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03-14-2018 01:30 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
How can anyone deny this doesn't happen in the local churches? EM and RK have credit that any other brother's word has no weight.
EM said it or RK said it, must be true. We've seen that in application.
But I think this is very important to the maturation process. How can you truly appreciate what it is to "meet in the name of Jesus" without having experienced this?

Also, what is a "cult" other than having an unhealthy respect of a person or group of people?
03-14-2018 11:42 AM
Terry
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Actually the early church also had this corrupting influence from the Judaizers who "were from James". I think James repented of this and refers to this in his epistle:

"My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons."
How can anyone deny this doesn't happen in the local churches? EM and RK have credit that any other brother's word has no weight.
EM said it or RK said it, must be true. We've seen that in application.
03-13-2018 05:17 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Back in those days Lee was adamant that overseers were elders, with overseeing simply the function of the office of the elders. Ignatius' heresy of promoting the bishopric supposedly gave rise to RCC hierarchies. Here are some of Ignatius' more shocking statements written on the eve of his martyrdom:
Yeah, Ignatius. Time and again he was made the example of one who erred by creating the extra-local office of bishop. He didn't have a good name in the LCM in the early-mid-70s. Then I remember a few years later a young leading one referring to Benson as a "bishop." He meant it positively. I was stunned.

Like in "Animal Farm," when the pigs started walking on their hind legs like humans, their slogan changed from "Four legs goood. Two legs baaad," to "Four legs goood. Two legs beeeter."
03-13-2018 12:32 PM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
What's ironic is the LCM back in the 60s and early 70s pointed to the emergence of bishops in the 2nd century as a point of degradation in the Church. But what are the BBs but bishops and cardinals?
Back in those days Lee was adamant that overseers were elders, with overseeing simply the function of the office of the elders. Ignatius' heresy of promoting the bishopric supposedly gave rise to RCC hierarchies. Here are some of Ignatius' more shocking statements written on the eve of his martyrdom:
Quote:
Let us take heed brothers, that we do not set ourselves against the Bishop, that we may be subject to God. ... It is therefore evident that we ought to look upon the Bishop even as we look upon the Lord Himself. ... Whereas you are subject to your Bishop as to Jesus Christ. ... But He is my witness, for whose sake I am in bonds, that I knew nothing from any man; but the Spirit spake, saying on this wise: Do nothing without the bishop, keep your bodies as the temples of God; love unity; flee divisions; be the followers of Christ, as He was of His Father. (Miller Church History page 179)
03-13-2018 12:13 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Actually the early church also had this corrupting influence from the Judaizers who "were from James". I think James repented of this and refers to this in his epistle:

"My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons."
03-13-2018 11:35 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Many who voiced their complaints that the "nature of the Recovery changed" pointed to the controls and takeover by the workers in "The Work." I would include this in the original "vision" which attracted many to the Recovery in those early days.
It's clear from example after example in history that extra-local (extra-congregational) authority presumed directly from God corrupts. The only exception is the original Apostles. Every attempt since to install apostles or even bishops has produced bad results.

Another exception is an organization that has extra-local authority as part of the culture of that organization, like the Methodists. However, that arrangement is different from presuming an extra-local authority directly from God.

What's ironic is the LCM back in the 60s and early 70s pointed to the emergence of bishops in the 2nd century as a point of degradation in the Church. But what are the BBs but bishops and cardinals?
03-13-2018 10:29 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I think the "local ground" is worse than useless, it is an error. Jesus said "my kingdom is not of this earth" but the "local ground" is the foundation of turning the LRC into an LSM Franchise.
Originally, thru Brethren teachers and W. Nee, the "local ground" teachings were an attempt to correct the evils of corrupt hierarchical authorities. Initially, the elders were placed as the "ultimate" authority in the church, and no outsider could come in with their agendas. These elders alone had the authority to choose if and which outside ministries could benefit their congregations.

Many of the "old-timers" I knew in the LC's definitely espoused this ecclesiastical structure of the church. Many who voiced their complaints that the "nature of the Recovery changed" pointed to the controls and takeover by the workers in "The Work." I would include this in the original "vision" which attracted many to the Recovery in those early days.
03-13-2018 10:12 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

I agree; and I see absolutely no downside to that belief.

I see a lot of downside to "the local ground," however. It turned out to be a lot like communism--great in theory, but lousy in application.

Our ground is Christ. Our foundation is Christ. Our fellowship is Christ. Our commonality is Christ. Our boundary is Christ. Our oneness is Christ. Take care of that and the outward expression of oneness, however that is to look, will take care of itself.
03-13-2018 10:00 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

I think the "local ground" is worse than useless, it is an error. Jesus said "my kingdom is not of this earth" but the "local ground" is the foundation of turning the LRC into an LSM Franchise.

There are very clear boundaries to the good land, but that is an allegory, a type. There is a very clear, physical ground for the Temple, but again that is an allegory, a type.

There is nothing vague about the ground on which we stand and meet in the NT, it is the blood of Christ. This ground was purchased for us with the Lord's sacrifice.

If you are meeting "in the name of Jesus" this implies that you are standing on the sacrifice the Lord made on the cross.
03-13-2018 08:10 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Also, it doesn't matter if "everyone agrees". The goal of the forum is to flesh out the arguments that LSM can make. You want someone with a vested interest in finding error.
That much I understand, as long as sensible people know it is like the old joke about economists, "If you laid all the economists in the world end-to-end they would never reach a conclusion."

So if you are talking theory, sure, talk to clarify opinions. But if you are talking about application then a doctrine like the local ground is useless without significant agreement. A person can argue all day that they are "right" about what constitutes a proper church, but it doesn't mean anything if they can't persuade enough people to agree with them to have any significant affect on things. The local ground doctrine will never be accepted by anything but a tiny minority. So, ultimately, it is useless.

Further it is detrimental. I am persuaded that God left the boundaries of the church purposely vague so that we would be less likely to define a legality which would inevitably limit change and reform. If the Catholics had gotten wind of one-church-one-city that's how they would have set it up. Oh, they would have had multiple buildings and congregations, but they would have just called them all part of the "church in.. ", and would have said that any unsanctioned meetings were "not on the proper ground of oneness" just like... you-know-who. In short, the elusive "boundary of the church," the acceptance of which some think would further God's purpose, would inevitably restrict it.

God always leaves a door open to reform. The local ground closes it. The LCM is proof.
03-12-2018 03:13 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
This debate seems to me a lot like the one about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Now, I realize the intended result of the debate is to produce a principle that is more useful that the angels-on-a-pin answer. But its hopes of producing any answer are just as empty.
Is it possible to draw a line that delineates saved from unsaved? As a rule I think Christians for the most part agree on "believe and be baptized". The waters of baptism separate those that are saved from those that aren't.

Why can't the definition of a church meeting be just as simple: Wherever two or three gather together in the name of Jesus.

This does not leave open any loophole for divisive cults, as they would not be "in the name of Jesus".

Someone argued that "anyone can claim to be in the name of Jesus" but that is not according to the word in Matt 18. This criteria comes with three promises. 1. What you bind on Earth will be bound in heaven. We saw the blendeds attempt to bind Titus but there is no way you can claim that what they bound in their little fellowship was "bound in heaven".

2. What you loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, we saw the puppet elders in Anaheim attempt to "loose" PL, that also did not fly with the kingdom of heaven.

3. Whatever you ask shall be done for you. We have already mocked some of the outrageous requests for world evangelism by WL, that was not done.

Therefore there is no evidence at all that they are in fact meeting "in the name of Jesus" Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Also, it doesn't matter if "everyone agrees". The goal of the forum is to flesh out the arguments that LSM can make. You want someone with a vested interest in finding error.
03-12-2018 11:57 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

This debate seems to me a lot like the one about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Now, I realize the intended result of the debate is to produce a principle that is more useful that the angels-on-a-pin answer. But its hopes of producing any answer are just as empty.

It is the exceedingly practical nature of the boundary-of-the-church question that makes it so problematic. In order for its "answer" to produce anything more than an I'm-right-everyone-else-is-wrong attitude, you have to convince most people to go along with it. And that is not going to happen--partly because admittedly some people are not interested in the idea, but also because many others will in good faith just not agree with your "solution."

You might as well try to define for everyone how church leaders should dress or what kind of music is appropriate or which Bible version to use. I'm sure there are numerous arguments concerning all those questions. The problem is none of them are airtight enough to reasonably expect anything close to everyone agreeing with them. And neither is any boundary of the church argument. If one was, the Church would have adopted it long ago.

So all you are left with is the attitude that you are right and everyone else is wrong, that no one is meeting properly but you; and that you are going to take your marbles, go home and eat worms. (Note: see the LCM).

It doesn't lead anywhere. It doesn't get anyone anywhere. In the meantime, you are supposed to meet somewhere and receive all believers as Christ did. So sooner or later you are going to have to stop banging the drum of your opinion and get on with that.


Further, assuming we could come up with an agreed-upon boundary of the church and over time we have all the churches established as they should be, what happens if the leadership of one or more of those churches goes bad? What do members under that leadership do? Do we wait for the apostle to come around and straighten everything out? What if he has gone bad? Then what? What does the Church do to reform when all the boundaries are already taken up with "valid" churches?

The LCM's answer is: Nothing. We just drift along and pretend there is no problem. That's the fate of the Church if you establish the tantalizing but elusive "boundary" of the church. As they say, be careful what you wish for...


It's clear to me God made the Church fluid enough to defy all our attempts to define its "boundaries" in a one-size-fits-all fashion. This is necessary to give the Church room to change and reform. Pinheads (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) can sit around debating such things until the the next millennium and it won't make any difference. You are not going to get anything approaching a practical consensus. You are just going to get more contention, more friction, more time wasted, and maybe some self-satisfaction about being "right."

Join a church. Worship and serve the Lord there and in your personal life. Get on with it.
03-11-2018 04:21 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
To use your analogy, (though you are conflating boundry and building I will go with it anyway for the moment only), the issue would not be building on a property line, as you describe, but building another structure on the same property. Every denomination, then, builds their own structure instead of all working to build the one.
It is not my analogy, it is based on WL's teaching concerning the ground of the church:

What are the actual grounds upon which so many of these so-called churches have laid Christ as their foundation? What is the ground of the Roman Catholic Church? Without a doubt, it is Rome. The Roman Catholic Church claiming Christ as its foundation is built upon the ground of Roman Catholicism. Upon what ground is the Presbyterian Church built? It is clear that their ground is a certain system of government called the presbytery. They have laid the foundation of Christ upon the ground of the presbytery. What about the Baptists? They with Christ as their foundation are built upon the ground of baptism, baptism by immersion. Then there are the Lutherans. They have laid their foundation upon the ground of Luther and his teachings. You see, all the “churches” claim the same foundation, which is Christ; but they all stand upon different grounds. It is the different grounds that create the problem for the unity of the church, not Christ as the foundation. (The Ground of the Church, Chapter 1, Section 1)
03-10-2018 06:25 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”So then, what is the ground on which the church is to be built? Where is the line that we cannot cross without being equated to that person who build their house on the property line?”

ZNP,

To use your analogy, (though you are conflating boundry and building I will go with it anyway for the moment only), the issue would not be building on a property line, as you describe, but building another structure on the same property. Every denomination, then, builds their own structure instead of all working to build the one.

Again, using your analogy, you could logically make a case that the Catholic Church stretches across property lines in the way it builds beginning at Rome and extending across the globe from there.

Drake
03-10-2018 06:13 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
But are you now saying that Luke did not research and author all of these events, and did so without Paul's encouragement and approval?
Where did you get that idea from?

Of course Luke investigated the events that were handed down from eyewitness accounts and of course he wrote the gospel identified under his name. I’m sure Paul encouraged him too. I’m not really sure where you are going with this “approval” track... what is your point?

Drake
03-09-2018 11:52 AM
Terry
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Inherent in the "Ground of the Church" doctrine is that there is a proper ground on which the church is built and stands and that once the church is careless in not being on that proper ground they have lost their standing. The analogy is what happens if you build your house on the property line.

This proper ground is emphasized and reiterated several times in the OT. The temple can only be built on a very particular ground. The same ground where Abraham offered up Isaac in a figure and the same ground purchased by David as a peace offering for his sin in numbering the people contrary to the express command of God.

The Temple is stated clearly in the NT to be a type of the church. The church is very clearly described as a building from the very first. Therefore this principle of the church needing to be on the proper ground applies.

Up to this point I fully agree with WL and WN's teaching.

So then, what is the ground on which the church is to be built? Where is the line that we cannot cross without being equated to that person who build their house on the property line?

I find the approach of WN and WL to this critical question highly objectionable. You lay the groundwork from the OT and matters of righteousness that this is an essential item of the faith, an item once for all delivered to the saints in the fellowship of the apostles, and then provide an inferential teaching rather than one that is spelled out in black and white.

Whether or not you agree with inferring from two verses in separate parts of the NT that "appointing elders in every church" and "appointing elders in every city" applies to this doctrine, to me that is wholly unsatisfactory. I am not willing to condemn 99.99% of all Christian meetings based on this.

As a result this thread was started by me with the intention of examining what exactly is "the boundary of the Local Church"?
It's not that simple of an issue to reconcile. Let's take "ground of the church" as an example. There are cases of multiple assemblies in any given cities that agree on ground of the church as Znp laid out above. However due to receiving different ministries, there could not be fellowship. I would ask then, what is the standing?
For those who agree on "ground of the church" doctrine, what is the standing in New York? What is the standing in Seattle?
03-09-2018 05:00 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP,

It is possible that we agree on more than is apparent not just here in this note but elsewhere. However, I have learned to wait until I hear the whole argument because more often than not what sounds like agreement is quickly followed by Brother bashing at which point I realize I cannot agree with that even if I might agree on some points.Drake
A complete overview of the argument --

Inherent in the "Ground of the Church" doctrine is that there is a proper ground on which the church is built and stands and that once the church is careless in not being on that proper ground they have lost their standing. The analogy is what happens if you build your house on the property line.

This proper ground is emphasized and reiterated several times in the OT. The temple can only be built on a very particular ground. The same ground where Abraham offered up Isaac in a figure and the same ground purchased by David as a peace offering for his sin in numbering the people contrary to the express command of God.

The Temple is stated clearly in the NT to be a type of the church. The church is very clearly described as a building from the very first. Therefore this principle of the church needing to be on the proper ground applies.

Up to this point I fully agree with WL and WN's teaching.

So then, what is the ground on which the church is to be built? Where is the line that we cannot cross without being equated to that person who build their house on the property line?

I find the approach of WN and WL to this critical question highly objectionable. You lay the groundwork from the OT and matters of righteousness that this is an essential item of the faith, an item once for all delivered to the saints in the fellowship of the apostles, and then provide an inferential teaching rather than one that is spelled out in black and white.

Whether or not you agree with inferring from two verses in separate parts of the NT that "appointing elders in every church" and "appointing elders in every city" applies to this doctrine, to me that is wholly unsatisfactory. I am not willing to condemn 99.99% of all Christian meetings based on this.

As a result this thread was started by me with the intention of examining what exactly is "the boundary of the Local Church"?

Evangelical has proposed several different criteria and I applaud him for doing that. He says there must be a minimum number, 12, for a meeting to be considered a church meeting. He provides a "logical" argument for that since there were 12 apostles. However, I find that argument without merit in the NT, or even in the ministry of WL who used Lazarus, Mary, Martha and Jesus as the model for the church. Evangelical suggested that you have to be able to have a Lord's table meeting to be a church. I agree with that, but find no compelling reason why a meeting of two or three could not have the Lord's table. Evangelical said that a meeting is not a church meeting until it has elders, but the verse he uses to support this position destroys it "appoint elders in every church". This shows the meetings were considered church meetings prior to having elders appointed.

I also have proposed criteria from the NT: Matthew 18.

In brief, "wherever two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in their midst".

I think there is a lot of meaning implied in the term "in My name" and that the context of Matthew 18 clarifies this. But at the same time there is a simplicity that is all inclusive and justifies rather than condemns.

This cannot simply be words since Jesus in this very same book has said that there will be many who said "Lord, lord" yet will be condemned. Matt 18 provides proofs and evidence that a meeting is truly "in the name of Jesus".

1. What they bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven
2. What they loose on Earth will be loosed in Heaven.

From the context "bound in Heaven" and "loosed in Heaven" refers to "tell it to the church" (the kingdom of heaven). As a result you can see that this gathering of 2 or 3 (bare minimum) is fully one with "the church", "the kingdom of Heaven" representing all believers.

3. Whatever they ask shall be done for them.

These three things are given as proof of the Lord's presence:

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
03-08-2018 07:49 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
He didn't merely recognize Paul, he recommended Paul.
Okay. But he didn’t authorize Paul.

Drake
03-08-2018 07:47 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I didn't accept you to expect it.
I know, spellcheck is my worst enema!

03-08-2018 07:40 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
That is where you, Igzy and I all agree.

Since the NT is complete and we are to "keep the fellowship of the apostles" it puts the fellowship of the apostles above any present day apostle, as a result an apostle might have the authority to raise up churches and appoint elders, but if he steps outside of the bounds of the fellowship of the apostles his authority is trumped by the NT.

If we all agree with that then I think the three of us are all in agreement on the crucial points. From my understanding Igzy is happy to consider anything else a matter of semantics and for myself I still consider that the Lord gives apostles applies today.
ZNP,

It is possible that we agree on more than is apparent not just here in this note but elsewhere. However, I have learned to wait until I hear the whole argument because more often than not what sounds like agreement is quickly followed by Brother bashing at which point I realize I cannot agree with that even if I might agree on some points. It’s like you might agree with some points about racial bias, want to lend some support......then someone smashes a window, grabs a flat screen, and you regret having any sympathy at that point. A greater principle kicks in.

Drake
03-08-2018 07:32 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I didn't accept you to expect it.

Thus far, however, I haven't heard a compelling argument to believe that if someone claims to an Apostle these days I'm just supposed to let him come in and order my church around. That seems a recipe for disaster. Think for example of... the LCM movement!

I need evidence of Apostleship. Lee didn't have it. At best he was an ambitious teacher. He wasn't a true Apostle. If he was, he was the most scandal-ridden one in history!
Igzy,

I would defer to Pauls argument in 2 Corinthians chapters 12 and 13. It is His speaking in us through the apostle.

Drake
03-08-2018 02:46 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I just don’t except it the way you define it or frame the whole matter.
I didn't accept you to expect it.

Thus far, however, I haven't heard a compelling argument to believe that if someone claims to an Apostle these days I'm just supposed to let him come in and order my church around. That seems a recipe for disaster. Think for example of... the LCM movement!

I need evidence of Apostleship. Lee didn't have it. At best he was an ambitious teacher. He wasn't a true Apostle. If he was, he was the most scandal-ridden one in history!
03-08-2018 11:46 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
What is the actual meaning when one utilizes the phrase "fellowship of the Apostle's"?
To any Christian if you said "fellowship of the Apostles" one would transparently refer to NT scripture.
In LC circles the phrase would tend to be more opaque than it would be transparent. What causes the phrase to be opaque is it could be used as what NT scripture says or as LSM's interpretation of NT scripture.
I mean the NT.
03-08-2018 11:45 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Of course the NT is complete. What a question!
That is where you, Igzy and I all agree.

Since the NT is complete and we are to "keep the fellowship of the apostles" it puts the fellowship of the apostles above any present day apostle, as a result an apostle might have the authority to raise up churches and appoint elders, but if he steps outside of the bounds of the fellowship of the apostles his authority is trumped by the NT.

If we all agree with that then I think the three of us are all in agreement on the crucial points. From my understanding Igzy is happy to consider anything else a matter of semantics and for myself I still consider that the Lord gives apostles applies today.
03-08-2018 11:41 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Recognition and affection.
He didn't merely recognize Paul, he recommended Paul.
03-08-2018 11:31 AM
Terry
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Do you agree that the NT is complete? That the "fellowship of the Apostle's" that we are to keep is already complete?
What is the actual meaning when one utilizes the phrase "fellowship of the Apostle's"?
To any Christian if you said "fellowship of the Apostles" one would transparently refer to NT scripture.
In LC circles the phrase would tend to be more opaque than it would be transparent. What causes the phrase to be opaque is it could be used as what NT scripture says or as LSM's interpretation of NT scripture.
03-08-2018 09:01 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Of course the NT is complete. What a question!
Yet, LSM had grand announcements declaring that the "interpreted word" was NOT complete until Lee published his set of commentaries.
03-08-2018 07:59 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Do you agree that the NT is complete? That the "fellowship of the Apostle's" that we are to keep is already complete?


Of course the NT is complete. What a question!
03-08-2018 07:57 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
What word would you prefer to describe Peter's reference to Paul's writings in his epistle?
Recognition and affection.
03-08-2018 07:26 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
No because it is a false comparison.

We are discussing at the moment the existence of NT apostles and their being given as gifts by the Lord Himself in His ascension and their function. Clearly the 12 are distinct from Paul and all the other apostles Evangelical mentioned.

Thanks
Drake
Do you agree that the NT is complete? That the "fellowship of the Apostle's" that we are to keep is already complete?
03-08-2018 07:25 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
You make ‘blessing” sound like approval.

Drake
What word would you prefer to describe Peter's reference to Paul's writings in his epistle?
03-08-2018 07:19 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Can you be more specific as to how a "modern day" apostle differs from the 12?
No because it is a false comparison.

We are discussing at the moment the existence of NT apostles and their being given as gifts by the Lord Himself in His ascension and their function. Clearly the 12 are distinct from Paul and all the other apostles Evangelical mentioned.

Thanks
Drake
03-08-2018 07:13 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Paul's writing was certainly an accepted part of the "fellowship of the apostles" with Peter's blessing.
You make ‘blessing” sound like approval.

Drake
03-08-2018 05:52 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Igzy>”It's a little weird that we have LCMers here defending the existence of latter day Apostles, yet denying that the Recovery believed that Lee's presumed Apostleship gave him authority over church”

Igzy,

I don’t believe I ever said that modern day apostles do not have authority according to the function of their gift in the ministry.

I just don’t except it the way you define it or frame the whole matter.

Drake
Can you be more specific as to how a "modern day" apostle differs from the 12?
03-08-2018 05:50 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
That is more logical of an explanation. A glaring exception is that the apostle Paul was not one of the 12. So you would need to adjust the explanation to include the apostle Paul’s writings in the proper ground. Or if you prefer, we could agree that the apostle Paul’s writings were for the building on top of the foundation.

Drake
Paul's writing was certainly an accepted part of the "fellowship of the apostles" with Peter's blessing.
03-08-2018 05:22 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Igzy>”It's a little weird that we have LCMers here defending the existence of latter day Apostles, yet denying that the Recovery believed that Lee's presumed Apostleship gave him authority over church”

Igzy,

I don’t believe I ever said that modern day apostles do not have authority according to the function of their gift in the ministry.

I just don’t except it the way you define it or frame the whole matter.

Drake
03-08-2018 05:12 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
If you would prefer to view these 12 foundations as foundations of the city then the "fellowship of the apostles" would be akin to the foundation of the city which must be on "the proper ground". Since this foundation runs to the wall it would indicate that the fellowship of the apostles fully covers the "proper ground".
That is more logical of an explanation. A glaring exception is that the apostle Paul was not one of the 12. So you would need to adjust the explanation to include the apostle Paul’s writings in the proper ground. Or if you prefer, we could agree that the apostle Paul’s writings were for the building on top of the foundation.

Drake
03-08-2018 04:49 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
As I read the comments on this thread I mourn the ignorance being spoken.

Who does scripture tells us is the foundation of all creation?

God Himself, that's who.
How is that different from the stated position that meeting in the name of Jesus and having the presence of Jesus in the meeting is the key criteria of a church meeting?
03-07-2018 08:54 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Also, I would like to point out to many who may not be aware of the inner workings of LSM, I was involved in the editing of WL's spoken messages into written messages and am well aware of how thoroughly and completely they were edited to remove many of the the things we heard him say repeatedly. Therefore if you want to get the most accurate and precise quotes of these errors of his you have to actually listen to the messages and not just read the written word. This was the mistake that previous lawsuits have made. They should have poured over the videotapes, but they didn't have the budget.
They should have also talked to former members.
03-07-2018 08:33 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP,

Please provide the reference from Witness Lees speaking for these quotes below..

.... using his “position” as “the apostle” the exercise authority over others.

Since you “quoted” then you must be referring to a quote from Witness Lee, so where did he say that so we can read it for ourselves?

If it is just your opinion you are entitled to it but when you quote as a reference you are saying you have source material.

Drake
Drake,

No offense, but this seems like willful ignorance. The Recovery manifestly operates under the presumption that Lee's speaking is the final word of an Apostle.

Just read http://afaithfulword.org, which was created to put down the Midwest US "rebellion." It is nothing but "Brother Lee said this and Brother Lee said that." By Lee's word the Blendeds judged and executed the Midwest churches which only wanted to have the freedom to shepherd their members as they felt the Lord was leading them. They should have called it "thefinalword.org," that is, Lee's, according to the interpretation of the Blendeds.

Lee implied his apostleship and MOTA status again and again. I heard him do it myself. But he was also coy about it, saying just enough to get the message across while retaining plausible deniability. The Blendeds definitely got the message. What do you think gives them the boldness to be such bullies? Of course it didn't make it plainly into print--they were cleverer than that. But the idea and attitude is the very glue that holds the movement together, at least in the US. If you are in Britain or something, maybe it's a little different. But you ought to know enough about the movement you are in to know better.


It's a little weird that we have LCMers here defending the existence of latter day Apostles, yet denying that the Recovery believed that Lee's presumed Apostleship gave him authority over churches.

What's the point of defending the existence of latter day Apostles if not to defend that Lee was one?
What's the point of being an Apostle if not to have authority over churches?
03-07-2018 07:43 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

As I read the comments on this thread I mourn the ignorance being spoken.

Who does scripture tells us is the foundation of all creation?

God Himself, that's who.

And is it normal to build a foundation on top of a foundation? . . . Of course not.

Here is some excellent speaking on the matter of the reality of our foundation... And try not to dismiss the testimony that comes at the end... As it speaks about how God's ways often do not look like what we think God's ways should look like...

http://web.prtel.com/kcpage/Jesus%20...dation%203.htm
03-07-2018 07:17 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP,

Please provide the reference from Witness Lees speaking for these quotes below..

.... using his “position” as “the apostle” the exercise authority over others.

Since you “quoted” then you must be referring to a quote from Witness Lee, so where did he say that so we can read it for ourselves?

If it is just your opinion you are entitled to it but when you quote as a reference you are saying you have source material.

Drake
A "quote of Witness Lee" includes quotes from John Ingalls and other elders about Witness Lee. I have no interest in quoting them again, they have been referenced numerous times on this forum from JI book Speaking the Truth in Love, and there are writings of other elders that are equally applicable.

There is a quote that I read from Witness Lee in which he thanked the elders for signing the Loyalty Pledge. That pledge is the clearest example of using your position to exercise authority over others. That letter of thanks indicates WL was fully approving of this action and that it was performed with his approval. The letter is published by LSM in one of the elders trainings and has also been fully referenced on this forum.

I have also shared my first hand experience of listening to Witness Lee's "Perfecting Training" messages. Therefore my sources are John Ingalls, my own witness, writings from other elders, and an LSM publication of one of Witness Lee's Elder trainings.

I am not interested in doing anymore than that unless LSM sues me for libel. Perhaps Indiana, Terry or Ohio are interested.

But I find your request disingenuous. You have chastised me for providing too many references concerning Ed Marks, and you have chastised me for being repetitive. It seems fulfilling this latest request of yours would be foolish.

Also, I would like to point out to many who may not be aware of the inner workings of LSM, I was involved in the editing of WL's spoken messages into written messages and am well aware of how thoroughly and completely they were edited to remove many of the the things we heard him say repeatedly. Therefore if you want to get the most accurate and precise quotes of these errors of his you have to actually listen to the messages and not just read the written word. This was the mistake that previous lawsuits have made. They should have poured over the videotapes, but they didn't have the budget.
03-07-2018 07:03 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Actually it is not. The boundry of a city is lateral and temporary. The foundations of a city are something to be built upon vertically and are permanent.

It’s fine for you to see it the way you do, but I never have heard Bros Nee or Lee refer to the foundations of the New Jerusalem as a boundry. If you have then provide the reference and assuming you are accurate I will concede the point.

Otherwise, you are conflating boundry of a local church with foundations of the New Jerusalem.

Drake
If you would prefer to view these 12 foundations as foundations of the city then the "fellowship of the apostles" would be akin to the foundation of the city which must be on "the proper ground". Since this foundation runs to the wall it would indicate that the fellowship of the apostles fully covers the "proper ground".
03-07-2018 06:46 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The boundary of a city according to Witness Lee's theology is a critical component to the "boundary of the church". I started that thread to examine this. Since the wall surrounding the NJ can be considered "the boundary" of the NJ I am referring to it that way, not because it conveys the thought very well but because it is analogous to Witness Lee's point.
Actually it is not. The boundry of a city is lateral and temporary. The foundations of a city are something to be built upon vertically and are permanent.

It’s fine for you to see it the way you do, but I never have heard Bros Nee or Lee refer to the foundations of the New Jerusalem as a boundry. If you have then provide the reference and assuming you are accurate I will concede the point.

Otherwise, you are conflating boundry of a local church with foundations of the New Jerusalem.

Drake
03-07-2018 06:40 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP,

Please provide the reference from Witness Lees speaking for these quotes below..

