I think this is something the Lord only knows and governs but I think we can see signs of it from within themself if we are very honest. Being born again is a process of being regenerated from the evils in our nature that we have from head to toe. This is always a process but the point of being ‘born again’ is when the Lord trusts is to enter into internal knowledge and love of the Word. It is a process getting there and afterward. The Lord only allows a person into the internal sense of the Word and a relationship with Him when He sees that a person will be true to it to the end of life. If one were to turn against their love of the Word or the Lord – it has terrible consequence in the spiritual world. For once it is loved the bond with the Word cannot be removed; it remains forever. But if one then turns against it, this denial is of hate, and the person now has the other foot in hell.
This duplicity is not allowed in the spiritual world. There is no such thing as being neutral to the Lord. We are ‘either for or against Him’, there is no in between, He is the ‘plumb line’, the measure of all things. It is not possible to have one foot in heaven and one in hell because heavenly light and hellish light cannot exist together or be in the same place. Every person must have a ruling love that is heavenly or hellish. This is why all that are capable of being in heaven are gradually vastated of the hellish loves and beliefs; and all those going to hell are vastated of heavenly beliefs and loves. All this shows how important it is that one only be allowed into the internal of the Word when they are truly ready. This is the seminal point of transition, and the Lord from His infinite wisdom governs all of this.
Nicodemus is a good example of this in the Bible. “Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” This is clearly a very literal and external idea of what Jesus means by ‘being born again of the spirit’. Being born of the spirit is of the internal man, and the internal man grows out of the external man’s grief and loss. A new plant grows out of the manure of the old plant. One does not put ‘New wine in old wine skin’ is the Bibles concise expression of this.
It is likely that Nicodemus defended Jesus in counsels of the Sanhedrin concerning Jesus’ trial, (though we don’t see this directly in the Word), but after His resurrection it is written: “And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds”. By saying ‘who at first came to Him in the night’ the Word is showing that Nicodemus now comes to the Lord ‘in the light’. Also, Nicodemus’ great gesture of giving the gifts shows his love and devotion. The gifts given represent the gifts of the spirit that Nicodemus received in his heart and mind, which is a great indication of his transformation to the internal relationship.