Fred R. Coulter—July 18, 1992

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In First Peter I we essentially covered all of the background that we needed to cover on it. We could have covered more, but I didn't want to get all bogged down in everything in such technical details. I suppose just for the life of Peter and so forth, you could do three or four sermons alone, if you go through the Gospels and everything like that. And that would take us forever to get through 1-Peter; and I don't want to take all that time to take that long to go through it.

Let's go to 1-Peter the first chapter, and what I want you to do as we go through, I want you to see how really tremendously compact and inspired and how it fits in to all of the rest of the Gospel and the Word of God. Let me read on down through to v 6 and then we'll come back and we'll pick it up where we left off at v 2 before.

1-Peter 1:1: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father, by sanctification through the Spirit, unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you" (vs 1-2). In those two verses is an entire summary of the Gospel. If you would take that and do an exhaustive study on the whole thing, you have an entire summary of the Gospel.

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a living Hope…" I capitalized hope because this whole Book is on hope—the hope of God!

 "…through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; into an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for us" (vs 3-4). This becomes very important in relationship to: Are you born again now? or Have your been begotten?

Verse 5: "Who are being safeguarded by the power of God through faith, for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you yourselves are greatly rejoicing; but if it is necessary at the present time you have been in distress for a little while by various trials; in order that the proving of your faith, which is much more precious than gold that is perishing, even though it is being tested by fire, may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (vs 5-7).

Now we'll go down through each one of these verses, we'll study it out in some detail, and then we will cover a short version of Have You Been Born Again Now? And, I think you're going to be surprised as to the very basic premise as to why Protestants believe people are 'born again' now, which we will see you are not!

We finished last time, by going through with the predetermined knowledge of God the Father, so let's pick it up here on 'sanctification'—being sanctified by the Spirit. 1-Peter 2:9 has to do with being called, being chosen, so forth. This has to do with showing that they were Gentiles and not Jews that he was writing to.

1-Peter 2:9: "But you are a chosen [people] stock… [same word for 'elect'] …a royal priesthood, a Holy nation, a people for a possession of God, that you might proclaim His excellent virtues, Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people… [whenever you have it referred to someone as not a people, that means they were not part of the covenant of Israel or Judah—that means Gentiles] …but now are the people of God; who had not received mercy, but now have received mercy" (vs 9-10).

1-Peter 4:3 is the internal evidence that the strangers are not Jews wandering in a strange land, but strangers referring to those who were not of the tribe of Judah: "For the past time of our lives is sufficient to have done the desires of the Gentiles, when we ourselves were walking in licentiousness and lusts, and were debauched with wine, carousing, drinking and wanton idolatries. In seeing this difference in your behavior, they are astonished that you are not carousing with them in the same overflowing debauchery, and they are [reviling] slandering you. But they shall render an account to Him Who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (vs 3-5). So, there again, that shows the strangers.

Now let's go to the one concerning sanctification. Sanctified means to be set aside for a Holy purpose, a Holy use. We're going to see how we are sanctified. We know there's one Scripture we all know (John 17) 'Sanctify them with Your Truth, Your Word is Truth.' What is the Holy Spirit called? The Holy Spirit is called 'the Spirit of Truth.'

When we read here in 1-Peter 1:2: "…by sanctification through the Spirit" that's what makes you Holy. We all know other than that we aren't Holy.

  • God's Spirit makes you Holy
  • God's calling that makes you Holy

Lots of times when we judge ourselves and see ourselves, we really see how deficient we are. But that doesn't mean that God hasn't called you. That just merely means that God is revealing to you more of your nature.

Let's go to Romans 15 and let's see about this sanctification. And again, the whole operation of the Spirit of God, the Plan of God, the Gospel of God, in showing and teaching us these things concerning calling, God's Spirit,God working in our lives.

Romans 15:13: "May the God of hope…" In order for us to have hope in a society like it is today, we've got to understand that God is going to let it go to its ultimate depth. Because God has given choice—and if you give choice you don't restrict choice—you let them have their choice. God is going to let everything become very depraved, and it's going to create problems for us living in this society. We've got to look to the hope of God. Because you can look around, at all sides of you, and the whole world's falling apart.

