Message 13 - By Jerry D. Green

“When Thou Art Converted”


What did Jesus mean when He said to Peter, “…when thou art converted…?” My personal belief is that true conversion and being truly born again are synonymous terms. Most certainly a person can’t be truly converted without being truly born again. In the 1970’s, born again became just another IN word; just another term for the world, and sadly, the church itself to toss around and toy with. People began to claim to be born again, with no visible or tangible result. Nevertheless, I am totally convinced that being truly born again is a very real happening, with results that are just as real.

Jesus said, to see (or, know) the Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven), “…Ye Must Be Born Again” (John 3:3-7). So what does “…must…” mean? Strong’s Concordance says the meaning of the Greek word used here, means “necessary (as binding).” And the American Heritage Dictionary says that necessary means “absolutely essential.” That should be plain enough. And again, what is it that we “…must be…? We “…must be born again.” So being truly born again, truly converted, is something that every person on this planet must experience to see the Kingdom of God: To be a child of God.

When Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews came to Jesus by night, Jesus said to him, “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see (or, know) the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). According to Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word which was here translated again, means “from above; (and/or) by implication, anew.” So Jesus was actually saying, “ye must be born from above,” and/or “ye must be born anew.” In other words, we must be born again of God; by the Spirit of God. In John 1:12-13, the apostle John says, “…as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He power (authority) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which (who) were (and are) born, (John then lists some things that the truly born again children of God are not born of; so while he mentions the things we are NOT born of, please don’t lose sight of that which we ARE born of.) “NOT of blood, NOR of the will of the flesh, NOR of the will of man, BUT OF GOD.” Conclusion: In true salvation, there is an actual spiritual birth that takes place by, and only by, the working of God. If then we are truly, spiritually born of God by the Spirit of God, it must be that the Spirit of God came upon us. I’m not speaking of being baptized in, or being endued with the power of the Holy Ghost, which is a separate work that we must also have to be effective ministers of Christ and of His gospel; but rather it is an instantaneous work of the Holy Spirit of God, by the Holy Spirit of God, which can only happen when the Holy Spirit of God comes upon (over shadows) a person. Just to do or to say anything that we can be told to do or say, will never make a person to be truly born again (begotten of God).

Being born again is not an option for a child of God, but rather, it’s what makes a person to be a child of God. It is an absolute must. You must be born again of God. If not, you’re not a child of God at all. This is the reason I am so skeptical about the great crowds of people who are supposed to be saved and/or getting saved when the spirit of the entire service is nothing more than a wild, worldly, “rock and roll” concert. Brothers and sisters, this is not of God. And except, a man, woman, boy or girl be truly born again of God, they “…cannot see (or, know) the kingdom of God.” Neither can they ever see, know, or be a part of that precious, holy, kingdom. I sincerely hope that you (the reader) are a truly born again child of God; but if not, you can be. Simply come to God in true repentance of sin and believe the true gospel of Jesus, the Christ, the Lord and Savior, of all who will believe, before it’s too late (Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21). To be truly born again is to experience true conversion. I pray that this message will make the absolute necessity of being truly born again of God, clear to one and all. JDG


“When Thou Art Converted”

Shortly after the resurrection of Jesus, He stood on the shore of the “Sea of Galilee” and told a man named Peter, “…WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED, strengthen thy brethren (Luke 22:32). Now Peter was a chosen disciple of Jesus. He had literally lived with Jesus for approximately three and one-half years. He had witnessed the mighty miracles Jesus had performed throughout His ministry, including himself walking on the water. He had boldly declared of Jesus, by revelation of the Father that, “…Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16-17). And he was with the other disciples when Jesus had previously come to them (after His resurrection). Despite all this, Peter was now very discouraged. He probably felt great condemnation at having denied Jesus outside the Sanhedrin court. He most likely felt disappointed and hurt, as did many others, that Jesus had not established the natural, earthly kingdom of Israel they had expected; even though Jesus had tried to discourage this kind of thinking by telling them His kingdom was not of this world. He had told them plainly His kingdom was to be a spiritual kingdom. “Neither shall… (you) say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” He was prophetically speaking this of the new covenant which was to come into force at His being “…lifted up…” (Luke 17:21; John 3:14, 12:32-33). Even so, they had never really understood what He was saying. And now Jesus is asking Peter, perhaps motioning to, or, holding up one of the great fishes they had just caught, or, those He was cooking on the fire, “…Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He (Simon Peter) saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto Him, Feed my lambs.” Twice more He asked the same question, saying each time after Peter’s affirmation that he loved Him, “…Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-16). But at that time, there was yet one critical lack in Peter, as well as in all the other disciples, and in all the rest of mankind. They had NOT YET BEEN CONVERTED.

