Watchman Willie Martin Archive

              False Doctrine of Being Born Again

While it is not our desire to ridicule anyone’s prayer to Yahweh for repentance such as found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, or any effort one might put forth to amend one’s ways, but the doctrine of being “born again” cannot be found in the Scriptures. We are sure many will be quick to quote John 3:3 where it says:

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Yahweh.”

Actually, this passage does not say “born again,” but “born from ABOVE.” You will have to admit there is a world of difference between being born again and being born from above. Being born from above simply does not imply being born again.

Again: Strong’s Concordance: #509 another (an'‑o‑ then); from 507; FROM ABOVE; by analogy, from the first; by implication, anew: KEV‑‑ FROM ABOVE, again, from the beginning (very first), the top.

Again: Thayer’s Definition: #509  another‑

1) FROM ABOVE, from a higher place; used of things which come from heaven or God

2) from the first, from the beginning, from the very first

3) anew, over again

Being born from above simply does not imply being born again. You can check almost any Bible commentary and it will confirm “born from above” is a correct rendering. It may also be rendered “from the beginning.”

It was Nicodemus only who didn’t understand this, and churches, as a whole, have taken the same position he did. While the churches do not go to the extent of saying one must re-enter one’s mother’s womb, they take another erroneous position.

Nominal churchianity takes the position: if a person, (and he can be from any race) CHOOSES Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and believes on Him, he can enter the Kingdom, and somehow this new candidate is regenerated or “born again” of the Spirit. That this passage should have been translated “born from above” is illustrated in Matthew Pool’s “A Commentary On The Holy Bible,” volume 3, page 290:

“The word translated ‘AGAIN’ is àυ_φευ which often signified ‘FROM ABOVE’...”

Comparing verse 3 to 31, we can clearly see it should have been translated “from above” as it uses the same Greek word #509:

“He that cometh FROM ABOVE is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.” (John 3:31)

Now that we can understand that the expression “born again” is a mistranslation, let’s take a better look at this passage found in John 3:1-21. What we have here is a man of the Pharisee sect by the name of Nicodemus coming to the Messiah by night to inquire more concerning the kingdom of Yahweh.

No doubt, Nicodemus was a good man and a true Israelite, for he defended Yahshua at His trial, John 7:50-51, and attended, with Joseph of Arimathaea at His burial, John 19:38-40. This was part of the conversation our Anointed One had with him, John 3:3-7:

“Yahshua answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be BORN FROM ABOVE, he cannot see the kingdom of Yahweh. 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? Yahshua 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 Yahweh. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be BORN FROM ABOVE.”

The American Standard relates:

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew.”

The Ferror Fenton Bible relates:

“Most assuredly I tell you, replied Jesus, that unless any one is born FROM ABOVE, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus therefore asked: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he be conceived of his mother a second time, and be born? Most assuredly I tell you, replied Jesus, that if a man is not born from water and Spirit, he is unable to enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born from the flesh is flesh; and that which is born from the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised that I told you, You must be BORN FROM ABOVE.”

What we have in this passage, in the King James, is a PARAPHRASE, which is defined in the dictionary as a restatement of the meaning of a passage in different words. In other words, the secondary statement is a restatement using different words to help define the meaning of the primary statement.

A paraphrase is two parallel statements saying the same thing, but in different words. Actually, what we have in this passage are three statements in parallel. Now that we know what a paraphrase is, let’s examine the (1) Primary, (2) Secondary, and (3) The third-parallel statements of this passage

In verse 3, the expression “Except a man be BORN FROM ABOVE” implies an additional birth other than a physical birth. So the first statement suggests a natural birth, plus a birth “from above.”

Being a paraphrase, the secondary statement must repeat the same message, but with different words. In the secondary statement of verse 5, it speaks of water and spirit. In the third-parallel statement of verse 6, it speaks of flesh and spirit.

Therefore, the physical birth implied in verse 3 is the same as the water an flesh of verses 5 and 6, and the “born from above” of verse 3 is the same as the Spirit and spirit of verses 5 and 6. The parallel is: (1) Natural birth ð water è flesh (2) born from above è Spirit è spirit. In other words, the natural birth of verse 3 is the same as water and flesh, and the “born from above” of verse 3 is the same as Spirit and spirit.

