Word of Faith Error: Jesus was “Born Again”
- Wolves in Wool: Creeps in The Church (Intro)
- Wolves In Wool: Intro to The Word of Faith
- Word of Faith: Erroneous Faith Theology
- Word of Faith: The Elevation of Man
- Word of Faith: The Demotion of God
- Word of Faith Atonement Flaws: Kenoticism
- Word of Faith Atonement: Jesus in Hell
- Word of Faith Error: Jesus was “Born Again”
- Word of Faith Healing Promises
- Word of Faith Wealth Theology: Part One
- Word of Faith Wealth Theology: Part Two
- Emergent: History & Characteristics
- An Emerging Relativism
- Emergent Deconstructionism: Hell
- The New, Friendlier Gospel
- Emerging Mysticism
- The Emergent Contemplative Prayer Model
- The Great Falling Away
- The Consumerization of the Gospel
- Today’s Apostasy: Inventing Doctrine
- A Custom-Built Gospel
- A Coming One-World Religious System
- Wolves in Wool Conclusion: From Christ to Antichrist
Jesus’ Salvation in Hell
As noted in the last several sections, WOF teachers maintain that Jesus was not God while on the earth, that he took on the nature of Satan on the cross and that he went into Hell (the eternal lake of fire, not Sheol/Hades) upon his death to suffer the penalty of man’s sin.
These atrocities alone are enough to make the Taliban seem biblically motivated. Yet these false teachers are not through with their systematic untying of the knot of valid soteriology (theology of salvation). According to them, there is still an issue remaining for Christ to be able to achieve the atonement for mankind: he, Christ, must be born again. Yes, read it again if necessary; there is no typo.
“He allowed the devil to drag Him into the depths of hell as if He were the most wicked sinner who ever lived … Every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him … [They] tortured Him beyond anything that anybody has ever conceived … In a thunder of spiritual force, the voice of God spoke to the death-whipped, broken, punished spirit of Jesus … [in] the pit of destruction, and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life … He was literally being reborn before the devil’s very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles … Jesus Christ dragged Satan up and down the halls of hell … Jesus … was raised up a born-again man … The day I realized that a born-again man had defeated Satan, hell, and death, I got so excited … !”
Kenneth Copeland (“The Price of it All,” Believer’s Voice of Victory, September 1991, p. 4)
Before scripturally mocking this quote, I must firmly establish an obvious but very important note about it. There is not one biblical statement in this quote. Not one. Literally every line printed above from the mouth of Ken Copeland came directly from the imagination of Ken Copeland, or the brain of whomever fed the information to him. Never in scripture is referenced a demon annihilating Jesus, Jesus’ being tortured in Hell, his being “punished” or his being “reborn before the devil’s eyes.” Some actually think I’m too hard on these teachers. Am I? Have we forgotten how theology is formed? Has our post-modern world, with its lack of faith in anything robbed even the church of its source of true doctrine? Are we to contend along with the Starbucks generation that whatever one thinks is susceptible to validity simply because he thinks it? That is not theology, friends, but is the root instead, of paganism. Theology, to the Christian, has God as its source. That God revealed himself to man is the essence of the discipline.
The first step, then, in achieving valid theology is to identify the valid source of theology; that means by which God rendered revelation of himself to man. That source is scripture! Sola scriptura (by scripture alone) was the foundational principle of the reformation. It was because Christianity became cultic, by adding human inference and history into the “mix” of theological truth, that the very reformation was necessary. The moment supposed “revelation knowledge” gets involved in the teaching of theology, one is turning over the reins of their relationship with God to one’s trust of another individual. In this case, hundreds of thousands of people are allowing Kenneth Copeland to literally trump the Bible itself concerning the message of salvation, because Ken and the Bible clearly have very little to say in common regarding atonement in Christ. If there be any doubt as to my position, let me state it more clearly: Ken Copeland, and his Word of Faith followers are not teaching biblical theology, but cultism; defined as a teaching which adds to the truths of the Bible to define its source of revelation.
