And does the whole idea frighten the life out of you, if so, why? Yashua Messiah (Our Lord Jesus Christ) said these very words:
John 3:3 (KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see The Kingdom of God. (Emphasis mine)
The words ‘born again’ are not really an accurate translation of the original Greek MSS. In one of my Interlinear Greek/English New Testaments it states it as “born from above” and in the other an even better translation “receives birth from above.” In 1 John 3:9 it describes it more directly as being ‘born of God’:
1 John 3:9 (KJV) 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.
Notice, too, that once we’re born of God we become sinless in His sight – perfect. So as we can see, we are talking about a superlative gift from God and we are talking about a re-birth – a brand new start – a new life – as a new man or new woman – a new creation, and the beginning of a new life that will last for all eternity. A life free from all real worries and insecurities that we have known in the past. Yes, life can, and will, continue to be difficult with all its trials and tribulations, but after being born of God (born again) all these difficulties of life will be seen in a different Light; a new Light – His Light. This is literally a new beginning for any and all of us fortunate enough to be chosen for this high calling, for a calling is what it is:
John 6:44 (KJV) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw (drag) him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (Brackets mine)
John 6:65 (KJV) And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
1 Corinthians 1:26-28 (MCV) For ye see your CALLING, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are CALLED: 27 But God hath CHOSEN the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath CHOSEN the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God CHOSEN, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought (zero) things that are:
Moreover, to receive this “birth from God” is a most wondrous and uplifting thing, the most wondrous thing that can happen to a man or woman, and is, quite plainly, a miracle. Please note, too, that we do not initiate this miracle, it has nothing to do with us; the Father God calls and we answer, and that’s it.
Always be wary of people who say they have “accepted Jesus Christ” (not possible) or they have “found Jesus Christ.” (not possible) or “made a decision for Christ.” (Also not possible, see link No. 1 below)
Let us now return to the story in John 3; Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a ruler of the Judean Israelites and Canaanite Jews, comes to The Lord at night, so this was obviously a private meeting, some might say clandestine. He openly confesses to The Lord that he believes He is a teacher from God and that God is with Him (see verse 2).
Not many people understand the significance of Nicodemus’ admissions here, first of all he says ‘we’ so he speaks for some of his fellow Pharisees as well, but from then on the conversation with Our Lord becomes very close to the heart for Nicodemus. These admissions and the fact that he has taken the trouble to enquire of The Lord at unsociable hours are the first signs of Nicodemus’ calling. My guess (and it is only mine) is that Nicodemus came to Jesus more for his own benefit than for that of his colleagues and quite right too. The parable of the pearl of great price teaches this very same principle.
OK, now all of this is very fine and I will return to the story line later, but the question most of you will probably want answering is: “What about me! How do I know if I am being called and born from above?” These are very good questions and the only answer I can give is this: it’s different for every one of us, for we are all unique and no two birthing experiences are the same, for they are tailor made for each of us, but there can be some common factors in most Spiritual births.
1. In many cases The Father uses life situations or life crises to bring us to His Son; we have to have a need for Him and many converts are often in a state of brokenness when they become receptive to The Father’s call. Others are not so, and don’t need so much persuasion. Many will look around them and see the wretchedness and breakdown of their society around them. Their fellow man becoming colder and less compassionate, the paedophilia, the violence, the debauchery, the thieving and murders on our streets, children and young people out of control, the drugs, the increase in sexually transmitted diseases, rampant drunkenness and alcohol abuse, abortions (200,000 per year in Britain alone and counting), family breakdown and the wicked corruption of traitors in high places – our corrupt so called leaders who dispense injustice, rather than justice.
Many will see all these problems and know deep down within themselves that man has completely lost his way and is without any answers. Once born of God (born again), though, we then understand we have a powerful Father God who is fully aware of ALL these problems that man has brought upon himself. As born of God (born again) sons and daughters we learn that The Father and His Son are the ones who will eventually sort ALL the problems out, and we do not have to fret or worry ourselves about them.
2. Once we start to believe, many issues, concerns and problems or cares of this world that used to weigh us down, especially guilt, disappear completely with the realisation that we are now truly forgiven. This forms part of what is known as the ‘peace that passeth all understanding’. There is a certain kind of elation that kicks in here and stays with a believer always. It may wane at times but it always returns to lift us up.
3. As stated in point 2, the affairs of treacherous men (politics) or “cares of this world” as Yashua Messiah refers to them, will begin to look insignificant and of little importance, because these things or ‘cares’ are ‘of this world’ and His Kingdom which is not ‘of this world’ is now all that interests us. We are still “in the world” but we are no longer “of the world.” We are now witnesses, which simply means we watch or witness. Contrary to what you may hear from assorted pulpits, witnessing is not shooting off our big mouths trying to force people or blackmail people into believing through fear tactics but, rather, letting our lights shine. How, by growing in Grace and Faith which those around you will witness? Please note, we are still free to speak out against the wickedness we see around us, and it will depend very much on how much faith we have in determining how bold we are. This boldness comes over a period of time, as we grow, but it is not for us to join political parties in order to do so. We should speak for Yashua Messiah and no one else, but as free agents, not ‘party members’.
4. This one is a sure sign; you will feel an overwhelming desire to share your new found love of Yashua Messiah with all your family and friends and very quickly will discover that they are not the least bit interested in your new found love for Him. This will probably be your first (and only, I hope) round of rejection experiences, and don’t worry because you are now learning that they are ‘rejecting’ Him, not you. He who now lives in you via The Holy Spirit is being ‘rejected’, although it does feel like we are being rejected personally. Once they know you believe, it’s best to keep your counsel and only discuss the subject again if they ask. Again please note, this ‘rejection’ of Yashua Messiah is not real rejection, as they can do nothing but ‘reject’ Him. (See link No. 2 below).