.... using his “position” as “the apostle” the exercise authority over others.

Since you “quoted” then you must be referring to a quote from Witness Lee, so where did he say that so we can read it for ourselves?

If it is just your opinion you are entitled to it but when you quote as a reference you are saying you have source material.

Drake
03-07-2018 05:46 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”There are some very troubling quotes of Witness Lee that come across as boasting and using his "position" as "the apostle" to exercise authority over others.”

ZNP,

Please provide the quote by Witness Lee in context so we can assess it for ourselves.

Thanks
Drake
I had hesitated since it could be viewed by some to be "repetitive" (I think you complained of this once). But you are right, for those who have not read the other threads on this forum it would help to provide some quotes.

1. Boasting -- I personally heard Witness Lee repeatedly talk about poor Christianity and how there were not any books of spiritual value being written today, only his. However, I was aware of saints in Houston and Irving that had extensive collections of Christian books not published by LSM (I discovered this when I helped them move). However, they were far too intimidated to reference them or quote them in meetings even though Houston and Irving were where quoting footnotes as a "testimony" had become all the rage. These saints were so intimidated they actually apologized to us as we moved their books and asked that we not mention they owned them.

I have also read similar testimonies from other brothers like John Ingalls and other elders who testified what it was like behind closed doors. Their testimonies were consistent with what I had seen and came across as boasting and arrogant.

I was also present when Witness Lee boasted about all the new terms he had coined.

2. Controlling -- I guess the best example of this was the loyalty pledge that Ray Graver and Benson Phillips strong armed the elders into signing. To my understanding of the NT this is something strongly forbidden in the book of James ("But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; that ye fall not under judgment." James 5:2). In my understanding the burden of James is to counteract the cultic influences like the Judaizers that he had been ensnared with.

I don't have any first hand experiences of this behavior except my observations of the "Perfecting Training" which appeared to me to be Witness Lee pulling some leading elder up onto the platform to berate him under the guise of "perfecting". Since I was brand new to the LRC I decided to simply agree that I didn't understand. 40 years later I feel I do understand. He was holding people up to public ridicule and shame with the pretense of "perfecting" as a way to control others. Abuse of power.
03-07-2018 05:34 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”Therefore we both agree that the fellowship of the Apostles is the boundary of the church.”

ZNP,

That is not the most complete way to express it. Rather, they are the foundation according to Revelation 21 and something is built on top of it. “Boundary” does not convey that thought very well.

Drake
The boundary of a city according to Witness Lee's theology is a critical component to the "boundary of the church". I started that thread to examine this. Since the wall surrounding the NJ can be considered "the boundary" of the NJ I am referring to it that way, not because it conveys the thought very well but because it is analogous to Witness Lee's point.
03-07-2018 02:37 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”There are some very troubling quotes of Witness Lee that come across as boasting and using his "position" as "the apostle" to exercise authority over others.”

ZNP,

Please provide the quote by Witness Lee in context so we can assess it for ourselves.

Thanks
Drake
Please provide the quote by ZNP so we can assess it for ourselves.

You have been asked before to use the QUOTE feature of this forum, and you refuse. Yet you demand quotes from others.
03-06-2018 10:46 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”There are some very troubling quotes of Witness Lee that come across as boasting and using his "position" as "the apostle" to exercise authority over others.”

ZNP,

Please provide the quote by Witness Lee in context so we can assess it for ourselves.

Thanks
Drake
03-06-2018 10:20 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”Therefore we both agree that the fellowship of the Apostles is the boundary of the church.”

ZNP,

That is not the most complete way to express it. Rather, they are the foundation according to Revelation 21 and something is built on top of it. “Boundary” does not convey that thought very well.

Drake
03-06-2018 02:41 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
If you read about the question of Apostleship, the predominate question is "do they exist anymore." I think that makes it pretty clear that they don't. It seems if they did then the Church, at least most of the Church, would have no trouble recognizing them. We recognize teachers, pastors and general gifts of leadership. So why wouldn't we recognize an Apostle?

I think the only answer can be that there are really not any, save in a very generic sense.
Yes, by this criteria I think the two witnesses at the end of the age would clearly be recognized as apostles. In my understanding the working of signs and wonders are something that is wholly of God's choice. I also suppose it is indicative of God showing mercy on those who are weak in faith.
03-06-2018 01:41 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Evangelical/Drake/Steel,

How did the church in Ephesus test those who claimed to be Apostles but were not?

What was the defining characteristic of the men whom Paul said were false Apostles?

If Paul and the Ephesians could discern who was an Apostle and who wasn't, can we? If so, how?
03-06-2018 01:37 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

I don't think the special Apostles were limited to the 12. But I think they ended after the first generation of believers passed to their rewards and the Canon of the New Testament was finished (not officially canonized, but known and accepted essentially by the Church). If John truly outlived all the other early Apostles, then I think he was the last one.

But this doesn't mean I think the gift of apostleship, i.e. being a sent one, doesn't exist. But these people generally are church planters, not those who run ministries or predominately release teachings. Rick Warren, Joyce Meyer, John Piper, etc. are teachers and sometimes pastors. But I wouldn't call them apostles.

If you read about the question of Apostleship, the predominate question is "do they exist anymore." I think that makes it pretty clear that they don't. It seems if they did then the Church, at least most of the Church, would have no trouble recognizing them. We recognize teachers, pastors and general gifts of leadership. So why wouldn't we recognize an Apostle?

I think the only answer can be that there are really not any, save in a very generic sense.
03-06-2018 01:28 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

What is being discussed about apostles and miracles is not unlike a problem the Reformation faced. The Catholic church was rife with miracles and signs and wonders, which apparently confirmed their authenticity, yet Luther and Calvin had to stand upon God's Word alone.

For this reason it is interesting that some are using the "signs and wonders" argument to argue against Witness Lee being an apostle. This is similar to how the Catholics argue against Luther and Calvin for not working any miracles, thus "God does not approve or endorse the Reformation".

While the apostle Paul clearly worked miracles and this was used in some way to confirm his status as an apostle, let us consider that:

- there is no indication that all the apostles worked miracles (e.g. Apollos etc, and any of the other lesser known apostles, there were about 20 that we know of).

- the ability to work miracles is stated in the Bible as a gift separate to and less than the gift of apostleship:

1 Corinthians 12:18:

And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.

It is possible that Paul and other apostles had the gift of miracles as well, but based on 1 Cor 12:18 it must be possible to have only the gift of an apostle and not of miracles, since miracles is listed as a separate gift. It is also possible to work miracles but not have the gift of apostleship.

Notice that the gift of tongues is also in this list - perhaps Paul spoke in tongues the most as he said "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all.", but this does not mean that ALL the apostles had the ability to speak in tongues:

1 Cor 12:30 (NLT)
Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not!

Based on 1 Cor 12:30 and 1 Cor 12:18 we may infer that not every apostle could work miracles.
03-06-2018 12:13 PM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
The Bible seems to show us two ways: (1) True Apostles had a close association with the physical Jesus or with someone who had such an association, (2) True Apostles had special spiritual empowerment which could manifest in highly unusual supernatural phenomenon.

In short, there was no question who was an Apostle if you knew what to look for.
And let's make it clear why this was so important. Many so-called "apostles" came from "headquarters" in Jerusalem, like those who came to Antioch "from James" (see Galatians 2.11-15) who brought "another gospel" to the Gentile churches. These ones were so persuasive and deceptive that even Peter (Cephas) and Barnabas were fooled, at least temporarily. That's why Paul called these ones "false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ, and no wonder because Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light." (II Cor. 11.13-14)

Today, we have the New Testament and the entirety of church history to educate us, and still the children of God are fooled by those coming to them and, in effect, rewriting scriptures with another gospel. In the Recovery these days, we have men in charge of a publishing house, called something pseudo-spiritual like "Blended Brothers," who can send their people out to LC's with mandates foreign to scripture, and based on the writings of W. Lee. Yes, another gospel!

These ones have thus become no different than the "super apostles" which Paul confronted during his ministry. Their authority is not from God, neither do they have the evidence of apostleship, yet they exercised a false "deputy authority" over workers, elders, deacons, and saints throughout the Midwest. They sued elders, stole meeting halls, and divided LC's, bringing their deluded followers into bondage, making a show of them in the flesh. (Gal 2.5; 6.12)
03-06-2018 11:28 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP,

The 12 are special but so are the Apostle Paul and all the little “a” apostles. If we only had the writings of the 12 for the NT there would be a pretty big difference from what we have today. God gave them as gifts to the Body for its building up.

1 Corinthians 1 “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;”

Clearly this debate started a very long time ago.

Drake
We both agree that to resolve this issue we need to look at the NT. You have repeatedly used scripture to defend your position. Therefore we both agree that the fellowship of the Apostles is the boundary of the church.

So unless you are also claiming that there have been new revelations in scripture that are outside of the fellowship of the apostles, brought in by little a apostles, we are not disagreeing about anything.

I agree with the teaching that we still have the gift of apostles to this day, but I also agree with Igzy that you have to distinguish those from the first 12. I do not believe that scripture is still being written (except of course for the concept that the book of Acts is not finished). I also agree with Igzy that someone who is an apostle would not use such a gift as a way of boasting or exercising authority over others. There are some very troubling quotes of Witness Lee that come across as boasting and using his "position" as "the apostle" to exercise authority over others.

Finally, there is good reason why the "Jews require a sign". Their history is full of God doing signs and wonders as a testimony that it was God who was leading them. Joseph was brought to his position as the right hand man to Pharaoh due to God's signs and wonders. Moses led them out of slavery with signs and wonders. Joshua led them into the good land with signs and wonders. Therefore, if the same God is now leading them onward it makes sense He would testify of this with signs and wonders. Christ crucified is a sign and wonder, but it is also a stumbling block to the Jews. It is wisdom and power, but to the Greeks it "appears" to be foolish and weak. I think Paul's point is that this is similar to those who rejected Jesus because "can anything good come out of Nazareth". Superficially He was from Nazareth, had they only dug a little deeper and learned he was born in Bethlehem, his genealogy, the prophecies at his birth, and the other events.
03-06-2018 09:51 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Lee was supposed to be a game changer. Into the world inundated with "fallen Christianity," the story goes, this lone little man was raised up by God to right the ship of the kingdom. So, much like Jesus and the Apostles, Lee was to change the age. But why should have anyone believed such claims?

For that matter, why should have anyone believed the claims of Jesus and the Apostles? Religion was established. Judaism was the faith of the day and had been for centuries. Into that situation, these Johnny-Come-Latelys appear and start telling everyone everything is being done wrong, that the old order is being thrown out, a new day has begun, and that they are just the ones to tell everyone how to go about it.

Now, why should have anyone believed them? What was the sign of the authority they claimed to possess? Simple. They could work miracles that only God could empower them to do. That was the evidence that they had the authority to redefine things. To authorize such major changes, they had to have something more than just their word and character, and that's why God gave them supernatural power. Even Jesus needed this to prove himself.

Lee didn't have that. So why should anyone believe his grandiose claims? In fact, I would argue that without such validation we are foolish to do so.
03-06-2018 09:29 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I agree. To me the biggest miracle is giving men a new heart.

I don't think that is a fair representation of Igzy's position.
Thank you, Z. I agree with you.

There are different kinds of miracles. Surely being born again is a miracle. Being able to live in righteousness, joy and peace with other believers is a miracle.

But the "wonders" Paul spoke of are ones which identify the person doing them as an "Apostle." If helping people become born again or facilitating an environment of righteous, joyful and peaceful fellowship are those kinds of miracles then we are all apostles. If you want to go there, then fine. But that puts us all on the same level as you expect us to view Witness Lee. So that's a wash.

Paul was clearly talking about wondrous works that set him and other true Apostles apart from average believers.

Think about what it was like back then. There was no New Testament. All the believers had was the Holy Spirit and the leadership of special men who had been with Jesus. A lot of people were going around claiming to be Apostles. How could the Church differentiate the true from the false?

The Bible seems to show us two ways: (1) True Apostles had a close association with the physical Jesus or with someone who had such an association, (2) True Apostles had special spiritual empowerment which could manifest in highly unusual supernatural phenomenon.

In short, there was no question who was an Apostle if you knew what to look for.

Now Lee comes along. All of a sudden we are supposed to start looking at him like he is a Paul? Really? Just like that? Why? And what's the point, anyway? That is, other than to try to control people?

And there should be no surprise that it all added up to exactly what happened. A small faction of "true believers" decided without real proof and for everyone else that Lee was an Apostle. This marginalized them, and they responded in classy fashion by saying everyone else is "blind," "worldly," yada, yada.

And that's what's always going to happen in that kind of situation.

Again, what's the point of claiming Lee is an Apostle but to try to force everyone else into following him? Why can't you just treat him like other teachers are treated these days? Listen to them if you feel to. If you hear God speaking to you through a teacher, be thankful.

Why do you have to try to belittle everyone who sees things a little differently? Seems a lot like pride to me.
03-06-2018 08:32 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
And yet, Igzy thinks that if he could only see a miracle he would be able to accept something about the person who worked the miracle... But in saying this, has only exposed little or no regard for the greatest of all miracles that is within every born again believer in Christ Jesus.

This is the folly that someone holds to when they no longer are holding to the God that saved them... But instead are holding to their assumed knowledge of this God.

This is the truth that scripture reveals to us...

We can know the truth about anyone and anything by simply abiding in our regenerated spirit... Where God Himself abides one with us, and we one with Him.
Signs and wonders were a divine endorsement upon the initial apostles. Their many sufferings for God and the Gospel were also a proof of their apostleship. We also can know the apostles by their fruit. Besides these, there are many other tests in scripture regarding the life and character of ministers.

These evidences provided the Ephesians and all the early church with the ability to test those who claim to be apostles, and expose the false ones.

But as Steel has informed us, supposedly "We can know the truth about anyone and anything by simply abiding in our regenerated spirit." I would place a huge question mark on this because it precludes the fact that many believers in the N.T. and in church history have been deceived by false teachers, and because it is contrary to scriptural evidence.

I John 2.27 does teach us that "we have an anointing which teaches us concerning all things in order for us to abide in Him." But this individual anointing does not guarantee that we can know and test all ministers, and has proven to be untrustworthy and far too subjective on a personal level. Rather scriptures inform us there is "safety in a multitude of counselors."

Regarding the unspoken subject of our discussion here, W. Lee has failed the test of apostleship. Admittedly he was a gifted minister, but his many exclusive teachings have been rejected by renowned men of God in the body of Christ. His character and behavior have been exposed by many members who knew him within the LC's as contrary to the upright standards of the N.T.
03-06-2018 07:47 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post

Igzy has stated that he believes "The Apostles" refer to the 12 who fit the criteria he has cited from the NT. He is ambivalent towards whether or not we still have apostles with a small letter a, but when you are referring to "The 12" who were instrumental in turning the age and also giving us the NT, then it is a very specific group..
ZNP,

The 12 are special but so are the Apostle Paul and all the little “a” apostles. If we only had the writings of the 12 for the NT there would be a pretty big difference from what we have today. God gave them as gifts to the Body for its building up.

1 Corinthians 1 “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;”

Clearly this debate started a very long time ago.

Drake
03-06-2018 07:38 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
Let's leave Witness Lee and the LSM for a moment...

C.S. Lewis called the incarnation “the Grand Miracle.” He wrote: “The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation…. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this…. It was the central event in the history of the Earth—the very thing that the whole story has been about” (Miracles, chapter 14).

And why did God work this "...Grand Miracle..."?

For the purpose of being able to work His greatest miracle... That of His transformation of fallen humanity, to that of uplifted humanity (Ephesians 2).
I agree. To me the biggest miracle is giving men a new heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
And uplifted humanity has no need of seeing outward miracles... Because we see God... And are one with God... And even express God.

The Israelites saw many of God's miracles and still did not believe Him.

Jesus' disciples saw many miracles and still did not believe Him.

And yet, Igzy thinks that if he could only see a miracle he would be able to accept something about the person who worked the miracle... But in saying this, has only exposed little or no regard for the greatest of all miracles that is within every born again believer in Christ Jesus.
I don't think that is a fair representation of Igzy's position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
This is the folly that someone holds to when they no longer are holding to the God that saved them... But instead are holding to their assumed knowledge of this God.

This is the truth that scripture reveals to us...

We can know the truth about anyone and anything by simply abiding in our regenerated spirit... Where God Himself abides one with us, and we one with Him.
I think the folly here is creating a phony position for Igzy which he did not present.

The topic is "the boundary of the church". You can argue that the "boundary" in a figure is the wall of the NJ which is built on the 12 foundations of the 12 apostles. Therefore, in a figure these 12 apostles are very important in understanding the boundary of the church.

Igzy has stated that he believes "The Apostles" refer to the 12 who fit the criteria he has cited from the NT. He is ambivalent towards whether or not we still have apostles with a small letter a, but when you are referring to "The 12" who were instrumental in turning the age and also giving us the NT, then it is a very specific group.

What history has proven to be folly is to pretend there has not been any contentious debate over what constitutes the "fellowship of the apostles" and what doesn't.
03-06-2018 02:22 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
If someone comes along who can do the things Paul did, like practically rise from the dead, I might be persuaded that he is a true Apostle. Until then, I'll remain unconvinced.
Let's leave Witness Lee and the LSM for a moment...

C.S. Lewis called the incarnation “the Grand Miracle.” He wrote: “The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation…. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this…. It was the central event in the history of the Earth—the very thing that the whole story has been about” (Miracles, chapter 14).

And why did God work this "...Grand Miracle..."?

For the purpose of being able to work His greatest miracle... That of His transformation of fallen humanity, to that of uplifted humanity (Ephesians 2).

And uplifted humanity has no need of seeing outward miracles... Because we see God... And are one with God... And even express God.

The Israelites saw many of God's miracles and still did not believe Him.

Jesus' disciples saw many miracles and still did not believe Him.

And yet, Igzy thinks that if he could only see a miracle he would be able to accept something about the person who worked the miracle... But in saying this, has only exposed little or no regard for the greatest of all miracles that is within every born again believer in Christ Jesus.

This is the folly that someone holds to when they no longer are holding to the God that saved them... But instead are holding to their assumed knowledge of this God.

This is the truth that scripture reveals to us...

We can know the truth about anyone and anything by simply abiding in our regenerated spirit... Where God Himself abides one with us, and we one with Him.
03-05-2018 09:34 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Igzy>”Just what is the proof of such a claim? ”

Igzy,

Paul said in this chapter and the next 13:3 that his apostleship was authenticated by Christ speaking through Paul in weakness and simultaneously speaking to the Corinthians in power. That was the proof of Paul’s apostleship that they didn’t recognize, not the miracles they asked for.

One must examine Pauls whole explanation. He is saying that their insistence on miracles as proof of apostleship was wrong headed forcing him to become foolish. What was foolish? The insistence of performance of miracles ias proof of his apostleship.

Drake
03-05-2018 08:07 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What sort of miracles are we talking about here, that Paul for example, could have produced on demand to prove he was an apostle. The old coin behind the ear trick? egg in a bottle? I believe Witness Lee could have worked miracles if he wanted to.

There are other metrics we could use. For example, Witness Lee produced hundreds of churches, and Paul by my count produced about 20. It's a miracle in itself to produce so many churches in different countries.
Clearly Paul was talking about extraordinary acts of the supernatural, which is why he used three different words to describe them: signs, wonders and miracles (mighty deeds). He could have been including his church planting work in this as well, but he clearly was including other things as well. To conclude he wasn't including signs of supernatural power seems unreasonable.

At any rate, 2 Cor 12:12 severely weakens the claim of Apostleship by anyone who cannot work "wonders." Could it be that this was exactly what God wanted to achieve? Could it be that God did not want latter day men going around claiming to have the authority of an Apostle? Could it be he didn't want believers to grant anyone such authority without real proof?

Again, what is the benefit, at this late date in Church history, of claiming someone is an Apostle? All such claims seem to do is divide. They force people to choose sides, which is completely unnecessary. Paul himself did not wish that people would pick him to the exclusion of others, even when he was skeptical of those others' credentials. All he asked was that people at least listen to him some. That's all any of us can ask.

Lee, however, expected people to tune out everyone by him and those he approved of. That was nothing short of megalomania. The rotten fruit of it is there for anyone who has eyes to see.

If someone comes along who can do the things Paul did, like practically rise from the dead, I might be persuaded that he is a true Apostle. Until then, I'll remain unconvinced.
03-05-2018 07:37 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Okay, suppose I'm in the lead in a local church and some Blended brother comes along and says our church has to start doing things differently.

So I ask him, "What are your credentials for giving me orders?"

And he replies, "I'm an Apostle." (Note: This could be Lee or Benson or Menuro or Titus Chu or anyone else.)

So I say, in light of Rev 2:2, "Prove it."
12“The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.”

1. with all perseverance — The “false apostles” were hirelings who cared nothing for the sheep— at the first sign of trouble they would quickly abandon the truth. We saw this repeatedly with WL. Max, Sister’s rebellion, JI, etc. Every time there was trouble WL was willing to throw anyone and everyone to the wolves.

2. Signs and wonders — the miracles were a testimony from God so that the church could conclude that Paul’s gospel was true.

3. Financial independence — Paul ends the section with “forgive me this wrong”. By the time false apostles, false brethren, and divisive brethren had finished with Paul his financial independence was turned into a scandal. How absurd is this? The false apostles make merchandise of the saints, so much so that not having a financial motive is made out to be “scandalous”!

Obviously the NT gives us the tools to "prove" who is and who is not an apostle.
03-05-2018 07:33 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
That is a very weak argument.

If Apostles are not supposed to be ABLE to work miracles then the Bible would have never recorded that this ability is the "proof of a true Apostle." (2 Cor 12:12)

Note, I did not say I knew all Apostles worked miracles. I said they should be ABLE to work miracles, so when tested by a church they could prove it (Rev 2:2). How else could they be tested?

You can claim Lee was an Apostle all you want. You can believe it if you want. But you have no ground to expect anyone else to believe it, nor do you have ground to hold anyone in less esteem for not believing it.

Expecting people to revere any latter day person as an Apostle is divisive.
What sort of miracles are we talking about here, that Paul for example, could have produced on demand to prove he was an apostle. The old coin behind the ear trick? egg in a bottle? I believe Witness Lee could have worked miracles if he wanted to.

There are other metrics we could use. For example, Witness Lee produced hundreds of churches, and Paul by my count produced about 20. It's a miracle in itself to produce so many churches in different countries.
03-05-2018 06:47 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Okay, suppose I'm in the lead in a local church and some Blended brother comes along and says our church has to start doing things differently.

So I ask him, "What are your credentials for giving me orders?"

And he replies, "I'm an Apostle." (Note: This could be Lee or Benson or Menuro or Titus Chu or anyone else.)

So I say, in light of Rev 2:2, "Prove it."

What proof can he give? That he worked with Nee or Lee? That he knows "God's economy" inside out? That he's on the payroll at LSM? That he has the force of the movement behind him so he can make life difficult for me if I don't comply?

Just what is the proof of such a claim?

Let's face it. In the LCM it's all about agreed-upon conventions mixed with intimidation. But those conventions are not Biblical. They are all dependent upon accepting a logical construct that is really a house of cards built on shifting sand.

As I said, the only way an extra-local person can command a local church is when that local church has accepted that convention voluntarily. There is no authority from God that directly authorizes such a thing to which the church must submit.

LCMers exist in a state of befuddlement and false assumptions, and that by design. That's the only reason they allow people like the Blendeds to order them around.

If they don't have the self-respect to push back, they deserve what they get.
03-05-2018 06:27 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Then the bible should record ALL of the apostles as working miracles.

It doesn't.
That is a very weak argument.

If Apostles are not supposed to be ABLE to work miracles then the Bible would have never recorded that this ability is the "proof of a true Apostle." (2 Cor 12:12)

Note, I did not say I knew all Apostles worked miracles. I said they should be ABLE to work miracles, so when tested by a church they could prove it (Rev 2:2). How else could they be tested?

You can claim Lee was an Apostle all you want. You can believe it if you want. But you have no ground to expect anyone else to believe it, nor do you have ground to hold anyone in less esteem for not believing it.

Expecting people to revere any latter day person as an Apostle is divisive.
03-05-2018 04:28 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Then the bible should record ALL of the apostles as working miracles.

It doesn't.
03-05-2018 04:20 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
That was the proof of his apostleship but not to be taken as a rule for all time and all apostles.
Paul said that miracles were the sign of a true apostle, not just of his apostleship.

Quote:
There were more apostles than Paul (at least 20 of them) and no documentation that they all worked miracles - the bible is silent.
The Bible also doesn't document every believer receiving Jesus. But it says if you are a believer you have received Jesus. Therefore we can know all true believers have received Jesus.

The Bible DOES say the sign of a true Apostle is the ability to work miracles. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume all true Apostles can work miracles. Why else would Paul say they were the sign of a "true apostle?"

Quote:
Also consider that the reformers Luther and Calvin did not work miracles and in fact may have faked them on occasion (Calvin).

This is generally why protestants do not ask for miracles for proof - if Luther or Calvin worked miracles it would certainly make it easier to prove the Reformation was God's doing.
If they could not work miracles., Luther and Calvin weren't Apostles either.

Further, Luther and Calvin did not have to be Apostles for the Reformation to be God's doing.

Your whole line of argumentation about the Reformation doesn't work.

Face it, 2 Cor 12:12 was not on your radar screen. You have no way to argue around it effectively. Without another verse that negates it, you have no case.
03-05-2018 02:20 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
No, because Paul himself said in 2 Cor 12:12 that the proof of an Apostle was to be able to work miracles.

But he said that not all believers speak in tongues (1 Cor 12:30).

The Church is not obligated to view a person as an apostle unless he can work miracles. That is the clear meaning of 2 Cor 12:12.

As for Hinn, there is a difference between the things he does and the things Paul was able to do. It's the difference between bending spoons and bringing someone back to life.

That was the proof of his apostleship but not to be taken as a rule for all time and all apostles.

There were more apostles than Paul (at least 20 of them) and no documentation that they all worked miracles - the bible is silent.

Also consider that the reformers Luther and Calvin did not work miracles and in fact may have faked them on occasion (Calvin).

This is generally why protestants do not ask for miracles for proof - if Luther or Calvin worked miracles it would certainly make it easier to prove the Reformation was God's doing. Miracles and signs were always the doings of the Catholics rather than the protestants.

Realise that the tactics you are using to say that Lee was not an apostle is the same that Catholics use against the Reformation.
03-05-2018 02:05 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If miracles are the sign of an apostle then the problem is that the bible does not record every apostle working a miracle. There are about 25 apostles mentioned in the NT:

http://bmarkanderson.com/how-many-ap...ment-12-or-25/

On the other hand, perhaps those who work miracles today are apostles - Benny Hinn etc.

This idea that apostles must work miracles is equivalent to the idea that you cannot have the Spirit unless you speak in tongues.
No, because Paul himself said in 2 Cor 12:12 that the proof of an Apostle was to be able to work miracles.

But he said that not all believers speak in tongues (1 Cor 12:30).

The Church is not obligated to view a person as an apostle unless he can work miracles. That is the clear meaning of 2 Cor 12:12.

As for Hinn, there is a difference between the things he does and the things Paul was able to do. It's the difference between bending spoons and bringing someone back to life.
03-05-2018 01:51 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Hi Drake,

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. But, unfortunately, I think the above is not a compelling argument. The Bible never says that believers have to prove their validity as believers to each other. It also never tells us to test whether believers are true believers, and in fact seems to discourage such a course (parable of the wheat and the weeds, Matt 13:24-30).

However, the Bible does give us the ground to test those who claim they are apostles (Rev 2:22), and as you said, Paul felt to prove his apostleship.

There is a big difference between claiming to be a Christ follower and claiming to be an Apostle of Christ. Apostles in the mold of Paul, Peter, John and Timothy had a special commission and authority. They bridged the gap between Christ on earth and the establishment of the New Testament Scriptures as God's unique authority on earth. They were the original "Living Bible."

It's easy to see why people claiming such authority in the latter days are a problem. How do we know they are what they claim? What if there is disagreement? This can cause deep, intractable schisms with reasons to believe either way. Such a situation is exceedingly problematic. We have to look no further than the LCM history for this concern to be validated.

It's seems your argument is working against itself a bit, too. Paul proved his apostleship by performing miracles. This shows that God gave him the power to produce such proof. Why didn't he give it to Lee?

Witness Lee and the present Blendeds are welcome to produce proof of Apostleship. Until they do, as far as I'm concerned they have no authority from God to order churches around. They might have good ministry. They might be good teachers. But without further proof, that's where it ends.
If miracles are the sign of an apostle then the problem is that the bible does not record every apostle working a miracle. There are about 25 apostles mentioned in the NT:

http://bmarkanderson.com/how-many-ap...ment-12-or-25/

On the other hand, perhaps those who work miracles today are apostles - Benny Hinn etc.

This idea that apostles must work miracles is equivalent to the idea that you cannot have the Spirit unless you speak in tongues.
03-05-2018 01:36 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post

However, if someone absolutely insists that the works of power, signs, miracles, etc. are the proof of apostleship, then by the same standard believers must prove they are believers by signs such as casting out demons, speaking with new tongues, picking up serpents, drinking deadly things without harm and laying hands on the sick, for they too, using that same logic, are the signs that follow a bonafide believer.
Hi Drake,

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. But, unfortunately, I think the above is not a compelling argument. The Bible never says that believers have to prove their validity as believers to each other. It also never tells us to test whether believers are true believers, and in fact seems to discourage such a course (parable of the wheat and the weeds, Matt 13:24-30).