Once we understand the parallel of the natural birth, we soon understand the water surrounding the child breaking and producing a body of flesh. When we further understand the “born from above,” we then comprehend a birth of the Spirit by the Spirit (of Yahweh).

Some say the Spirit-birth happened to pre-existence, which may have some merit. Whether or not such a thing is true, we can be sure the Spirit-birth happened when Yahweh breathed the breath of life into Adam. Therefore, Adam became a spirit-man (living soul), and the father of a race of spirit-men and spirit-women.

Throughout the Bible, it differentiates between earth-men and spirit-men. The Adam-man was the only race born with the Spirit of Yahweh. The other races are born of the flesh, but not the Spirit. Once we understand this, we can comprehend such verses as 1 Corinthians 2:14, which reads:

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know THEM, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Discerned: Strong’s Concordance: #350  anakrino (an‑ak‑ree'‑no); from 303 and 2919; properly, to scrutinize, i.e. (by implication) investigate, interrogate, determine:  KEV‑‑ ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.

Discerned: Thayer’s Definition: #350  anakrino‑examine or judge to investigate, examine, enquire into, scrutinize, sift, question

a) specifically in a forensic sense of a judge to hold an investigation

b) to interrogate, examine the accused or witnesses to judge of, estimate, determine (the excellence or defects of any person or thing

This is born out by Ferror Fenton in his Translation of the Bible:

 “But a brutish man does not entertain the thoughts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him; and he is not able to decide upon them, because they are spiritually investigated. But the spiritual man investigates all, whilst he can be criticized by no one.”

The next important statement made by the Messiah to Nicodemus is recorded in John 3:10 when He said to him:

“Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”

This should give us a pretty good idea that what Yahshua told Nicodemus he ought to have known, can be found somewhere in the Old Testament.

It is also possible the “Spirit” spoken of in John 3:2-8 may have significance overlooked by many. While we know it is true concerning Adam being a spirit-man, this passage may be speaking of something beyond this in scope. Let’s take a look at Ezekiel 36:26-27:

“A new heart also will I give you, and A NEW SPIRIT will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do THEM.”

It should be noted in the passage just quoted, that it is directed ONLY to Israelites, for they alone received the statutes and judgments. With all of this, it should become quite clear what is meant by being “born from above.”

It should be quite obvious, when it is speaking of the “water,” it is speaking of the natural birth process and not baptism. It should also be quite evident, that the being “born again” doctrine taught in the mainstream churches is not at all the Spirit-birth taught in Scripture.

Nicodemus, hearing word rumored about concerning the Messiah’s teaching of the Kingdom, decided to investigate the matter with Yahshua Himself. We have to imagine poor, old Nicodemus when he misunderstood he might have to reenter his mother’s womb to gain entrance thereto.

What a strange way to enter the Kingdom of Yahweh he must have thought. He was probably familiar with the usual civil laws for entering a country by the right of birth in an earthly kingdom. But, to enter the Kingdom of Yahweh, he finds he must enter by the right of the Spirit-birth breathed by Yahweh. He was informed:

“...the natural man received not the things of the Spirit of Yahweh.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

In Nicodemus’ eyes, the Messiah introduced a whole new (but really old) concept of the Kingdom of Yahweh (John 3:6) of flesh and spirit. Every Adamite has two births: one from earth, one from above; one of his body and one of his spirit. Without the first, he cannot enjoy the earth; without the last, he cannot see or enjoy the Kingdom of Yahweh. The one is visible; the second is invisible. (Galatians 4:28-31)

                          The Invisible Kingdom

After Messiah explained to Nicodemus both the physical and spirit dimensions of the kingdom, in John 3:8. He goes on to compare the Spirit to the phenomenon of the wind:

“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.”

While the wind blows in a variety of directions, and we can hear its sound, perceive its operation in the motion of the trees and even feel its touch, we cannot discern the air itself. The motion of the wind is imperceptible, but we can gauge it by its risings, fallings and changes of directions. We can only know that it exists by the effects which it produces.

Like natural birth, the Spirit reproduces, by the law “after its kind.” MISCEGENATION, THEREFORE, BRINGS DEATH TO THE SPIRIT. In Scripture, both in Greek and Hebrew, the  words “spirit” and “breathed” are constantly brought together. Therefore, inasmuch as Yahweh breathed into Adam His breath of life, they are both of the same Spirit.

