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S.T.Ranger

Were Men Born Again Before Pentecost?

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It may sound like a simple question at first, but give it some thought before answering.

And to be clear, I am not asking if men were "saved" before Pentecost, I am asking if men were regenerated prior to Pentecost.

Either way you understand it, please include a Scriptural Basis for you response.

 

 

God bless.

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My belief is that yes, men were regenerated prior to Pentecost...

John 3:1-7
1   There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2   The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7   Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

In verse 3, the Lord shares the truth that one must be born again (regenerated).

In verse 6, the Lord is speaking in present tense by incorporating the use of the word IS...

In verse 7, the Lord shares that to be born again is a must.

Why would the Lord tell Nicodemus that he (and everyone) must be born again (regenerated)...that they must do it presently...if it weren't possible? 

Still, this is my view, and I reserve the right to be wrong.

Welcome to the forum! :)

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31 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

My belief is that yes, men were regenerated prior to Pentecost...

John 3:1-7
1   There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2   The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7   Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

In verse 3, the Lord shares the truth that one must be born again (regenerated).

In verse 6, the Lord is speaking in present tense by incorporating the use of the word IS...

In verse 7, the Lord shares that to be born again is a must.

Why would the Lord tell Nicodemus that he (and everyone) must be born again (regenerated)...that they must do it presently...if it weren't possible? 

Still, this is my view, and I reserve the right to be wrong.

Welcome to the forum! :)

Thanks for the welcome to the forum, already it feels good to be among some people that I so far see as being closer to the type of Baptist I myself am, lol.

 

This is perhaps the best argument for a view that men were born again before Pentecost, however, we also see the Lord demanding men believe on Himself yet no man did, which may sound absurd, but, we can from Scripture make that argument and support it from Scripture.

 

For example, the disciples scattered when the Lord was taken. Peter denied he even knew the Lord. But the single most important reason we know they are unbelieving in the Lord, and His Resurrection, is sue to the Lord's own rebuke of them for unbelief:

 

Mark 16:9-14

King James Version (KJV)

9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

 

So the argument "Why would the Lord tell men they had to be born again if it were not possible" sounds good at first glance, but, technically He told this to one person in a private conversation (as far as we know, and if there were others there we would still see it was an exclusive teaching), and the Lord often relayed knowledge that would not be understood until understood by men who had received the Comforter, Who could not come until Christ had returned to Heaven from whence He came (John 16:7).

 

And as I said, this is actually the best argument I have seen presented in numerous years of debating and discussing this issue. But I am always glad to see arguments presented that perhaps I have not considered before.

 

God bless.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, S.T.Ranger said:

So the argument "Why would the Lord tell men they had to be born again if it were not possible" sounds good at first glance, but, technically He told this to one person in a private conversation (as far as we know, and if there were others there we would still see it was an exclusive teaching),

I see what you're saying, but I would slightly disagree with that. Would God show partiality to Nicodemus? Why is this account written for all to see? Was God offering regeneration only to Nicodemus?

Also, the word "ye" of John 3:7 is plural; therefore, the Lord was widening the scope from only Nicodemus to everyone.

For example...

Romans 1:7-11
7   To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8   First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9   For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
10   Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
11   For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

Paul is addressing "all" in Rome. In this address, he refers to the "all" as you, you all, your, and ye...showing the plurality of those words...which is one of the benefits of the King James version. You, your, ye are plural. Thee, thou, and thine are singular. So, while the Lord was addressing Nicodemus personally, he then included everyone in John 3:7...everyone must be born again (regenerated).
 

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"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you; And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:"  John 20:21-22.

Without the indwelling Holy Ghost, you cannot be truly born again. This is the first example of anyone receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the first example of someone being born again. At this point the sin debt had been paid in full, the blood offering received by the Father. After this, which was before Pentecost, people could be born again/regenerated. There is no difference, both happen simultaneously, despite what Calvinism says.

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1 hour ago, Ukulelemike said:

After this, which was before Pentecost, people could be born again/regenerated. There is no difference, both happen simultaneously, despite what Calvinism says.

I cannot see there can be any view but this.

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One more verse...John 3:8...

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

In this, the Lord continues speaking in the present tense. He didn't say, "So will be every one that will be born of the Spirit."

 

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1 hour ago, Ukulelemike said:

"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you; And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:"  John 20:21-22.

Without the indwelling Holy Ghost, you cannot be truly born again. This is the first example of anyone receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the first example of someone being born again. At this point the sin debt had been paid in full, the blood offering received by the Father. After this, which was before Pentecost, people could be born again/regenerated. There is no difference, both happen simultaneously, despite what Calvinism says.

So you are saying nobody was saved before this verse?

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19 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

I see what you're saying, but I would slightly disagree with that. Would God show partiality to Nicodemus?

 

If a rebuke from the Lord means showing partiality, then I guess so, lol.

