It is interesting to note that the very first person that Jesus revealed himself to after he was risen from the dead was Mary Magdalene.
Why do you think that was? Something to think about!
Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. Mark 16:9
Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ disciples. She is mentioned many times in the gospels.
Because Mary was a common name of the time and several other women called Mary followed Jesus too the name Magdalene was given to distinguish her from the others.
Mary was probably from Magdala. A fishing village in Galilee. This is interesting because Mary Magdalene was the first evangelist to go and tell others that Jesus was risen from the dead!
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4: 19
Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus Christ who also supported his ministry.
Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. Luke 8:1-56
Mary Magdalene was a woman that had seven demons cast out of her. Why would scriptures mention that Mary Magdalene had 7 devils cast out of her?
Scriptures do not tell us that any of the disciples had demons cast out of them. To be demonized meant she had some kind of suffering. Maybe sickness or trauma or a sinful lifestyle. We don’t really know. What we do know is that Mary Magdalene became devoted to Jesus Christ. This means that whatever ailments she had she was truly grateful to be healed! 7 is the Hebrew number for perfection. Mary Magdalene’s healing was complete. She was made whole!
Mary Magdalene stood faithfully with Jesus as he was crucified. She never fled. She was there praying.
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[of God!”
There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. Mark 27:50-56
This may be one of the reasons why Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus Christ risen from the dead and was commissioned to tell the disciples about it.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:11-18
Since women’s testimony was generally excluded under Jewish law the fact that Jesus revealed himself to Mary Magdalene first and commissioned her to tell the other disciples is significant.
According to Romans 8:16,17 As children of God we are now heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
A joint heir is a legal term. It means a person who inherits jointly with another heir of an estate.
Another way of saying it is co-heir which is one of several persons among whom an inheritance is divided.
In other words as children of God we inherit a portion of the Father’s estate.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15
According to Hebrews 1:2 Jesus is the heir of all things. Jesus being the exact representation of God is above all things. His authority is our authority because we are in him who is above all things.
Through the name of Jesus those born of God have access into the holy of holies. All we need to fulfill our call in this life is available to us when we present our requests before the throne of God.
Scriptures tell us that we are more than conquers. That means as children of God we can do more than conquer a problem, we can completely subdue it and annihilate it in the name of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 2:29 tells us that if we belong to Jesus Christ then we are Abraham’s seed according to the promise.
Since Christians are considered to be Abraham’s seed through faith in Jesus Christ then the promises of Abraham apply also to the Christian.
These promises include justification, fruitfulness, multiplication, provision and favor. Genesis 12: 2,3
Though Jesus Christ we have become the children of God who inherit the promises of God.
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (The non Jews) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:7-9
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:25
Being a joint heir with Jesus Christ means all the blessings the Lord gave to Abraham is our inheritance as well.
Some of these promises include:
Hebrews 1:4 Ministering of the angelic realm Titus 3: 7 Heirs of eternal life
James 2:5 Heirs of the kingdom of God
1 Peter 3:7 Heirs of lifetime grace
In many wills or inheritances there are conditions for inheriting the promises or benefits. The gifts are subject to a condition. It is the same in God’s inheritance.
One condition made clear in scripture is, “IF we suffer with him so that we will be glorified together.”
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8: 17
The word suffer in this verse is sumpaschō in the Greek. It means persecution or experiencing the same kind of pain.
In other words if we partake in similar sufferings as Jesus did then we will inherit the same promises as he did.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. John 15:18
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Luke 6:22
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 1 John 3:13
Persecutions come with being a Christian. They are allowed to demonstrate we belong to Jesus Christ. If we live godly in Jesus Christ we are blessed but nevertheless we will be persecuted for belonging to him.
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4
Living godly in Jesus Christ brings persecution but living godly also brings blessings because we are made joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
In John Chapter 15, Jesus gives a parable about a vineyard.
He says that he is the true vine, the Father is the Farmer and his disciples are the branches.
Just as a branch cannot produce fruit without the vine neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.
