ... and they shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:10, Moffatt).
The First Thousand Years
For that first thousand years, Jesus is to reign on the throne of
His earthly ancestor DAVID in Jerusalem (Isa. 9:6-7). And, "he that
overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give
power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of
iron ..." (Rev. 2:26-27). But how and from where shall we rule?
Jesus said, again, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit
with me in my throne [at Jerusalem], even as I also overcame, and
am [now] set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3:21).
When BORN of God, we shall BE spirit, no longer human flesh
and blood. We shall be given POWER! As Daniel revealed, the saints
then shall take the kingdoms of earth's nations and RULE them -- for
the first thousand years.
And ... after that? The passage in Hebrews 2 shows that then,
under Christ, we shall be given power to rule over the entire vast
universe -- literally ALL THINGS. For that is the power that has been
given to Christ, and we are joint-heirs, to become joint-INHERITORS
All Power -- The UNIVERSE
Most people have passed right over many vital statements in the
Bible, not recognizing their tremendous import!
Let me give you a few. Ask yourself if you have ever
recognized the true import of these statements in God's Word?
Matthew 28:18: "And Jesus came and spake unto them [after His
resurrection], saying, ALL POWER is given unto me in heaven and in
Matthew 11:27. Jesus said: "ALL THINGS [the whole universe]
are delivered unto me of my Father ...."
John 3:35: "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given ALL
THINGS into his hand."
John 13:3: During the last Passover, "Jesus knowing that the
Father had given ALL THINGS into his hands, and that he was come
from God, and went to God ...."
John 16:15: "ALL THINGS that the Father hath are mine ...."
I Corinthians 15:27: "For he [the Father] hath put ALL THINGS
under his [Christ's] feet. But when he saith ALL THINGS are put
under him, it is manifest that he [the Father] is excepted, which
did put ALL THINGS under him. And when ALL THINGS shall be subdued
unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that
put ALL THINGS under him, that God may be all in all" (verse 28).
And -- incredible, yet true! -- we, in Christ, are made co-heirs
with Christ in this ultimate supreme rule.
Incidentally, I Corinthians 15:27-28, along with verses 22-26,
indicates that our reign over the universe shall follow the
thousand years' reign on the earth.
Must GROW During Gestation
Human life starts with what the Bible terms "corruptible seed" --
physical male sperm. Divine life starts with that which is
incorruptible -- the Holy Spirit of God entering the human person.
But as the human embryo must GROW till it becomes a fetus, which
must GROW to the point of being born into the human family, so the
Christian in whom divine life has been started by the gift of God's
incorruptible Spirit must GROW toward perfection to be born into
the GOD family. He will then be perfect, unable to sin.
Peter gives an analogy of this:
"Being born again ..." (I Pet. 1:23). Being -- in process of -- not
having been -- not yet an immortal person -- but being "born again, not
of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible ...." (Other translations
use the term "begotten.") Greek: annagennao -- to beget anew --
(Young). Peter is here referring to the process having started
within us by the incorruptible Spirit of God -- not as our human life
was begotten by human physical sperm. Peter here shows that the
Spirit of God is the incorruptible "seed" that imparted the
presence of eternal life within us. Continue: "by the word of God.
which liveth and abideth for ever."
Peter continues, chapter 2: "Wherefore ... as newborn babes ...."
Not that we are already-born perfect divine spirit persons having
entered into and inherited God's Kingdom. He is comparing the
Christian's spiritual "gestation" period to the growth of a newborn
human physical baby simply because it would be awkward indeed to
compare it to a physical embryo or fetus. He is not saying we are
already born babes in God's Kingdom -- but as -- or like newborn human
babes. It is an analogy, which Webster says is a comparison or
"likeness between two things ... consisting in the resemblance not of
the things themselves, but of two or more attributes, circumstances
Peter is simply showing that, as a newborn human babe must be
nourished and GROW physically (even, for that matter, as must the
unborn fetus), so Christians must grow spiritually. Continue:
"desire the sincere milk of the word" (RSV has: "long for the pure
spiritual milk") "that ye may GROW thereby" (I Pet. 2:1-2). Paul
styled it "unto the perfect man" (Eph. 4:13) -- unable to sin. When
born again, we shall not be helpless spirit BABES, but spirit
beings of perfection unable to sin. This Christian spiritual GROWTH
is in spiritual character and knowledge in this present human life.
