by Patrick Kennedy
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The term, “Born Again” what does it mean? Does it mean some kind a weird, some kind a fanatic, some kind a extremist? Should the term frighten us? Let’s start out by looking at it from both negative and positive standpoints.
From a negative standpoint we need to look at what born again is not. It’s not achieved through self determination. Just as a baby can’t will him/herself to be born physically, so no one can will him/herself to be reborn spiritually.
It’s not received by how much you know; a person can be educated to the last degree and still not be born again.
It’s not achieved by religion. There are many baptized, confirmed, ordained, church members, preaching, teaching Sunday school that are not born again and seem to be unaware that they need to be.
No one will be born again by self improvement. Romans, 3: 23 states, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. That includes the Pope, Billy Graham and most defiantly me.
It is not relegated to only those wealthy enough to posses it. It is no respecter of wealth.
To understand what born again truly is, we can use as an example, the beautiful butterfly. It starts life as a worm but when the time comes it changes into a lovely winged creature, a butterfly. The process is called metamorphosis. Being born again is simply spiritual metamorphosis.
But it is not an evolutionary process as is the physical metamorphosis of the butterfly. No one will gradually morph into it.
So, now that we know what it ain’t, we need to know what it is. It may come as a bit of a shock to find out just how significant it is. This is the rest of the story.
A very influential religious leader named, Nicodemus, came to Jesus by night to ask how one might become saved. (John; 3: 3-8. 3. Jesus told him that to enter the Kingdom of God he must be born again.
4. Nicodemus questioned the wisdom of that remark, how can a person be born again when he is old, can he enter twice into his mother’s womb and be born?
5. Jesus answered him, “Most assuredly, I say unto you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”.
6. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit”.
7. “Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again”.
8 “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the spirit”.
The wind is often used in the Bible to describe the work of the Holy Spirit and I believe that is what is in play here. In order to be born again one must have the Holy Spirit Breathed into him and sealed up in him/her until the day of redemption.
John, 14: 16-17; Jesus speaking, “And I will pray the Father and He will give you a helper that He may abide with you for ever”.
17. “ The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you”.
Going back to chapter 3 and verse 14; Jesus speaking, “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”.
15. “That whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”.
The following verse is the most famous verse in the Bible. Jesus still speaking;
16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”.
You say you have a hankering to miss out on hell? There is only one way you are going to do it, by being born again. I didn’t say it, Jesus did, “You must be born again”.
But let’s go back to verse 14 and think about the serpent.
What! Snakes! Have you gone totally weirdo? I don’t want to think about no snakes. What on earth do snakes have to do with it?
I asked four health care professionals if they were aware of what their medical insignia was. They all told me that it was a snake on a pole. That is correct. I asked what the insignia means. Where does it come from? Three admitted ignorance where the origins were concerned. One, with great authority and professionalism, claimed medical school had taught that the insignia is a result of ancient times when folks believed that certain parts of a snake made good medicine. It is very possible the school taught that but it is incorrect except for the ancient times part.
It goes back to when Moses brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. No one seems to know exactly when that was; the Egyptians refused to write anything into their histories that could be construed as a defeat. All I know for sure it was before Bawley was a calf. I do ascribe to the earlier date though, 2450BC give or take a few.
Moses brought his charges to the border of the land of Canaan, that God had told them to posses. Twelve spies, one from each tribe, were sent in to look it over. All twelve came back telling how wonderful it was but ten said that it was impossible to take. There were strong defenses and giants. The people voted with the ten and they refused to enter the land. God told Moses to march the folks around the wilderness until all the men of fighting man age, when they refused, were dead. So, it is almost forty years later and they are at a place called Kadesh and God tells Moses to march them into the land. All the offenders are dead.
Deut; 2: 1-9, God tells Moses not to fight with a country called Edom. The people living in Edom were the descendents of Esau, the brother of Jacob whom God named Israel. God said these folks are your kin and I am not giving you their land.
God also told him he was not to fight with Moab. He was not giving them that land either. Moab was a son of Lot, the nephew of Abraham who came to the land of Canaan with Abraham. Israel is Abraham’s grandson so more kin not to fight.
From where they were camped the closes way to the land that God was giving them was through Edom. Moses asked for permission to pass through Edom but was turned down. He promised that they would stay on the road and not hurt any crops or water but the answer was still no. Can’t cross em, can’t fight em, we will just have to go around. Moab said no also. Numbers; 20: 17-18; Numbers; 21: 10-16
This was a very serious problem. Edom is the land where the famous rock city of Petra is located. Going around Edom meant several weeks of trying to get through some of the roughest terrain in the world with, certainly, little to eat and even less water.