Every branch in Jesus Christ is pruned so that it will produce fruit. No fruit can be produced without pruning.
Pruning is a part of growing in the Lord. Pruning requires taking away the old so that the new will grow.
This process can be painful. We are set in our ways and don’t like change. But in order to produce Holy Spirit fruit in our lives we must yield to the pruning process. Out with the old man filled with dry old ways of doing things and yielding to the sharp pruning tools of the Father.
Jesus tells us to abide in him. Continue in his word which is able to make us into what the Lord wants us to be. Filled with Holy Spirit fruit!
Just as a vine cannot produce fruit by itself neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.
If we continue in the Lord we will produce much fruit.
Pruning the vine every spring just before growth begins allows the branches to have enough air movement around them to reduce disease.
Heavy pruning of the vine provides the best fruit.
While pruning may be needed throughout the year, pruning is best done when the vine is dormant, just before growth begins in spring.
Dormancy is when the plant slows down. Its metabolism, energy consumption, and growth are at a slow pace.
Sometimes when we seem to be inactive, placed on the shelf, that is when the pruning happens. Our lives in a winter stage while seeming to be going no where are in reality being pruned.
Reflection. Repentance. Seeking the Lord. Searching for answers. Giving up of sin. Intense prayer. Dying to self.
The winter stage many times can be rough going but harsh winters with much pruning produce a great harvest of fruit.
In order for a grape vine to flourish it must have plenty of sun shine. In the same way we must have plenty of Holy Spirit saturation.
If a vine has little light it will eventually dry up and die.
In his presence is fullness of joy. We get inspired in God’s presence, strengthened and empowered.
Being in the sun reduces pest problems too. That old devil and his varmints hate the light. The more light the less devil problems.
The vine also needs plenty of water for the roots to grow and expand deep into the ground. The branches can’t produce a healthy life flow without plenty of the water.
Being watered with the word makes us grow in the Lord.
Without the water of the word our roots will shrivel and die or at the very least be stunted in growth.
Roots need to be soaked in water before planting. This is significant because a vine produces healthy branches only after a deep saturation.
The more of the word we are saturated in, the more we become grounded in the truth. It is hard to dig up deep rooted plants.
It is interesting to note that a grapevine needs some type of support system or the branches will trail along the ground. In the same way we need support to grow properly. Without proper support the Lord’s disciples will become bogged down, carrying a lot of burden.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Another important factor in a healthy vineyard is to weed constantly. If weeds grow under the grape vine the soil temperature will stay cooler. This will delay growth.
The cares of this life if not dealt with will choke the branches from receiving life from the vine. We need to hoe out all those worldly cares and troubles. Being diligent to guard our hearts against anything that will clog up our spiritual life.
Jesus tells us that if we continue in him then we will be fruitful but if not then we will wither and possibly die.
A healthy branch abides in the vine and produces much fruit!
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:7-9
There are natural doors that open to allow entrance and close to prevent entrance. In the Kingdom of God a door represents entrance or access from the natural realm to the Spiritual realm.
In Hebrew door is pethach. An opening, gate, entrance way. It is more than just an ordinary natural door. The root word for pethach is pâthach which means to open or loose.
God lives in the spiritual realm. The only way to enter into the realm of the Spirit of God is through the DOOR. Jesus is that door.
In Jesus’ time the sheepfold was a rock wall built of stones. This wall provided protection from predators. The enclosure also had a door which was an opening for the sheep to come in and go out. The Shepherd would lie at the door in order to protect the sheep.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:1-5
In Genesis 18:1 Abraham had a visitation of the Lord at the door of his tent. You will find many references in scripture where the Lord dialogues with his people at the door. The Door represent Jesus Christ the Messiah in which we must enter to have fellowship with God.