As a physical babe must grow physically, so we in the Christian
life must grow in spiritual knowledge and character (see II Pet.
3:18) to become PERFECT, which we shall never attain UNTIL born as
During our converted human Christian life, we are already children
of God, as yet unborn. We have within us through the gift of the
Holy Spirit, the presence of ETERNAL LIFE -- Spirit life -- divine
life -- BUT, only from and through GOD. We do not, yet, have any
eternal life inherent -- of ourselves, independent of God! And, WE
COULD LOSE IT -- be aborted!
This compares to the unborn physical fetus, in the gestation
period. It has human life -- but only through the umbilical cord and
FROM the mother -- NOT independently of itself. And it can be
This is so clearly brought out in the Bible, in I John
5:11-12: "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son." It is NOT inherent in us. We do
not now in this life have BORN life of our own, independent of Him.
Our contact with Him through His Spirit is the umbilical cord
through which we are partaking of eternal life from Him. Continue,
verse 12: "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the
Son hath not life." If one is cut off from Christ, he has No
A BORN human baby has human life on its own -- independent of
its mother. THAT DEFINES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE STATE OF
BEGETTAL AND A BORN STATE! The only difference is, in the Christian
life we are fed and protected by and through the spiritual Mother --
the Church, while our actual eternal life comes into us through and
from GOD. But when BORN again, of GOD, we shall have ETERNAL LIFE
INHERENT -- of our own! We are NOT now in that state!
HOW Jesus Was the ONLY Begotten Son
King David of Israel had God's Holy Spirit. Praying for
forgiveness, following his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of
Uriah, he implored: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew
a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and
take not thy Holy Spirit from me" (Psalm 51:10-11).
The prophets had received God's Holy Spirit. Peter wrote:
"... Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit"
(II Pet. 1:21). They could not be called "holy men" unless God's
Spirit was within them.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are to be seen in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said so. Therefore God's Spirit was "dwelling in them" -- they
were begotten of God -- but THEY WERE NOT BORN OF GOD -- for Jesus is
the firstborn of many brethren.
But if they were begotten of God by the Holy Spirit -- and
hundreds of years before Christ was born, how could Jesus be called
"the ONLY begotten Son of God"?
ANSWER: The scriptures calling Jesus the ONLY begotten Son of
God all apply to His begettal as the human Son, His first birth --
born of the human mother, Mary. Jesus was the ONLY human ever
begotten by God prior to HUMAN birth. In Revelation 1:5, the A.V.
speaks of Christ as the first begotten -- but other translations
render it, properly, firstBORN -- referring to His resurrection, not
His human birth from His mother Mary.
Jesus was NOT the first begotten in the sense that Abraham,
David and Old Testament prophets were begotten.
Before Jesus was conceived by Mary, He was not the SON of God.
God is the divine FAMILY. He was one of that Family. In John 1:1 He
is called the "Logos" -- the Word. He, like the Father, had existed
eternally. But He is nowhere in God's Word referred to as a SON of
God prior to conception by Mary. His human birth was His first
birth. He gave up the GLORY He had with the Father in order to be
born into the world to save the world.
Abraham and many others -- prophets and writers of the Bible --
were begotten of God -- they were in the same identical state as
human Christians who have God's Spirit within them today. But they
have not, even yet, INHERITED -- entered into -- the Kingdom of God.
They have not yet been BORN of God.
Jesus had to be the FIRST to be BORN of God -- the FIRST-BORN of
many brethren. That was His second birth, as the resurrection will
be ours! "And these all, having obtained a good report through
faith, received not the promise [were not born into the KINGDOM]:
God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us
should not be made perfect" (Heb. 11:39-40).
This, again, PROVES that the conversion in this life --
receiving the Holy Spirit -- is only a begettal -- NOT a birth! For Old
Testament fathers and prophets received God's Spirit -- but they were
not "born again" because Jesus was the first so born!
How does this PROCESS of being born again take place?
What is the WAY?
Peter gave the WAY, and the conditions. Repent, he said, and be
baptized, as an act of FAITH in Christ, His shed blood in payment
of the penalty of our sins, and His resurrection making possible
our eternal life and being born again. Then, he said, we shall
receive the Holy Spirit.