 

Seriously, though, no, no partiality is being shown, this interaction was for His glory and our benefit, because without this particular passage we would have less to understand the Doctrine of Regeneration, which when we look at all relevant passages, we come to understand in simple terms, it is a spiritual resurrection in which the death we suffered in Adam is reversed through our being immersed in God in the Reconciliation Christ came to bestow upon men.

 

He shows no partiality but takes Nicodemus to task because he is a Teacher of Israel and shows ignorance of Prophecy and promise in the very Scriptures he is supposed to be expert in.

 

19 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Why is this account written for all to see?

 

For precisely that...for all to see.

 

Just as private conversations with Peter, James, and John are given us.

 

19 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Was God offering regeneration only to Nicodemus?

 

No, He makes a statement that is a universal truth.

 

"Ye must be born again" is not something that men can set about to effect themselves, so again we undercut the argument that the Lord is here telling Nicodemus something that he could set about to fulfill.

 

Another good point in this argument (and excuse me for playing devil's advocate and helping the opposing view, lol) is "The Lord implies that Nicodemus would have known what he was talking about, and to that I agree, because what should have immediately come to Nicodemus' mind was the promise of New Birth in Prophecy:

 

Ezekiel 36:24-27

King James Version (KJV)

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

 

The Lord said...

 

John 3:5

King James Version (KJV)

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

 

The "water" is the cleansing of the washing of the water of the Word (the Gospel), and being "born of the Spirit" is synonymous with being born from above, being born of GOd, and being born again.

 

But, look at Nicodemus' response. It shows that this "ruler/teacher of Israel was clueless to that which Christ taught.

 

19 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

 

Also, the word "ye" of John 3:7 is plural; therefore, the Lord was widening the scope from only Nicodemus to everyone.

 

This is true.

 

The command goes out to all men.

 

19 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

For example...

Romans 1:7-11
7   To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8   First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9   For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
10   Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
11   For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

Paul is addressing "all" in Rome. In this address, he refers to the "all" as you, you all, your, and ye...showing the plurality of those words...which is one of the benefits of the King James version. You, your, ye are plural. Thee, thou, and thine are singular. So, while the Lord was addressing Nicodemus personally, he then included everyone in John 3:7...everyone must be born again (regenerated).

 

Agreed.

 

God bless.

Edited by S.T.Ranger

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16 hours ago, Salyan said:

Why does this feel like it's heading into an argument on semantics?

 

It may be that because it is often seen on Christian Doctrinal Discussion and Debate Forums that often discussions are merely semantics, and when we enter into an arena of thought that is not something many people consider there is a tendency to think "Here we go again..." lol

 

But, give it a chance. I promise you that this discussion will cause you to consider some basic truths that, when seen in their Biblical context, will open up understanding of Regeneration and the Redemptive Plan of God.

 

 

16 hours ago, Salyan said:

For all intents and purposes, salvation and regeneration occur simultaneously.

 

Your response is very interesting, because you do in fact mention some vital points but I think once you see the significance of the points you raise you may realize their significance.

 

As to this statement, I agree, as long as we say "...salvation and regeneration occur simultaneously...in this Age." And before you object, ask yourself "Who did the (Covenant of) Law save? Who did the (Covenant of) Law Justify? Who did the Covenant of Law regenerate, when the Promise of Regeneration and Eternal Indwelling was but a promise to those who were under Law?"

 

But you bring to bear the one thing that has to be absolutely understood in this discussion: the OP asks if men were born again, not if they were saved...before Pentecost.

 

Men like Abraham, Moses, and David were absolutely "saved" from an eternal perspective, meaning...their eternal destiny was decided within their lifetime, and effected by the same thing all salvation is effected by, by grace through faith.

 

But, that does not mean we can impose into their "salvation" the Eternal Redemption obtained by Christ on the Cross, or the fulfillment of the Promise seen in Prophecy concerning the Eternal Indwelling of God in the believer.

 

Let's look at the Lord teaching about that eternal indwelling, which is evidently not taking place at the time of His teaching:

 

John 14:15-18

King James Version (KJV)

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Again, what He promises is not taking place then. The distinctions between then (the Old Testament Era, in particular this is the Age of Law, it is still in effect as you also note in your post) and the time He states is coming are...

 

1. The Comforter (Holy Spirit) will be with them forever, as opposed to Christ leaving them (thus their sorrow and troubled hearts (which also indicates a lack of understanding of the Death He had told them He would undergo));

 

2. The Spirit of truth they currently knew was with them, but would be in them (this refers to the eternal indwelling that occurs when men are born again), also not happening at this time under Law;

 

3. Christ states...He will come to them/us.

 

Now, lets take a look at Christ reminding them of this teaching just prior to His Ascension:

 

Acts 1:4-5

King James Version (KJV)

4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

 

Now, what we can say without controversy is that the Disciples had not yet been Baptized with the Holy Ghost. That is not open for debate. What is open for debate is...what exactly does it mean to be "Baptized with the Holy Ghost." It is not just Charismatics who teach that the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is simply "an empowering of God," but in fact...most teach that.

 

And that is error.

