In this article I will have a closer look at one of the ‘Holy Cows’ in Christianity. That ‘Cow’ is called ‘Born Again’.
As I wrote my article on Colossians I pointed out that most denominations are using the four Gospels as basis for preaching salvation by faith in Christ; in spite of the fact that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written as historical books on the life and ministry of Jesus and His disciples. Also Book of Acts is a historical document.
These Gospels cannot and should not be used as Doctrine of Faith in the church dispensation. We must use Ephesians and Colossians as our foundation of doctrine – which is the free Grace Gospel given to Paul for us.
In Paul’s Bible teaching we find that the believers in the church dispensation are NOT necessarily ‘born again’, but we are a ‘New Creation’. The two are very different as you will understand. Adam was created, but Cain and Abel were born.
Paul calls us ‘One new Man’ in Eph. 2:14, 15. This ‘One new Man’ came up as Paul was given the revelation of the Mystery: The free international Grace Gospel for the entire world to believe, - and the Kingdom-Gospel to Israel was suspended thereby. And the Law of Moses was abolished. Israel fell away from God for her unbelief, and was destroyed in 70 A.D. as we all know.
As long as preachers and pastors keep on with their errors in using the four Gospels as foundation of faith, it will keep on producing errors in their sermons alike.
That ‘Born again’ error is one of them. It has become a ‘Holy Cow’, and the same can be said of the so-called ‘Great Commission’ in Mat. 28. Nothing in those four Gospels can be used for faith doctrine, simply because God had revealed to Paul His new fresh Grace Gospel 18-20 years before even Matthew and Mark could be bought and read, and over 30 years before John’s Gospel. Luke came in 73 A.D. and is the oldest of the four Gospels.
If you have not read my exposition on Colossians, I recommend it to you. You see it here in my website.
We forget that, as God sent His Son Jesus to Israel, He came to a people who already believed on God Jehovah. In other words, Jesus was sent to believers to preach. He never went to Gentiles! Jesus did NOT conduct huge revival campaigns in market places or fields, trying to have the Gentile peoples converted. Jesus preached to believers in God Jehovah; namely Israel’s house.
The only famous ‘Campaigns’ the Lord conducted was for Israel, not Gentiles, when He were feeding miraculously the multitude present – five thousand men plus women, maybe as many as 7000 people (Mat. 14:15-21) in Galilee, and the other place when He did the same kind of feeding-miracle, for 4000 people. Also near the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It was the multitude that caused this to happen. Jesus had worked a lot of fabulous wonders and miracles healing the sick and afflicted. They desperately and expectantly followed Jesus expecting to receive healings and to hear Him preach to them (Mat. 15:29-39). The Lord had to leave by boat, and sat course for Magadan, it says.
In God’s eyes it was not enough that they just believed on Him, Jehovah. Why? Because God had promised through His prophets that He should send them His Messiah, the Savior and king who should rule Israel in a millennial kingdom (Dan. 2:44; Luke 1:32, 33).
For Israel as a nation to keep up and continue in faith in their God, they would have to confirm it by believing on the Messiah He sent them, namely Jesus of Nazareth. To refuse to believe on Jesus would be the very same as denying God, Who had sent Him!
Moses prophesied of Jesus in Deu. 18:15-19,
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet from the midst of your brethren like me (Moses); to Him you shall listen.” See also Peter’s speech in Acts 3:22, 23 on same matter. They would be destroyed if they did not listen to Jesus!
God’s demand of Israel was that the entire nation, had to accept and receive Jesus as their Messiah. And this was the ‘Born Again’ deal which Jesus spoke to Nicodemus the Pharisee when he came to question Him in the night (John 3:3) – Jesus explained to Nicodemus that Israel had to be born of …’water and Spirit, or else they cannot enter the kingdom of God’. Jesus spoke of the kingdom in Israel with Himself as the Messiah king. They would have to repent and be baptized in water and then also in the Spirit (just as we see in Acts 2 and Day of Pentecost).
Never has anyone sent by God taught that the believers in the church dispensation must take water baptism and Spirit baptism, being born again so one can ‘enter the kingdom of God (on earth)’ – no, this was only preached to Israel by Peter and the twelve, as well as Paul later on, before he was given the ministry of the free Grace Gospel, displayed in Ephesians and Colossians.
Every time you hear a preacher, no matter how nice and believing he is, Pentecostal or evangelical, whatever, - if he is telling his audience that they must be ‘Born Again’ then he is in error.
He is using a historical Bible story in error, as if it is a faith doctrine to the church. It is not. Historical writings cannot be used as faith doctrine.
In Christendom preachers use the ‘Born Again’ deal to tell the unsaved to get saved. “You sinners must be born again” - - a standard pulpit cry we have heard again and again. But Jesus spoke ONLY to the Jews – and they already believed on God Jehovah. It is an indisputable historical Biblical fact.
But in the Bible, pardon me for repeating this, such as in John 3:3 Jesus used the ‘Born Again’ deal to tell existing believers in God Jehovah how to be let into the earthly kingdom in Israel when Jesus would sit on the throne on Zion, all according to the prophets.
