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Christinyou
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""You said yes, just give me one.""

The Birthing

Part 1

By Warren Litzman

“Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).



Introduction

“Ye must be born again” is a favorite sermon topic, but relatively few Christians really understand what it means to be born again. Why is it such a rare thing to hear a simple exposition of what the new birth means and what takes place when one is born again? This has always perplexed me because the fact is our supernatural birth is as real as our natural birth.

In order to understand the birthing, or what it means to be born again, a historical setting may be helpful. In the Old Testament, salvation was of the soul. That makes salvation easy to understand because most of us grew up in religion where we learned a vocabulary to express the concept of salvation by our soul-winning campaigns and by being encouraged to be a soul-winner. The use of the word soul is primarily Old Testament terminology. In the Old Testament, the saving of the soul was all there was because the saving of the spirit by Christ was not yet a reality. Christ had not yet died on the cross, and no provision had been made to have an exchange in spirit wrought by Christ in the person at that time. This exchange takes place in the believer’s spirit; Satan out and Christ in. All soul salvation was of self-effort, and the person had to do something to make it happen. An example of this would be Abraham, who was said to be a great man of faith, but the Scripture states that what made him a great man was his obedience—which is self-effort. Obedience salvation requires that you do something to make it so. All salvation in the Old Testament was soulish with no exchange taking place in spirit.

In the Old Testament, the word soul is used eight times more than in the New Testament. In Paul’s epistles, he uses the word soul only nine times. There is little mention of soul in the New Testament because once Christ is birthed in the spirit of the believer, there is not anything you can do to improve the condition of the spirit. In the Old Testament, salvation was something that was done soulishly, and the human spirit (Satan’s nature, kindly referred to as “Adamic nature”) was brought under subjection. That was very tenuous because even the greatest people in the Old Testament had a difficult time bringing their spirit under subjection.

The Liberating Secret

It is my understanding that the entire purpose of the third-dimensional world that exists around us is to facilitate what I see in the Scripture to be the “liberating secret.” The liberating secret is something hidden in God that no man in the Scriptures knew anything about until it was revealed to Paul by God (Gal. 1:15–16), and Paul told it to us in his epistles. Paul would finally summarize the liberating secret in Colossians 1:26–27 as “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” He would go on to teach us that the creature was a container with the Creator living His life in and through the creature. All this comes about as a result of the birthing.

The word birth, when used literally, always means a new life, which has the same nature as the parents, coming into existence. When a wolf or a sheep is born, there is a new life which has the wolf nature or the sheep nature, as the case may be. When a child is born into the world, a new life comes into existence. This life has the nature of the child’s parents which is sinful and subject to death. This is the birth that Jesus called “of the flesh,” and the result of that birth is flesh. This birth of the flesh receives its nature from Adam, the father of the human race. The Adamic nature, however, is a sin-nature or a Satan-nature. The only thing God could do with the flesh was to judge it, and the judgment resulted in condemnation and execution (Rom. 8:3; Gal. 2:19; Rom. 6:6). Scripture does not teach that the human being has a nature of its own. To be re-birthed does not mean that this life which is born of the flesh is changed or made over. Because Satan’s nature misused the Creator’s creation of the human, the creature had to have a miracle to ever function according to its original, Godly creation. That miracle would be an exchange of natures, making the new birth imperative.

The new birth is a birth in the Spirit. It is to be “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). It is the coming into being of a new life which has the incorruptible and immortal (not subject to death) nature of its father, God. Of the new birth, Peter writes:

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Peter 1:23).

This seed not only lives forever, but it also remains (1 John 3:9) in the one who is born of God. Such life must be eternal, and that is what Jesus said it is (John 3:16). Life, which is eternal, cannot die. All who are born of the incorruptible seed have an incorruptible nature (the God-nature), which is eternal life. It is impossible for such to be unborn, for that would mean the corruption of the divine nature and the death of that which cannot die.

The Origin of the Plan of God

If someone were to ask you what your origin was, what would you say? Your first idea might be that you had a mother and a father, and when they came together you came out of their union. But that is not really your origin. Someone else might say, My origin was when I was saved. That is when I was birthed, or born again. But that would not be your origin either. You might even go all the way back to Adam and say that your origin was in Adam, your forefather. But that would not be correct either. In order to answer this question you must start with God and the plan He had before the foundation of the world:

“According as he hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Eph. 1:4, author’s translation added).

What was behind this great plan of God? Before anything was created that is in the Bible, we are told that God had a house full of creatures. The creatures that God created had no sonship quality in them and did not bear the earmarks of God’s nature. Having a father spirit, God took one of these creatures and placed him as a son. He did not birth him as a son; He placed him as a son, and we know that son to be Lucifer. One day this son, Lucifer, who is called son of the morning in Isaiah 14:12, decided that he was greater than God and tried to take over God’s house, which led to God taking action.