Those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells ARE CHRIST'S (Rom. 8:9);
all others are not. But IF God's Spirit dwells in them God will, by
a resurrection AS He raised Christ from the dead, bring forth all
such in immortal spirit life -- composed of spirit as Christ is.
All these scriptures MAKE CLEARLY PLAIN that we are to be BORN
AGAIN by, and ONLY by, a resurrection to spirit composition.
We are now heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ NOT YET
INHERITORS, or possessors of the Kingdom.
The Human Birth
What is a birth -- what is meant by being born?
The actual final birth is called parturition -- a baby being
delivered out of its mother's womb.
But this birth requires a father, as well as a mother! If it
were not for the PART the father contributes in the process, there
would be no fetus to be born. But THERE IS A TIME ELEMENT. The
father's part in what shall, later, be the birth is to beget -- to
gender -- to sire. From his body emanates the sperm cell that unites
with and starts life in an ovum within the mother. This occurs 9
months prior to parturition -- or birth.
We never say, in the English language, that immediately when
an embryo is conceived in the mother -- sired or begotten by the
father -- that the embryo has already been BORN! Birth has not
occurred! To say it would sound idiotic, ridiculous!
From conception must follow the PROCESS called gestation for
9 months. The embryo takes on human form and is called a fetus. It
must develop and grow physically to be born.
So with being born again, in a spiritual birth.
What comes from the divine Father is the Holy Spirit. Just as
the unborn child in the mothers womb is, even in the fetal state,
the child (yet unborn) of its parents, so those in whom God's
Spirit dwells are, already, children of God. But they are still OF
this first birth -- still human -- still composed of physical flesh.
They are still in their spiritual Mother -- the Church -- which is
still in this corruptible present world, though not of it. When
born of the Spirit, said Jesus, they shall BE spirit.
But IF God's Spirit dwells in them, God then will resurrect
them (if they are dead), or change them (if still living) from
physical to spirit composition at Christ's coming. They will then
be brought forth -- delivered from their Mother, the Church, into the
Kingdom of God.
Of the first birth we are, and remain, FLESH! HUMAN beings!
Of the second birth, which is spiritual, we shall BE spirit,
no longer flesh -- but SPIRIT beings! -- Divine Beings!
The Greek Words
The New Testament of the Holy Bible was originally written in the
Greek language. It is inevitable that some difficulties confront
translators in the rendering from one language to another.
For example, there are some idiomatic expressions common to
one language that have no equivalent in another.
One word may have more than one meaning in a language where
the equivalent word in another language would not have the same
different meanings. For example, the English word saw may mean did
see, or it might mean -- as a noun -- a carpenter's instrument to cut
through wood, or, as a verb it may mean to cut with a saw.
However, by checking different translations, and by
UNDERSTANDING of the context and all other passages of the Bible in
relation to the same subject, we may come to the correct meaning as
expressed in English.
One such example is the original Greek word for the English
born -- a word Jesus used in speaking to Nicodemus.
The Greek word used in John 3:3-8 for born is gennao
(pronounced ghen-ah-o). Here are the English definitions of the
Greek gennao from leading lexicons -- Greek-English dictionaries:
Thayer: "gennao: 1. properly: of men begetting children. Matt.
1:1-16; Acts 7:8, 29; foll. by ek with gen. of the mother, Matt.
1:3, 5, 6; more rarely of women giving birth to children. Lk. 1:13,
57; 23:29; Jn. 16:21, etc. 2. a. univ. to engender, cause to arise,
excite ....d. peculiarly in the Gosp. and 1st Ep. of John, of God
conferring upon men the nature and disposition of His sons,
imparting to them spiritual life i.e. by His own holy power,
prompting and persuading souls to put faith in Christ and live a
new life consecrated to Himself."
Liddell and Scott: "gennao: to beget, of the father; to bear,
bring forth, of the mother; II, to generate, produce." (Webster
defines "generate" "to beget; procreate.")
Strong: "gennao: to procreate (prop. of the father, but by
extens. of the mother); fig. to regenerate: -- bear, beget, be born,
bring forth, conceive, be delivered of, gender, make, spring."
Young: "Gennao: to beget, bring forth."
George Ricker Berry: "gennao: to beget, give birth to,
produce, effect; pass., to be begotten, born (often in John of
spiritual renewal)" (That is, receiving or having received the Holy
Spirit, being begotten).
