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NM 5: Begotten, Born - the Difference



Difference between Born & Begotten

Pregnant Woman Metaphor

Born of Flesh, Born of Spirit

Fleshly Body, Spiritual Body

Greek Word, gennao, and its ambiguity



NM5 Abstract

In this paper we show you the difference between being born of God and being begotten of God. There are Biblical verses that use the metaphor of the pregnant woman (Church) giving birth at the coming of God to set up the kingdom on earth. Before Christ's coming Christians are like babies in the Church's womb waiting to be born. A Greek word that can mean either begotten or born has added to the misinformation on this subject.

Difference Between Born & Begotten

nm68 >> Christ spoke about being born again (John 3:5-6). When one is baptized in the Spirit that person receives, or is sealed with the Spirit of God. At that time he becomes a child of God (Rom 8:14). One aspect of this has been overlooked by most. That is, there is a difference between being born of God and being begotten of God. We need to know the difference. The Bible speaks of both. In short we will find that when one is Spiritually baptized, he is begotten of God. But when one is resurrected to God, he is born of God. Let's explain this.

Pregnant Woman Metaphor

nm69 >> The Church is pictured allegorically as a woman or wife of Christ (Eph 5:22-32). But further it is pictured as a "mother of us all" (Gal 4:26; cf "Jerusalem" in Rev 21:2, 9). Yet it is pictured as a pregnant mother (Rev 12:1-2, 4). And in Isaiah 66:6-8 it pictures this woman in labor pains ready to bring forth. The time setting here is when the Lord will recompense or repay his enemies which is the day of the Lord or on the day of God's wrath (Isa 66:6; see "God's Wrath Paper" [PR4]). This woman, or Church, brings forth a whole nation at once (Isa 66:8). This whole nation is a holy nation (1Pet 2:9) of born children of God as we will see.

nm70 >> This pregnant woman is allegorical to the Church. Inside her womb are her children, a whole nation of children (Isa 66:8). But before one is born of a woman, he is begotten or conceived inside her womb. And in Revelation 12:1-2, 4 it pictures the Church allegorically as a pregnant woman ready to deliver (Rev 12:2). This pictures the Church ready to be born of God with the dragon (who is Satan, Rev 12:9) waiting "for to devour her child as soon as it was born." This is the "day of trouble" for the Church. See the papers on God's Wrath to understand this "day of trouble."

nm71 >> In the Bible it speaks about people being born of God or begotten of God (1John 2:29; 3:9; 5:1; 5:4; 5:18). Some people teach being born of God as some heartfelt feeling. They do not take it literally; thus they do not understand God's plan. Being born of God is not just a feeling in the heart.

Born of Flesh, Born of Spirit

nm72 >> Christ the man said during his ministry that, "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" (John 3:5-6). In verse 8 of John 3 he makes an allegory between Spirit and the wind and says as one cannot see the wind so also he cannot see the spirit. As we just quoted Christ, "except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Thus since Spirit is invisible, when one is born of God he is invisible. Yet there are verses where the resurrected Christ as God was also flesh and blood (Luke 24:39). Yes, Christ was born of flesh, he was a son of mankind (Gal 4:4). Thus, "that which is born of flesh is flesh" (John 3:6). But Christ is a son of God also (Rom 1:4). Thus when Christ was resurrected he was born of God and became Spirit. Therefore as spirit he could become invisible as he did after he was born of God (Luke 24:31).

Fleshly Body, Spiritual Body

nm73 >> The resurrected Christ is a son of God, and a son of man. Once he was born of flesh; those born of flesh are flesh (John 3:6). Once he was born of God by a resurrection (Rom 1:4); those born of Spirit are Spirit (John 3:6). Christ the God is flesh and Spirit. He has two essences, he has two bodies. Christ the God as a son of man has a fleshly body, "there is a fleshly body" (1Cor 15:44). But as a son of God he has a Spiritual body, "there is also a spiritual body" (1Cor 15:44). The resurrected Christ has two bodies, or two essences - a spiritual and a fleshly essence. Scripture does not say that when one is born of God he loses his fleshly body. No it says they are made immortal (1Cor 15:52-55). And as Christ is, so shall all born of God be, for He is the first born of many brethren (Rom 8:29). Scripture indicates those born of God will be like Christ, "we shall be like him" (1John 3:2). "The Lord Jesus Christ who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil 3:20, 21).

Greek Word, gennao, Ambiguity of

nm74 >> But not only was Christ born of the flesh and born of the Spirit, he was also begotten of the flesh (inside Mary's womb) and begotten of the Spirit (while he was in his first fleshly state). Christ not only was born of flesh, he was also begotten of flesh. Christ not only was born of Spirit, he was also begotten of the Spirit. But because of the vagueness of a Greek word many do not understand this. The word translated born in many English translations comes from the Greek word, gennao. In contrast, this Greek word can mean either to beget or to be born. In the English language we have two separate words for the process of being begotten and being born. But the Greek word gennao can be used to mean either being begotten or being born. Because of this there is ambiguity when translating gennao into English.

nm75 >> Being begotten is the same as being conceived, or fertilized, or impregnated. To be begotten is to be conceived. An egg-cell is begotten by a sperm cell. This is being begotten. Once begotten an egg-cell grows inside the womb of its mother. Allegorically, a Christian is begotten by the Spirit of God and grows Spiritually inside the womb of the Church, their heavenly mother, or Spiritual mother.

nm76 >> But after the egg-cell has grown inside the mother's womb it is born of mankind. Allegorically, after a Christian is begotten, he grows Spiritually in the Church's womb until he is born of God. Isaiah 66:6-8 pictures the Christians all at once being born of God. This will happen at the last trumpet (1Cor 15:52-55; Rev 11:15). This is the time of Christ's physical return (1Thes 4:15-18).

nm77 >> Therefore because the New Testament was written in Greek, and because in Greek there is a word that can express two different processes or stages of birth, and because this Greek word (gennao) was used in verses to express either "begotten" and/or "born," and because many of those who translated the Bible didn't understand God's plan; then the translators sometimes mistranslated "born" where they should have translated "begotten" and vice versa. And because of this vagueness of the Greek word gennao many people today do not understand what it means to be begotten or born of God. (Many places, if not all places, where gennao is used, can be and should be understood in the sense of begotten and/or born.) See "Last War and God's Wrath" PR5, in its Notes for more information or details on "begotten" and "born."

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(c) Copyright 1971-2016 by Walter R. Dolen


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