To trust Ken Copeland rather than one’s Bible in matters of theology is tantamount to asking a four year old how to spell “onomatopoeia,” while considering Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary outdated on the subject. The Bible has remained unassailable for thousands of years. Historically speaking, while Copeland has just walked onto the playing field. He, nor any man alive should be granted the privilege of teaching theological truth outside of the standards of the Bible, the unchanging source of theological revelation to mankind. In the worldview of Christianity, one who does that should be considered a cult leader, just as Jim Jones, David Koresh and Sun Myung Moon were, because they taught extra-biblical revelation. I wonder; if Koresh had a television show on TBN would he be accepted by today’s church? Personally, I fear that he would.
That being said, allow me to demonstrate biblical soteriology rather than opinion in light of the WOF false doctrines.
While every part of Copeland’s above quote is false (other than perhaps Copeland “being excited”) scripture teaches directly contrary to the foundational notions of several key parts of it.
Key part number one is the assumption that Christ needed saving. This idea is built upon the WOF teaching that Jesus took the nature of Satan, but has no basis in scripture.
Hebrews 9:14 (NIV)
14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Hebrews 9 notes in plain language that Jesus’ offering of himself was one of purity. He “offered himself unblemished to God” which enables him to “cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death.” The idea of Jesus being “converted” to a sinner through the inventive and unbiblical “taking upon himself the nature of Satan” has no merit in the true and trustworthy account of atonement in scripture. Jesus never sinned. The entire point of a substitutionary atonement is that a pure and flawless blood sacrifice must be offered as a substitute for one’s sin. Hebrews 9-10 paint a clear picture of Christ’s having vicariously become the final act of substitutionary atonement in the vein of the Old Testament sacrificial system. Even in the Old Testament God rejected sacrifices offered by means of flawed and unworthy substitutions.
Malachi 1:8 (NIV)
8 When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.
If God would not accept an unworthy animal sacrifice, how utterly unthinkable that he would accept a sinful human sacrifice via the transformed “satanic” Christ.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice precisely because there was no sin in him, nor was there a sin nature or a Satanic nature. Christ “became” sin for us in a substitutionary fashion, taking the guilt of man’s sin upon himself specifically because he was sinless and worthy to do so. Substitution cannot be made by a Satanic being,
1 Peter 1:19 (NIV)
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.
How, then, could Jesus be said to require a spiritual regeneration? How can one be born again when he has never sinned? I realize Copeland would suggest that Jesus required “saving” because he “took on the nature of Satan” on the cross. However, that assertion has been dealt with in this work already as a completely made up and unbiblical postulate. Sadly, by men who know better.
A second key part of the quote which is clearly debunked in scripture is the notion that Jesus provided salvation by some mystical and spiritual act in Hell; that he paid some magical price after his death on the cross by which men find their salvation. The author of Hebrews states quite the contrary.
Hebrews 10:5-10 (NIV)
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. 7 Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll– I have come to do your will, O God.'” 8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Verse 9 firmly debunks this silly proposition, noting that, “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (emphasis mine)
There was no sacrifice for sins beyond the physical, literal substitutionary death of Christ on the cross. Hebrews states, contrary to the WOF teachers, that it was Jesus’ bodily death which provided atonement for believers. We sing hymns about the blood of Jesus, not his Satanic transformation. Nor is there a further action depicted in scripture; only from the cultic, extra-biblical “revelations” of those who presume such a teaching.
Thirdly, there is a foundational flaw in the sentiment of this quote; primarily that Satan himself is noted to be the one who takes wrath upon sin. Since when did Satan concern himself with the judgment of sinners in Hell? Is this one of those bad “Hell” jokes? Yet, in Copeland’s world, Satan appears to be the “bad god” of the underworld while God appears to be the “good God” of the Heavens. This belief is called “dualism,” and teaches that God and Satan are two separate but polar opposite gods which contend for the souls of man. In the WOF view, Satan himself exercises the wrath against sin in Hell, which is laughable in light of biblical theology, for Satan celebrates sin, he does not exercise wrath against it! If Jesus had truly taken a satanic nature, would Satan have not rejoiced? Yet, WOF teachers continue to assert that Jesus “paid our penalty” in Hell. To whom is the penalty paid? Satan? How utterly foolish.