However, the Bible does give us the ground to test those who claim they are apostles (Rev 2:2), and as you said, Paul felt to prove his apostleship.

There is a big difference between claiming to be a follower of Christ and claiming to be an Apostle of Christ. Apostles in the mold of Paul, Peter, John and Timothy had a special commission and authority. They bridged the gap between Christ on earth and the establishment of the New Testament Scriptures as God's unique authority on earth. They were the original "Living Bible."

It's easy to see why people claiming such authority in the latter days are problematic. How do we know they are what they claim? What if there is disagreement? This can cause deep, intractable schisms with reasons to believe either way. Such situations are exceedingly problematic. We have to look no further than LCM history for this concern to be validated.

It seems your argument is working against itself a bit, too. Paul proved his apostleship by performing miracles. This shows that God gave him the power to produce such proof. Why didn't he give it to Lee?

Witness Lee, the present Blendeds, and Titus Chu for that matter, are welcome to produce proof of Apostleship. Until they do, as far as I'm concerned they have no authority from God to order churches around. They might have good ministry. They might be good teachers. But without further proof, that's where it ends.

(Obviously, it is too late for Lee to produce proof of Apostleship. So as far as he is concerned, the case is closed.)
03-03-2018 01:55 PM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I suppose there are different interpretations, but the way I read this passage in Matthew 15, when you proclaim that Jesus is Lord it is going to step on the toes of those that had presumed they were Lord, whether they be religious dictators, political ones, etc.
There's only one truth that scripture reveals.

But yes... When truth is spoken the vain feelings of natural man are hurt.

But as I said... Speaking truth is not the cause of this hurt... The cause of this hurt is man's vanity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Hence the analogy of seeking a lost sheep. They don't tell you they are leaving, you simply realize they are not there and now go looking for them.
Really... "...you simply realize..."

So we have no need of the Lord's shining to reveal a problem then?
03-03-2018 01:52 PM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
That story is so sad Steel,...
No my brother... It's not sad... Rejoice... And again I say rejoice.

Was it sad that Isaiah, upon the Lord shining on him from His throne (Isaiah 6), saw his own poor condition?

Or was it a wonderful expression of the grace pof God unto Isaiah's salvation?

If you are familiar with the next few scripture verses you will know it is the second.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
...although I must say not surprising in the least.
Who cares what you think... Care for what the Lord thinks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
Anyone who has spent time in the LSM churches know that that is what happens if you don't stick to the script of Witness Lee.
If you were wise you would spend no time considering "...what happens if you don't stick to the script of Witness Lee..."... And all your time considering what happens if you don't stick to the Lord's script.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
In the churches of Lee, Lee will be preached.
Until he isn't... Which will be according to God's will... Right... Isn't that what scripture tells us... That it is God who is in control of all things.
03-03-2018 02:29 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
So are you saying that the Lord caused others to become offended?... That the Lord was the cause of their becoming offended?
I suppose there are different interpretations, but the way I read this passage in Matthew 15, when you proclaim that Jesus is Lord it is going to step on the toes of those that had presumed they were Lord, whether they be religious dictators, political ones, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
But how would you know to seek them out if they didn't tell you they were offended?
Hence the analogy of seeking a lost sheep. They don't tell you they are leaving, you simply realize they are not there and now go looking for them.
03-02-2018 04:58 PM
leastofthese
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
Two weekends ago I spoke something in a meeting that caused an older member to become offended. I didn't know, but as my wife and I were getting into our car to leave this brother was walking by and I said "Amen brother" and he just scowled at me... So I pressed... And said even louder, "Amen brother."

He continued walking as if he didn't hear me but then stopped and turn around and came back to me. He looked at me and said in an offended way that I had caused confusion because after he had spoken telling a young one that he had brought that consecration only requires saying "Lord Jesus", I then got up and said "I will tell you what consecration is... It is knowing God, and knowing who God is in our lives."
That story is so sad Steel, although I must say not surprising in the least. Anyone who has spent time in the LSM churches know that that is what happens if you don't stick to the script of Witness Lee.

In the churches of Lee, Lee will be preached.
03-02-2018 12:34 PM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Surely. Did you read Matt 18? There is no reference in that chapter to those who were offended by the Lord's speaking. Obviously there are different situations. If you are having trouble distinguishing between the two then bring up the verse that is giving you trouble.
So are you saying that the Lord caused others to become offended?... That the Lord was the cause of their becoming offended?

And I didn't speak about the Lord causing anyone to be offended in reference to the scripture from Matthew... But in reference to what you said that I quoted above my reference to the Lord causing anyone to be offended.

Go back and read it again... And if you are having trouble understanding my point let me know and I will try and explain it some more to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Obviously not part of the context of Matt 18. But let's suppose we did have a new one offended by something that was spoken in the meeting. They should go privately to the one who spoke and talk to them. But since they are a new one, a "little brother" then it may be they will simply be stumbled and leave. In that case you should seek them out to fellowship.
But how would you know to seek them out if they didn't tell you they were offended?

Two weekends ago I spoke something in a meeting that caused an older member to become offended. I didn't know, but as my wife and I were getting into our car to leave this brother was walking by and I said "Amen brother" and he just scowled at me... So I pressed... And said even louder, "Amen brother."

He continued walking as if he didn't hear me but then stopped and turn around and came back to me. He looked at me and said in an offended way that I had caused confusion because after he had spoken telling a young one that he had brought that consecration only requires saying "Lord Jesus", I then got up and said "I will tell you what consecration is... It is knowing God, and knowing who God is in our lives."

My speaking this had offended him because he thought it would confuse the young person he had brought to the meetings.

I just said "Amen brother, the Lord knows" and left it at that.

I fully believe that the Lord is able to work out all things ZNPaaneah, if we simply trust in Him to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
In either case we should now be having a discussion with this saint about the offense. It may be they were offended by the truth. Perhaps if we "speak the truth in love" that will restore the situation. Perhaps even after the fellowship they are still offended. In that case they should take one or two more that they do respect, explain to them their offense and perhaps those two or three can explain it to this one. Ohio referred to this as one of the safeguards from this chapter.
Okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Your conclusion that truth should not be spoken lest we offend is not a balanced interpretation of scripture but rather taking a word in Matt 18 out of context, applying it to a completely different context. I think this is what Peter referred to as those who twist what the scripture says.
Things is... I didn't conclude that... I simply put it forward as a contrast to what I fully believe we should at all times do... Which is speak the truth in love... Just as scripture tells us to do.
03-02-2018 12:21 PM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
It provides a powerful contrast. In Matt 18 we are told to become like little children otherwise we cannot enter the kingdom. In Matt 15 we have Scribes and Pharisees creating "traditions of the elders" and making these laws that you are not permitted to transgress. This is not to "become as a little child" but rather to become as a tyrant or despot.
Sure... Which all humans are, to one degree or another, in our fallen natural man... Which, BTW, God chose in His infinte wisdom to leave us with.

Do you not know that all that separates any of us from becoming "...as a tyrant or despot..." is God's grace... And that includes you, ZNPaaneah.

The question is... Knowing that you being is as a result of God's grace... What does scripture tell us regarding how this grace is expressed in your daily living and being... Towards yourself, and towards others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
In both chapters it talks about these ones being offended. Why were the Pharisees offended? Because the Lord exposed their hypocrisy in short circuiting the ten commandments so that they could collect more money.
No, ZNPaaneah... The Pharisees were offended because they were without Christ.

As is the reason Peter, anyone else in scripture became offended.
03-02-2018 12:09 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Steel has referred to this verse concerning not offending the "little one" in Matt 18:

Matt 15 Then there come to Jesus from Jerusalem Pharisees and scribes, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 And he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God said, Honor thy father and thy mother: and, He that speaketh evil of father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, That wherewith thou mightest have been profited by me is given to God; 6 he shall not honor his father. And ye have made void the word of God because of your tradition. 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,

8 This people honoreth me with their lips;
But their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain do they worship me,
Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.


It provides a powerful contrast. In Matt 18 we are told to become like little children otherwise we cannot enter the kingdom. In Matt 15 we have Scribes and Pharisees creating "traditions of the elders" and making these laws that you are not permitted to transgress. This is not to "become as a little child" but rather to become as a tyrant or despot.

In both chapters it talks about these ones being offended. Why were the Pharisees offended? Because the Lord exposed their hypocrisy in short circuiting the ten commandments so that they could collect more money.
03-02-2018 11:52 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
So the Lord Jesus was responsible for stumbling all those who scripture tells us were offended by Him as He lived out His 32+ years on this earth?

Surely not, right?
Surely. Did you read Matt 18? There is no reference in that chapter to those who were offended by the Lord's speaking. Obviously there are different situations. If you are having trouble distinguishing between the two then bring up the verse that is giving you trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
When you speak truth/reality/life and doing so causes the person hearing/reading it to become offended... What then... Should truth/reality/life not be spoken... Because of the opportunity doing so gives to others to become offended in themselves?
Obviously not part of the context of Matt 18. But let's suppose we did have a new one offended by something that was spoken in the meeting. They should go privately to the one who spoke and talk to them. But since they are a new one, a "little brother" then it may be they will simply be stumbled and leave. In that case you should seek them out to fellowship. In either case we should now be having a discussion with this saint about the offense. It may be they were offended by the truth. Perhaps if we "speak the truth in love" that will restore the situation. Perhaps even after the fellowship they are still offended. In that case they should take one or two more that they do respect, explain to them their offense and perhaps those two or three can explain it to this one. Ohio referred to this as one of the safeguards from this chapter.

Your conclusion that truth should not be spoken lest we offend is not a balanced interpretation of scripture but rather taking a word in Matt 18 out of context, applying it to a completely different context. I think this is what Peter referred to as those who twist what the scripture says.
03-02-2018 11:42 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
But it is completely different in Matt 18, the onus on an offense is on those that stumble the little ones, not on the little ones for being "in their mind".
So the Lord Jesus was responsible for stumbling all those who scripture tells us were offended by Him as He lived out His 32+ years on this earth?

Surely not, right?

When you speak truth/reality/life and doing so causes the person hearing/reading it to become offended... What then... Should truth/reality/life not be spoken... Because of the opportunity doing so gives to others to become offended in themselves?

Matthew 18:6... "And whoever stumbles one of these little ones who believe into Me, it is more profitable for him that a great millstone be hung around his neck and he be drowned in the open sea."

What is the above scripture verse telling us?

First... The context is those who the Lord has called to Himself... Meaning, those coming to Him as little children (humble, having no malice/poor agenda towards others).

The Lord then adds this... "Truly I say to you, Unless you turn and become like little children, you shall by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens."

Above we have a caveat to the initial context... And then the Lord continues... "And whoever receives one such little child because of My name, receives Me;..."

And there it is... Is the one who claims to be offended by the speaking of another... Doing so as "...such a little child...", or are they doing so in the vanity of the natural human adulthood.

Speaking truth/reality/life won't stumble a "...child..." who has come to the Lord... But speaking truth/reality/life will certainly cause the one who is in the vanity of the natural human adulthood to become offended.
03-02-2018 11:25 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Brother Steel, unfortunately it is only the heartless and the bullies who speak this way. This is how they "wash their hands" of any responsibility.
Actually... By my very passionate consideration of the things people are speaking on threads like these, I know that I am neither "...heartless..." or a bully. . . . And I have in no way "...washed..." my hands of any responsibility to you or anyone else I encounter her, or anywhere else... As the Lord leads.

Ohio... Since beginning to participate on the forums of this website I have had its members in my heart, and brought you all before the Lord on many occassions. . . . And when I encounter erroneous speaking such as in your above quoted speaking... I am simply encouraged even more to bring the person speaking this error before the Lord.

And bringing a person or matter before the Lord is the best way to exercise my caring of the responsibilty I have towards this person or matter… Which, BTW... Is exactly what I was exhorting you to do regarding any interaction with me.

Always... Always... Bring all things we encounter... Before the Lord. . . . And perhaps you shouldn't think to assume that I am insincere with my speaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Either you learned these bad habits within the LC, or you joined them because of similarity.
And what would be your excuse for your own poor speaking?

See, Ohio... It seems that, for you... All that you are able to do is try and find a way to twist what someone says into something that allows you to speak in a negative way toward all things you deem as being "...within the LC...".

Thankfully though, we can know from scripture that... "The prayer of a righteous man avails much in its working."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
While I was inside the LC fold, all of the offenses flowed "down hill" in their well established hierarchy.
Well... Thankfully... I don't see myself as being "...inside the LC fold..."... I know that I am in Christ Jesus... And that He is in me… And in these two realities is the enjoyment of being in His fold.

But perhaps, your thinking you were "...inside the LC fold..." was the error the Lord had to bring you out of... And is the error the Lord is still bringing you out of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Members had no recourse but to "take it before the Lord," because if one opened his mouth, it only got worse for him.
My brother... Scripture tells us that the Lord "...opened His mouth..."... Regardless of the consequences... And did so because He trusted who He was/is in the Father, and trusted the leading of the Spirit.

And scripture also tells us that we should have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5)... Do you believe what scripture tells us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Having left the LC structures, I then realized that I have a voice on behalf of others.
Yeh... No... Only the Lord has a voice on behalf of others... And He doesn't speak the error I've seen you speak on these threads.
03-01-2018 12:07 PM
Terry
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post

4. There was no mercy. This forum is very much like those saints described in Matt 18. They saw their fellow servant who had been shown mercy by His Lord go out and abuse his fellow servants, so we were offended by this and came and told the Lord. Mercy is very clearly the boundary. No one enters this city without the Lord showing them mercy, and likewise no one stays in the city unless they will likewise show others mercy.
Mercy and grace tend to go hand in hand. In the local churches these is not that environment. Not when I was a child there and certainly not as an adult. It's not something that is taught to the young people.
Opinion I've held is there would be far less attrition in the local churches if there was mercy and grace. When there is an absence of mercy and grace, one doesn't feel welcome if you have contrasting point of view.
03-01-2018 11:57 AM
Terry
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Another point we don't often mention in the Matt 18 story is the benefits of "taking another brother with you." Oftentimes a perceived offense can almost vanish before our eyes once we begin rehearsing the matter to another brother. Speaking the event "out loud" to one another helps to deliver us from merely emotional bias and help us to be objective towards ourselves. Candid fellowship with one another can remove these emotional "mountains." Healthy married couples learn this regularly.
Members & lurkers, those who haven't caught on my primary purpose on this forum is not the orthodoxy, but the orthopraxy of the local churches.
Quite often whether it's perceived or actual offenses, part of the emotional mountains that exist is "I don't want to hear about it" or so and so "has to get right with the brothers".
If we're scriptural Matthew 18 should be a way for there to be candid fellowship in resolving issues.
03-01-2018 10:37 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Great point. I also remember being taught that this was part of taking the cross and if something offended you then that was an expression of the flesh, self, old man, etc. But it is completely different in Matt 18, the onus on an offense is on those that stumble the little ones, not on the little ones for being "in their mind".
Another point we don't often mention in the Matt 18 story is the benefits of "taking another brother with you." Oftentimes a perceived offense can almost vanish before our eyes once we begin rehearsing the matter to another brother. Speaking the event "out loud" to one another helps to deliver us from merely emotional bias and help us to be objective towards ourselves. Candid fellowship with one another can remove these emotional "mountains." Healthy married couples learn this regularly.

On the other hand, re-enactment of offensive events with another brother or sister can also highlight serious matters missed privately. With such a sounding board, with two gathered in His name, the Lord can step in to further enlighten the situation.
03-01-2018 09:46 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Brother Steel, unfortunately it is only the heartless and the bullies who speak this way. This is how they "wash their hands" of any responsibility. Either you learned these bad habits within the LC, or you joined them because of similarity.

While I was inside the LC fold, all of the offenses flowed "down hill" in their well established hierarchy. Members had no recourse but to "take it before the Lord," because if one opened his mouth, it only got worse for him. Having left the LC structures, I then realized that I have a voice on behalf of others.
Great point. I also remember being taught that this was part of taking the cross and if something offended you then that was an expression of the flesh, self, old man, etc. But it is completely different in Matt 18, the onus on an offense is on those that stumble the little ones, not on the little ones for being "in their mind".
03-01-2018 07:51 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
If my speaking offends you, take it before the Lord... If my speaking uplifts you, take it before the Lord.
Brother Steel, unfortunately it is only the heartless and the bullies who speak this way. This is how they "wash their hands" of any responsibility. Either you learned these bad habits within the LC, or you joined them because of similarity.

While I was inside the LC fold, all of the offenses flowed "down hill" in their well established hierarchy. Members had no recourse but to "take it before the Lord," because if one opened his mouth, it only got worse for him. Having left the LC structures, I then realized that I have a voice on behalf of others.
03-01-2018 07:30 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
When I hear LCMers talking about oneness, it sounds like when the Pharisees talked about Moses. Technically they had a point, but only technically. Otherwise they were off the reservation.
Yes, let's consider 4 ways they were outside of the boundary:

1. Arrogance. Those of us who were there know that we considered ourselves "elite" Christians, those who were absolute, not in dead Christianity, etc. You cannot enter the kingdom unless you become as a small child. Clearly a boundary.

2. We were not sensitive to saints that were getting offended. Instead we were told from elders and Witness Lee that they were "poisoned" and that you should not look "in the garbage can". In Houston I heard that every kitchen has a garbage can, who would come and visit someone and then go and look in their garbage can. The point was to not have any contact with those who left nor should we ask about them. If you offend one of these little ones it would be better if you tied a heavy stone around your neck and were flushed out of the city into the middle of the ocean. Clearly a boundary you cannot cross.

3. We were not permitted to seek out the lost sheep. We were warned to stay away from certain ones, don't see them, etc. So when someone did get offended no one was permitted to talk to them. This is directly contrary to what the Lord spoke in Matt 18. Leaving the flock to seek out the lost sheep is not outside the boundary, instead it is a defining characteristic.

4. There was no mercy. This forum is very much like those saints described in Matt 18. They saw their fellow servant who had been shown mercy by His Lord go out and abuse his fellow servants, so we were offended by this and came and told the Lord. Mercy is very clearly the boundary. No one enters this city without the Lord showing them mercy, and likewise no one stays in the city unless they will likewise show others mercy.
02-28-2018 01:56 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
While you were meeting with these members of the body of Christ... Were you caring for all members of His body in those cities?
That would require a very long and detailed response not appropriate for this thread, however if you open a new thread I would be happy to contribute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
How can we have the oneness of Christ expressed in and through the body of Christ if the body of Christ doesn't care about His oneness?
I think this is something that grows as you mature in the Lord. However, the boundary is a key issue. WL and WN were correct to identify the importance of only one ground on which the Temple can be built.

This ground is the same place Abraham offered up his son in a figure. It indicates we have to be absolute for the Lord, we are a burnt offering, we must take the way of the cross, a path we can only walk by faith.

It is also the same ground purchased by David as a Peace offering to make up for his arrogance in numbering the children of Israel contrary to the Law. If you want to keep the oneness you will have sins, offenses, even sins of ignorance. You need to also be willing to pay the price to make peace. [That plague was certainly a result of the census that David authorized. At that time you had an agricultural society that was rural. When you raise cows, chickens, horses, sheep, goats, etc you will develop diseases like Mumps and Measles. If you get these as a child you will develop immunity, but if you get them as an adult you will get sick and die. This does not apply to those who come to Jerusalem to the feast because they would not come if they were sick or infirm. But a census taker would have gone in and out of homes where the sick, infirm, children and elderly would be. They would transmit diseases from one part of Israel to another. The law was very clear, the only way to take a census is to have each family give their local levite an offering in copper coins, the tally of the offering would give you a census. Copper is very good at not spreading disease.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
Caring for the oneness of the body of Christ... That's the ground we should stand on... And when we do... The reality of this is what is then expressed... In all that we are and do.
Yes, my point in this thread is that this is what Matt 18 is talking about. It begins with "turning" from wanting to be "greatest" to "becoming like a small child". Our pride, arrogance and biases are a major cause of division. The second thing is to be very sensitive to the smallest saint being offended. If every saint is the "Body" then our body is covered with nerve endings to detect an attack. If a wolf is going to attack the sheep they'll attack the weakest members on the edge of the flock. Those saints will be your earliest indication of a problem. Also, if a saint stops meeting you need to seek out and find the lost sheep. Had we done this we would have discovered the truth of the Sister's rebellion and many other crimes committed by "wolves in sheep's clothing". Then it talks about resolving offences and with the strongest possible emphasis tells us to exhibit mercy towards one another.
02-28-2018 01:31 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Oneness is a laudable value and goal.

But the way the LCM tries to achieve it has not worked and has actually produced the opposite results.

When I hear LCMers talking about oneness, it sounds like when the Pharisees talked about Moses. Technically they had a point, but only technically. Otherwise they were off the reservation.

In the meantime, I see oneness growing in other ways.

God is going to cause us all to "arrive at the unity of the faith." Let's trust him and love each other.
02-28-2018 12:05 PM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
OK, enjoy, but ...

Don't choke on the leaven of pride, bro.
I try... But know even if I do... The Lord cares enough for me that He won't allow me to lose my salvation even if my choking kills me.

My brother... I didn't come here today to speak the things I did below... But as I started reading the comments here I felt a compelling to write what I have below... And as I was doing this I was simply trying to do the best I can before the Lord... And if there is pride, my hope is that He will save me out of it.

And know this... The things I speak here, I speak anywhere... Because I believe the Lord has given these things to me to speak... And I want to be one with and obdient to Him.

If my speaking offends you, take it before the Lord... If my speaking uplifts you, take it before the Lord.
02-28-2018 11:53 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
But praise the Lord that we can all, if we choose to, before the living God... Enjoy the writings that come from his ministry.
OK, enjoy, but ...

Don't choke on the leaven of pride, bro.
02-28-2018 11:44 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
There is only one church per city because there is only one body of Christ.
Amen... And yet... That's not what folks see when they look at us, is it.

Is that their fault... Our fault... The Lord's fault... Or no one's fault?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
It is only the fallen, natural man who looks at all of God's children and sees differences.
Really? . . . So God doesn't see differences between His children? . . . So God doesn't know each of His children individually, and even created us individually?

What are we... Just clones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Are not all churches golden lampstands, indistinguishable from one another?
By "...all churches..." I'm going to conclude that you mean all expressions of God's one church that is in Christ Jesus... And in this context... Yes... All are golden lampstands, indistinguishable from one another.

But... Do all members of these "...golden lampstands, indistinguishable from one another..." expressions of God's one church... See this reality... And enter into this reality... And express this reality?

Tell me, Ohio... If the Lord was to come in and remove a golden lampstand from among a group of believers... What will happen to these believers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
It was W. Lee who decided that only his LC's are legitimate, and only the elders he appointed are legitimate, and only his printing presses are legitimate, and only his seminaries are legitimate, and divided his followers from the rest of the body of Christ.
Really... So the Pope is all on-board with the oneness of the body that is in Christ Jesus... And the head honchos of the various protestant religious institutions... Are they all on-board with the oneness of the body that is in Christ Jesus?

I'm asking because from your above speaking it's sounding like everything was just peachy keen regarding all believers being on-board with the oneness of the body that is in Christ Jesus before Witness Lee came and messed things up.
02-28-2018 11:32 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
We can only answer what happened and what was taught, and whether it was according to God's word.
That's a wonderfully limited response... I appreciate your effort in being limited in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
You have to ask WL the why.
He's dead.

But praise the Lord that we can all, if we choose to, before the living God... Enjoy the writings that come from his ministry.
02-28-2018 11:30 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Yes, great question.

In the LRC I met in Houston (200), Irving (100), Odessa (<100), NYC (300).
While you were meeting with these members of the body of Christ... Were you caring for all members of His body in those cities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Even if you considered yourself "one with all the Christians" in the city you couldn't possibly think that you were comprehensively one with them. There were obviously many, many meetings going on in the city of genuine Christians.
What's impossible for man, isn't for God.

I don't need to consider myself one with all the Christians"... I only need to believe that I am one with Christ... In Whom, and out of Whom comes His body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So then the question becomes "Is one church in one city = all the Christians have to meet with us?" That is where the error comes in. No, all the Christians have to meet with Jesus, that is the only requirement.
Actually, that's not the question/consideration.

According to scripture, one church in one city is the already accomplished/established reality... What needs to be worked out is the entering of believers within the city into this already accomplished/established reality.

And no... Believers don't just "...meet with Jesus..." . . . We meet in Him and through Him... And unto Him.

And if a believer doesn't see and enter into this reality... They are outside of Christ... Even as we might claim otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
If "one church one city" means that only our elders are the "authority" in the church here then that is the error.
Scripture tells us that Christ alone is the Head... And as the Head, He alone is the authority, both over, and within His one church.

If believers are unable to submit ourselves to this reality of Christ being our Head... Then how can there ever be a proper expression of Christ in anything that we express... Including the matter of eldership.

Maybe we can take a look at how God arranged things when Moses had to manage the couple million Israelites he was caring for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
If "one church one city" means that every other Lord's table meeting in this city is in division and sin, then that is the error.
Division doesn't come out of works... Division comes out of not caring for what God cares for.

Works simply expresses what a believer cares for.

How can we have the oneness of Christ expressed in and through the body of Christ if the body of Christ doesn't care about His oneness?

Caring for the oneness of the body of Christ... That's the ground we should stand on... And when we do... The reality of this is what is then expressed... In all that we are and do.
02-28-2018 11:22 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
And what is "wrong" with the thought of "...one church per city..."?
There is only one church per city because there is only one body of Christ.

It is only the fallen, natural man who looks at all of God's children and sees differences. Are not all churches golden lampstands, indistinguishable from one another?

It was W. Lee who decided that only his LC's are legitimate, and only the elders he appointed are legitimate, and only his printing presses are legitimate, and only his seminaries are legitimate, and divided his followers from the rest of the body of Christ.
02-28-2018 11:12 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
Why do you think this happened, Ohio?
We can only answer what happened and what was taught, and whether it was according to God's word.

You have to ask WL the why.
02-28-2018 11:09 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
What is "wrong" with the thought of "...one church per city..."?
Yes, great question.

In the LRC I met in Houston (200), Irving (100), Odessa (<100), NYC (300).

Even if you considered yourself "one with all the Christians" in the city you couldn't possibly think that you were comprehensively one with them. There were obviously many, many meetings going on in the city of genuine Christians.

So then the question becomes "Is one church in one city = all the Christians have to meet with us?" That is where the error comes in. No, all the Christians have to meet with Jesus, that is the only requirement.

If "one church one city" means that only our elders are the "authority" in the church here then that is the error.

If "one church one city" means that every other Lord's table meeting in this city is in division and sin, then that is the error.
02-28-2018 11:03 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I'm saying if I am going to follow someone as an Apostle, I'm going to need to see the sign of Apostleship.
So you are speaking in regards to your own personal experience... Which is limited?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
What other people claim to have seen is their business.
Absolutely... Just as what you claim to know is according to your own limited experience.

On another note... Can you reference the scripture/s that tells us we should follow an apostle?
02-28-2018 10:59 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
But then, beginning in early 1974, Lee changed.
Why do you think this happened, Ohio?
02-28-2018 10:55 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

When I read the title of this thread — "What is the boundary of the Local Church" — my thought was that it would be a thread discussing the idea of one church per city as presented in Living Stream Ministry publications... And that is the context my following speaking will be related to.

The first time I heard about the "...one church per city..." thought was just after I started meeting with the local church in Miami... And my first response to it was "Wonderful, this is how it should be."

And this wasn't because I had come to hold to anything Witness Lee or Watchman Nee or LSM... It was because I had just spent three years working through a project called OneAmen, which had as the thought behind it, a platform on and through which all believers in Christ Jesus could come together outside of the denominations/specifc "churches" they were associated with.

"WWJD" . . . Remember that acronym that was popular back in the '90s... "What would Jesus do?" . . . Well... I asked that question regarding this scripture... John 17:21... "That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me." . . . And I asked it because from my POV there was nothing "...one..." about the church I was seeing around me.

The answer I got was this... 2nd Corinthians 1:20... "For as many promises of God as there are, in Him is the Yes; therefore also through Him is the Amen to God, for glory through us to God."

This told me that it's all about the Son... All about Christ Jesus... And He is just One... It's not about doctrines, or ministries, or denominations, or anything else... It's only about the Lord Jesus... And if the body is to be one body... Then the members of the body need to realize this reality... That is is all about, and only about, Jesus.

There is only... one... Amen... To God's calling/desire... And anything outside of this one Amen is not according to God's calling/desire.

Now when I came to see this truth regarding the one body of Christ, I had no idea about the "...ground of the church..." or "...one church per city..." . . . I just knew that what I was seeing when I looked at the body of Christ around me wasn't aligning with what I had come to know about the matter after considering scripture before the Lord.

And then the Lord removed my wife and myself from meeting with believers in what I'd later come to see as Christianity... And brought us to the local church meeting in Miami.

And no... I didn't for a moment think I'd found the oneness of God's body being expressed on this earth... But what I realized is that the Lord had revealed another part of the matter of the oneness of the body that I had been seeking Him on.

Before you can truly enter into something you need to first see it... There is just no way to truly enter into something without first seeing it... And what I came to see as I met with the local church, and read the ministry of LSM, help me see a little more about the matter of the oneness of the body of Christ... Something that the ministry publications referred to as "...the ground of the church..." and the thought of "...one church per city...".

