John 3:3-10 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”
The principle of being ‘Born Again’ is all over the Old Testament.
Gen 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Spiritual death began. Of course, both Adam and Eve died eventually physically. They wanted to know what was the path back to innocence. They didn’t want to die, but they couldn’t eat of the tree of life in the condition they were in.
Every time there is an angel with a flaming sword it’s to prevent man from doing something stupid.
God didn’t want them to live forever in the condition they were in—sin.
I Cor 15:45 “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”
Adam and Eve had a child, Cain. Eve thought this might be the answer they wanted.
Gen 4:1-8 “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”
1 John 3:12 “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.”
The spirit of the first-born and the spirit of the second-born were very different. This begins to permeate the Bible.
God’s plan is a better plan than man’s.
Abraham made a mistake with his wife. They were desperate for children and Abraham and Hagar had a child together (not part of God’s plan). This was not the child of promise. Fourteen years later, Abraham and Sarah had a child.
Gen 17:15-17 “And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?”
Abraham didn’t believe God. They were too old. He even made a plea for his first-born, Ishmael.
Gen 17:18-19 “And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.”
Gal 4:22-31 “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”
Abraham didn’t deserve it but got it by faith. It is the second-born that is the birth of promise. It is the second birth that contains the promise. This is the new birth. It’s the first-born that wants entitlement, but the second born receives the promise. It’s all by faith.
Isaac marries Rebecca and they have twins. Again, there’s the first and second birth. It is her God speaks to.
Gen 25:22-23 “And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”
Jacob wanted God’s promises and blessings so much that he swindled in order to get it. He cheated and stole to get it, but God honored it. It’s all about the principle of the second birth.
Rom 9:1-13 “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
Again, this happens with Joseph and his sons.
Gen 48:13-19 “And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near unto him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.”
It’s good to be English or American or Italian or whatever, but you need that second birth!
Nicodemus could’ve been one of the 20, we’re not sure. The disciples fasted and prayed for days. Then, all of a sudden, there was wind, just as Jesus said. This is the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. They spoke in other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance when they were filled with the Holy Ghost. This was the birth of the Spirit. This was the ‘second-born’. This was the ‘second birth’. This was the ‘new birth’. (Acts 2)
John 3:16 is a great verse, but don’t forget John 3:1-10! That’s what John 3:16 is talking about.
YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!
Adam fell, but Jesus came to bring new life! Second-born.
Isaiah 12 talks about a song that started with Moses, a song of redemption.
Isaiah 12:1-3 “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
‘God is my salvation’ in Hebrew that is JESUS.
John 7:37 “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”
The water Jesus gives is everlasting life. Rivers of living water, wells of salvation.
John 7:38 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
If you’re thirsty, why settle for a bottle, get rivers! You’ll have enough for everybody. That’s the Spirit!
John 7:39 “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
This is the Holy Spirit, same new birth, same second birth as in John 3.
Acts 1:5-8 “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Luke 24:49 “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Rom 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
Rom 8:11-16 “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”
It’s all about the principle of the second-born.
Gal 4:6 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
When that trumpet sounds, it’s going to be those who are the second-born that are caught away and glorified with new bodies.
It’s easy to be born again. It’s easy to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It’s a gift. Even children, little children can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. You can’t receive the gift with sin. You’ve got to repent and let go. Self must die.
It’s easy. Repent and then express faith—praise the Lord. You can’t speak wrong when you’re speaking in tongues.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
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If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!