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The New Birth
A  re-Genesis

 

In The Beginning                        

Gen 2:25a …The two of them were naked, the man and his wife

It's very difficult to believe that God fully intended for people to live without clothing. So how come early Man didn't need protection for his skin? Nobody really knows for sure; maybe because human skin was a whole lot tougher and thicker than now; and far more agreeable with natural sunlight.

Still; nudity seems so impractical. And I would imagine that Adam and his wife needed to bathe pretty often too. Without clothing to protect their skin from dust and grime, in no time at all they would be as funky as two pigs in a puddle.

Gen 2:25b …yet they felt no shame.

The Hebrew word for *shame is buwsh (boosh); which means, properly, to pale; by implication, to be ashamed; also by implication, to be disappointed, held in check, and/or delayed

Webster's definition of *ashamed is: 1) guilt, or disgrace, 2) a feeling of inferiority or inadequacy, and 3) inhibited.

In other words, there was absolutely nothing in early Man's psyche restraining him from parading around in full frontal nudity; and actually, neither was there anything in his psyche encouraging him to. They weren't exhibitionists by any stretch of the imagination because in their innocence, Adam and his wife simply were neither proud of, nor humiliated by, their appearance in the nude. In my opinion, feelings of inferiority and inadequacy have destroyed far more people's happiness than wars, accidents, and forces of nature; with vanity and narcissism the nearest runners-up.

Adam and his wife didn't feel naughty about frontal nudity at first, nor were they self conscious in the slightest respect. They had absolutely no natural sense of propriety, nor were they even aware of any because God hadn't taught them any proprieties yet.

So then, is frontal nudity a sin because God says it's sin; or is it only a sin in people's minds? Where would frontal nudity fit into the Ten Commandments; if, indeed, it can be fitted in? No, nudity is not a sin per se. Two possible "references" to a ban on nudity are Ex 20:26 and Ex 28:42. However, the restrictions in those passages pertain specifically to Levitical priests, and only during the performance of their duties; not to rank and file pew warmers. I have yet to either find, or be shown, a single passage in either the Old Testament or the New that specifically forbids nudity per se.

Incidentally: where do you suppose Man got his sense of propriety? Well …it wasn't from God because He interrogated Adam after his episode with the fruit by asking: Who said anything about nudity? (Gen 3:11). You see, there was no such thing as human nudity at the conclusion of the six days of creation. Man was created without clothing just as the animals were created without clothing. Clothing isn't in nature; no, it's in manufacturing. Nudity came about when Adam appropriated the word to indicate a disrobed condition. But there was no such thing as a disrobed condition in the beginning. Only Man feels disrobed in his birthday suit because he now has his own sense of right and wrong rather than his Creator's sense of it (Gen 3:22).

So then, a truly sinless person can stand before God totally butt naked and feel completely at ease; and without the slightest compunction about frontal nudity. People who can't do that are in a fallen state and in desperate need of special garments.

Rev 3:18 …I advise you to buy from me ….white clothes to wear, so the inhibition of your nakedness not appear.

Incidentally, I don't think Eve was especially self conscious in topless attire. The Bible's word for their fig leaves (Gen 3:7) is chagowr (khag-ore'); which actually means a belt; viz: a girdle or a loin cloth. So at first, she wore little more than the bottom half of a two-piece swim suit. Quite a few third-world cultures still feature numbers of topless women in their villages; and judging by the proliferation of nudist colonies and clothing-optional beaches in America, I think that if not for the law, a topless culture (of a sorts) might be possible here too.

It appears to me, that the Adams were mostly sensitive about their pelvic regions rather than the rest of their body. That tells me they developed guilt complexes about their own personal sexuality almost immediately.

The word for the leathers that God hand-made for them is kethoneth (keth-o'-neth); which is a shirt. I don't think it's wise to use that to imply God is displeased with topless women because He manufactured the very same couture for both the male and the female; no, I think it just means that a tunic is superior to a thong or a speedo as far as fallen-Man's needs are concerned.

Conscience

The Adams' sense of propriety that resulted from eating the forbidden fruit, was a symptom of something far more important. All of a sudden, Man had something that day that he didn't have when he was created: a conscience; which Webster's defines as: a sense of the moral goodness, or the blameworthiness, of one's own personal conduct, intentions, or character; together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good.

As a result, the Adams became frightened in God's presence— not because they ate the fruit after being told not to, no, not that; but rather, because they feared retribution for running around in the buff.

Gen 3:8-10 …Then the man and his wife heard the voice of The Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from Him among the trees of the garden. The Lord God called to the man; Where are you? He answered; I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was nude; so I hid.

Their newly acquired conscience assumed that nudity is punishable, when in point of fact, God had never even once spoken a single word about it.

Gen 3:11 …Who told you that you were nude?

Nobody told them they were nude; they just felt nude, and they assumed that nudity is punishable. To this good day, peoples' conscience, the one they inherited from the Adams, is fully confident that nudity is punishable even though God, the source of all moral absolutes, has never even one time, in the entire Bible, condemned nudity per se as sin. The post-Eden human conscience, which is a fruit-made conscience, just naturally assumes God condemns nudity without the slightest proof that He does.

That's very interesting because it really makes me wonder what else Man is assuming God condemns without the slightest proof that He does. And conversely: what is Man assuming God approves without the slightest proof that He does? The old saying: "Let your conscience be your guide" is actually bad advice; isn't it, when it comes to moral absolutes, because post-Eden Man's conscience is a product of fruit rather than a product of Man's creator.

Genesis 3 emphasizes Man's before-and-after conscience rather than God's feelings about clothing. It's very clear to me that clothing wasn't in the plan. It was introduced by Man, not God. The leathers He made for them were simply an upgrade from fig leaves; and I think it's very significant that God manufactured Man' first set of durable clothing after he fell, rather than before. In the beginning, clothing was optional because neither God nor Man were offended by frontal nudity. I would imagine that as time went on, Man would've eventually invented durable clothing on his own; but primarily for utility, rather than propriety and/or self consciousness.

Webster's defines self-consciousness as: uncomfortably aware of oneself as an object of the observation of others. Although the Adams were no doubt self-conscious prior to the incident with the fruit, I don't think they were "uncomfortably" self-conscious until afterwards; otherwise they would have been manufacturing clothing long before the events in chapter 3.