And what is "wrong" with the thought of "...one church per city..."?

Isn't that what the reality of being in Christ actually is, for those of us who live in a city?

In the Lord's eyes... How many churches are there in a city?

One, right... And if so... How many churches should we see, as believers in Him, when we look at a city?

Again... Just one.

Not two... Not three... Not four... Only one.

"...I will build My church..."

And yet... Here we are... Three "churches" right here on my quarter mile of street where I live... And one more half a mile away... And four more maybe one mile away... Eight "churches" within one mile of where I live... And none having anything to do with the others.

Lord Jesus... Help us. . . . Is this what you want Lord?

No... It isn't. . . . He certainly allows it... But it's not what He wants... Not according to scripture... "That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me."

"...that the world may believe that You have sent Me."

It doesn't say "...that believers may believe that You sent Me." . . . It says "...the world..." . . . But the world looks at Christianity and doesn't see this oneness... Every day I participate on online forums in which some claimed atheist states that there is so much division between believers... And they are correct, there is.

Why do we believers allow this to take place? . . . Why don't we care for the oness of the Lord in His church?

I have come to see that this is where the rubber hits the road regarding the matters of "...the ground of the church..." and "...one church per city..."... It's about how much we care for the oneness of the Lord in His church.

You want to know what the "...boundary of the local church..." is, saints... It's the measure of grace that God has given you to care for the oneness of the body of Christ... And the capacity you have through this measure of grace God has given you to care for the oneness of the body of Christ... And finally... It is the environment into which the measure of God's grace has brought you so that you can express this care for the oneness of the body of Christ in a living/practical way.

In new testament the word translated as "city" defines a particular geographic area related to a particular set of inhabitants within that geographic area. And it's somewhat similar in the old testament also.

It's not rocket science... How can you care for the oneness of the body of Christ in relation to those who live a hundred miles from you... Or even fifty miles from you... On a monthly basis maybe... But weekly... Daily... Hourly... Not so much.

This is what I clearly see in scripture as a pattern for us to follow... The oneness of the Lord's church is seen locally, then regionally, then universally... In and through the caring of the saints for this oneness... First locally, then regionally, then universally.

And why a "...city..." for the local boundary of this caring? . . . It's what the apostles set as a pattern for us... And our fellowship is with the apostles... Whose fellowship is with the Father and the Son (1 John 1:3).
02-28-2018 10:27 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
But you might be referring to a specific type of miracle... But even regarding that, unless you are aware of what goes on in every part of this earth with all believers in Christ Jesus... Then it would be impossible for you to know if there are "...no miracles, no apostle. Period."

Do you know what goes on in all places with all believers in Christ Jesus, Iggy?
I'm saying if I am going to follow someone as an Apostle, I'm going to need to see the sign of Apostleship. What other people claim to have seen is their business.
02-28-2018 10:17 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
Yes... I was clear that Igzy's speaking was in relation to the topic of this thread... As is my speaking in the comment you quoted.
Whether or not we have apostles in all ages, the twelve apostles of the Lamb are those recorded in the NT. The fellowship of the apostles refers to the NT, not to WL, WN, or anyone else. That is the boundary of the church.

This thread is not about whether or not we still have apostles.
02-28-2018 09:56 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
The NT Testament only gives two solid validations of an Apostle.
  1. They were closely associated with Jesus while he was here, or with somebody who was.
  2. They could work miracles. (I don't see how you can explain away 2 Cor 12:12.)
Without criteria such as these, how could Ephesus "try those who call themselves apostles and are not, finding them false"? (Rev. 2.2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Why wasn't Lee content to be a traveling teacher and author like most other teachers in the Church? Because he wasn't content with having a ministry. He wanted to control things.
According to all the testimonies from those who knew him, during his first decade in the US, Lee was "content to be a traveling teacher and author like most other teachers in the Church."

But then, beginning in early 1974, Lee changed. He wanted to control things. He wanted to control not just his ministry, but all the workers, elders, and Local Churches. Things at first did not work out so well, but once he placed his son Philip in charge, what a ruler he became!
02-28-2018 09:24 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
You do realize that the context of what Igzy wrote is in a thread called "the boundary of the local church". The apostles became a key issue because the boundary of the NJ is the wall. "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
Yes... I was clear that Igzy's speaking was in relation to the topic of this thread... As is my speaking in the comment you quoted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So I do not understand how these comments are relevant or contribute to the understanding of the boundary of the church?
In both the comment I quoted and responded to, and the comment just prior to it, Igzy brought up the matter of what determines apostleship... Which is the line of thought that I was responding to.

If there is such a things as "...the boundary of the church...", then this matter would have been addressed in scripture, and spoken to through apostleship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Are you saying that Witness Lee was one of "the twelve apostles of the Lamb" and wrote letters to the church saying this?
Honestly... I have no idea why you would think I was saying that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Are you saying that this reference to the "twelve apostles to the lamb" is a generic term referring to anyone who represents God or brings a message from God?
Again... I have no idea why you would think I was saying that.

Tell you what though... Why not stick to what I actually said, rather than assume/suggest something I absolutely did not say or suggest... And let's start from there.
02-28-2018 08:53 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I think promoting oneself as apostle is folly religion.
Okay... You are responsible for your thoughts before the Lord.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
"But Paul did it!"
Paul did a lot of things... Including trying to go somewhere that God didn't want him to go to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
But Paul got the right hand of fellowship from Cephas. He had some ground, there.
The ground Paul had was between him and the Lord. Paul claimed it, but no one could actually see it... This is where faith comes in... Do you believe Paul's speaking, or don't you believe Paul's speaking... It's not rocket science.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
And a horse is kind of like a hippopotamus: both have four legs, two eyes and a digestive tract.
And a foolish remark is just a foolish remark... Not matter how the speaker tries to justify it.

aron... "...kind of like..." doesn't do it where God's concerned.
02-28-2018 05:45 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
Kind of like what the church actually was back in the days when folks claimed to be apostles... And even wrote letters to other believers saying just that.



According to a simple definition of the word "apostle" as used by Paul in Romans 1:1... It seems that all Paul was saying is that he was a type of representative/messenger of God... "...a delegate; specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ..."
You do realize that the context of what Igzy wrote is in a thread called "the boundary of the local church". The apostles became a key issue because the boundary of the NJ is the wall. "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."

So I do not understand how these comments are relevant or contribute to the understanding of the boundary of the church?

Are you saying that Witness Lee was one of "the twelve apostles of the Lamb" and wrote letters to the church saying this?

Are you saying that this reference to the "twelve apostles to the lamb" is a generic term referring to anyone who represents God or brings a message from God?
02-27-2018 01:46 PM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
I think. . .the church is suffering from the effects of folly religion.
I think promoting oneself as apostle is folly religion.

"But Paul did it!"

But Paul got the right hand of fellowship from Cephas. He had some ground, there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel View Post
Kind of like what the church actually was back in the days. . .
And a horse is kind of like a hippopotamus: both have four legs, two eyes and a digestive tract.
02-27-2018 09:46 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Let me make another point. The Church has no problem saying certain members are evangelists, pastors, shepherds, teachers and healers. But for some reason it no longer seems to want to designate anyone as an apostle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Let me make another point. The Church has no problem saying certain members are evangelists, pastors, shepherds, teachers and healers. But for some reason it no longer seems to want to designate anyone as an apostle.
Interesting observation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Why is that? Why would the Church be so hesitant? . . . I think there are two reasons: The Church knows intellectually that saying a person is an apostle confers immense authority to that person, and is careful about doing that. . . . The Church does not have the prompting from the Holy Spirit recognize anyone in such a way.
I think there's very related third reason... The church is sufferingfrom the effects of folly religion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
The only groups that ever claim anyone is an apostle are tiny, fringe groups like the Local Church Movement.
Kind of like what the church actually was back in the days when folks claimed to be apostles... And even wrote letters to other believers saying just that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
And it's always one of their guys who gets the honor. Surprise!
Paul is very clear regarding how people love to hold to those they are familiar with... And we are all gulity of doing so, in ine way or another and to one degree or another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I think it's dangerous to go around claiming present day men (or women) are apostles. I don't think the Lord hands out that kind of authority anymore. So for me, no miracles, no apostle. Period.
According to a simple definition of the word "apostle" as used by Paul in Romans 1:1... It seems that all Paul was saying is that he was a type of representative/messenger of God... "...a delegate; specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ..."

And I think that being born again is a wonderful miracle... And if it is a miracle... Then there are miracles happening every day throughout this earth.

But you might be referring to a specific type of miracle... But even regarding that, unless you are aware of what goes on in every part of this earth with all believers in Christ Jesus... Then it would be impossible for you to know if there are "...no miracles, no apostle. Period."

Do you know what goes on in all places with all believers in Christ Jesus, Iggy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
You guys need to be more keen on the potential of abuse of authority. You don't just call someone an apostle because he has what you think is an impressive ministry and has planted some churches--not unless you like opening the door to Mr. Apostle stepping in and running your lives.
Many members... One body... With each member having a particular part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Some people are abusers. Some are enablers. It's called co-dependent dysfunction.
In our fallen man... We all, including yourself... Suffer from the above.
02-26-2018 02:59 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Paul is a problem since he is not one of the 12. It sort of deflates the 12 apostles argument. If the 12 apostles thing is correct then the true church boundary would be messianic Judaism since without Paul protestantism would not exist.
Yes, it definitely throws a wrench into the equation, however Peter is an apostle and he referenced Paul's epistles as the divinely inspired word of God. That is certainly part of the "fellowship of the apostles".
02-26-2018 02:19 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I think what is very safe is that the reference to the name of the apostles as the foundation of the wall refers to these 12. The idea that the wall is the boundary of the church and that the foundation of this boundary is "The apostles" does not refer to future ones, but rather to these 12. Therefore I understand this to refer to the "Fellowship of the apostles".

As long as a meeting of believers is within the fellowship of the apostles it is within the boundaries of the NT for a church meeting.
Paul is a problem since he is not one of the 12. It sort of deflates the 12 apostles argument. If the 12 apostles thing is correct then the true church boundary would be messianic Judaism since without Paul protestantism would not exist.
02-26-2018 05:47 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Let me make another point. The Church has no problem saying certain members are evangelists, pastors, shepherds, teachers and healers. But for some reason it no longer seems to want to designate anyone as an apostle. Even giants like Rick Warren are not designated apostles.
I would prefer we use "The signs of an apostle" and alignment with "the fellowship of the apostles" for this rather than current church practices and mores which tend to change from generation to generation. After all, the two witnesses that appear at the end of the age will have the signs of an apostle and are clearly "sent ones". Besides the scriptural basis for claiming prophets and evangelists also includes apostles. Also, why does the NT repeatedly designate "the 12" and the necessity for having "the 12" if there are no other apostles? If you are sent by the Lord to speak a word and do it, then I see no reason not to consider that action the act of "an apostle". But there is a big difference between "the 12 apostles" and the thousands of other saints who have done the work of an apostle. I also agree with you that seeing the Lord is a critical component, Peter said as much when they replaced Judas, and Paul made a big deal of being caught up to heaven and seeing things (though he was never one of the 12).
02-26-2018 05:43 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

I think what is very safe is that the reference to the name of the apostles as the foundation of the wall refers to these 12. The idea that the wall is the boundary of the church and that the foundation of this boundary is "The apostles" does not refer to future ones, but rather to these 12. Therefore I understand this to refer to the "Fellowship of the apostles".

As long as a meeting of believers is within the fellowship of the apostles it is within the boundaries of the NT for a church meeting.
02-25-2018 07:39 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Let me make another point. The Church has no problem saying certain members are evangelists, pastors, shepherds, teachers and healers. But for some reason it no longer seems to want to designate anyone as an apostle. Even giants like Rick Warren are not designated apostles.

Why is that? Why would the Church be so hesitant?

I think there are two reasons:
  1. The Church knows intellectually that saying a person is an apostle confers immense authority to that person, and is careful about doing that.

  2. The Church does not have the prompting from the Holy Spirit recognize anyone in such a way.
The only groups that ever claim anyone is an apostle are tiny, fringe groups like the Local Church Movement. And it's always one of their guys who gets the honor. Surprise!

I think it's dangerous to go around claiming present day men (or women) are apostles. I don't think the Lord hands out that kind of authority anymore. So for me, no miracles, no apostle. Period.


You guys need to be more keen on the potential of abuse of authority. You don't just call someone an apostle because he has what you think is an impressive ministry and has planted some churches--not unless you like opening the door to Mr. Apostle stepping in and running your lives.

Some people are abusers. Some are enablers. It's called co-dependent dysfunction.
02-25-2018 07:12 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Igzy,

Yours was a reasoned response so I wanted to offer a response in kind.

So to the first point above..... there are recorded in the New Testament the mention of apostles who did not see the Lord in person. Only one is needed to dispel that idea so I offered Timothy. Yet, we find several other apostles mentioned: Silvanus ( 1Thess 2:6) , Ephaproditus (Phil 2:25), Andronicus and Junia (Romans 16:7), Titus and others (2Cor 8:23).

So, when were these other apostles appointed and by who? They were appointed by the Lord Himself after His ascension. (Ephesians 4:7-11)

Drake
The Bible doesn't specifically say these men had not seen the Lord Jesus. However, I think the probability that they all had is low. It's doubtful the Roman brothers had been in the Holy Land while Jesus was there.

The "seen Jesus" portion of my post was not a major assertion, more of a footnote. I never claimed Lee was not an apostle with the authority of a Paul because he hadn't "seen Jesus." So I didn't really do the idea justice. Let me do that now.

It seems that everyone who was a true apostle or who wrote the New Testament was either someone who had followed Jesus (seen Jesus) when he was on earth OR someone who was closely associated with such a person. For example, Mark was associated with Peter and got his Gospel story from Peter. In other words, all true apostles likely only had 2 degrees of separation from Jesus himself.

Paul clearly showed some disrespect for certain so-called apostles (2 Cor 11:5). Why did he do that? He probably didn't think they really were apostles. Why? Because he knew they didn't fit the criteria. Possibly because he knew who had been with Jesus or was associated with someone who had, and he knew who could work miracles.

Your assertion that Jesus appointed apostles after the ascension begs the question of how we know who Jesus appointed. I don't think we can know that, so I don't think it's safe to assume anyone after the early apostles have that kind of authority. Certainly history has shown that latter-day people claiming apostleship have no evidence of such a gift other than the credulity of certain followers. This usually ends up being a problem. I think it is safe to say the Lord knows the Church needs more evidence from a so-called apostle that just that person's claim that Jesus appointed him.

Revelation says the church in Ephesus tested those who claimed to be apostles and were not. How did they do that? It's safe to say they didn't give them a test on "God's economy."

Finally, if Lee was an apostle he should have asserted that. Paul had no problem making the claim. But Lee was coy about it. To me that's evidence he knew he wasn't, and so had no business butting into the authority affairs of churches.
02-25-2018 10:54 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

“People continually refer to Matthew 18:20 as their ground for meeting. But this is wrong. To judge a church according to the presence of the Lord is never conclusive. Even the Catholic Church can testify that they have the presence of the Lord today. If you inquire of them, they will steadfastly maintain that they have the Lord's presence. But does that vindicate and justify them?” (Witness Lee, The Practical Expression of the Church, Chapter 9, Section 2).

I agree that “Claiming that you have the Lord’s presence” does not make it so just as claiming that you are "the church in NY" makes it so.

Matt 7:21 “Not every one who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in the heavens.”

That is what Matthew 18 is focused on “doing the will of My Father who is in heaven”.

For example: v.14 “it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” This chapter discusses seeking the lost sheep.

v. 21“Then came Peter and said to him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? 22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.”

The Lord’s will is forgiveness. If you try to overlook this he makes it very clear in the conclusion: 35So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

In conclusion I agree that every Christian gathering will claim to be meeting in the name of Jesus, but the evidence will be easy to see. Mercy, forgiveness, seeking the lost sheep, and cutting off those that stumble others.
02-25-2018 10:05 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Read the book yourself, and do try to portray my views accurately.
I have read the book... and in trying to muster Watchman Nees support for your erroneous views on the Jerusalem principle being a work of Judaizers there is none.

That strange teaching you are promoting was a twisting of a term by the “autonomous churches” promoters in the Midwest. The term was originally introduced by Brother Nee in Further Talks and expounded on in the Resumption messages where he showed that principle as a work initiated by the Holy Spirit and explained our need to apply it in the work of ministry to the churches.

If you think I am wrong about that and portrayed it inaccurately then you can explain it yourself... or not! for the record in post 211 of this thread you said:

“......with workers sent out from headquarters overseeing the elders, and a Minister of the Age overseeing these workers. Some have referred to this as the "Jerusalem Principle" practiced by Judaizers who were in some cases sent out by James.”

You apparently are included in “some” by your promotion of the notion.

Drake
02-25-2018 09:53 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Igzy>”As I've said, Apostles like Paul no longer exist. The Bible clearly says the Apostles of that time had seen the Lord Jesus and were able to work miracles. (1 Cor 9:1; 2 Cor 12:12). Neither Witness Lee nor any workers in the LCM nor anyone else I know have such credentials or power. They do not have the signs of an Apostle that the Bible specifies.

The original Apostles had special authority. They could direct churches, they could define the faith, they could author Scripture. No one in the modern age has such power. The Bible has replaced them. ”

Igzy,

Several arguments you present here have no scriptural foundation. Its fine if you want to believe them but they are not biblical facts.

For instance, there is nothing that says apostles have to have seen the Lord and work miracles. Timothy is the obvious example of a NT apostle that does not meet that definition.

Again, the original 12 Apostles and Paul for instance, cannot be replicated, I agree, however there is no scriptural basis for saying there are no apostles at all.

There is no basis to say the Bible replaced the function of apostles.

And you if you hold that apostles have been replaced by the Bible then why not Evangelists also? Why stop there? Why not Shepherds and Teachers?

Drake
Igzy,

Yours was a reasoned response so I wanted to offer a response in kind.

In this post I will address the first of your assertions that NT apostles are determined by those who have seen the Lord. That, is the 12 Apostles and Paul seem to be the focus of your argument, as if they alone alone were qualified to be apostles because they had seen Him.

In another post I will discuss the criterion for evidence of NT apostles, that is your assertion concerning miracles and works of power.

In another post I will address your assertion that the Bible replaced the function of apostles.

So to the first point above..... there are recorded in the New Testament the mention of apostles who did not see the Lord in person. Only one is needed to dispel that idea so I offered Timothy. Yet, we find several other apostles mentioned: Silvanus ( 1Thess 2:6) , Ephaproditus (Phil 2:25), Andronicus and Junia (Romans 16:7), Titus and others (2Cor 8:23).

Do the 12 original Apostles hold a special place? Yes as evidenced by the foundations of the New Jerusalem with their names on it (Rev 21:14). Are they and Paul the only apostles in the New Testament? No, as shown in the verses mentioned above.

So, when were these other apostles appointed and by who? They were appointed by the Lord Himself after His ascension. (Ephesians 4:7-11)

Drake
02-25-2018 08:48 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
When Brother Nee speaks of the Jerusalem principle as he did in Further Talks on the Church Life and the book you reference above he does not say the Jerusalem principle is a work of Judaizers as you did.

But perhaps I missed it, so give the exact quote.

Drake
Read the book yourself, and do try to portray my views accurately.
02-25-2018 08:42 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Read The Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (Vol 57,) he speaks much about this.
When Brother Nee speaks of the Jerusalem principle as he did in Further Talks on the Church Life and the book you reference above he does not say the Jerusalem principle is a work of Judaizers as you did.

But perhaps I missed it, so give the exact quote.

Drake
02-25-2018 08:25 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
No problem, I'll try to make this simpler for you.

I said that WL and WN taught that the local churches were autonomous.

You challenged that.

Ohio, Untohim and Igzy provided quotes from both WL and WN proving that they in fact do teach this.

You said that "a careful reading of his point is in disagreement with your statement about autonomous local churches."

And I agreed with you that a careful reading of WL's ministry was not at all clear, rather I would call it doublespeak.

So I asked you if you could explain WL's position to us?
Oh, that is where the disconnect is, By him, I meant UntoHim’s post .
02-24-2018 02:19 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Sorry brother. I do not mean to ignore you, it’s just I can’t follow your logic most of the time. I try but your entries are often long, seem repetitive, a little complicated, and even when you ask a question in reply as above it’s worded in such a way that is different from the conversation, sometimes slightly, I might be having with someone else. That is why I have not responded to most of your posts.Drake
No problem, I'll try to make this simpler for you.

I said that WL and WN taught that the local churches were autonomous.

You challenged that.

Ohio, Untohim and Igzy provided quotes from both WL and WN proving that they in fact do teach this.

You said that "a careful reading of his point is in disagreement with your statement about autonomous local churches."

And I agreed with you that a careful reading of WL's ministry was not at all clear, rather I would call it doublespeak.

So I asked you if you could explain WL's position to us?
02-23-2018 11:22 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Sorry brother. I do not mean to ignore you, it’s just I can’t follow your logic most of the time.Drake
Simple point, Evangelical was very frank in saying what was not a church. I feel that if you can say what isn't a church then surely you can tell us what is a church.

Evangelical said that it is "all the Christians in a city" and used numerous verses from the NT where this can be inferred. Therefore he has delineated the "boundary" of the church as being equal to the city boundary. Hence the question for this thread "What is the boundary of the local church?"

The goal has been to find the black and white verse that gives us this "boundary". Without that you cannot answer the most basic question, what is a church?

I feel that this verse in Matt 18 -- wherever two or three meet in the Lord's name refers to that bare minimum requirement for a "gathering of the called out ones".

Evangelical said no, it has to be more than 2 or 3, and then revealed that the magic number is 12 because there were 12 apostles. I reject that explanation. He said you can't have a church unless you have elders, yet the verses he quoted to support this position clearly said they appointed elders in every church, hence the gatherings were considered to be a church prior to the elders being appointed. Steel said that this forum cannot be a considered a gathering of the called out ones because we are not verifying that every person on the forum is a born again believer. Again, I reject that because in 1Cor 14 Paul makes it very clear that unbelievers can come into the midst of a church meeting.

Therefore the only verse that has been suggested as "the boundary" that can pass scrutiny is this verse in Matt 18. That would mean the boundary between a gathering that is the church and a gathering that is not the church is "to meet into the name of Jesus". That would include every Christian gathering I have ever been in.

That is the logic behind my question: "how can you know if a Christian gathering is in the name of Jesus?"
02-23-2018 10:11 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
...and probably that explains the strange teaching that the "Jerusalem principle" is a work of Judaizers. I suspect that was the origin of that teaching. It appears, the mid-west elders and co-workers needed an alternative explanation to that of workers outside their patch coming in and what they perceived as interfering in their "autonomous churches" so they concocted that Jerusalem Principle - Judaizers teaching to justify their actions to disengage from the ministry and rally around Titus Chu's ministry.

Drake
Read The Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (Vol 57,) he speaks much about this.
02-23-2018 09:58 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
To continue my story, one of the churches we planted decided they didn't want to be in our little fold anymore. They wanted to go a different way. You know what our leaders said? They said if that's how you feel God is leading you then that is fine us. They allowed the church to be autonomous.

That is exactly what the LCM DOESN'T DO. The LCM condemns churches that break ties with them. That's wrong and I shouldn't have to go into why it's wrong.

So I don't think it's wrong for LCM churches to associate in a movement. What's wrong, among several others things, is the way they treat churches that want to go a different way.
Wow! No lawsuits? No training sessions to undermine the elderships and usurp the meeting hall?

Real men of God with big hearts, faithful to a heavenly vision!
02-23-2018 09:43 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Fair enough Igzy. I will ponder your reasoned scriptural argument here and return to discuss it.

Thanks
Drake
See also Romans 15:18-19.
02-23-2018 07:47 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Igzy>"Paul said the sign of an Apostle was being able to work miracles. This is clear in 2 Cor 12:12. So, either (1) apostles who can't work miracles are not really apostles, or (2) Paul was talking about a special kind of Apostle. I think it is #2. Paul also implied that this kind of Apostle had physically "seen Jesus" (1 Cor 9:1)....... Please don't say this has no scriptural basis, unless you can give a plausible different explanation for 2 Cor 12:12. Don't tell me I have no basis for this belief. You may not agree with it, but it has a basis. ....If a worker comes along who can heal people and raise the dead and get bitten by snakes or be stoned and not be affected, like Paul, then he can dictate to my church who should be the elders. Until then, his counsel will be taken under advisement. "

Fair enough Igzy. I will ponder your reasoned scriptural argument here and return to discuss it.

Thanks
Drake
02-23-2018 07:33 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
What Drake never wants to acknowledge is what qualifies a co-worker. How does he justify the actions taken by operatives from LSM who worked with belligerent saints to undermine elders and divide the churches?

The Bible also indicates that leaders are selected by the Spirit and approved by His people. LSM conveniently forgets these as they exercise their false authority to hire and fire unqualified LC elders.

During the chaos of the Midwest quarantines, I heard every elder say this. They all expressed dismay how editors and workers at LSM could tell them how to serve and follow the Lord, "Those brothers never raised me up, raised up my church, nor were my spiritual father." And particularly disturbing were the book editors at LSM, Kangas and Marks, who had never even established a LC.
...and probably that explains the strange teaching that the "Jerusalem principle" is a work of Judaizers. I suspect that was the origin of that teaching. It appears, the mid-west elders and co-workers needed an alternative explanation to that of workers outside their patch coming in and what they perceived as interfering in their "autonomous churches" so they concocted that Jerusalem Principle - Judaizers teaching to justify their actions to disengage from the ministry and rally around Titus Chu's ministry.

Drake
02-23-2018 07:25 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Let me tell a story here.

The church I meet with started out as one church. Then the leaders felt to plant other churches in the area having similar vision and to be associated with us. There are now five or so, I lose count. You may not like that kind of arrangement, but I don't think the Bible prohibits it.

What's funny is that Lee and Nee used to say it was wrong. Nee called a church that was really controlled by a outside entity a "kite." It was controlled by a long string held by someone far away.

I agreed with that at the time. But now I don't think it's wrong for churches to be associated with and advised by a central entity. What matters is what the churches freely feel to do.

To continue my story, one of the churches we planted decided they didn't want to be in our little fold anymore. They wanted to go a different way. You know what our leaders said? They said if that's how you feel God is leading you then that is fine us. They allowed the church to be autonomous.

That is exactly what the LCM DOESN'T DO. The LCM condemns churches that break ties with them. That's wrong and I shouldn't have to go into why it's wrong.

So I don't think it's wrong for LCM churches to associate in a movement. What's wrong, among several others things, is the way they treat churches that want to go a different way.
02-23-2018 07:07 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

As Ohio implied, how do you even know who is an Apostle so you can let them appoint elders? Well, Paul makes it very clear. An Apostle can work miracles (2 Cor 12:12). Paul said plainly that this was the sign of a true Apostle.

Could Lee work miracles? No. So plainly he was not an Apostle of the kind Paul spoke. He was a traveling preacher, and if you want to call him some kind of little 'a' apostle that's your business. But he was not given the sign that Paul said identified a true Apostle of the kind he and Peter and John were.

The Lord was wise. He provided irrefutable proof of true Apostle credentials: the ability to work miracles.

You don't have that sign? Then you ain't no Apostle. And you're not appointing any elders in my church. Sorry. We might let you teach. We might even take much of your fellowship very seriously. But you have no appointing or firing authority.
02-23-2018 06:51 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Igzy,

Will you agree that a co-worker may come in and appoint elders and set things in order? If so, why can a co-worker appoint an elder but not remove an elder?

Drake
Not in the way of practically owning a church as the LCM does. The worker can come and advise, and the church can cooperate with him. But the church does not have to. That's between them and the Lord. Just like any decision is between a person and the Lord.

Clearly in the New Testament some Christians chose to no longer follow Paul. Whether that was right or wrong in particular instances, it was clearly their right. What is the apostle going to do if the church says, "We appreciate your advice but we are going a different way"? Is he going to put the lead elder in a headlock? Is he going to march into the church meeting with arms and take over? Is he going to declare the church "rebellious" or "leprous"? Paul did none of these things. He had his point of view and thought what he had to offer was good for churches, but only took the authority the churches gave him. He never forced himself on any church and he never condemned a church for not following him.

Even so, as I said, I do not believe Apostles of the type of Paul, Peter and John even exist anymore. There are still apostles, but not with the kind of power they had. You said this had no scriptural basis, but it does:

Paul said the sign of an Apostle was being able to work miracles. This is clear in 2 Cor 12:12. So, either (1) apostles who can't work miracles are not really apostles, or (2) Paul was talking about a special kind of Apostle. I think it is #2. Paul also implied that this kind of Apostle had physically "seen Jesus" (1 Cor 9:1).

Clearly there are "sent ones" now. In a sense we are all sent ones. But there are none of the type of Paul, Peter and John. These men could work miracles, they could define truth, they could author Scripture, they had firsthand experience of seeing Jesus physically. They had more power in the churches. But even so they did not throw their weight around and they did not accuse churches of being leprous for not following them. If they did not do this then certainly Lee and his henchmen don't have such authority.

Please don't say this has no scriptural basis, unless you can give a plausible different explanation for 2 Cor 12:12. Don't tell me I have no basis for this belief. You may not agree with it, but it has a basis.