One man, a native Greek from Cyprus, in a private
communication, states it this way: "the verb gennao denotes the
PRODUCTION THROUGH BIRTH." And further ..."denotes a production
through a process that always includes a birth." He put major
emphasis on birth, rather than begetting or conception -- but when
asked if it does not INCLUDE an impregnation by male sperm, and
conception, as well as gestation period, he agreed that it does.
However, it is to be noted that the scholarly AUTHORITIES
whose definitions are quoted above, all put first and primary
emphasis on the begetting by the father. It is, as I have always
said, A PROCESS, with the time element at different stages of the
It might be made more clear, in nontechnical language, to
explain that in some languages words may be all-inclusive as to
TIME, without distinction as to past, present, or future state of
a process. For example, in German there are not the two words
designating the two states of being an heir or an inheritor. The
one German word would be used in describing a young man who is his
father's heir, having not yet inherited anything, or a man who,
after the death of his father, has become an inheritor of his
A Frenchman said, "If I were an author, I would much prefer to
write in English, because there are so many more words, expressing
various shades of meaning."
There is a TIME PERIOD between fertilization by a male sperm
and parturition -- delivery from the womb -- which state as to time, in
English, is medically termed gestation. We never refer, in English,
to that gestation state as a born state. Likewise, in English, we
cannot properly refer to the Christian in whom God's Spirit dwells
as having been "born" of God. My commission is to make the truth
PLAIN in English.
Definition "Supernatural Begettal by The Holy Spirit"
"To beget means begetting, the action or process of generating or
producing; generation" [from New English Dictionary of Historical
Principles, 1888]. It is interesting also, in this dictionary to
find the following: "Begettal (f. beget v. + al, cf. Commital)
Begetting, 1873, C. M. Davies: They believe in his preternatural
begettal by the Holy Spirit."
Thus, the one Greek word, gennao, means PRODUCTION THROUGH A
PROCESS that includes and is generated by the imparting of the
fertilizing or lifegiving element by the father. There is a TIME
when the culmination in BIRTH has not yet occurred.
In the Greek, gennao, the word is all-inclusive as a
PRODUCTION PROCESS. But in English, the word birth is NOT all-
inclusive, and refers only to the final stage of the process -- the
time of parturition -- delivery of child from the womb. One's
birthday in English always means the DAY -- or anniversary of the
day -- of his delivery from his mother's womb.
Status of Christian, NOW
Now let us notice one of the problems to be expected in rendering
the verb gennao into our being born again of God.
When Jesus was talking with Nicodemus, He was referring to the
TIME when we may see, enter into, the Kingdom of God. And that is
the TIME of the final BIRTH. For the Kingdom is literally the
Family of God. Therefore the translators correctly rendered the
Greek gennao in John 3:3-8 in the English word born.
Combining this with I Corinthians 15:45-53, the resurrection
chapter, it is made absolutely plain that we do not enter into and
inherit the Kingdom of God while still flesh and blood, but only
after the resurrection to SPIRIT COMPOSITION.
Being born again refers to the time -- the future state -- when we
shall BE spirit, no longer flesh and blood -- born actually by the
But in certain passages, the Greek gennao is used, in
referring to the present state of those who have received the
spiritual life-begetting, impregnating Holy Spirit. They are, upon
receiving His Holy Spirit, children of God, in the same sense that
the embryo-fetus is the unborn child of its human parents.
We are in the state -- the TIME ELEMENT -- after generation-
conception, but prior to birth. In the human instance, the medical
term for this state is gestation.
We are NOW begotten children of God -- but still flesh-and-blood
humans -- still heirs -- not yet spirit-composed divine beings -- not
inheritors -- not yet having been "brought forth" into, or seen, or
inherited the Kingdom of God -- therefore, not yet BORN of God.
In other words -- shocking though His truth may sound to some to
whom this truth is new, that which is born of humans is born into
the human family -- the human kingdom -- and that which is born of God
is born into the GOD family -- the GOD Kingdom -- the Kingdom or Family
of GOD! But while still flesh and blood, we are merely begotten of
God -- we have not yet been "brought forth," into His FAMILY -- His
The English Verb, "Beget"
Now a word of explanation about this English verb beget -- or the
adjective form, begotten.