 

The Holy Spirit has been empowering men from Day Six. The Promise of the Father taught by Christ was not an empowerment...but the Eternal Indwelling of GOd.

 

In short, the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is simply...immersion into God, which is the very reason we are "born again." God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and the singular problem man faces is not that he sins, but that he is born separated from God, thus he sins.

Let's look at the Promise of the Father again:

 

Ezekiel 36:24-27

King James Version (KJV)

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

 

Compare this to Christ's teaching ("...which, He said, ye have heard of me." Acts 1:5) in John 14-16.

 

 

16 hours ago, Salyan said:

Did Christ berate the disciples for their unbelief? Yes. But define the unbelief.

 

The Lord describes it:

 

Mark 16:14

King James Version (KJV)

14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

 

In view is the belief He had risen from the dead. THey did not believe on the Resurrection of the Lord...yet.

 

There is good reason, though, for as Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 2 this knowledge is revealed by the Holy Spirit.

 

It was not revealed in past Ages, and until Pentecost the Spirit had not come in this distinct ministry, and it was not until He came that we see the disciples preaching the Gospel of Christ:

 

Romans 16:25-26

King James Version (KJV)

25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

 

 

16 hours ago, Salyan said:

Was it merely unbelief in the resurrection?

 

"Mere unbelief in the Resurrection" is a rejection of the Gospel, and no man will be saved if they reject the Gospel.

 

Which is precisely what Peter does here:

 

Matthew 16:21-23

King James Version (KJV)

21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

 

This is one of the few times the Lord gives them the Gospel, and Peter essentially says "Lord, the only thing that keep me from remaining separated from God eternally will never happen!"

 

This is right on the heels of Peter declaring that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, but, that does not equate to Peter understanding what the Lord came to do, either in His earthly Ministry, or in His Ministry as Savior.

 

Continued...

 

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17 hours ago, Salyan said:

We know that they (or at least Peter, before) believed that He was the son of God.

 

And immediately after Peter rejects the Gospel of Christ.

 

2 minutes ago, S.T.Ranger said:

Matthew 16:21-23

King James Version (KJV)

21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

 

Peter will deny, with cursing, that he even knows Christ.

 

But let's look at the Lord's impression of their "belief:"

 

John 16:28-32

King James Version (KJV)

28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

 

I would suggest that their "belief" was real, but, they had not the understanding of the Gospel yet, because that understanding would only come through the One that would convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-9). John makes it clear that they did not know the Scriptures that He should rise again (and this would refer to the Prophecy):

 

John 20:7-9

King James Version (KJV)

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

 

 

17 hours ago, Salyan said:

A couple of His disciples had left John's service to follow Him after being told that He was the one that would take away sins.

 

That is correct, John prophesied, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world, " yet...

 

Matthew 11:1-3

King James Version (KJV)

 

1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.

2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

 

Just as the Prophets of God in the Old Testament prophesied of Christ, and had no understanding, even so did John, who wanted to know if Jesus was the Messiah they awaited.

 

1 Peter 1:9-12

King James Version (KJV)

 

9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

 

It is seen here that the Prophets inquired and searched diligently of the salvation Peter just described, in which he points out we have, in our salvation...been born again:

 

1 Peter 1

King James Version (KJV)

 

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

 

 

There is no regeneration apart from the Cross of Christ, and faith in Christ specifically in His Resurrection. This is what Christ teaches in John 6.

 

Going back to the first quote from Peter, another crucial aspect is that the preaching of the Gospel is according to the Holy GHost sent down from Heaven, which is again a reference to the Spirit of Truth that Christ taught would come after He returned to Heaven.

 

That happened at Pentecost, and it was then they were born again, eternally indwelt, had revealed to them those things the Prophets inquired and searched diligently for, and began, at that time, to preach, not the Gospel of the kingdom (which pertains specifically to Israel and the Prophecy of Scripture), but the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

17 hours ago, Salyan said:

Until Christ's death occurred, the old covenant was still in effect - a covenant that did not even require understanding of the future resurrection in order to effect salvation.

 

Think about that: we have to equally conclude contrary to Paul's teaching that justification unto life was effected by the Covenant of Law.

 

Again, they were "saved" from an eternal perspective, but, that does not mean they were born again Believers of the Body of Christ.

 

All Old Testament Saints died not having their sins atoned for through the Cross:

 

Hebrews 9:12-15

King James Version (KJV)

 

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

 

Paul makes the same statement here...

 

Romans 3:24-26

King James Version (KJV)

 

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

 

Abraham was truly justified by faith and works, but, Abraham was still in need of Eternal REdemption that could only be accomplished by Christ and the Cross.

 

This is what the Writer of Hebrews is speaking about when he speaks of "just" (justified) spirits made perfect (complete):

 

Hebrews 12:22-24

King James Version (KJV)

 

22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

 

The "spirits of just men" refers to those who died prior to the Cross, and they are contrasted to the Church of the Firstborn (Christ). They were justified within their lifetime, but, we see also in Hebrews that the "way into the Holiest" was not yet manifest while the first Tabernacle yet stood. Meaning...the way into the true presence of God, Heaven itself, was opened by Christ through His Work. The Old Testament Saint was just, and "saved" from the eternal perspective, but, they still had to be made perfect/complete concerning remission of sins, and that was accomplished by Christ through His Sacrifice.

