What Do You Mean - Born Again?
Telecast Date: May 8, 1981
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   The World Tomorrow. The Worldwide Church of God presents The World Tomorrow with Herbert W. Armstrong. Ladies and gentlemen, Herbert W. Armstrong.

   Ladies and gentlemen, greetings. We've been hearing a great deal during the election and since the presidential election. It is still in the public press about the moral majority. And four years ago, we were hearing a good deal about being born again. And indeed, the phrase 'born again' is connected with those in the moral majority. But how many know what it means to be born again? Do you realize that there are perhaps millions of professing Christians who very sincerely believe they have been born again and who do not know what Jesus Christ himself meant when he used that expression? Because the term 'born again' came from the lips of Jesus Christ himself. It's in John 3 where the Pharisee Nicodemus had come in by night to see him. And Jesus answered and said (John 3:3), 'Verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.' Now he's talking about the Kingdom of God. That was the gospel he preached. And the Kingdom of God is something you can see, but you can't see it unless or until you are born again. Just what did Jesus Christ mean by that? Very few understand what that means today. Nicodemus didn't understand it. He did understand one thing. He knew what being born again meant. He meant that he understood that being born meant the parturition of one from his mother's womb. It meant when he comes out into the world, but people just do not understand that and the world has not understood it.

   Now, let me explain it. Jesus Christ was a newscaster. Very few seem to know that either. Very few seem to understand that Jesus came as a newscaster. You know, it wasn't so long ago. I think it might have been two or three years ago now where, where a columnist who writes a rather jocular column. It's rather funny, as a matter of fact. And he was talking about news. He said the trouble is we shouldn't call it news. He says the news is published in the newspaper or broadcast on television or radio. He said, it's not new, it's old. He said it's already happened. What they're recording has already happened, and therefore it's already old. It isn't new. He said they ought to call it olds. They ought not to call it news because it isn't new. Well, that was just his little joke, but Jesus Christ was proclaiming news, the most important news that has ever been proclaimed in the history of the world, the most stupendous news. But people didn't get it then, and people do not get it now today. It was so very, very important.

   What was the gospel that Jesus preached? What was his news that he brought? You know, the word 'gospel' means news. It is good news. That's the definition of the word 'gospel.' It means good news. Now, what was the gospel of Jesus Christ? Let's go back once again. I've done this so many times on this program. Mark 1, and verse 1, the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, this is where it began. Let's see what he was preaching. What was his gospel? Here's the first time he mentions, what is that? Gospel? Verse 14. 'Now, after that, John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel'. What gospel? My friends, what gospel did Jesus preach? You haven't been hearing much of it today. You've heard it from me, but you haven't heard it much from anybody else. 'The gospel of the Kingdom of God.' There it is, Mark 1, verse 14 (Mark 1:14), the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, this is what Jesus said. 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent ye and believe the gospel', believe what he said. You know, Adam and Eve didn't believe what God said.

   You know that Jesus talked to thousands upon thousands of people in 3 1/2 years, the very God in human flesh on this earth. And out of all of those multiple, multiple thousands who heard Him, how many do you think really believed him? I've said this so many times; you ought to know it by now if you listen to this program. Only 120, in the book of Acts, first chapter, verse 15 (Acts 1:15), 120 were all that had really believed what he said. He came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Now, unless you understand that news, that good news of the Kingdom of God, which was yet in the future, it hadn't happened yet. He was only announcing it was going to come. And my friends, it has not come yet, but it is coming in our time now, in this generation, we came to the time for the message to go out once again when we had come to the very generation where it's going to happen after 19, I should say a century of time cycles and nineteen years are a time cycle. I've explained that before. One revolution of the earth on its axis as compared to the sun is a day. One revolution of the earth around or the moon, rather around the earth, is a lunar month, and one revolution of the earth around the sun is a solar year. Now, the sun, the moon, and the earth come into approximately exact conjunction once every 19 years.

   Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. It was 53 A.D. when that gospel was suppressed. I've given you that scripture many times in the Bible and our century of time cycles. That's 100 times, 19 years, 1953. That gospel was preached again when the most powerful radio station on earth was opened up to me in Europe. And the gospel went out to Europe and Britain after it had gone coast to coast in the United States.

