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Just what do you mean: Born Again?

Just what is a "born-again" Christian?
Don't be too sure you know! Many — perhaps millions — sincerely believe
they have been "born again" — yet do not understand what Jesus meant when He used those words.


WHY did the Pharisee, Nicodemus, understand when Jesus said to him: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God"?

WHY do people not understand those words today?

How MANY know, today, that Jesus' Gospel was a sensational, never-before proclaimed NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT?


Jesus Was a Newscaster

Those in Judea knew — or should have known — Malachi's prophecy concerning this. It was the Gospel of God — and the word "gospel" means GOOD NEWS!

Jesus was a NEWSCASTER. His news was something absolutely NEW — never before proclaimed to mankind. It was the most wonderful NEWS ever reported. Actually almost too wonderful for humans to believe. It was news of the utterly transcendent potential of man.

A humor columnist wrote a bit on the news printed in daily newspapers. It is actually NOT news, he insisted, since it is a reporting of events that already have happened. Therefore it is no longer NEW, but OLD when printed. He insisted it really ought to be called OLDS!

The tremendous Message that Jesus brought was NEWS! It was not a report of past events. It was ADVANCE news! — news of an almost unbelievable UTOPIAN WORLD TOMORROW!

And it is SURE!

And it was news that we may be BORN AGAIN! Yet almost nobody understands it!

How MANY, even today, know that Jesus' Gospel was actually so BREATHTAKING — SO seemingly incredible, so startling, it should have left its hearers in a daze of awe! It didn't. WHY?

WHY has it never been recognized by the world as the stupendous NEWS that it actually was?

Simply because the leaders in Judea rejected it — hated it — hated Jesus for announcing the wonderful great news — turned most of the people against it. And it has been so misrepresented, so distorted and maligned, that the whole world has been deceived — and has totally MISUNDERSTOOD IT! Your Bible says the WHOLE WORLD — all nations — have been deceived about that Gospel!

The time was at hand, then, for this Message to be announced! The time is at hand, today, for its true MEANING to be made SO PLAIN that people may UNDERSTAND IT!

It WILL BE. in this article. And it is a crucial CHALLENGE to you who now read it!

And you have to UNDERSTAND what was that news announcement, or you can never UNDERSTAND what Jesus meant about being "born again."


What Was the News?

Notice, briefly, first, what that astonishing NEW Message was!

The pre-announcement, in Malachi's prophecy, says: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek [the Messiah], shall suddenly come to his temple, even the Messenger of the covenant . . . (Mal. 3:1).

Now notice the beginning of the Messenger's proclamation of that Message.

It is recorded in Mark's Gospel, chapter 1: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets. . ." Then follows the citation from Malachi, written above. That is followed by the account of John the Baptist, preparing the way before Christ, the Messenger.

Then, verses 14-15: "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." That is, BELIEVE the Good News!


What IS the Kingdom of God?

What did He mean — the Kingdom of God?

Jesus' whole Message — His Gospel — was about the KINGDOM OF God! Yet few know anything about it, today.

Do you know WHY?

Jesus' Gospel — His news ANNOUNCEMENT of the Kingdom of God — was SUPPRESSED during the very first century!

Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ UNTO ANOTHER GOSPEL: which IS not another; but there be some that trouble you, and WOULD PERVERT the gospel of Christ . . ." (Gal. 1:6-7; see also II Cor. 11:3-4 and Rom. 1:18, where "hold" should be translated "hold back" or "suppress" as in some translations).

The MESSAGE God sent to mankind by Jesus Christ — His GOSPEL — His GOOD NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT — was not proclaimed to the world after about 70 A.D.

Jesus was born to be a KING. His Message was the coming KINGDOM OF GOD.

A kingdom is a), a NATION Composed of people, and b), the GOVERNMENT of the nation.

In some cases, the people of a nation are the descendants — the children — of one man. The nation of Turkey is the descendants of the ancient Esau, twin brother of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, father of the nation Israel. Before the twins were born, God said to their mother, Rebekah, "Two nations are in thy womb . . ." (Gen. 25:23).

Now Jesus the Messiah was to come as "the Messenger of the covenant." The "Old Covenant" had established the human children of Israel as a NATION or KINGDOM of humans, called the KINGDOM OF ISRAEL. Jesus came as the Messenger — heralding the Message of the NEW Covenant that shall set up the spirit-composed children of GOD as the Kingdom of God!

As the ancient Kingdom of Israel was composed of the human FAMILY of the human man Israel, so the Kingdom of God will be composed of the divine family of the divine Goo!

And what does this have to do with "being BORN AGAIN"? It has everything to do with it!

The prophet Daniel wrote of this Kingdom of God. In his second chapter, after foretelling of the Chaldean Empire (Babylon), the Persian Empire, the Graeco-Macedonian Empire with its four divisions, and the Roman Empire, stretching even into the now-forming resurrected "Holy Roman Empire" in Europe, we read the following: "And in the days of these kings [the forthcoming United Nations of Europe] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed . . . but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Dan. 2:44). To "stand forever" it will, of necessity, be a Kingdom of IMMORTALS, not mortals.

It will be a WORLD-RULING Kingdom!

Daniel's seventh chapter portrays it again — and shows the connection with being "born again." The four world empires — Babylon through Rome and its coming resurrection in Europe — are pictured as four beasts — wild animals.


Saints Become Immortal

Verse 17: "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings [kingdoms], which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever." To possess it FOR EVER, the saints will have to be IMMORTAL!

Then the Babylonian resurrection in Europe "made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days [Christ at second coming] came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom" (verses 21-22). Read also verse 27.

The second coming of Christ is described thus: "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever" (Rev. 11:15).

Yet in spite of these and many more such scriptures, many deceived theologians today mislead the people saying that the CHURCH is the Kingdom of God! Or, that "the Kingdom" is some mysterious ethereal nothing "in men's hearts."

Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand."

What did He mean? WHY had this Message never been proclaimed before? The answer requires a prehistory background.