What does Psalm 91 say? Will a thousand fall at your right hand, or ten thousand at your right hand, thousand at your left hand, God will spare and protect you [paraphrased]. Sometimes you feel like that. If you do a lot of driving and commuting you might feel like that almost every day—there are ten thousand on you right hand, ten thousand on your left hand, and so forth. You have to look to the hope of God. If you get frustrated and if you get down and miserable and feel rotten, what are you going to hope in, except God? That's why God gives us the hope.

He is, Romans 15:13: "…the God of hope fill you now with all joy and peace in believing…" That's the only thing that's going to give you peace of mind and understanding, nothing else is. You try and fight the world, you're going to be left at the altar, like the Paroteestas were. They were left at the altar by Paro. Anyone who's got a hope in man is going to fail and fall.

Jeremiah 17 shows what's going to happen to those that trust in men. We've already covered this concerning the human mind and how deceitful it is. but, there's some other interesting things here, which are absolutely true.

Jeremiah 17:1: "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron…" That could apply to anyone who sells themselves to evil. I've got these two books: In Route to Global Occupation and New Age Cults and Religions. You could say the same thing concerning any one of these religions: the New Age religion, the Hindu religion, the Buddha religion, the, the Muslims, Judaism, Catholicism, all fits into the same thing.

"…engraved with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond; it is carved upon the tablet of their heart and upon the horns of your altars…" (v 1).

Verse 5: "Thus says the LORD, 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited. Blessed…'" (vs 5-7).

Notice the contrast. I think this is really interesting. Whenever you go through some of these prophecies and it talks how bad it's going to be with people who are evil, then there's always encouragement for those who follow God.

Verse 7: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose hope is in the LORD." You're hoping in the Lord, you're hoping in God, because God is a personal God.

Verse 9: "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?…. [You can't even know your own heart because you lie and deceive your own self.] … I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. As the quail that hatches eggs it has not laid; in the same way he who gets riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the middle of his days, and in his end he shall be a fool'" (vs 9-11).

Verse 13: "O LORD, the Hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. 'Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth because they have forsaken the LORD, the Fountain of living waters.' Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed, save me, and I shall be saved; for You are my praise" (13-14). Now, there again is a prophecy of the Gospel, prophecy of salvation. All of these things through:

  • the Spirit of God
  • the Spirit of Truth
  • the Spirit of Righteousness

that God alone does these things. And that's how we are sanctified.

Romans 15:13: "May the God of hope fill you now with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope and in the power of the Holy Spirit. But I myself am also persuaded concerning you, my brethren, that you are full of goodness, and are being filled with all knowledge, and are able to admonish one another" (vs 13-14).

That's quite a statement, isn't it, when you really think about it. How the brethren grew in grace and knowledge that he could say that they're "full of goodness, full of knowledge and able to admonish one another."

Verse 15: "So then, I have more boldly written to you, brethren, in part as a way of reminding you, because of the grace that was given to me by God, in order that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ unto the Gentiles to perform the Holy service of teaching the gospel of God; so that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit" (vs 15-16). That's what sanctifies you! We know that Paul said in Rom. 7: '…in my flesh dwells no good thing.' So, if a person doesn't have the Holy Spirit of God then there's no way they can be sanctified. God is the One that has to do it!

All right now, there is a process. We all know this. This is very basic. There is a process to being sanctified. We covered part of it.

  • God the Father has to call you—we already covered that—right?

Then what is the next thing that has to happen? After God calls you, what is the next thing that has to happen?

  • 'Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit [which] sanctifies you.'

That's what sanctifies you.

If you want a more in-depth study on sanctification, get out your handy-dandy concordance and go through sanctify, sanctifying, sanctification and so forth. But, it's through the Holy Spirit. What does this do? After you are sanctified by the Spirit, what does this lead you to do?Obey God! You see how the step is? You obey God! What did the Apostle Peter say concerning the Holy Spirit? …the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey Him' (Acts 5:32).