 

Continued...

 

 

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Is it your normal way to come to a new forum and then proceed to take a teaching role without establishing yourself in the community?

It seems a little........ presumptuous, is all.

Most people join, chat, comment in some threads, add to some discussions.......

Not just take charge and offhandedly dismiss the comments of others whom you know basically nothing about.

I don't mean to offend you, but historically people who start as you have, end up being troublemakers. 

I actually have a feeling that you are NOT one of them, but it is an unusual entrance in that regard.....

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17 hours ago, Salyan said:

We know men were saved before Christ's death - perhaps in a sense of being reserved unto His death

Bingo. Saved, yet reserved until the time when Christ would obtain Eternal Redemption for men.

 

Saved, yes, born again...no.

 

Regeneration is given in a conceptual manner that pictures being born again, and so we ask...what is the new borth in view?

 

What is man's problem, that he sins, thus needs a Savior? No, his problem is that he sins because he is conceived and born outside of relationship with God, and that relationship was lost...in Adam. Man sins because he is separated from God. Not because he is born with a "sin nature" that forces him to sin, but because he is natural he has no capacity...not to sin.

 

When men died prior to the Cross, they could not go into Heaven, into the presence of God, because their sin had not yet been atoned for. They went into Sheol/Hades. Luke 16, as well as several statements in Hebrews makes that clear. So there is a distinction drawn in Scripture considering the progression (not the quality) of salvation in the Old Testament Eras, just as there is a distinction to the progression of revelation and the distinct ministries God performed (i.e., the Spirit of God coming on men for the purpose to empower for ministry, such as Prophet, Priest, or King and the Holy Spirit Eternally Indwelling men).

 

17 hours ago, Salyan said:

and we know that the Holy Spirit was active in some sense before Pentecost.

 

Today the Eternally indwelt believer can be "filled with the Holy Ghost." That is the very same ministry God performed in the Old Testament Eras/Ages.

 

But we cannot impose a Ministry that Christ Himself taught would begin...after He left:

 

John 16:7-9

King James Version (KJV)

 

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

 

I include vv.8-9 because it is good to understand the Ministry of the Comforter is for...unbelievers. And we know that in this Age the Comforter is glorifying Christ through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

17 hours ago, Salyan said:

It honestly seems like mere disputings about words to try to figure out the exact time/understanding at which the disciples (who existed at the [rather confusing] time when one covenant was being replaced by another) were saved and/or regenerated.

 

Not really, nor is it semantics. It is a serious look at, as I said, some basic truths that most people do not give consideration to.

 

Most come to a conclusion that the disciples of Christ were "Christians," but the simple truth is that not one of them were members of the Church until they received the Spirit of God within the Confines of the New Covenant.

 

We simply cannot impose Promise and that which was prophesied within the Age in which it was prophesied. Just give John 14 some consideration in regards to the fact that Christ is saying "This is what is going to happen," which makes it clear it was not then happening.

 

The Eternal Indwelling He teaches shows that we, as born again believers, are indwelt by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:

 

John 14:15-18

King James Version (KJV)

 

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

 

John 14:22-23

King James Version (KJV)

 

22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

 

Just think about that: it's not happening then, and will not, until Christ returns to Heaven.

 

So I hope this will help to remove the impression of semantics and "mere disputings." Much of what has been offered is simply letting the Word of God speak for itself, and point out some basic truths which, as I said, are not often considered. But this is, in my view, one of the most important questions any Bible Student will ever ask or answer.

 

 

God bless.

 

 

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Goodness gracious - I'm not going to have the time to work through that for a while. Next time, would you mind giving a short response to a short statement? It really helps keep things flowing around here.

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I'm interested to see where this goes. :)

I often make the statement, "I reserve the right to be wrong." I mean it when I say it.

With that said, this is my understanding...

  1. Regeneration (being born again) is an immediate one-time act.
  2. Sanctification is also an immediate one-time act...but it is also a continuous act; in that, we grow in our knowledge, acts, and understanding (2 Timothy 2:19-21)...he is continuously working in our lives...making us more into his image.

Both require the Spirit's work in the life of man. Only one of them requires the indwelling Spirit. Regeneration only requires a single act by the Spirit. Sanctification is both immediate and life-long, which requires the Holy Spirit's working in the life of man...requiring his indwelling presence. With that, and the words of the Lord himself in John 3, regeneration was not only possible, it was available, needed, and called for prior to Pentecost.

I would agree that from my understanding, Old Testament saints didn't have the indwelling Holy Spirit; however, also from my understanding, regeneration isn't required by the Spirit's permanent indwelling. It's a single act that takes place at one single time.

I reserve the right to be wrong.