Blood was sprinkled on the door. The Lord passed over the door so that the destroyer would not destroy. Ex. 29:32
The door of the tabernacle is where the Lord met with Moses to speak to him. Ex. 33:9
The offerings were put at the door of the tabernacle. Ex 40:29 Leviticus. 1:5, 4:18 Numbers 6:10
Prophets or Nazerites were dedicated to the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Numbers 6:13
The Israelites repented at the door of their tents. Numbers 11:10
The Lord came down in a pillar of the cloud and stood at the door of the tabernacle to speak. Numbers 12:5
The Israelites put incense at the door of the tabernacle. Numbers 6:18
God’s glory appeared at the door of the congregation. Numbers 16:19
The law was to be written upon the door posts of the Israelites houses and gates. Deuteronomy 11:20
A bondservant’s ear was to be pierced on the door. Deuteronomy 15:17
The Lord appeared at the door of the tabernacle in a pillar of cloud over the door of the tabernacle. Ezekiel 10:19
The cherubim stood at the temple door and the glory of the Lord was above them. Deuteronomy 31:15
Prophecy of giving Israel a door of hope. Jesus is that door. Hoses 2:15
The 5 virgins who were prepared went in with Jesus and the 5 not prepared had the door shut on them. Matthew 25: 10
In Revelations 3:20 Jesus says I stand at the door and knock.
Jesus knocks on the door or entrance to our heart, he calls us by his Holy Spirit. If we hear his voice and come through the door he will have fellowship us.
When we come to Jesus by responding to his voice we can go in through the door to the realm of the Spirit and then out through the door to the natural realm with our needs met.
Commune or fellowship with the Lord gives us access into the holy realm of God’s Kingdom.
In Revelation 4:1
A door was opened in the heavenly realm for John and the word of the Lord came to him.
Once we come through the Door we have access into the Holy of holies. We can now come before God’s throne with our praise, worship, prayers and intercession. We can even come to receive instruction in righteous, get revelation of the word of God and simply just hang out in God’s presence.
In Matthew 7 Jesus tells us to ask, seek and knock. These 3 words hold different meanings.
To ask is to petition, to seek is to diligently look for or inquire and to knock is to request entrance.
In Revelations 3:20 Jesus is talking to his church.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
When we knock on the door, we are requesting access to the realm of the Spirit where God resides.
“Whoever knocks the door will be opened.”
We are gaining access to this realm of the Spirit when we come through the door. Jesus is that door into the presence of God.
There we can commune with the Lord. It’s a spiritual experience with God that takes us from this natural realm to the realm of the Spirit. It is our spirit fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit. Communing together in one accord.
Not every Christian knocks on the door or comes through the door as made evident in the Lord’s plea in Revelations 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Either they don’t know they have this access to the place where God resides or they don’t believe it. Scriptures tell us that we have a better covenant based on better promises.
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6
Our access to the realm of the Spirit is based on our having gone through the Door. The veil to the Holy of Holies is now removed. We can like the high priest did once a year, enter into God’s presence. We can come every day!
The heavenly realm of communion in the Holy Spirit is available to those who knock on the door. That is through Jesus Christ we can come into the throne room of grace. It is much more than petition. It is much more than intercession.
It is having intimacy with the King of Kings in the realm of the Spirit of God. Dwelling in his very presence !
Knock and the door will be opened unto you for he who comes to me will never be refused. John 6:37
In Luke Chapter 19 Jesus is talking to his disciples about the coming kingdom of God.
The disciples were excited about the Kingdom of Messiah being established in the earth. They thought that it was going to be realized in their day. While Jesus taught principles of the kingdom of God, he told the disciples that his earthy kingdom was coming in the future.
In the meantime, Jesus told his disciples to occupy until he came back to establish his kingdom in the earth. Jesus relayed a parable about a man who sets his servants in charge of his estate while he goes away on a journey. In the story the Lord gives each of his servants some money to put to use on his behalf while he goes away. Before he leaves, the Lord gives his servants this one instruction. “Occupy till I come.”
Occupy in the Greek is pragmateuomai which means to keep busy. To carry on with business.
To occupy is also a military term. It means to control and possess a hostile territory in order for the invading Kingdom to establish a military government against an enemy within the enemy’s own territory.
