|Daily Bible Study
|The Plan of God
|There are a multitude of people who call themselves "Spirit Filled" or "Born Again" Christians. What
they mean by "Born Again" is that they have put off, i.e. buried, the old sinful man, symbolized by
the immersion at baptism, and have been "begotten by", i.e. received the Holy Spirit giving them new
life, a rebirth of the spirit, creating a new man or woman.
|Such is certainly a true description of one who comes to repentance and accepts the Lord Jesus Christ
as their personal Savior and now "believes" on Him. This conversion, this changing of one's heart and
mind and conduct, is very eloquently described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter 4:
But ye have not so learned Christ;
| If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in
| That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt
according to the deceitful lusts;
| And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
| And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and
|So if Christians want to go around saying they are "Born Again" because they have been
begotten by the Holy Spirit and have been renewed in the spirit of their mind, that's fine, we
understand what they mean. BUT, the description of the conversion process and the term "Born
Again" are erroneously taken from the first part of the third chapter of the Gospel of John.
|Let's read the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus where the Lord is actually going to
explain to Nicodemus the process of how our Father intends for us to enter into this world and
then return to Him.
|Note: We know there are some who won't "see" or understand this section of scripture because
they have been so ingrained with the traditional "Born Again" terminology, that it overpowers
their ability and blinds them to the simplicity of what Christ is teaching. If you are a new person
studying with us and have grown up with these verses being interpreted as begettal by the Holy
Spirit, then place this study in a separate file folder and let it rest in a digital state for a while and
revisit it sometime in the future.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
|The name "Nicodemus" means "victorious among the people" and for a Pharisee and a ruler of
the Jews to believe in Jesus as he did, was a victory indeed! We begin by seeing Nicodemus
come to Jesus by night, because he was cautious and wise man.
| The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, 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.
|Nicodemus had NO DOUBT that Jesus was from God. In fact Nicodemus believed in Jesus and
he, along with Joseph of Arimathaea, defended Jesus Christ at the trial of the Sanhedrin the night
before the crucifixion, and won too!
|The subject that Jesus is now going to talk to Nicodemus about is "Birth", i.e. being 'Born", not
"Conception" or "Begettal"! We will see that Nicodemus clearly understands that Jesus is talking
about "birth" as the context of his reply will verify.
| Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be
born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
|This is where the phrase "Born Again" comes from. However, for the word "again" the
manuscripts use the Greek word "anothen" which means "from above". Here's the definition of
|anothen, an'-o-then, Greek 509; from Greek 507 (ano); from above; by analogy from the first;
by implication anew :- from above, again, from the beginning (very first), the top.
|A number of translations such as Moffat and Phillips correctly read "born from above" instead
of "born again", while many others such as the NIV and the RSV have marginal notes which
read "or from above".
|And what is the "kingdom of God" Jesus said you cannot see, unless you are "born from above"
and then of spirit. A kingdom is made up of a "king" and his "dominion". The kingdom of God
that Jesus is referring to is the SAME kingdom of God that FLESH AND BLOOD cannot enter
into. He is not talking about spiritually discerning the kingdom in your heart, as people say, but
the defacto Kingdom of God that the disciples wanted to Jesus to SET UP THEN, with Him as
King. That kingdom of God is established when Jesus Christ returns as King of kings and Lord
of lords to RULE the dominion, the nations, with a rod of iron. If you aren't born from above
you won't see it, by which He means you cannot ENTER INTO, as verse 5 clearly documents.
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?
|Notice that Nicodemus does NOT interpret what Jesus says as begettal but clearly as birth. Jesus
is NOT talking about spirit ENTERING into a man's mind. However, Nicodemus is looking at
this from purely a flesh perspective, meaning only physically, i.e. that which he can see and
touch and feel! His mind is thinking of two FLESH BIRTHS. Of course he wasn't stupid and he
knew it was not possible for a grown man to re-enter the womb, so he asks the obvious
question, "How can a grown man be Birthed 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.
|"I assure you, " said Jesus, "that unless a man is born from water and from spirit he cannot enter
into the kingdom of God. Flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit;" (Phillips)
|Again, it is written in 1 Cor. 15:50 that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;
neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Jesus is talking about ENTERING INTO the
kingdom of God. Be patient. Verse 13 will summarize this all for us.
|Also, no where in this conversation does Jesus talk about the spirit entering a man! He is talking
about a man being BORN first of "water" AND then of "spirit".
