Looking for Jesus To Save My Soul – Part 3
Being Born Again
The first step is a physical birth, which gains one entry into the kingdom of man. Step two is a spiritual birth into the Kingdom of God. If men accept Jesus as their Savior their names are written into the book of life and they become heirs to eternal life.
They were born initially as physical bodies and will be born again, as spiritual bodies, upon the return of Jesus:
And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me… (Revelation 22:12)
Nicodemus did not understand how someone could be born again. Therefore, he specifically asked that question: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? (John 3:4)
Jesus gives him a straightforward answer. This is the definition of being born again:
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:5-7)
Jesus states no man can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born a second time. The first and obvious birth is a physical process involving water. We are composed of approximately 70% water and carried in water in the womb. All humans who have been born since the creation of Adam and Eve have been born of water. This first birth gets us into the animal kingdom as Homo sapiens, or man. Although man is a living breathing animal, he was created in the image of God and is the only animal capable of being born again as a spirit.
Some might confuse the phrase “born of water” as meaning we must be baptized to enter the Kingdom of God. Thus the tradition of baptizing babies was created. However, it should be obvious to anyone that to enter the Kingdom of God, one must first be born as a human being, or born of water.
No other members of the animal kingdom may gain eternal life, as the process involves making a cognitive choice. The primary mode of operation of the other animals is instinctive, not making choices. Man is like the other animals in that all are flesh and return to dust:
For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20)
Man is different from the other animals in that he has freedom of choice, knows good from evil at some point, and has the opportunity to become immortal and live forever. In fact, the main choice man must make is between death and eternal life:
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life… (Deuteronomy 30:19)
The second birth, that of being born again, is clearly defined as a spiritual birth. The Kingdom of God is composed exclusively of eternal spiritual beings. At present, this includes only God and the angels. Man’s goal is to gain membership in the Kingdom of God. Our goal is not to avoid burning in hellfire for eternity. It is a positive goal to attain something wonderful, not a negative goal to avoid something terrible.
Why is Satan fighting desperately to derail God’s plan? The answer is obvious. God’s plan is creating the spiritual bodies, which will replace Satan and his rebellious angels! These future spirits will be the enemies of Satan. Jesus gives some characteristics of those born again spiritual bodies:
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
Approximately 50% of United States citizens claim to be “born again Christians.” With a 2007 population of three hundred million that would be one hundred and fifty million confused and mislead Christians. Does the above verse describe 50% of United States citizens? Are they spirits or ghosts that come and go invisibly as the wind?
Also note, when referring to those to be born again of the Spirit, Jesus does not refer to them as men. He says, “so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Men do not have spiritual bodies! Once born of the Spirit, you no longer need your physical body. Being subject to physical laws, a physical body is a hindrance in the spiritual world. One cannot move as the wind with an attached physical body. These would be handicapped spirits.
Nicodemus asked for additional explanation concerning spiritual rebirth:
Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? (John 3:9)
Jesus refuses to answer his question directly. His reply is that Nicodemus would not understand heavenly matters: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? (John 3:11-12)
Jesus and the apostles have been teaching earthly matters and the Pharisees have not understood. If they cannot understand earthly teachings, which are of their world, why should it be expected that they would understand heavenly matters of a different world? Therefore, Jesus does not answer His question. Sadly, this remains the situation two thousand years later. Man in general still does not understand the process of being born again!
The New Testament is a will. What one gains by becoming an heir under the will is one item: eternal life. Does this make any sense that the one thing we inherit is eternal spiritual life? We do not inherit new cars, cabin cruisers, ships, planes, vacation homes in every city on earth, seventy-two virgins, physical beauty, good physical health, etc. Why?
Humans will cease to exist after the age of man ends. No possessions mentioned above will be needed in the spiritual world. Therefore, the one thing we inherit is a spiritual body as a member of the Kingdom of God. Any other item you can imagine has value only in the kingdom of man, which will pass away with man. One becomes an heir to eternal life by believing in Jesus.
These heirs will receive eternal life and membership in the Kingdom of God. One must be born again as a spirit to have everlasting life as only spiritual life lasts forever. Flesh degrades and dies. The names of humans who fail to become heirs under the New Testament are not written in the book of life.
Consequently, they are never born again as spirits and will perish. They are resurrected as physical bodies and may suffer the second death described in Revelation:
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
Most of these have lived and died on earth long ago as physical beings. They will be resurrected as physical beings again, at the second resurrection since they were not Christians. Therefore, if cast into the lake of fire they will die a second time. Hence the term “second death.”
