The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet 1789 Plan of God kc 6-1

Jesus is talking about a man being BORN first of "water" AND then of "spirit".

There are a multitude of people who call themselves "Spirit Filled" or "Born Again" Christians.

What they mean by "Born Again" is that they have put off,
i.e. buried, the old sinful man, symbolized by the immersion at baptism,
and have been "begotten by", i.e. received the Holy Spirit giving them new life,
a rebirth of the spirit, creating a new man or woman.

Such is certainly a true description of one who comes to repentance
and accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and now "believes" on Him.
But, that is not the lesson Jesus was teaching us in His conversation with Nicodemus! John 3:3 ...Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. I know, I know, bear with me! Please read on.


This conversion, this changing of one's heart and mind and conduct, is very eloquently described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter 4:

Ephes. 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ;

[21] If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

[22] That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

[23] And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

[24] And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

So if Christians want to go around saying they are "Born Again"
because they have been begotten by the Holy Spirit
and have been renewed in the spirit of their mind, that's fine, we understand what they mean.

BUT, the description of the conversion process and the term "Born Again"
are erroneously taken from the first part of the third chapter of the Gospel of John.

Please note:That is not the lesson Jesus was teaching us in His conversation with Nicodemus!

Let's read the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus
where the Lord is actually going to explain to Nicodemus the process
of how our Father intends for us to enter into this world and then return to Him.

Note: We know there are some who won't "see" or understand this section of scripture because they have been so ingrained with the traditional "Born Again" terminology, that it overpowers their ability and blinds them to the simplicity of what Christ is teaching. If you are a new person studying with us and have grown up with these verses being interpreted as begettal by the Holy Spirit, then place this study in a separate file folder and let it rest in a digital state for a while and revisit it sometime in the future.
John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
The name "Nicodemus" means "victorious among the people"
and for a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews to believe in Jesus as he did, was a victory indeed!

We begin by seeing Nicodemus come to Jesus by night, because he was cautious and wise man.

[2] The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Nicodemus had NO DOUBT that Jesus was from God.

In fact Nicodemus believed in Jesus and he, along with Joseph of Arimathaea,
defended Jesus Christ at the trial of the Sanhedrin the night before the crucifixion, and won too!

The subject that Jesus is now going to talk to Nicodemus about is "Birth", i.e. being 'Born", not "Conception" or "Begettal"!

We will see that Nicodemus clearly understands that Jesus is talking about "birth" as the context of his reply will verify.

[3] Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
This is where the phrase "Born Again" comes from.

However, for the word "again" the manuscripts use the Greek word "anothen" which means "from above".

Here's the definition of "anothen":

anothen, an'-o-then, Greek 509; from Greek 507 (ano); from above; by analogy from the first; by implication anew :-from above, again, from the beginning (very first), the top.
A number of translations such as Moffat and Phillips correctly read "born from above" instead of "born again", while many others such as the NIV and the RSV have marginal notes which read "or from above".

And what is the "kingdom of God" Jesus said you cannot see,
unless you are "born from above" and then of spirit.

A kingdom is made up of a "king" and his "dominion".

The kingdom of God that Jesus is referring to is the SAME kingdom of God that FLESH AND BLOOD cannot enter into. 1 Cor. 15:50

He is not talking about spiritually discerning the kingdom in your heart, as people say,
but the defacto Kingdom of God that the disciples wanted Jesus to SET UP THEN,
with Him as King.

That kingdom of God is established when Jesus Christ returns as King of kings
and Lord of lords to RULE the dominion, the nations, with a rod of iron.

If you aren't born from above you won't see it,
by which He means you cannot ENTER INTO while still in your flesh body, as verse 5 clearly documents.

John 3:4 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?
Notice that Nicodemus does NOT interpret what Jesus says as begettal but clearly as birth.

Jesus is NOT talking about spirit ENTERING into a man's mind.

However, Nicodemus is looking at this from purely a flesh perspective, meaning only physically,
i.e. that which he can see and touch and feel!
Many of us have this problem!

His mind is thinking of two FLESH BIRTHS.

Of course he wasn't stupid and he knew it was not possible for a grown man to re-enter the womb,
so he asks the obvious question, "How can a grown man be Birthed Again".

[5] Jesus answered, 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.
"I assure you, " said Jesus, "that unless a man is born from water and from spirit
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

Flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit;" (Phillips)

Again, it is written in 1 Cor. 15:50 that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;
neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Jesus is talking about ENTERING INTO the kingdom of God.

Be patient. Verse 13 will summarize this all for us.

Also, no where in this conversation does Jesus talk about the spirit entering a man!

He is talking about a man being BORN first of "water" AND then of "spirit".
He is saying, that we, you and me, who were created by God as  spirit beings in the beginning before the first earth age, must now, in this earth age come to this earth born as a human flesh and blood being, but, also must be changed back into your spirit body before entering into His kingdom when He returns.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them {the ancient Israelites} for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

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