Now let's go to Romans, the first chapter, and let's see that with obedience there's what is called, 'obedience to the faith.' Of those who say that there's no obedience and it's only faith, you're kind of stuck with a problem.

Romans 1:1: "Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, set apart to preach the Gospel of God, which He had promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures concerning His Son [Jesus Christ, our Lord]… [notice how each one of these introductions summarize the Gospel; summarize the process of salvation] …Who came from the seed of David according to the flesh, Who was declared the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead—Jesus Christ our Lord; through Whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all the nations, in behalf of His name…" (vs 1-5). There again, we could go through all kinds of studies showing: Should you obey? Should you keep the commandments?—yes, that's very, very basic. You all know that and you all understand it. All right, so we have the obedience to what? How is that accomplished? Why is that made available? By the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ!

Let's look at some other Scriptures concerning that: the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.' I know in just going back, and really, really thinking about this, and just seeing how the Apostle Peter wrote this and just packed all of that in these first verses, it's really amazing what he's got in there, really, when you stop and think about it and put all of the rest of the Scriptures together.

Hebrews 9:13: "For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who aredefiled, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh… [we are sanctified to the purifying of the Spirit—through the Spirit of God—not just the flesh] …to a far greater degree, the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, shall purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God" (vs 13-14).

It's through the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. I don't know exactly how that was accomplished. Obviously, when Christ was on the tree (or the cross) when He bled to death, His blood spilled on the ground. I don't know if when He was resurrected He took just a little bit of that blood to the altar in heaven above, with Him. I do not know. There's some who think that that is probably so. I could not tell you. But, if it's relating to the sprinkling of the blood of Christ….

Showing what this blood does for us, Hebrews 10:19 "Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus." In The Christian Passover book I've got a whole chapter: the meaning of the blood, the meaning of the body, and what all of that means. And, it gets rather detailed and complicated and I cover quite in-depth in that chapter.

Verse 20: "By a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh), and having a great High Priest over the house of God, let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water." (vs 20-22).

In a sense, that blood was symbolically sprinkled to us. I don't know if there was just a small portion of the blood that Jesus took with Him when He ascended at the resurrection, to be accepted of the Father that there was, indeed, actually some of the literal blood of Jesus sprinkled on the altar of God or not, I can't tell you, but there are some indications in the Bible that perhaps that could possibly be so.
Let's see a little bit more about what the blood of Jesus Christ has done—because that is a whole important aspect. It's through His blood that we have forgiveness of sins and so forth. Colossians 1:20: "And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself… [the whole focal-point of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the sacrifice of the Son of God, the shedding of His blood, the sprinkling of His blood, the blood of the covenant and all of that is a tremendous and magnificent thing. And it's 'to reconcile all things unto Himself.' Now, notice how much:] …by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven."

Everything that Satan did to disrupt the heavens; everything that Satan did to disrupt God and His plans, is also taken care of through the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ. The sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ is a tremendous statement.

Let's see a little bit more how compact and how really tremendous that these first verses are. You know, too many times when we study the Bible, we just read through and say, 'that's nice, thank you, that's lovely' and you go on and you read it. And you never stop and think how really compact and how inspired all of that is in just these first few verses here.

1-Peter 1:2: "…unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you." We won't go through all—we could go through many sermons on grace. We've covered some of that during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We've got the whole series—if you don't have the series on Grace.

Verse 3: "Blessed bethe God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… [notice how closely this follows along with the writings of the Apostle Paul] …Who, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again into… [the King James says 'unto'—but, into. You are put into that]a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…"

Now, why could they not put here, .born again.? Even the King James has 'begotten.' How come they couldn't translate it 'born again'? Because Jesus Christ—literally speaking as human beings—and God the Father; They 'begat.' They don't give birth. Now, that may sound ridiculously simple, but it is true. We were begotten one time, born of our mother, now we are begotten again! So, let's take a little time here and ask the questions:

  • What do you mean 'born again'?
  • Why is it that we are not literally born again now?
  • Why have the Protestants missed the boat on that?

Let's first of all look at the Protestant doctrine:

  • What happens, according to Protestant doctrine, when you die? You go to heaven!
  • This does away with what? The resurrection!