The second death is final and eternal. There is no Third Testament to restore one’s life after the second death. The New Testament saves believers from the second death:
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:11)
The act of being born again and a comparison of natural versus spiritual bodies is found in First Corinthians:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (I Corinthians 15:44-50)
The first man Adam was made a living soul, or being, because he was part of the animal kingdom. That is, the first body any human has is that of a living, breathing being. The last Adam will be made a quickening spirit since he will live in the Kingdom of God. That is, the last body any former human can have will be an eternal spiritual body.
Notice that “Adam” is identified as a “man” only when he is made as a living soul or being. When “made a quickening spirit” the entity is called only Adam. This is significant because at this point, Adam is no longer a man, or human being.
The last Adam is made a quickening spirit, which lives forever. Of course, any human’s name can be substituted in the place of Adam. Flesh and blood, such as man, cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Thus one must be born again as a spirit.
Consider this sentence from the above verses, “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.”
The answer is that once spiritual bodies are created, it’s a done deal! They cannot be terminated. They are immortal! Therefore, that which is natural comes first, a human body. That human being may or may not inherit a spiritual body, based on his choice, regarding Jesus.
God does not desire to create more immortal rebels! Jesus does not want workers who do not want Him!
These verses also negate the myth that men are born as an immortal soul living within a physical body. It specifically states that they are separate, and come in two stages.
The natural body comes first and is then followed by the spiritual body:
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. (I Corinthians 15:46)
The natural body comes first and the spiritual body comes last. They are different and are never merged together at anytime, in the scriptures! All men are born as natural or physical flesh and blood bodies, and those who believe in Jesus will be born again as spiritual bodies, when Jesus returns!
If Jesus Christ himself informed mankind they did not possess a spiritual body or soul at birth, would He be believed? Apparently not, since Jesus basically made that statement in the book of Luke.
Jesus was resurrected from the tomb as a human and ascended to heaven as a spirit shortly afterward. When He appeared to His disciples after being raised from the dead, they initially thought they were seeing a spirit or ghost:
But they were terrified and affrightened, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (Luke 24:37-39)
Jesus Christ states that “a spirit hath not flesh and bones.” This negates the nonsense that man is a soul housed within a physical body. Jesus states that they do not mix!
Jesus Christ was never flesh and spirit at the same time. He was resurrected into a physical world as a physical body containing flesh and bones and a need to eat food:
And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. (Luke 24:42-43)
This was after His resurrection that He ate food. He took on His spiritual body shortly afterward as He ascended into the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven:
And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. (Luke 24:51)
The 50% of Americans who mistakenly believe they are born again Christians believe they became so when they accepted Jesus and were saved. They believe all mankind is born as a spirit living within a flesh and blood body, and point to Genesis for this erroneous belief:
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)
The Hebrew word translated here in the King James Bible as “soul” is the same word used to describe the other animals which were created. That Hebrew word is nephesh. Nephesh is correctly translated as “a breathing creature or being.”
In the majority of the other versions of the Bible it is translated correctly. For example, in the New International Version of The Holy Bible:
And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)
Tragically, the word “soul” used in the King James translation of the scriptures has become synonymous with eternal life.
But the King James Version does not define man as a soul living within a physical body! Although the King James translation of the scriptures erroneously translates “nephesh” as soul and not a “breathing being,” it did translate it as one item and not two.
Are our physical bodies so oblivious to us that God felt it unnecessary to mention them? Therefore, God only mentioned the “immortal portion” of man, his “soul?” In actuality, God did take note of man’s physical body.
When translated correctly, nephesh means “a creature or being that breathes.” Does this fit into the context of Genesis 2:7?
Note, man did not become “living,” until after God breathed into his nostrils, the breath of life:
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)
The only other body type, a spiritual body, has no requirement to breathe. This verse describes man’s creation as one item that breathes (nephesh). Only physical bodies need to breathe. Therefore, man is a singular physical body. All creatures described in the original scriptures as a nephesh, including man and the other animals, are mortal physical beings, because they all breathe. When they stop breathing, they die.
This poor translation enhances the belief in Satan’s lie that; “Ye shall not surely die.”
Since those believing the immortal soul myth assume they already possess the quickening spirit described above in First Corinthians, they are forced to incorrectly interpret the Bible’s definition of being born again as another physical birth.
That is, their physical body is raised incorruptible and merged with their already existent spiritual “soul.” After all, their physical body is what is down there in the grave, so it is what is resurrected. But our dead bodies are not simply buried, they are “sown” like seeds:
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body… (I Corinthians 15:44)
A sown seed does not produce the same old plant that produced it. It sprouts and becomes something new. In this particular case, sown Christian bodies sprout and become new spiritual bodies.
“It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
If these sown Christian bodies are raised again as physical bodies and merged with the “souls,” which have been “waiting in heaven,” then these new combination natural and spiritual bodies are never equal unto the angels as the Bible states:
…for they are equal unto the angels… (Luke 20:36)