The simple dictionary definition, (Webster) is: "1: to
procreate, as the father: sire. 2: CAUSE." Above, I quoted the
definition from the New English Dictionary of Historical
Principles: "begetting, the action or process of generating or
Also this same dictionary in giving an example of the use of
begettal in a sentence, quotes, from author C. M. Davies, 1873:
"They believe in his preternatural [supernatural] begettal by the
Beget refers to the father. And the father's action is to
cause the start of the process toward birth.
Since the New Testament was originally written in the Greek
language, our English language Bibles have been translated from the
And since the Greek gennao is an all-inclusive term -- referring
to begetting by the father, but also, secondarily according to the
lexicons, including the process culminating in birth, the
translators had to decide which English term to use in each case.
It had been the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that
their church is the Kingdom of God. When one embraces the Catholic
faith, he is regarded by Catholicism as having already entered into
the Kingdom of God. Protestants have largely followed this
assumption as applying to Protestantism, though some regard the
Kingdom of God as some ethereal something "set up in men's hearts."
Many translators assumed this error. This led to translating gennao
into the English term born in many instances where it rightly
should be translated begotten. They simply chose the English term
which conformed to their erroneous belief. And since the Greek
gennao is a term including the whole process of birth even from
conception, they in some cases translated gennao by the English
word born -- where I have PROVED by many passages flesh and blood
humans have NOT been yet BORN again, of God.
In every instance where the Greek gennao refers to Spirit-
begotten Christians, it should be rendered "be-gotten."
Notice a few outstanding examples!
In John 1:13, the Authorized, or King James, Version of the
Bible renders it: " ... Which were born, not of blood, nor of the
will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." In the
American Revised Version a marginal rendering says: "or, begotten,"
as it should be. Other examples appear in John's first epistle.
In the American Revised Version I John 2:29 is correctly
translated: "is begotten of Him"; but in the A.V. it is,
incorrectly, " ... every one that doeth righteousness is born of
I John 4:7, the A.V. incorrectly has it: " ... and every one
that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." But the Revised
Version corrected this error, rendering it: " ... is begotten of
I John 5:1, in the A.V., incorrectly has it: "Whosoever
believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one
that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of
Here, this same Greek word, gennao, was inspired by the Holy
Spirit three times in the same verse. The first time, the King
James translators erroneously rendered it into the English word
"born." The second time gennao is used in the Greek they could not
render it "him that was BORN" or "him that 'borned'" -- for it refers
to God, and not the human believer. Here they were forced to choose
the correct translation of gennao, in the past tense, as "begat."
Then, since they already had to use the past tense "begat" in that
instance, they also correctly rendered it, in the third place the
word occurred, "is begotten."
The Revised Version also corrected this error, rightly
rendering it: "whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is
begotten of God, and whosoever loveth Him that begat, loveth him
also that is begotten of Him."
One final example: I John 5:4 -- the A.V. erroneously renders
it: "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world ..." but the
Revised Version corrected it to read: "For whatsoever is begotten
of God overcometh the world ...."
Now quickly notice a few instances where the SAME GREEK WORD was
correctly translated "begotten."
I Cor. 4:15, the Apostle Paul is talking to those converted
under his ministry. "For though ye have ten thousand instructors in
Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have
begotten you through the gospel." There it is correctly translated,
showing that Paul's converts at Corinth, as his "spiritual
children," had been begotten of God, but not yet BORN.
The experience of conversion, in this life, is a begettal -- a
"conception" -- an "impregnation" -- but NOT YET A BIRTH! This we have
made very PLAIN!
One more -- Heb. 1:5 -- speaking of CHRIST'S begettal in the
virgin Mary. This verse shows that Christ, later BORN of God by a
resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1.4), was an actual BEGOTTEN SON
OF GOD, in a manner that no angel is, or can be. Angels are merely
created beings. They are not actually begotten of God, so that in
this sense they are not His born sons, as Christ now is -- and as we
may also be. Notice the verse: "For unto which of the angels said
he at any time, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee?"
Now that ought to be plain. A converted person -- one who has
repented, accepted Christ as Saviour, received God's Holy Spirit,
does have a changed attitude and outlook and purpose -- his whole
character begins to change, and travel in a opposite direction. BUT
HE IS NOT INVISIBLE TO THE HUMAN EYES OF OTHER PEOPLE! He is not
composed of SPIRIT. He is still composed of material flesh, even
though God's Holy Spirit has entered, and now dwells in, and leads
his HUMAN MIND.