   Now Jesus came as a messenger of a covenant. He came with a message. Let's turn back to a prophecy about Jesus coming in Malachi 3, and verse 1 (Malachi 3:1). 'Behold', here's the prophecy: 'I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me.' Now that is the God who became Christ speaking, 'and the Lord', which is Christ' whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple'. And he did come to the temple of Jerusalem. 'Even the messenger of the covenant.' Jesus came as the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in. Behold, he shall come, 'says the Lord of hosts.'

   Now, what about that covenant? He came as a messenger of the new covenant. Moses was the mediator of the old covenant, and the old covenant made the people of Israel a nation. In other words, they were the human family of the human man, Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. And since his name was Israel, and they were all his descendants, they were the Children of Israel, a human family who became a nation. Do you know that the Nation Turkey is merely the family that have descended from the ancient Esau? Do you know that the Israelites are a family descended from Abraham through Isaac? And that the Arabs are a family descended from Abraham through Ishmael. So sometimes whole families are born from one man. Now they were in the old covenant, a human nation on this earth. Just a physical human nation. Moses was the mediator of that covenant. But Jesus Christ is the mediator of the new covenant. And that is a family of the divine God. Ancient Israel was the family of the human Israel. But the kingdom of God is the family, the ruling governing family of the divine God, a family of divine persons, if you please. Now, don't think I'm off my rocker or something because I assure you I'm not. That's in your Bible. It's been here all these years, and people have not believed what it says, but it's in very plain language.

   Now, the prophet Daniel explained back in the second chapter of Daniel, there was a prophecy there for the king, Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was the king of the first world empire on the face of the earth. The Chaldean Empire called Babylon. This king had a very remarkable dream one night, and he saw a tremendous stupendous image. Its head was of gold, very brilliant fine gold. The breast and arms were of silver, the belly and the thighs of brass, and the legs of iron, and the feet and the toes were a mixture of iron and miry clay.

   Now, he called on all of his magicians and his astrologers and so on to tell him what he dreamed. Well, they couldn't do it. They said, 'Well, tell us what you dream, we'll tell you what it means.' Well, of course, he knew they could fake anything. He wanted them to tell him what he dreamed. He couldn't. Finally, the prophet Daniel was called, and Daniel says, 'Well, I can't tell you any more than they could. But there is a God in heaven that reveals secrets about what is going to happen in the world. And he will tell you.' Daniel had prayed, and God revealed to him what Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed. And Daniel told the king what his dream had been.

   Now that was a divine miracle. He himself was the head of gold. After him would come another empire and it was the Persian Empire of silver. Less in value, stronger in physical strength, then still stronger, physically and materially. But of still less value was the third one of brass, which was the Greco-Macedonian Empire. And then after that came the Roman Empire, the strongest of all, strong as iron. And there were originally like thighs and the legs, the two divisions, one capital, Constantinople, and the other capital in Rome.

   Now, the empire fell in 476 A.D., but in 554 it was revived by Justinian coming from Constantinople over to Rome. And from that time, it existed from 554 until 1814, Napoleon's time when that was the end of that phase of it. It was called the Holy Roman Empire up to 1814.

   Now, the Bible says it is to be revived once again, and that is going to come down, and we're waiting for that. Now, the 10 toes will be 10 nations forming in Europe. And you have to put this together with Daniel 7. You have to put it together with Revelation 13 and Revelation 17. And of course, in the short time that I have here, I can't go through all of those prophecies. But when you put them all together, we're waiting for that right now, and it's going to emerge out of the Common Market in Europe, which is there now. I understand there that Greece has been added recently, and there are now 10 nations, but they're not the same 10 that will be according to this prophecy, and it's coming, and it's coming very, very soon.

   Now, then the prophet Daniel comes to that in the second chapter prophecy in verse 44 (Daniel 2:44). 'And in the days of these kings', that's the ones symbolized by those toes that we're waiting for to be formed in Europe. Now, the resurrection, you might say, of the Holy Roman Empire, or call it a new United States of Europe. They want to unite in Europe. They just haven't known how yet. But they do have a common market, but they don't have yet a common government, a common currency, a common military force, and they want all of that. And they're going to have it, in the days of these kings that are going to arise in our time and your time and mine. 'Shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom', that is a government. The days of these kings of these governments, God will set up a kingdom or a government 'which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms' that do exist on the earth today, and especially those 10, 'and it shall last forever'.