If a worker comes along who can heal people and raise the dead and get bitten by snakes or be stoned and not be affected, like Paul, then he can dictate to my church who should be the elders. Until then, his counsel will be taken under advisement.
02-23-2018 06:05 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Will you agree that a co-worker may come in and appoint elders and set things in order? If so, why can a co-worker appoint an elder but not remove an elder?
What Drake never wants to acknowledge is what qualifies a co-worker. How does he justify the actions taken by operatives from LSM who worked with belligerent saints to undermine elders and divide the churches?

The Bible also indicates that leaders are selected by the Spirit and approved by His people. LSM conveniently forgets these as they exercise their false authority to hire and fire unqualified LC elders.

During the chaos of the Midwest quarantines, I heard every elder say this. They all expressed dismay how editors and workers at LSM could tell them how to serve and follow the Lord, "Those brothers never raised me up, raised up my church, nor were my spiritual father." And particularly disturbing were the book editors at LSM, Kangas and Marks, who had never even established a LC.
02-23-2018 05:30 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”Neither you nor Evangelical are able to answer this even though you have taken the position that this meeting cannot be a "church" meeting”

Hi ZNP,

Sorry brother. I do not mean to ignore you, it’s just I can’t follow your logic most of the time. I try but your entries are often long, seem repetitive, a little complicated, and even when you ask a question in reply as above it’s worded in such a way that is different from the conversation, sometimes slightly, I might be having with someone else. That is why I have not responded to most of your posts. I assume it’s me, not you. I can’t speak for Evangelical but it seems he has the capacity to ingest, analyze, and respond to your train of thought and occasionally I understand what you were saying by reading his posts.

The few times I have responded to you directly it is mostly on a point or a single post at most because I can’t consolidate your many posts into something I can articulate. Forgive me, it is just me. It is helpful if you ask me to clarify something I said, and that can jump start a conversation between us., though regrettably that too may be short lived.

Drake
02-23-2018 04:30 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Igzy,

Will you agree that a co-worker may come in and appoint elders and set things in order? If so, why can a co-worker appoint an elder but not remove an elder?

Drake
I have been in many different Christian fellowships and have yet to meet anywhere where that did not have an elder that was not appointed. So neither of those criteria separate the LRC fellowship from other Christian fellowships. So once again, the question is "how can we know if a Christian gathering is meeting in the name of Jesus"?

Neither you nor Evangelical are able to answer this even though you have taken the position that this meeting cannot be a "church" meeting. There is no biblical basis to say that.

Since we can know false prophets by their fruit why can't we know genuine meetings by their fruit?

Do not the rich oppress you, and themselves drag you before the judgment-seats? 7 Do not they blaspheme the honorable name by which ye are called? 8 Howbeit if ye fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: 9 but if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors.

I think Igzy and Ohio are not objecting to things being done in order, or that elders are being appointed according to the NT, rather what they have observed is people "having respect of persons" and that is contrary to the Lord's command to love thy neighbor as thyself. It is played out by the "rich" in the "spirit" oppressing others, dragging them into law courts and before "judgement seats".
02-22-2018 09:27 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Igzy>”As I've said, Apostles like Paul no longer exist. The Bible clearly says the Apostles of that time had seen the Lord Jesus and were able to work miracles. (1 Cor 9:1; 2 Cor 12:12). Neither Witness Lee nor any workers in the LCM nor anyone else I know have such credentials or power. They do not have the signs of an Apostle that the Bible specifies.

The original Apostles had special authority. They could direct churches, they could define the faith, they could author Scripture. No one in the modern age has such power. The Bible has replaced them. ”

Igzy,

Several arguments you present here have no scriptural foundation. Its fine if you want to believe them but they are not biblical facts.

For instance, there is nothing that says apostles have to have seen the Lord and work miracles. Timothy is the obvious example of a NT apostle that does not meet that definition.

Again, the original 12 Apostles and Paul for instance, cannot be replicated, I agree, however there is no scriptural basis for saying there are no apostles at all.

There is no basis to say the Bible replaced the function of apostles.

And you if you hold that apostles have been replaced by the Bible then why not Evangelists also? Why stop there? Why not Shepherds and Teachers?

Drake
02-22-2018 09:10 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Again it depends what you mean by not autonomous. If you mean we depend on each other, I agree. If you mean we mutually submit, I agree. If you mean a non-member of a local church has the right to come in and fire elders, I disagree.
Igzy,

Will you agree that a co-worker may come in and appoint elders and set things in order? If so, why can a co-worker appoint an elder but not remove an elder?

Drake
02-22-2018 07:44 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

It's interesting that the errors of LCM teaching generally fall into two cateogries:
  1. Teachings that depersonalize God and our relationship with him, turning him into a substance, thing or force. (e.g. taking metaphors of "life," "nature," "food," "drink," "dose," "transfusion," "constituting," "inwroughting," "mingling," etc. too far.)

  2. Teachings that over-emphasize the authority of leaders and arrange collective rules to control members (e.g. MOTA, locality, "Body," "Recovery," etc.)

Thus God is pushed to the background as a vague force which empowers the leaders in the foreground to control the members. Other collective controls like "locality" and "the feeling of the Body" are applied to solidify that control.

The whole dynamic of LCM teaching is contrived to do one thing: Keep the rank and file in line. Box them in at every turn. Sure, enjoy God as your "food" and "drink," but when it comes to obeying a person, follow "the brothers."
02-22-2018 07:27 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
"Don't assume you can dictate to elders what they can do. "

Statements like this, if taken to the extreme, contradict the evidence of the apostle Paul, who clearly "dictated" to elders and churches what they should do:
As I've said, Apostles like Paul no longer exist. The Bible clearly says the Apostles of that time had seen the Lord Jesus and were able to work miracles. (1 Cor 9:1; 2 Cor 12:12). Neither Witness Lee nor any workers in the LCM nor anyone else I know have such credentials or power. They do not have the signs of an Apostle that the Bible specifies.

The original Apostles had special authority. They could direct churches, they could define the faith, they could author Scripture. No one in the modern age has such power. The Bible has replaced them.

I do not believe extra-local workers have the right to go to churches and order elders around. If invited they can teach, preach, exhort, even rebuke. But whether the leaders of a church listen to them is totally the prerogative of those leaders. Direct authority begins and ends at the doors of a church or ministry. And even there it is narrow in scope.
02-22-2018 04:57 PM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ohio>“ Of course, my body is autonomous! ”

No, no. You misunderstood. I meant the members of your body. That is what we are discussing, not the whole.

Drake
Are we then members of a local assembly as in Corinth, or we members of the "body" connected to the LSM publishers?

When Paul spoke of the metaphor of the body of Christ, he never said the foot was in Ephesus, the hand in Rome, and the nose in Jerusalem. He simply likened the members in Corinth, breaking bread at the same Table of our Lord, as one body.

These members were together regularly, and being part of a publisher does not include you in the body.
02-22-2018 04:48 PM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
So on the one hand yes an outsider should not tell elders what to do. But clearly this does not mean they are completely disconnected and completely autonomous, or "self ruling".

Clearly in the early church
they were not completely self-ruling otherwise Paul would have let the churches appoint their own elders and would not have given instructions to the elders.

Nowhere in the bible does Paul say "let the elders decide for themselves, it's completely their decision". Paul had a ministry from the Lord and part of his job was to care for the churches. Caring for the churches included being involved in their affairs, which may have been perceived by some within those churches as outside interference - 2 Tim 1:15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.

Somewhere there is a balance between complete self ruling and complete dictatorship. A genuine church or churches will strive to get the balance right. But a person who holds to either extreme e.g. baptist (self-ruling) or Catholic (complete dictatorship) would likely find fault with any churches attempting to strike the right balance and only see the black or white aspects.
Paul had a unique place among the Gentile churches, firstly because he was called by the Lord directly, and second because he brought the gospel to these new converts.

So, based on your great wisdom, how do the Midwest churches "strike a balance" when operatives from LSM came to these churches, fomenting discord, dividing the church, and assisting the malcontents to file lawsuits.

Many of these agents from LSM had never even visited Midwest churches before, so how would anyone consider them "today's Paul," and yield all authority to them? Those from LSM had never appointed the elders, preached the gospel, or established the churches. They rather assumed their authority because some folks bought their books.

How is this so "clear" for you, but not for the thousands of victims in the Midwest?
02-22-2018 04:10 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Autonomous simply means self-ruling. In the case of an individual Christian, it means we each have the right to make our own decisions. In the case of local churches, it means no one from the outside has the right to come in and take over.

I think this is pretty clearly the way God set things up.

Autonomy does not mean that individuals and churches are not required to be open to fellowship. But, ultimately, each individual and church is allowed to be self-governing, for better or for worse. The Bible gives none of us the right to rule over another, except in very narrow contexts.

In the case of churches, ministries or movements, if you decide to be a part of any of those, you should respect the existing leadership. If as a member you feel to suggest reforms, that is okay. But if you cannot co-exist with the group, you don't have the right to wrest control of the group by force or intimidation. You should simple go in peace.

The same principle applies from the topside. Though there is one Body, there are not authorities in the Body. There are only authorities in groups. So a church outsider, however qualified, does not have the right to come into a church and take over, claiming apostleship or whatever.

God has called us to peace. We should minister to churches, not push them around. If you are an traveling preacher (apostle) then preach. Don't assume you can dictate to elders what they can do. If you are a member, support. If either of you isn't happy, move on. There are lots of churches. Maybe you'll find one that will listen to you.


"Don't assume you can dictate to elders what they can do. "


Statements like this, if taken to the extreme, contradict the evidence of the apostle Paul, who clearly "dictated" to elders and churches what they should do:

Titus 1:5 "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you."

Here Paul left Titus to follow what Paul charged him to do and resolve the unfinished business.

Here Paul lays down the "rules" for an elder:


1 Tim 3:2

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;


So on the one hand yes an outsider should not tell elders what to do. But clearly this does not mean they are completely disconnected and completely autonomous, or "self ruling".

Clearly in the early church they were not completely self-ruling otherwise Paul would have let the churches appoint their own elders and would not have given instructions to the elders.

Nowhere in the bible does Paul say "let the elders decide for themselves, it's completely their decision". Paul had a ministry from the Lord and part of his job was to care for the churches. Caring for the churches included being involved in their affairs, which may have been perceived by some within those churches as outside interference - 2 Tim 1:15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.

Somewhere there is a balance between complete self ruling and complete dictatorship. A genuine church or churches will strive to get the balance right. But a person who holds to either extreme e.g. baptist (self-ruling) or Catholic (complete dictatorship) would likely find fault with any churches attempting to strike the right balance and only see the black or white aspects.
02-22-2018 03:44 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I agree with that, Igzy. No member of my body is autonomous. Why, in that sense, is it any different in the Body of Christ?

Drake
I am trying to follow this discussion and it is very difficult.

My understanding is that Igzy said that no member of the body is autonomous but rather is connected to the head. Every member is respectful and works together with every other member of the body, but as far as "autonomy" is concerned (self ruling) the ruling is done by the head.

However, that is not how I understand Evangelical or you, even though you say you agree with Igzy.

So the question I have is when you say you agree with Igzy that the members are not autonomous are you referring to "each one answering to the Lord" or is there anything else?
02-22-2018 03:14 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Again it depends what you mean by not autonomous. If you mean we depend on each other, I agree. If you mean we mutually submit, I agree. If you mean a non-member of a local church has the right to come in and fire elders, I disagree.
Autonomous simply means self-ruling. In the case of an individual Christian, it means we each have the right to make our own decisions. In the case of local churches, it means no one from the outside has the right to come in and take over.

I think this is pretty clearly the way God set things up.

Autonomy does not mean that individuals and churches are not required to be open to fellowship. But, ultimately, each individual and church is allowed to be self-governing, for better or for worse. The Bible gives none of us the right to rule over another, except in very narrow contexts.

In the case of churches, ministries or movements, if you decide to be a part of any of those, you should respect the existing leadership. If as a member you feel to suggest reforms, that is okay. But if you cannot co-exist with the group, you don't have the right to wrest control of the group by force or intimidation. You should simple go in peace.

The same principle applies from the topside. Though there is one Body, there are not authorities in the Body. There are only authorities in groups. So a church outsider, however qualified, does not have the right to come into a church and take over, claiming apostleship or whatever.

God has called us to peace. We should minister to churches, not push them around. If you are an traveling preacher (apostle) then preach. Don't assume you can dictate to elders what they can do. If you are a member, support. If either of you isn't happy, move on. There are lots of churches. Maybe you'll find one that will listen to you.
02-22-2018 02:45 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I agree with that, Igzy. No member of my body is autonomous. Why, in that sense, is it any different in the Body of Christ?

Drake
Again it depends what you mean by not autonomous. If you mean we depend on each other, I agree. If you mean we mutually submit, I agree. If you mean a non-member of a local church has the right to come in and fire elders, I disagree.
02-22-2018 02:04 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
The members are obedient to the Head. Obedience of the members to each other is neither stated nor implied by the picture of the Body. In our bodies, none of the members have their own mind. They all obey the head, not each other.

They naturally cooperate with each other, because that's the way they are arranged. But the picture of the Body in the Bible is not about this. It's about variety of function, value of each member and obedience to the Head. That's it. You are taking the metaphor to places the Bible does not intend, IMHO.
I agree with that, Igzy. No member of my body is autonomous. Why, in that sense, is it any different in the Body of Christ?

Drake
02-22-2018 02:02 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Igzy>”I'm sorry, I don't get this statement. I know Ohio, and I know he believes in the Body of Christ. What you seem to be saying is if someone doesn't believe in the Body of Christ the way you do then he has rejected it altogether. That's black and white thinking that is inappropriate in regard to something as mysterious as the Body. ”

Igzy,

I am sure he does and I said as much. He does not have to define it the same as I do. Does experience define what is truth? I think not.

Drake
02-22-2018 01:46 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ohio>“ Of course, my body is autonomous! ”

No, no. You misunderstood. I meant the members of your body. That is what we are discussing, not the whole.

Drake
The members are obedient to the Head. Obedience of the members to each other is neither stated nor implied by the picture of the Body. In our bodies, none of the members have their own mind. They all obey the head, not each other.

They naturally cooperate with each other, because that's the way they are arranged. But the picture of the Body in the Bible is not about this. It's about variety of function, value of each member and obedience to the Head. That's it. You are taking the metaphor to places the Bible does not intend, IMHO.
02-22-2018 01:42 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Ohio>“ Of course, my body is autonomous! ”

No, no. You misunderstood. I meant the members of your body. That is what we are discussing, not the whole.

Drake
02-22-2018 01:33 PM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
So, my point is that regardless of your experience there are biblical truths that do not deviate, sway, or modify based on your experience. The Body of Christ is one of those truths. I brought this up because you seemed to be rejecting it altogether.
I'm sorry, I don't get this statement. I know Ohio, and I know he believes in the Body of Christ. What you seem to be saying is if someone doesn't believe in the Body of Christ the way you do then he has rejected it altogether. That's black and white thinking that is inappropriate in regard to something as mysterious as the Body.

My reading of the Bible on the Body is that it never establishes the Body as a matter of authority between the members anyway, but of authority of the Head. In no place does the Bible imply or suggest that the picture of the Body teaches us that one member obeys another, only that all members respect and honor other members, and obey the Head.

The Body is a mysterious thing, there can be no doubt. So to try to make it so concrete that you assert that one member can go into a local church and fire elders and install new elders seems a bit much.

The early Apostles were different. I don't believe such gifts exist today. No one these days has seen Jesus (1 Cor 9:1) and none I know of can work miracles (2 Cor 12:12).

Unless you can show me an apostle who has seen Jesus and can work miracles, you aren't showing me one who has the kind of authority Paul did, i.e. can hire and fire elders.
02-22-2018 01:16 PM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Well, I think we all bring different perspectives Ohio, obviously, and Evangelical has his view which I find to be thorough in the scripture, and we all are limited by time and space in our experience. He is describing something that really cannot be argued for a christian in that the Body of Christ is not autonomous. Just as your body is not autonomous and if it were you would not be here to discuss it! I am pretty sure you really believe that but all I am saying is that if the starting point of a christian's argument against another is experience and not the biblical revelation then how do you establish what is really the truth? It is not a variable. The reason I mention it here again is that in another recent instance you also let experience take the lead which caused you to define a truth (the Jerusalem principle) as that of Judaizers because in your view that is what some folks were acting like based on your experience. And though you may choose to apply the scripture that way, in so doing, you also run the risk of calling a work initiated by the Holy Spirit, a biblical truth, a work of Judaizers.

So, my point is that regardless of your experience there are biblical truths that do not deviate, sway, or modify based on your experience. The Body of Christ is one of those truths. I brought this up because you seemed to be rejecting it altogether.

Thanks
Drake
Talk about contorted reasoning!

Drake your selective and biased reading of my posts is both boring and almost idiotic.

You dodge all the points of scripture, only to use some obscurity to dismiss them in total.

You don't like my *experience* but I have seen operatives of LSM in action, and they do behave like the Judaizers of the N.T. I realize that you disagree, but so be it.

Regarding your comment, "that the Body of Christ is not autonomous. Just as your body is not autonomous and if it were you would not be here to discuss it!" is pretty absurd. Of course, my body is autonomous! I have relationships with other bodies, but we are not "connected." For example, when I take a shower, I am the only one getting clean, and I do not consider my actions to be "independent and destructive" to all the other members I know -- which is the line of reasoning constantly heard from LSMers about this subject.

Here is one extremely important reason for the autonomy of local churches: Problems, both in teaching and practice, do not spread beyond the local congregation. In effect, each local church, like each city of old, needs a protective wall around it. Today these are commonly known as relational "boundaries."
02-22-2018 12:11 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
You appear to have a clear biblical revelation, so why don't you help Evangelical out and tell us all how we can know if a group of believers is "meeting in the name of Jesus Christ"? What is the evidence that this group is fulfilling the prerequisites for the promises in Matt 18?
Evangelical is very capable of articulating his viewpoints.

Drake
02-22-2018 12:07 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
No, Drake, I am using my experience and study to define the system known as the Recovery.

Evangelical does not have the experience necessary to speak on behalf of the Recovery. His experience is limited by time and space. He has informed us that he is in Australasia, which is the other side of the world from SoCal, and he has not been with them long enough to really know them. For example, he never heard Lee speak live.
Well, I think we all bring different perspectives Ohio, obviously, and Evangelical has his view which I find to be thorough in the scripture, and we all are limited by time and space in our experience. He is describing something that really cannot be argued for a christian in that the Body of Christ is not autonomous. Just as your body is not autonomous and if it were you would not be here to discuss it! I am pretty sure you really believe that but all I am saying is that if the starting point of a christian's argument against another is experience and not the biblical revelation then how do you establish what is really the truth? It is not a variable. The reason I mention it here again is that in another recent instance you also let experience take the lead which caused you to define a truth (the Jerusalem principle) as that of Judaizers because in your view that is what some folks were acting like based on your experience. And though you may choose to apply the scripture that way, in so doing, you also run the risk of calling a work initiated by the Holy Spirit, a biblical truth, a work of Judaizers.

So, my point is that regardless of your experience there are biblical truths that do not deviate, sway, or modify based on your experience. The Body of Christ is one of those truths. I brought this up because you seemed to be rejecting it altogether.

Thanks
Drake
02-22-2018 10:32 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
The Body of Christ is a reality. It is a great truth.

Ohio, again you are allowing your experience to define truth and that is clouding your ability to hear what Evangelical is saying. For the moment, forget your experience and consider the biblical revelation. You can always revisit your experience at any point and do the reconciliation between the truth and your experience. I’m not saying your experience is to be ignored, I am encouraging you to step away from it and examine truth, in this case the great truth concerning the Body of Christ and acknowledge it and affirm it. Instead you are rejecting it in favor of your past experience... as if affirming the truth will open the door and people will come to your house and start telling you what to do.

Yet, if the biblical revelation of the Body of Christ is truly evading you at this point, then that is an entirely different issue.

Drake
You appear to have a clear biblical revelation, so why don't you help Evangelical out and tell us all how we can know if a group of believers is "meeting in the name of Jesus Christ"? What is the evidence that this group is fulfilling the prerequisites for the promises in Matt 18?
02-22-2018 08:27 AM
awareness
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In I Corinthians 12:12-27, Paul likened the church to a human body, that is correct. But he also concluded by saying, "Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
Bodies can become sick. Lee's body was one of them. It had two heads.
02-22-2018 08:16 AM
Steel
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
The Body of Christ is a reality. It is a great truth."
And having not yet been fully perfected... According to scripture... It is a great truth that you, and everyone else, can only know in part... So where does that leave us when considering this "...great truth..." regarding the nody of Christ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ohio, again you are allowing your experience to define truth and that is clouding your ability to hear what Evangelical is saying.
Everyone abides in and speaks out of our experience... And that included Witness Lee... And includes those who head up LSM... And all elders of local churches.

It's not our experience that clouds our thoughts, Drake... It is the source that we hold to while considering things... When we realize the Lord's shining in our lives, His shining uses our experiences to reveal to us what we are, and Who He is... Which then becomes the reality that builds us up as members of the body.

If there is a difference between members of the body regarding how each sees "...truth..." then this simply indicates that there is a difference in the source that each is holding to... And it is the source being held to that causes the person to either be cloudy or clear regarding their thinking on a matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
For the moment, forget your experience and consider the biblical revelation.
Scripture tells us that what you are asking is impossible for a human to do... Which brings up the question... What source were you holding to when you thought to ask the above question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
You can always revisit your experience at any point and do the reconciliation between the truth and your experience. I’m not saying your experience is to be ignored, I am encouraging you to step away from it and examine truth, in this case the great truth concerning the Body of Christ and acknowledge it and affirm it.
Only in our vanity... Which is foolishness before God.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Instead you are rejecting it in favor of your past experience... as if affirming the truth will open the door and people will come to your house and start telling you what to do.
From your own speaking, it seems that three fingers are pointing right back at you, Drake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Yet, if the biblical revelation of the Body of Christ is truly evading you at this point, then that is an entirely different issue.

Drake
From your own above speaking, it seems that biblical revelation of just what a believer in Christ Jesus is in our humanity is evading you... And if so, then the source you are speaking out of is certainly not truth... Which would mean that everything you said above has no value whatsoever... Other than in a negative sense... Where it allows the Lord to shine on you and use your above erroneous speaking experience to cause you to see who you are, and realize Who He is.

See how that works.
02-22-2018 07:14 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yes. To give an analogy, we cannot say our body parts are absolutely autonomous because each part is joined to each other part, but each body part can sometimes take a mind of its own and do its own thing.
In I Corinthians 12:12-27, Paul likened the church to a human body, that is correct. But he also concluded by saying, "Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular."

Paul spoke to the saints in Corinth that they were the body of Christ, and individually members, and Christ is the Head.

If we listen to LSMers carefully, reading between the lines, they really believe that the leaders at LSM are the Head, and all their adherents are members. They have little thought that each and every congregation is the body of Christ with Christ as her Head. Otherwise why should each congregation of believers have one loaf and break it at the Lord's Table? There is not one loaf and one cup for the whole earth, but one cup and one loaf for every congregation.

In Lee's scheme of things, it is really "many churches but one body" with Lee as the Head, or acting Head, if you prefer.
02-22-2018 06:58 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
The Body of Christ is a reality. It is a great truth.

Ohio, again you are allowing your experience to define truth and that is clouding your ability to hear what Evangelical is saying.
No, Drake, I am using my experience and study to define the system known as the Recovery.

Evangelical does not have the experience necessary to speak on behalf of the Recovery. His experience is limited by time and space. He has informed us that he is in Australasia, which is the other side of the world from SoCal, and he has not been with them long enough to really know them. For example, he never heard Lee speak live.
02-22-2018 06:51 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Put simple, the local churches are autonomous in the sense of doing business and other practical affairs (choosing the meeting times and locations etc), but as part of the one Body they are not autonomous.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In Christ they are not autonomous.
Why then is LSM autonomous from the rest of the body of Christ? Are not they "in Christ?"

Why then are LC elders supposed to be autonomous from the rest of the churches in their area? Are they also not "in Christ?"

The pattern in Acts 6 shows us how far the LC system has gone off the rails. The elders of the church in Jerusalem would not spend their time on "practical affairs" as Evangelical demands. Rather they assigned these to deacons, so that they could "continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word." These are the primary responsibilities of church elders as they shepherd the church of God.

In Lee's twisted system of error, the normal responsibilities of the elders have been usurped by a distant publishing house, and the elders now take on the former responsibilities of deacons.

Since the LC faithful still treasure W. Nee, I would suggest they compare their current established practice with his book The Normal Christian Church Life. That is an eye opener.
02-22-2018 06:41 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
What you are really saying is if the elders stop buying LSM's materials, they will be removed and replaced by more "favorable" elders, whether or not they are even qualified to oversee the church.
The Body of Christ is a reality. It is a great truth.

Ohio, again you are allowing your experience to define truth and that is clouding your ability to hear what Evangelical is saying. For the moment, forget your experience and consider the biblical revelation. You can always revisit your experience at any point and do the reconciliation between the truth and your experience. I’m not saying your experience is to be ignored, I am encouraging you to step away from it and examine truth, in this case the great truth concerning the Body of Christ and acknowledge it and affirm it. Instead you are rejecting it in favor of your past experience... as if affirming the truth will open the door and people will come to your house and start telling you what to do.

Yet, if the biblical revelation of the Body of Christ is truly evading you at this point, then that is an entirely different issue.

Drake
02-22-2018 06:04 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Put simple, the local churches are autonomous in the sense of doing business and other practical affairs (choosing the meeting times and locations etc), but as part of the one Body they are not autonomous.
What you are really saying is if the elders stop buying LSM's materials, they will be removed and replaced by more "favorable" elders, whether or not they are even qualified to oversee the church.
02-22-2018 04:49 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yes. To give an analogy, we cannot say our body parts are absolutely autonomous because each part is joined to each other part, but each body part can sometimes take a mind of its own and do its own thing.
Therefore I also would understand that you would see the boundary of a city as being significant because it is an example of the members of the body submitting to the head? Is that correct?

Which brings up the central question to this thread and also to Matt 18. How do you know when a gathering of believers is "in the name of Jesus", what is fruit or behavior of such a group?
02-21-2018 07:29 PM
Koinonia
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yes. To give an analogy, we cannot say our body parts are absolutely autonomous because each part is joined to each other part, but each body part can sometimes take a mind of its own and do its own thing.
In this analogy, you are making the LSM-affiliated churches the members of the body, rather than individual believers. Now I am sure this is not what you believe, but it raises an interesting point. LC members and leaders very often equate "the Body" with their small group of churches and constituent members. In their view, the LSM-affiliated churches are meant to be autonomous in practical arrangements but interconnected (as "the Body") in a spiritual way. Yet, they effectively exclude nearly all other believers in their experience and understanding by presuming that a factor of oneness within the Body of Christ, and a factor of legitimacy of a local church, is relatedness to them. The "fellowship of the Body" becomes the fellowship of their group.
02-21-2018 06:26 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So then you agree that they are all one because they all have one head, Jesus Christ.

So then if we have this correct as far as the practical matters of paying the mortgage, opening the doors, setting up the chairs, paying the electric, telephone, etc every meeting of Christians is autonomous. But as far as submitting to Jesus as Lord they are not.

Is that what you are saying?
Yes. To give an analogy, we cannot say our body parts are absolutely autonomous because each part is joined to each other part, but each body part can sometimes take a mind of its own and do its own thing.
02-21-2018 06:21 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In Christ they are not autonomous.
So then you agree that they are all one because they all have one head, Jesus Christ.

So then if we have this correct as far as the practical matters of paying the mortgage, opening the doors, setting up the chairs, paying the electric, telephone, etc every meeting of Christians is autonomous. But as far as submitting to Jesus as Lord they are not.

Is that what you are saying?
02-21-2018 05:27 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
So what other responsibilities do the elders have? Picking out the color of the curtains? Would they be overstepping by changing from wood floors to carpet? So all those young brothers in the FTT are spending two years to get to decide if they should have a gas or electric lawn mower?
-
It's all part of the practical side of things, surely.
02-21-2018 05:25 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Can you explain what you mean by "as part of one Body they are not autonomous"?
In Christ they are not autonomous.
02-21-2018 04:16 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Put simple, the local churches are autonomous in the sense of doing business and other practical affairs (choosing the meeting times and locations etc), but as part of the one Body they are not autonomous.
Can you explain what you mean by "as part of one Body they are not autonomous"?
02-21-2018 02:38 PM
UntoHim
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

So what other responsibilities do the elders have? Picking out the color of the curtains? Would they be overstepping by changing from wood floors to carpet? So all those young brothers in the FTT are spending two years to get to decide if they should have a gas or electric lawn mower?
-
02-21-2018 02:06 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Put simple, the local churches are autonomous in the sense of doing business and other practical affairs (choosing the meeting times and locations etc), but as part of the one Body they are not autonomous.
02-21-2018 11:45 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP,

I see you are jubilant about the support that impressive gang of three have provided you.....

However, in spite of the Dory Funk headlock that UntoHim believes he has put on this duck, a careful reading of his point is in disagreement with your statement about autonomous local churches.

Drake
You are right Drake, and since you are the only one that quacks like a duck why don't you take this opportunity to explain WL's teaching on "autonomy" of the local churches.

I do not appreciate the double speak from him on this topic. The references given are adequate to support the premise that he taught autonomy. The fact that he also taught that that teaching autonomy is wrong only supports the premise that his teaching is double speak.