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8 minutes ago, DaveW said:

Is it your normal way to come to a new forum and then proceed to take a teaching role without establishing yourself in the community?

It seems a little........ presumptuous, is all.

It is "normal" for me to come to a new Forum with the intent of serious Doctrinal Discussion and Debate which I don't just think will edify the Body of Christ, but know that it will, because I firmly believe in the power of the Word of God to help us grow, and in having a better understanding of the Word of God (and you can impose arrogance or ego in that if you like, I just ask you to focus on the Doctrine discussed before you draw any conclusions) will help us to be better stewards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, hence better ministers to a lost and dying world.

 

Malachi 3:16King James Version (KJV)

16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

 

;)

 

8 minutes ago, DaveW said:

Most people join, chat, comment in some threads, add to some discussions.......

 

I am not "most people," and to be honest, if I wanted to "chat" I would go to facebook.

 

I am not here to make people like me, I am here seeking members of the Body of Christ who have a love for God's Word and want to discuss Doctrinal matters.

 

8 minutes ago, DaveW said:

Not just take charge and offhandedly dismiss the comments of others whom you know basically nothing about.

 

"Take charge?" Because I respond to posts?

 

8 minutes ago, DaveW said:

I don't mean to offend you

 

No worries, mate, that is simply not possible to do.

 

9 minutes ago, DaveW said:

but historically people who start as you have, end up being troublemakers. 

 

Well, it is true that often I am not a popular fellow, but that is primarily because (and again this may sound arrogant) the issues I discuss are usually controversial and sometimes go against the grain of popular pulpit Theology that people have a tendency to get offended. For example, most Christians view the disciple as Christians, and the thought that they were not (until being born again at Pentecost, of course) is a foreign concept to them.

 

The big question is will those who tend to be offended when "their Forum" seems threatened actually look at what is being said?

 

 

9 minutes ago, DaveW said:

I actually have a feeling that you are NOT one of them, but it is an unusual entrance in that regard.....

 

Could you show me where Forum Etiquette dictates that new members must first be siocially accepted then...they can discuss Doctrine?

 

My friend, my advice on that note would be that anyone that first seeks to ingratiate themselves into a community, then seeks to discuss doctrine, is far more likely to cause trouble, lol.

Just give the topic some serious consideration, Dave, that's all I ask. let's not interject anything personal into the discussion.

 

 

God bless.

4 minutes ago, Salyan said:

Goodness gracious - I'm not going to have the time to work through that for a while. Next time, would you mind giving a short response to a short statement? It really helps keep things flowing around here.

 

Sorry Salyan, I am still getting used to the control functions of the Forum, and I know they do look voluminous, lol. Basically, I try to get certain points across at the beginning because most members who "check out threads" often look at the first page, so I am just trying to get enough there so that it will stir the interest of those who may look in.

 

Once the discussion begins to address the points with singular focus on certain aspects, usually it gets a little more manageable, because we establish base-lines which both sides are familiar with. I will, though, for those who request, break down the address to one point per post, but, I tend to address response in detail, trying not to leave any statement unanswered.

 

So if there is a singular point you might disagree with, feel free to post that and we can narrow the focus for the time being. No need to try to address each point right now, most of the points will be looked at through the course of the discussion.

 

God bless.

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Not a matter of dictated etiquette, rather just plain, old fashioned good manners.

If you walked into church and just started trying to teach stuff (anything) without first allowing us to get to know you, you wouldn't find a welcome reception. (And I know this isn't a church but the principle is not that different.)

 

Whatever, you act as you like. Unless you DO cause trouble or act offensively, the mods will let you play.

But you might consider that basic good manners go a long way.......

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17 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you; And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:"  John 20:21-22.

Without the indwelling Holy Ghost, you cannot be truly born again.

 

This is absolutely true, men cannot be born again apart from the Eternal Indwelling of God.

God came upon numerous men that we have good reason to question whether they were saved or not, King Saul (where we see what cannot happen in Eternal Salvation under New Covenant conditions, the Spirit departing from Saul) and Judas, who was empowered to preach the Kingdom Gospel like as the rest of Christ's disciples during His earthly Ministry (which was specific to Israel, not the world (Matthew 10:4-6; Matthew 15:24)).

 

17 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

This is the first example of anyone receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the first example of someone being born again.

 

And I respectfully disagree, giving as a Scriptural Basis this...

 

John 16:7

King James Version (KJV)

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

 

...and this...

 

Acts 1:4-5

King James Version (KJV)

4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

 

They could not possibly have "received the Spirit" promised by God in Prophecy in the Old Testament (under Old Testament Covenants) and taught about by Christ, because the Spirit did not come until after Christ's Ascension.

 

And in the course of this discussion one passage we will consider is this one:

 

Matthew 3:11-12

King James Version (KJV)

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

 

 

Christ is the "Baptizer," and the Spirit is what He baptizes the wheat (believers) with. He baptizes the chaff (unbelievers) with fire.