Immortality

For a good many years I was led to believe that Man dies as a result of eating the forbidden fruit. While that's partially true, I don't believe it's the complete picture.

Gen 3:22a …And The Lord God said; The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.

According to that passage; Man didn't become equal to God in the knowledge of good and evil; no, he actually became his own God with his own sense of right and wrong. So that, essentially, Man became God's rival in the business of moral absolutes.

Man's current sense of right and wrong is a direct result of eating the fruit; so that the current condition of Man's conscience is a fallen condition. It would truly be a pity if Man were left in that condition for the remainder of his tenure on Earth: which would have been an eternal tenure had God allowed him to have free access to the tree of life.

Gen 3:22b … He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.

God wants fallen Man subject to death so that he can be born a second time. Second births, though optional, are nevertheless a *must if one wants to escape their fallen condition.

John 3:3 …I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is given birth from above.

John 3:5-7 …Flesh gives birth to flesh, but The Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying you must be born again.

So then, if fallen Man had access to the tree of life, he would never die; and thus preclude the possibility of a second birth. The poor devil would remain in a fallen condition permanently; and get more and more corrupt by the minute; which of course is the situation for people in Hell because they missed out on a second birth while they were here. But, although they missed out on a second birth, they will not miss out on a second death (Rev 20:11-15).

So the ultimate goal of salvation is to rescue Man from his fallen condition and get him into a condition from which he can never fall again; which would be impossible if he was immortal.

Post-Eden Man                             

Gen 6:3 ...Then The Lord said; "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal"

The word *mortal is not really mortal. It's from the Hebrew shagag (shaw-gag') which means: to stray, i.e. (figuratively) sin (with more or less apology). The phrase "for he is mortal" is actually huw' bshagam baasaar which means: they are sinful flesh.

That is one of the most striking statements in the Bible— straight from God Himself —testifying that Man isn't basically good; no, au contraire; Man is quite basically evil. Others, speaking for God, reported the very same condition.

Jer 17:9 …Most devious is the heart; it is perverse— who can fathom it?

David, one of the most righteous people in the entire Old Testament, believed himself a sinner right from the very moment of his conception.

Ps 51:5-7 ...for I recognize my transgressions, and am ever conscious of my sin. Against You alone have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight; so You are just in Your sentence, and right in Your judgment. Indeed I was born with iniquity; with sin my mother conceived me.

And David taught that others too, besides himself, are wicked from birth.

Ps 58:4 ...The wicked are defiant from birth; the liars go astray from the womb.

Paul, an apostle assigned to the Gentiles, felt that his own mortal flesh was a hopeless case.

Rom 7:18-20 ...I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Paul wasn't actually a total failure at doing what is good. He was a Pharisee; the most pious sect of Judaism in Jesus' day. Concerning Old Testament Judaism, he was blameless. But underneath all that, down deep inside, inherent within his human nature, Paul knew he had problems.

Some feel that the doctrine of "The Total Depravity Of Man" is a wholly Christian invention. Far from it. Genesis, the very first book of the Bible, in Man's prehistoric years, prior to the Flood, prior to Abraham, prior to Jesus, and prior to the New Testament; God said; "they are sinful flesh." And Jesus, many millennia later, said as much: "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing." (John 6:63)

Gen 6:5 …The Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how every plan devised by his mind was nothing but evil all the time.

Again, the book of Genesis clearly, and without ambiguity, declares that Man is thoroughly evil. See all the decent, law-abiding citizens around you? They are only decent and law-abiding because civilized Man is regulated by law and order. Take away law and order, and no one would be safe for very long because it is inherent in Man's nature to destroy himself.

It's one thing to be guilty of an evil act. It's quite another to be infected with an evil mind. There are some who believe that God weighs only actions. But in the very beginning, God was already weighing the activity of the human mind. And He says that the human mind is evil, and not just some of the time, but *all the time.

What does that mean really? Does it mean that people in those days only thought about rape, and robbery, and embezzlement, and kidnapping, and sleeping around, and entertainment, and food, and power, and wealth, and revenge. Maybe. I guess you could include those things; but it goes much deeper than that.

The post-Eden human mind is a mortal mind. It's not a Divine mind, nor does it work like a Divine mind. Immediately after eating the forbidden fruit, people became sensitive about public frontal nudity. While at first he thought nothing of it, civilized Man now feels it's naughty and perverted. But human beings didn't get that sense of naughtiness from God. And that's the problem. Man's moral discernment is unreliable because it's influenced primarily by self-consciousness.

Webster's defines self-consciousness as: uncomfortably aware of oneself as an object of the observation of others. Self-consciousness is a dark quality, and a force to be reckoned with in human nature. It's the source of our irritation when people stare at us; or if we even think people are looking. It is a very strong psychological influence that impels us to comply with cultural and social pressures. And to make matters only worse, our sense of right and wrong is flexible— vulnerable to the human frailties of ego, and conceit.

Webster's defines *conceit as: an excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue. It is very similar to vanity; which is an inflated pride in oneself.

In psychoanalytic theory; ego is one of the three divisions of the psyche that serve as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality; especially by functioning both in the perception of, and the adaptation to, reality.

All that really means is that our minds see ourselves, and sees our world, through tinted glasses— making all of us vulnerable to subconscious manipulations of truth and reality. Ego is one of the major underlying causes of most misunderstandings. Some people are so controlled by ego and conceit that they are what is commonly known as thin-skinned and defensive— way too easily offended; and inclined to hostility. Those kinds of people are touchy, and you really can't speak candidly around them.

There are two common ways to see ourselves. One is through our own ego; which is defective because it's a skilled editor, and usually presents an untrue picture. The other is through the eyes of others. The way others see us is not always the very same way we see ourselves; and the difference can be quite surprising.

Highly competitive people are always comparing themselves with others; and they have a powerful desire to excel. Why is that? Because they cannot stand being below others. If they cannot be superior, then they at least want to be treated as an equal. Deny competitive people the dignity of either superiority or equality, and they can become quite difficult.

The "Unknown" Pane

*Subconscious is defined as: existing in the mind but not immediately available to consciousness. There are horrible things lurking in the subconscious region of the human mind, and we typically suppress that region to avoid dealing with its awful contents. But it's right in there where God sees some pretty bad things of which we are often deliberately unaware.