When We Cannot Sin
There is a particular verse that has puzzled millions, discouraged
thousands who didn't understand, and caused some to accuse the
Bible of contradicting itself.
Look at this verse! It says: "Whosoever is born of God doth
not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin,
because he is born of God" (I John 3:9).
Now is that a contradiction of verse 8 of the first chapter of
the same book which says we deceive ourselves if we think we have
no sin? The answer is easy to understand.
Remember that in New Testament language the pronoun "we" or
"us" refers to converted Christians. (The unconverted are referred
to as "they" or "them." An example is I Thes. 5:3, 4. "For when
they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh
upon them ... and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not
in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.")
I John 1:8-9 reads: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive
ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we [Christians]" -- this
verse is referring to sins committed, though of course not
deliberately and willfully, after being converted -- "confess our
sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we [we CHRISTIANS] say that
we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us"
(verse 10). Then, the next verse, I John 2:1: "And if any man sin,
we [Christians] have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the
righteous." It is here speaking of Christ in His present office as
our High Priest.
Christians Should Not Sin
Of course the Bible teaches that Christians should not sin. The
first part of I John 2:1 (not quoted above) teaches that. The
emphasis all through the New Testament is on rooting out sin --
overcoming sin -- growing in God's righteousness, always toward
But these and numerous other verses (especially the Apostle
Paul's experience, Romans 7:14-25) say plainly that converted
Christians do sin -- though not habitually practicing sin
deliberately and willfully. Certainly it is not impossible!
Look at Jesus Christ Himself! The Scriptures say He did not
sin -- yet they teach plainly that at all times it was entirely
possible for Him to sin. Jesus, in the human flesh, "was in all
points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). No
scripture says that He could not sin.
So here we have many scriptures showing that it is NOT
IMPOSSIBLE for converted Christians to sin -- it was NOT IMPOSSIBLE
even for Jesus! Yet, in I John 3:9, in the A.V., we have the flat
statement that, if and when we are actually born of GOD, we shall
not be able to sin -- IT WILL THEN BE IMPOSSIBLE!
Here, again, the translators had to decide how to render the verb
gennao. And it MUST be decided by the meaning in the context as a
Some more modern translations render it "begotten" supposing
the passage is talking about Christians NOW not continuing in
indifferent practicing of sin, as they did before conversion. They
know well that it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE for a human Christian, NOW, to
sin. So they render it in the sense of continuing in the habitual
practicing of sin; once begotten of God.
On the other hand, it also CAN be rendered "BORN" as in the
A.V., without any contradiction.
Notice this, in I John 3:1: "Behold, what manner of love the
Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called THE SONS OF
GOD ....Beloved, NOW ARE WE THE SONS OF GOD, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when HE [Christ at His
second coming] shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall SEE
HIM as he is" (I John 3:1-2).
This is speaking of the time when we shall be spirit -- BORN of
WHAT We Shall Be
Now notice that! Understand WHAT we shall be, when we are BORN
of God! Then, next we shall see -- still further -- WHEN we shall be
born of God.
This scripture, in this marvelous 3rd chapter of I John,
plainly says that "WE" -- meaning begotten, converted CHRISTIANS --
are, now, already, the SONS of God. Yes, of course, and the tiny
embryo, no larger than a pinpoint in its mother's womb is, already,
the SON (or daughter) of its human father, even though not yet
Next, this scripture reveals that "it doth not yet appear WHAT
WE SHALL BE."
Grasp that! Isn't it PLAIN? We are, later, to BE something
different. Of course! Although we already are begotten SONS of God,
we are still FLESH -- still matter -- still VISIBLE. But WHAT WE SHALL
BE has not, yet, appeared. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, we
SHALL BE immortal SPIRIT. That is what we shall later be!
BUT, this scripture continues -- READ IT! -- UNDERSTAND this
wonderful, WONDERFUL TRUTH! -- we know that, when HE, Christ, shall
appear at His second coming to earth, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM!
Now what shall HE be like? If you can know that, you can know
what BORN-AGAIN Christians shall then be like -- for they shall be
What does the GLORIFIED Christ look like? His eyes blaze forth
like flames of fire! His feet glow like finely burnished brass. His
face shines like the SUN, in FULL STRENGTH -- so bright, it would
blind your eyes if He were visible to you now! (Rev. 1:14-16;
19:12-13; Matt. 17:2.)