The folks had had it; they were mad and began to cast dispersions at God and Moses both. They don’t learn very fast do they? They seem to have their heads on the wrong end all the time like me.
God sent venomous snakes in amongst them and those that were bitten died. There was no help fer em. Many of the people died. They came to Moses and repented saying we were wrong to talk against the Lord and you. Pray for us that the Lord would take away the snakes.
Moses prayed and instead of taking away the snakes God told Moses to make a snake out of brass and nail it to a pole, place the pole in the middle of the camp and when a person was bitten he/she was to look up to the snake and that person would not die. Numbers; 21: 4-8
You know there had to have been some who said, “snake, flake, Moses is a flake. I ain’t lookin at no snake”. And they died. Sounds just like me.
We, every one of us has been bitten by the venomous snake of sin, every one of us is terminal. We are all headed for the second death, eternal separation from God in a place of constant torment. There is no help fer us except to look up on the pole to the Savior God provided for us. The brass snake in the wilderness had no blood and apparently didn’t need any but our Savior on a pole did have blood and gave it freely so we could be free of the poisonous sin that is destroying us.
He said if I be lifted up I’ll draw all folks to Me
Then He turned I saw the nailed scared hands that bled for me
I touched the hem of His garment that fell round Him there
My heart my life I gave my soul was in His care
On occasion I have mentioned to someone his/her need to be born again and more than once I have heard this excuse: “I’m young, I have my whole life to come to Christ. There are things I want to do yet that I might not be comfortable doing with Christ living in my heart. Check with me in ten or maybe twenty years”.
Have you said or thought that very thing when confronted with the Gospel? The standard answer to that is: “How do you know how much time you have? You could be dead by next month, next week or by tomorrow. You could hear from God what the man in Luke, 12: 20 heard “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee”.
But there is, still, another compelling reason to waste no time getting your self right with the Lord. We are all running out of time fast. If we could take the current events of the day and fashion them into a temp plate and lay it over all the books of the Bible containing unfulfilled prophecy we could see just how close we are to the end of this age.
Maybe we can do that very thing on a little smaller scale using one chapter and a few verses of the next chapter of one book of the Bible over against what we know has happening in the middle east and is happening at this very moment.
No one knows the exact time but Jesus said, in Luke; 21: 31, “When you see these things coming to pass know that the Kingdom of God draws near.” Likewise, As I sit here in American Samoa and look at the dark grey clouds rolling off of Rainmaker Mountain I know I am going to get wet in a very few minutes.
The passage is Ezekiel; chapter 37 and the first nine verses of chapter 38.
Chapter; 37: 1. The hand of the LORD was upon me and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
2. He led me back and forth among them and I saw a great many bones on the floor of that valley, bones that were very dry.
3. He asked me, “son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”
4. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
5. This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: “I will make breath enter you and you will come to life.
6. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.”
7. So, I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying there was a noise, a rattling sound and the bones came together, bone to bone.
8. I looked and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them but there was no life in them.
Stop there: There are two perspectives on this passage, some pretty prominent Bible scholars with whom I agree say this is the end time re-gathering of the Jews that we have been witnessing since 1948.
Other pretty prominent Bible scholars dispute this view. Now we are going to hear my poor perspective on it. I’ll report, you decide.
Those who say it ain’t, point to verse 5 &6 where God speaks of putting His breath in them and we all agree this is a Holy Spirit thing giving us a whole nation of born again Israelis. The nay Sayers point out that Israel, today, has a higher per-capita of atheists than almost any other country on the globe. That is probably true. They also point out that the movement to get a homeland for Israel began in about 1894 and was started by an avowed atheist who told all that would listen that religion was a throwback to unenlightened times and the ruination of man. God wouldn’t use a heathen to gather his born again gems would He?
I am losing this argument aren’t I?
First, if you look at verse 8 they have the tendons, flesh and skin but there is no breath in them. I submit to you that that is the condition Israel is in today. Oh, there are born again Israelis in Israel but the whole nation has not turned to the Lord as that passage teaches.
9. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the Breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to It, ‘this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O Breath and breathe into these slain, that they may live.”
