Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses
16. Being Born Again
16. Being Born Again
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:
a. To be born again means to be begotten by holy spirit so as to have hope of a heavenly resurrection.4
b. Only 144,000 Christians are to be born again, of whom approximately 9,000 are presently alive on earth.5 The other 3,000,000, or 99.7% of Jehovah's Witnesses alive today have an "earthly hope" and have no need of being born again.6
c. One can put on the "new personality" without having been born again.7
d. A Christian with an "earthly hope" can enter into God's kingdom without having been born again.8
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Q1. What does it mean to be born again?
Jer 31:33-34-"I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying 'Know the Lord [Jehovah]," for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord [Jehovah], "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
Ez. 36:25-27-I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Tit 3:5-He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.
1 Pet 1:23-for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable [Gr. corruptible] but imperishable [Gr. incorruptible]...
Q2. Must all Christians be born again?
John 1:12-13-But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, [even] to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Acts 2:38-39-And Peter [said] to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself."
Rom 8:8-those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9-But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. [vs. 15-"Abba! Father!"]
1 John 5:1-Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God...
1 John 5:12-He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
Q3. Can one put on the new self (new personality) without having been born again?
2 Cor 5:17-Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Eph 4:24-25-and put on the new self [Gr. new man], which in the likeness of God has been CREATED in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
Col 3:9-11-you laid aside the old self with its [evil] practices, and have put on the new self [Gr. new man] who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who CREATED him...Christ is all, and in all.
Q4. Can one see God's Kingdom or enter into it without having been born again?
John 3:3-"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
John 3:5-"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
John 3:7-"Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'"
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a. To be born again means to be born spiritually by a supernatural act of God. One who has been born again has been cleansed from his sin, has a new, living relationship with God, and is enabled by the Holy Spirit to live a sanctified life unto God his Father.
b. All Christians have been born again.
c. The new man is created in a Christian when he is born again.
d. One cannot see God's Kingdom nor enter into it without having been born again.
4. Watchtower, 12/1/68, pp. 733-735
5. Watchtower, 2/15/86, pp. 12-14
6. Ibid., pp. 14,20
7. Watchtower, 1/1/69, pp.19-21
8. Watchtower, 2/15/86, p. 14