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Were Men Born Again Before Pentecost?

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  • Were Men Born Again Before Pentecost?

    This is one of my favorite discussions, one which impacts our Theology like few other topics do.

    If you don't mind, please share whether this is something you have ever given consideration to before.


    God bless.

  • #2
    Originally posted by atpollard View Post
    Could you clarify and expand upon this?

    I have some confusion about how you are using certain phrases and do not wish to hear something that you are not saying.
    Be glad to, and thanks for the opportunity to do so.

    Look back to the Ministry of Christ in the Gospels, and you will see something curious...very rarely does He mention the Gospel of Christ.

    Here is one such occasion, following Peter's declaration (which is revealed to Him by God) that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God:

    Matthew 16 (KJV)

    20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

    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.

    Two things would I mention at this point about Christ's Ministry, first, when He sent out the Disciples, they preached the Gospel of the Kingdom, not the Gospel of Christ, and here, we see, after divine revelation from the Father to Peter in which Peter is given the understanding of Christ, the disciples are forbidden to broadcast this. Secondlywhen the disciples were sent out, it was not to "the world," but to the Lost Sheep of Israel only. They were commanded not to go to the Gentiles and Samaritans.

    Now let's look at what happens next:

    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 is in opposition to the Gospel of Christ. We see that again when Peter takes up the sword in the Garden of Gethsemane in a desperate attempt to...keep Christ from the Cross.

    Now I mention this to point out that what Christ will teach them (particularly focused on in John 14 and 16) in regards to what happens after He returns to Heaven is clearly distinguished from the condition of revelation given during Christ's Ministry, and the Ministry which will be new when the Comforter is sent (see reference in John 16 in previous post).

    The Spirit of God has always ministered to and in the hearts of men, however, Christ's distinguishes the content of that revelation, as well as the nature of it. When He, the Comforter comes, He will be with them for ever (contrasted with Christ's departure), and He will enlighten the Disciples to the teachings which Christ presented to them. Again, we see that it is to the "world" that He will minister, and we know that they are unbelievers when ministered to because they "believe not" on Christ.



    Originally posted by atpollard View Post
    Is the 'Comforter' (the Holy Spirit, third person of the triune Godhead) the PRIMARY means that the call of God goes out in this age?
    What of our Great Commission to 'gossip the Gospel'?
    Absolutely, and without question, the Ministry of the Comforter is the primary means of revelation to the natural man in this Age.

    We need to keep in mind that while we may be used of God to convey the Gospel of Christ, we never, ever...enlighten natural minds. That is solely the work of God. We can change minds, but not hearts. We can convey the Gospel, but we have no part in that interaction that takes place between the hearer and the Holy Spirit. The Comforter convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Not us.


    Originally posted by atpollard View Post
    And are most people, therefore, resisting the irresistible call of God?

    (Hence my confusion and request for clarification.)
    Yes, though I would ask you to present your text that equates the Ministry of the Comforter upon the lost as an "irresistible call." .

    Scripture makes it clear that God reveals Himself to all men, and I would refer to the references already given in the previous post concerning the internal witness and testimony of Creation which reveals God to man. Now these two forms of revelation have always been present, but the greatest source of revelation is direct revelation, such as God speaking directly to man, God speaking to men through Prophets, and God speaking to men through Scripture. We know that the Ministry of the Comforter is something that begins after Christ's return to Heaven, but again, we know the Spirit of God has always ministered to men (consider Stephen charging Israel with always resisting the Holy Ghost), so we know that is not necessarily in view. What is in view is the revelation itself, which again...

    ...is the Gospel of Christ.

    Consider:

    Romans 16

    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:

    The Gospel of Christ was not revealed during the Ministry of Christ, but by the Comforter. And just as He revealed it to the Disciples, even so He is still doing that, for that is the means of salvation. He speaks to the hearts of men, and men respond one of two ways, receiving Christ, or rejecting Him.