10. So I prophesied as He commanded me and Breath entered them; they came to life and stood on their feet—a vast army.
11. Then He said to me: “Son of man, this is the whole house of Israel.”
As you can see the Breath came at the end of every thing coming together. Just like with us, we were dead to God, in trespasses and sin but when we repent and look to our savior on a pole the Spirit is breathed into us and we live to God. So it will be for the house of Israel at the end of the last seven years.
The detractors of this re-gathering of Israel say they have to be believers as though this whole gathering happens in a twinkling of the eye like the catching away of the church in 1 Thessalonians; 4: 13-17. But consider that very case. The Lord has been gathering His church, from those of us who were dead to Him until born again for nearly two thousand years.
Let’s think about another re-gathering of Israel back in 540 BC. First of all the prophet Isaiah prophesied both the removal and the re-gathering, two hundred years before it happened. He even gave the name of the heathen that would bring about the re-gathering.
Isaiah; 44: 28, Cyrus was his name, he was king of Persia. So much for heathens being involved in God’s re-gatherings, and it didn’t happen over night either.
When Cyrus released the folks to go home, none of them had been born there but it was still home, something over forty two thousand went with a man named Zerubbable.
Eighty years later a man named Ezra took home another five thousand or so and fourteen years after that a man named Nehemiah took some more back and there were probably others that drifted back over that nearly one hundred year period.
So the arguments of the naysayer’s just don’t hold up. This it Ezekiel’s re-gathering. So, where are we on it? I believe we are near the end of it as far as the Lord building His church is concerned. When the church is taken out of the way and evil is no longer restrained God will turn is attention back to Israel. That brings us to Ezekiel; 38: 1-9
1. The word of the Lord came to me:
2. “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him
3. And say: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
4. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army-your horses, your horsemen fully armed and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.
5. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets,
6. Also Gomer with all its troops and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops- the many nations with you.
7. Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you and take command of them.
8. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations and now all of them live in safety.
9. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
So, what do we have? Let’s start with Gomer and Beth Togarmah. Those lands when they existed were in what is Turkey today. When I first studied this passage I said how can this be? Turkey is strongly in our camp. If she will be attacking Israel it is a long way off but look at the current events. Turkey is all of a sudden lining up fast with the enemies of Israel and what drives me crazy, so is the goofy administration of our country.
Cush and Put, who are they? Cush is Sudan; Put is Libya, both radical Muslim nations very likely to join any coalition wanting to take Israel down if they are reasonably certain the US won’t do anything about it. You look at verse 13. That is thought to be the US and Europe saying, “What the heck you doing” but as you can see they do nothing about it. Sound right? The rest of the chapter shows that God does protect Israel when no one else will stand with her.
Persia you know, the name has only been changed to Iran since the middle of the twentieth century. Is there any doubt that Iran wants to annihilate Israel? How long do you think it will be until she tries? She says she has two nukes now.
Magog, Meshech and Tubal; Three ancient nations considered to have been in what is Russia today. Almost two years ago Russia and Iran signed a treaty for the first time in world history. That speaks volumes concerning where we are on Gods time line as He works out His plan.
Most students of prophesy agree that this devilish attack on Israel takes place sometime in the first three and a half years of the last seven years of tribulation. Most have come to call it the first battle of the war of Armageddon. The last battle is where the Lord returns and after winning the war sets up His kingdom at the end of the seven years. We have toed right up to the mark. The church could be removed at any time.
The time is short, a very exciting time to live if you know the Lord, if you are born again.
You don’t want to miss this opportunity. If you are not born again and the church is caught away your only chance at salvation is to not swear allegiance to Satan’s messiah.
If you do swear allegiance and take his mark you have just signed yourself into hell for all eternity. If you don’t take the mark you will be unable to hold a job, buy or sell, get medical help or medicine, in other words, live. You will probably starve, die of health issues or be tracked down and executed for being a rebel and probably a Jesus lover. It will be all the more terrible for you if your unbelief has drug your family into this horrible morass. But if you can endure until your death or the end of the seven years you will be saved.
But please, please, please don’t do this to yourself. There is a free Ticket to ride the paradise special. Don’t miss out.
Your Ticket to Paradise was hung on a nail driven into a pole. Take advantage of it.
Jesus said, “You must be born again.”
You can’t learn it, earn it or buy it, the only way to get it is to repent and ask for it and it is yours.
I never thought I needed help before
I thought that I could get by, by my self
Now I just can’t take it anymore
With a humble heart on bended knees I am begging You, please, for help.
With a humble heart, on bended knees I’m begging You, please, save me.
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