                           The Unforgivable Sin.

Matthew 12:31: “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”

But whoever commits blasphemy against the Mentality of Separation does not have forgiveness to eternity, but is liable to eternal judgment." This because they said, "He has a mongreled mentality." Mark 3:29-30 AST

For thou ART A HOLY PEOPLE unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a PECULIAR PEOPLE unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. Deuteronomy 14:2

Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice: And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his PECULIAR PEOPLE, as he hath promised thee, and that THOU shouldest keep all his commandments

 And to make thee HIGH ABOVE ALL NATIONS which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that thou mayest be a HOLY PEOPLE unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken

Remember that the LORD thy God considers Israelites, all descendants of Jacob, to be a holy, set apart, special, separate, peculiar, chosen people; a royal priesthood, high above all nations, a holy nation, redeemed of the LORD, called, sought out, and a city not forsaken

The LORD shall establish thee a HOLY PEOPLE unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. (Deuteronomy 28:9)

When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. (Deuteronomy 32:8)

And they shall call them, The HOLY PEOPLE, THE REDEEMED of the LORD: and thou shalt be CALLED, SOUGHT OUT, A CITY NOT FORSAKEN. (Isaiah 62:12)

And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this IS A HOLY MAN of God, which passeth by us continually. (2 Kings 4:9)

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the TEMPLE OF GOD IS HOLY, WHICH TEMPLE YE ARE. (1 Corinthians 3:17)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the HOLY SPIRIT, be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)

But ye ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PECULIAR PEOPLE; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Therefore, there is only one conclusion possible, and that is the only unforgivable sin is to blaspheme those who uphold the racial segregation of Israel from the people of the land; and to mix the races, for once the race mixing has been completed, there is NOTHING that can be done to undo it, not even Yahweh Himself can fix it or change it back.

Because the Kingdom is invisible, Yahshua said, Luke 17:20:

‘The kingdom of Yahweh cometh not with observation.”

Truly, the Kingdom must be reunited with the Covenant, for we are His legally from the first breath! (Taken, in part, from a study by Clifton A. Emahisher’s Teaching Ministries, 1012 N. Vine Street, Fostoria, Ohio 44830, Phone (419) 435-2836)

Citizenship Requirements: Now we come to the last important question in our study; what is the entrance requirements to this City wherein God dwells and which promises a new government, a new existence, and a new way of life?

We know from Scripture that to possess immortality, we must be incapable of sinning (the wages of sin is death), We know of no one who is, or who has been (with the exception of Christ), incapable of sinning. Immortality requires sinlessness, therefore, we cannot inherit the New Jerusalem as long as we are in these mortal bodies.

However, there are some who are teaching that we are in the kingdom now, that Christ is reigning as King in this kingdom, and that the resurrection occurred in 70 A.D. The disturbing thought that the resurrection has occurred and we have been left out brings to mind the following from "The Purpose of the Resurrection," by Stephen E. Jones: "The first resurrection had not occurred when Paul mentioned Hymenaeus and Philetus. There are some teachers today who say that the first resurrection occurred in 70 A.D. at the destruction of Jerusalem.

The Jehovah's Witnesses say the resurrection occurred in 1914 A.D. The problem is, no one can point to any resurrected saint and say, 'See, that man died a hundred years ago and is now alive, immortal, and incorruptible. Let's elect him as our president so that he can rule and reign on the earth as the Scriptures say!' If the resurrection is already past, then where are they? Why are they not ruling? Why have they not 'bound Satan' (Revelation 20:2)? Why are they not administering true justice and righteousness in the earth by the Law of God? Why do evil men yet flourish?

Once gain, the only explanation we get is that they were 'raised spiritually' in such a manner that no one perceived it. We are asked to see it with 'the eye of faith,' because it all happened in secret, and these saints are all in heaven and have little or no influence in the government on earth.

All these views redefine resurrection in terms of the dead going to heaven in some spiritual state, rather than in the likeness of Jesus' resurrected body. Whenever men say that the resurrection occurred in the past, but they cannot point to resurrected saints to support their view, they have redefined resurrection and adopted the pagan Greek view of resurrection. They are saying that when the dead are raised, they go into a spiritual state that is apart from matter. All these views destroy the doctrine of the resurrection.