Matt 18 is much simpler. We as believers represent Jesus Christ the head. If two or three (or more) meet in the name of Jesus they represent the head. They are representing the kingdom of the heavens. Then what they bind on Earth will be bound on Earth (i.e. the locality in which they live). They then tell it "to the church" and since they were one with the Lord in their decision what they have bound on Earth will also be what has been bound in Heaven.

The reference to "tell it to the church" does not imply "tell it to the local elders" or "tell it to the local church" it simply refers to the Body of believers who represent the Kingdom of heaven on Earth. Nor is there any implied meaning that the "telling it to the church" must be done face to face. Paul "told it to the church" in a letter. Likewise there is no suggestion that it must be done "discreetly". To be bound on Earth and in Heaven, or to be loosed on Earth and in Heaven implies a public decree, a legal proclamation.
02-21-2018 06:19 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Lee also taught:
To teach that the local churches are absolutely autonomous is to divide the Body of Christ.
~Witness Lee, One Body and One Spirit.
This proves that your claims about the teaching and practice being different is misguided.
The question is, what does Lee's statement above really mean in practice? And that's the problem. It's a clause that was abused to control churches from the outside.

When I was young in the LC I really admired the model of the local church. I had a mind for things that worked and it just seemed efficient and practical. Churches are led by local elders, outside workers advise but don't control. Leaders should be humble and open to fellowship, but are not obligated to obey any single piece of advice from outside.

As time went on I became bothered about how elders felt they had to do everything "Brother Lee" or "Benson" told them. This seemed in contradiction to the principles Lee himself taught. The fact was something like autonomy was taught, but they were afraid to really practice it. This laid the groundwork for eventual outrages like LSM razing the churches in the Midwest. Like in the book "Animal Farm," the lofty principles of the new order were twisted by unscrupulous leaders.

I've learned that the integrity of practical church is maintained by several factors which exist in balance. Leaders have the right to protect the local flock they lead, but have no authority beyond that group. These leaders should be open to the teaching and leading of the Body of Christ at large, but have the final say what actually gets taught within their group. Members should respect and follow the leaders of the group as long as they are members. But if their consciences tell them it's time to go, those leaders have no authority over them outside the group.

The above is the way the Church manifestly functions and has for centuries. It is only when movements like the LCM come along, which impose authority on members in an unbalanced way, that you hear of the kind of abuse that has marked the LCM's history.

Jesus said by their fruit you will know them. It's astounding to me that some people can't read the message of the fruit of the LCM.
02-21-2018 04:04 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Lee also taught:
To teach that the local churches are absolutely autonomous is to divide the Body of Christ.
~Witness Lee, One Body and One Spirit.
This proves that your claims about the teaching and practice being different is misguided.
Why do you guys always deal in extremes when it comes to LC governance?

Why does the self-governing of elders in their congregations have to become "absolutely autonomous?"

The real issue in the governance of Lee's Recovery is this: Are elders permitted to cut ties with LSM when its programs, teachings, and behavior are damaging to their church?

The answer has always been "no."
02-21-2018 01:17 AM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Really Drake?

Local Church 101:

From:The Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches
Each local church is autonomous in its administration. Therefore, there is no central headquarters. No particular local church should be regarded as the head church or leading church. On the contrary, all the local churches share the same standing before the Lord.

Drake is well aware that the teaching that each local church was autonomous was a bread and butter teaching of Witness Lee. (Nee as well) The problem comes in when we want to talk about the actual practice. Yes autonomy was taught by Lee, but there is scarce little evidence that the man ever desired to see it put into practice. In fact, much, if not most, of the turmoil and dissension in the LC movement has come from the blatant hypocrisy of teaching one thing (the autonomy of the local church) and practicing quite the opposite (see the history of the Local Church under Witness Lee)

Sorry Drake. I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut you off at the pass on this one. You are not going to get to extol all the virtues of the teachings without having to face the music on what was actually practiced (or lack thereof)
-
Lee also taught:


To teach that the local churches are absolutely autonomous is to divide the Body of Christ.
~Witness Lee, One Body and One Spirit.


This proves that your claims about the teaching and practice being different is misguided.
02-20-2018 08:53 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I will defer to the excellent references provided by UntoHim, Ohio and Igzy (where did he come from?)
ZNP,

I see you are jubilant about the support that impressive gang of three have provided you.....

However, in spite of the Dory Funk headlock that UntoHim believes he has put on this duck, a careful reading of his point is in disagreement with your statement about autonomous local churches.

Drake
02-20-2018 05:21 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP#210>”In the NT “local” churches are frequently addressed as “the church in ________”, the church in Ephesus, the church in Colossae, the church in Rome. So then these city boundaries are used to designate different assemblies of Christians.

Watchman Nee and Witness Lee inferred that these designations were “boundaries” to jurisdiction. They taught that each locality was autonomous.

ZNP,

Please provide your reference where Brother Nee and Brother taught each church was autonomous.

Thanks
Drake
I will defer to the excellent references provided by UntoHim, Ohio and Igzy (where did he come from?)
02-20-2018 11:10 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

I think it's safe to say, and this from years of experience and observation, that all the serious problems in the Local Church Movement stemmed from a misapplication and abuse of authority--both of the ostensive authority of Lee and other leaders, and of their teachings.

You can go down the list, starting in mainland China, to Taiwan, California, Texas, Daystar, the "sister's rebellion," the "New Way," the Philip Lee debacle, the ostracizing of leaders who would not swear allegiance to Lee, the kangaroo court than judged Titus Chu in absentia, and the dismantling of several Midwest churches.

These are not isolated incidents nor aberrations. They are serial evidence of a systemic problem which any intelligent and observant person can see is clearly rooted in the abuse of authority.

However life-filled some of Lee's ministry might have been, it doesn't excuse nor make up for these problems. The longer LCMers continue to wax vaguely spiritual to whitewash these problems, the longer they will not be taken seriously by people seeking serious and sensible answers.

The whole lesson of the history of Local Church Movement is an abject lesson, from God I believe, that no matter how seemingly good someone's ministry is, elevating that person or ministry to dominating levels is a huge mistake.

If you believe history teaches anything you should believe that. If you don't believe history teaches anything, well, good luck to you. You are going to need it.
02-20-2018 08:31 AM
Igzy
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Please provide your reference where Brother Nee and Brother taught each church was autonomous.
"From the very outset it should be made clear to the new converts that it is by divine appointment that the management of the church is entrusted to local elders and not to any worker from another place. "
Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Church Life, p. 73
02-20-2018 08:23 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Watchman Nee and Witness Lee inferred that these designations were “boundaries” to jurisdiction. They taught that each locality was autonomous.

ZNP, Please provide your reference where Brother Nee and Brother taught each church was autonomous.

Thanks, Drake
How about Hymn #824, "Administration local, each answering to the Lord." Sounds fairly autonomous to me.

Autonomous means:
  • having self-government, at least to a significant degree.
  • acting independently or having the freedom to do so.
  • synonyms: self-governing, self-ruling, self-determining, independent, sovereign, free, un-monitored
None of these descriptions applied to LSM-ruled LC's, or for that matter, Cleveland-ruled LC's. The whole "local" thing as in "local churches" was nothing more than a farce. Why was it so evil for the Western denominations to rule over their affiliates in early 20th century China, when it is perfectly fine for Lee to do so in the USA?

Witness Lee said the local elders were given enough autonomy to choose what time to start their prayer meeting. At least that part was true, because had any elders taken any initiative by the Lord's leading to shepherd the saints under their care, they became "marked men."
02-20-2018 08:04 AM
UntoHim
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Really Drake?

Local Church 101:

From:The Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches
Each local church is autonomous in its administration. Therefore, there is no central headquarters. No particular local church should be regarded as the head church or leading church. On the contrary, all the local churches share the same standing before the Lord.

Drake is well aware that the teaching that each local church was autonomous was a bread and butter teaching of Witness Lee. (Nee as well) The problem comes in when we want to talk about the actual practice. Yes autonomy was taught by Lee, but there is scarce little evidence that the man ever desired to see it put into practice. In fact, much, if not most, of the turmoil and dissension in the LC movement has come from the blatant hypocrisy of teaching one thing (the autonomy of the local church) and practicing quite the opposite (see the history of the Local Church under Witness Lee)

Sorry Drake. I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut you off at the pass on this one. You are not going to get to extol all the virtues of the teachings without having to face the music on what was actually practiced (or lack thereof)
-
02-20-2018 06:45 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP#210>”In the NT “local” churches are frequently addressed as “the church in ________”, the church in Ephesus, the church in Colossae, the church in Rome. So then these city boundaries are used to designate different assemblies of Christians.

Watchman Nee and Witness Lee inferred that these designations were “boundaries” to jurisdiction. They taught that each locality was autonomous.

ZNP,

Please provide your reference where Brother Nee and Brother taught each church was autonomous.

Thanks
Drake
02-19-2018 08:11 AM
UntoHim
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
What is described in Ephesians and Witness Lee's "the work" are not the same thing.
Tada! Mr. K strikes again! About as succinct as it gets. Even to the most casual of observers, the real boundary for everything related to the church, the ministry and the work is the person and work of Witness Lee - His personal ministry (actually synonymous with "the work") and the supposed God-given authority invested in his person.

So anytime Witness Lee or his followers use the term "the work", they always mean the dissemination, propagation and "defense and confirmation" of Lee's ministry. Everything in the Local Church of Witness Lee is for this. The Living Steam publisher is for this. The conferences are for this. The trainings are for this. All the Full-Time Trainings are for this. The "seven feasts" are for this. DCP is for this. Bibles for America is for this. Amana Trust is for this. Finally and foremost - the local churches are for this.

So how could Koinonia be so bold as to say that Witness Lee's "the work" is the not the same as "the work" in Ephesians? Simple. He has eyes. He has ears. And I suspect that he has had a taste of the real thing. And the real thing ain't headquartered over their on La Palm Ave in Anaheim California.

-
02-19-2018 06:07 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Drake, now you are simply playing the troll.
Ohio,

The troll allegation is just a diversion so you don’t have to clarify or explain what you meant when referring to a work initiated by the Holy Spirit as a practice of Judaizers.

Ohio> “Some have referred to this as the "Jerusalem Principle" practiced by Judaizers who were in some cases sent out by James.”

Are you included in “some”?

Please clarify.

Drake
02-19-2018 03:22 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I understand that just fine. I also understand it when you called the work initiated by the Holy Spirit at Jerusalem as the work of Judaizers.

Feel free to set the record straight.

Thanks
Drake
Drake, now you are simply playing the troll.
02-18-2018 03:55 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I only reject the work of LSM when it tears down the body, when it damages the church, when it stumbles the children of God.
Sorry you can't understand that.
I understand that just fine. I also understand it when you called the work initiated by the Holy Spirit at Jerusalem as the work of Judaizers.

Feel free to set the record straight.

Thanks
Drake
02-18-2018 03:10 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

4I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, 2with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. 7But unto each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

1. This letter is written to all the saints in Ephesus and each believer "has been called with a calling".
2. We are charged to walk worthily of this heavenly calling "with all lowliness and meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another in love". I think it is safe to say we have all at some point fallen short of this. However, in the most egregious cases this lack of "lowliness" becomes codified. For example I was kicked out of the meeting hall in NYC because I had the audacity to talk to Ed Marks privately at dinner. I know that the blendeds claimed they had been "long-suffering" with Titus Chu, but I don't see it that way.
3. We are also charged to give diligence to keep the oneness in the uniting bond of peace. Paul then gives us 7 things that make us all one and not one of them is "the ministry".
4. We are then told that to "each one of us" was "this grace given".

These four points were given as an introduction to the Lord giving gifts to the Body for the building up of the Body through their ministry.

I think Ohio's point is well taken that those that he observed coming from LSM did not show any respect for these four points. Ohio: "Yet, for all the chaos, confusion, suffering, frustration, causes of stumbling by many, and divisions in my local churches caused by "the work," never did they ever take ownership or repent for their damages." They did not respect that each member had a calling. They were not diligent to keep the oneness in the uniting bond of peace. There was no lowliness, meekness, or forbearance in love. Nor did they respect that "to each one this grace was given".

I also think that if Drake is going to reference Ephesians 4 saying that Ohio "rejects the work" as it is presented in this chapter that he should read the chapter and not just assume that those of us on this forum are too blind and stupid to read it.
02-18-2018 02:26 PM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Okay. Then please explain why you reject the work according to Ephesians.

Drake
I only reject the work of LSM when it tears down the body, when it damages the church, when it stumbles the children of God.

Sorry you can't understand that.
02-18-2018 12:10 PM
Koinonia
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Okay. Then please explain why you reject the work according to Ephesians.

Drake
What is described in Ephesians and Witness Lee's "the work" are not the same thing.
02-18-2018 10:27 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Absolutely not!
The gifts are given by the Head to build up the body.
Did Lee's Quarantines build up or tear down?
Okay. Then please explain why you reject the work according to Ephesians.

Drake
02-18-2018 10:17 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Yet, in so doing you reject the clear revelation in Ephesians of the the gifts, the work, and the building of the Body of Christ.
Absolutely not!

The gifts are given by the Head to build up the body.

Did Lee's Quarantines build up or tear down?
02-18-2018 09:46 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Rather my experiences and the scriptures together proved that the Recovery deviated from the truth.
Yet, in so doing you reject the clear revelation in Ephesians of the the gifts, the work, and the building of the Body of Christ.
02-18-2018 09:37 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ohio,

You are allowing your experience to shape biblical truth. You reject the work because you had a bad experience then you rejected what the Bible teaches about it too. It starts with “He gave....”.

Drake
Rather my experiences and the scriptures together proved that the Recovery deviated from the truth.
02-18-2018 07:07 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
You apparently missed the points I was making, but that's fine.

I no longer espouse the system of workers which you call "the work." The Bible only speaks of "the work of ministry." This para-church structure called "the work" apparently models scripture, but in reality ends up modeling all the denominations which LSM has long condemned. All they have done is changed the names, not the reality. They all claim to serve the church, but actually the church only exists to serve the ministry, LSM, that is.

My time in the LC was marked by a wonderful local church experience only to be nearly destroyed by outside workers who supposedly came to "help" us. This happened in all three of LC's I was a part of. Living and serving in the local churches with "the work," was always like "two steps forward, three steps back." Yet, for all the chaos, confusion, suffering, frustration, causes of stumbling by many, and divisions in my local churches caused by "the work," never did they ever take ownership or repent for their damages.
Ohio,

You are allowing your experience to shape biblical truth. You reject the work because you had a bad experience then you rejected what the Bible teaches about it too. It starts with “He gave....”.

Drake
02-17-2018 11:11 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ohio,

You have some of the facts but you are polarizing them to fit your history, perhaps to justify it. Here is what I mean.

You position the Antioch principle favorably but the Jerusalem principle negatively attributing it to Judaizers. Actually, both principles are revealed by God to show different models of the work, not about the administration of a local church. The beginning in Jerusalem was initiated by the Holy Spirit and the beginning in Antioch was also initiated by the Holy Spirit. Both Antioch and Jerusalem were centers of the work. They also were local churches. This is what makes Antioch and Jerusalem unique in that they were both local churches and centers of the work. As local churches their administration was local. Jerusalem did not control the churches in Samaria. Antioch did not control the churches raised up by the apostles sent from Antioch. However, as centers of the work, which was regional, they did manage the affairs of the work on an extra local basis.
You apparently missed the points I was making, but that's fine.

I no longer espouse the system of workers which you call "the work." The Bible only speaks of "the work of ministry." This para-church structure called "the work" apparently models scripture, but in reality ends up modeling all the denominations which LSM has long condemned. All they have done is changed the names, not the reality. They all claim to serve the church, but actually the church only exists to serve the ministry, LSM, that is.

My time in the LC was marked by a wonderful local church experience only to be nearly destroyed by outside workers who supposedly came to "help" us. This happened in all three of LC's I was a part of. Living and serving in the local churches with "the work," was always like "two steps forward, three steps back." Yet, for all the chaos, confusion, suffering, frustration, causes of stumbling by many, and divisions in my local churches caused by "the work," never did they ever take ownership or repent for their damages.
02-17-2018 08:01 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
And herein is what I found to be the hypocrisy in both Nee's and Lee's teachings.

In their early ministries (Nee in China, Lee in Taiwan and the USA), both emphasized city boundaries under autonomous "city" jurisdictions administrated by the elders. Both were firm on this matter, even teaching that the elders were the "highest court" in all matters. Some have referred to this as the "Antioch Principle" established under Paul's ministry.

In their later ministries (Nee in China, Lee in Taiwan and the USA), both emphasized the "oneness" of the body of Christ, with all the churches identically the same, with workers sent out from headquarters overseeing the elders, and a Minister of the Age overseeing these workers. Some have referred to this as the "Jerusalem Principle" practiced by Judaizers who were in some cases sent out by James.

During the quarantines of the Midwest churches, this ecclesiastical change was a source of great conflict and confusion. The Midwest leaders all considered the early paradigm by Nee and Lee to be still in operation, while the Blendeds were all convinced, as the legitimate successors to WL, that the second paradigm was in operation. Midwest leaders compiled reams of old Nee and Lee quotations to support their positions, and Anaheim produced their 28 "attack pack" booklets of more recent quotations to support their positions.

Thus the Midwest battles (divisions, lawsuits, infighting, etc.) during the quarantine were very much similar to the battles Paul et.al. faced with the Judaizers sent out from Jerusalem. Though the Biblical conflict apparently was centered on salvation by circumcision, and supposedly solved in the Acts 15 council, the heart of the matter was the bigger issues of power and control. Had not Titus destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, the latter model would most certainly have won out, and altered the entire course of church history.
It is essential to the "doctrine of dirt" that city boundaries delineate something. This is the entire rationale for creating his own sect, lambasting Christianity, and creating a monopoly so that he can make merchandise of the saints.

However, in order to make merchandise of the saints he needs every one of these "Lord's Recovery Churches" "one with the ministry", pushing product. Hence the second paradigm.
02-17-2018 07:36 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Ohio,

You have some of the facts but you are polarizing them to fit your history, perhaps to justify it. Here is what I mean.

You position the Antioch principle favorably but the Jerusalem principle negatively attributing it to Judaizers. Actually, both principles are revealed by God to show different models of the work, not about the administration of a local church. The beginning in Jerusalem was initiated by the Holy Spirit and the beginning in Antioch was also initiated by the Holy Spirit. Both Antioch and Jerusalem were centers of the work. They also were local churches. This is what makes Antioch and Jerusalem unique in that they were both local churches and centers of the work. As local churches their administration was local. Jerusalem did not control the churches in Samaria. Antioch did not control the churches raised up by the apostles sent from Antioch. However, as centers of the work, which was regional, they did manage the affairs of the work on an extra local basis. So we see, in the biblical record, Peter going to Joppa and then to the house of Cornelius and Caesarea and then returning to Jerusalem. In Antioch, the apostles went out for years at a time and lived in the places where they established local churches. Only to return years later. And we see a letter from the apostles and elders in Jerusalem to Antioch to resolve the Acts 15 issue. It is apparent from that letter alone, that God was not using a power and control technique established by Judaizers to resolve the Acts 15 issue! Neither of these New Testament models change the administration of the local church. Which is local.

Your casting of the Jerusalem model as being formulated and a craft of Judaizers is unfounded and wrong. Both were a work of the Holy Spirit showing different circumstances of the work in the first century. Lastly, you appear to be suggesting that God sent Titus to destroy Jerusalem for the purpose of destroying the the church and the work that was centered at Jerusalem. That is a fallacy of argument by cutting up the puzzle pieces of history to fit your narrative.

Drake
02-17-2018 06:41 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
In the NT “local” churches are frequently addressed as “the church in ________”, the church in Ephesus, the church in Colossae, the church in Rome. So then these city boundaries are used to designate different assemblies of Christians.

Watchman Nee and Witness Lee inferred that these designations were “boundaries” to jurisdiction. They taught that each locality was autonomous. But Witness Lee also disparaged the autonomy, teaching that the differences in the seven golden lamp stands in the New Jerusalem were negative.
And herein is what I found to be the hypocrisy in both Nee's and Lee's teachings.

In their early ministries (Nee in China, Lee in Taiwan and the USA), both emphasized city boundaries under autonomous "city" jurisdictions administrated by the elders. Both were firm on this matter, even teaching that the elders were the "highest court" in all matters. Some have referred to this as the "Antioch Principle" established under Paul's ministry.

In their later ministries (Nee in China, Lee in Taiwan and the USA), both emphasized the "oneness" of the body of Christ, with all the churches identically the same, with workers sent out from headquarters overseeing the elders, and a Minister of the Age overseeing these workers. Some have referred to this as the "Jerusalem Principle" practiced by Judaizers who were in some cases sent out by James.

During the quarantines of the Midwest churches, this ecclesiastical change was a source of great conflict and confusion. The Midwest leaders all considered the early paradigm by Nee and Lee to be still in operation, while the Blendeds were all convinced, as the legitimate successors to WL, that the second paradigm was in operation. Midwest leaders compiled reams of old Nee and Lee quotations to support their positions, and Anaheim produced their 28 "attack pack" booklets of more recent quotations to support their positions.

Thus the Midwest battles (divisions, lawsuits, infighting, etc.) during the quarantine were very much similar to the battles Paul et.al. faced with the Judaizers sent out from Jerusalem. Though the Biblical conflict apparently was centered on salvation by circumcision, and supposedly solved in the Acts 15 council, the heart of the matter was the bigger issues of power and control. Had not Titus destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, the latter model would most certainly have won out, and altered the entire course of church history.
02-17-2018 05:35 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

In the NT “local” churches are frequently addressed as “the church in ________”, the church in Ephesus, the church in Colossae, the church in Rome. So then these city boundaries are used to designate different assemblies of Christians.

Watchman Nee and Witness Lee inferred that these designations were “boundaries” to jurisdiction. They taught that each locality was autonomous. But Witness Lee also disparaged the autonomy, teaching that the differences in the seven golden lamp stands in the New Jerusalem were negative.

We know that the different localities did not have autonomy regarding the faith once for all delivered to the saints through the fellowship of the apostles. We also know that the discipline of a saint is not a local matter. The only example we have of this is Paul who was not present in the locality discipling a brother in Corinth. If we look at Matthew 18 “telling it to the church” is equivalent to having what has been bound on Earth be bound in Heaven. We also know that letters addressed to churches were not addressed to elders. There is no suggestion in the NT that the elders in a locality were to “lord it over” the flock, on the contrary they are specifically told they are not to do this. The function of the elders is to shepherd the sheep, however the sheep do not belong to them, they belong to the Lord. We also know that saints freely moved from one locality to the next without the need for anything more than a letter of reference. We also know that elders were appointed in every church and in every city, equating the two.

So then there surely must be a purpose in designating assemblies of Christians by city and also of appointing elders by city.

Deuteronomy 21:1If one be found slain in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him; 2then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain: 3and it shall be, that the city which is nearest unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke; 4and the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. 5And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them Jehovah thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of Jehovah; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be. 6And all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley; 7and they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8Forgive, O Jehovah, thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and suffer not innocent blood to remain in the midst of thy people Israel. And the blood shall be forgiven them.

These verses clearly indicate that the people of God will be held accountable, not simply for what each individual does, but also for what each community does. The first mention of a city is the one built by Cane. The biggest city in Genesis is Babel. Paul wrote a letter to Philemon, as a result Philemon would be held accountable for how he treated that word. Likewise Paul wrote to various assemblies, and these assemblies would be held accountable for how they received his word. Later he said that “all in Asia” had abandoned him. Individuals can sin, and assemblies can sin. The boundary of a city is not a designation like the wall of the NJ, or like a hedge of protection, rather it is a designation for accountability.
02-16-2018 03:36 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

My point in this thread is that the church does have a boundary, it is crucial, like the wall in the New Jerusalem, or on a human body it would be the skin. WL teaches it is a trivial boundary designated by the world and changeable. I think if we could see how significant the wall is that would help us see how absurd the “doctrine of dirt” is.

Job 1:10 Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath, on every side?

A hedge around a field prevents livestock from coming into the field. It reduces disease spread from one animal to the next. We do something similar at airports, screening for people with a fever to prevent sick travelers into our country. It also provides shelter from the wind which can have a significant impact on survival of new born lambs. It provides shade which can increase milk production. It helps drainage and prevents wind erosion. Also, it provides a habitat for essential species. Pollinators can live in the hedge as well as natural enemies of pests. Predatory insects and birds can live in the hedge year round, and once the fields attract pests they go to work devouring them.

Numbers 14:8If Jehovah delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it unto us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9Only rebel not against Jehovah, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is removed from over them, and Jehovah is with us: fear them not.

The liars, cheats, abominable ones, they are “bread for us”. If our wall is similar to a “hedge” where it is a dwelling place for those that can discern and defeat these cheats it could explain how there are none of them in the New Jerusalem. This is similar to the FBI hiring a former forger to catch forgers, or a former hacker to catch hackers.

This in turn explains

Ps 130:3If thou, Jehovah, shouldest mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with thee,
That thou mayest be feared.


Why is our wall so fearsome? Because we have those forgiven forgers, hackers, cult members, etc. They can discern the false prophets and expose them. Because of them the defense of these scam artists is removed and they become bread for us.

Once again this brings us back to Matthew 18. We deal with sins according to righteousness and mercy, grace and truth. Without mercy we would not have a fearsome wall.
02-15-2018 07:38 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

The mindset of everyone in the NJ is to be a servant, not to be a lord. They have a new heart. Hence the wall is able to exclude all who make a lie, are abominable and unclean.

Matt 23:11 “the greatest among you will be your servant”

In the world the “greatest” are those who have servants. This flips the worldly dynamic. Wealth is measured in dollars which are then used to give you and your family every advantage. This process is what those of us without money call “corruption”, “bribery”, “influence”, etc.

Matt 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Combine this verse in Matt 18 with the verse in Matt 23 and it gives a new perspective on what the Lord is saying. You can be the child of a billionaire, or of a king, or a ruler. But, if you are two years old you have to listen to the nanny, to the cook, to the butler, to the doorman, to everyone you see. Once that child gets to the age of 10 they will start bossing the “servants” around. So to “humble yourself as a little child” as a 2 year old, indicates that you listen and submit to every single person you see regardless of their status or wealth.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

This is the “purpose of man”. Our purpose is not to live a life of luxury. Our purpose is to serve others. This changes everything. If a person is complaining they are now similar to a sensor in a car going off telling you there is a problem. Instead of castigating them, you listen to them and respond.

Mark 9:35And he sat down, and called the twelve; and he saith unto them, If any man would be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.

It is this effort to “become first” that can be problematic. Think about cheating scandals and doping scandals. This is a result of people who “would be first”. Cheating is one way to win a race, but how do you “cheat” at being a “servant of all”? Balaam fashioned lies and traps to help Balak to be “Lord of all”, there was no need for any of that if Balak had wanted to be “servant of all”. This goal puts the liars and cheats and abominable ones out of business.

Luke 22:25And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles have lordship over them; and they that have authority over them are called Benefactors. 26But ye shall not be so: but he that is the greater among you, let him become as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27For which is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am in the midst of you as he that serveth.

Once again, this is the “purpose of man”. At the end of this age we will all appear before the judgement seat of Christ to be judged for the things we have done during this age. If you chose “lordship over others” that will factor into your judgement.

John 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

We can know if you are truly a servant of the Lord because you will be where the Lord is. To our impression the Lord’s presence will be with you. But from your perspective you are simply following the Lord who you serve.

1Peter 1:12 “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven.

If someone is confused they will confuse “serving themselves” with “serving the Lord”. These are the ones who will claim they did many works of power in the Lord’s name and He will tell them to depart because He never knew them. Today in the world people use their money, power and influence to serve themselves. In the NJ everyone is serving others, hence money, power and influence are used to serve others. We don't call that corruption, we call that charity.

Matt 20:27-28 And whoever wants to be first must be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

If you are truly serving the Lord it will be “just like the Son of Man”. Your service will be “a ransom for many”. In the world people pay bribes to advance their agenda, in the NJ they pay ransoms to save others.

It is as though the wall separates out those who serve themselves from those who serve others.
02-14-2018 10:12 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
It is a living wall, there are watchers on the wall and they stand on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets.
I like the verses and commentary on this thread. The seven eyes can run to & fro thru the world, never losing their innate transparency, because they never lose their innate subjective connection back to the throne in heaven. For us, scripture is clearly the lifeline back to the Father's house.

When one allows their voice, which is the Shepherd speaking in them as the Word thru the HS inspiration, to go out as one among many (the sound of many waters), God blends these disparate voices into one marvelous testimony. But by insisting on primacy, WL co-opted this & forfeited his part.

I write not for others but for myself, but I write to the Lord (or try to). How this relates to the "big picture" or "the Body" isn't my purview. The Lord sets the boundaries here, not men. As ZNP says, there's a neon "stay away" sign on such ministries as the one WL had. Unfortunately they're not as uncommon as we'd wish. But if we eventually see them for what they are and learn, then the journey isn't for naught.
02-14-2018 07:22 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
How does this work?
The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat: 3 all things therefore whatsoever they bid you, these do and observe: but do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not. 4 Yea, they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.

The leaders are supposed to be a servant of all. Telling others to do things and not lifting a finger to do them yourself is a neon light that this one is a phony.

5 But all their works they do to be seen of men: for they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 and love the chief place at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called of men, Rabbi.

