TD Jakes - Truth Induces Labor
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This term as we use it today, born again for conversion. You know, you must say I'm a born again christian. Who are you? I'm a born again Christian. Bless God, I'm a born again christian. Are you born again? Yes, I'm born again. Glory to God, I'm born again. Have you been born again? Using that term in that way did not start with the Bible. Born again is not mentioned in the synoptic gospels at all. John is the only one who mentions it. The only time it's mentioned elsewhere is in first Peter. And when Peter mentions it, it is a completely different greek word.
So Matthew, Mark, and Luke don't mention it at all. Born again didn't become popular as an indication of conversion until the reformation age with Martin Luther and the 96 theses. And as he introduced justification by faith, this term born again became popular within the context of conversion where people come down to the altar, they give their life to Christ, and they walk back and say, I have been born again. That's thousands of years after the Nicodemus conversation. Those are thousands of years. You don't see it anywhere for thousands of years used in that way. And all of a sudden it makes us have to go back and rethink this for a minute.
What does it really mean to be born again? I'm not talking about the Christian colloquialism that evolved out of reformation where you say you're a born again Christian. Are you a born again Christian? Oh yeah, I've been born again. I'm not telling you you gotta stop using it like that. I just want you to understand that this conversation is not happening between Jesus and a sinner. Nicodemus is a religious man of the Sanhedrin court who has worshiped Jehovah all of his life. He is a Pharisee, the highest order of religiosity, but he has perceived the truth that cuts against the grain of his peers. And this is our problem. We all want to go to the next level. We really want to go to the next level. We want to walk in truth, we want to walk in revelation, we want to move into our destiny and into our purpose as long as it doesn't create conflict. You get what I'm saying, don't you?
I'm just gonna preach to me and you cause me and you, we were vibing together, I can feel it, you got me, don't you? I got you right back here. See we get in these wombs, we get in these wombs, we get in these wombs, and we lay back and get comfortable. Everybody likes me in my womb. Everybody understands me in my womb. I'm accepted in my womb. I get along with my little clique. And the socialization of the womb retards our ability to hear God speak to us on the next level. Because if we change, they won't like us. If we grow, we won't fit in.
See that's the problem with birth. One of the problems with birth is when you grow, you can't fit in. And some people would rather walk away from growth just so that they can...I'm talking to somebody this morning. I'm talking to somebody this morning. I'm trying to explain to you what's got you stuck in the womb. Any time you're more concerned about what people are gonna think of you than you are going to the next level, you get stuck in the womb. There's a scripture I love. I didn't even plan to use it, but I'm gonna throw it in right now. It says for this is a day of rebuke out of trouble, for the children have come to birth, and there is no strength to deliver. You have to be strong to deliver. Any woman who's ever had a baby will tell you. You have to be strong when you're in labor. You have to come out of that cute girl, "Oh no, oh tell me, oh, oh no, ah ha ha ha, there's something in my teeth".
When you get into labor, you got to get, you got to get ready to get ready, you got to be... Where my real women at? Make some... And Nicodemus has this problem. Nicodemus has this problem. He has, he has this issue. He has received a truth. That contradicts the environment that he has gestated in. Truth will create contradictions. What I'm trying to tell you is that you cannot grow and stay. Oh my God, I feel like I'm talking to somebody, I don't even know who it is. Some of you are trying to figure out how can you work this out and negotiate it in such a nice little way that you can grow and stay. You cannot grow and stay. If the baby keeps growing, mama's going into labor. The only way the mama don't go into labor is if the baby stops growing, and then it's dead. So, I want to ask you this morning, do you want to grow or do you want to stay?
Nicodemus says to Jesus, I perceive that thou art a rabbi sent from God. No man can do these things except God be with him. And Jesus says ye must. You can't stay. You know too much. Oh, y'all ain't ready. Y'all ain't ready for me, y'all ain't ready for me. If you didn't know what you know, you could stay where you stayed. But you done messed around and stepped into a level of truth that's going to push you into the next dimension. Somebody holler, I know it. Once you know something. You can never unknow it. I said, once you know something, you can never unknow it. You can never unknow it. You might not repeat it, but you can never unknow it.
The Bible talks about sex and says, Adam knew his wife Eve. The word know is intimate knowledge. Have you ever run into somebody that you had run into? I'm sorry mama. I'm coming up for air in a minute. It's my shock thing. It's gonna be all right. It's gonna be all right, breathe in, breathe out. Have you ever run into somebody that you had run into? And now they're with somebody else. And you with somebody else. And you meet them at Walmart. And you say, hi. But you know, and you can never unknow what you know. If experiencing a person can never be unknown... Can you imagine what it's like to experience God? Once you have experienced God, I don't care what you drink. I don't care what you smoke. I don't care what club you're going to. You will never be one of them because you can never, no, you can never unknow.
Slap somebody and tell them, I know it. See, I'm not bothered by all the new religions. I'm not bothered by all the new ideas. I'm not bothered by all the people who are going after strange gods. You go ahead and do what you want to do. I cannot go because I know. And once I know, I can never unknow what I know. I know how he blessed me, I know how he brought me, I know how he fed me, I know how he protected me. I wish I had somebody that knew it in this place. I don't need somebody that's faking it. I want to hear somebody praise him who knows.
