By Gerald Flurry

Most professing Christians think they were born again when they said they accepted Christ. But does the Bible say that’s what it really means to be “born again”? This second birth is FAR MORE than most traditional Christians assume. When Jesus spoke of being “born again,” He did not mean what most people think. It is vital that we understand this subject.

Who and What Is ‘God’?
To understand what it really means to be born again, we must first understand who and what God is, and the very PURPOSE for our existence.

The first words of the Bible are: “In the beginning GOD created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The original Hebrew word for God, throughout this account, is Elohim. That is the plural form of the Hebrew Eloah (“Mighty One”). So Elohim means “Mighty Ones”—more than one divine Personage. Also notice the plural pronouns “us” and “our” in referring to “God” in Genesis 1:26.

Elohim is a plural noun. That word stands for a single class composed of more than one individual, just like the words church, family or kingdom. Just as there is the animal kingdom and the human family, or kingdom, Elohim in Genesis 1 shows that there is also a GOD KINGDOM, or FAMILY.

Who is in the God Family? Let’s notice what the Bible reveals.

1. Who was with “God” when God created the universe? John 1:1. Is the “Word” also God? Verses 1-2. Was it the Word who actually created all things? Verse 3.

The Greek word translated into English as “Word” in John 1:1 is Logos. It means “spokesman,” or “one who speaks.”

2. By whom was all the material universe created—including this Earth and mankind? Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16-17. Who, then, is the “Word” of John 1:1? John 1:14; Ephesians 3:9 (last part). And who is the other divine member of the God Family? 1 Corinthians 8:6.

John 1:3 and Genesis 1:1 are two accounts of the same event—the original creation of the universe. Along with John 1:1-2, these scriptures reveal that the two supreme Beings of the God Family created all things. Together they planned the creation, and the Word did the actual creating. Everything was created and made by the divine Being who later became the human Jesus Christ to die for the sins of mankind!

Man Created in God’s Image
Man is not just another “animal,” as evolutionists claim. God’s purpose for creating man surpasses anything ever imagined by the human mind. Let’s continue reading the first chapter of Genesis and begin to understand the most astounding revelation of your Bible!

1. After what “kind” were the animals created? Genesis 1:20-25.

These verses specify that God created fish to reproduce after their own particular kind, birds after their particular kind, and cattle after their particular kind. Each kind has varieties within it, but all creatures reproduce only after their own “kind.” Dogs reproduce dogs, monkeys reproduce monkeys, sheep reproduce sheep, etc.

2. After what “kind” was man created? The man kind? Genesis 1:26.

Have you ever noticed that before? Man was not created after the “man kind.” He was created after the God kind! This is huge!

3. Even though man is made in the likeness of God, are both composed of the same type of “material”? John 4:24; Genesis 2:7.

There is a vast difference between spirit and dust. Although man was created in the very shape and likeness of God, he was not created out of spirit. He was made of matter, the dust of the earth, subject to death and decay. But God’s purpose is to eventually create him out of eternal spirit!

Our Awesome Destiny!
Astonishing as it may sound, God is now in the process of creating His greatest creation of all—His supreme masterpiece!

Only a very few have really understood God’s awesome purpose for human beings. The Bible reveals that awesome purpose: God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF—through mankind! Our destiny is to become the literal children of God, MEMBERS of His own divine Family! Let’s understand this amazing truth.

1. God is forming and molding man; what does Isaiah liken God to? Isaiah 64:8.

God’s creation of Adam and Eve was complete only in the physical sense. They were created perfect physically—but not perfect SPIRITUALLY. They were created of the dust—not of divine SPIRIT. They were created corruptible and subject to death—not incorruptible and immortal, like God.

But the Master Potter did not intend that mankind should remain that way!

2. Are true Christians being fashioned by God for a specific purpose? Isaiah 43:7; Ephesians 2:10.

“We” in the New Testament usually refers to Spirit-begotten Christians, as Paul intended in Ephesians 2:10. We, then—if we are true Christians—are God’s “workmanship.” We are in the process of being “created”—WHY?—“unto good works.” God, with the Holy Spirit He has put within us, is forming in us His perfect spiritual character! With our consent and cooperation, God is creating us after His own character! We are to become the supreme masterpiece of all His works of creation—individuals who will be capable of righteously exercising the awesome powers of God! Individuals who are literally children of God—who act just like their Father!

The material creation of man is only the first phase. Now the clay model has to be fashioned and molded, with our cooperation and the aid of God’s Holy Spirit, into the finished spiritual masterpiece.

What It Means to Be ‘Born Again’
Incredible as it may sound, Jesus taught that humans can be “born” into the FAMILY, or KINGDOM, of God!