Heb 4:12-13 …For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

That is terrifying. There is nothing about ourselves that we can hide from God. Those who study the Bible are often confronted with a reflection of themselves that is not very flattering. God's word is light. It reveals all of our ignoble imperfections and every sinful blemish. But not everyone is happy with what they see in the light and so they avoid it.

John 3:19-20 …This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Because of our inherent psychological handicaps, we don't really understand ourselves near well enough to perceive just how demonic every single one of us truly is. Man's subconscious mind is easily his most insurmountable obstacle to attaining true holiness because he can neither understand his subconscious mind, nor can he control it. For the most part, it is a blind side; and without illumination, Man hasn't a clue what's really going on in there.

Jer 17:9-10 …The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.

So the question that we must face is: If the heart of Man is basically, and incurably, twisted beyond cure, then how will any human being ever get to see God? Answer: Only by an act of creation: the miracle of a new birth.

John 3:3 …In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

John 3:7 …You should not be surprised at my saying, "You must be born again."

According to the Lord and Master of New Testament Christianity, the new birth is a *must. Man is in desperate need of, not just a complete make-over, but an entirely new Genesis in order to escape the evil workings of his own innermost being.

A Brand New Creature                            

Webster's defines *creature as something created; either animate or inanimate; i.e. beasts, shrubs, rocks, water, human beings, insects, soil, air, light, the cosmos; etc. So that a creature is any thing that came into existence via an act of God.

How many of us, at some point in our Christian experience, hasn't wished that we were sinless instead of sinful? I have, lots of times. I often wondered to myself; "Why couldn't I have been born naturally pleasing to God rather than so naturally reluctant to do what He says?

The new birth, of which Jesus spoke at John 3:4-8, was something that Nicodemus (John 3:1-9) was supposed to already know about, and something he was already supposed to be teaching in synagogues in his capacity as a Jewish Rabbi.

John 3:9-10 …"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?

John 3:7 …You should not be surprised at my saying you must be born again.

In point of fact, the new birth wasn't a new concept in Jesus' day; it didn't originate in New Testament times because according to the sacred testimony of The Holy Son Of God, *nobody can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

John 3:3 …I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

John 3:5 …I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

So then, all the holy Old Testament personages, including Abel, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and David, had to be born of water and the Spirit in order to obtain passage into the kingdom of God.

(It's always fun to ask water-baptism zealots where, when, and how Old Testament personages met the "water" requirement of the new birth. You see, the "water" isn't now, nor has it ever been, natural H2O. It's something else entirely.)

Nicodemus  was a rabbi who knew the Old Testament probably a whole lot better than anybody today. He was an expert in Old Testament Judaism; but still had problems understanding what Jesus meant by being born again. After politely reproving Nicodemus' lack of proficiency in spiritual matters, Jesus went on to explain that being born again doesn't mean starting all over again; it actually means undergoing creation a second time: literally an individual Genesis.

Question: So then, if the "new birth" requirement is universal; i.e. if it's required of both Old Testament people and New Testament People, of both Jews and Gentiles, of both Judaism and Christianity— viz: if it isn't religion-specific —then where does it come from?

It comes from above, via God's spirit.

John 3:3 …I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

John 3:7 …You should not be surprised at my saying you must be born again.

The New Testament Greek word that's translated "again" is anothen (an'-o-then) which is an ambiguous word that primarily means: from above. Anothen can imply doing something all over again; i.e. from top to bottom. But it primarily means "from above" (e.g. Matt 27:51, John 3:31, John 19:11, Jas 1:17, Jas 3:15, Jas 3:17).

Since each rebirth is an act of God via the Holy Spirit; that means rebirths are paranormal; viz: supernatural; ergo: genuine miracles that only God can perform; not Man.

Rebirths are easy to fake because they can be neither detected nor examined by any of the five senses. They can't be seen, heard, tasted or felt; nor do they give off an odor. So then, there's really no empirical evidence available that can prove either a new birth's presence or its existence. Since they're supernatural, they won't show up on an oscilloscope, an X-ray, or a CatScan. Even people who are truly born again often don't know it because what's happened to them is totally beyond detection by either science or industry.

A rebirth isn't just a matter of starting all over with a clean slate; it's actually a reGenesis. Those of us who are truly born again are literally members of a whole other creation.

2Cor 5:17 …Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature

Gal 6:15 …For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Eph 2:10 …For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus

God stopped creating on the sixth day of Genesis, and hasn't created anything new for the current cosmos since then. So then, since rebirths are literal creations, then although they happen in this world; they're not for this world, but for the world that's coming in the future.

What I'm getting at is that when I was converted from Roman Catholicism to New Testament Christianity back in 1968, I didn't just start all over again with a clean slate working with the same Cliff with whom I came into this world. No, God brought me from death as another Cliff, not just a reworked Cliff (John 5:25-26, Eph 2:1).

My new Cliff is very subtle. If the Bible wasn't telling me, I wouldn't even know it was there because it's not a physical Cliff; no, it's a metaphysical Cliff that can't be detected by my five natural senses, nor by instinct, nor by intuition. My supernatural Cliff is a total stranger to me; it's a sinless being who is an eternal life rather than a human life; and that's why sins no longer matter in regards to my eternal destiny. My supernatural Cliff is a not an Adam being prone to sin; but a Christ being who never sins.

So your new Cliff is a twin to the old one?

You're not paying attention. My new Cliff is a total stranger to me. It's actually more of an alter ego than a true twin because my original self is a flesh and blood being, while my new self is a supernatural being.

John 3:6 ...Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Doesn't the ritual of water baptism actually produce the new birth?

You haven't been paying attention. The "water" requirement is universal. It's required of Old Testament era personages as well as New Testament era personages, of both Jew and Gentile, of both Judaism and Christianity. It's always fun to ask water-baptism zealots where, when, and how Old Testament personages met the "water" requirement of the new birth. You see, the "water" has never been natural H2O. It's something else entirely.

The answer to that is in the very next chapter of John— chapter 4 —and it's neither water for either bathing or for baptizing. According to Jesus, it's water for drinking.

John 4:7-14 …He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.

Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Please give me a drink." He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, "You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?" Jesus replied, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water." "But sir, you don't have a rope or a bucket," she said, "and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water? And besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his cattle enjoyed?"