    While some will think this to be "free will," it is not. Man in His natural condition has no ability to understand the spiritual things of God, the Gospel of Christ heading that list. It is only by revelation from God that the natural man is brought to an understanding whereby he might respond. And just as it was revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ, yet Peter rejected the Gospel of Christ and was in opposition to it, even so natural man can be enlightened to the truth and reject it.

    And again, we know it is the majority that will reject, because Christ always taught a many/few ratio in regards to salvation.

    One last passage to illustrate natural men being brought to the truth and rejecting it:

    2 Peter 2 (KJV)

    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    While those that teach, erroneously, loss of salvation use this to picture born again believers losing their salvation, in view are false teachers (compared to the false prophets of the Old Testaments (v.1)) who have been enlightened to the truth yet there has been no change in their nature...

    22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

    And it is the Comforter's Ministry in this Age to enlighten men, so again we consider Christ's statement here:


    John 16 (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;

    Again, the Spirit has always ministered among men, however, we see that revelation is progressive in Scripture. Abraham did not have the revelation David had, Abel did not have the revelation Abraham had, and none of the Old Testament Saints had the revelation we have. So it is not specifically the Holy Ghost ministering to men in view, but, specifically the revelation He conveys to the hearts of men concerning Christ.

    Hope that helps, or at least begins a broader discussion, and clarifies somewhat my statements in the previous post.


    God bless.
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
      What we need to understand about John 3:16 is that it teaches how we are saved and it is by belief in the Son.
      And the first question we ask is how many were believing in the Son of God prior to Pentecost, and we can include the Disciples of Christ.


      God bless.
      Comment>

      • #4
        I don't know. Does the Bible say? Is it important to know? My point is that belief is accomplished by the works of God, not man. It is belief in Jesus that saves according to John 3:16. That means believing what He taught, and by the Holy Spirit, what He teaches to whosoever He will even today.
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by Stratcat View Post


          I don't know. Does the Bible say?
          Well, that is is a very debated issue, lol.

          If you ask me, I would say that it is painfully clear that men were not born again before the coming of the Comforter, because it is at that time that we see the Eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the framework of the established New Covenant.

          Just as an example, consider:
          John 7 (KJV)

          38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

          39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
          When we understand the distinction made here about the Holy Ghost Who was given (and this after Christ's return to Heaven) and His (the Holy Ghost's) Ministry prior to Pentecost that we see the magnitude of Salvation in Christ as contrasted with salvation under Old Testament Economies.


          Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
          Is it important to know?
          I think so, yes. I see it as one of the most vital elements in regards to the revelation of the Gospel of Christ.

          I gave a few passages that show that the Gospel of Christ was not revealed prior to this Age, here is another:


          1 Corinthians 2

          7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

          8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

          9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

          10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

          It is not the wonders of Heaven in view, here, as is popularly taught by most, but the knowledge of Christ Himself.


          Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
          My point is that belief is accomplished by the works of God, not man.
          That is a little vague in your first statement, but...we agree. Salvation is wholly the work of Holy God, man does not, and cannot contribute to salvation at all.

          That is the point in regards to "free will," we agree that natural man has zero ability to understand the spiritual things of God. And you echo what I have said here:


          Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
          That means believing what He taught, and by the Holy Spirit, what He teaches to whosoever He will even today.

          Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
          It is belief in Jesus that saves according to John 3:16.
          Agree completely.


          Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
          That means believing what He taught,
          Now on that point we agree, but, I wonder, if we place His teachings in the same context.

          Christ taught in large part concerning the Kingdom of God in a context specific to Israel, and this in fulfillment of Prophecy. We cannot deny that the disciples were forbidden, when sent out to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, to go to the Gentiles or Samaraitans:


          Matthew 10 (KJV)

          5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

          6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

          7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.