For many years I didn’t really understand what Jesus meant in saying, “…when thou art converted…. I always supposed that He meant, after Peter had repented concerning his denials of Jesus and/or his lukewarm spiritual condition. Or perhaps it was something Peter would learn or grow into over time. However, I now know that the reality of his conversion (explained later in the message) came on that “…day of Pentecost…” along with the enduing of power from on high; for Jesus had gone on to say, “…behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (sit, stay, wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). We have all heard of the “dunamis” power that came (Strong’s #1411); of the “…sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind…;of the “…cloven tongues like as of fire…”; and of the speaking with “…other tongues…” by the utterance of the Spirit. We all know of the great exploits of Peter, John, and many others in the church after the outpouring of the Spirit on that “day of Pentecost.” Most of us therefore assume that this miracle working power, which is by the Holy Spirit of God (the Holy Ghost; the Spirit of Truth; the Comforter), is the fulfillment of the promise of the Father. Therefore we seek God for the “…fire…, the “…wind…, for speaking with “…other tongues…, for the gifts to work signs, wonders, and miracles, etc., and not for the most important power, the “…POWER (the Right, the Authority, Strong’s #1849) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). This was the power Peter really needed, and this was the power all the other disciples needed. This was the power that all the lost world (including the religious church world) needed (and still needs). This was the power, right, or, authorization which authorized and still authorizes the creation of the true church of Jesus Christ (in reality).

Let me use an example. You need some service done to your car, your home, etc. You go to a company that provides the service you need, but before anything is actually done toward the service being performed, it must first be authorized by someone who has the proper authority to do so. Only after all the preliminaries are completed and the work is authorized does it go to the one who actually performs the service. In the case of the gospel, the work has been paid for up front by the same one who authorizes the work to be done (Jesus, the Christ), but the one who actually performs the service is the miraculous, creative, “dunamis” power (Strong’s #1411), the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit of God). This is the power by which the sons of God are actually created, born, begotten of God. Nevertheless, before this can take place, we must first have been given the “exousia“…power (Strong’s #1849; the power, the right, the authorization) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name (i.e., those who have believed the true report of the gospel of Jesus Christ, John 1:12, who) have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Revelation 22:14 says, “Blessed are they that do His commandments….” These were the same Greek words used in Revelation 7:14 and should have been translated the same way. “Blessed are they… (who have washed their robes [in the blood of the Lamb]), that they may have (the) RIGHT (the power, the authority, Strong’s #1849) to the tree of LIFE, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (John 14:6,10:1-9). Before we are ever given the right, the authority, the exousia “…power, to become the sons of God…” (who have been made partakers of the “…tree of LIFE…” [the body and blood of Jesus, John 6:48-56]) and enter into and become a part of that city, the New Jerusalem, the true church of Jesus the first born, Hebrews 12:22-23, we must first be washed (sprinkled), “…made…white in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus, the Christ) ….” But until we are justified and sanctified by the washing (sprinkling) of His blood, we will never be blessed to be born (in reality) of the everlasting, abundant life of God by the creative, “dunamis” power of His Spirit. This new LIFE (which is only by, in, and through Jesus Christ) is our legal passport into the city (which is His church, His bride, the New Jerusalem): And those who would enter any other way are thieves and robbers (Revelation 21:9-11; John 10:1-9).

Jesus said to Nicodemus, You “…MUST be born again…of the Spirit” of God (of the Holy Ghost, John 3:1-7). Being born again is an absolute necessity. There is no other possible way for a person to be saved except to be born again of God; and there is no other possible way to be born again of God except by the Holy Ghost (the Holy Spirit of God). Let’s look at the account of the conception of the natural, physical body of Jesus.