So, therefore, we know that to be 'born again,' which we will now prove, means to be born from flesh to spirit or resurrected out of the grave. It's exactly what it means. If you go to heaven, the only way then you can be 'born again' is to be 'born again' now. That's why the Protestant doctrine of 'born again' is wrong!They have rejected the knowledge and Truth and doctrine of the resurrection.

Let's go through and let's examine this very carefully. Let's look at the different Scriptures concerning 'born again.' Let's do just a little bit right here in, because this gives us a clue that it's not now:

1-Peter 1:4: "Into an inheritance incorruptible… [Are we corruptible? Yes!]…and undefiled… [Can we be defiled? Yes!]…and that unfading… [Do we fade? Yes!] (Where is it?):…reserved in heaven for us…. [You don't have it yet. You can't be born again now. Just from the context of the verses here.] …Who are being safeguarded by the power of God through faith, for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time" (vs 4-5). Has not happened yet!

Let's look at some other Scriptures. Let's go to Ephesians, the first chapter, and let's see about the Spirit. Some of these we've covered, but I want to get it in here just for the record. And again, whenever we start answering some of these questions—oh, and by the way, there are a lot of Churches of God who are now beginning to believe in that you're born again now. 'Oh well, that's all right, the Protestants have it.' and I talked to one woman who said, 'Well, the local minister of the Church of God down where they were said you're born again when you're baptized, and then you're born again at the resurrection.' How many times can you be born again? Are you born again, and then born again and again? Is that what the question is? No! See, they get all off.

You have to go back to the basic foundation here, Ephesians 1:13: "In Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." Do you have the Holy Spirit? You are sanctified as we saw; you are sealed. As we saw on Pentecost, this tells us that none of us can be the 144,000, because the 144,000 are not sealed until down into the Great Tribulation, which means they don't have the Holy Spirit of God today.
Verse 14: "Which is theearnest… [small portion of the Holy Spirit]…of our inheritance…." We read in 1-Peter 1:4 that that inheritance is reserved in heaven for us now! We're going to see that if you're 'born again' now you must have the inheritance now. So, if you don't have the inheritance, you can't be born again, and we'll see some other things, which will prove that.

2-Corinthians 1:21—Here's another Scripture, which confirms that: "But He who establishes us with you in Christ, and Who has anointed us, is God; Who has also sealed us and has given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" (vs 21-22). That's what it means to be 'begotten again.' Receiving the Holy Spirit as a begettal from God. All right, then that's then how you begin.

Let's go to 1-John 5; here again in the King James is another place where they could not say 'born again.' We're going to cover a couple of the Scriptures which say 'born again' after we get done with John, the third chapter. They did slip in born of God. But, if you look at other translations they will show begotten of God. If you read the Interlinear translation you will see begotten of God.

1-John 5:1: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten by God; and everyone who loves Him Who begat…" The Father cannot born, the Father only begats. The mother gives birth, the mother does not begat. Who's the mother of us all? Jerusalem above, the mother of us all (Gal. 4). In the past, it's been made—the mistake in the Church—that the Church is the mother of us all, so therefore, the Church then has full dominion over you—that's not correct. Jerusalem above is the mother of us all.

 "…everyone who loves Him Who begat also loves him who has been begotten by Him" (v 1). So, it's not talking about a birth—we'll see what the birth is.

Let's go to the Gospel of John, the third chapter, and let's see what Jesus said about being 'born again.' In this chapter it tells us exactly what a person is like if they have truly been 'born again.' And we'll ask those questions: Are we like that? or Can we do that? I'm going into this in a little detail because there have been quite a few people asking me to do something concerning about the doctrine born again.

John 3:1: "Now there was a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus by name, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher Who has come from God… [quite an admission] …because no one is able… [or has the power] …to do the miracles that You are doing unless God is with him.' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly… [now, in the Greek that is Amen, Amen. Now, that means He is punctuating what He is going to say as absolutely dogmatic fact. Whenever Jesus says, verily, verily, that is double dogmatic fact. You could almost look at it that way.] …I say to you, unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God" (vs 1-3).