Furthermore, Copeland teaches dualism in his idea that Satan is somehow the “god” of Hell. In Copeland’s Hell, Satan is in control, bringing judgments against the sinners. This is false for numerous reasons. As has already been demonstrated in earlier chapters, Hell is not yet opened for business. Secondly, Satan is not the “proprietor” of Hell. It is not his abode of control, but belongs to God. Hell is where God punishes sin, not Satan. Thirdly, when Satan and the demonic realms do actually arrive in Hell, they will be the subjects of punishment as much as anyone else present. Jesus informs his hearers clearly concerning the proprietorship of Hell.
Matthew 25:41 (NIV)
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. The punishments of Hell are not Satan’s to inflict. They are his to bear. It sounds as if Copeland has been listening to too much heavy metal rock to have arrived at such ridiculous theology. He has Satan in Hell inflicting pain on others (Jesus Christ, no doubt!) rather than receiving his own righteous judgment from God.
Copeland also asserts in his delusion that Satan and the demons have control over Christ during this three day phantom visit to Hell.
Every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him … [They] tortured Him beyond anything that anybody has ever conceived.
It’s almost fascinating that WOF teachers expect Jesus’ followers to believe that he was subject to torture at the hand of demons. Ken, in biblical encounters between Jesus and demonic beings, it was the demons who cried out to Jesus, begging him not to torture them! They were petrified of Jesus’ presence. This was no ordinary spiritual being, but God incarnate, for crying out loud!
Luke 4:33-34 (GW)
33 In the synagogue was a man possessed by a spirit, an evil demon. He shouted very loudly, 34 “Oh, no! What do you want with us, Jesus from Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Did this demon beat up Jesus? Or perhaps it was many demons…
Mark 5:7-10 (NIV)
7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
Even a group of demons, the spokesperson identifying himself as “legion” because of their numbers, pleaded with Jesus not to torture them! A “legion” is a Roman Regiment which, “in the time of Christ consisted of six thousand, exclusive of horsemen, who were in number a tenth of the foot-men.” (Easton’s Illustrated Dictionary) A vast group of demons, then, feared torture at the hand of Christ, asking him to swear not to harm them.
Copeland’s hallucination of demons torturing Jesus, the almighty God incarnate, bears no resemblance to scriptural representations of demonic engagement with Christ.
The apostle Paul also had a far different understanding of the relationship between the crucified Christ and the demonic kingdom.
Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV)
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
According to Paul’s testimony, Jesus “disarmed the powers and authorities” through his substitutionary death on the cross! Once again, Colossians demonstrates that Jesus’ work was completed by the cross, rather than by Copeland’s testimony of a mythical vacation to Hell. And, the book demonstrates clearly that victory over the demonic kingdom was observed through Jesus’ work on the cross. Thus, the risen Christ had even more power over the demonic kingdom than the incarnate Christ, in whose presence the demons trembled.
Lastly, and perhaps most incredulous, is Copeland’s assertion that Jesus Christ, the spotless unblemished Son of God, was “reborn” in Hell, as other men are reborn into spiritual regeneration.
He was literally being reborn before the devil’s very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles … Jesus Christ dragged Satan up and down the halls of hell … Jesus … was raised up a born-again man … The day I realized that a born-again man had defeated Satan, hell, and death, I got so excited … !”