I cannot tell you how many people that I loved that I had to leave behind. That I enjoyed. That have done me favors, and I have done them favors. But I had to leave them behind. Not because I think I'm so suchy much, but the cost of their fellowship, men I had to dumb down what I knew in order to be accepted. I had to play like I was still who I was when I first got in the womb. But the problem was that is that I had come into an understanding that made me evolve. And what used to be funny wasn't funny anymore. And what used to be true, wasn't true anymore. And where I used to be happy, I wasn't happy anymore. Ye must. Not you might, not you oughta, not you're eligible, not you could be born again. Ye must. Truth induces labor. Ye must. Once you've tasted, once you've touched, once you've known, once you've experienced, once you've had, you must.
Nicodemus, I don't know what you're gonna do. This may mess up your job. Ye must. You might get thrown out of your clique, but you cannot know that I am sent from God, and then go back and dumb yourself down into acting like you don't know. Ye must. See there are some of you you're doing what they're doing, but you're not thinking what they're thinking. Oh, I'm coming in for the kill. Have you ever been doing what they're doing, but you're not thinking what they're thinking? You got on the uniform, but you got a different mindset. You know all the colloquialisms, but you're thinking different. You look the same, but you're not the same. A change has come in your perception. Your perception of who God is, your perception of who you are. Your perception of how life is, your perception of what matters, is supposed to grow. You're not supposed to keep coming to this church and be the same old person you was before. You're not supposed to hear this word and still have the same attitude you had before.
Truth brings about change. Truth brings about transformation. Truth will make you make a decision. Ye must. You must be born again. Here's my problem, Here's my problem, here's my problem, most of the time when you get ready to have a baby, you talk to the mother. You let me know we got everything packed up. You let me know when it's time. You ready? Yeah, it's time. It's time. Okay, let me get the car. You talk to the mother, you talk to the mother about the birth. But in my text, Jesus talks to the baby. What in the world would make the master physician now have a conversation with the baby? Come back next week, I'll tell you. The only way I am at the mercy of the baby is if I'm losing the mother. If I'm losing the mother. Mother Israel, her pulse is getting weak. The traditions are fading away. They're on the verge of a transformation. Now, Jesus is speaking to the baby.
See, birth is traumatic for the mother and the child. When they get through having the baby, they both die. Let me prove to you what happens. We have in the Bible an illustration of this time period. I will use a metaphor of an illustration that will level it out. Can I do that? You remember when Rachel was having Benjamin, and she was dying? And as she was dying, she pushed out a king. She pushed out a king that Jacob would call Benjamin. But because the mother was dying, she called him Ben-Oni. In her final lurch, the baby is born, and the mother is gone. Jesus is standing right on the cusp of a transition. So are you. You are coming to the end of an age. You are coming to the end of an era. What brought you here cannot take you there. Ah, oh can you eat this high? This is even higher on the hog.
Come on you. You cannot practice the traditions of your past and evolve into the calling of your destiny. The post of your past is weakening. You gotta get out before the whole system shuts down. Ye must. It's all, it's all, it's all fainting, it's all fainting, and some of you have spent all of your energy trying to keep mama alive. I gotta keep mama alive 'cause mama was good to me. You don't know that mama's past has ended. Her path has ended. Her purpose has ended. What brought you here in your career will not take you there. But if you refuse to let mama go, you will stunt your growth. Ye must. Watch this. Nicodemus, your mind is already out.
Stay with me, church. See the one thing I know about The Potter's House, The Potter's House is under the strongest anointing when it gets quiet. Jesus says you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Watch this. The reason you've been stuck is because your story is not your truth. What you are telling yourself happened is not what happened. It is the story you tell yourself. I know it's not true because it would have set you free. And all it did was make you bitter, angry, mad, jealous, accused, point your fingers frustrated, be upset at other people. And the Lord is gonna give you truth this week. I want the truth whether I was the victor or the villain. I want, I want to know the truth. I'm not afraid of dying. I tell you all that all the time. I'm not afraid of dying. I knew when my first dog died that everything dies. Stranger died, I cried on the front porch.
I knew then as a little boy that everything died. I'm not afraid of dying. I ain't scared of you. I'm afraid of not living first. I'm afraid of not living first. I'm afraid, I'm afraid of not doing what I was born to do. I'm afraid of looking at a mountain I should have climbed and I sat at the bottom scared of it 'cause I wanted to stay down here 'cause my friend. I'm scared of staying on the boat with the disciples when Jesus said, come. I'll step off the boat and walk on the water. I'm afraid. I'm afraid to stand in my little circle of people who talk a certain way, dress a certain way, think a certain way so I'll be comfortable in my little womb and miss my could've would've should've. Join hands with somebody. Leave no one untouched. The anointing of God is in this place. Truth induces labor. There is something God wants to do in your life and in your heart that you were put here to do that's bigger than what you're doing right now. Bigger doesn't necessarily mean richer or more famous or more popular, bigger means more important, more important to God in his plan for your life.