If I were to ask you who you thought God was, the first thing that would come to your mind would probably be that God is love. That answer would be correct because God is love and all He wants from His created creatures is reciprocal love. Love is what He did not get from Lucifer. God does not want a creature who is forced or programmed to love Him. God wants a creature to love Him by a free-will decision because of who He is. God, as Father, wanted to fill His house with sons, and that is how this great plan of God came about.

The Bible tells us exactly what God thought at that very moment. In Ephesians 1:4 we read,

“According as he hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world…”

According to this idea, God made a choice that all His sons would be in Christ. He made that choice before the foundation of the world. It is not surprising that the most often stated truth in the New Testament is that of being “in Christ.” It is stated more than any other single concept. The great liberating secret comes from the statement, “in Christ.” God created free moral agents, just like you and I, with a plan that one day we would come to a place where we find that we cannot save ourselves and need help. Our lives might be in turmoil, and we may come to the conclusion that we cannot work it out by ourselves. At that moment, God’s liberating secret goes into effect because we have the free-will option of turning to Jesus; and when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God births the liberating secret in us. An unfortunate fact today is that multitudes of believers who are saved do not know the liberating secret. They have no understanding of Christ in them and what that means.

The only way there can possibly be another person in you is to have a conception, which brings about a birthing. There is no other way to accomplish a birthing action. From the time God decided He was going to put Christ in the believer to the time He first did it, at least 4,000 years passed. Everything that happened during that time period had to do with setting the stage to bring about the liberating secret. As born-again believers, we know something that neither Isaiah, Moses, Abraham, Jacob, nor Adam knew. We know something that no one in this world knew for over 4,000 years. We know that the only way a creature can ever please God is for God to take a part of Himself and put it into the creature. Throughout the entire Old Testament, the theme is that people must do something to please God. God allowed the people in the Old Testament to approach Him by their own works; however, they had to offer a sacrifice by killing an animal. The required sacrifice pointed to the Cross, but killing an animal did not save the people, as there was no life in anything they did. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12). God waited 4,000 years until the momentous event of the Cross came about.

The Origin of the Birthing

Jesus was the first to speak of the birthing when He spoke to Nicodemus, who was the ruler of the Jews. God arranged for Nicodemus, who had heard about Jesus teaching and performing miracles, to go to Jesus and say,

“We know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:2).

It was obvious that Nicodemus wanted to talk to Jesus about spiritual matters. He most likely wanted to talk about Moses and the Law and the many wonderful things that had happened during that 4,000-year period. Jesus looked at this spiritual leader and, with no explanation, said he must be born again or he cannot see the kingdom of God, or better yet, he cannot understand what God is doing unless he is re-birthed. That was a far-out comment.

Nicodemus was aware that an earthly kingdom was going to be set up at some point in time because God had promised throughout the Old Testament that a Messiah-king would take over Israel someday. But Jesus said there was no use in discussing such things until Nicodemus was born again. My understanding of that discussion is that the kingdom was not going to be set up on earth at that time because the kingdom would ultimately be in believers when they are born again. That was so radical that Nicodemus did not understand it. The end of that conversation was that Nicodemus did the only rational thing there was to do by saying, Well, does that mean I can go back into my mother’s womb and come out a second time? Jesus never answered his question. Instead, Jesus said a very strange thing. He said, Nicodemus, it is like the wind blowing, you do not know where it is coming from and you do not know where it is going. That is what it means to be born again. That was the introduction to the liberating secret. That was the introduction of the “mystery.” It literally meant you must have a spiritual birthing before you can ever understand the things of God.

I believe there are multitudes today who are born-again children of God, but they do not see the things of God because they do not understand the birthing process. Nicodemus did not understand it, and Jesus did not explain it to him. That is very important. Why didn’t Jesus explain to Nicodemus what it meant to be born again? Why did He say it is like the wind blowing? The reason was it was a mystery not to be revealed at that time.

Nicodemus had already called Jesus a rabbi, which established an important factor. When Jesus would not answer his question, He took it out of the hands of people such as the rabbis, preachers, prophets, apostles and everyone else to explain the mystery. He, Himself, as the Son of God, would not explain the birthing process. I think He did not do it because one day, as in 1 Corinthians 2:9–10, the Apostle Paul would be destined to say,

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him [the liberating secret that God had prepared for mankind] but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit” (author’s translation added).

Paul said the deeper things of God could only be revealed to you by the Spirit.