I can’t emphasize enough how exceptionally important it is to note that Copeland is teaching a serious theological viewpoint for which no biblical reference exists. Copeland attempts to make it sound biblical, yet scripture comes far from catching his back. In fact, the idea is so full of incredulity that the Bible wastes no time asserting that it didn’t happen that way. Nor does the Bible spend time informing us that if you step on a crack, you will not break your mother’s back. It does not inform us that the tooth fairy is imaginary or that there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We reject these ideas because they have absolutely no basis in demonstrable truth. Copeland’s atonement theology should be rejected for the same reasons.
Supposed scriptural references for this bogus “truth” are absolutely comical; involving the complete reinvention of the Greek and English languages. One text inadequately used to prop up this subject is found in Colossians.
Colossians 1:18 (NIV)
18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Colossians 1:18 notes that Christ is the firstborn among the dead, but speaks nothing of his being born again in the sense of spiritual regeneration. Firstborn and “reborn” are not synonymous ideas in the least. Yes, they sound similar enough for a good wordsmith to confuse and corrupt them. Yet, the terms themselves are completely different. A firstborn is the eldest born of a family or generation. To be the firstborn among the dead, then, refers to the original recipient of eternal life via a resurrection. Jesus was the first to be raised to life in a permanent, “from the dead” way. Others were resurrected from the dead temporarily, such as Lazarus, but they each died again. They were not raised to eternal life, but back to their fallen bodies of death. Christ, in the text, is noted to be the firstborn from among the dead; to be raised to a regenerated physical body, which is eternal and cannot die, as noted in 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 15:50-53 (NIV)
50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed– 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
Jesus, being born of a natural body, upon his resurrection received a spiritual body which is a glorified body – an imperishable body- which is fitting for life in Heaven. Jesus was the firstborn from among the dead in that he was the first to be born from the temporary body of death to the eternal body of life. Jesus, then, was regenerated physically, being the firstborn from among the dead.
Yet nothing is hinted at in the text concerning a “born again” condition, which will be examined momentarily and defined as a spiritual condition. The text speaks uniquely of a raised literal body rather than a spiritual rebirth. One must have first sinned and died spiritually to be enabled to be born again, or regenerated spiritually.
A remaining issue with this doctrine is that if indeed a “born again” man is capable of paying the price of sin and providing salvation for others, then Christ is not unique in his status as our atoning sacrifice. If one can simply be “born again” and therefore be worthy of being the sacrifice for sins, then perhaps anyone else could have been man’s redeemer? One may think that Copeland would never make such an outlandish assertion, or that I am taking liberties with his position. But, alas, I am not, for Copeland does make that very assertion.
“The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, “Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don’t let your tradition trip you up.” He said, “Think this way — a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.” And I threw my Bible down… like that. I said, “What?” He said, “A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him.” He said, “You are the very image, the very copy of that one.” I said, “Goodness, gracious sakes alive!” And I began to see what had gone on in there, and I said, “Well now you don’t mean, you couldn’t dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?” He said, “Oh yeah, if you’d had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could have done the same thing, ’cause you’re a reborn man too.”
Kenneth Copeland (Substitution and Identification, tape #00-0202, side 2)
In Copeland’s mind, and solely in that imaginary realm I should add, Jesus’ provision of salvation could have been granted by any born again man who “had the knowledge of the Word of God” that Christ had. In short, if you’re theologically “smart” enough, you could be born again and counted as worthy to die for the sins of the world.
The disciple Peter must have been mistaken when he stated,
Acts 4:8-12 (NIV)
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone’. 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
For, according to Peter – and the scriptural authority by which he is enshrined and quoted – the name for which men must be saved is that of Jesus Christ alone! He is the unique messiah. There is “no other name.” Not Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha, Koresh or Copeland. Yet, if Copeland’s theology goes mainstream enough, each of these false religions will easily be able to insert themselves into the theologically deficient post-modern mindset, claiming that they, too, offer salvation to those who will follow them. How could Copeland argue with them in his broken logic?