So if any man comes teaching that the resurrection is already past, whether they say it occurred in Matthew 27 or in 70 A.D. or in 1914 A.D., it is simply an extension of the doctrine of Hymenaeus and Philetus. Do not be among those whose faith is overturned, by such teachings.

Those who teach that the resurrection occurred in 70 A.D., tell us that Paul's writings about the resurrection were completed before 70 A.D., and therefore he could not have known that the resurrection would occur in so short a time. While on the surface this may sound plausible, we need to remember exactly what is meant by 'resurrection.' The gospels are replete with evidence of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Additionally, Paul emphasizes the physical resurrection of Jesus the Christ in his first epistle to the Corinthians. He reminds those to whom he is writing that '...if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.' Paul is saying that if in this mortal body, this ailing body, this sinful body we have hope, we are most miserable. In other words, if during our life here and how we can worship and believe and have faith in Christ, we are most miserable because that would be the end of it."

Stephen Jones is correct; those teaching that the resurrection has already occurred have redefined resurrection. DO NOT FALL FOR IT!

A DISTINCTION OF WORDS: It appears that those who teach this doctrine fail to distinguish between being "REBORN" (or having a "NEW BIRTH") and being "RESURRECTED." Our English words "BORN AGAIN" mean a "REGENERATION," not a "RESURRECTION." When we are "BORN AGAIN," we have been drawn to Christ by the Father, (John 6:44) and we become "BORN OF GOD."  (1 John 3:9)

We become; "...BORN AGAIN, NOT OF CORRUPTIBLE SEED, BUT OF INCORRUPTIBLE, BY THE WORD OF GOD, WHICH LIVETH AND ABIDETH FOREVER."  (1 Peter 1:23) This is a spiritual regeneration that heralds the replacement of our natural or carnal insight with the insight of the Holy Spirit.

It is what is meant by "BEING LED BY THE SPIRIT." There are separate and distinct words for "REGENERATION" and "RESURRECTION" in Greek; the Greek word "ANASTASIS" means "A RISING OR RAISING UP" and is translated as "RESURRECTION" in English, while the Greek word ANAGEGENNEMENOI" means "HAVING BEEN GENERATED AGAIN" and is translated as "BORN AGAIN”  in English. Thus we can see that there are two processes that we must experience in our walk.

To document further a physical resurrection, let us turn to the ninth verse of Paul's letter to the Romans: "KNOWING THAT CHRIST BEING RAISED FROM THE DEAD DIETH NO MORE; DEATH HATH NO MORE DOMINION OVER HIM." Here we see that Paul pictures Christ as being raised from the dead, and when He was raised from the dead, death had no dominion, or no power, over Him any longer. this is called the resurrection, and it is the hope of you and I who are called according to His purposes. The hope of every believer is in the resurrection, it is this transformation process that we look forward to.

What we have in this life is not that transformation, it is regeneration. Even in regeneration we still experience all the problems of the flesh; the sin, the sicknesses, the worries, and the confusion. Is this, as some are trying to tell us, what we have to look forward to?

We tell you that it is not! Right now we are experiencing the trails of this life whether it be from government, sickness, loss of income, or family problems. In our present bodies, we have neither the power nor the righteousness required to keep a new type of government righteous even if we could put one in place.

There seems to be something always lacking in our lives (as fallen unregenerate men) which has prevented us from establishing and maintaining a righteous government. Perhaps we need to remember the Scripture that tells us that we know in part and we do in part, but until that which is perfect is come, (1 Corinthians 13:10) we are not going to have the full measure of success that we desire in this life.

That is a major difference between us and those who teach that we are in the kingdom now. Some ministries preach that in the days ahead, man will be able to usher in the Kingdom of god. A feat that we might add, no previous generation of man has been able to accomplish in his present form, state, and existence. They believe that man will somehow get better, become more obedient to God, and that God Almighty will then use them through the leading of His Spirit to establish the Kingdom of God upon this earth.

Well, AT LEAST THEY HAVE THE CORRECT LOCATION OF THE KINGDOM, instead of claiming that it is off in some nebulous outerspace location! However, though we are "Heirs of the Promise," we like Abraham, must live by faith, and look for the promised "COUNTRY" (kingdom), whose builder and maker is God. These are the promises from the Word of God, TO THE OVERCOMERS. We are not born overcomers without lifting a finger, we become overcomers by yielding to Christ, and dying to self-will.