          Matthew 15 (KJV)

          23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

          24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

          This does not deny that Christ was sent to take away the sins of the world, but, again we recognize that the Gospel of Christ was not revealed at that time. It would not be until after His Resurrection, and specifically Pentecost, when they were baptized with the Holy Ghost that they would understand the Gospel of Christ.


          Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
          and by the Holy Spirit, what He teaches to whosoever He will even today.

          And that was my point: It is the Spirit of God that reveals truth to the natural man. That does not mean that the revelation provided to men within that convicting ministry results in regeneration. The response determines regeneration.


          John 1 (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.

          We see that belief is demanded, and given as the means for salvation:


          1 John 5:1-5 (KJV)

          5 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

          2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

          3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

          4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

          5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?


          God bless.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
            If you ask me, I would say that it is painfully clear that men were not born again before the coming of the Comforter, because it is at that time that we see the Eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the framework of the established New Covenant.
            Just for clarification, you don't believe OT saints were born again? May I ask you to define the new birth?

            I find your statement rather shocking Ranger, especially when considering the message of Eternal Life long before the Apostolic office. You are suggesting that no one was born again, not any man that had demonstrated faith in the promise of Genesis 3:15, thereafter the fall, not Job, or even Isaiah? Have you considered all "the beautiful feet" throughout the OT to the NT?

            Isaiah in 52:7 "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

            Romans 10:13-15 - For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
            Please define the Rebirth, being born again, from above, or regeneration. We know that a man cannot see John 3:3 let alone enter the Kingdom John 3:5 without rebirth. Isaiah, the man that penned Isaiah, the man that saw the Lord sitting upon His throne, just clarifying, you do not believe that man was born again?

            Originally posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
            Just as an example, consider:
            John 7 (KJV)

            38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

            39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)



            When we understand the distinction made here about the Holy Ghost Who was given (and this after Christ's return to Heaven) and His (the Holy Ghost's) Ministry prior to Pentecost that we see the magnitude of Salvation in Christ as contrasted with salvation under Old Testament Economies.
            Again, I am asking for clarification. We are speaking of the Spirit of God from Eternity, that moved upon the face of the deep, that was in the Old Testament prophets and saints, and Zacharias and Elisabeth that were both filled with the Holy Spirit? That Holy Spirit?

            I'd like you to elaborate on that distinction, if you will, please. Clearly, first fruits were given in the OT by the Holy Spirit, though the full harvest hadn't yet come. In what sense was the Holy Spirit not yet given in John 7:38-39?

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by William View Post
              Just for clarification, you don't believe OT saints were born again? May I ask you to define the new birth?
              That is correct, I do not believe men were born again before Pentecost.

              Defining New Birth is both simple and complex, so I will sum it up and then invite you to engage in study of the issue. And I apologize in advance if my summary gets long, lol.

              So let's start with man's root problem. Do you believe man fell in Adam? What happened then? What is the condition men are born into? Well, they are born separated from God, and as Christ taught...condemned already. Consider a familiar statement:

              Titus 3:4-5

              King James Version

              4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

              5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

              Now most are going to look at the "renewing of the Holy Ghost" as directed at man, meaning man is renewed, but, I would suggest to you Paul has already covered this in "the washing of regeneration."

              The "renewing" speaks of that relationship which begins at salvation, and just to make it clear, the New Birth occurs at the same time as the eternal indwelling of God. We are "renewed" to that relationship with God at salvation, thus the "cleansing of new birth and the renewing of the Holy Ghost" cannot be separated. There are some who teach that men can be "saved," yet not receive the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. Just not the case.

              And that brings us to your amazement in regards to Old Testament Saints not being born again, and I ask you, can we consider one born again if they have not the Spirit? You quote the Old Testament to show the Spirit's presence in the lives of Old estament Saints, however, I will remind you of Christ's statement posted in the previous post:

              Originally posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
              John 7 (KJV)

              38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

              39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

              Of course the Holy Ghost has always ministered in, and through men, however, often overlooked is Christ's teaching concerning the coming Ministry of the Holy Ghost after He returns to Heaven. Here we see that the "rivers of living water" are clearly identified as taking place after He was glorified, and with that in mind, we can say dogmatically that this is different than what is taking place at that time.