God did not lumber onto the playing field of eternity when Copeland and the WOF gang first woke up to His existence. He had been planning the advent of Christ from the very beginning, and the dawn of this coming King has always had a unique personality. In Genesis God states one will come as the offspring of woman and bash the head of the snake. He told Abraham that a unique seed from his descendants would bless the entire earth. He told Isaiah that this one would be afflicted for the sins of the world. Psalm 2 calls him “the Anointed One” to fill this position. Psalm 22 quotes his exact words on the cross “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In Luke, Mary was told she would have a son who would be called the “Son of God” whose kingdom will never end. These prophesies did not align with Mohammad. They do not align in the person of Kenneth Copeland. There is no other name under heaven by which men must be saved but the name of Jesus Christ alone! Neither Krishna, Benny Hinn nor José Luis de Jesús Miranda in Houston, who claims to be Christ incarnate, has the privilege of being able to biblically assert that they “know the Word of God” well enough to provide salvation for man. That job, gratefully, has been taken. It was assigned to the unique Son of God incarnate; one man, pre-ordained from the beginning of time and revealed at a calculated point in history, to bring God’s program of redemption to its climactic realization. I can think of no higher blasphemy than for Copeland, or anyone else, to claim themselves somehow having the potential to fulfill the advent of the promised Messiah who would be pierced for their transgressions and crushed for their iniquities (Isaiah 53), had they only had the knowledge of God’s Word sufficiently enough.
Yet men continue to disregard scripture for their own agendas. And, many of the church of the risen Christ shell out huge sums of money to keep them in practice.
Another broken hermeneutic is also demonstrated in this quote. Copeland attempts to credit his “Jesus born again” theology to Romans 8. He states, “A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him.” He attempts to equate Romans 8:29’s “firstborn of many brethren” with the idea of Christ being “born again.”
What he actually does, is misquote a section of scripture, knowing it would sound familiar to his audience, and thus falsely attempt to give credibility to his claim.
Romans 8:29 (NIV)
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Copeland’s quote refers to Christ as the “firstborn among many brothers.” Copeland once again attempts to associate “firstborn” with “reborn” as if the two terms are the same. While Colossians called Jesus “the firstborn from among the dead,” here Romans refers to him as “the firstborn among many brothers.” Yet, once again, being “firstborn” is a completely different concept than is the idea of being “reborn.” Many are firstborn in their families but are not reborn. Many are reborn but are not the firstborn. The biblical idea of the firstborn is the same as that concept in modern culture; the first who is born in a given family generation. Being reborn, however, is not a physical concept, but a spiritual one. Rebirth, biblically, refers to the spiritual regeneration through atonement. The two concepts are not even closely related. Yet, Copeland says Jesus was “born again…the firstborn of many brothers,” in an attempt to make his doctrine sound biblical. It is not.
Romans 8, furthermore, does not have Christ as the subject of its assertion at all, but rather “those God foreknew.” The text calls not Christ the firstborn of many brothers, but desires that those God foreknew “might be the firstborn among many brothers,” indicating Paul’s hope of a successful evangelistic ministry from each who are called by God into fellowship with Christ. To refer to Christ as the firstborn among many brothers is completely contrary to the teaching of Romans 8:29.
Yet, in increasing measure teachers in the Word of Faith movement continue to espouse this tragically erroneous teaching.
“My, you know, whoosh! The Holy Ghost is just showing me some stuff. I’m getting dizzy! I’m telling you the truth–it’s, it’s just heavy right now on me….He’s (referring to Jesus) in the underworld now. God isn’t there, the Holy Ghost isn’t there, and the Bible says He was begotten. Do you know what the word begotten means? It means reborn. Do you want another shocker? have you been begotten? So was he. Don’t let anyone deceive you. Jesus was reborn. You say, ‘What are you talking about?’ …He was reborn. He had to be reborn. …If He was not reborn, I would never be reborn. How can I face Jesus and say, ‘Jesus you went through everything I’ve gone through, except the new birth?'”