And THAT is the way YOU and I shall look, if and when we are
finally BORN of GOD! These deceived people who talk about having
had a "born-again experience" certainly don't look like THAT!
WHEN Born Again?
That tremendous, glorious event of being BORN of God is to take
place AT THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST -- at the time of Christ's
second coming to earth!
We are now flesh -- vile corruptible flesh subject to rotting
and decay. But at Christ's coming, when we shall be born of God,
this vile body shall be changed, and made exactly like Jesus in His
Yes, I know this is probably too wonderful for you to grasp!
But scripture after scripture piles up on us, confirming this
Look at the very resurrection chapter, I Corinthians 15.
The Bible, which is God's message and instruction to mankind,
nowhere teaches any such thing as the pagan doctrine of an
"immortal soul" going to heaven at death. It teaches that the soul
is mortal and shall die (Ezek. 18:4. 20).
But it does teach the resurrection of the dead.
Now, when? At Christ's second coming!
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made
alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits [that
was more than 1900 years ago]; afterward they that are Christ's at
his coming" (I Cor. 15:22-23).
That is WHEN -- at Christ's COMING! And notice, Christ is the
"firstfruits" -- the first of those who have been human to be BORN OF
GOD by a resurrection from the dead! The true resurrection from the
What Kind of Body?
Now how? What kind of body? That question is asked in verse 35.
Notice GOD'S answer:
" ... That which thou sowest" -- bury in the ground -- "thou sowest
not that body that shall be" (verse 37). The IMMORTAL body that
comes up in the resurrection will not be this vile, rotting body of
material flesh -- but a different body. Continue: "But God giveth it
a body as it hath pleased him .... So also is the resurrection of
the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in
incorruption .... It is sown a natural body" -- that is, of NATURE --
MATERIAL FLESH -- "it is raised a SPIRITUAL BODY" -- composed of
SPIRIT! "And as we have borne the image of the earthy" -- material
flesh -- of the earth -- earthy (verse 49) -- "we shall also bear the
image of the heavenly" -- like GOD -- like CHRIST in His glorified
The remainder of this passage we have covered earlier.
CHRIST ONLY THE FIRST
I have been the father of two sons. I am human. They, begotten of
ME, were born HUMAN, as I am! When we are BORN of GOD, we shall be
of HIS VERY FAMILY. We shall be SPIRIT as He is Spirit -- immortal as
HE is immortal -- divine as HE is divine!
WHY does not organized professed "Christianity" KNOW that? WHY
should that seem incredible, impossible, or even to some like
The New Testament of your Bible teaches that truth all the way
through! Jesus taught it! Paul taught it! Peter taught it! John
taught it! The Holy Spirit INSPIRED IT, repeatedly!
You have seen, in Philippians 3:20-21, how, as stated just
above in I Cor. 15, at Christ's coming our vile bodies shall be
changed into SPIRIT, made IMMORTAL, fashioned like Christ's
GLORIFIED BODY. That is when we shall be BORN of God. And THAT
change does not take place in THIS LIFE! All these sincere people
who think they have been "born again" HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED THAT
Now we saw in I Cor. 15:23, that Christ, who was BORN OF GOD
by His resurrection, was the FIRSTfruits of those to be
resurrected -- those to be BORN AGAIN!
Now believe other scriptures which say the same thing!
Believe Romans 8:29: "For whom he did foreknow he also did
predestinate to be conformed to the IMAGE of his Son [Christ], that
he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Christ was born a
SON of God by a resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4). He was only
the first to be so BORN of GOD, of MANY BRETHREN. We are to be in
His same IMAGE -- as He is, NOW! We are to be put on HIS SAME PLANE --
as His BRETHREN -- to be also BORN OF GOD -- to become GOD'S SONS!
We are already begotten sons -- IF really converted -- but what we
SHALL BE, in the resurrected GLORIFIED BODY -- does not yet APPEAR --
cannot yet be seen (I John 3:1-2).
God is to have MANY SONS born of Him. Of all these, JESUS was
the first to be SO BORN. He is the ONLY human so far BORN of God,
though many have already been BEGOTTEN!