Jesus replied, "People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.

All true born-again Christians are in current possession of eternal life, and the Christians who aren't; simply haven't been born again. And to make matters only worse, they are not even listening to Jesus' message.

John 5:24 …I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

1Cor 12:13 ...For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Rebirth is a *must for the whole family of God, including Old Testament personages, because according to the immutable testimony of The Holy Son Of God, *nobody can enter the kingdom of God unless they first become born again.

John 3:3 …I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

John 3:5 …I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

John 3:7  ...You must be born again.

The traditional formula for Christian baptism is in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Would you care to speculate as to how Abel, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, and David, complied with that formula before Jesus was even born, before he was even crucified, before he even rose from the dead, and before he even issued the mandate of Matt 28:19? And if they did comply, who was qualified to perform the service for them?

Rebirths are from above, not from below. If natural water were an essential component in rebirths, along with God's spirit, then a rebirth would be a combination of from above, and from below. But according to Jesus, rebirths are totally from above. The actual Greek word for "again" in the born again phrases of John 3:3 and John 3:7 is anothen (an'-o-then) which means: from above, from a higher place. So neither component— neither the water nor the Spirit —are elements of this current earth or of this current creation: the water and the Spirit are both from above.

Just because you're "born again" doesn't mean you can't still go to Hell.

Again, you haven't been paying attention. We went to lengths to explain the purpose of the new birth in the very beginning of this chapter, and to explain why it is so essential. You breezed right through all of it and somehow missed the very purpose of a new birth; which is to make people fit for Heaven. People are going to Hell not only because they deserve it; but mostly because they're unfit to go to Heaven.

Let me ask you something. Do you think there is any chance, any chance at all, that Jesus Christ will go to Hell or ever be in danger of the wrath of God? No, of course not. He will never go to Hell because Jesus Christ is a sinless being. Well… when I was born the first time, I came into existence as a sinful Adam being. But the Spirit birth of which Jesus spoke in John 3:3-8 brought my alter ego into existence, not as another Adam being, but as a Christ being; viz: an offspring of God that cannot sin.

1John 3:9 …Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

1John 5:18 ...We know that whosoever is born of God does not sin; but he that is begotten of God keeps himself, and that wicked one can't touch him.

Since the Spirit birth of which Jesus spoke at John 3:3-8 creates into existence a new being with the nature of God, then it only stands to reason that a being of that nature can never go to Hell any more than its paterfamilias can go to Hell, because according to 2Pet 1:3-4, and 1John 3:9, my supernatural replacement has the nature of its sinless creator.

Aren't you forgetting the sin of blaspheme against The Holy Spirit? Jesus said there is no forgiveness for that sin in either this world or the next to come.

To begin with, I need to remind you that whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God (1John 3:9). And we know that whosoever is born of God does not sin; but he that is begotten of God keeps himself, and that wicked one can't touch him (1John 5:18). So it is impossible for my supernatural alter ego to commit the sin of which you spoke.

Secondly; within the context of Matt 12:22-32, blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is a sin committed by people who 1) thoroughly oppose Jesus, 2) thoroughly reject his message and, 3) thoroughly allege that Jesus is a Satanic agent. Obviously then, no one who thoroughly believes Jesus is from God, and thoroughly believes his message, can ever blaspheme the Holy Spirit. In point of fact, those kinds of Christians are thoroughly in the right-now possession of eternal life and will never again be in danger of the wrath of God.

John 5:24 …I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

John 10:27-28 ...My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;

John 3:14-18 …And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.

The Sheep Do Sin                      

So you no longer sin?

Have you forgotten already that we said born-again Christians are in possession of a sinless self and of a sinful self? The answer to your question is both a Yes, and a No at the same time. Here's why.

According to the apostle John, "if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1John 1:8). Within the context of 1John, the pronouns *we and *us refer to John's fellow born-again Christians; not to his fellow men at large.

The same apostle John also said, in the very same epistle; "whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God" (1John 3:9)  And "we know that whosoever is born of God does not sin; but he that is begotten of God keeps himself, and that wicked one can't touch him" (1John 5:18).

So John said born-again Christians cannot sin, and he also said that if born-again Christians claim to be without sin, they are not only kidding themselves, but they are also insinuating that God is a liar; and plus, the truth is not in them (1John 1:10).

So what's the explanation? First, I need to remind you (again) that the new birth is supernatural; so you've got to expect something unusual and paranormal to come of it. What I'm about to tell you is beyond reason, so don't be surprised if it sounds off the wall.

The explanation is that born-again Christians are two people sharing the same body (for now); except that both people are the same person; viz: their own selves— a Christic me and an Adamic me. (I coined the word *Christic to characterize the second Adam, 1Cor 15:45-50).

When I was converted in 1968, I didn't shed my Adamic nature. No, it's still with me, and it's my Adamic nature that causes the natural me to commit all the sins for which I am told; "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1John 1:9).

However, inside my current body, right alongside the Adamic me that I was born with the first time, is also the Christic me that came into existence when I was created from above by God's spirit. The Christic me is a supernatural being with eternal life. It's my alter ego— the new meand it will be me in the next life; and that's the me of which the apostle John said; "whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for His seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God (1John 3:9). So when I confess my sins in order to be purified, it's not the Christic me who needs washing; no, it's the Adamic me who needs washing and forgiveness because the Christic me not only never sins, but it can't sin.

(I have to explain this in a genetic way because I can think of no better). The reason that the Christic me can't sin is because it is genetic kin to God's spirit (John 3:5-8) just as Jesus is genetic kin to God's spirit (Luke 1:35). God's spirit is a supernatural being who has never sinned, nor ever will sin (1John 1:5). So the Spirit's genetic offspring cannot sin because it inherited the divine nature of its paterfamilias (1Pet 1:3-4, 1John 3:9). That inability to sin will come in very handy in the next life when I go to live with God in person.

I realize this all must sound totally loony to outsiders, but it's the God's truth; and I just wish there were some other way to explain it without looking so mental. The mystery of the born-again Christian's two natures is difficult to grasp for even many born-again Christians; so don't feel bad if you're not getting it. But I have to say; it annoys the h_ll out of me when people don't pay attention. I don't like repeating myself, but find that repetition is often necessary because people's objections are so redundant. For some strange reason, whenever otherwise intelligent people get into the Bible, their IQ suddenly drops below the level of Forrest Gump. They keep objecting the same things over, and over, and over again because they weren't paying attention the first time around, nor the second, nor the third, nor even the fourth. It's like they have some kind of mental block preventing them from grasping even the simplest of the gospel's concepts.