In Spirit and in Truth: What does it mean to worship God in spirit and in truth? For this answer we go to the two great commandments given by Jesus: Love God genuinely and thoroughly (and strive to bring our characters into line with His); and Love our neighbors as ourselves [1]-treat others as we would like to be treated, commensurate with the principles of the New Testament.

This is the worship that God is seeking. Jesus gave this message to the Samaritan woman and the people of Sychar. He didn't tell her to go to Jerusalem and worship with the Jews; there is no record that He told her to seek out some synagogue or church to attend. The Jews wouldn't have received her anyway, and He knew that the temple at Jerusalem would be destroyed a few years hence. The change from old covenant to new covenant was now being implemented. The Samaritan woman and many residents of the town became Christians. Jesus stayed with them two days and taught them.


                               Arnold Kennedy


If ever there was a need to put aside pre-conceived ideas and teachings, there is great need to do so in the present use of the expression “born again“.  There is a common conception and presentation throughout the Christian world is an absolutely false and misleading error.  The basis of the expression is found in the book of John.

John 3:3-5: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto ye except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  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? 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.  That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

In most translations, the words “born again” have been carried on in a traditional manner, suggesting that a second “birth” is necessary to enter the Kingdom of God.  Many Bibles, in their margins, will have “from above” showing this is what the original manuscripts have.  When we look into the words actually spoken, we find that it was Nicodemus who made the suggestion about entering a second time into his mother’s womb.

This was the interpretation that Nicodemus put on Jesus’ words, but Jesus did not say anything about a second time even if the translations make Him appear to say He did.  JESUS DID NOT USE THE WORD “AGAIN”!  There is no manuscript at all that says Jesus used the word “again”. The word deuteros that Nicodemus spake appears in the New Testament 44 times, and it always means twice, again, etc.

Jesus did not use this word deuteros; Jesus used the word anothen.

Strong G509 anothen Includes from above, or from the first.

Thayeranothen Used of things that come from heaven [from God], or from a higher [upper] place, or from the very first, or from the origin.

Knowing this one word difference helps understanding and shows up the problems there are with the popular concept.  Jesus confirmed to Nicodemus that He was NOT SPEAKING OF A

SECOND BIRTH when He told Nicodemus that He was referring to being born of water and of Spirit.  Jesus did not use the future tense, as did Nicodemus.  Jesus was speaking of something that existed at the time of speaking.

The Christian Church has picked up the words Nicodemus spoke, rather than the words of Jesus.  Jesus chided Nicodemus for not knowing these things [v10]. Likewise today, our teachers need chiding for the same reason of not knowing these things.  Jesus went on to say that not every person is begotten from physical birth of the Spirit, noting that, that which is of flesh is of the flesh, being born that way at physical birth.


The word anothen that Jesus uses appears14 times in the New Testament and it does not have a meaning similar to deuteros (second time) or pallin (again), the latter being the word most commonly translated as “again”.  The adverb anothen always relates to place and is used of past or former time, but never the future time.  In order to discuss the word anothen, let us consider examples of how the word has been translated.

Matt 27:51 and Mark 15:38 the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;

Luke1:3 having had perfect understanding all things from the very first.

John 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all:

John 19:11 except it were given thee from above:

John 19:23 now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

Acts26:5 Which knew me from the beginning,

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above_

None of these indicate “again” in any sense.


Begetting and birth are two vastly different events. Begetting as used of men is the action and process of conception, for example, Abraham begat Isaac [Matt 1:16].  Birth as used of woman, is movement from one environment to another, for example, Mary of whom Jesus was born [Matt 1-16].

This word gennao varies with the context and it may have an abstract meaning also where it is used of figurative father-child relationships [1 Cor 4:15].

This word “born” in John 3:3-5 is gennao and it is found 98 times in the New Testament.  The sense usually has connection with procreation; the most prominent meaning being beget or begotten.  WE MUST THUS NOW DETERMINE THE TIME WHEN THIS BEGETTING TAKES PLACE.  All modern teachers insist that people already born can be re-born in the future.  But when used of a male, begotten is usually about the time of conception; when born is used of a female it is usually about physical birth.

Thayer It is of mankind begetting children. 