“And in the sixth month (of Elisabeth’s pregnancy with John the Baptist) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His (fore)father David (according to the flesh; Romans 1:3): And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power (the “dunamis,” Strong’s #1411) of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:26-35).” It was by the creative power of God (the Holy Ghost; the Holy Spirit) of God, that the conception of Jesus was created in the womb of Mary; and it was by the creative power of the Holy Ghost that the church was first (spiritually) created, born, begotten, converted (in reality) on that day of Pentecost; and it is still by the power of the Holy Ghost (the Holy Spirit of God) that the spiritual children of God are spiritually created, born, begotten of God (I Peter 1:3). To be a child of God, we must be His progeny, His seed, His issue. That is to say, we must be born of Him. This new spiritual creation which takes place within us is just as real, in those who have truly been born again of God, as the natural creation of Jesus was in the womb of Mary. This new spiritual creation is being born or begotten of God. This is what Jesus was speaking of when He said to Peter, “…when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren….” This new spiritual birth is what constitutes true conversion and was the single most important thing that happened at that first out pouring of God’s Spirit on the “day of Pentecost.” The sights, the sounds, the speaking with other tongues: all that was seen and heard that day pertaining to the natural were only outward manifestations so that men could know that the power of God was present to fulfill all that was spoken by Jesus, and the holy prophets, concerning that day. But that which could not be seen with the natural eye or heard with the natural ear was so much greater and so much more important than anything which was seen with the natural eye or heard with the natural ear. For not only did they hear the sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, see the cloven tongues like as of fire, and speak with other tongues by the utterance of the Spirit as they were filled with the Holy Ghost; but more importantly than any of these, there was also a creation that took place within them. They were created, new spirits in Jesus, the Christ. They were born again. They were begotten of God. They were converted.

When were the hundred and twenty born again (converted)? Was it on the “day of Pentecost…?” No, that was just when it became reality in their lives. Ask anyone who has ever been truly born again and they will likely tell you of a specific place (i.e., church, home, some other building or specific geographical location) where the event took place; but as with everything pertaining to the gospel, it all happened for mankind, IN CHRIST, through the finished work of Calvary. We were all born again IN HIM; when God “…RAISED HIM from the dead…” (Ephesians 1:20). And Peter says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath BEGOTTEN US AGAIN (we were born again, or anew, IN CHRIST) unto a lively (living) hope BY THE RESURRECTION OF Jesus Christ from the dead” (I Peter 1:3). Our new spiritual birth took place, IN CHRIST, when God raised Him from the dead, before the vast majority of mankind was ever born of the physical birth. This is the truth of the gospel, but it is only effective (only becomes reality in one’s life) when they can see, hear, and believe it from the heart by revelation knowledge, and submit themselves unto it. Revelation knowledge is the only way anyone can ever see, hear, and believe the true gospel. The old sinful nature of every person who has ever been born on this earth, was and is “…crucified with…” HIM (Galatians 2:20), and were and are “…buried with HIM (put away in the grave, with Him) by baptism into (HIS) death…” (Romans 6:4, NOT water baptism), and were and are “…raised…together (born again in newness of life, IN HIM), and (were and are) made… (to) …sit together in heavenly places IN…” HIM (in Christ; and restored to fellowship with God the Father, IN HIM; Ephesians 2:6). So once again, even though all these facts are absolute, they are only effectual to those who hear and believe the wonderful truth and glory of that which transpired IN HIM (“In the body of his flesh through death [on the cross], to present you and I,) holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight” Colossians 1:22]); this is to say, IN HIS death, IN HIS burial, IN HIS resurrection, and IN HIS ascension (this is the gospel). BELIEVING and SUBMITTING one’s self totally unto Jesus and the gospel of Him is the only possible hope for a person to be saved. “…The fearful, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8; Luke 12:45-46).

Faith in the complete, finished work of Calvary is the only possible way for a person to possess, in reality, all of the glorious provisions of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and reality is all that counts, for us, with God. How is it that the unbelieving are lumped together with all these other horrible sins? Because it is totally impossible for a person to truly believe the life exchanging gospel of Jesus Christ and still be a sinner. Why? Because believing and submitting one’ self to the true gospel of Jesus will produce a REAL, true, pure, holy, sinless experience which will be acceptable to God; but sinners will never be able to stand before the righteous judge (Luke 21:36).