2Cor 4:3-4 ...But if our message be hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

You seem to be implying that a born-again Christian's sins don't matter.

Again, I have to answer with a Yes and with a No.

In regards to my eternal destiny, sins no longer matter (John 5:24). But in regards to my association with God down here on the planet, sins are detrimental because John said; "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth." (1John 1:5-6).

Fellowship is the born-again Christian's incentive for keeping their Adamic me's sinful tendencies under control, and their incentive for confessing its sins. I don't confess the Adamic me's sins in order to go to Heaven. No, I'm going regardless (1Thes 1:10, 1Thes 5:9). But I make an effort to control the Adamic me's sinful tendencies, and to confess the Adamic me's sins, in order to maintain a working relationship with the Christic me's divine Father; and with His Son, Jesus Christ (1John 1:3).

The Family Of God                                        

How does one become born again—  by simply by walking down an aisle and inviting Jesus into their hearts?

The Bible's new birth is an act of God; it's supernatural. It's from above, so it can't be forced; nor can anyone make it happen by just walking down an aisle or going through some sort of proprietary religion-specific ritual.

John 3:5-8 …Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

No one can be born again who doesn't first understand why they need to be. There are some very important prerequisites to the new birth, which we'll get into as we go along.

Aren't all human beings God's children? After all, He created us, therefore He is our father. God didn't only create Christians, he created everyone.

When carpenters build houses, those houses don't become members of the carpenters' families. They're just  creations: not offspring. Houses don't become human children just because a human being built them. Man is like that. He's just a creature fashioned from the elements of mother Earth (Gen 2:7). Man is merely God's handiwork, not God's actual genetic offspring. No, the only way to get into the Bible God's family is by adoption.

Gal 4:4-5 ...But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

Eph 1:3-5 ...Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

According to the Bible, only those who have experienced the new birth have a right to call themselves God's children.

John 1:12-13 …Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

God's children are in fact a new creation, and distinctly separate from the world's children.

2Cor 5:17 …Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

But aren't we all genetically brothers and sisters, related to each other— even to Jesus —through Adam and Eve, and thus are all in Christ Jesus?

Everyone who descends from Adam and Eve is indeed organically related to Jesus of Nazareth, because we all, including Jesus, are related in Noah and his three sons (Gen 9:18-19), who themselves were related to Adam. But to get into God's own family tree is a little more complicated: requiring a special miracle of God to literally re-create the soul; and thus transfer people from Adam to Christ— who is, of himself, the rootstock of a new genus of Man.

1Cor 15:45-49 …So, too, it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being," the last Adam a life-giving spirit. But the spiritual was not first; rather the natural and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.

2Cor 5:16-17 …Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

Eph 2:10 …For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus

The Next Genesis                                    

According to the Bible, the current cosmos is slated for total annihilation, and today's earth will be replaced by a completely new one.

Isa 65:17 ...For behold! I am creating a new heaven and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered, they shall never come to mind.

2Pet 3:10-13 ...But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

Rev 21:1-5 ...Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

In the book of Genesis, after God finished creating the cosmos and the earth, he populated it with living things and put Man in charge of all of it.

Gen 1:26-28 ...And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. They shall rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the cattle, the whole earth, and all the creeping things that creep on earth.” And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth.”

The next Earth will again be governed by Man.

Heb 2:5-8 ...It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him.

However, Man as we know him today, is not the same genus of Man who will rule in the next Genesis. He will still be a human being, but with a different kind of human nature. He will not fail God, nor know evil, nor will he grow old and die. God is recruiting people right now, in this present world condition, to share in the next Genesis.

Take this brief test.

1)    Do you tend to avoid personal contact with God? [Church attendance doesn't count; nor does
         rote prayer. We mean one on one.]

2)    Are you self conscious? [Self consciousness is defined as: uncomfortably aware of one's self as
        the object of the critical observation of others.]

3)    Is your sense of right and wrong flexible, and sometimes in disagreement with God?

4)    Are you inclined to blame others for your mistakes?

5)    Do you have a guilt complex? [A guilt complex can be defined as: to feel naughty and/or deserving of retribution.]

YES answers to those questions indicate you're not prepared for the next Genesis and need to be born again, because those conditions appeared in human nature right after Man ate the forbidden fruit— thus making him a *fallen creature.

Gen 3:6-8 ...When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating and a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they perceived that they were naked; and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths. They heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of day; and the man and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

The result of Man's fall was that his psyche changed. Originally made to associate with, and to cooperate with God, Man now tends to avoid God; and his original state of innocence morphed into one of self consciousness coupled with a guilt complex, finger pointing, and a flexible sense of morality.

The Scope Of The New Birth                              

I once asked an uppity Sunday school teacher if Joseph was born again. Well, he was totally stymied because in his mind regeneration is a New Testament concept that somehow doesn't apply to Old Testament personages. But according to Jesus, everybody has to be born again to enter Messiah's kingdom— no exceptions.

John 3:3 …In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

John 3:5 …Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

A Jewish rabbi once came to see Jesus after dark; and during the course of their dialogue became confused by Jesus' teaching about the new birth because he never heard of regeneration nor could he understand why it was necessary.

John 3:7-10 …You should not be surprised at my saying, "You must be born again."…"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?"

I would not want to be a teacher in synagogue or Sunday school who doesn't fully understand regeneration because I'm sure I would feel a big greasy lump in my stomach to hear Jesus ask: "Are you teaching my lambs and do not understand these things?"

Yes, Joseph had to be regenerated too just like everyone else. There is not one Bible hero exempt from this prerequisite to enter the kingdom of God. Every one of them had to be regenerated at some time in their lives because it is impossible for mortal Man to please God until he is.

Rom 8:6-8 …The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

The "sinful nature" is the human nature we're all born with. It has been genetically handed down from generation to generation beginning with Adam and Eve. They weren't created with a sinful nature; no, it came about after they ate from the forbidden tree.