The Romans were in occupation in many different nations including Israel. During Jesus’ lifetime the Romans occupied Israel. The disciples were anxious to see this occupation come to an end. Jesus however uses as an analogy the term occupy to explain to his disciples that in the same way that the Romans were occupying their land they too were called to occupy in the world’s system or the kingdom of Satan until Jesus would return to rule and reign over the earth.
Satan’s kingdom is organized in much the same way as the Roman empire. It has a system of hierarchies, military, and clergy. These principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world control behind the scenes the worldly affairs of men. They are busy trying to organize and implement the anti Christ system ruled by the satans under their leader Lucifer, who will manifest in earthy form in the near future as the “man of sin”.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Today the Roman empire is still ruling in the world but under a different title. It is now called globalism. The ruling class within globalism are the elites, the military class which have their armies stationed in almost every nation, and the Roman religion.
The Roman religion consists of all apostate organizations which have a unified coalition in which they are knowingly and some even unknowingly furthering the interfaith universalistic movement which will and is headed up by the false prophet as foretold in scripture.
Jesus’ instruction to his disciples was to occupy until he comes back to establish his kingdom in the earth. Does that mean take up arms and fight with carnal weapons? No, it does not!
In fact, Jesus condemned the use of carnal weapons to battle spiritual realties.
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 2 Corinthians 10:4
Ephesians Chapter 6 gives us the weapons of our warfare. We are to put on the full armor of God to fight the good fight of faith.
Our assignment is to occupy till Jesus comes back. That is to restrain evil by the Holy Spirit in us through prayer, exposing darkness, setting captives free and declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people. Occupation is spiritual warfare against spiritual realities.
Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:11
When the powers of darkness are restrained by prayer the gospel can go forth, evil will be restrained, and the light of God’s glory will be made evident through his disciples!
Occupy till he comes!
We will always praise your glorious name. Let your glory be seen everywhere on earth. Amen and amen. Psalms 72:19
Satanic forces are in opposition to our prayers. They want to stop the answers from materializing.
The powers of darkness cannot stop our victory but they most certainly can hinder. So don’t get discouraged over a set back. It’s just the devil putting out his resistance.
PAUL said that he wanted to go and preach in a certain area but the devil hindered him. The devil can hinder but never stop God’s plans. In fact when Satan hinders he usually shoots himself in the foot because it ends up working out for our good anyway!
Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. 1Thessalonians 2:18
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Satan tried to hinder Daniel’s prayers but persistence in prayer perservered and won the victory!
“Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” Daniel 10:12-14
God gave David a vision. He told him what he was going to do and what the outcome of prayer would accomplish. The Lord has his watchman on the walls and they are in intercession. These watchman are not going to give God any rest until they get their answer. They are determined to pray and never give up.
This promise is yet to be fully realized but it will happen! The Lord has spoken!
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah 62:6,7
The Lord also tells us we need to put action to our faith.
Vs. 10 of Isaiah Chapter 62 the Lord gives some strong DO words.
“Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.”
When we pray we need to look at how we can prepare the way. Do we have some house cleaning to do? Are there stones in our gardens that need removing? Do we need to be a positive influence some where? How about casting forth that evangelism net if we want revival?
The Bible does say that faith without works is dead being alone. That is a spiritual principle. In other words if we are not actively living out that prayer request then we do not really believe the answer is on its way.
We need to act like we already have the answer if we know that it’s God’s will. This shows the devils that we are not looking at their garbage being thrown at us but rather we are looking to our God who has promised and is faithful to perform his promise.
“Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him,” Isaiah 62:11
Yes, God hears our prayer. No matter how impossible they seem!
If we continue to abide, be faithful and patient, the Lord will bring the victory!
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised. Hebrews 10:23
First of all let me tell you what it does not mean. It does not mean a natural physical descent in the same way as a natural birth.