This is what Jesus referred to as "whited sepulchers". If you are doing a good work you don't need a PR firm, you don't need a press secretary, there are many things you don't need. But if you would not think of doing a good work without making sure there was a photo op to go with it and a press release, then this is a neon light that you are a phony. When I was told by Drake that it was rude for me to talk to Ed Marks at that dinner it implies that Ed was given "the chief seat". When WL came up with terms like "The Apostle", "The Minister of the Age", "Blended Brothers", etc. This indicates he loves the salutations in the marketplace and to be called of men, Rabbi.

8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, even the Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled; and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted.

When you look at the "greatest among you" and you see someone serving everyone, then that is under the Lord's headship. But when you see them sitting in the chief seats, giving themselves titles, making broad their phylacteries, then you can see a blinking neon light saying "stay away, poison".
02-14-2018 04:53 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

21:27and there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they that are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

I consider this verse to be utterly fascinating. Imagine a government where nothing unclean, abominable or that makes a lie could enter! Imagine a society, a company, anything! How does this work?

Matt 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.


What a fantastic irony! The reason sepulchres were "whited" each year was to make it readily apparent to everyone else that there were dead, unclean things inside and you were to stay away. In nature most creatures blend into their surroundings and are very difficult to see. But there are exceptions. These creatures have very bright, vivid colors that make them easy to see from far off, but the message is clear, stay away, I am full of poison. Jesus sees the "outward appearance" of the scribes and pharisees designed to make them "appear beautiful" was really a sign of corruption, and a warning to keep away from them. They think their evil deeds are like bones hidden within the sepulchre, but to the Lord it was so apparent that they stood out like neon lights. No doubt this ability plays a big role in the wall preventing the unclean from entering the city.

Malachi 2:17 Ye have wearied Jehovah with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? In that ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of Jehovah, and he delighteth in them; or where is the God of justice?

I saw this with PL. I only met him once. We went to lunch with Ray Graver and 12 brothers working on the construction site in Irving. It was readily apparent to me that PL was a greedy, lascivious man. Completely fair to say this stood out like a neon light. What I couldn't understand is how Ray Graver couldn't see it. I guess it is like Upton Sinclair said "it is impossible for a man to see corruption if his pay check requires that he not see it".

1Kings 3:9 Give thy servant therefore an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people?

It is a living wall, there are watchers on the wall and they stand on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets.
02-13-2018 04:55 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

28 Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

This is a major boundary -- No one in the church is to draw away disciples after them. In some cases the fault is not with the person, for example in Acts they tried to worship Paul at one point and he had to beg them not to do it. But if they "speak perverse things" with the motive of "drawing away disciples" that crosses the line and is thoroughly condemned.

Denying that Jesus is Lord is a perverse thing. Lord indicates the ultimate authority. When two or three meet in the name of the Lord they are under this ultimate authority. When WL's disciples teach that you need something "more" than this, they are saying that Jesus is not the ultimate authority, they are denying that Jesus is Lord. This is a perverse thing.

The non Biblical reference to WN and WL as "ministers of the Age", using a type of Christ (Moses) to refer to themselves, this is a perverse thing with the intention of drawing disciples after themselves.

3 But not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4 and that because of the false brethren privily brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5 to whom we gave place in the way of subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Circumcision is very clearly outside of the wall of the fellowship of the apostles. Some may be circumcised, some aren't, some may have been prior to salvation, others can choose to after. But very clearly according to the fellowship of the apostles this has nothing to do with your standing in the church. Circumcision was an OT sign of the covenant between God and man. But Paul makes it clear this OT type is replaced by the reality of the cross of Christ. Our NT sign of a covenant with God is the cross of Christ. If the Judaizers could force gentile converts to be circumcised it would mean they would need something other than the cross of Christ, they would need something more. That would bring the gentile believers into bondage to these Judaizers.
02-12-2018 06:01 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

If a person owns a house on Earth he has the right to exercise authority over it on Earth. If two or three own a business, they have the right to exercise the authority over that business. There are billions of people on this earth and many of them have a jurisdiction over some part of the earth. When the Blendeds decided to sever the relationship with Titus they had the right.

If you are in the world you would make this decision official in a court of law. You can fire people, and evict people.

However, the church is the kingdom of the heaven. This is not referring to a single locality. If those who are doing the firing or evicting are doing it in the name of Jesus, and then they tell it to the church. What they have bound or loosed on Earth will be what has been bound or loosed in heaven.

None of your quotes disputes that. None of your quotes says that people don't have the right or jurisdiction to fire people from businesses they own or to evict people from buildings they own. Likewise, none of your quotes of me says that the two or three "bind in heaven". Instead, I say if you bind on Earth "in the name of Jesus" then tell it to the church, then what you have bound on Earth will be what has been bound in heaven.

I realize it is impossible for you to understand what I am saying, but I also understand that it is very simple for everyone else reading this thread to understand. So I appreciate your posts because they give me the opportunity to drive this point home.

The gates of Hades refer to the counsel of Hades, the machinations, the schemes, the contrivances, the schemes of the dead. The goal is to put God's people in subjection to them, to bury them. That is the point of WL's doctrine of dirt. You must be in subjection to the three or four elders appointed by him and that represent his interest. The church then is put in their place of supporting his ministry, rather than the ministry supporting the church. FTTT, standing orders, legal defense fund, etc. None of this is supported by Matt 18. I do not need WL's good housekeeping seal of approval to sanction the Lord's table. I do not need WL's blessing on my meeting. What I do need is the presence of the Lord.
02-12-2018 05:02 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Let's consider the facts. A look at the biblehub commentaries will show that ZNP's interpretation of key bible passages is not well supported. Anyone can take a look for themselves:

http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/18-17.htm

One example is the Geneva study bible:

(i) He speaks not of just any policy, but of an ecclesiastical assembly, for he speaks afterward of the power of loosing and binding, which belonged to the Church, and he has regard for the order used in those days, at which time the elders had the judgment of Church matters in their hands, Joh 9:22 12:4216:2, and used casting out of the synagogue for a punishment, as we do now by excommunication.

ZNP's views contradict the teachings of these learned Reformers, when he wrote previously:

Two or three are sufficient to bind or loose, in context this refers to judging a brother and even excommunicating him from the fellowship as Paul did. "Telling it to the church" is informative, there is no indication that the church then rules on the case. There is no indication that these two or three need the authority of an elder or Apostle

Matthew Poole also disagrees with ZNP and explains how the church, and particularly those in authority has power to bind and loose:

By the church then must be meant those who had power to bind and loose. Now though at this time there was no particular church formed, yet there were some who had a power to bind and loose. Christ had given such a power to his apostles. These were the present church, and at this time in being. They were afterwards to constitute particular churches, to whom, (when constituted), in force of this precept, such offences were to be told.

Not only does ZNP's teaching contradict that of the Reformers and educated men, it dilutes the authority and power of the Church, elders and Apostles which Christ and the apostle Paul established.
02-12-2018 11:52 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Common sense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
These kinds of legalistic ecclesiastical demands are what destroys the church.
The "gates of Hades". We have a promise that they won't prevail.
02-12-2018 08:29 AM
Ohio
Re: Common sense

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
NY had 3 elders and 2 full time workers for a little more than 200. How many elders would you need if instead of 200 you had 200,000? You might need 5,000. NYC probably has at least 2 million Christians, so you could need 50,000 elders.
These kinds of legalistic ecclesiastical demands are what destroys the church. Think about the massive hierarchy that would develop in NYC or any huge city by today's standards.

Think about LSM's overlay on NYC:
  • One MOTA at the top
  • Blended workers submitting to the MOTA
  • NYC elders submitting to the workers and the MOTA
  • Borough sub-elders submitting to the NYC elders, the workers and the MOTA
  • District leaders submitting to the borough sub-elders, the NYC elders, the workers, and the MOTA
  • Neighborhood leaders submitting to the district leaders, the sub-elders, the NYC elders, the workers and the MOTA
  • District deacons submitting the neighborhood leaders, to district leaders, the sub-elders, the NYC elders, the workers and the MOTA
  • The serving saints submitting to the district deacons, the neighborhood leaders, to district leaders, the sub-elders, the NYC elders, the workers and the MOTA
This is exactly how the RCC hierarchy got established. Supposedly this was all established to keep the oneness and to guard against heresy.
02-12-2018 08:13 AM
Ohio
Re: Common sense

I once read something about early city/towns that they were defined by "walking distance." That of course was very practical. Today's cities bear no relation to the cities in the Bible. It is totally disingenous to connect the two with such legalistic ecclesiastical demands. It's like demanding that every minister be a fisherman, a farmer, a tax cllector, or a tentmaker because the early disciples were.
02-12-2018 07:42 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Common sense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This is the kind of disingenuous argument which LSMers long to make, which is why it is so hard to believe anything they say.
He continues to argue "common sense". But if we use common sense it is obvious that all of the Christians in a large city will not ever all meet together in a single meeting. The largest possible venues would be stadiums that hold a tiny fraction of the total number of Christians in that city. Also, a meeting in a stadium with 100,000 does not resemble the meetings described in Icor 14.

Therefore I think it is common sense that one church in one city cannot refer to one meeting, one meeting hall, or even the same few elders. When I was in Houston they had 4 or even 5 elders for 200. Odessa had 3 elders for less than 100. NY had 3 elders and 2 full time workers for a little more than 200. How many elders would you need if instead of 200 you had 200,000? You might need 5,000. NYC probably has at least 2 million Christians, so you could need 50,000 elders.

Oneness of the Body of Christ is crucial, and there is no doubt that Paul saw one church in one city. But common sense would dictate that this oneness cannot be due to one set of elders, or one meeting hall, or one common gathering on a periodic basis. The oneness is the fellowship of the Apostles. The oneness is that all of these meetings are meeting "in the name of Jesus".

All of the other gimmicks -- elders appointed by WL, city boundary, etc. These are the trappings of a franchise. LSM the publisher has turned the kingdom of God into a franchise. In this sense LSM would be Jezebel, sitting as a Queen that has no business ruling in Israel.

No doubt Evangelical will twist these words as he always does to have me say whatever his straw man is. I don't dispute that these gatherings need elders. Larger churches need an office, elders, deacons, and a variety of leaders in order to run. But that is not what makes us one, nor is it what makes us a "gathering of the called out ones", nor is it what causes our prayers to be answered or what makes us one with the Lord on the throne. These ones were not crucified for us, we are not baptized into their names, and they will not be sitting in judgement when we appear before the Lord.
02-12-2018 05:35 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Clearly the first church was larger than two or three. If the church had 300 in it ZNP would probably conclude that this is 100 churches!
This is the kind of disingenuous argument which LSMers long to make, which is why it is so hard to believe anything they say.

And to think that for 20+ years I believed every word they spoke or wrote.

For those reading this thread, LSM is not an organization that is worth your trust. Yes, they are they endless purveyors of Plymouth Brethren teachings, but concerning certain select topics, they can be very deceptive.
02-12-2018 04:53 AM
Ohio
Re: Proclaiming that Jesus is Lord?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Teaching that a church is only two or three is divisive. So a city locality can be divided into thousands of churches by two or three.
LSM's teachings are divisive. They make up rules to divide the church.

I have lots of personal experience with the underhanded tactics of that publisher.
02-12-2018 04:48 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

1Cor 14 is the one chapter that speaks about the “gathering of the called out ones” in detail. The term “church” refers to a meeting, and this is the one chapter that focuses on how this meeting should take place.

5Now I would have you all speak with tongues, but rather that ye should prophesy:

Paul’s use of the word prophesy is not so much “predict” but rather speak forth. But consider this, he wants everyone in the meeting to speak. So far our debate has been on the minimum number required for a church meeting, but now I would ask what is the maximum number you can have where “all speak”?

8For if the trumpet give an uncertain voice, who shall prepare himself for war?

He is comparing our speaking with playing an instrument. In this analogy the church is an orchestra and everyone has an instrument and should be participating. In Philippians Paul likens the church to a Choragus, a Choir. In both examples those in the meeting are not spectators but participants. It is difficult to have an orchestra or choir of more than 100.

If you are going to learn to play the trumpet you will do it in small private lessons with two or three, with private practice, and with other rehearsals. A meeting of two or three is ideal for someone to learn to play the trumpet, to begin to play the trumpet and to practice playing the trumpet.

19howbeit in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

24But if all prophesy, and there come in one unbelieving or unlearned, he is reproved by all, he is judged by all; 25the secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.


No one can deny that the only description of a Christian gathering is one in which “all prophesy” or “all speak”.

26What is it then, brethren? When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

Once again — each one has. Therefore I would argue the issue is not what is the minimum number needed, but rather what is the maximum. Everyone knows if you are in a meeting of 2 or 3 all will speak, all will have something. Once that number goes over 20 there will be those that don’t speak. Once it goes over 100 most will not speak.

So this is now the third Biblical example I am providing of the church meeting that supports 2, 3 or small gatherings. No doubt, we would also hope that the orchestra does have large gatherings, but that might only represent a very small percent of the actual meetings those musicians have had.
02-11-2018 06:39 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Key question?

We have been going around in circles with this 2, 3, 4, 12, etc. Yet the NT is quite clear that the key number is 1. Jesus Christ. We meet in His name, we need His presence, He is the one that will answer our prayers. We meet because of His calling. We left the world because of His salvation.

But, if you accept the clever story told by Witness Lee, published by LSM and subscribed to by the LSM franchise churches, then Jesus Christ is not enough. You need more.

If two or three need more than Jesus Christ, and that is what WL's teaching boils down to, then it denies the Lord who bought us.

That is the key question, do gatherings of the called out ones need more than Jesus Christ?

If the answer from Evangelical is no, then everything else he has said has simply been a waste of everyone's time. If his answer is yes then he is denying the Lord who bought us.
02-11-2018 06:03 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Clearly the first church was larger than two or three. If the church had 300 in it ZNP would probably conclude that this is 100 churches!
Either you do not understand what I have shared or you are intentionally distorting what I have shared. Despite previous cases of your intentionally distorting my words I will respond to this misunderstanding. If it persists I will call you a liar.

I see one church, not two, three, or 300. Yes, a meeting of 2 or 3 is a gathering of the called out ones. But in the picture provided by the NJ these are small gatherings within the walls of the one church typified by the NJ. The boundary of this one church is the fellowship of the Apostles. Therefore, even if there were 300 different gatherings within a city, as long as they are all within the boundaries of the fellowship of the apostles they are one with all other gatherings. As a result a single person could be in a variety of these meetings and be one with all of the believers in these various meetings.

Witness Lee taught that each "church" was delineated by the boundary of a city. But the practicality of this teaching has resulted in many contradictions to this teaching by the LRS (Lord's Recovery Sect) in just the last 50 years.

The way I read the New Testament is that a gathering of two or three into the name of Jesus comes with every promise given to the church. There is no limit based on number of attendees. No doubt the church will grow in number and as it does it will grow in functions. You will require overseers, deacons, teachers, prophets, helps, etc. But the reality is that a large gathering of a thousand does not promote the function of believers more than smaller ones. This is where your "common sense" and "logic" collapse. Yes, if you have a gathering of 300 that could be much larger than one of 3 people. But realistically, in a city of 10 million like NYC there must be several million believers. A hundred gatherings of 300 are only 30,000, perhaps less than 1% of the total believers in the city. Yet the "church in NY" rarely has 300 attendees (I used to be the one to count the members and log them into a book).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Matt 18 teaches that if we have a problem with a brother that cannot be solved with two or three then we can bring it to the church. This is because the church has governance through the elders which the two or three at home do not have.
That is not what it teaches, that is the clever story WL tells about what it teaches.

What it teaches is that 2 or 3 can bind on Earth. They do not need to consult with the church to bind on Earth. However, once they do make that decision they are to "tell it to the church" and what has been bound on Earth "will be what has been bound in Heaven".

The church here does not refer to a single locality, but rather the representative of the kingdom of the heavens.

For example, when the Blendeds excommunicated Titus they didn't consult with the church. Instead they "told the church" of their decision. They had the authority to "bind on Earth" regardless of what I or others thought. Also, telling the church did not mean telling a single locality. Instead they wrote a letter to all the believers, regardless of locality. Once we got that letter we were able to fellowship concerning the points to see if it was indeed within the boundary of the apostle's fellowship. I felt it wasn't, wrote a response which was put up on the internet on a site with others who also felt it wasn't. As a result I would disagree with the conclusion that what the Blendeds bound on Earth has been what has been bound in heaven. That proves, in my opinion based on Matt 18, that their decision was not made "in the name of Jesus".

Regardless of how you view that particular case, everyone must agree that when the Blendeds "told it to the church" this was not to a single locality but to all the believers worldwide. Teaching that the reference to "the church" in Matt 18 is referring to a specific locality divides "the church" into hundreds, if not thousands of churches. It is simply a different way of denominating the church.

I don't read it that way. All believers are members of the church. What difference does it make that I meet in Houston, or NY or Taipei? If someone excommunicates a brother I know what difference does it make if I happen to be in the same city or not? I still would like to know what the basis is for this action.
02-11-2018 05:33 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Further biblical evidence against the "Two or three" idea is as follows:

Paul ordered Titus to appoint elders not in every home but in every city (Titus 1:5). God's word is clear.

The first local church in Jerusalem had elders taking care of governance:
Acts 11:30, 15:2, 16:4, 21:18

Clearly the first church was larger than two or three. If the church had 300 in it ZNP would probably conclude that this is 100 churches!

Matt 18 teaches that if we have a problem with a brother that cannot be solved with two or three then we can bring it to the church. This is because the church has governance through the elders which the two or three at home do not have.
02-11-2018 05:24 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
WL’s teaching on the church, and the city boundaries is a cleverly invented story (2Peter 1:16). According to them you need something “more”. But we have everything we need for life and godliness (2Pet 1:3). They promise freedom while they themselves are slaves of depravity. The purpose in sharing on this forum is that they might know the truth and the truth might set them free. A false believer is arrogant, slanderous, experts in greed and their eyes are full of adultery (2Pet2:14). This is why we have raised the alarm on this forum about these traits in the leadership of LSM. Peter advises us “we have the word of the prophets made more certain and you will do well to pay attention to it”. That has been the focus of this thread, what does the word say. Yet Evangelical and others will try to turn you to their “logic”, “common sense”, anything but the sure word of God. LSM is like a spring without water. No one promises more than LSM with their ridiculous “high peaks truths”, and projections of worldwide evangelization. Yet they produce nothing.
Well the bible teaches that the "something more" we need is elders in every church. Appointing elders was a priority for Paul and his co-workers. This fact is recognised by many in Christianity (a quick Google search reveals this).

That a church can only be two or three is a minority opinion in Christianity that would not be shared by the majority of denominations, either. In many denominations that is a pastor, a worship leader, and a youth worker - a complete church!
02-11-2018 05:22 PM
Evangelical
Re: Proclaiming that Jesus is Lord?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
It kind of makes me sick to even discuss this with Evangelical, since he doesn't have a clue what is the true character of his Blended leaders. He talks about what is needed for a "church," yet promotes a ministry which destroys churches.

The two churches which I migrated to help startup were both divided by operatives from LSM who sneaked in secretly, because the elders in each church no longer promoted LSM. Thus LSM promoted 2 ugly divisions. The entire body of Christ should have "marked them for making divisions and causes of stumbling contrary to the teaching we have learned, and turn away from them. For such men do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites; and by slick and deceptive talks deceive the hearts of the simple." -- (Romans 16.17-18)
Teaching that a church is only two or three is divisive. So a city locality can be divided into thousands of churches by two or three.
02-11-2018 05:19 PM
Evangelical
Re: Proclaiming that Jesus is Lord?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The ground of the church doctrine collapses if

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

refers to a local church. In this verse there is no city boundary, rather it is "wherever". In this verse there is no requirement for Witness Lee appointed elders. There is no hokey "taking the ground" ceremony. Everything he has built his Christian life on is nothing but sinking sand unless he can prove you need something else besides the Lord's presence.
The ground of the church doctrine is built upon the gathering of two or three but it is a mistake to say that a gathering of two or three is a church. Lee wrote extensively about the importance of gatherings of two or three which you cannot deny.

Your teaching is 100% wrong as you cannot see the difference between a gathering and the church, so you cannot have much clue about church boundaries.

Your teaching would nullify the Lord's instructions in Matthew 18:15-20 since if you tell two or three then you have already told the church and do not need to seek another body of people.

I cannot imagine what problems this would cause since people would not be able to consult the authority of a body larger than two or three.
02-11-2018 04:34 PM
Ohio
Re: Proclaiming that Jesus is Lord?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The ground of the church doctrine collapses if

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

refers to a local church. In this verse there is no city boundary, rather it is "wherever". In this verse there is no requirement for Witness Lee appointed elders. There is no hokey "taking the ground" ceremony. Everything he has built his Christian life on is nothing but sinking sand unless he can prove you need something else besides the Lord's presence.
It kind of makes me sick to even discuss this with Evangelical, since he doesn't have a clue what is the true character of his Blended leaders. He talks about what is needed for a "church," yet promotes a ministry which destroys churches.

The two churches which I migrated to help startup were both divided by operatives from LSM who sneaked in secretly, because the elders in each church no longer promoted LSM. Thus LSM promoted 2 ugly divisions. The entire body of Christ should have "marked them for making divisions and causes of stumbling contrary to the teaching we have learned, and turn away from them. For such men do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites; and by slick and deceptive talks deceive the hearts of the simple." -- (Romans 16.17-18)
02-11-2018 04:30 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

WL’s teaching on the church, and the city boundaries is a cleverly invented story (2Peter 1:16). According to them you need something “more”. But we have everything we need for life and godliness (2Pet 1:3). They promise freedom while they themselves are slaves of depravity. The purpose in sharing on this forum is that they might know the truth and the truth might set them free. A false believer is arrogant, slanderous, experts in greed and their eyes are full of adultery (2Pet2:14). This is why we have raised the alarm on this forum about these traits in the leadership of LSM. Peter advises us “we have the word of the prophets made more certain and you will do well to pay attention to it”. That has been the focus of this thread, what does the word say. Yet Evangelical and others will try to turn you to their “logic”, “common sense”, anything but the sure word of God. LSM is like a spring without water. No one promises more than LSM with their ridiculous “high peaks truths”, and projections of worldwide evangelization. Yet they produce nothing.
02-11-2018 04:25 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Why would elders be appointed in a church of only two people? I have the presence of Christ can I be a church too? I will be an elder apostle teacher pastor and evangelist. I am a church. This is the false thinking that the two or three idea leads to.
02-11-2018 04:17 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Proclaiming that Jesus is Lord?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Evangelical's qualifiers are all natural opinions based on common sense, human logic, past experiences, or contrived numbers from the Bible.

Hey, what about 144,000? That's a great number!


The problem is that Evangelical's qualifiers are all in the natural realm, but the real church is spiritual. Evangelical has to fight this to the bitter end just because Lee said so. Lee said 2 or 3 cannot be the church, so it must be so!
The ground of the church doctrine collapses if

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

refers to a local church. In this verse there is no city boundary, rather it is "wherever". In this verse there is no requirement for Witness Lee appointed elders. There is no hokey "taking the ground" ceremony. Everything he has built his Christian life on is nothing but sinking sand unless he can prove you need something else besides the Lord's presence.
02-11-2018 04:13 PM
Koinonia
Re: Whose on First?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
According to the bible acts 14.23...yes. Elders were appointed in every church. Paul would not have meant to appoint elders in every gathering of two or three..then everyone would be an elder !

This is an easy way to distinguish between a gathering and a church.

John Piper explains the importance of elders here

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles...-new-testament

If every church has elders (plural) then for a church of 2 people both are elders and for a church if 3...2 are elders. We can see how ZNPs thinking is silly when compared to biblical and historical facts.

Does every LSM-affliated local church have elders?
02-11-2018 04:02 PM
Ohio
Re: Proclaiming that Jesus is Lord?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I find it very interesting this desperate attempt to require elders to legitimize a christian gathering as a church.

I went from Matt 18 (the Lord's word on the church) to Ephesians (Paul's word). In Matt 18 a crucial promise is that a gathering of 2 or 3 meeting in the name of Jesus can bind or loose on Earth and what they bind or loose on Earth will be what has been bound in heaven.
Evangelical's qualifiers are all natural opinions based on common sense, human logic, past experiences, or contrived numbers from the Bible.

Hey, what about 144,000? That's a great number!


The problem is that Evangelical's qualifiers are all in the natural realm, but the real church is spiritual. Evangelical has to fight this to the bitter end just because Lee said so. Lee said 2 or 3 cannot be the church, so it must be so!
02-11-2018 03:50 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Proclaiming that Jesus is Lord?

I find it very interesting this desperate attempt to require elders to legitimize a christian gathering as a church.

I went from Matt 18 (the Lord's word on the church) to Ephesians (Paul's word). In Matt 18 a crucial promise is that a gathering of 2 or 3 meeting in the name of Jesus can bind or loose on Earth and what they bind or loose on Earth will be what has been bound in heaven.

This thought is continued in Ephesians. Jesus is made Lord over all to the church. The church is the embassy of the kingdom of the heavens, the church represents the heavenly throne.

Hence I said that the 2 or 3 who are "telling it to the church" in Matt 18 results in the Church "binding or loosing in heaven".

But what is even more important is that this is what the church is. They are the living testimony and proclamation that Jesus is Lord.

This is what Paul says in Ephesians when he says that the church is "His Body which fills all and in all".

Which leads to the question, how can we proclaim Jesus is Lord? That brought us back to Matt 18 and the conclusion about mercy. Unlike righteousness, truth and justice, no one can require you to give mercy. To give mercy is completely up to you, it is your decision and cannot be required of you. Hence, when you give mercy you are acting as "lord" over whatever it is you have the authority over.

Mercy is not natural. If you give mercy because the Lord showed you mercy you are proclaiming that He is Lord of all, that He is in you and fills you.

So I do recognize that a gathering of Christians is not a "church" without this expression of the Lord of all. But somehow this spiritual reality has been distorted so that Evangelical and others have been taught you have to have elders appointed by Witness Lee or some other wannabe apostle before you can be a church.

So then you will have to decide for yourself who knows what they are talking about. If you do not trust your own judgement to read the word but require Witness Lee or some other person to tell you what it says then that is sad.
02-11-2018 03:40 PM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Historically speaking, all major doctrine in the church has been decided by 12 people or more. This includes the matter of Gentiles vs Jews and extends until the time of the councils of Nicaea etc.
Evangelical, what qualifications do you place on these 12?

Do they really all have to be apostles or missionaries?

Can we count children? What age qualifies them? What if some don't care for LSM? What if some can't read? What if some don't show up often?

Here is where 2 or 3 CAN be the church. They are gathered in His name! This is not a human organization as you propose, but a spiritual gathering. Perhaps no one even knows them. Who cares if they have a meeting hall and are listed in the "Directory" of LSM LC's?
02-11-2018 03:37 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Here is another article from Christianity explaining how and why every church should have elders.

https://www.9marks.org/article/shoul...h-have-elders/

I quote..


But the best reason a church should have elders is because the New Testament says that it should. Throughout his epistles, and especially the pastoral epistles, Paul makes it plain that every New Testament church should have elders, that is men who “direct the affairs of the church” (1 Timothy 5:17-18). He commissioned Titus to make sure that all the churches in Crete had elders (Titus 1:5). And he took the time to outline for both Timothy and Titus what sort of men should be called to that office (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9), as well as the procedure that should be followed should a man need to be removed from the office (1 Timothy 5:19-20). So central were elders in Paul’s thinking that, though eager to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost, he took the time to call the Ephesian elders together and give them one last exhortation (Acts 20:16-38), the heart of which was that they be faithful as “shepherds of the church of God”.


So also if we consider that in addition to elders a church should have evangelists..prophets..pastors..teachers...the giftings to the church...it must be more than 3. Clearly 3 people are not enough.

Clearly ZNP does not know what he is talking about and everyone should be wary to accept his sad rambling monologue about church boundaries when he cannot even get right the most basic facts about the size of a church.
So Evangelical has quoted verses from Timothy and Titus to prove that every church has to have elders in order to be a church. This raises the obvious question how did Paul write epistles to the churches in Thessalonia, Corinth, Rome, Ephesus, Colossae, Galatia, and Phillipi prior to this rule about appointing elders?

There is no doubt that as a church grows in size you will need some to take up the office of overseer. Once again, consider the example of Odessa. When they met in people's homes why would you need an overseer? But once we rented a meeting hall, now it becomes necessary. Someone has to be responsible to see that the bills are paid, the heat and air conditioning are working, make decisions about adding a bookroom, conferences, etc.

But there is no verse that suggests that appointing elders is necessary for a gathering of believers to be considered a "church".
02-11-2018 03:28 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Whose on First?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
According to the bible acts 14.23...yes. Elders were appointed in every church. Paul would not have meant to appoint elders in every gathering of two or three..then everyone would be an elder !

This is an easy way to distinguish between a gathering and a church.

John Piper explains the importance of elders here

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles...-new-testament

If every church has elders (plural) then for a church of 2 people both are elders and for a church if 3...2 are elders. We can see how ZNPs thinking is silly when compared to biblical and historical facts.
14:23 And when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.

The question is not whether or not elders are scriptural, but rather whether or not a gathering of Christians is not a church until elders have been appointed.

Read this verse in Acts that Evangelical has referenced. Paul appointed elders in every church. It doesn't say that it became a church once Paul appointed elders. He preached, people believed, they gathered together into "gatherings of the called out ones", then Paul returned to these gatherings and appointed elders. They were churches before the elders were appointed.