1. How many individuals does God want to have in His Family? 2 Corinthians 6:18; Hebrews 2:9-11; Revelation 21:7. What relationship does Jesus Christ have to the OTHER sons of God? Romans 8:29.

God plainly shows that His purpose is to increase His divine Family by bringing many sons into it! Not just one firstborn Elder Brother, Jesus Christ. To be “conformed to the image” of Christ means to become like Him—to be glorified as He is now glorified—to be a member of the divine FAMILY OF GOD even as Christ now is.

2. What must happen to flesh-and-blood Christians before they can enter God’s Family? 1 Corinthians 15:49-52; John 3:3-8.

Jesus said we must be “born again”—CHANGED INTO SPIRIT! Yes, born again—this time born of the Spirit of God as divine sons in the Family of God!

Begotten Sons Now—Not Yet Born Again
1. If we are true Christians, are we already—in this life—the children of God? 1 John 3:1-2. Are we already inheritors of the Kingdom of God? Romans 8:14-17.

Notice that although we are now the “sons” and “children of God,” we are only heirs—ones who shall, in the future, inherit what God has promised. Why? Because we are now only begotten. It is only when we are born of God that we become inheritors of God’s Kingdom—divine members of the Family of God.

Before the second phase of man’s creation—our spiritual creation—can begin, God the Father must first beget each of us by placing His Holy Spirit within our minds to join with the spirit in man. We are then impregnated, so to speak, by the “seed,” or germ, of eternal life. It is the begettal of the spiritual life of God within our minds. Much as a newly begotten physical embryo begins to grow in his or her mother’s womb, we are to grow in SPIRITUAL CHARACTER after we are begotten by God’s Spirit. This growth results from Bible study, prayer, and walking with God every day of our lives.

2. Do we actually receive of the divine nature of God when we are begotten by His Holy Spirit? 2 Peter 1:3-4. What are some of the divine characteristics, or “fruits,” of God’s nature that obedient Christians manifest in their lives after they are begotten by God’s Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23.

Born Again at the Resurrection
1. Can we humans inherit God’s Kingdom? 1 Corinthians 15:50. What must happen to us to be born as divine sons in God’s Family? Verses 51-53.

“That which is born of the Spirit IS spirit,” said Jesus (John 3:6). But we have not yet been born of the Spirit. We are STILL FLESH AND BLOOD—capable of pain and bleeding. But when born into the God Family, we will be free of human pain and suffering (Revelation 21:4). And with our new spirit bodies, we will be unfettered by the physical limitations of time and space. When Christ was resurrected—“born again”—He was able to pass through solid walls (John 20:19, 26). Any human beings who claim to already be born again are completely mistaken; after all, they are still flesh and blood.

Jesus said we must be born “of the Spirit”—we must become composed of spirit—to ever see or enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5). And so the second birth is something yet to occur at the resurrection to immortality!

2. Speaking of the resurrection—when the second birth will occur—what did Paul say regarding the new body Christians will receive? 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. Will they resemble what Jesus Christ already is like? Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2; Matthew 17:1-2; Revelation 1:13-16; Matthew 13:43; Daniel 12:3.

Because God is spirit, when one is born of his heavenly Father, he will also BE SPIRIT—he will be composed of the same substance of which God is composed. He will be given a spirit body like Christ’s and will be GLORIFIED and given tremendous SPIRITUAL POWER. The power and glory that Spirit-begotten Christians shall receive at the resurrection will be so great that it will make their faces shine as the sun! And all who are thus born again of God will be able to see God because they will be in the Kingdom—the divine Family—of God!

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48.


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 glorified body!

Yes, I know this is probably too wonderful for you to grasp!

But scripture after scripture piles up on us, confirming this tremendous truth!

Look at the very resurrection chapter, 1 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 (Ezekiel 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 1,900 years ago]; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Corinthians 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 dead!
49.


What Kind of Body?


Now how? What kind of body? That question is asked in verse 35. Notice God’s answer: “[T]hat 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—“we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (verse 49)—like God—like Christ in His glorified body!

The remainder of this passage we have covered earlier.
50.


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 blasphemy?

WHY?

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 1 Corinthians 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 CHANGE!

Now we saw in 1 Corinthians 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 that 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 (Romans 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 (1 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 (Romans 8:29).
51.


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 for us?

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 honor.

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 Hebrews 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 BROTHERS.

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.
52.


Why Not Now?


But, as we read in Hebrews 2:8, we do not see yet all this glory having been inherited by any but Christ. Why, then, are we not yet born?

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 who are LED by God’s Holy Spirit in HIS WAYS who are the SONS of God (Romans 8:14). And we have to begin OVERCOMING our own self-natures, the wrong WAYS of this world that have become fixed HABIT, and the devil. We must “GROW in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

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 OF GOD
53.


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 ELECTION SURE! ▪

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