To be born of God or gennaō ek theos in the Greek is to be born again or regenerated by God. (palingenesia in the Greek)
To regenerate is to regrow or replace something that was missing. To be formed again. To produce anew.
To be born again from a spiritual perspective is to be recreated.
The term palingenesia is actually a Greek Hellenistic word used to describe a process or recreating. To be born again. Restore to the original.
Jesus uses this same word to describe the regeneration of his Kingdom that is to come. The new earth which will be recreated. Restored to it’s original.
And Jesus said unto them, 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. Matthew 19:28
Keeping this context in mind we can see what is meant by being born again or born of God.
It is actually a recreation process of the Holy Spirit.
In fact the word used for the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. To be born of God. gennaō ek theos.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. Colossians 1:15
Jesus was born of God. His human form was created by the Holy Spirit.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:18
Those born of God are recreated or restored to the original. palingenesia
Regenerated from the old man whose spirit was separated from God and dead in sin to the new man made alive in Christ. The new man created in righteous and holiness.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 1 Corinthians 15:21-23
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24
To be born of God is to be recreated by the Holy Spirit. A spiritual re birth. Restored to the original. United with God’s Holy Spirit.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6
Jesus said you must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.
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. John 3:3
It is this requirement that makes one a child of God.
All the intellectual ideology about God or all the theological principles of the Bible does not make one a child of God.
Nor does going to church, participating in catechism, saying hail Mary’s, or Bible reading. You MUST be born again.
You MUST be regenerated. You must be restored to the original spiritual creation.
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. John 3:3
That being said what then can one do to acquire this regeneration process?
The Bible makes it clear that we must first of all believe that Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
Then we must receive him as both Savior and Lord.
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11
That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
That means we receive his salvation gift and his Lordship.
for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
It is not enough to simply believe in God. Even Satan believes in God.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19
Many believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour but they do not receive him as Lord.
If you confess Jesus as Lord you shall be saved.
Why is this an important factor in the regeneration process?
Because to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord means to confess him as one’s head, having authority over, one’s master and ruler.
Lord kurios in the Greek. “Master,” or “Owner.”
You are not your own but are bought with a price the Bible clearly tells us.
know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20
In other words you are redeemed. That is you are the possession of another who has purchased you with a price.
Redeem is to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment.
Jesus Christ purchased you with his blood. He gave his life up for you in exchange for your life belonging to him.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1: 18,19
This means one repents of living a self serving life and surrenders to live a life determined by God in his word.
Repent Metanoeo To change ones mind. To have a a transformative change of heart.
God requires repentance as a part of salvation. Repentance is turning away from what is wrong to what is right.
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3″19
For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. 2 Chronicles 30:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Repentance is the fruit which proves one has being born again.
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Matthew 3:8
While confession of sin is important it does not save in and of itself. Many confess their sin but keep going back to it.
True repentance stops the sin. In other words one must turn to God in surrender rather than continuing to live a life of sin. Repentance is accompanied with godly sorrow.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10–11
Repentance requires sorrow for sin. Not a sorry I got caught but a sorrow to the point of laying down the sin at the cross and not picking it up again.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelations 3:9
When one reaches a complete surrender of self to God through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance toward him the Holy Spirit will bring regeneration.
Without repentance there is no true salvation.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4
Jesus said you shall know who belong to him by their fruit.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1John 4:7
Those born of God do not continue in sin.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1 Corinthians 6:9
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 7:21-23
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John3:9
Those born of God overcome the world. Their faith in Jesus Christ is the victory that overcomes the world.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name. John 1:12
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Now that does not mean there is not a battle and a real devil who tempts but what it does mean is that a true born of God person will not continue to live a lifestyle of sin.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
To be born of God is to be born of the Spirit and born of the word. These two agree in one. The word of God is the seed. The logos which is made alive by the Spirit.
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 1 John 5:4-12
If you are born of God or become born of God scriptures tell us to grow up in the Lord by feeding on his word the Bible. Then you will mature and become the person God has created you to be!
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. 1 Peter 2:2
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10
A narrative is a spoken or written account of connected events. A story that may be fact or fiction.