Without a new birth, no one will be permitted to enter the world to come. There's just no way God can permit a single one of us to enter with our normal personalities because the next Genesis will be a place of peace and purity. Things like hatred, revenge, quarreling, bickering, ridicule, chafing, name calling, and ugly remarks will not be permitted. Neither will adultery, profanity, immorality, deceit, sneering, greed, selfish ambition, dishonesty, dissembling, gossip, slander, spite, and rivalry. Gays and lesbians will no longer practice their usual private life. Nobody will be allowed to shack up, and no women will bear babies out of wedlock. Neither will there be war any more. So warriors will have no one to conquer, nor kill, nor torture, nor smash into chopped liver.

Everyone will be normal and in a right mind, thinking thoughts and living their lives in a way that makes God happy. I'm sure you can see right off that the average person, if suddenly thrust into that kind of an environment, would really feel out of place if they couldn't be themselves there.

The Bible says that Man is basically a sinful mortal, and he opposes God's spirit all the time. It is in fact, for that very reason that Christ was crucified: it is in Man's nature to have his own way.

Isa 53:6 ...We all went astray like sheep, each going his own way; and the Lord visited upon him the guilt of all of us.

God's spirit normally strives with Man from outside, not from within. However, if a person yields to the Spirit's urgings, then they have the opportunity to be regenerated and God's spirit will then move inside and take up residence in their bodies.

Rom 8:9 ...You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

The people in Noah's day were given a 120 year reprieve before the Flood's arrival to change their ways and yield to Noah's preaching. But they never did; so they were drowned. That is a sober warning to modern Man. People don't have forever to decide about Christ. One day, possibly quite sudden and unexpected, the Grim Reaper will claim their souls and then what? Look around you. See the people? Your friends, your family, your co workers, the people in the malls and on the freeways? In a mere fifty years just about every one of those people will be dead; including you. That's a lot of graves. According to the 2000 World Almanac and Book of Facts, in America alone, an average of 6000 people die every day: men, women, and children. Death practices no favoritism regarding age, gender, race, nor religion.

Infants At Risk                                

What many professing Xians often overlook in their search for an answer to the fate of innocents is that babies don't stay babies; no, they grow up and mature into adults. An immutable Biblical axiom is that human babies don't grow up to become sinless, no, they grow up to be full time sinners, just like their parents; so that everything the Bible says about sinners is just as true for people who die in infancy as it is for people who survive and make it to adulthood; e.g.

Gen 8:21 …Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.

So you see, God can't take a dead infant directly to Heaven because that infant is an innately evil being, rather than an innately righteous being. Here's another.

Ps 58:3-5 …Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies. Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be.

According to that passage, baby human beings are just as dangerous as a cobra, and as most people know, a baby cobra will kill you just as quickly as an adult cobra.

A second Biblical axiom, often overlooked by well-meaning Xians, is the personal testimony of the lord and master of New Testament Christianity. He said that NOBODY can either see nor enter the kingdom of God without first undergoing a second birth. And second births are not an option, no, they are a *must.

John 3:3 …I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

John 3:5 …I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

John 3:7 …You should not be surprised at my saying you must be born again.

So then, if God were to make an exception for infants in regards to a second birth, then Jesus would be found distributing false information and misrepresenting his own Father. No, the lord and master of New Testament Christianity is a man of integrity, and what he says is absolute: NOBODY can either see nor enter the kingdom of God without first undergoing a second birth; regardless of age, race, gender, color, or religious preference— either pre New Testament or post New Testament; no exceptions.

This Life Or The Next?                                      

Some feel that the new birth doesn't occur in this life; rather, it occurs later on after people pass on. But Peter wrote a letter in the first century AD to some folks in his own day whom he considered already born again while they were alive; and even before his letter arrived.

1Pet 1:23 ...For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

According to Jesus, regeneration is a prerequisite to entering the kingdom of God— which he and the rabbi discussed in John 3.

John 3:12…I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

Up until verse 12, Jesus had yet to speak of *heavenly things. Regeneration was the primary topic of their conversation in the first eleven verses in John 3. So it falls in the earthly category and is therefore something that is supposed to happen down here on the planet while people are yet alive, and not after they're gone.

My Father, Our Father, Your Father                                         

John 20:17 ...go to My brethren, and say to them; "I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God."

Just how literal did Jesus mean *your Father?

I often offend poorly trained Christians by telling them that God is *my Father. They think that's arrogant and disrespectful since Jesus used the term *our Father in the so-called Lord's Prayer (Matt 6:9); so they say God is not supposed to be *my Father, but every Christian's father. Well... my biological father sired five kids. To all five of us; Dad was *our father, and at the same time, he was also *my father.

There are legal and filial ramifications in regards to the position of an adopted child. When children are adopted, they attain every right, privilege, and benefit of children born in the home; including the right to their adoptive parents unconditional love; the right to inherit, and the right to call their adoptive parents mom and dad. And men who adopt can be held liable for child support in the event of a divorce because the law makes no distinction between adopted children and biological children. I brought that up because, in reality, born-again Christians are adoptees.

Rom 8:15-16 …So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family— calling him "Abba, dear Father." For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children.

Gal 4:4-7 …But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

The "spirit of His Son" is one of the benefits of New Testament salvation; and given to God's adopted children so they can sense the the reality of being taken into God's home; and feel the affection, the bond, the love, and the security feelings of children born in the home; viz: so they can experience what it's really like to be God's only begotten Son. Let me ask you something. If you were Jesus; would you worry about going to Hell? Of course not. Well, that's what the "spirit of The Son" is for. It's to make the adopted children feel safe and secure at home with God. Born-again Christians are given Jesus' spirit so that they can relate to his Father as their own Father. He spoke of God as *my Father (John 20:17). So then, every Christian who has truly recieved the spirit of God's Son, should be thinking of God as *my Father too.

I am God's little boy. He adopted me into His own home. And not only do I have the right to call my adopted Father dad or pop, but I have been given a spirit that compels me to call God dad or pop. Do you feel comfortable thinking of Almighty God as your daddy? Or do you feel more comfortable thinking of Him as your king? If you're uncomfortable thinking of Almighty God as *my Father, then I can say, with no reservation whatsoever, that you do not have the spirit of His Son; and you are not one of His own.