|Note to advanced students: This verse actually contains all three earth ages if one has eyes to see
and are not, as Peter wrote, ignorant of the first earth age and the fact that God destroyed it. If
you have followed along from our first study in this series to this point then you know when
man, the sons of God, was created. It was "before the earth ever was made" (Prov. 8), i.e. even
before Gen. 1:1.
|Reminder from previous studies: After He created His sons, God then created the heaven and
earth of Gen. 1:1, to be inhabited by His sons Isa. 45:18. Then at the rebellion of Lucifer, He
destroyed that prehistoric earth age and brought His sons back to their "first habitation" where
they were before God created the earth for us. We read in the last study that certain of those
sons of God left that first habitation after God created Adam and Eve and they came here
without being BORN of water! That is a NO NO! Therefore, they WILL NOT not see the
kingdom of God. That is what Jesus is talking about here.
|Since Nicodemus is struggling with the concept of these two births, because he can only see two
FLESH births in his mind's eye, Jesus will now explain that the two births He is describing are of
two different substances; one is of flesh and the other is spirit!
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
|Again, Jesus is simply describing the PROCESS through which "man" must go in order to
ENTER INTO the kingdom of GOD. A son of God, a man, must come down "anothen", from
above, and be born of woman, from the bag of water, AND be born (back) into spirit, else he
cannot enter into the kingdom.
|By now the pupils of Nicodemus' eyes are fully dilated and he must have a look of incredulity
on his face. Jesus notices his look of wonderment and says:
| Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
|Let's read it correctly as Dr. Moffat has it:
| Do not wonder at me telling you, 'You must be born from above'. (Moffat)
|This next verse is a detailed explanation of one who has ALREADY been born of water, i.e. of
the flesh, and is NOW born of the spirit.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell
whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
|Now you can try to spin this verse any way you like, but Jesus is simply saying you cannot
visibly see someone who is born of the spirit. They are just like the wind. You cannot SEE
THEM WHEN THEY COME nor can you SEE THEM WHEN THEY GO.
|So the analogy of the invisible wind is that you cannot SEE a man who comes down from above
and is placed in the bag of water and you cannot SEE the man when he departs from the flesh,
i.e. is born into spirit, and ascends back into heaven (vs. 13).
| Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
|Nicodemus was a teacher of God's Word and yet he didn't understand these two births. So what
else is new. There are many who claim to be teachers of His Word today and they don't
|"Oh, but you don't understand, Sir Lancelot. Nicodemus was a teacher of the Old Testament
and we are talking about being begotten by the Holy Spirit." WRONG! Jesus told Nicodemus he
should have known exactly what He was talking about, because it is recorded in the Old
| Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not
|What is it that Nicodemus should have known? We covered it in our previous study. Nicodemus
should have known what happens at the separation of the water (flesh) and the spirit. Here it is
Or ever the silver cord be loosed...
|This is a figure of speech meaning when a person dies. Since it is figurative I like to read it as
"when that itty bitty silver cord which our tender loving Father uses to tie the soul of one of His
sons into an embryo is cut loose"...
| Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God
who gave it.
|Upon "the first death", the death of the flesh, the one that everyone must experience (Heb.
9:27), the body itself decays back to the dust it was made from and the person who came down
from above and dwelled in that flesh GOES BACK HOME! You can't see it happening, but it
|Again, Nicodemus was a teacher of the Book of Ecclesiastes and Jesus said he should have
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen;
and ye receive not our witness.
|We speak using concrete visible examples (like birth and wind, etc.) and you still don't get it!
|Question: If Jesus was talking about "begetting" instead of "birth" do you not think He would
have used more visible and understandable example such as "SEED" to illustrate it?
| If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you
of heavenly things?
|If you don't understand what happens here on earth, how am I going to explain what happens in
|The next verse gives a summary of what Jesus has been talking about, the process of coming
down from heaven and being born of woman and then dying, which is when your spirit, YOU,
return to God who sent you, as we read even in the Old Testament. To be absent from the body
is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).
| And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven,
even the Son of man which is in heaven.
|This is such a simple recap of what Jesus has just told Nicodemus. All He is saying is that NO
ONE has ASCENDED (back) to heaven except those who have DESCENDED from heaven
(from above and have been born of water and then spirit). The sons of God in Gen. 6 who came
here and did not go through this process are now in jail and will NOT enter into the kingdom.