Vine Chiefly used of men begetting children.

If we want to understand its use in John 3:3-5, it is necessary to look at the Greek which does not indicate future tense here.  Modern theology or teaching likes to use the words in the future tense [from tradition], but this is a total error.  We have been taught so wrongly to use the words, except a man be born again in the future tense that it is hard for many to think otherwise.  But “be born” is indefinite with respect to time. Jesus taught exactly what is taught through the Old Testament, namely that God’s race is born from an original sowing.

                  “born of water AND OF SPIRIT”

This is not only an interesting subject; but John 3:5 [Except a man be born of water and of the spirit] is a key verse. Because of the “and” we see there are two requirements for perceiving the Kingdom of God: water as well as spirit.  What is believed here determines which gospel is believed.  We have the choice to believe that any man of any race can see the kingdom of God or we can believe the limitation that Jesus presents:

The word for water is hudor and it is used of water of all sorts.  On its own it means nothing but water!  Some religious so-called experts argue that the expression refers to baptism, but this cannot be so because the thief on the cross [stake] went to paradise without being baptised.  So we have to look further.

A person is begotten of water as part of the natural process following biological conception, but Jesus added the words, and of the Spirit.  This makes it clear that the ability to comprehend the Kingdom of God is included at the time of conception.  To determine what this is about, we must of necessity go back to the Old Testament to see who and what was begotten of the Spirit.  We can anticipate that the Old Testament will agree with the New Testament.

                   WHO DID GOD BEGET?

Exodus 4:22 Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn.

Statements like this immediately exclude all the other races and potentially, those before Jacob.  So, there is no need to go further back in the Bible, apart from noting that both Abraham and Sarah were from the Adamic seed.  They could not have been from the pre-Adamic or other later seed-lines.  When God separated Abram and Sara He regenerated their ability to conceive a child and commemorated the event by changing their names adding the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet into their names - Abraham and Sarah.  This number is connected with the Spirit of God!  The life in Sarah’s womb was spirit-endowed. Now, consider these questions:

If Israel was God’s firstborn son, then who are their offspring?

For Israel to be the son, then who is Israel’s father?  Is it not God?

1 Does not Israel originate from God if Israel is His son?

Nowhere in the Bible can we find any suggestion of the humanist brotherhood of all men.  God is expressed as being the “Father of Israel” only.  He is the father of all men OF ISRAEL, not all men of all races.

Jesus taught His disciples [all Israelites only] to pray saying, our Father which art in heaven.  This is better translated our Father, the One in heaven. Neither God nor man can be called a father until they have begotten offspring.  There is no suggestion of a spiritual birth later in life.  God states that He is a Father in Exodus 4:22; therefore He begat offspring and is the father of all descendants from Israel.  The Apostle Peter declares that we [Israelites to whom he was writing] are begotten from above, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed, by the Word of God.

It must be immediately pointed out that, in this verse, the incorruptible seed of God [the Father] is sporas rather than sperma.  The meaning of this word sporas is the sowing back in the past, or sown seed and refers to the firstborn, Isaac conceived in Sarah’s womb, after God had regenerated Sarah’s and Abraham’s ability to conceive a child. It is now an appropriate place to look at Sarah and Abraham, who are shown to be the place [or origin], being that originating rock or quarry and the pit.

           Abraham AND Sarah – THE ORIGIN

Isaiah 51:1,2 Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.  Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.

It is not necessary here to establish all the reasons as to why God needed to make a new start with Abraham and Sarah.  We have to accept that He did call Abraham alone. From this beginning, God made promises to Abraham that were to follow on to Abraham’s seed (zera).  Only those born from this new beginning could comprehend the Kingdom of God.  This beginning was from God because God had regenerated Abraham and Sarah enabling them to bear one child.  In this way Isaac was born because of God’s action.

From Adam to Abraham, Adam’s pure line contained the breath of life [see Job], so where did the people come from who did not have the breath of life?  These men and women originated from Genesis 1.  Through misgenerative activity –[i.e.race mixing]-, racial pollution was introduced to the bloodstream of the sons of Adam, and we find that God sought to eliminate the products of such activity.  Noah was “pure in his generations” [Gen 6:9], and so he and his unmixed family were preserved.  Later, the Children of Israel were to destroy the mixed breed of the Canaanites. These could not receive the things of the Spirit of God.  They could not witness in their spirit and say, the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God [Rom 8:16], as an Israelite is able to do.  This principle is a continuing theme in the Bible.