John also says some powerful and significant things about the birthing in his gospel and epistles. In John 5:1 we read, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born [birthed] of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten [is birthed] of him” (author’s translation added).

What we have in this verse are two different terms relating to the birthing, born and begotten. In 1 John 3:9, an interesting word applies to the birthing, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

The Koine Greek word for “seed” in this verse is sperma. The seed signifies the fact that spiritual life is imparted to the believer the instant of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. The phrase, “his seed remaineth in him,” explains that the Seed, which is placed into the believer, abides without the possibility of removal or extinction. This means that the child of God, one who is re-birthed, remains eternally related to Christ and to the Father.

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” is also significant because the believer’s Adamic spirit has been exchanged for the Spirit of Christ, who does not sin! “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17).

Skipping down to 1 John 5:4 we read, “For whatsoever is born [birthed] of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith” (author’s translation added).

This verse takes some explaining. It states that whosoever is born of God overcometh the world. It is very rare to hear anyone preach on that statement. What you usually hear is that the born-again have ready access to God, or that the born-again can get faith to obtain a miracle. This verse does not say there is anything you have to do to make it work. It says the birthing means you have overcome the world. That is difficult for us because we do not really believe this fact; moreover, we are so mixed up with all of the soulish preaching we have heard about seeking after God, fasting and praying, memorizing Scriptures, or contacting someone with faith who can help, that we miss the entire content of this verse. At the same time, this verse does not say whoever is birthed of God will never have trouble. This verse does not say you will not get sick. It does not say you will never die.

Some Results of the Birthing

The moment we were born again, we were unfit for this world. We are not supposed to fit in because we are a new creation. We are an entirely different race of people, like people from Venus or Mars who have set foot on this earth. God, Himself, re-birthed us; and He did not intend that the world should swallow us up. The world and all that is in it is under His subjection (Col. 1:16–17). All things were created by Christ and for Christ; and aside from Christ there is not anything in existence. Furthermore, John says,

“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).

When the world was created with its evil, its Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, with the serpent, with evil men all around, and getting worse, God still says, Whoever is birthed of God overcomes. We have not heard the gospel, have we? If every Christian knew that Christ was in them and that learning Christ would mean it did not matter what the Devil threw at them, what a difference that would make in their lives. They would be overcomers, regardless of what God allowed to come their way. If one gets laid off the job, it concerns us. If the necessary money does not come in, it concerns us. If the doctor says there is a lump on your neck, it concerns us. From now until the time we go home to the Father’s house, there are going to be things that concern us. But Christ has overcome the world. Nevertheless, Scripture does not say it will not hurt or it will not get bad. It does say we will overcome.

I do not know what you are concerned about, but I want to tell you that your visible problem is not the real problem. Your real problem is not knowing who you are; whoever is birthed by God is going to overcome this world. Better yet, we have already overcome because there is not anything in the world that can take away your birthing or your relationship with the Father. Paul saw this, and he thought of the worse thing that could happen to a human being, and he said, It does not matter whether I live or die. I have told people on their deathbeds that Christ was in them. Hearing that made a big change in them because they had been frightened to meet God and most of them were wondering why God did not give them a miracle and raise them out of bed. They did not know, or had forgotten, that Christ was in them and that was all they needed.

In 1 John 5:18 it says,

“We know that whosoever is birthed of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten [birthed] of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not” (author’s translation added).

Charismatics would rather chase the Devil than preach a gospel that says he will not touch whoever is birthed of God without God’s permission. A remarkable thing happened to me years ago. It may have been my Baptist background, as we were never taught much about the Devil. When I began to preach in Pentecostal churches and with Charismatics in the faith movement, all I heard about was the Devil; I became Devil-conscious. Later, I decided that if I were the Devil, I would want people to be conscious of me. If I were the Devil, I would want everyone casting out devils and calling everything from a stump to a burned down house the work of the Devil. By distracting them with Devil-consciousness, there would be fewer opportunities for them to know that whoever is birthed of God cannot be touched by the Devil without God’s permission. That is big, isn’t it?

The verse also says, “Whoever is birthed of God keepeth himself.” We need to ask ourselves how that works. A believer cannot save himself, and he cannot stay saved on his own efforts. How then does he keep himself? I think the answer is by doing what he knows he ought to do to be true to the Christ within him. This is the best thing James ever said. “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Sin, then, is a violation of your knowledge. Think about a diabetic person. If a diabetic takes his pill or his inoculation on schedule, he lives. He is doing what he ought to do by keeping himself. Most of us do not do what we are supposed to do most of the time. You cannot have a love affair with Jesus until you know He has been birthed in you. V

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In Christ: Phillip



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Phillip

 2006/12/27 14:26Profile
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