The New Birth

When Were The Disciples Born Again?

Pastor John Clark, Sr's bible study on the spiritual condition of the disciples - according to Jesus' own words - before the day of Pentecost. Knowing their condition helps us to understand that they were not born again until they were baptized with the holy spirit.

Suggested Further Reading

Repentance is required in order to be born again. These articles will help you understand what repentance is and what you must do to please God.
The Receipt
Repentance - Come or Go?
Seven Humble Comments & Seven Arrogant Questions, #5
Whatever It Is
Praying Versus Repenting
Satan's Favorite Scriptures #4 - Rom 10:9

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New Birth Teaching Series

"You must be born again"

Three hours of audio teaching (transcript available) from Pastor John Clark, Sr. on the subject of the "New Birth". New Birth CD set, 3 hours of wonderful teachingWhen is a person born again and how do you know? The Bible contains clear revelation from God about when a person is born again. Learn what had to occur before the new birth was available to man. Listen as Pastor John covers these topics and more:
  • What Jesus had to do before the New Birth was available.
  • When were the disciples born again?
  • The spiritual condition of the disciples before Pentecost.
  • The promise of the Father.
  • Do you receive the Spirit before being baptized with it?
  • What did Jesus mean by "born again"?
  • The spirit of Antichrist.
  • What must I do to be born again?
This is perhaps the most important issue for a person to understand.

Have you been born again?

Thought for Today
Mar. 27


From a sermon at Grandma's farmhouse by Preacher Clark in mid-May, 1975.

John the Baptist's baptism did not wash away sins. Sin is a matter of the heart, and no physical substance such as water can ever cleanse the heart from sin. John's baptism (which the earliest Jews practiced) was a kind of "receipt" showing that the person baptized had "paid" for the baptism of the holy Ghost that Jesus would give. Repentance was the price that they had paid, and John's baptism was their receipt. Until God began baptizing Gentiles into His kingdom in Acts 10, no one ever received the holy Ghost baptism without having that receipt.

John would not give his receipt of baptism to any Gentile at all, and he would not give his receipt even to the Jews if they had not truly repented. John trusted God always to let him know who had truly repented and who had not, and John could not be fooled. He brutally rebuked hypocrites who came to be baptized of him just for show (e.g., Mt. 3:7-10).

What causes some people in our time to be confused concerning John's baptism in water is that the Bible refers to John's baptism as "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" (e.g., Mk. 1:4). These confused individuals misinterpret that phrase to mean that John's water baptism remitted sins, but it did not. Water cannot do that, and that is not what the Bible means by that phrase. John's baptism was only a person's proof that he had truly repented and was prepared to receive the remission of sins that comes with Jesus' holy Ghost baptism.

What is often overlooked is the fact that John's receipt was only for the Jews. Paul's gospel for the Gentiles excluded any such symbolic receipt. In the Spirit, there are no symbols, just life. The proof of repentance and the remission of sins, according to Paul, is the same thing now: the baptism of the holy Ghost that Jesus gives to all who obey him. Referring to the Gentiles at Cornelius' house who first received the Spirit's baptism, Peter told the council in Jerusalem that "God, who knows the hearts, bore them witness, giving them the holy Ghost, even as he did unto us" (Acts 15:8). Amen. What God does is sufficient. We don't need John's symbolic baptism using an earthly substance now. Jesus has taken over with his baptism of eternal life. Now, the holy Ghost is God's receipt for repentance.

It is still true today as it was when Peter went to Cornelius' house, as Peter himself earlier had said, that God gives the holy Ghost to all who obey Him (Acts 5:32). That is God's receipt for our repentance, and it is a far better receipt than the one John gave the Jews. Without that receipt, all we have is the need for it. We don't have eternal life, or even the hope of it.