Rom 8:9 …And if anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

The spirit of God's Son is for each individual child's own personal benefit; to assure each individual child that they were indeed taken into God's home to be loved and cared for. It's not meant to assure each individual child that somebody they know went to Heaven. You see, the spirit of God's Son is a filial mentality; not some sort of x-ray glasses for seeing who else made it.

There is no case on record either in the book of Acts, or in any of the epistles, of the apostles or early church calling God *my Father.

There's no case on record of anybody praying the so-called Lord's Prayer either.

The apostles weren't bloggers. They wrote only what they were inspired to write. Just because it's not recorded for all the world to see, is no proof they never spoke with, or referred to, God as *my Father. If everything they did —including the things they did in private when they thought no one was looking —were recorded, then the Bible would contain so many volumes you'd need a truck to haul it to Sunday school with you: nobody would want to read it and no bookstores would want to stock it.

Look, nobody is forcing you to call God *my Father. After all, family life works better in an atmosphere of love, rather than an atmosphere of law. You call God what you want; and more power to you. When my own boy was little, he used to call me Dee (the letter D). In a filial relationship with bonds of the heart like the one I have with my own son; stuffed-shirt protocol is out the window. In fact, I would feel extremely hurt and unloved if my boy were ever to  call me sir or Mister. No doubt many Christians; yourself included, regard themselves in a stilted, unaffectionate relationship with God like the children in the Siamese family of The King And I.

I often tell people that the epistles are intended only for an exclusive people group. Now you can see why. It's because the epistles are letters; they're like telegrams from home; addressed to recipients who are already saved: the Father's own little children— not to onlookers hoping to be saved —who are now supposed to be conscientiously working out, not the details of their salvation, but the benefits of their salvation; the part that Ezekiel predicted.

Ezk 36:25-27 …And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.

The Stages Of Death                             

Gen 2:16-17 …And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat; but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die."

God told Adam he would die as soon as he ate the fruit. Since death, as people normally understand it, didn't occur for Adam until he was 930 years old, then there is obviously more to Death than we might realize. Death occurs on two distinct levels; 1) Physical Death: which is a condition that destroys the body; and 2) Psychological Death: which is a mental and emotional condition that alienates Man from God. The death spoken of in Gen 2:17 was Adam's psychological death.

Three immediate symptoms of Adam's psychological death were: (1) a tendency to avoid contact with the Bible's God; (2) self consciousness, and (3) a humanistic sense of right and wrong. Those three symptoms are universal, and evident in all human beings regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or gender. Therefore, until people are born-again, they exist in a condition of living death, and are reckoned as among the *dead* as opposed to reckoned among the living.

John 5:24-25 …I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

According to the New Testament; people who pay attention to Jesus' preaching, and believe what he says, have crossed over from death to life right now while they are alive; before they die (John 5:24, Eph 2:1-2).  So then, there are two stages of resurrection: one for Man's body, and one for Man's innermost being. The new birth begins with Man's innermost being; his psyche.

John 3:6-8 …Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

The Stages Of Resurrection                             

Jesus taught that resurrection occurs in two distinct time frames: a time yet to come, and a time right now. If a Bible student is unaware of those two time frames, they will probably overlook one of them. A redeemed sinner's innermost being is resurrected now, in this life, via the new birth.

Living Death was the condition of the Ephesian believers before they responded to Paul's gospel.

Eph 2:1-4 …As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—

The born again Christian's body, however, won't be raised until later on at one of the physical resurrections.

1Thes 4:13-18 …Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.

...For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Resurrection of Man's self isn't obtained through a ritual, nor through Bible study, nor through church attendance, nor through charity, love, nor good works. It is totally paranormal and obtained only by a direct action from Christ himself.

John 5:21 …For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

John 17:2 ...For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

Is It Possible To Be Born Again And Not Know It? And what about Spirit baptism? If I were to be baptized by God's spirit, how would I know? Discounting emotional reactions; what would tip me off when the Spirit birth and the Spirit baptism occurs?

It is very possible to be born again and not know it because Jesus said the second births about which he spoke in John 3:3-8 are invisible: just as invisible as the air in a breeze.

For examples of how difficult it is to discern born-again people: if you didn't know any more about Samson than what's recorded about him in the book of Judges, would you say he was saved or not-saved? Well, as carnal as that man was, I would have to say he was not-saved. But the epistle of Hebrews lists him as a righteous man. (Heb 11:32)

And what about Lot? Well, if Genesis were all I knew about Abraham's nephew, I would have to say he was not-saved. But Peter commends him as a righteous man too. (2Pet 2:7-9)

So you just never know because a good number of even the most illustrious Christians will turn out to be not-saved.

Matt 7:22-23 . . Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Master, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you. Depart from me, you that work iniquity.

That passage doesn't target Atheists, nor Hindus, nor Muslims. No, it targets people professing to have done many wonderful works in Christ's name; viz: it targets Christians— and not just your average rank and file pew warmers, no, but rather, it targets outstanding Christians like Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, Jeanne Jugan, Jozef Damian de Veuster, archbishop Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski, Francisco Coll y Guitart, Rafael Arnaiz Baron, Father Arcangelo Tadini, Sister Caterina Volpicelli, theologian Bernardo Tolomei, Gertrude Caterina Comensoli, Carmelite monk Nuno de Santa Maria Alvares Pereira, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Billy Graham, Luis Palau, and a host of Sunday school teachers, Pastors, Deacons and church elders— the cream of the crop; the celebrities of the Christian world; renowned for their accomplishments, their piety, their perseverance, their love, and their dedication.

It is to many of those kinds of Christians that Jesus will say "I never knew you." Why? Because though their performance was outstanding, they neglected to undergo a second birth about which Jesus spoke in John 3:3-8; and according to his testimony as an expert witness in all things pertaining to the hereafter, second births aren't optional; no, they're a must.

Since rebirths are paranormal; they're easy to fake because they can be neither detected nor examined by any of the five senses. They can't be seen, heard, tasted or felt; nor do they give off an odor. So then, there's really no empirical evidence available that can prove either a new birth's presence or its absence. Since they're supernatural, they won't show up on oscilloscope, an X-ray, or a CatScan. It isn't unusual for people who are truly born again to be unaware of it because what's happened to them is totally beyond detection by either science or industry.

John 3:8 . .The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

I'm going to show you some very simple ways to tell whether or not you've truly been Spirit born, and whether you've been truly Spirit baptized.