There are four types of narratives.
A linear narrative presents a story in the chronological order in which events happened.
A non linear narrative presents the story out of order. Using flash backs or a shift in chronological order using forms of literary devices.
A quest narrative is a story in which the protagonist works hard at pursuing a goal. The character faces a hardship or obstacle.
The view point narrative expresses personal subjective opinions using sensory perceptions interjected by the speaker.
When a narrative is put forth its goal is to convince the hearer of a truth or merit within a story.
Very infrequently is a story presented in which the speaker tells you upfront the motive is to deceive or lie.
In effect a narrative actually tries to convince of something. Convince of an opinion, an argument or a persuasive objective.
A common method used to persuade others to a view point is using a narrative charged with emotional rhetoric.
Words that appeal to the audience are used often in the creation of narratives. Facts can be manipulated when emotion dominates the narrative. Characters can be sympathized with, actions related to and opinions empathized.
While Jesus did use story and metaphors to relay his message he never appealed to the emotions overriding the facts.
Determining truth requires determining the facts. Emotions need to be put aside in order to discern the objective of the narrative. What is the narrative trying to do? What are you trying to be convinced of?
Look carefully at the emotionally charged language being used in a narrative. Is the order of the story chronologically put forth with evidence or does the narrative shift events in order to confuse? Does the story omit facts or add to the facts?
Are suppositions being interjected which try to sway towards opinion rather than the evidence?
While everyone is entitled to opinion they are not entitled to alter facts in order to persuade.
This is why the Lord says in his word. “Be careful what you hear.”
The ear listening to emotionally charged rhetoric will eventually be persuaded to believe that narrative.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 2 Timothy 4:3
The Lord tells us in scriptures to incline our ears to hear his word. Proverbs 4:20
When our ears are open to heaven we are then able to receive knowledge, wisdom and understanding.
God’s word is a lamp to our feet! A light to our path! Giving direction for our lives. Psalms 119: 105
The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Proverbs 18:15
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:22
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. How true do you suppose this statement is?
According to a study by Martin Teicher at Harvard Medical School the human brain takes decades to develop. The personality, cognitive ability and skills develop differently in each person because each of us is guided by our experiences during childhood and adolescence.
When the environment is hostile and abusive the development of the brain is affected. Human brain imaging studies have shown that with sexual or physical abuse, or even witnessing domestic violence, this can cause abnormal physical changes in the developing brain of children. Abuse can cause psychological disorders to occur.
According to Martin Teicher’s study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, young adults between the ages of 18-25, having no history of exposure to sexual abuse, domestic violence, or physical abuse BUT had received exposure as children to verbal abuse by either parents or peers were given a brain scan. The results showed that the adolescence had underdeveloped connections between the left and right sides of their brain through the bundles of connecting fibers, called the corpus callosum. When given psychological tests the study showed that the same adolescence had higher levels of drug abuse, depression, anxiety, anger, hostility, than others in the study.
In another study by Michael Miller reported in Neuropsychologia, he shows that moral reasoning depends upon the exchange of information between specific regions of the left and right brain. Each side of the brain controls certain abilities. For example, speech is controlled by the left side while attention takes place on the right side. Neuroimaging studies have shown that the moral beliefs of people are performed by a spot in the right brain called the right temporal parietal junction. With the disconnection of both sides of the brain moral reasoning was affected. The patients in case studies failed to detect common social blunders, etiquette, and societal norms.
Miller, M.B., et al., (2010) Abnormal moral reasoning in complete and partial colostomy patients. Neuropsychologia 48, 2215-2220.
Words do hurt. Verbal abuse from peers during the middle school years can be very damaging because the brain connections are developing. The social environment that children are raised in molds their mind. These studies show that childhood experience alters the physical structure of the brain. Childhood experience can either help develop a healthy functional brain or can stunt brain development causing possible psychological disorders or impairment in moral judgments.
