Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Are YOU Really a "Born Again" Christian?
Being born again, refers to the Resurrection. The Messiah refers to death as sleep, which we will experience until we are called forth from the grave at the last trump. At that time, we will rejoice, praising YEHOVAH God as we prepare to enter His Kingdom, being BORN AGAIN!!
by Don Robson
Personally, I find it troublesome that we have two classes of so-called Christians: that is, "regular" Christians who have "professed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior" and "Born Again" Christians. As far as I know, these born again Christians have also "accepted Jesus Christ as Savior," but they believe that they are filled with his spirit and seem to think themselves a notch above the rest of the "regular" Christians.
This need to be recognized as special reminds us of the Pharisees of the Messiah's day for whom recognition as special devotees of YEHOVAH was important. Consider this verse from John 7:18. "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." Or, consider Luke 11:43. "Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces." Or Luke 16:15. "And he said to them, 'You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.'" Finally, I quote Luke 20:46-47. "Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."
Well -- what about the disciples at Pentecost? Were they born again? I think not! They certainly received the spirit like tongues of fire and they were filled with the holy spirit -- but the holy spirit was within their corruptible bodies. Because of Adam's sin, we all bear the burden of sin, even those who were blessed at Pentecost.
Even the apostle Paul, who received his blessing elsewhere, reviled himself, calling himself the chief among sinners. And in Romans 7:14-19, we read the following --
"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, I do not: but what I hate, that do I. If then I do which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me, [that is, in my flesh,] dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me: but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would do, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do."
And so we come to understand that the gift of the holy spirit at Pentecost was but an EARNEST of what was to come.
The Messiah taught the lesson of the need to be born again when Nicodemus came to him by night. Yeshua started the lesson by saying, John 3:3, "Verily, Verily, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Now, we know that Israel, the House of Jacob, is the physical Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, but at the present time it is wallowing in imperfection and sin. What does Isaiah say of the Kingdom? Look to Isaiah 65:19 and 25:
"And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says the LORD."
Here YEHOVAH God is talking about a sin free environment. It is confirmed in Revelation in the description of the New Jerusalem descending from YEHOVAH God. Revelation 21:27, "Nothing impure may enter into it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life" (Jewish New Testament). From this a reasonable conclusion may be reached: that is, we can only enter the capital of the King when we are sin free and released from these sinful, corruptible bodies.
And how do we shed these corruptible bodies? They are shed when we die. Being born again, refers to the Resurrection. Let's look again at John 3:5-7, "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." And so, we need the spiritual body to enter the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. And unless anyone be confused, the Messiah points out that the Kingdom is here ON EARTH, for he says in verse 13, "And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven." (Please note that the Messiah "came down from heaven" DOES NOT prove that he was formerly a god in heaven who gave up his divinity and was sent to earth by the Father to be born as a human baby. Rather, it was this most special human being who was sent "from heaven" -- that is, appointed by YEHOVAH God to accomplish the all-important work of becoming our savior and elder brother -- the first of many to be resurrected from the dead and to enter into the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God here on this earth).
So, death is not a transition from earth to heaven. The Messiah refers to death as sleep, which we will experience until we are called forth from the grave at the last trump. The apostle Paul makes it clear in 1st Corinthians 15:50-52. "Now, this I say brethren, THAT FLESH AND BLOOD CANNOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD: neither does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep 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 shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality." So, there is the spiritual body we seek for entry into the Kingdom
It is very clear that the Kingdom will flourish under the rulership of YEHOVAH God when He returns TO EARTH TO RULE FOREVER. The Messiah will TAKE UP THE THRONE OF DAVID AND RULE JACOB (ISRAEL) FOR EVER. And the faithful shall rule with him. John 14:23, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself: that where I am there may you be also."
So the Messiah has told us in his discourse with Nicodemus that we cannot go to heaven and he now tells us that he will come here that where he is, we may be also. Praise be to YEHOVAH God! But we will let John tell us the really exciting part -- 1 John 3:1 and 2. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God: and it does not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM: for we shall see him as he is."
Yes!! We shall have a spiritual body like his which, you remember, was a body constructed of flesh and bone (no blood) but with special abilities (appearing and disappearing before His disciples). And we shall be filled with YEHOVAH's spirit with His laws written in our minds and hearts. At that time, we will rejoice, praising YEHOVAH God as we prepare to enter His Kingdom, being BORN AGAIN!!
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God!
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