   In the seventh chapter of Daniel, Daniel explains something else there. He explains in a prophecy that a vision that Daniel himself had in the seventh chapter, and he saw four wild animals, and they symbolize the same thing as the prophecy in the second chapter. The first was a lion that had a great head on it. And the lion represented the Chaldean Empire of Nebuchadnezzar, or called Babylon sometimes. And the second was a bear lumbering along, and that was the Persian Empire. And then the third was the Greco-Macedonian Empire. It had four heads. You know, Philip of Macedonia had started it, and his son Alexander carried on and conquered the whole world. And he was so sorry, he had no more worlds to conquer. He'd conquered everything. It was a greater empire, but it was of lesser value. But he died in the drunken debauch, and four of his generals took over the four different divisions. So, they were the four heads representing four governments. Finally, then the Roman Empire took over all of that. And the Roman Empire was the great one. And it comes on down to our time there again, just like in the second chapter of Daniel, in Daniel the seventh chapter verses 17 and 18 (Daniel 7:17-18).

   Now these great beasts, and he saw the four wild animals which are four, are four kings or kingdoms are used interchangeably here, which shall arise out of the earth. But he says, the Saints, Christians, saints converted people of the most high shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. Jesus said himself after his resurrection that if you overcome, those who overcome will I give power over the nations, and they shall rule them with a rod of iron. He said to him that overcomes, will I grant to sit with me in my throne? He's going to inherit the throne of David and rule on this earth. And Christ is the one who's coming to set up that kingdom of God to last forever. It was Jesus who came proclaiming the kingdom of God, the government of God to rule the earth and to replace all of the governments on this earth.

   We're in a time of trouble, my friends, there has never been so much trouble in the world as now. Your number one problem, my number one problem, the number one problem of all of us now, is that of human survival. We're down to that for the first time in all history. The weapons of mass destruction exist that, once unleashed, they can annihilate human life from off this planet. Just erase all human life, and they have never had a weapon yet invented that was not used. So don't think it just will never be used.

   Well, now let's get back to Nicodemus and see what he meant by and what Jesus meant by being born again. Let's go back now to John the third chapter. And in the first verse (John 3:1-5), it says, 'There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews'.

   Let me tell you something about those Pharisees. They were rulers. The Roman Empire was ruling the world at that time, and Judea over in Palestine was a vassal state under the Roman Empire, it was ruled really from Rome. While they had over there a local military force and a governor or a local king, they delegated all of the lower echelon offices of government to the Jews themselves. And the Pharisees were the class that had those jobs. Now, the Pharisees knew Jesus was preaching a coming kingdom to rule the world. They knew that, but they made one mistake. They thought he was going to do it right then in their lifetime. They looked on him as a subversive that was going to take over Caesar's government, and they would lose their jobs if they got on the side of a subversive. And they didn't want to do that. You know, they had it pretty easy; they had good jobs, and they liked it, and there was prestige and power that went along with it, and they were ruling over their own fellows.

   So, Nicodemus came, and he said, 'The same came to Jesus by night". Now he didn't want the other Pharisees to know he was going to see Jesus. And he said to him, 'Rabbi, we'—that's we Pharisees—'know', they weren't guessing. They knew 'that thou art a teacher come from God'. They knew He was the Messiah, 'for no man can do these miracles that you're doing except that God be with Him'.

   That's when Jesus answered and said, 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.' He knew Nicodemus knew he was proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He knew that Nicodemus knew that Jesus knew that Nicodemus knew it, and he knew that they thought he was a subversive, and he was trying to show them that it was not at this time. You cannot even see the kingdom of God, inherit it, or anything else until you're born again. As long as you're in this life, you cannot. He was not going to do it in his time, in his life. He said to Pilate, 'My kingdom is not of this time, of this age. But,' he said, 'to this end to be a king was I born. For that cause, I came into the world.' That's what Jesus said on trial for his life before Pilate.

   Now then Nicodemus said unto him, 'Well, how can a man be born when he is old?' He knew being born meant the parturition of coming out of his mother's womb, the first being born, coming into the world. 'Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?' People today don't even know that Nicodemus knew that much. But he was mixed up, and so are the people today. And the professing Christians are all mixed up.

   'Verily, verily,' Jesus said, 'I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.'