 

The statement in John 20 is best looked at in the same way that Christ's command to believe on the Resurrection and His teaching that men must be born again. In other words, "When He comes...receive Him."

 

17 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

At this point the sin debt had been paid in full, the blood offering received by the Father. After this, which was before Pentecost, people could be born again/regenerated.

 

As you started your post with, which is absolutely true...

Without the indwelling Holy Ghost, you cannot be truly born again.

 

17 hours ago, Ukulelemike said:

There is no difference, both happen simultaneously, despite what Calvinism says.

 

And I would agree. Calvinism errs in that it teaches that God regenerates the natural man that he might understand the Gospel and then express faith in Christ which is how men are saved. Arminian teaching is equally erroneous in that they teach God has given the natural man the ability to understand apart from regeneration.

 

The simple solution to this centuries old debate is that the natural man, as Scripture conclusively teaches, has no ability to perceive the spiritual things of God, so, we simply let the Word of God explain it:

 

John 16:7-9

King James Version (KJV)

 

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Of sin, because they believe not on me;

 

The Ministry of the Comforter is specific to convicting unbelievers. Natural men are enlightened that they might know the truth, and it is within that ministry they either reject or yield to the truth.

 

Here is the thing we have to consider, Scripture makes it clear that unregenerate men have received the truth, but, that they are in fact unregenerate. We know that Salvation is eternal, and one cannot lose their salvation, because salvation is a man being immersed into God, and God into the believer. Neither can one dispute that remission of sins is given in totality according to the Writer of Hebrews, which is the very promise of God to mankind in the Promise of the New Covenant. The single greatest affirmation of Eternal Security in Scripture (and this is just my opinion, mind you) is seen here:

 

Hebrews 10:14

King James Version (KJV)

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

This contrasts what the Covenant of Law could not do:

 

Hebrews 10:1-4

King James Version (KJV)

 

1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

 

The (Covenant of) Law could not take away (the penalty for) sins (and bring Atonement on an eternal level) hence it could not make the "comer thereunto" (the worshiper) "perfect," which in the Greek means c"completion," a "bringing to an end.

 

However, the Sacrifice of Christ not only makes the comer thereunto complete in regards to remission of sins (the purpose vicarious animal death was provided (Leviticus 17:11)), it makes them compete in regards to remission of sins...for ever.

 

God bless.

 

 

17 minutes ago, DaveW said:

Not a matter of dictated etiquette, rather just plain, old fashioned good manners.

If you walked into church and just started trying to teach stuff (anything) without first allowing us to get to know you, you wouldn't find a welcome reception. (And I know this isn't a church but the principle is not that different.)

 

Whatever, you act as you like. Unless you DO cause trouble or act offensively, the mods will let you play.

But you might consider that basic good manners go a long way.......

 

It seems it is just a matter of interruption of a serious subject, so if you don't mind, address the topic of the OP and place your opinions on how a Christian Doctrinal Discussion and Debate Forum should work in an appropriate Thread in an appropriate Board.

 

I would love to have you join the discussion, Dave, but I really don't have time to get involved in personal issues.

 

God bless.

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I directly answered your question about etiquette. 

I doubt very much that I will join your discussions for the simple fact that I do not much care for your manner. 

You might consider such things if you wish people to discuss with you.

But I will now leave 'your' thread so you can be as uncivil and bad mannered as you please. 

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16 hours ago, No Nicolaitans said:

One more verse...John 3:8...

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

In this, the Lord continues speaking in the present tense. He didn't say, "So will be every one that will be born of the Spirit."

 

 

Thanks for the contributions, NN, these are the very objections that need to be looked at.

 

Again, that Christ is teaching of what will take place in a future time is not denied grammatically, because see this over and over in Scripture, a good example being...

 

John 3:14-16

King James Version (KJV)

 

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

There is no distinction that believing on Christ is not demanded throughout the Lord's earthly Ministry, yet not one person, not even from among the disciples...believed on Christ and His Death, Burial, and Resurrection. It does not say "Whosoever believes on Him...after the Son of Man is lifted up," but simply states those who believe on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

 

Now here is something I would ask you to consider: does your argument presented deny certain aspects which I have pointed out, such as the basic truth that the Comforter did not come until after Christ returned to Heaven, or, that we know that the disciples in John 14 were not indwelt eternally by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? BEcause what usually happens is the numerous clear statements are not always examined and certain arguments (such as those already rpesented) are given merit that for some outweighs certain clear statements.

 

let's look at another one:

 

John 1:11-13

King James Version (KJV)

 

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

This marks the Timeline of events very distinctly. The "power to become the sons of God, to be born of God...began with the Incarnation. When we couple that with the fact that in the Old Testament Eras/Ages what takes place under the New Covenant remained Prophecy and Promise we are hard pressed to impose these elements of the New Covenant within the periods where other Covenants remained in effect (specifically the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants).