If we except exactly what this is telling us, let's just analyze this a little bit what it's saying. If you have not been born again or anew you cannot see the Kingdom of God. And the Greek there is "ou dunamai"—means you have no power to see the Kingdom of God. How many here have seen the Kingdom of God? Nobody! Hasn't come on the earth. First test: If you've been born again have you seen the Kingdom of God? No! You've failed the first test, right there. Next time someone says, 'I'm born again,' if you want to have a little play on words, say, 'Oh, that's interesting, tell me what the Kingdom of God looks like, you must have seen it.'

Verse 4: "Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man who is old be born? Can he… [return into, or does he have the power to go back into his mother's womb] …enter his mother's womb a second time and be born?'…. [It's true that's talking about the process of physical birth. Then it's talking about that being born then is a process. So, there was no misunderstanding here by Nicodemus as to the fact that it was a literal birth he was talking about. So, Jesus didn't answer him. Notice every time he brought up a question, Jesus did not answer him directly.] (v 5): …Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly I say to you, unless anyone has been born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God''' (vs 4-5).
Some people say that 'born of water' means by baptism. This has nothing to do with baptism. He didn't say, 'Unless a person be baptized.' Did He not know what baptism was all about? Yes, because you go to chapter four and Jesus was baptizing more disciples than John; yet, He was not baptizing, the disciples were. If it were just a matter of baptism, He said, 'Unless a person has been baptized.'

So, no, it's not baptism. How is it that a woman knows when she's ready to give birth? The water breaks—and it hurts, yes, it hurts! And what is the, besides the contractions of the muscles, what is it that pushes the baby out? The water! If there was no water, you could not be born. Every birth would have to be a cesarean. And there are times when the water breaks and the baby's not born and the must perform a cesarean because they can't get it out, because the water's gone.

Well, experience has just told me by fact, that you can lose all the water and still give birth. But I've seen all my children born and boy, when they're born, they come out and it's like the hot water tank just broke all over the floor. So, you're born of water, that's true, it doesn't have to do with baptism. And this carries right over—'born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.'

(go to the next track)

Now, we've got another statement here: you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God—again, 'ou dunamai'—you have no power to enter the Kingdom of God.

Verse 6: "That which has been born of the flesh is flesh… [That is a clear statement. We have been born of the flesh—literally born—and we are flesh.] …and that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit. It does not say, 'the one who is born of the spirit has the spirit.' Big difference. It says, the one who is "…born of the Spirit is spirit."

Let's see what this says of God: John 4:24—no doubt about this: "God is a spirit" If God is spirit—anyone deny that God is Spirit? If you've been born of the spirit, you are spiritmade of spirit, composed of spirit.

Let's go back to John 3:6: "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." And I don't think there's a human being alive who's presumptuous enough—well, I can think of maybe one or two, but I won't mention their names—to claim that they're spirit. Not one of us. And I remember the first time I was understanding this, I could hear Herbert Armstrong say, 'Now, I want you all to take the hatpin test.' That is if you are spirit, stick it in your leg and you won't bleed. If you don't bleed, you're spirit. You're not spirit!

Verse 7: "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'It is necessary for you to be born again.'" What does the King James say? You must be born again. That's a very weak translation. The word for 'must' comes from the Greek 'dei' which means: obligatory, mandatory, absolutely necessary. It is absolutely necessary for you to be born anew—again.

Verse 8—here's the characteristic of someone who is spirit: "The wind blows where it wills, and you hear its sound, but you do not know the place from which it comes and the place to which it goes; so… [the Greek there is 'hutos' which means: exactly in the same way as] …everyone who has been born of the Spirit." To go where they want to go. When Jesus was resurrected He what? Walked through walls, walked through doors. Remember the two disciples were amazed, all of a sudden He disappeared from them, gone!

Boy, you know I would like to be 'born again' right now because there's some times when you just want to get away from people that way—isn't that true? Wouldn't that be really good, if all of a sudden you're in the middle of an argument with someone and you just disappeared—gone!—couldn't find you! Now, you know you're not born again because you can't do that.