   Now, the Kingdom of God is something you can enter into. But after you're born again, the next verse tells you something. Verse six (John 3:6-8): 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh.' I, born of the flesh, I am flesh. You were born of the flesh, you are flesh. We came right out of the ground. You're whatever you eat. Do you ever know that? That's what we all are. We're just what we eat.'

   And then Jesus said, 'That which is born of the spirit', born again, 'is spirit'. In other words, you will be spirit. You will no longer be flesh and blood. You will no longer be in the dust of the ground. You will be spirit when you are born again.

   Nicodemus couldn't understand that. Jesus went on to explain, 'The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound thereof, but you can't tell where it's coming from or where it's going. So is everyone born of the spirit'. You're not like that? You can't see the wind.

   Nicodemus answered and said, 'Well, how can these things be?' But he did explain that much to get it a little further.

   We turn over to I Corinthians 15, the resurrection chapter in your Bible. And I want you to notice now in verse 50 (I Corinthians 15:50): 'Now, this I say brethren, that flesh and blood', such as you are now and such as I am, we're flesh and blood. 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.' Some people think the church is the Kingdom or the Kingdom of God is just the church where people enter into what they call the church. But flesh and blood cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. They can enter into the human churches they've got today. 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Neither doth corruption inherit in corruption.' We are only, if we have the spirit of God, we are heirs now but not possessors. We have not yet entered into the Kingdom of God. We have not inherited it. We're only heirs.

   Now, he went on: 'Behold, I show you a mystery.' It is a mystery and people are confused about it. They don't understand. 'We shall not all sleep', or that is, we will not all be dead. Some will be dead, but not all. 'We shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump for', and that's in the book of Revelation, the last trumpet, the second coming of Christ, 'the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption. This mortal must put on immortality. So, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'"

   Now, this is the resurrection chapter. We go back a little further, back to verse 12 in the same chapter of I Corinthians (I Corinthians 15:12): 'Now, if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is your preaching vain, and your faith is also in vain.' He is preaching that the only hope of life after death is through a resurrection, through a resurrection.

   Being born again means being changed from mortal to immortality. And no one has been done that except Jesus Christ. He was the firstborn among many brethren. I hope I'm one of those brethren. I hope you are, my friends listening in.

   But the next resurrection will be at the time of the second coming of Christ. Now, there are two more resurrections explained in the Bible, even following that time. But those in the first resurrection will be made immortal. They will be divine Spirit Beings. Very few understand what it means to be born again. Let me tell you, nobody has actually been born again but Jesus Christ. Now, typically, you might think you've had a type of it, but you're only an heir if you have the spirit of God, and you're not a possessor.

   I have a booklet, Just What Do You Mean Born Again? I want to send that to you. Now, there's no charge. I'm not gonna ask you for any money. I want to give it to you. I believe in giving that, like Jesus said, also it is more blessed to give than to receive. I believe that. And ever since I learned that about 55 years ago, I've been following that way in my life. And let me tell you, in the vernacular today, it pays off, and it brings you happiness. It brings you a lot of things that really are worthwhile. I would like to send this to you. Born again. Just What Do You Mean Born Again? It will go into a great deal more detail than I did in this message.

   All you do to receive it is just write to me Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena, California 91123. That's all the address you need. Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena, California 91123 or now you can call toll-free, go to your telephone right away. Jot this down right now. 800-423-4444. You dial 800-423-4444. That's a free call or in California call collect area code 213-577-5225. In California, call collect area code 213-577-5225 for this booklet, Just What Do You Mean Born Again? Or just write for the Born Again booklet? And it will explain to you what born again means. There are thousands, who millions who think they've been born again and don't know what it means. Well, I hope they will be born again, but we haven't been as yet. We can be heirs now but not yet born again possessors. So, until next time, this is Herbert W Armstrong saying, goodbye friends.

   For the free literature offered on this program, write Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena, California 91123 in Canada Box 44, Vancouver BC or in the Continental United States. You may call this toll-free number 800-423-4444 in California, Alaska and Hawaii call collect 213-577-5225. If the lines are busy, please try again. The preceding program and all literature were produced by the Worldwide Church of God.

Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit www.hwalibrary.com for all FREE literature offered on this program.

Telecast Date: May 8, 1981
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