              So I first want to point out that we do not separate the Eternal indwelling of God from what we consider the New Birth experience.

              Secondly, we see that the disciples were not Baptized with the Holy Ghost until Pentecost:


              Acts 1:4-5

              King James Version

              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.

              Now what is the promise of the Father? See Ezekiel 36:27 for an example of what is in view here. Consider John 14 and 16 where Christ speaks of the coming Ministry of the Holy Ghost. We all know that the Spirit of God "came upon" people in the Old Testament, but, Christ distinguishes what will happen shortly:

              John 14:16-17

              King James Version

              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.

              Again I want to mention man's condition, for he is born into this world separated from God, and except that condition be remedied during this life, they will go into eternal separation. Their condition doesn't change, only their habitation.

              Now, we consider the transformation of the New Birth whereby we are new creatures. Key to that "newness" is the fact that now we have...Eternal Life. If I asked you to define eternal life, how would you do so? Many view eternal life as though it were a substance, rather than what it truly is...

              ...the Person of God.

              We have Eternal Life because He Who is Eternal now dwells in us. Being born again is therefore the process effected in our lives where we are made alive, and not just alive, but have eternal life, and the indwelling of God. It is that indwelling that makes the change in our lives.

              And I will stop there on this point.


              Continued...
              Comment>

              • #8
                Didn't Job say that he knows that his Redeemer liveth? And in the Psalms? It is true that the Holy Spirit came and went before the resurrection, but that does not negate the fact that He also resided in those whom He had chosen in the OT. :cool:
                Comment>

                • #9



                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  I find your statement rather shocking Ranger, especially when considering the message of Eternal Life long before the Apostolic office.
                  Most do, lol.

                  I think for some it may be embarrassing because they have never given it thought before. I do my best to bring this issue to the attention of people, because when we understand the significance of the issue, we better understand what Christ accomplished on the Cross and in His Resurrection.

                  As far as the message, so too was the message of Redemption through Christ, from Genesis, in fact, yet...we don't designate Old Testament Saints as having received that either.

                  Consider:


                  Hebrews 9:12-15

                  King James Version

                  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.

                  We go back to the "Promise of the Father," and see here that while redemption was promised in the Old Testament, it was not until Christ died that the sins of the Old Testament Saint were forgiven in the completion that the Writer of Hebrews teaches.

                  This Chapter in Hebrews makes it very clear that the Old Testament Saints did not go into Heaven, but that entrance to Heaven was accomplished through the shed blood of Christ (His death). But that is another topic, though should be considered.


                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  You are suggesting that no one was born again, not any man that had demonstrated faith in the promise of Genesis 3:15, thereafter the fall, not Job, or even Isaiah? Have you considered all "the beautiful feet" throughout the OT to the NT?
                  Went to a funeral and saw an old Pastor of mine, and asked him, "Were men born again before Pentecost?" He begins by saying, "You see, men were saved..." then he stops, gives me a funny look, and asks, "Is this a trick question?"

                  I told him, no, I was very setrious, but, in his response he makes a mistake in what I am asking, because he is equating "being saved" with being born again.

                  TO be clear, I am not saying that men were not saved in the Old Testament, they were. However, as we just saw in Hebrews 9:12-15, they died with their sins still needing to be atoned for. When David died the last sacrifice for his sin would have been an animal, and Hebrews makes it clear that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin.

                  Only Christ's Sacrifice can do that. And if we try to apply the Atonement to the Old Testament Saint prior to it taking place, then we contradict what the Writer of Hebrews teaches. He makes it clear that the transgression under the Covenant of Law were redeemed, again, by Christ's own blood (death), not the offerings of the Law.