Through Abraham and Sarah, God established the basis for Abraham’s seed to become the Sons of God [John 1:12].  God was making a new beginning with Abraham.  None other than the seed of Abraham, through the son of promise, Isaac, has this opportunity or potential.  Abraham’s seven other sons did not have this potential - because they were born prior to Isaac.  The descendants of Isaac were begotten of the Spirit from their conception. This is why those among Isaac’s descendants who believe are regarded as being anointed by the Spirit [Gal 3:16]. Paul is able to declare, now He which stablishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us is God who has also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts [2 Cor. 1:21,22].  In 1 Cor 2:7-16 Paul, confirming this, tells the brethren [kinsmen of the same womb of Sarah] that they have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God [v12].  He says that through this we might know [or comprehend] the things that are freely given to us, [the brethren], of God.  He goes on to further declare that the “natural” man [those not born of Isaac’s line] cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God.  He affirms Jesus’ statement that anyone who is not begotten of the original sowing [in the womb of Sarah] cannot see the Kingdom of God.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received abideth in you, 1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit [practice] sin, for his seed remaineth in him: _

1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; _

There is this relationship between the “anointing”, the right “seed”, and being begotten of God.

             “FORMED FROM THE WOMB”.

Isaiah 44:2 Thus saith the Lord [Jehovah] that made thee[Israel], and formed the from the womb, _

In what way would Israel be formed in the womb? Whose womb?  The word beten means what we mean today by the womb.  Men do not have a womb; Abraham did not have a womb, but Sarah did.

In Isaiah 51:1,2 as quoted above, speaking of Sarah, we find the womb described as the hole of the pit.  This metaphor is a term that extends to the mountain from which the Stone Kingdom is taken.  This is God’s mine.  James who was writing to the twelve tribes said, OF HIS OWN WILL BEGAT HE US [ISRAELITES] WITH THE WORD OF TRUTH [James 1:18].  Begat, as has been shown, is chiefly about conception, not physical birth.

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, ¼

This verse indicates a difference between Israel and Jacob.  Here we have the one being created, and the other being formed.  So there are differences associated with the use of these words in different contexts.

Isaiah 44:24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; ¼

Here again, the Lord is speaking to Israel only. Nowhere in Scripture can we find reference to the Lord being the redeemer of any other people apart from those of Israel who are formed from the womb.  In the New Testament we still find reference to the womb of Sarah. Therefore it is as important as ever in the New Testament, as well as in the Old Testament.

Rom 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither the deadness of Sara’s womb: ¼

Contained in the first verse of this chapter, we see, Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh.  The father of us all [that is, Israelites] of verse 16 is Abraham after the flesh.  This still is not a spiritual rebirth.  Remember that Paul was writing to the House of Israel to whom he was sent.

Nicodemus, as a master or teacher in Israel, should have known these things, Jesus told him so, in no uncertain terms.  Teachers today likewise do not know these things. The womb of Sarah and the offspring from that womb have been spiritualised away!  The common New Testament word “brethren,” as has been shown, is kinsmen of the womb.  What other womb would this be other than the womb of Sarah?

               “HE CAME UNTO HIS OWN”

                        “BORN OF GOD”

John 1:11,12 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God.

Quoting R.K. and R.N. Phillips in The only begotten God,

Verse 11 is almost completely misunderstood by the whole of Christendom today and the AV translation is the main cause of this misunderstanding¼The word own appears twice in the verse – but in the first clause it is neuter gender while in the second it is masculine. Therefore John is referring to two different things.

The first clause states that Jesus came to His own possessions [neuter gender] – His land, His Kingdom, His city, His temple.  In the second clause the term His Own is the Greek term oi idios [masculine gender] which means, literally, the members of one’s own household.  In this case it refers only to those who had authority over His Kingdom, city and Temple.  (The vast majority of Israel were scattered abroad in the Dispersion and, at that time, were still classed as not my people.)  Before we can complete the translation of verse 11, we have to look at the beginning of verse 12.

