So WHEN are you reborn of Spirit?
The term born-again is bandied around a lot, especially amongst those of the Evangelical persuasion. Its very common to come across these Christians proudly proclaiming “I am born again!” This has its roots in this passage in the New Testament:
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”
— Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 3–5, NIV
In this discussion I will try to explain what exactly Jesus meant, and what the implications are of achieving the new birth. But first lets look at what the various churches teach:
From Wikipedia we read:
Historically, Christianity has used various metaphors to describe its rite of initiation, that is, spiritual regeneration via the sacrament of baptism by the power of the water and the spirit. This remains the common understanding in most of Christendom, held, for example, in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism, and in much of Protestantism. However, sometime after the Reformation, Evangelical Protestants began to understand being born again as an experience of religious conversion (Heb 10:16), symbolized by deep-water baptism, and rooted in a commitment to one’s own personal faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. This same belief is, historically, also an integral part of Methodist doctrine, and is connected with the doctrine of Justification.
Such “‘Rebirth’ has often been identified with a definite, temporally datable form of ‘conversion’.” Its effects vary with the type of person involved:
With the voluntaristic type, rebirth is expressed in a new alignment of the will, in the liberation of new capabilities and powers that were hitherto undeveloped in the person concerned. With the intellectual type, it leads to an activation of the capabilities for understanding, to the breakthrough of a “vision”. With others it leads to the discovery of an unexpected beauty in the order of nature or to the discovery of the mysterious meaning of history. With still others it leads to a new vision of the moral life and its orders, to a selfless realization of love of neighbour. … each person affected perceives his life in Christ at any given time as “newness of life.”
According to J. Gordon Melton:
Born again is a phrase used by many Protestants to describe the phenomenon of gaining faith in Jesus Christ. It is an experience when everything they have been taught as Christians becomes real, and they develop a direct and personal relationship with God.
So we see here that the various churches take very different approaches to this. Before the Evangelical Protestants made a really big thing about this passage, the churches pretty much overlooked this saying that it was achieved by Baptism. Now I would like to return to the passage from John, and bring your attention to a key phrase, one they still seem to fail to explain:
“no one can see the kingdom of God”
This is the root cause of the problem. The Kingdom of God is not adequately defined in the Bible. And if you are only willing to take the Bible as your source, I can’t help you achieve a better understanding. But if you are willing to at least read a few more sentences, maybe you can get my point. The issue is that the churches don’t know exactly what happens to us after death. In short they don’t know where we go, and most of all they don’t know what the Kingdom of God is precisely. And there is no point in my expanding on that, because if you ask five denominations, you will most likely get five answers. But what I will tell you is the Spiritualists have HALF the answer. Not the whole answer. Now they will tell you they know where we go after death, and they have a lot of material to support their claims. And much of that material is amazing - just read the books by Antony Borgia as an example. I think an open-minded researcher would find a lot of congruity in these claims.
Now the Spiritualists have the same issue, in that not a single one of the spirits they talk to has been reborn of spirit, and the vast majority of spiritualist material never ever discusses where the Kingdom of God is because these spirits simply don’t know. And that answers my question here, that pretty much none of us manage to be reborn of spirit while on earth, even though its possible to achieve this. And the single reason why the churches tell you to avoid reading spiritualist material is because it conflicts with what the churches expect to happen after death. But if they knew that rebirth had not yet been achieved, because it does not happen just because you die, and that the Kingdom of God lies above the spiritualist heavens, and that Jesus is Master of those heavens, and that all who enter there are followers of the Master, they would take a much closer look, and we would all be a lot better off for this knowledge. Jesus is the Messiah not just for what he taught on Earth, but also because he was the very first to know that there is ANOTHER spirit Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, with a narrow gate. And prior to his walking the Earth, none had entered that Kingdom.
Now if in the last several hundreds of years a single Christian person had achieved this rebirth, they would have been able to describe it very clearly before it ocurred. And more particularly we should have described it too, because they would at that instant depart the earth and their body would disintegrate in a flash of fusion. I am sure you have not heard of such a holy person leaving in a flash recently? Do I know of anyone? No I don’t. But I do know how to start this process, and I do know many people working their way along it. Why must you leave the material body behind? Simply because where God lives is the non-material non-changeable eternal realm, and even dead folks are not living there unless they have completed the new birth. So if you have your body, you are not reborn of spirit. Period. But that only means you need to keep up the work required to move to that point.