                  Originally posted by William View Post


                  Isaiah in 52:7 "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

                  Romans 10:13-15 - For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
                  Again we look at the Mystery of Christ. God reveals Himself to man in three primary ways, through an internal witness all men have, through Creation itself, and through direct revelation. And unless we want to contradict Paul's teaching that the Gospel was not revealed in prior Ages, then we have to understand that understanding of the Gospel, though prophesied, was not given to men back then.

                  Peter affirms this:


                  1 Peter 1

                  King James Version

                  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.

                  The Old Testament Prophet prophesied...of the grace that was to come. If it was happening then...it wouldn't be prophetic, Peter defining it as something yet to come.

                  And in 1 Peter 1, Peter mentions the New Birth twice:


                  1 Peter 1

                  King James Version

                  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,


                  23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  Please define the Rebirth, being born again, from above, or regeneration.
                  All speak of the same thing, which is being born of God, whereby we are then sons of God.

                  Probably the most popular argument against men not being born again is that Christ demanded it...so it must have been possible. You offer that argument yourself, and it is understandable. I would suggest two things, first, that being born from above is euphemistic of being born of God, and secondly we see Christ demanding things not possible at the time of the teaching.

                  For example, Christ tells them to receive the Spirit before He has fulfilled what He said must take place, that is, He must "go away." Secondly, we have already seen in John 7:38-39 that He must be glorified. So what we can say is that men were not being Baptized with the Spirit until the Baptizer, Christ...returned to Heaven. The very day He ascended He told the Disciples that they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost "not many days hence," and then He ascended.


                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  We know that a man cannot see John 3:3 let alone enter the Kingdom John 3:5 without rebirth.
                  Now here is the question: if the Gospel of Christ was not being revealed (and we know it was not, it was still a Mystery), then what Kingdom is in view?

                  It is the very Kingdom that was promised to Israel, which is the Millennial Kingdom still yet to come. And for A-millennials, this statement will sometimes shut their hearts to a sincere study of this issue, because it conflicts with their eschatology. I ask all who might read this that they sincerely give this study.

                  Christ's Ministry was specific to Israel. As mentioned in a previous post, when Christ sent our the disciples, they preached the Gospel of the Kingdom, and were forbidden to go unto Gentiles and Samaritans:


                  Originally posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
                  Matthew 10 (KJV)

                  5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

                  6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

                  7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.


                  Matthew 15 (KJV)

                  23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

                  24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

                  This again correlates with Paul's teaching that the Gospel was a mystery revealed by the Spirit, prophesied in the Old Testament and quoted in 1 Corinthians 2:6-10. The focus was on Israel and when Christ taught, He taught within the parameters of what had already been revealed.

                  That's a tough thought for one to consider, but again, I would ask the reader to consider it. Many of the Parables of Christ make more sense when understood in that context.


                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  Isaiah, the man that penned Isaiah, the man that saw the Lord sitting upon His throne, just clarifying, you do not believe that man was born again?
                  No, I do not. Saved? Yes. But indwelt by the Comforter?

                  No.

                  This ddoesn't mean the Holy Ghost did not minister to and through Him, we know He did. This Ministry is evidenced in Isaiah's ministry. Isaiah was used to reveal the will of God to men. God did this with a donkey once as well.

                  But that is the "with you" as contrasted with the "in you" Christ's speaks about in John 14. He came upon men, rather than that which is fulfilled when the New Covenant is established, where He comes into us on an eternal basis.


                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  Again, I am asking for clarification. We are speaking of the Spirit of God from Eternity, that moved upon the face of the deep, that was in the Old Testament prophets and saints,
                  true, but we are also distinguishing a Ministry of the Holy Spirit that was not effected in the Old Testament.



                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  and Zacharias and Elisabeth that were both filled with the Holy Spirit?
                  Born again believers are also "filled with the Holy Spirit," that is not the same as being indwelt. Paul does not exhort believers to continually be indwelt by the Spirit of God, but to be...filled.


                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  That Holy Spirit?
                  There is only One God.

                  The Same Holy Ghost.


                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  I'd like you to elaborate on that distinction, if you will, please. Clearly, first fruits were given in the OT by the Holy Spirit, though the full harvest hadn't yet come. In what sense was the Holy Spirit not yet given in John 7:38-39?

                  God bless,
                  William
                  But to be consistent we would not just see a handful of Old Testament Believers born again, they would have all been. So the issues to consider would be first, remission of sins, which did not take place under Old Testament Economies, which was for those Ages accomplished through vicarious animal sacrifice. Those sacrifices did not take away sin, and they did not bestow remission of sins in perfection.

                  Secondly, we do not confuse being saved with being born again, which as explained previously, is a New Covenant fulfillment of what was only promised in the Old Testament.

                  Third, we do not separate the indwelling of God with the transformation that creates.

                  Fourth, we understand the New Birth as a spiritual resurrection of that which had no life, and I will end this response with a passage I think helps us to better understand that Christ is Eternal Life, and that eternal life is not merely a substance poured into a believer:


                  John 6

                  King James Version

                  48 I am that bread of life.

                  49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

                  50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

                  51I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

                  52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

                  53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

                  The Old Testament is largely physical/temporal, contrasted with the spiritual/eternal nature of revelation in the New Testament. In the Old Testament we see the types which stood in the place of the true. For example, life was sustained in the Wilderness by a physical bread, contrasted here by Christ with the True Bread which came from Heaven and gives eternal life. He makes it clear that this eternal life is His flesh, or in another words, He is speaking about His death, which all of the New Testament repeatedly reaffirms as the only source of life.

                  The fathers received that bread, and are...dead. So Christ is not equating the provision of the Old Testament with the provision come from Heaven.

                  Again, the Old Testament's salvation was just as secure as ours, but, that does not mean we impose what was only promise in those days with that which has been fulfilled in Christ. And when we begin to understand this, we better understand the relationship God had with men under those economies, which simply contributes to our our understanding of the magnitude of Christ's Work.


                  God bless.
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                    Didn't Job say that he knows that his Redeemer liveth? And in the Psalms? It is true that the Holy Spirit came and went before the resurrection, but that does not negate the fact that He also resided in those whom He had chosen in the OT. :cool:
                    Again, there is no denial that the holy Spirit Ministered in and through men, and again, I ask those who will to address the Scripture provided where we clearly see these ministries of the Holy Ghost distinguished from each other.

                    Here are a couple:


                    Originally posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
                    John 14:16-17

                    King James Version

                    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.
                    Originally posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
                    Acts 1:4-5

                    King James Version

                    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.
                    Originally posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
                    John 7 (KJV)

                    38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

                    39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

                    In this last, it is clear that "the Holy Ghost was not yet given."

                    Those who would equate the ministries of the Holy Ghost under the Covenant of Law and the New Covenant can begin here.

                    Some will view "the Baptism with the Holy Ghost as an empowering," however, no-one was being Baptized with the Holy Ghost until the Baptizer, Christ...came.

                    Matthew 3

                    King James Version

                    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.

                    There are two options given here, fire (judgment), or salvation. Either one will be gathered into His garner as wheat, or they will be burned up with unquenchable fire. At that time, the baptism of John was a baptism of repentance, and that was what was available to them. Christ baptizing with the Spirit is a future event, also testified by Christ:


                    Acts 1:4-8

                    King James Version

                    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 were still waiting on the Promise (Ezekiel 36:22-27, where we see the clearest prophecy of the New Birth).

                    And again, some will view this Baptism as empowerment, but the empowerment comes after one has been Baptized with the Holy Ghost:


                    6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

                    7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

                    8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

                    Truly men are empowered when they are indwelt by God, but, we cannot confuse the indwelling with being filled with the Spirit. This is what distinguishes promise from fulfillment. Thus we do not deny the Spirit of God coming upon men in the Old TEstament, and sometimes they were not even believers, such as Caiaphas prophesying of Christ dying for the nation.

                    The Holy Spirit was with them, but the day was coming, according to Christ, that He would be in them:


                    Originally posted by S.T.Ranger View Post
                    John 14:16-17

                    King James Version

                    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.

                    This...

                    John 14:23

                    King James Version

                    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.

                    ...was not taking place at the time of the teaching.


                    God bless.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus he told him the new birth was necessary for one to see the kingdom of God and expressed surprise that Nicodemus didn't now this already. This conversation happened before Pentecost so people must have been born again before Pentecost. What happened at Pentecost was that the Holy Spirit united all believers into a new body called the church and came to live in them permanently. Those who first experienced this had already been born again through their faith in Jesus.
                      Clyde Herrin's Blog
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                        When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus he told him the new birth was necessary for one to see the kingdom of God and expressed surprise that Nicodemus didn't now this already. This conversation happened before Pentecost so people must have been born again before Pentecost. What happened at Pentecost was that the Holy Spirit united all believers into a new body called the church and came to live in them permanently. Those who first experienced this had already been born again through their faith in Jesus.
                        Two quick points, as I am short on time this morning:

                        1. There are a number of commands/directives given by the Lord that were not possible to be fulfilled at that time, and while this argument sounds good, it does not stand up under scrutiny. First, we consider that the Gospel of Christ was at this time a Mystery, which negates the possibility that the disciples had faith in Christ. The testimony of Scripture is contrary to that notion, and we can see it plainly in the fact that not one of the disciples had enough faith in Christ (in His salvific role as Sacrifice) to stand with Him when He was taken. Peter, having been given the Gospel in Matthew 16:21-22, actually rebukes the Lord and says "This shall never be unto thee." Then, he takes up a sword in an attempt, with physical means, to keep Christ from the Cross. Then, when the Lord is taken, he curses and denies he even knows Christ. In John 16:30-32 Christ questions their belief. In Mark 16:9-11 we see their unbelief that He had risen.

                        Hardly a picture of the requirement for belief.

                        Concerning commands given that could not be fulfilled at the time, Christ's general Ministry is a prime example. Men were told they must believe, yet it would not be until after Christ died and rose again that men would be able to place faith in the risen Christ.

                        2. We must consider the "Kingdom" in view. While in general we understand that of course the Kingdom which is the spiritual rule and reign of God is in view, we must look at Nicodemus and his understanding according to Prophecy. He would not have been privy to the Kingdom you and I have as a result of our access to the New Testament. The Kingdom he would have known would have been that Kingdom that had been revealed to Him, which was a physical Kingdom with a physical man on the Throne of David.

                        And we see even the disciples had this understanding...and this after Christ's resurrection:


                        Acts 1:4-8

                        King James Version

                        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.

                        6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

                        I think you can appreciate this, Theophilus, if you are still futurist. Think about what is said here. The Lord has just told them they are going to be Baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence, which is precisely what you refer to in your response...the establishment of the Church, where we are immersed into God and made "one man" in Christ.

                        What is the Kingdom they ask if the Lord is going to restore to Israel?

                        It is the Kingdom promised to them in Old Testament Prophecy.

                        We can see their hearts are still carnal (meaning physical, rather than sinful), and just as Peter thought he could help the Lord usher in that Kingdom by taking up the sword in the Garden, even so here their hearts yearn for that Kingdom Promise.

                        Does the Lord deny that Kingdom or imply a new plan has been formed? Read on...



                        7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

                        8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

                        That Kingdom will be established one day, and the requirement will be demanded, for only those born again in the Tribulation will enter it, for all unbelievers will have perished when the Millennial Kingdom is established. Daniel 12 provides a 75 day period that follows the seven years from the beginning of the Tribulation. In Matthew 25 we see that the unbelieving population that remains on the earth will be separated from the Sheep (believers) and destroyed. As Christ taught, those not born again will not enter.