|He goes on to explain in the last part of verse 13 that EVEN JESUS CHRIST came down from
heaven and WAS BORN OF WATER, of flesh. He will go on in this chapter to explain WHY
He came to this earth and WENT THROUGH THE SAME PROCESS that everyone else must
go through! It is because God loves His children, ALL OF THEM! NOW we get to the salvation
|The reason is stated in John 3:16; so that we might believe in Him and live eternally and escape
the same "death sentence" Satan received at his judgment, which is to PERISH in the lake of
fire. That is the second and final death (Rev. 21:8). Remember we read in 2 Peter 3:9 that it is
God's will that no one should perish, but that all should come to repentance?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
|God appointed, ordained, decreed, ordered, commanded, any way you wish to state it, that ALL
of his sons should be born in the flesh and die and return to Him before the Millennium and
before He conducts the final judgment. Remember we read that in Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is
appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." They must come down from
above and be born of water and then through death, be born back into their spiritual bodies and
return to Him. In His love for His children, God Himself also went through the same process.
He didn't ask us to do anything He wasn't willing to do also. So Jesus came down from heaven
and experienced DEATH! He died too!
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of
death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death
for every man.
| For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing
many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
|Jesus, as the captain of our salvation, led the way for us.
Now think carefully about this next question. Must you accept Jesus Christ as your personal
Savior and accept His sacrifice for your sins while here in the flesh?
|What about the people born before He paid the price on the cross? They couldn't very well do
that now, could they? Jesus hadn't paid the price while they dwelt here on earth in the flesh.
That of course is why He went to those spirits (1 Pet. 3:19) while His body lay in the tomb and
many washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb at that time!
Now, as promised in the last study, here are some scriptures that should be very easy to
understand now that you know what happened in the first earth age, the "world that then was".
|Here is what the Lord said regarding the prophet Jeremiah:
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
| Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the
womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
|Of course God knew Jeremiah before He placed him his mother's belly. He knew you too, as we
|How about this passage concerning Jacob and Esau:
(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the
purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
| It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
| As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
|The word "hated" means to "love less" by comparison. In other words, God had less respect for
one little baby in Rebecca's womb than the other little baby. How can this be? They weren't
even BORN YET! The natural question which follows is:
| What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
|Of course there is no unrighteousness with our Father. He is always completely fair, for it is
written that God is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11, Col. 3:25). He KNEW how disrespectful
Esau was in the "world that then was"! He knows all of His children very well.
|What about you? As we just read in verse 11, this has to do with "election". You see, not
everybody followed Satan in the prehistoric age of the "world that then was". Some stood
against that Old Dragon in that world and stood by our Father, and so He chose them, and
predestined them according to His good pleasure, to use as He saw fit in this flesh dispensation
of His Plan of Salvation to restore and bring back His sons to Him. Those he chose are called
the remnant and God's elect.
|As it is written, even before the foundation of this earth (age) God chose His elect. The Apostle
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
| 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:
|The word "foundation" used here is "katabole" in Greek which comes from kataballo. Here's
Strong's definition. Notice it means to "throw down" or "cast down".
|kataballo, kat-ab-al'-lo, Greek 2598; from Greek 2596 (kata) and Greek 906 (ballo); to throw
down :- cast down, lay.
|The Greek word for "world" is kosmos which is where we get our English word "cosmos",
which means world in the sense of "system" or "world age".
|kosmos, kos'-mos, Greek 2889; probably from the base of Greek 2865 (komizo); orderly
arrangement, i.e. decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its
inhabitant, literal or figurative [moral]) :- adorning, world.
|Paul is saying that God's elect were chosen before the overthrow, before the casting down of the
kosmos, the world that then was (i.e. of Satan), which means God's elect were chosen before
Genesis 1:2 when the world became "tohu va bohu". It sure makes a lot of sense now, doesn't it?
| Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,
according to the good pleasure of his will,
| To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the
|Jeremiah was just one example showing us how God chooses His elect, even names some of
them, before they are ever placed in their mother's belly, to do the job God already
"predetermined" for them to do! Paul was another one, and he was struck down and placed in
service when God was ready to use him.
|The question is, "Are you one of God's elect?" If you are, you have a DESTINY, a
predetermined JOB TO DO! If you haven't discovered it yet, don't worry, YOU WILL!
|So keep studying His Word until He is ready for you!
|Continue to part 7|