Another test would be: if someone says they're born again, say they're talking on the phone, say, 'Fine, come over to my house right now. I mean, you know, just come through the telephone line if you will. Or, you know, just leave your house and fly over here'—because if you're born again you can go anywhere you want to. You can't see the wind, you can only see what it does. When you see smoke blowing, you're only seeing what the wind is doing. Now, Nicodemus saw how amazing this was, and

Verse 9: "Nicodemus answered and said to Him, 'How can these things be?'…. [he couldn't understand it] … Jesus answered and said to him, 'You are a teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things? Truly, truly I say to you, We speak that which We know, and We testify of that which We have seen; but you do not receive Our testimony. If I have told you earthly things, and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?'" (vs 9-12). So, to be born of the spirit means that you must have a spirit body.

Now let's go to 1-Corinthians 15, and see that is absolutely, literally so. Born anew, born again or born from above. It can read from above. Now, the Church of God Seventh Day explains it this way: you are born again now, and with the Spirit of God in you; you go wherever you want to go and no one knows you have the Spirit of God. That's really a very terribly weak explanation of it, because it says the one who has been born again is born of spirit and is spirit!We have the earnest of it, we don't have the fullness of it. We've got the down-payment of it, but we don't have the purchased possession yet.

Let's go on and see where we are here. Yes, if you're born of spirit you have the Holy Spirit. Not only without measure, you'll be composed of spirit. And that's what He means. 'That which has been born of the spirit IS SPIRIT!' You're composed of spirit. "That which is born of the flesh IS FLESH' and is composed of flesh.

1-Corinthians 15:20, the resurrection chapter. "But now Christ has been raised from the dead…" What would have happened if Christ were not raised from the dead? There's no hope! It said 'your hope is in vain if Christ be not risen from the dead.' It means His body would have corrupted—right? If anyone had God's Holy Spirit on earth, it was Jesus Christ. If anyone could be, with the receiving of God's Holy Spirit 'born again,' in this life, it would have been Jesus Christ. But, Jesus was not 'born again' until the resurrection. We'll see this in just a minute.

 "…But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the first-fruit of those who have fallen asleep" (v 20).

Colossians, the first chapter, talks about Jesus Christ being 'born from among the dead.' And this proves that the resurrection IS the spiritual birth. Colossians 1:18 "And He is the Head of the body, the Church; Who is the beginning, thefirstborn from among the dead…" To be 'born again' means to be resurrected from the dead. Now we just read that, 'By the resurrection of the Christ' (1-Cor. 15).

Revelation 1—in the King James this is not a correct translation. It says 'the first begotten from the dead.' But, the Greek word here is 'prototokos'—which means the first born from among the dead. Revelation 1:5: "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead…" This is not the word from the Greek verb 'gennao'—which mean begotten or born. This is 'prototokos'—which means an accomplished fact; you have been born. The first born 'from' the dead or 'of' the dead.

1-Corinthians 15:20: "But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the first-fruit of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death [Adam], by man also camethe resurrection of the dead [Christ]. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruit; then, those who are Christ's at His coming" (vs 20-23). What happens when Christ returns? Those of the firstfruits are resurrected!

Verse 42: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption… [If you are born again now, today as the Protestant's claim, you should not die. You should not be corruptible—that is, your body disintegrate.] …It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory… [That is true, the whole process of dying is an agonizing and terrible thing, it's not pleasant even under the best circumstances.] …It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body…" (vs 42-44).

That which has been born of the Spirit is spirit! It is raised a spiritual body. When are people raised? At the resurrection, when Christ returns! That's when they're raised, that's what He's talking about. It is 'sown a spiritual body.' I can guarantee you today, I have enough aches and pains that I know I have a physical body—and I know that it is corruptible. Any Protestant, if he wants to prove that he is born again, must produce himself in a spiritualbody. That they cannot do because the resurrection hasn't occurred. Since they don't believe in the resurrection, therefore, they have the false doctrine of being 'born again' now. Because that's the only time you could be born again if there's no resurrection—but there is a resurrection.

This follows all right along here, v 45: "Accordingly, it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became an ever-living Spirit.'"