We may never hear the “…sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind….” And we may never see the “…cloven tongues like as of fire….” And we may or may not “…speak with other tongues…” as the “…Spirit… (gives) …utterance, but apart from being truly born (again) of God by the creative power of His Spirit, we will never be truly born again in reality. The principle proof of this happening, this true conversion, this being truly born (again) of God, is a godly life, which in turn, produces a Godly lifestyle). Those who have been truly born (again) of God, and are hidden away with Christ, IN God, ARE NOT sinners (Colossians 3:3; I John 3:9; John 14:20).

I know that many of those who are called by the name of the Lord today have never truly been CONVERTED; they are not new creations; they have not been born anew; they are not begotten of God. The term born again has no true meaning anymore. For many it simply means they have repeated a prayer after someone or perhaps they have decided to join the church, but I must tell you, the church of Jesus Christ cannot be joined. The only way one can ever be part of His true church is to be born into it. Perhaps if there were more Ananias and Sapphira incidents in the church, there would be less church joining and more people being born into the church, because the scripture says, “And of the rest durst (dared) no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women” (Acts 5:13-14).

So then, “…as many as received Him (Jesus, who is also the Christ), to THEM gave HE POWER (the right, the authority) to BECOME the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (i.e., those who believe in Jesus and have believed the true gospel and authority of Him, John 1:12). This is the power which is most needed in the church today: the authorization, the right, the power of true CONVERSION. But we will never receive that power (that authorization) to become sons of God until “…the blood of the lamb…” has first been applied to the door post of our hearts (Exodus 12:7-8; Revelation 7:14). No, not until we have been sprinkled (washed from our sin and sins with His own blood) by our great high priest Jesus Christ, can we partake of the life (which is in the body and blood of Jesus, John 6:53-57; Exodus 12:7-8). Only after He has “…washed us FROM our (SIN and) SINS in His own blood…” (Revelation 1:5) can “we have (right to eat at) an altar (of the body and blood of Jesus), whereof they HAVE NO RIGHT to eat which serve the tabernacle” (dead religious works; Hebrews 13:10). But “…as many as received Him (those who have been sprinkled, cleansed, ‘…washed…from… [their sin and] SINS in his own blood’ [this is the authorization to be a son of God]), to them gave He power (the right, the authority) to BECOME the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were (and are yet today) BORN, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but (are born) OF GOD” (born of and by His Spirit; John 1:12-13; John 6:53-54). We must first be washed, sprinkled, cleansed from our sin (and sins) before we are ever made partakers of the body and blood of Jesus, the Christ (who is our “tree of life,” our “daily bread” [do not forget that it was sin that separated Adam and Eve from their “tree of life.”]). It is only after we have been made clean through His provision, that we will ever receive of Him the authorization, the right, the “exousia” power, to become a member of the true family of God, a brother and/or sister, a joint heir with Jesus Himself, a son and/or daughter of God; being born again of and by the “dunamis” power of God. Remember that Jesus Himself said, “…whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33). And again, “…no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). Only after we have received of Him the “…power…,” the “…right…, the authorization (through faith in the true gospel of Him) to become a Son of God, will we ever be truly created, born, begotten, anew; and therefore, CONVERTED (in reality) by the (“dunamis”) power of God. And only after we have been truly born again, born anew of and by the “dunamis” power of God, “…shall (we) ask what… (we) …will…” to be truly able to “…strengthen … (other) …brethren, to “feed the flock of God…” (I Peter 5:2). And only then will we be eligible to be endued (clothed) with the “dunamis” power of God, and its gifts, to do the works of God “…severally as HE will(s) (I Corinthians 12:11).

Message 13 - When Thou Art Converted



A person can, as were the 120 on the Day of Pentecost, be born again and baptized with the Holy Ghost on the same occasion, but for whatever the reason, most people aren’t. The power which comes with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, is given to minister effectively. This is the reason the church of today is so weak and ineffective at reaching the lost as well as ministering to its own. So, if you are truly born again of God but have never been baptized with the Holy Ghost and with the power which the Holy Ghost baptism brings to a persons ministry, begin today to earnestly seek God for the infilling power to minister, just as you sought Him for true salvation. For more on the Holy Ghost baptism of power, see messages 14 and 15.

Message 13 - When Thou Art Converted






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