This can only mean one thing: Israel was considered already born once, in that God formed that nation by using first Abraham and then came Abraham’s children and Abrahams grandchildren and so on and so forth. We know the history as it is told in the Tora: – Genesis – Exodus – Leviticus – Numbers – Deuteronomy. Thus, being God’s own nation on earth in that order, was the first ‘Birth’ – but as God sent Jesus, He would have Israel getting born again, a second ‘Birth’ as a nation for God. The acceptance of Jesus, as their Messiah, should be confirmed by Israel as they all would take the water baptism, and then receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
In the New Testament the ‘Born again’ demand from God never was charged the Gentiles. Only God’s people the Jews were charged with His commandment to repent and be born again as they let themselves be baptized in water and in Spirit. Our pastors and preachers are totally mistaken in regard to Jesus’ teaching on the ‘Born Again’ commandment.
As we find Jesus in the four Gospels, everything He said was addressed to Israel only – regarding statements of faith. He said of Himself that He was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mat. 15:24).
Paul wrote in Rom. 15:8 that Christ became a teacher/minister to the circumcised – the Jews, which is the same as saying He was NOT sent to Gentiles at all.
The context is not in geographic (Jesus being sent down to Israel) – but in what the Lord spoke to Israel. He was sent to TEACH THEM, and not just to be physically present there. This means that everything He taught them He taught ONLY TO THEM, the Jews. It was to them exclusively. This is the main reason we cannot use the four Gospels as faith doctrine to the church dispensation. What Jesus said in these Gospels never was spoken to the church – for the church did not exist at that time. The church came into existence as God first revealed the Mystery to Paul as he stayed in Rome (Acts 28:25-28).
So for us Gentiles to learn what God gave us in the faith, we have but one special teacher/apostle: Paul. Jesus Christ sent us Paul to give us the free international Grace Gospel – a Gospel which Jesus did NOT preach at all – it was still a hidden mystery, not made known until Paul received it.
It is proven by the thousands and thousands, that the four Gospels are being used in error as doctrinal basis for faith in our time. It started with the so-called Church Fathers, and kept on via the Catholic Church and its Popes through the centuries – and ultimately infected the entire Christianity.
Paul and the ‘Born again’ issue
In Paul’s Grace Gospel doctrine, found only in Ephesians and Colossians, there exists no such saying – there is no ‘Born Again’ whatsoever.
On the contrary: When Paul describes our status with God and Christ, he used the death and resurrection of Christ as imagery,
Col. 2:11, 12, “In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a spiritual circumcision performed by Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh. 12: You WERE BURIED WITH HIM in baptism (the death of Christ), in which you were also RAISED WITH HIM through faith in the working of God when He raised Him up from the dead.”
Instead of the ‘Born Again’ image, Paul rather describes us as such believers that have DIED for then ultimately being RAISED BACK TO LIFE by Christ.
Paul actually calls this intervention by God for a baptism into the death of Christ. It is that ‘Baptism’ which Paul mention in Eph. 4:5 – saying ‘..one baptism..’. It is a baptism not by water immersion, but by crediting us believers as those who have died with Christ for then to being resurrected with Him.
It cannot be mistaken for a so-called ‘Born Again’ experience. It is rather a ‘Die Again’ – since Paul calls us for first being dead in our trespasses and sins (verse 13). So, since we were found dead in our sins, God credited us for having died with Christ, and thus credited us for having been raised with Him also. You see this? This is not complicated.
The gross error of using the four Gospels as faith doctrine to the church brought with it the errors of Pentecostalism and their faulty beliefs in the sign gifts and miracles of healing as something which was given to the church dispensation.
Same goes for speaking in tongues and prophesying, same goes for exorcism, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, gift of interpreting tongues, raising dead persons, taking up serpents without being hurt or killed, drinking of poison without being ill or die; same even goes for Holy Communion and confessing of sins. What we need to do is listen to Paul, or more specifically, having Ephesians and Colossians as our faith doctrine. There I said it again.
Thinking that the four Gospels are faith doctrine, also brought with it the error of water baptism, which was only a ceremonial cleansing rite meant for the Messianic believers in Israel, and not the regular Gentile. Baptism was only for the priesthood of Israel, just like when Moses baptized Aaron before he could enter the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Israel was promised to become a royal priesthood and a holy nation to God, thus the water rite introduced first by John, then by the apostles. The apostles eventually allowed Gentile proselytes, but this did not mean the entire Gentile world.
If you are a believer in Christ, then you are part of that ‘One new Man’, also called the Body of Christ. This is a title used by Paul to describe the entire Body of Christ collectively, not singularly.
You don’t have to be ‘Born Again’ if you are not a Christian. You will be instantly saved and given the Holy Spirit as you first believe on Jesus Christ.
Eph. 2:8, 9,
“For it is by free grace that you are saved, through faith. And this is not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God. Not because of works, lest any man should boast.”