Believe Colossians 1:15, 18: Speaking of Jesus "who is the
IMAGE of the INVISIBLE GOD, the FIRSTBORN of every creature ... the
FIRSTBORN from the dead." Yes, just the first of many BRETHREN, in
the very IMAGE of bright shining GLORY of the INVISIBLE GOD. And we
are to be conformed to the SAME IMAGE (Rom. 8:29).
Will You BELIEVE?
Now will you believe what God says in the book of Hebrews?
WHY should God be concerned about human beings? From a small
airplane we look like little ants down here. From a jet 5 to 6
miles high, people on the ground have shrunken so small they can't
be seen. How TINY must we look to GOD? WHY should He have concern
The question is answered in Hebrews 2, beginning verse 6. God
made man a little lower than angels, but, in God's PURPOSE and
PLAN, He has CROWNED man, as He first has Christ, with GLORY and
What is the GLORY with which Christ is now CROWNED? A crown
denotes KINGship -- rule -- authority -- power. Jesus Christ said, just
before ascending to heaven, that ALL POWER in the universe -- in
heaven and in earth -- had been given to HIM.
In Heb. 1:1-3, it is revealed that Christ now is the
BRIGHTNESS of God's GLORY!
Yes, His eyes like flashing flames of fire -- His face shining
bright as the full-strength SUN.
Christ's GLORY is such that now He sustains, upholds,
controls, every force, energy, and power that exists EVERYWHERE --
supreme POWER over the universe!
Now believe what God says about US! -- Hebrews 2:10, "For it
became him ... in bringing MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, to make the captain
[margin, Leader, or Predecessor, or Pioneer] of their salvation
perfect through sufferings." And in verse 11 Jesus calls us His
Oh, what matchless, transcendent GLORY God purposes for us --
when we are BORN AGAIN! Revelation 1:13-17 gives a graphic
description of that future glory.
WHY Not Now?
But, as we read in Heb. 2:8, we do not see YET all this GLORY
having been inherited by any but CHRIST. WHY, then are we not YET
Because, when we are, we are to be given such POWERS to guide,
direct, and control, that we must first BE TRAINED and have the
PERFECT SPIRITUAL CHARACTER developed in us so that we may safely
be entrusted with such vast powers!
God CREATED this universe. He is the REAL Supreme Ruler! He is
not going to turn over that power to rule to any except those who
will rule HIS WAY, who will OBEY HIM, obey HIS GOVERNMENT, and
carry out HIS GOVERNMENT, UNDER HIM!
So, it is ONLY those that are LED BY God's Holy Spirit in HIS
WAYS who are the SONS of God (Rom. 8:14). And we have to begin
OVERCOMING our own self-natures, the wrong WAYS of this world which
have become fixed HABIT, and the devil. We must "GROW in grace and
in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Peter
Yes, even as the unborn, but begotten, human baby must GROW
from its beginning size no larger than a pinpoint, fed on physical
food, so once we are impregnated by GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT -- HIS LIFE -- WE
MUST GROW SPIRITUALLY, fed on the SPIRITUAL FOOD of God's Word the
BIBLE, and by PRAYER, and what fellowship is possible with truly
begotten BRETHREN in God's TRUTH.
And UNLESS we do continue to GROW in spiritual character
development, more and more LIKE GOD, we become like the unborn babe
that miscarries -- or like an abortion! AND SUCH SHALL NEVER BE BORN
GLORIOUS WORLD TOMORROW
What WONDERFUL, almost INCOMPREHENSIBLE, GLORIOUS GOOD NEWS!
And the BEST NEWS is, that the COMING OF CHRIST is now drawing
VERY NEAR! Just a very few more years! And then -- the PEACEFUL,
HAPPY, GLORIOUS WORLD TOMORROW!
All who NOW are begotten sons of God shall then be BORN --
elevated from mortal to IMMORTAL, from decaying FLESH to SPIRIT --
from HUMAN to DIVINE!
And THAT TRUE BORN-AGAIN EXPERIENCE will be incomparably more
GLORIOUS than the false, vague, meaningless, so-called "born-again
experience" that deceived THOUSANDS think they have had now.
Can your mind grasp what an incredible, transcendent GLORY is
the true potential of those who do BELIEVE, REPENT and OBEY?
But, the scriptures that break before our eyes this GLORIOUS
GOOD NEWS, also warn us to TAKE HEED, and to MAKE OUR CALLING AND