Even as an adult, words can hurt and harm, reinforcing childhood traumas and triggering unhealthy emotions. Self awareness is bound up in words. We think words, speak words, and talk in words. If someone calls you a negative name the reactions may be internalized. You feel inferior because someone may have said something negative about you.
Words can follow us from childhood. If you were called stupid or lazy by an adult or peer you may have accepted this as true and so you begin to act stupid or lazy because you have accepted this as a truth. You can even sabotage yourself by speaking negative words that others have spoken to you.
Psychologists call this a Self Fulfilling Prophecy which is a prediction that causes itself to come true because the prediction was made. This happens because our beliefs influence our actions.
The Bible says that, “for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
Whatever we believe about ourselves is what we will experience because words affect how we live and act.
Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21
Learning to change our language is a challenge but well worth the effort. Learning to disregard the negative words of others is another challenge, but one that is essential for our psychological and emotional heath. Our belief can be in either the word of God or in the words of people. We can believe what God has to say about us and our situation or we can believe what the Nay Sayers have to say.
While sticks and stones may very well break your bones, words will also hurt you. Choose life! Choose to believe what God’s word has to say about you! God’s word is above every other word!
Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.Psalms ll9:89.
Scriptures about spoken words.
Matthew 15:18 – But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Proverbs 12:18 – There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise [is] health.
Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Colossians 3:8 – But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Proverbs 13:3 – He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: [but] he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
Matthew 12:37 – For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
James 1:26 – If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain.
Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Proverbs 21:23 – Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
Psalms 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Proverbs 29:20 – Seest thou a man [that is] hasty in his words? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him.
Proverbs 15:4 – A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit.
Proverbs 17:28 – Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: [and] he that shutteth his lips [is esteemed] a man of understanding.
Proverbs 15:2 – The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
Proverbs 25:11 – A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 17:27 – He that hath knowledge spareth his words: [and] a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.
Luke 6:45 – A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Proverbs 10:19 – In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise.
Proverbs 18:20 – A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; [and] with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
James 3:6 – And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
James 3:8 – But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Proverbs 12:25 – Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
The Bible tells us that the Lord’s words are pure.
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth. Purified seven times. Psalms 12:2
Lets break this down to get a better look at the meaning.
The Lord’s words are (ţâhôr in the Hebrew) morally up right. They are fair, clean, pure.
To be pure means to be free from contamination. Not mixed with any other substance or material.
To be fair is to be legitimate. Without cheating or having an unjust advantage.
To be clean is to be free of marks, stains or blemishes. Morally uncontaminated.
To be moral is to be right and good. Having a high standard.
Upright is to be straight, honorable and honest.
Like silver the Lord’s words are tried in a furnace of earth. God’s word stands the test of every fiery trial!
Silver is a rare metal. Valuable mostly for its ornamental use because it is so soft and pliable. It also had monetary value.
Silver has the highest electrical conductivity and second in thermal conductivity. (the ability to transmit energy and heat)
This is significant because in the same way that energy passes through silver metal to an outlet the word of God releases spiritual energy to a recipient.
In other words the word of God is able to transmit Holy Spirit empowered activity to the one seeking or praying for it.
Silver purified from the led ore is resistant to corrosion unless exposed to Sulphur.
In the same way when God’s word is mixed with demonic deception it becomes contaminated.
This is why the Bible tells us to desire the pure word of God. Not mixed with heresy or false interjections. 1 Peter 2:2
Silver in Biblical times was purified several times in a clay crucible (furnace) in order to extract all infirmities.
The Lord’s words are purified 7 times.
The number 7 in Hebrew symbolism refers to perfection or completeness.
The Lord’s pure word is undefiled from any contamination.
In other words God’s word has power and authority over everything that exists.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Luke 16:17
Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. Matthew 8:5-13
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Matthew 28:18
Jesus is the word of God made flesh. John 1:14
His name is the word of God. Revelation 19:13
Christians are born again of the Holy Spirit and the pure WORD OF GOD. 1 Peter 1:23
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Proverbs 30:5