The Greek text of verse 12 begins but to those who did receive Him.  In this clause and the last clause of verse 11, we have another instance of the AV translating two different Greek words as one English word – in this case, received.  The last clause of verse 11 states, in effect, that those who were ruling over His possessions neither received nor accepted Him [as the owner].  It points to outright rejection, not through ignorance [which is covered by the phrase does not recognise Him in verse 10], but by wilful refusal to accept Him as the rightful owner. However, in the first sentence of verse 12 the word received has the meaning of to welcome or to accept willingly.  Hence, while the Judean Nation rejected Him at a national level, there were individuals in that Nation who did both recognise and receive Him gladly.  Verses 11 and 12 read in the Greek text:

v11 He comes unto his own [possessions] but The people [ruling over His possessions] refuse to accept Him [as the rightful owner].

v12      But to those who welcome Him, to The ones believing in His name, to them He gives authority to [make themselves] become [because of their beliefs] children of God [again].

They were not everyone on earth who was born of bloods [plural in Greek] or by the will of the flesh [John 1:10-13].  Jesus came to His household who were born by the will of God.

Thayer’s Lexicon Household is used as stock, race, descendants of one.

Phillips and Phillips again points out:

The phrase translated the sons of God in verse 12 of the AV is quite wrong.  The Greek phrase is tekna theou which means children of God. Immature children, no doubt, but it does not mean sonship; for sonship points to growth and ultimate maturity.  Nor does it have anything to do with the false doctrine of “adoption”.  On the contrary, the phrase forcefully asserts:

a.   the natural genetic relationship of a child with its true father and, hence,

b.   those children of God are the biological descendants of God Himself.

Note that John 1:13 states: Which were born, not of blood [plural], nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

To which Phillips and Phillips point out:

Verse 13 states that those who were given the right to become children of God [again] were those [begotten]:

a.   not out of bloods - which is of ordinary human descent,

`b. nor out of [the] will of the flesh - which was Sarah’s demand to have children by Hagar and Keturah,

c. nor out of [the] will of a man - which was Abraham’s desire for an heir,

d. but out of God are begotten.

The Greek verb begotten is plural in this verse and so cannot be limited to the birth of Jesus“.

Isaac was not born of Abraham’s will.  Abraham was past that.  Isaac was begotten by God’s will when He regenerated Abraham and Sarah’s ability to have a child and to give that child an individually incorruptible spirit.  Isaac was thus begotten from above, as are Isaac’s descendants from the time of their conception.  In this portion of John 1 we find the origin of those who can believe in Jesus.  Also we find where they did not [and do not] come from!  Jesus came only [alone] to those begotten from above by God.  He is shown to be the Redeemer of only His Kinsmen.

A person does not exercise his will in determining where and of what race he should be begotten.  The will factor of the person being born does not function in normal physical conception and birth.  God determined what seed a person is from that person’s father.  God knows who are begotten of the Spirit from above.

2 Tim 2:19 says, “God knows those that are His”.  The word translated as “born” = gennao in the following Scriptures, is used in the genealogies and in all other places, as being begotten or conceived.  It does not relate to some spiritual birth.

John1:13 Which were born [begotten], not of blood ¼

John 3:3 Except a man be born again ¼[that is, begotten from above]

John 3:5 Except a man be born [begotten] of water and of Spirit ¼

John 3:8 so is everyone who is born [begotten] of the Spirit ¼

John18:37 To this end was I born ¼[referring to Jesus’ physical birth from Mary]

Matt 2:1 When Jesus was born in Bethlehem ¼[referring to His physical birth from Mary]

Spiritualise these references if we like, but we will be like Nicodemus, not knowing these things.


In Scripture there is an expression that means “born again”.  This is paligenesia or palin (again) plus genesis (born).  There are but two occurrences and this is how they have been translated:

Matt 19:28 Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. ¼

Titus 3:5¼but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; ¼

It is not appropriate to expand this new subject here, other than to again note the Tribes of Israel limitation.

                          WHAT IS BEING SAID?

Simply this, there is a great difference between “begotten” and “born”.  Begetal refers to conception where as born refers to physical birth.  The Greek word, gennao, means conception or beget (when used of men) and physical birth (when used of women).  Unless a person is begotten of the line that arises from the original sowing, the begetting of God, that person does not come to contain the ability to perceive the Kingdom of God.  This is what Jesus said to Nicodemus!

[1] Matthew 22:37-40.

Reference Materials