5. You will probably have a desire to read The Holy Scriptures; possibly for the first time. Now here is another miracle; if you have read The Holy Scriptures in the past and have found it impossible to make sense of them, with all their supposed contradictions you will now begin to make sense of them, and here’s why:
1 John 2:27 (KJV) “But The Anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” (Emphasis mine)
6. Here is another good sign; He calls the low and base things of this world in order to confound the worldly wise or ‘clever people’. Mankind’s trust and faith in the high intellect is one of mankind’s greatest stumbling blocks and/or weaknesses; man’s vanity, pride and arrogance are his major flaws. To eventually be put in his place by the likes of those he has always looked down upon; the poor and poorly educated. This will be a great shock to him, so if you fit the categories of Low and Base you could be in line for a ‘Heavenly phone call’ and you won’t need a mobile/cell phone to receive it!!
7. You will also have a desire to meet up with fellow believers and this may prove more difficult than you at first thought. There are dozens of demon-inations (denominations = divisions)) out there, but very few that are Grace filled, so you must exercise great caution as to where you choose to attend. If you’re like me you will not attend anywhere, because finding a congregation of True Believers is like looking for a proverbial needle in a haystack – some might say a hen’s tooth. Needless-to-say I wish you well with your search.
Now I have given you a lot of information, but is there anything in it to be fearful of? No, a thousand times no. This birthing is nothing to be fearful of as it will cause the recipient no harm whatsoever, but it will involve the removing of what is known metaphorically as ‘the scales coming from our eyes’ to enable us to see; to see what? Now notice, the last part of John 3:3 – The Kingdom of God. How do we see the Kingdom of God? Easy, first of all we realise the Kingdom of God is in us and because it is in us we long for the return of Yashua Messiah to set up His Kingdom in its fullness here on this earth. We also ‘see it’ in our imaginations, we develop a mental picture of it or of what it will be like. If we picture a beautiful place we have seen here on earth and then imagine it a hundred times more beautiful (if that’s humanly possible – probably not) we then begin to get a feel for it. I hope to be writing another article on the Kingdom of God, but in the meantime we need to understand some important factors, that is, what Our Lord says about one or three things on His free gift to us:
1. “No one who having put his hands to the plough and then looks back is fit for The Kingdom of God.” Which means, don’t go back or turn away after you have started, that is, commitment – stick with it – onwards and upwards and finish the mission. You don’t have to compete, but you do have to finish it, and The Lord will help you to finish.
2. “Take up your cross and follow me” This means there is a price to following Him and this price does involve suffering for Him through trials, including being hated by those not chosen, but He will not let you suffer more than you can bear:
1 Corinthians 10:13 (MCV) There hath no
temptation trial or testing taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer allow you to be tempted tested or tried above that ye are able; but will, with the temptation testing and trying, also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
For God is Love, Mercy and Forgiveness and He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you, come what may.
3 “Take my yoke upon you for it is light” In support of what I have said above Yashua Messiah also tells us to carry His yoke, for it is light and easy to carry, unlike the burdens we have grown used to in our worldly lives. Here is a warning too, don’t let any man or woman in a pulpit make that yoke heavy with false teaching. You will know immediately, because they will lay guilt upon you and will make you feel down trodden and discouraged – they will also be big on rules and regulations (The Ten Commandments), teaching you that your salvation is down to you, when it is not – it’s a free gift. Through these experiences you will learn and know if you have joined the right fellowship or not. Whatever you do, once you understand that the teaching is false you must leave immediately – do not hesitate for you owe them NOTHING. See link Nos. 3 and 4 below).
Right, let’s return to the story line of John 3 in verse 4 to see how we are born again or born of God. Nicodemus saith unto Him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Here Nicodemus shows his lack of Spiritual understanding taking Our Lord’s words literally. Our Lord answers him in verse 5: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into The Kingdom of God.
Here Our Lord is giving instructions to Nicodemus that unless he is Baptised and has hands laid on him to receive The Holy Spirit he cannot enter The Kingdom of God. Our Lord then goes on to explain in verses 6-7.
John 3:6-7 (KJV) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of The Spirit is Spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Here Our Lord is explaining that those who believe and are Baptised and receive The Holy Spirit are now new Spiritual beings and not born of the flesh, even though they are still in the flesh, that is, flesh that died in the watery grave of Baptism.
Now this teaching is seldom understood today, but it must mean that, in order for scriptures like….
1 John 3:6 (KJV) Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.
….to make sense, and because we are now gifted with The Holy Spirit, and now abide in Yashua Messiah (Jesus Christ) we don’t sin, but those who don’t abide in Him and do not know Him, by default, continue in sin. To support this we then read:
1 John 3:9 (KJV) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His (Yashua Messiah’s) seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
For the born of God (born again) believerit is our bodies of sin that sin, but we are no longer of the flesh, of our bodies, we are now of The Holy Spirit and because of that indwelling, our new man cannot sin.
Taking all this Truth on board takes time, and we can now see there is nothing to fear in the process of being born from above. If The Father is calling you to His Son what is there to fear? Nothing! All you have to say when The Father calls is: “Here am I”. Just like Samuel:
1 Samuel 3:4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
In Yashua Messiah’s Holy name
1. Is The Father Calling You To His Son Yashua Messiah (Yashua Anointed):
2. What is True Rejection of Yashua Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ)?:
3. The Glorious Saving Grace of Yashua Messiah:
4. For by GRACE are Ye Saved Through FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES: It is The Gift of God – Ephesians 2:8: