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questions about the church

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by bigczardaddy, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. 4study

    4study New Member

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    ituttut,

    I think we've reached a point where we can go no further. There are too many assumptions we're both making that we've lost each other. Perhaps I'm not being clear but I think its rather due to the different views we have.

    I think this proves that the discussion over whether the church is "local" or "visible" depends upon many other things that we believe (i.e. covenant, Isreal, the new birth, to name a few). It is not as cut and dry as people might think.
     
  2. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    Exactly ituttut. Although you will find those who refuse to acknowledge that the church is spoken of in the NT as being not only the local fellowship but also as the Body of Christ as a whole using words like "generic" rather than seeing this as specific instructions from the Apostle of three very real (not generic) groups. That there will be those who dont see and agree is the reality of our existence and why the church is so segmented. It will be wonderful when the Lord returns and sets all things in order in our thinking and in our understanding.

    Bro Tony
    </font>[/QUOTE]Amen Bro Tony. This is our hope, and our prayer.
     
  3. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    You still seem confused regarding nomenclature. What you have described is never called the "universal church" in the bible. All born again believes are "in Christ" are "seated with Him in the Heavenlies" are our "brothers and sisters" but not all believers are church members. All believers are part of the Kingdom of God and the Family of God, but not all are church members.

    It is not the concept you can't seem to understand, but the nomenclature.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Can you show me my inability to understand the terminology? I’m not quite sure what you are pointing to. Thanks.
     
  4. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    I think we've reached a point where we can go no further. There are too many assumptions we're both making that we've lost each other. Perhaps I'm not being clear but I think its rather due to the different views we have.

    I think this proves that the discussion over whether the church is "local" or "visible" depends upon many other things that we believe (i.e. covenant, Isreal, the new birth, to name a few). It is not as cut and dry as people might think.
    </font>[/QUOTE]As you wish. Christian faith, ituttut
     
  5. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    Yes. You keep describing the Family of God but keep calling it "The Church." I have a two year old grandson who does the same thing. Every time he sees a cow he says "horsey." [​IMG]
     
  6. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    OK since there seems to be a goodly degree of civility on everyone's part, I will respond.

    I said that it seems that these ("wife of the Lamb", "Bride") are synonomous "types" of the Church when the Scriptures speak of the redeemed in heaven. The word "Church' (as far as I can tell) is not used of the redeemed in heaven.

    Obviously in heaven there would be not be those "tare" members within but only "wheat" (gather the wheat into my barn[garner]), the tares are to be bundled and burned at the end of the age in keeping with Jesus statement that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". My opinion of course.

    Who are the nations spoken of in the Revelation 21? IMO, possibly the nations which are saved out of (The) Great Tribulation of Revelation 7. However, they serve Him in the Temple (perhaps they go back and forth).

    If you like to view them as being within the boundaries of the New Jerusalem as a City-State ruling over the nations that sounds reasonable and is a fulfilment of the Abrahamic Covenant.

    Genesis 22
    18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

    And that obedience...
    Genesis 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

    HankD
     
  7. 4study

    4study New Member

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    HankD,

    The terms “wife” and “bride” are not types, they denote relationship, and a particular kind of relationship at that.

    IMO, to be part of the Holy City, is to be part of the “peculiar people” of God. The nations are composed of various levels of born-again, non-elect, persons. The various levels having to do with degrees of choices about God (i.e. faithfulness, unfaithfulness, etc.)
     
  8. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    OK. That is your perogative.

    Soul Liberty is alive and well here at the BB.

    HankD
     
  9. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    Yes. You keep describing the Family of God but keep calling it "The Church." I have a two year old grandson who does the same thing. Every time he sees a cow he says "horsey." [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]Ha! Ha! I like that. But could this be those overlooking the Body of Christ Church“ in the Family of God, those that are born again. Do you see the “covenant” and nothing else? What was the purpose of Jesus speaking to Saul on Damascus Road? Was it to appoint another “earthly Apostle” to the Jew? The Gentile has to be brought into the “Family of God”, and it is in this period from the Christian until Rapture that this will be accomplished. Your understanding grandson will come to know the difference for he sees the connection that an animal is an animal, but some are known by other names. Today we are called Christian, not Covenant.

    I have a 4 yr. old great granddaughter that believes when I ignore her, she will do the same with me. If she thinks I have not paid attention to what she has said, she responds, “Gramps – speak to my hands for my face can’t hear you.” Sometimes we are just determined to ignore what is before us. When scripture describes the Body of Christ Church, it is not the Family of God. It is The Christian in the Family of God. Christian faith, ituttut.
     
  10. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    I am not sure what you mean, but when you say "body of Christ" do you mean His literal Body, in heaven, we are all "in" and "one with" and "seated with" or do you mean the local body of believers assembled to do the Lord's work?
    Non-sequitur. It has nothing to do with the covenant. It has to do with the fact that the church is an organized assembly of baptized believers.
    It was 1. to save him, and 2. to call him as a missionary.
    There is neither Jew nor Gentile for we are all one in Christ.
    Yes, and hopefully, you will see that even though there are similarities between the Family of God and the church they are not the same thing. [​IMG]
    I don't recall making a contrary claim. [​IMG]
    I have noticed that. Tradition overrules scripture. Even though the "universal church" is not found in scripture, it is found in tradition, so it is accepted without question.
    I know! When the church discusses the church which is His body it is talking about the organized assembly of baptized believers.
    Huh?
     
  11. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    I am not sure what you mean, but when you say "body of Christ" do you mean His literal Body, in heaven, we are all "in" and "one with" and "seated with" or do you mean the local body of believers assembled to do the Lord's work?

    I believe you will agree church means “called out”. There was a church before Jesus with promises of this earth; they (Israel) were “called out”. Today there are churches of this earth that Christian’s belong to endeavoring to do His will, and it is not the churches that are saved but the individual Christian that belongs to the Body of Christ Church, of which He is the Head.

    We are in Him today, and this “mystery” was not made known to man until Christ from heaven revealed it to Saul/Paul. Within this “mystery” we also find this Body of Christ Church will be raptured. Earthly churches will remain.

    We Christians are the church (Temple) today, and we belong to assemblies. The Baptist denomination has “believers” that do the will of God, as do the Methodist, Christian, Catholic assemblies, etc. But everybody that belongs to these assemblies are not in the Body of Christ, even though they may do many good deeds. They are in the churches, but not in the Body of Christ Church.

    Non-sequitur. It has nothing to do with the covenant. It has to do with the fact that the church is an organized assembly of baptized believers.

    But sequitur exists if you are saying the church is an organized assembly of baptized believers, i.e. if you are saying “water baptized believers” and all are saved in the assembly. That was my question “Do you see the “covenant” and nothing else?

    It was 1. to save him, and

    Amen!

    2. to call him as a missionary.

    Acts 26:16, ”But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;”

    There is neither Jew nor Gentile for we are all one in Christ.

    Agree, but for today only. It was not always so. We find this out when we read the writings of Paul, along with many other things Christ told Paul when He appeared to Paul. But notice how all today are saved. Not as the Jew, but as a Gentile – Acts 15:11, ”But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” It was impossible for anyone to be saved by the grace of God until after Damascus Road, as being saved by Grace, through faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, was still a “secret”. That is if we believe the gospel of Paul. This began the Body of Christ Church.

    Yes, and hopefully, you will see that even though there are similarities between the Family of God and the church they are not the same thing. [​IMG]

    That’s my claim

    I don't recall making a contrary claim. [​IMG]

    Then I am mistaken. Perhaps you see as I, the head (Mind of the Body) is Christ, and in every member of His Church.

    I have noticed that. Tradition overrules scripture. Even though the "universal church" is not found in scripture, it is found in tradition, so it is accepted without question.

    Agree, if you are speaking of earthly churches of men.[

    I know! When the church discusses the church which is His body it is talking about the organized assembly of baptized believers.

    Water baptized believers?

    Huh?
    </font>[/QUOTE]We are in the Body of Christ who is in the kingdom of God.
     
  12. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    The word "ekklhsia" means "a called out assembly. See Acts 19 where the word is translated "assembly" in most English versions.
    No. Israel was never "a church" or "the church." The church is strictly a NT phenomenon.
    You have contradicted yourself. The churches today are the people. The church is not the organization, it is the organism. Each and every scriptural local church is a body of believers belonging to Christ, the body of Christ. This is not to be confused with Christ's literal, physical body which is in heaven, Whom we (the saved) are all one with, seated with, etc. All the saved are part of His literal, physical body, but all the saved are not members of local bodies of believers belonging to Christ.
    Christ started the church during His Earthly ministry, empowered it on the day of Pentecost by sending the Holy Spirit to baptize it, and taught it via the NT writings of Paul, Peter, and John.
    No. The bible calls that entity either the Kingdom of God or the Family of God.
    As the church is an organized assembly of baptized believers, the believers in churches will all be caught up, as well as all believers not in churches. No "partial rapture."
    It is the other way around. The church today is the Temple of God. In the OT God had one Temple for His people. In the NT He has one people for His Temple.
    You, again, have used the word "church" in an unscriptural manner. There is no such thing as "The Methodist Church" or "The Baptist Church" or "The Catholic Church." Churches are "organized, assemblies, of baptized believers." There are, in my opinion, saved people in those organizations, but the presence of saved people does not make those organizations true New Testament churches.
    I am sorry, but you still are not making any sense.
    We are not talking about "always." We are talking about the identity of the New Testament church.
    That is pure heresy! Everybody, from the time of Adam until today, who is saved was saved by grace. There is no other way to be saved. David, under the Law, was saved by grace alone according Romans 4:6, and Abraham, before the Law, was also saved by grace according to Romans 4:3. It is impossible to be saved by anything other than grace according to Hebrews 10:4. And grace and works can never be mixed, for if you try to mix them the one nullifies the other according to Romans 11:6.
    That is what I have been saying all along! [​IMG]
    Yes. Water baptism is a requirement for membership in the local New Testament church.
    The local church is a body of believers belonging to Christ, and those believers are all members of the Kingdom of God, but all members of the Kingdom of God are not church members.
     
  13. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    is the problem here because some are assuming that water baptism equals salvation and so by having a church of baptized people we believe that ALL are automatically saved if they belong to our church?
     
  14. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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  15. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    IMO, the problem is a logical one: the confusion caused by intersecting sets with different parental connections of the members.

    A baptized in water member of a local church may be of his father the devil (tare).

    Another baptized in water member of the same local church has God as His father (wheat).

    They are both members of the local church (well, the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 13) but connected to two different parents.

    Not a problem for the Lord, at the end of the age will come the separating and set removal with reclassification and relocation.

    Our problem is one of nomenclature.

    Matthew 13
    40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
    41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
    42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
    43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

    In the terminology of the science of Information Technology, the Church of Matthew 16 is IMO, a "view", that is, it is a picture of the Church as a temporary collection of exclusive members (the born-again excluding the unregenerate) in order to process additional information concerning the members of this distinctive set which Jesus calls "my church" that information being "the gates of hell will not prevail against it".

    So, IMO, the phrase, the *universal Church" is acceptable (though I don't like the word "universal" but I don't know what other word to use) if by it one means a view of the collection of all born again NT believers.

    Why not "the Church at large" "Chistendom" or simply "the churches" ?

    Because it/they may contain in membership the children of the devil.

    It would seem that once this purging is accomplished the "Church" is reclassified by other nomenclature: RE: The New Jerusalem, the wife of the Lamb, etc.

    HankD
     
  16. 4study

    4study New Member

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    HankD,

    I hope you don’t mind if I add some comments here.

    IMO, we need to distinguish the church between what we physically see and what only God knows. I believe one of the functions of the church is to be a witness of what the body of Christ is. Now since we’re human, the witness is not usually what it ought to be. So while we may recognize so-and-so as a member of a local church, God is the only one who makes the final recognition. In our theology, we cannot include the tares as members of the church since God Himself does not. There are no intersecting sets. Only one body, only one set.

    Given your commentary on the parable of the wheat and tares, I can understand why you may arrive at those ideas. I, on the other hand, do not equate “the kingdom of the heavens”, in the parables of Matt. 13 with the church. IMO, the “kingdom of the heavens” is the world. The world being the “order” of things God has established: i.e., thrones, dominions, principalities, powers (Col. 1:16). The church, while included in the kingdom, is only one set among many. The other sets, I believe, are also composed of born-again individuals.

    4study
     
  17. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    I agree. My nomenclature for the first is "Christendom" or "professing Christianity" the other would be what is called by some the Body of Christ, wife of the Lamb, Bride of Christ..

    Personally, I make it known beforehand that whatever term I use for the "universal Church" exactly what I mean: That Body of born-again NT belivers baptised in the Spirit by Jesus Christ.

    Yes, this subject can get confusing without a definition of terms and even after that there will be disagreement.

    For example some differentiate between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven.

    Do these "other sets" of born-again individuals appear before or after Pentecost of Acts 2? May I have an example?


    HankD
     
  18. 4study

    4study New Member

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    HankD,

    I derive this idea from what I believe to be the 70 nations of Gen. 10.
     
  19. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    The word "ekklhsia" means "a called out assembly. See Acts 19 where the word is translated "assembly" in most English versions.

    Agree, as you can see in my post of the “called out” Quote “There was a church before Jesus with promises of this earth; they (Israel) were “called out.” Unquote. Their promises were of the “earth”. We agree. The nation of Israel is a “called out” people to the Temple that was on the earth. We today are a “called out” people in the Body of Christ who is alive and in heaven, to which we are destined. Was the message to that “assembly” of the church of God on earth, the same message as our “called out “assembly” of the Body of Christ?

    No. Israel was never "a church" or "the church." The church is strictly a NT phenomenon.

    How can that be – Acts 7:38, ”This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us”. You are correct that the Body of Christ is a NT phenomenon, once Christ revealed this information to us.

    You have contradicted yourself. The churches today are the people. The church is not the organization, it is the organism. Each and every scriptural local church is a body of believers belonging to Christ, the body of Christ. This is not to be confused with Christ's literal, physical body which is in heaven, Whom we (the saved) are all one with, seated with, etc. All the saved are part of His literal, physical body, but all the saved are not members of local bodies of believers belonging to Christ.

    You have misread, and contradicted yourself, as to you contention that there is no “universal” church. You are saying “each and every scriptural local church is a body of believers belonging to Christ, the body of Christ: You speak of a “universal” church, unless you are saying Christ Jesus is not the head of the Body.

    Christ started the church during His Earthly ministry, empowered it on the day of Pentecost by sending the Holy Spirit to baptize it, and taught it via the NT writings of Paul, Peter, and John.

    But Cassidy does it not strike you as odd that you could not have known this if you hadn’t read the writings of Paul first? What does Jesus say, and what was understood while He was on earth? ”The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it,” Luke 16:16. The law and the prophets were not “mystery”, and the kingdom of God is “at hand” that was preached by John the Baptist, Jesus and the Apostles is no “mystery”.

    So what is the “secret” in the “mysteries of God” that Jesus revealed to Paul? It has to be something that no man could ever dream of. Is it not the “Body of Christ”? Is it not that the Gentile is saved through faith, for the heathen could not be saved as the Jew which is b faith, so all today are saved as the Gentile, which is through the faith of Jesus ChristRomans 3:30, ”Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.”

    No. The bible calls that entity either the Kingdom of God or the Family of God.

    Please enlighten me by scripture free of contradiction with the Word.

    As the church is an organized assembly of baptized believers, the believers in churches will all be caught up, as well as all believers not in churches. No "partial rapture."

    Do I understand you correctly? If so, you believe the same as I, we all being baptized with the Holy Spirit. Are, are you saying all that are “water baptized” will be caught up?

    It is the other way around. The church today is the Temple of God. In the OT God had one Temple for His people. In the NT He has one people for His Temple.

    Where is the “mystery” if all is the same as before (without the Only Begotten Son of God)? We are in the Body of Christ the Church.

    Before Pentecost Israel had a church, and we know that church “split” with the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost. Even with the signs and wonders performed by those empowered with the Holy Ghost, the “kingdom that was at hand” would not come for Israel would be cut-off. Matthew 18:17 reveals Christ refers to His disciples as “the church” so it was this “Jewish” church that believers were added when Pentecost came.

    Some few years after the stoning of Stephen (this is when Israel was cut-off) we find God has Saul out of Judah and Jerusalem and in Gentile territory. God wants His heavenly Apostle away from the influence of both branches of the Jewish church to personally indoctrinate His new “standard bearer”, not in the City of God, Jerusalem where the “Jewish church” is located, but in “heathen” territory to form a new church, a Body of believers called “Christian”. This is where the Body of Christ Church will be launched, and the “grace commission” will cover the whole earth. We in the Body of Christ Jesus are the “Church” in Jesus Christ, and we belong to men’s “called out assemblies”. Acts 11:26 informs the “called out assembly” (church) is not called Christian but, “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” We are the Christian church assembled in Christ, attending churches down here.

    You, again, have used the word "church" in an unscriptural manner. There is no such thing as "The Methodist Church" or "The Baptist Church" or "The Catholic Church." Churches are "organized, assemblies, of baptized believers." There are, in my opinion, saved people in those organizations, but the presence of saved people does not make those organizations true New Testament churches.

    How about I call the Baptist church a church with baptized believers, and you call the Baptist assembly an assembly of baptized believers?

    I am sorry, but you still are not making any sense.

    Perhaps if I rephrase – You brought into conversation “the church is an organized assembly of baptized believers.” I just wondered if you see the “covenant” gospel of the “great commission” is now in effect. To me you seem to lean in that direction as your use of the phrase “the church is an organized assembly of baptized believers”, with no clarification of our baptism with the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. Appreciate your patience with my inability to correctly convey my thoughts.

    We are not talking about "always." We are talking about the identity of the New Testament church.

    Then I agree if you are talking about the Body of Christ, where we are assembled.

    That is pure heresy! Everybody, from the time of Adam until today, who is saved was saved by grace. There is no other way to be saved. David, under the Law, was saved by grace alone according Romans 4:6, and Abraham, before the Law, was also saved by grace according to Romans 4:3. It is impossible to be saved by anything other than grace according to Hebrews 10:4. And grace and works can never be mixed, for if you try to mix them the one nullifies the other according to Romans 11:6.

    I am in good company for Paul was called a heretic, also. I am beginning to believe it may not be my inability to covey in words what I mean. If you will read again what I say, I believe it will become very clear to you if I point out the meanings of my words, which are born out in scripture. It never ceases to amaze me why Christians are so afraid of the word “secret”, and “dispensation”, that is plainly taught us by the Holy Spirit writing through Paul what Christ revealed to Paul, from heaven.

    Quote “It was impossible for anyone to be saved by the grace of God until after Damascus Road, as being saved by Grace, through faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, was still a “secret”. Scripture informs Christ revealed (after Damascus Road) things hidden in God from the beginning. Scripture also advises that the “blood sacrifices” of animals could only cover sins. Doesn’t common sense tell us that this “blood” could not save us while we live, or after we die? What will it take to save us? Jesus Christ must shed His blood, and that is the only blood that will save us. All before Jesus shed His blood were conditionally saved. They had to endure until the end. Now and only Now can any be unconditionally saved for now we can come through His blood.

    Of course it has always been by the Grace of God, but until Jesus Christ shed His blood, none could come by the Grace of God through faith, without a work/s. In vain you will search His Word endeavoring to allow man to be saved as we are today into the Body of Christ coming through His Faith, shedding His blood for us, and believing His Father would raise Him from the Dead. It is not our Faith that saves, but His. It is through we come. You will not find in scripture any words to the effect of any being saved through faith until after Damascus Road. This is the way we enter into His Body, which Body was not previously known to exist housing the heathen and the Jew.

    That is what I have been saying all along! [​IMG]

    I’m happy that you now agree with me that the head (Mind of the Body) is Christ, and in every member of His Church.

    Yes. Water baptism is a requirement for membership in the local New Testament church.

    Then aren’t you saying you believe you must “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins”? You say all baptized members in a church are saved, so are you saying it is the work of water baptism that saves, and remits sins?

    The local church is a body of believers belonging to Christ, and those believers are all members of the Kingdom of God, but all members of the Kingdom of God are not church members.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I fully agree that all in the Body of Christ may not be members of a church down here. You say again “The local church is a body of believers belonging to Christ, and those believers are all members of the Kingdom of God.” That says to me that any that join a local church (water baptism is required, for one must first believe) belong to Christ, and everyone in the local church is in the Kingdom of God. Aren’t you now preaching “Universal” salvation of all that belong to a church that requires belief and water baptism? Isn’t this the teaching of the old undivided Catholic church. Please note that none of your references mention any coming through, for they are decreed to come by. And this is what I preach, that we today cannot mix the Grace today with the works required in the past. They all had to do a work. We don't.
     
  20. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    4study says
    OK, I think I understand your point of view.

    These are not critical inquiries but to satisfy my curiousity:

    Are you saying that out of these nations in Genesis 10 there will be those who have been "born again" before the advent of the New Covenant?

    If so, are these the "the nations of them which are saved" in the Revelation?

    Now, do you know of any Scripture that indicate folks could be born of the Spirit before the advent of the New Covenant?

    I know of a couple which might.

    HankD
     
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