  • Was Jesus resurrected from the dead? Yes!
  • Was He made a spirit being when He was resurrected from the dead? Yes!

That which is has been born of the Spirit is spirit. He was the firstborn from among the dead.

Verse 46: "However, the spiritual was not first, but the natural… [That's the way it is. Everyone wants to be spiritual, but you can't be until the whole natural body has run its course—died, gone to sleep, waits the resurrection.] …then the spiritual. The first man is of the earth—made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the one made of dust, so also areall those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly one, so also are all those who are heavenly" (vs 46-48).

If you're born again you must be heavenly. We're not! We haven't even done and exhaustive, thorough—as we did several years ago—study on what does it mean to be 'born again,' and look at every word in the Greek. We can see how absolutely, utterly false that doctrine is.

Verse 49: "And as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall… [when will 'shall' be fulfilled?] …also bear the image of the heavenly one. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God…" (vs 49-50). Flesh and blood cannot see the Kingdom of God. Flesh and blood cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. Only that which is born of the Spirit can enter into the Kingdom of God. If you have not been 'born again' you cannot see the Kingdom of God. If you have not been 'born again' you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. Paul says the same thing.

Verse 50: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God… [Where did Peter say our inheritance was? Reserved in heaven for us to be revealed at the last time! See how all the Scriptures fit together? See how terrifically they fit together?] …nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (vs 50-52). When you are "changed" you have what? A spirit body! You are spirit. That which has been born of the spirit is spirit. You cannot be born of the spirit until the resurrection.

Verse 53: "For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility… [If you think anyone was born again you'd have to say Paul was—right? But he saying, 'I have a corruptible body, haven't put on incorruption, yet.'] …and this mortal must put on immortality. Now, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruptibility, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory'" (vs 53-55). You've got him. If you have been 'born again' you cannot die! There you go. Now, I don't know why people get into all these arguments. There are some who get into some arguments about this and so forth.

Let's go back to 1-Peter again here; let me read it in the King James, 1-Peter 1:23: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which lives and abides forever." The Greek means being begotten. Because he starts out in v 3 and having been begotten again—should not read born. This is one of those places that they go to with the mistranslation from the King JamesVersion to make it appear that you are now born again. You're not born again. You're begotten again.

Verse 23 (FV): "For you have been begotten again, not from corruptible seed, but from incorruptible seed… [Every time you see italic in my translation it is to continue the thought flow, or to put in the automatic reference in the Greek referring to the subject.] …by the living Word of God, which [is abiding] remains forever." Now, what is it that really begets you? Not just the Word of God alone, but God's Holy Spirit from God the Father.

Those who believe in the 'born again' doctrine say, 'Now I got you.' 1-Peter 2:2: "As newborn babes, yearn after the pure spiritual milk of the word, that by it you may grow in character." You're obviously not going to grow in body size in spite of the movie—what is the new movie coming out? I Blew Up the Baby—it doesn't mean disintegrated, it made the baby a giant.

"If you yourselves did indeed taste that the Lord isgracious…. [Did you eat the Lord? I mean some of these things are metaphors and similes and they're spiritually understood.] …To Whom you are coming, as to a living Stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious… [Was Jesus a person or a stone? He was a person!] …You also, as living stones, are yourselves being built up as a spiritual house—a Holy priesthood…" (vs 2-5).

  • Are you born again as newborn babes? Are you newborn babes? No! You're full mature adults!
  • Are you living stones? No, you're people!
  • Are you a priesthood?
  • Are you a spiritual house? No!

All these things are describing what God is doing in and through us. That's what it's describing. It's not saying that you're born again and you are newborn babes. It is asnewborn babes; asliving stones, not that you actually are.

1-John 3:9: "Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin because His seed of begettal is dwelling within him, and he is not able to practice sin because he has been [born (KJV)] begotten by God." Anyone who's been born of God cannot sin. Now, unfortunately, there are two misunderstandings of that. And that is, where the Protestants get the doctrine: once you've accepted Christ you've been 'born again,' you cannot sin after that. That is not true! This one here, in reading, who 'has been born of God cannot sin' unfortunately does not convey what the whole context is. And it should read: "…he is not able to practice sin..."