Benny Hinn – (“Our Position in Christ, Part 1”, Orlando, FL: Orlando Christian Centre, 1991, videotape # TV-254)
Um, excuse me? “Begotten” means “reborn?” Since when?! Does everything mean “reborn” to these people?
There is exactly one Greek term which is translated in scripture as “begotten.” That term is Greek, gennao, which means “be born,” “bear” or to “be delivered.” Begotten refers to physical birth; and uniquely a first physical birth; for there is but one physical birth for anyone. Benny asks his ogling crowd “have you been begotten?” What a ridiculous question! Everyone has been begotten! It means, to be born, Benny! It happens to everyone!
“Reborn,” which Benny claims to be synonymous with “begotten,” does not appear in scripture, but is rendered, “born again.” It is exceptionally obvious that Benny Hinn has never conducted a Greek study of this term, because “born again” comes from two Greek words, the first of which is the exact same Greek term, gannao, (born) yet is coupled with a second Greek term, anothen, which means, of course, “again,” or “from above.” “Begotten” is gannao, “born again” is gannao anothen. The two terms simply cannot be the same, as one term adds redundancy to the first; the idea “again” is added to the picture. The first term invokes a singular action, while the other term denotes a secondary action.
To be born is to come out of one’s mother’s womb. To be born again is a secondary birth. In short, born does not mean born again in any sense, as one term inherently implies that the other term has already occurred.
The biggest failure of this postulate, however, is failing to observe that being “born again” in scripture is a metaphorical terminology. It refers to a the state of spiritual regeneration by the use of symbolic language. This is why Nicodemus, in John 3, became confused when Jesus used the term “born again.” To be born “again” makes no literal sense, because it is a symbolic term.
John 3:1-6 (NIV)
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
Nicodemus, attempting to hear Jesus literally, does not know what to do with Jesus’ statement “you must be born again.” He asks Jesus, “can a man be born when he is old?” “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus clarifies the use of “born again” to Nicodemus as a metaphor for a spiritual condition. Being born again is explained by Jesus in that “flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” Thus, being “born” is a physical birth, but being “born again” is a spiritual birth as Jesus defined it.
This is why John 1 says,
John 1:12-13 (NIV)
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
According to John 1, secondary birth is spiritual in nature rather than physical. “Born” and “reborn” have differing meanings even in their regular literal usage. However, in scripture, “born again” is never used in its regular, literal usage, but is always used metaphorically of a spiritual act. Being born again, metaphorically in scripture, indicates one being born “of God.” It is the term symbolizing spiritual regeneration, while “born” is the term of physical birth.
Peter indicates likewise.
1 Peter 1:23 (NIV)
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
Hinn’s attempt to call Jesus “born again” simply because he was called “begotten” creates quite a difficult explanation on behalf of many who have been born. If “begotten” means “born again,” then Hitler, Napoleon, Hussein, Bin Laden and the fish I ate for dinner are all born again; because they all were “begotten,” or “born.”
Paul and Jan Crouch, the money behind the madness at Trinity Broadcasting Network which produces so many false doctrines, are always ready to lend a hand in the propagation of the unsound theses of their faithful workmen. Jan, quoting a book by Paul Billheimer, states,
“[I]n order to be made alive unto God and restored to fellowship with His Father, He [Jesus] had to be reborn—for He had become the very essence of sin. Since sin had totally alienated Him from the Father, the only way He could be restored to fellowship with the Father was through a new birth to new life.”
Paul Billheimer – (, Destined for the Throne, special edition for TBN (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1988 [orig. 1975]), 83-84.
Quoted in affirmation by Jan Crouch – “Praise the Lord” television program, TBN (August 20, 1987).
The idea of Jesus being reborn is yet another in a series of conjectures used to influence the pocketbooks of a collective target audience. As God continues to be demoted, man is further exalted to the position where he can control his own destiny, provided he continues to support these duplicitous teachers who will demonstrate how this spiritual manipulation of God is supposed to function.
Romans 16:17-18 (NIV)
17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
Consider yourselves once again warned.