 

So I will admit that "The Lord would not have demanded men be born again if it were not possible" is at first glance a good argument, but, this is a statement that seems to be personally directed at a Teacher of Israel, rather than a congregational delivery. And just as we do not create Christian Doctrine from the Lord telling one man he must  "Go, sell all he owns, and then come and follow Christ," and try to impose that as a concrete means by which men obtain everlasting life, and, we do not bring conflict to the Word of God by having "two means" by which men can obtain everlasting life, neither do we take this teaching and try to impose something repeatedly shown to be Prophecy and Promise into a period which is clearly within the Age of Law.

And sorry, I know that is a long sentence, lol.

 

God bless.

 

 

16 hours ago, DaveW said:

So you are saying nobody was saved before this verse?

 

From the op:

And to be clear, I am not asking if men were "saved" before Pentecost, I am asking if men were regenerated prior to Pentecost.

 

God bless.

 

 

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53 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

I'm interested to see where this goes. :)

I often make the statement, "I reserve the right to be wrong." I mean it when I say it.

With that said, this is my understanding...

  1. Regeneration (being born again) is an immediate one-time act.
  2. Sanctification is also an immediate one-time act...but it is also a continuous act; in that, we grow in our knowledge, acts, and understanding (2 Timothy 2:19-21)...he is continuously working in our lives...making us more into his image.

 

It is important that we identify passages dealing with the progressive sanctification of the believer and Sanctification from the salvific level, meaning, the point where God sets apart the believer unto Himself, and we are "made holy," not by what we do, but by the very act of God saving us.

 

Positional Sanctification is seen here...

 

Hebrews 10:10-14

King James Version (KJV)

 

10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

The "for all" is an insertion of the Translators, but appropriate, because when one is sanctified by the Blood of Christ it is, as you say, a one-time event.

 

Secondly, we are made "perfect," or, "complete" in regards to the remission of sins the Sacrifice of Christ brings...for ever (which is not an insertion, it is in the text).

 

54 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

Both require the Spirit's work in the life of man. Only one of them requires the indwelling Spirit. Regeneration only requires a single act by the Spirit. Sanctification is both immediate and life-long, which requires the Holy Spirit's working in the life of man...requiring his indwelling presence. With that, and the words of the Lord himself in John 3, regeneration was not only possible, it was available, needed, and called for prior to Pentecost.

 

I would suggest that neither positional or progressive sanctification occurs apart from the Ministry of the Holy Spirit. One is positionally sanctified by the revelation of the Mystery of the Gospel to the individual being ministered to.

 

In order for regeneration to take place, I think most would agree that the Eternal Indwelling of God is necessary, and we know when that began: after Christ's Ascension.

 

No man believed on Christ prior to His death, and we can find no man that actually believed on Him after He rose again. He is forced to rebuke them for their unbelief, because they did not understand that He would, as He said, rise from the dead.

 

But more importantly, in regards to regeneration, is the simple truth that man is born outside of relationship to God on a spiritual and eternal level. The New Birth is in fact part and parcel with our being Baptized into God at salvation, which is why we have a "new heart" and a "new spirit."

 

54 minutes ago, No Nicolaitans said:

I would agree that from my understanding, Old Testament saints didn't have the indwelling Holy Spirit; however, also from my understanding, regeneration isn't required by the Spirit's permanent indwelling. It's a single act that takes place at one single time.

I reserve the right to be wrong.

 

Can we, with David, implore God to "Take not His Spirit from us?" Not at all.

 

The significance of the Eternal Indwelling in relation to the very New Birth Christ demands men must undergo cannot be stressed enough.

 

The significance of Atonement on an eternal level, rather than the temporal provision given to men in every Age prior to the Age of Grace/Church Age cannot be stressed enough either, for from Adam unto the Cross animal sacrifice was the only means of atonement for sin, which was temporary and temporal, rather than Eternal.

 

Out of time, but a couple verses to consider:

 

Genesis 4

King James Version (KJV)

 

And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

 

 

Hebrews 12:22-24

King James Version (KJV)

 

22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

 

One thing I ask any that might give this topic consideration to think about is what were the promises contained in the Prophecy of the New Covenant, and can we impose those elements into Ages prior to the New Covenant being established? Throughout the Book of Hebrews a contrast is drawn between the Covenant of Law (called "The First Covenant" and "Moses' Law") and the New Covenant, and there is an imploring of this Hebrew to his Hebrew brethren to "go on unto perfection," or in other words, the completion Christ brought about in regards to God's promises given unto men, beginning with Genesis 3:15.

 

This is why Christ could state "...it is finished."

Again, thanks to you, and all, who have contributed to the discussion so far.

 

God bless.

 

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Stop. Just ... stop. For heaven's sake, listen to yourselves.  Has anyone actually stepped back and looked at the pointless, inane basis for this "discussion" started by a complete stranger, a stranger that possesses an arrogance of the kind instrumental in destroying so many good churches today? Being doctrinally right does not put one on an automatic moral high ground. It's like Tyndale all over again. You keep feeding these guys by responding to them, because they crave attention and need to feel important.