Verse 4—this gives us the context of it: "Everyone…" The Greek is: 'anyone who is practicing sin.' In the King James it says: 'Whosoever commits  sin transgresses also the law.' But here it is, 'Everyone who is PRACTICING sin.' That follows all the way through—practicing sin. or Sin is the transgression of the law. or Sin is lawlessness.] …And you know that He appeared in order that He might take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Everyone who dwells in Him does not practice sin; anyone who practices sin has not seen Him, nor has known Him…" (vs 4-6). That means: not practicing sin. It's like with us, we sin because we're carnal and human, but we are not practicing sin. And the word practice goes all the way through here.

Verse 7: "Little children, do not allow anyone [lead you astray] to deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous…"—it is something you are doing. It's the comparison between practicing sin on the one hand and practicing righteousness on the other hand.

  • Could you willingly, knowingly, continue practicing adultery—constantly be practicing it?
  • Could you, as a Christian, willingly, knowingly break the Sabbath and keep church on Sunday?
  • Could you, as a Christian, willingly, knowingly practice murder? No!
  • Could you, as a Christian, willingly, knowingly take God's name in vain?
  • willingly, knowingly make an idol and bow down to it? No!
  • Could you commit momentary idolatry by placing your thoughts above the thoughts of God? Yes!
  • Can you repent of it? Yes!
  • Are you practicing idolatry? No!
  • Are you practicing sin? No!
  • Can you see the difference in practicing sin and sinning because of weakness?

When we're talking about this going on down through here, he is making the comparison of practicing.

Verse 8 "The one who practices sin is of the devil because the devil has beensinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil. Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin.' It says in the King James there, 'does not commit sin because His seed… [the seed of God the Father] …of begettal is dwelling within him… [The seed from the Father does the 'begetting'—doesn't it? It does not do the birthing or the, if I could coin a word: borning (no such word). The Father's seed is the seed of begettal and His seed is remaining in him and he is not able (the verb 'practice' carries down)] … and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten by God" (vs 8-9).

That's the proper and the literal and complete translation of it. That does not support 'born again.' Unfortunately, with the committees of translation with the King James you had different committees translating different books. And there are certain doctrines that they had in there. And you can see there's a conflict when you read the different translations, that it's translated a little differently by one, a little differently by another, because they did not understand the begettal now and the birth at the resurrection. Some of them may have. But, that's where the confusion comes in and then people come in and read their own doctrine into the Bible and then say, 'Oh, we're born again now.'

If you're born again now—if you take the literal statement, 'you cannot sin.' And I don't know of anyone who can say they cannot sin. I don't know of a single soul who says they cannot sin.

Next time we'll get into some other things and make more progress in 1-Peter. But, when we come to a topic like that—that is very vital for doctrine—we're going to go ahead and go through it.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in its Original Order, AFaithful Version by Fred R. Coulter (except where noted)

  • Exception: 1-Peter, from The Seven General Epistles by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • 1-Peter 1:1-7
  • 1-Peter 2:9-10
  • 1-Peter 4:3-5
  • 1 Peter 1:2
  • Romans 15:13
  • Jeremiah 17:1, 5-7, 9-11, 13-14
  • Romans 15:13-16
  • Romans 1:1-5
  • Hebrews 9:13-14
  • Hebrews 10:19-22
  • Colossians 1:20
  • 1-Peter 1:2-5
  • Ephesians 1:13-14
  • 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
  • 1 John 5:1
  • John 3:1-6
  • John 4:24
  • John 3:6-12
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20
  • Colossians 1:18
  • Revelation 1:5
  • 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 42-55
  • 1-Peter 1:23
  • 1-Peter 2:2-5
  • 1 John 3:9, 4-9

Scriptures referenced. not quoted:

  • John 17
  • Psalm 91
  • Romans 7
  • Acts 5:32
  • Galatians 4

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Grace
  • Books:
  • En Route to Global Occupation by Gary H. Kah
  • New Age Cults & Religions by Texe Marrs
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by George Ricker Berry

Transcribed: 8-4-09
Corrected: 1-30-12