                        Now I will leave you with one question: can one be born again yet not have received the Holy Spirit? Some teach this. They construe the Baptism with the Holy Spirit with "empowerment," which we can see throughout Biblical History (i.e., Prophets, Priests, and Kings), yet Christ distinguishes between empowerment and the Baptism itself (v.8). secondly, Christ is the Baptizer, and makes it clear that the Spirit He was sending could not come until He had returned to Heaven. If I remember correctly, you rightly distinguish between the Spirit coming upon people in the Old Testament and coming into people in the New, and this is true, in fulfillment of Ezekiel 36:27 (see Ezekiel 36:22-27 for the clearest Old Testament reference to the Promise of New Birth).

                        Christ's statement is simple...no man will see nor enter the Kingdom of God apart from being born from above, which is euphemistic for being born of God. John 1:11-13 makes it clear that being born of God correlates to the Incarnation, and combined with the fact that the Gospel of Christ, and Gentile Inclusion were both mysteries not yet revealed, we would have to deny Gentile salvation in the Old Testament, because what was taking place for the Gentiles beginning at Pentecost...had not happened before.


                        God bless.
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Except we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit we are none of His. This applies to all who are saved, that they have the indwelling Holy Spirit. We must be born again because Jesus says we must. John 3:7-8 KJV. This was before the Pentecost, before Jesus' resurrection.
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                          • #14
                            John 14:16 of the other comforter is the Holy Spirit taking over where Jesus left off in the flesh. Jesus was sending the Spirit to abide within the believer, not just with the people.
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stratcat View Post
                              Except we have the anointing of the Holy Spirit we are none of His. This applies to all who are saved, that they have the indwelling Holy Spirit. We must be born again because Jesus says we must. John 3:7-8 KJV. This was before the Pentecost, before Jesus' resurrection.
                              Kind of hard to have people having the Spirit associated with the New Covenant when He had not come yet:


                              John 16

                              King James Version

                              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.


                              John 7

                              King Jmaes Version

                              37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

                              38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

                              39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)


                              The Lord speaks to the disciples about the Promise of the Father:


                              Acts 1:4-5

                              King James Version

                              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.

                              The Spirit we receive in this Age is that Holy Spirit promised to Israel in Ezekiel 36:27, and this distinguishes the difference between salvation under Old Testament Economies and salvation in Christ. We cannot equate the two.

                              Christ distinguishes between the Spirit being with the disciples prior to Pentecost, and the Spirit being in them after:

                              John 14:16-17

                              King James Version

                              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.

                              I agree, those who do not have the Spirit are not His in the New Covenant sense, Paul makes that clear:

                              Romans 8:8-9

                              King James Version 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
                              9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

                              This does not mean that Old Testament Saints did not belong to God, we keep in mind this statement is post-Pentecost. However, the question in view is were men born again before Pentecost, which makes us look at what it means to be saved. So I will ask the question again, can one be born again apart from having the eternal indwelling of the Spirit of God.

                              Another issue that has to be considered is in regards to sin. Under Old Testament Economies sin was dealt with through the sacrifice of animals in the place of men (and of course we don't limit sacrifice to animals only), and the remission granted was temporary, without completion, which is why they had to be continually offered. No Old Testament Saint benefited in advance from the Atonement, Hebrews makes that quite clear:


                              Hebrews 9:12-15

                              King James Version

                              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.

                              The "us" of v.12 refers to both Old and New Testament Saints. It was at the time of Christ's death that sins were forgiven in the completion only Christ could achieve, and, I would add, that the Old Testament Saint was delivered from Hades to go into the presence of God.

                              So that brings us to another question: can one be born again yet not have had their sins forgiven?


                              God bless.


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