We believe God's spirit is a rational, intelligent being. And we further believe that whenever it communicates with Man, the Spirit does so in a rational, intelligent manner. Therefore, we believe that it has a rational, intelligent way to convince those in Christ that they indeed got there by an act of God.

God's spirit is a paranormal being. So there's no use in trying to detect its activity with our five natural senses. No, its activity cannot be sensed, its activity has to be revealed. Therefore, the answer to your question— What would tip me off when the Spirit birth and the Spirit baptism occurs? —is right where anybody can find it: the text of the New Testament.

Are you a believer? You should be able to answer that question with a simple yes or a no. If you can't, then I would have to say that you're pretty much out of touch with yourself; so let me rephrase it: Do you at least believe yourself to be a believer? True believers are in the right-now possession of eternal life; no waiting period.

John 3:35-36 …He who believes in the Son *has eternal life;

John 6:47 …Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes *has eternal life.

John 5:24 …I assure you, those who listen to my message and trust in God who sent me *have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they *have already passed from death into life.

1John 5:13 …I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you *have eternal life.

1John 5:11-12 …And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who *has the Son *has the life; he who does not have the life, does not have the Son of God.

I believe myself to be a true believer. Whether or not I am actually a true believer is unimportant. What is of the utmost importance is integrity; viz: that I remain true to my personal convictions. A rough-hewn definition of integrity is being the same on the outside as you are on the inside.

Since I sincerely believe myself to be a true believer; then logic, conscience, and integrity, compel me to believe that all five of the four of the passages above, and all four below, apply to me.

John 5:24 …I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

Eph 1:4-5 …According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will

Gal 4:4-7 ...But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, "Abba, Father". Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Rom 8:15-17 …For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father". That spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Upon my personal confidence in the inspired truth of John 5:24, Eph 1:4-5, Gal 4:4-7, and Rom 8:15-17; I can easily, and in all good conscience; stand up here on the world wide web, in front of everybody, and in the witness of Almighty God and the holy angels; solemnly testify:

1) I have eternal life right now, this very moment.

2) I have already passed from a condition of death to a condition of life.

3) I will never be condemned for my sins.

4) Almighty God is *my father; He is *my dad, and adopted me into His own home.

5) I was predestined to this adoption before the cosmos was even created.

6) The Holy Ghost assures me every day that I am one of Almighty God's sacred kids.

I listed nine passages of New Testament scripture that apply to all true Bible Christians— John 3:35-36, John 5:24, John 6:47, Eph 1:4-5, Gal 4:4-7, Rom 8:15-17, 1John 5:11-12, 1John 5:13, . If you can, in all honesty and good conscience, apply all nine of those inspired passages to yourself with courage, conviction, and a clear conscience like I did; then the logical conclusion is that you are born again, and a true believer.

OBAABA

OBAABA is an acronym for Once Born Again; Always Born Again

An expert witness can be defined as: A witness, who by virtue of education, training, skill, or experience, is believed to have knowledge in a particular subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the witness's specialized (scientific, technical or other) opinion about an evidence or fact issue within the scope of their expertise, referred to as the "expert opinion" as an assistance to the fact-finder.

Christ never spoke of his own initiative. He always spoke for God, and as God.

John 3:31-32 . . He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. I am of the earth, and my understanding is limited to the things of earth, but he has come from heaven. He testifies to what he has seen and heard,

John 3:33-34 . . For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God's Spirit is upon him without measure or limit.

John 12:49 . . For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a mandate, what I should say, and what I should speak.

According to the Bible's Christ as a heaven-sent expert witness in all matters pertaining to the afterlife, and in his capacity as a prophet speaking as God and for God, second births are not optional, no, they are a must if somebody wishes to have any hope of obtaining a pass into God's kingdom.

John 3:3 . . I assure you, unless you are born from above, you can never see the Kingdom of God.

John 3:6-8 . . Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit reproduces spirit life. So don't be surprised at my statement that you must be born again.

Paul concurred.

1Cor 15:50 . . Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God

Why can't flesh and blood inherit the kingdom? Answer: because those elements pertain to a mortal kind of life; viz: they're perishable. According to 1Cor 15:35-53 only imperishable life is permitted in heaven; and the only way to obtain it is via a Holy Spirit birth; which makes perfect sense when you think about it. If the Holy Spirit cannot die, then His offspring cannot die either because they inherit from Him a God kind of life; which is eternal life rather than human life.

Since spirit life is an invisible kind of life, then it's impossible to tell by looking at people who has it.

John 3:8 . .The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

FAQ: Can born-again Christians become unborn-again?

Answer: No, and the reason for that is quite simple. The kind of life that the Holy Spirit reproduces is His own kind of life; which is an eternal kind of life rather than a mortal kind of life. Can God die? No; so then people born of God cannot die either.

In addition; since eternal life is an immortal kind of life that cannot die, then it's impervious to the wages of sin.

Rom 6:23 . . For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All believers have eternal life right now— no delay and no waiting period. Note the grammatical tense of the verb "have" in the passages below. It's in the present tense rather than future.

John 3:36 . . He who believes in the Son has eternal life

John 6:47 . .Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

John 5:24 . . I assure you, those who heed my message and trust in God who sent me, have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from Death into Life.

1John 5:13 . . I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

The right-now possession of eternal life isn't optional. No, according to God's testimony as an expert witness in all matters pertaining to His own son, people believing themselves to be Christians while not possessing eternal life, don't have His son; viz: they are quite christless.

1John 5:9-12 . .We accept human testimony; but God's testimony carries more weight because it's the testimony of God, which He has given about His son. . . And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. He who has The Son has this life; he who does not have this life, does not have God's son.

Needless to say then, a Christian not in possession of eternal life is not only a christless unbeliever, but they haven't even been born again yet; ergo: they do not yet have a pass into the kingdom, and abide in grave danger of the wrath of God.

BTW: Christians who refuse to believe that the possession of eternal life is an essential prerequisite to having Christ, openly suggests that the Bible's God is a dishonest person of low moral integrity who can't be trusted to tell the truth.

1John 5:10-12 . . Anyone who doesn't believe God insinuates that He's a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about His son. And this is the testimony: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His son. So whoever has God's son has the life; whoever doesn't have the life, doesn't have His son.

 

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