The OP said "And to be clear, I am not asking if men were "saved" before Pentecost, I am asking if men were regenerated prior to Pentecost". Pages and pages of discussion that turns out to be regarding nothing but silly semantics and  childish word games over a basic 1st grade Bible doctrine. Because some dude walked in off the street and decided he was going to ... what? 

Where does he attend church? Does he attend church? Does he have a history of faithful service? 

Never trust a man who is "impossible to offend". Even Christ was offended. A man who is impossible to offend (look at Tyndale's posts) is a man wrapped up so tight in his own intellectualism he cares nothing for people, nor even for the actual subject he's touting itself. Think about it. Offense comes from passion, a passion for people and a passion for truth. A man with no offence is a man with no passion. These guys don't care about you, and they don't care about the truth. They care about being the one holding an intellectually superior position, and are constantly beating you over the head with it in order to maintain that superiority, if you'll stand there and let them. Again, actually step back and look at the shallowness of this subject, and compare it to all of the ...words... the OP has put into it. The same with the effort Tyndale has put into saying ,,, nothing. There is no substance. They're sucking all of the air out of the room, a man can't even breath in here any more.

 

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25 minutes ago, S.T.Ranger said:

So I will admit that "The Lord would not have demanded men be born again if it were not possible" is at first glance a good argument, but, this is a statement that seems to be personally directed at a Teacher of Israel, rather than a congregational delivery. And just as we do not create Christian Doctrine from the Lord telling one man he must  "Go, sell all he owns, and then come and follow Christ," and try to impose that as a concrete means by which men obtain everlasting life, and, we do not bring conflict to the Word of God by having "two means" by which men can obtain everlasting life, neither do we take this teaching and try to impose something repeatedly shown to be Prophecy and Promise into a period which is clearly within the Age of Law.

I agree with the premise, but in my view and understanding...what the Lord is telling Nicodemus is a universal truth that applies to all (ye must be born again). Whereas, in telling the one man to go, sell all that he owns, and then follow Christ...the Lord was trying to get the man to see that though he claimed to have kept the law from his youth, he had actually not kept the law and was trying to earn salvation by works. In his simple statement, the Lord exposed his folly. 

The law wasn't given as a means of salvation; rather, it was given to show men that they were sinners in need of salvation.

35 minutes ago, S.T.Ranger said:

Now here is something I would ask you to consider: does your argument presented deny certain aspects which I have pointed out, such as the basic truth that the Comforter did not come until after Christ returned to Heaven, or, that we know that the disciples in John 14 were not indwelt eternally by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?

I don't deny that by any means; however, the Lord was clear that regeneration was needed prior to Pentecost. It was available, and it was offered through the Spirit...just as it is the Spirit who does the work in regeneration in the "Church Age". In my studies, I haven't seen anything that says that the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is required for regeneration (or being born again). It is a one-time act. His indwelling (from my studies) pertains to his work in our lives after regeneration.

20 minutes ago, S.T.Ranger said:

I would suggest that neither positional or progressive sanctification occurs apart from the Ministry of the Holy Spirit. One is positionally sanctified by the revelation of the Mystery of the Gospel to the individual being ministered to.

Perhaps you may have misunderstood what I said...or more likely...I wasn't clear enough. I was saying that (in my view) sanctification is required by the indwelling Spirit, but regeneration isn't. I think we agree about sanctification (?). 

23 minutes ago, S.T.Ranger said:

No man believed on Christ prior to His death, and we can find no man that actually believed on Him after He rose again.

John 2:11
This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

John 2:22
When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

John 4:39
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

John 4:41
And many more believed because of his own word;

John 7:31
And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

John 8:30
As he spake these words, many believed on him.

John 8:31
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

John 10:42
And many believed on him there.

John 11:45
Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

John 12:11
Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

John 12:42
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

33 minutes ago, S.T.Ranger said:

The New Birth is in fact part and parcel with our being Baptized into God at salvation, which is why we have a "new heart" and a "new spirit."

I agree that we are made new (regenerated - born again) at the moment of salvation.

35 minutes ago, S.T.Ranger said:

Can we, with David, implore God to "Take not His Spirit from us?" Not at all.

Definitely not; however, as I've said earlier...I don't see that regeneration requires the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It's a one-time and immediate act...and would therefore be available and needed for man prior to Pentecost.

With all of that said, I think it's important to point out that Christ's death, burial, and resurrection were known in the Old Testament. However, the Israelites had become so indoctrinated into the works of the law that they couldn't see the law's purpose. The knowledge of Christ and his sacrifice was there; they just couldn't see it...

Luke 24:25-27
25   Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26   Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27   And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:44-46
44   And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
45   Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
46   And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

Knowledge of Christ, his death, burial, and resurrection were there for them to see...

As I look at every reference you've given, and I hope you take this in the respectful way that I mean it...I still don't see that regeneration requires the indwelling Holy Spirit. I understand your concerns about the Lord speaking only to Nicodemus, but to me, it's clear that regeneration was available, needed, and offered prior to Pentecost...and it was done through the Spirit.

I reserve the right to be wrong.

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