This also matches my personal experience with the church in Odessa. They were a very small gathering, a men's Bible study (3 brothers that I know of), that decided to meet based on the writings of Watchman Nee. This now included wives and children. This small group contacted the churches in Texas. George Whitington met with them and encouraged saints to move out there. I moved. It was referred to as "the church in Odessa" by all, even though we had no meeting hall and had perhaps 20+ believers if you include the children. More saints moved out, Phil Delp and George Whitington were sent out and they were "appointed elders" along with one of the brothers who was part of the original Bible study. But the elders were appointed years after it was recognized as a church.
02-11-2018 03:19 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Whose on First?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You really think 2 or 3 can be a church and then everyone is an elder? It is your thinking which is absurd. Matt 18 is out of context because while you claim a church is 2 or 3 the church at that time had at least 12. You have given no biblical examples of a 2 or 3 sized church so your view is unbiblical.
I have provided two Biblical examples: Matt 18 and John 12.
02-11-2018 01:36 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Here is another article from Christianity explaining how and why every church should have elders.

https://www.9marks.org/article/shoul...h-have-elders/

I quote..


But the best reason a church should have elders is because the New Testament says that it should. Throughout his epistles, and especially the pastoral epistles, Paul makes it plain that every New Testament church should have elders, that is men who “direct the affairs of the church” (1 Timothy 5:17-18). He commissioned Titus to make sure that all the churches in Crete had elders (Titus 1:5). And he took the time to outline for both Timothy and Titus what sort of men should be called to that office (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9), as well as the procedure that should be followed should a man need to be removed from the office (1 Timothy 5:19-20). So central were elders in Paul’s thinking that, though eager to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost, he took the time to call the Ephesian elders together and give them one last exhortation (Acts 20:16-38), the heart of which was that they be faithful as “shepherds of the church of God”.


So also if we consider that in addition to elders a church should have evangelists..prophets..pastors..teachers...the giftings to the church...it must be more than 3. Clearly 3 people are not enough.

Clearly ZNP does not know what he is talking about and everyone should be wary to accept his sad rambling monologue about church boundaries when he cannot even get right the most basic facts about the size of a church.
02-11-2018 01:21 PM
Evangelical
Re: Whose on First?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Does every "local church" have elders?

According to the bible acts 14.23...yes. Elders were appointed in every church. Paul would not have meant to appoint elders in every gathering of two or three..then everyone would be an elder !

This is an easy way to distinguish between a gathering and a church.

John Piper explains the importance of elders here

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles...-new-testament

If every church has elders (plural) then for a church of 2 people both are elders and for a church if 3...2 are elders. We can see how ZNPs thinking is silly when compared to biblical and historical facts.
02-11-2018 01:14 PM
Koinonia
Re: Whose on First?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You really think 2 or 3 can be a church and then everyone is an elder? It is your thinking which is absurd.
Does every "local church" have elders?
02-11-2018 01:13 PM
Evangelical
Re: Whose on First?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I would like to know what the Bible says. I understand the word "church" is actually the word "gathering of the called out ones". So now you agree that 2 or 3 can qualify as a "gathering of the called out ones" but you and Witness Lee teach something that the NT doesn't teach and worse than that, you tell others that this is what God teaches when in fact He hasn't.

Ezekiel 22:28 And her prophets have daubed for them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, when Jehovah hath not spoken.

This isn't trivial. This is the basis for condemning all other Christians and creating the "Lord's Recovery Sect" (LRS). Yet when it is examined there is no scriptural basis at all.

According to you the minimum number for a "church" is 12. Why? Because there were 12 apostles. You reject 2 or 3 because you claim we are using this verse in Matt 18 "out of context" even though the context of Matt 16-18 is the Lord's first mention of church. Yet you pull this 12 out of your hat completely and totally out of any context to the church.

You also reject the 2 or 3 as a minimum possible number for the church because there is a meeting in Acts 15 that has more than this! This is the most absurd logic. It is like trying to say that a 65 is not the minimum passing grade because we have this other student over here who got a 90 and he passed.

I really hope those who are still being held hostage by this teaching read this thread and realize how absurd this teaching is.

If the NJ is the fully matured version of the "gathering of the called out ones" like a majestic oak tree, then the two or three are like the acorn.

You really think 2 or 3 can be a church and then everyone is an elder? It is your thinking which is absurd. Matt 18 is out of context because while you claim a church is 2 or 3 the church at that time had at least 12. You have given no biblical examples of a 2 or 3 sized church so your view is unbiblical.
02-11-2018 11:32 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the Church?

15 For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which ye show toward all the saints, 16 cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; 18 having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 and what the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might 20 which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

We have come to an impasse in this thread, "what is the church".

I have leaned on Paul and the book of Ephesians for this definition.

I begin with these verses in chapter one which I will sum up in a word -- the church is the proclamation that Jesus is Lord.

Ex 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of Jehovah before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

When you show mercy you proclaim that Jesus is Lord. For example, what is it that you hear from all those who do not show mercy -- "I would, but you know, I don't have the authority". Only the Lord has the authority to show mercy.

The way to testify that the Lord has shown you mercy is to show others mercy. That is the strongest testimony that Jesus is Lord, that His mercy created in you a new heart. That is a testimony that "all things" have been put under His feet, and it is a testimony that the church is the "fullness" of "Him that filleth all in all".

I see no reason why 2 or 3 cannot proclaim that Jesus is Lord by showing mercy.

For example, there was a man named David, he was arrested in New Jersey on a drug bust. He had to plead for mercy from his boss Tom to keep his job. His boss felt he was contrite and he showed him mercy. A few months later David was given a prophetic word that the Lord would give him "Hind's feet" and put "spiritual glue" on his hands.

The next day David Tyree made the helmet catch, leading to his coach Tom Coughlin and the Giants winning the Superbowl.
02-11-2018 05:49 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Whose on First?

I would like to know what the Bible says. I understand the word "church" is actually the word "gathering of the called out ones". So now you agree that 2 or 3 can qualify as a "gathering of the called out ones" but you and Witness Lee teach something that the NT doesn't teach and worse than that, you tell others that this is what God teaches when in fact He hasn't.

Ezekiel 22:28 And her prophets have daubed for them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, when Jehovah hath not spoken.

This isn't trivial. This is the basis for condemning all other Christians and creating the "Lord's Recovery Sect" (LRS). Yet when it is examined there is no scriptural basis at all.

According to you the minimum number for a "church" is 12. Why? Because there were 12 apostles. You reject 2 or 3 because you claim we are using this verse in Matt 18 "out of context" even though the context of Matt 16-18 is the Lord's first mention of church. Yet you pull this 12 out of your hat completely and totally out of any context to the church.

You also reject the 2 or 3 as a minimum possible number for the church because there is a meeting in Acts 15 that has more than this! This is the most absurd logic. It is like trying to say that a 65 is not the minimum passing grade because we have this other student over here who got a 90 and he passed.

I really hope those who are still being held hostage by this teaching read this thread and realize how absurd this teaching is.

If the NJ is the fully matured version of the "gathering of the called out ones" like a majestic oak tree, then the two or three are like the acorn.
02-10-2018 08:37 PM
Evangelical
Re: Whose on First?

A church must have the Lord's presence but not every meeting/gathering is "a church", if that makes sense.

To summarise Lee's teaching, Witness Lee described the difference between a gathering/meeting and a church and does not confuse them as you have.

If you asked me what is the minimum size of a gathering or meeting I would say 2 or 3. If you say what is the minimum size of a church I would say more than that.

Two or three are sufficient for the church life but two or three cannot be a church if there are more than 3 believers in a city. I recall one of Lee's books in which he writes something to the effect that if a church is only 3 then is everyone an elder?

Clearly there are matters which can be resolved at the meeting level but weightier matters are resolved at the church level, the gathering of 12 or more. An example of this is Paul travelling to Jerusalem after his conversion. He could have stayed with his two or three companions but he decided to meet with the church.

Acts 21:17-18 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the believers welcomed us warmly. 18 The next day Paul went with us to see James; and all the church elders were present.

The "miniature of the church life" you mentioned is meant to convey the quality of a church, but we are talking about the quantity, it's size, and shape. But why is it called a miniature of the church life? Because it has only 4 people in it!
02-10-2018 02:37 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Whose on First?

According to Witness Lee's ministry John 12 represents the miniature of the church life -- Mary, Martha, and Lazarus + Jesus.

Common sense says "the miniature" is the bare minimum required to represent all that is necessary. This may be smaller than normal, yet it was enough to create a picture of the church.

The context of Matthew 18 indicates that the reality of the church is the Lord's presence. The Lord's presence is the authority of the church (Life-Study of Matthew, Chapter 51, Section 3)

Now I understand that Witness Lee has interpreted "tell it to the church" as indicating a local church.

However, it is very clear that 2 or 3 can have the presence of the Lord -- that is the promise. They can bind on Earth, that is also the promise. The Lord will answer their prayer -- that is the promise.

Therefore, using Matt 18 why do they need to "tell it to the church"? The promise is that "whatever they bind on Earth will be bound in heaven". That is my understanding of why they need to tell it to the church. The church represents the kingdom of the heaven. It refers to all the believers on this Earth in oneness with the Lord in Heaven. It is the "Embassy" of the kingdom of the heaven.

If the 2 or 3 are in "the Lord's name" when they bind this person, then the church will also be one with this decision and what they bind on Earth will be what has been bound in heaven.
02-10-2018 02:21 PM
Evangelical
Re: Whose on First?

The verse is not referring to the church but to a gathering of two or three. Not seeing the difference between a church and a gathering is your mistake. For your view to be correct we should see churches in the bible comprised of groups of 2 or 3. We do not see this. The first church was 12 members and they became the pillars of the church. The churches established by Paul easily exceeded 3 people.

If your view is correct then God would have started the church with only 3 people...and Israel would have only had 3 tribes.

Some common sense is required.

A family of three having a prayer meeting at home does not make them a church.

The church is familt but also an army and an army cannot have only 3 people in it.

Whichever way we look at it...bibllically...historically. .and common sense...3 is too small to be a church.

Even denominations know this. I was once involved in a church plant that started with 50 people but was eventually disbanded when the numbers dropped below 10. This number was insufficient to warrant a full time pastor and the weekly tithes could not cover the expenses.
02-10-2018 12:27 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Whose on First?

Abbott: Two or three cannot be a Church
Costello: How many do you need?
Abbott: More than two or three?
Costello: So then you need 4?
Abbott: No, I said "more"?
Costello: How many?
Abbott: 12. You see it is common sense. The verse in Matt 18 about two or three, the context in this portion [the only two chapters in the gospels where Jesus talks about the church] is about dealing with sin. No, it has to be 12 because there were 12 apostles.
Costello: Oh, so the context in Matt 18 concerning the church is the reason that two or three cannot be a church, but the context about 12 apostles which has nothing to do with the church, that is OK?
Abbott: Yes its common sense. Besides think about the Nicene Creed, that was decided by more than two or three, and the council in Acts 15, that was more than 2 or 3.

This may seem like a comedy routine but as funny as Evangelical is, the point is that saying the verse "wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst" is referring to the church obliterates Witness Lee's doctrine of dirt.
02-10-2018 12:20 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I interpret you saying that the heavenly reality (as described in Revelation) should not be used as a blueprint for the church today. If the church on earth is but a shadow of its future reality why should it not try to resemble that future reality?
What I said is you should not build doctrines from types and shadows and allegories. Those should be used to help you visualize the truth.

However, this is a fair question. If the NJ were a full grown, fully matured, completion of the church then surely the church in this age should carry a resemblance.

For example, if the NJ were a full grown oak tree and a local church was a sapling we should still be able to identify the two from the leaves. The leaves of both will be identical.

The works of the church in this age should match the work of the NJ. According to the picture the leaves of the tree in the NJ are for "the healing of the nations". However, if we discuss the works of the LRC versus other Christian gatherings that would leave the focus of this thread. There are other threads on this forum that have discussed the works of the LRC and whether or not "they are for the healing of the nations".

The question I would have is if there is anything that would prohibit two or three from doing that work? Watchman Nee began with 4, Hudson Taylor had less than that.
02-10-2018 07:07 AM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
You are using a picture of this future reality and making it the black and white rule for a current church meeting. This is a major error.
I interpret you saying that the heavenly reality (as described in Revelation) should not be used as a blueprint for the church today. If the church on earth is but a shadow of its future reality why should it not try to resemble that future reality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
1. The doctrine must be based on the black and white word, such as that in Matthew 16-18.

2. Allegories like the NJ in Revelation can be used to add depth and clarity to a doctrine but not to create it. There is a very direct connection between the Breastplate of Judgement in the OT and the Wall in the NT. This connection has been commented on by many Bible expositors including Witness Lee.

To say that the church must be "bound" by the fellowship of the apostles is based on the black and white word of the NT. I am not using the allegory to make the doctrine, merely to make it easier to visualize the doctrine.

But when you say you must have "12" to be a church you have pulled this number out of the absurdity of your "logical mind" and then justified it with this allegory. Your method of Bible exposition is completely flawed.
I believe my method is sound. You have hinged your doctrine on a passage regarding "two or three" which is taken out of context (context being, resolving disputes in the church, not defining the size of a church).

To define the size of a church according to the Bible we should look to the church itself:

God chose to start the church and establish the foundation of doctrine on the word and witness of 12 people, not two or three. Many more than 12 in fact, but at least 12. The importance of 12 was also seen by the disciples filling the position of Judas Iscariot.

Just as the nation of Israel would not exist with less than 12 tribes, the church would not exist with less than 12 pillars (the apostles). In the context of the church the number 12 is more significant than the number 2 or 3.

Historically speaking, all major doctrine in the church has been decided by 12 people or more. This includes the matter of Gentiles vs Jews and extends until the time of the councils of Nicaea etc. So far you have been unable to point to any time in history when major doctrine was determined or defined by only two or three people and not a larger council or gathering.

Unfortunately you have no strong biblical or historical precedent for the importance of two or three, other than the singular verses you have pulled out of their context to arrive at a view of today's church which does not even match the future reality described in Revelation.
02-10-2018 06:57 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
That's nonsense because there were more than 5 or even 12 believers in China at the time of Hudson Taylor. If there is in their locality more than two or three believers other than those 5 you mentioned, then they are only part of the church.
Well that has been my point. If you are meeting "in the name of Jesus" you are within the walls of the NJ and are one with all the other believers in the NJ regardless of whether or not they are present in your meeting.

The first meetings of Hudson Taylor after he got off the boat was literally a handful, primarily the two or three evangelists who had been sent and been unsuccessful up to that time.

I suppose WN's biography is nonsense, might want to inform LSM of this discovery.
02-10-2018 06:53 AM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This isn't hypothetical, read Hudson Taylor's biography. Ohio has already referenced a similar story from Watchman Nee's biography. This is far more the rule.

When I went to Odessa the church had been started by a small Bible study of three brothers with two wives -- 5.
That's nonsense because there were more than 5 or even 12 believers in China at the time of Hudson Taylor. If there is in their locality more than two or three believers other than those 5 you mentioned, then they are only part of the church.
02-10-2018 06:53 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Those dimensions would be the boundary of the future church wouldn't they ?

So the scripture in Revelation gives a clear physical boundary of the church in the new age and yet you deny the physical boundaries of the church in this present age (being the dwellings of each city).

You have put forward the idea of the fellowship of the apostles but apparently you have forgotten that they (who have defined our doctrine by providing us with scripture) are comprised of a total of 12 individuals not two or three. This only reinforces my claim that two or three are insufficient to establish (important) doctrine.

I cannot see how you can continue to claim that two or three can define doctrine when all the evidence is against it - both scriptural (the 12 apostles) and historical (the councils of Nicaea etc).
You are using a picture of this future reality and making it the black and white rule for a current church meeting. This is a major error.

1. The doctrine must be based on the black and white word, such as that in Matthew 16-18.

2. Allegories like the NJ in Revelation can be used to add depth and clarity to a doctrine but not to create it. There is a very direct connection between the Breastplate of Judgement in the OT and the Wall in the NT. This connection has been commented on by many Bible expositors including Witness Lee.

To say that the church must be "bound" by the fellowship of the apostles is based on the black and white word of the NT. I am not using the allegory to make the doctrine, merely to make it easier to visualize the doctrine.

But when you say you must have "12" to be a church you have pulled this number out of the absurdity of your "logical mind" and then justified it with this allegory. Your method of Bible exposition is completely flawed.
02-10-2018 06:45 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Well this is a hypothetical which you have biased towards your view by assuming that only 3 Christians exist in the whole country. I believe that if you have a well established scriptural principle that 2 or 3 can constitute a church then you should not have to resort to such methods.

It is a church meeting in the sense that they are members of the church, but 3 people cannot claim to be a local church anymore than Peter, James and John could declare they were a church. I do not recall the other apostles ever referring to Peter James and John as a church.
This isn't hypothetical, read Hudson Taylor's biography. Ohio has already referenced a similar story from Watchman Nee's biography. This is far more the rule.

When I went to Odessa the church had been started by a small Bible study of three brothers with two wives -- 5.
02-10-2018 06:42 AM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So you are going to build a crucial doctrine based on a type or allegorical reference?

If you can do that then I can argue that the boundary of the city is

21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal.

Forget the whole "boundary of the city" doctrine of WL, the "true" boundary of the church is a square that is approximately 375 miles on each side. Wow! Who knew? (Also, please note the elders have jurisdiction over the air space as well)
Those dimensions would be the boundary of the future church wouldn't they ?

So the scripture in Revelation gives a clear physical boundary of the church in the new age and yet you deny the physical boundaries of the church in this present age (being the dwellings of each city).

You have put forward the idea of the fellowship of the apostles but apparently you have forgotten that they (who have defined our doctrine by providing us with scripture) are comprised of a total of 12 individuals not two or three. This only reinforces my claim that two or three are insufficient to establish (important) doctrine.

I cannot see how you can continue to claim that two or three can define doctrine when all the evidence is against it - both scriptural (the 12 apostles) and historical (the councils of Nicaea etc).
02-10-2018 06:36 AM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Hudson Taylor (the Evangelist to China) goes to China and meets with two other evangelists who were sent by the board. These three are in a foreign land where there are no other Christians. Yet they come together on the Lord's day and celebrate the Lord's table together. Following this they discuss a very important doctrinal issue critical to the work. Prior to Hudson Taylor arriving Evangelists dressed in Western garb, Hudson want to dress in Chinese garb and even keep his hair the same.

So two questions for Evangelical to focus his powers of logic on:

1. Does this meeting of three constitute a church meeting in that city?

2. Can they resolve this doctrinal issue or have they violated some secret NT rule?
Well this is a hypothetical which you have biased towards your view by assuming that only 3 Christians exist in the whole country. I believe that if you have a well established scriptural principle that 2 or 3 can constitute a church then you should not have to resort to such methods.

It is a church meeting in the sense that they are members of the church, but 3 people cannot claim to be a local church anymore than Peter, James and John could declare they were a church. I do not recall the other apostles ever referring to Peter James and John as a church.
02-10-2018 06:30 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
So you flip-flopped on me already. Upped the ante to 12. I'll call you.

Somebody now needs to edit Nee's books at LSM.
02-10-2018 06:29 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
ZNP, it may not be scriptural, but EvanG has one up on you -- Did not the first Lord's Table in the Recovery in China consist of WN and 3 sisters?

A church of FOUR has now been recovered!

Now all we need is second source confirmation from some obscure church "father."
You missed his latest, he wasn't prepared to reveal this at the previous post. The minimum number is 12, so that meeting with WN would be disqualified. Oh well.
02-10-2018 06:27 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Actually I did not say 4. I said more than 3. The scriptural correct number I believe is 12. This is the number of apostles Christ chose, and as the foundation stones of His Church they are the minimum number. Just as Israel would not have existed with less than 12 tribes, the church would not have existed with less than 12 apostles, so 12 must be the minimum number.

I believe you implied this when you wrote previously "If we understand the wall to be the fellowship of the apostles".

The fellowship of the apostles is the fellowship of 12 people. Not 2 or 3. This fact destroys your "two or three" argument completely.
So you flip-flopped on me already. Upped the ante to 12. I'll call you.

Somebody now needs to edit Nee's books at LSM.
02-10-2018 06:27 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Actually I did not say 4. I said more than 3. The scriptural correct number I believe is 12. This is the number of apostles Christ chose, and as the foundation stones of His Church they are the minimum number. Just as Israel would not have existed with less than 12 tribes, the church would not have existed with less than 12 apostles, so 12 must be the minimum number.

I believe you implied this when you wrote previously "If we understand the wall to be the fellowship of the apostles".
So you are going to build a crucial doctrine based on a type or allegorical reference?

If you can do that then I can argue that the boundary of the city is

21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal.

Forget the whole "boundary of the city" doctrine of WL, the "true" boundary of the church is a square that is approximately 375 miles on each side. Wow! Who knew? (Also, please note the elders have jurisdiction over the air space as well)
02-10-2018 06:25 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
OK, got it, according to Evangelical you need to have 4 people to be a church. It may be completely unscriptural conclusion, but at least to Evangelical it is a logical conclusion. This may not illuminate the word, but it does shed light on the inner workings of Evangelicals mind.
ZNP, it may not be scriptural, but EvanG has one up on you -- Did not the first Lord's Table in the Recovery in China consist of WN and 3 sisters?

A church of FOUR has now been recovered!

Now all we need is second source confirmation from some obscure church "father."
02-10-2018 06:22 AM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
OK, got it, according to Evangelical you need to have 4 people to be a church. It may be completely unscriptural conclusion, but at least to Evangelical it is a logical conclusion. This may not illuminate the word, but it does shed light on the inner workings of Evangelicals mind.

Your post has completely ignored what I have written and what my understanding is. You asked me what it meant to "meet in the name of Jesus" -- to answer that I used the picture of the New Jerusalem and pointed out that if two or three inside of the walls of the NJ were to meet they would be one with all that are within those walls. As a result what they bound on Earth would be bound in heaven as the NJ is the representative of the kingdom of Heaven.
My view is not unscriptural because I based it on the fact that Jesus said to tell the church if telling two or three was insufficient. It is rather, logic based on scripture.

Actually I did not say 4. I said more than 3. The scripturally correct number I believe is 12. This is the number of apostles Christ chose, and as the foundation stones of His Church they are the minimum number. Just as Israel would not have existed with less than 12 tribes, the church would not have existed with less than 12 apostles, so 12 must be the minimum number.

I believe you implied this when you wrote previously "If we understand the wall to be the fellowship of the apostles". Have you not considered that the fellowship of the apostles is the fellowship of 12 people and within this fellowship all of our doctrine is defined and is the "spiritual Breastplate of Judgement" as you wrote. I believe this fact destroys your "two or three" argument completely because it is the fellowship of 12 people not two or three.
02-10-2018 06:13 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
To answer Ohio and ZNP's question about the minimum number, the biblical answer is "more than 3", based upon the verses which say if two or three won't listen then "go to the church". Obviously two or three cannot be "the church", so the church must be greater than 2 or 3. This is simple logic which no one has been able to refute (because the laws of mathematics do not lie).

"more than 3" is also based on common sense. I don't think anyone would declare a man and his wife and child (that is 3, a family" to be a local church.

It seems ZNP and OHio have left common sense behind when they imply such nonsense as 2 or 3 being a church and 2 or 3 being sufficient to define (not explain) doctrine. ZNP has also showed that he does not understand the difference between defining doctrine (as in resolving a complex/serious matter regarding whether Gentiles should follow the law of Moses) and explaining doctrine (as in explaining to someone the doctrine which is already defined).

ZNP's "two or three" emphasis is also refuted when considering the history of the church - the canon of scripture and the Trinity and other important decisions in church history were made by tens and hundreds of Christians and not only were they many in number (much greater than 3) they were also well respected and notable men in the church and not just anyone (proving my previous statements that it also depends upon who those two or three are, not just the number).
OK, got it, according to Evangelical you need to have 4 people to be a church. It may be completely unscriptural conclusion, but at least to Evangelical it is a logical conclusion. This may not illuminate the word, but it does shed light on the inner workings of Evangelicals mind.

Your post has completely ignored what I have written and what my understanding is. You asked me what it meant to "meet in the name of Jesus" -- to answer that I used the picture of the New Jerusalem and pointed out that if two or three inside of the walls of the NJ were to meet they would be one with all that are within those walls. As a result what they bound on Earth would be bound in heaven as the NJ is the representative of the kingdom of Heaven.

So since we have this fantastic extra Biblical resource that can answer questions that the Bible apparently got wrong, lets use this and ask Evangelical another question.

Hudson Taylor (the Evangelist to China) goes to China and meets with two other evangelists who were sent by the board. These three are in a foreign land where there are no other Christians. Yet they come together on the Lord's day and celebrate the Lord's table together. Following this they discuss a very important doctrinal issue critical to the work. Prior to Hudson Taylor arriving Evangelists dressed in Western garb, Hudson wants to dress in Chinese garb and even keep his hair the same.

So two questions for Evangelical to focus his powers of logic on:

1. Does this meeting of three constitute a church meeting in that city?

2. Can they resolve this doctrinal issue or have they violated some secret NT rule?
02-10-2018 04:31 AM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

To answer Ohio and ZNP's question about the minimum number, the biblical answer is "more than 3", based upon the verses which say if two or three won't listen then "go to the church". Obviously two or three cannot be "the church", so the church must be greater than 2 or 3. This is simple logic which no one has been able to refute (because the laws of mathematics do not lie).

"more than 3" is also based on common sense. I don't think anyone would declare a man and his wife and child (that is 3, a family" to be a local church.

It seems ZNP and OHio have left common sense behind when they imply such nonsense as 2 or 3 being a church and 2 or 3 being sufficient to define (not explain) doctrine. ZNP has also showed that he does not understand the difference between defining doctrine (as in resolving a complex/serious matter regarding whether Gentiles should follow the law of Moses) and explaining doctrine (as in explaining to someone the doctrine which is already defined).

ZNP's "two or three" emphasis is also refuted when considering the history of the church - the canon of scripture and the Trinity and other important decisions in church history were made by tens and hundreds of Christians and not only were they many in number (much greater than 3) they were also well respected and notable men in the church and not just anyone (proving my previous statements that it also depends upon who those two or three are, not just the number).
02-10-2018 02:36 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

15And he that spake with me had for a measure a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal.

The wall/or boundary has another function that no one has yet to mention. A cell wall controls growth. This city has a specific measurement and the boundary is the wall. It is a large city but it is not permitted to be overreaching. The nations are still here, they bring their glory into the city, but the city does not spread into the nations and take over things that are there. We have seen evangelists and gospel work that will do anything for growth without restraint. The wall is a very clear restraint to the New Jerusalem to go this far and no further. Daystar is a good example of the church not having a wall to restrain its growth. Daniel 9:10 neither have we obeyed the voice of Jehovah our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

If we understand the wall to be the fellowship of the apostles, a kind of spiritual Breastplate of Judgement, then we can see that it does perform this function.

But if you equate the wall to the boundary of a city it does not in any way perform this function, rather it turns the church into a franchise of LSM. Ezekiel 22:28 And her prophets have daubed for them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, when Jehovah hath not spoken. Matthew Henry describes this verse as follows: They also justified what they did, to the people, nay, and magnified it as if it were all for the public good, and so saved their reputation, and kept their oppressed subjects from murmuring. The "building work" they are doing is a sham, a pretense, simply designed to "bring the saints into subjection".
02-09-2018 05:05 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

25And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there): 26and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it: 27and there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they that are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

This is quite amazing. How does this gate prevent those who make a lie, or who are unclean or an abomination from entering? Balaam, the false prophet, is an example of one who makes a lie. He figures prominently in the church in Pergamum. Jezebel is an abomination, she figures prominently in the church in Thyatira. Ten of the twelve tribes were involved in making a lie about what happened to Joseph. Certainly, many of those who are in the New Jerusalem were unclean. That is the brilliance of this gate.

A sand grain is an offending, foreign particle that the mollusk covers in nacre. A pearl is not composed solely of the nacre, but also includes the foreign particle, but it has been dealt with. Likewise, being inoculated from a disease means that you have already been exposed to it, dealt with it, and now have immunity to it.

There are many who come through these gates of mercy that “made a lie”, that is not in dispute, the point is not that they never did this in the past, the point is that they do not “make” a lie in the present. The city is filled with the immunity to those that make a lie because there are those who have previously been exposed to this and they have repented of it. Likewise with an abomination. Perhaps in the past that was their case but not now in the future. This is one form of protection that you get when you give mercy. It is a fearful thing for a liar or cheat to realize there are those observing him that can see through the charade. This is why Matt 18 says it is necessary that occasions of stumbling come. We have to be exposed to these liars, abominations and unclean in order to be inoculated.

There is a second connection between this gate and Matthew 18 which is equally brilliant. Scam artists feed off of others greed. The reason others are willing to suspend their caution and disregard certain protections is that they think they are getting a special deal that might be “illegal”. This opens them to being defrauded. However, you cannot enter this city unless you have “humbled yourself as a small child”. Arrogance and pride open you up to being the victim of a scam. Why did those in the LRC accept WL? Surely the thought that they were the “elite” christians who alone were faithful to the pure word played a role. Slandering all other Christians was not a “red flag” but rather “speaking the truth”. The abusive practices were not abusive, they were simply the price one pays to be elite. Repenting of this pride is the requirement to receive mercy to enter through this gate.
02-08-2018 06:00 PM
HERn
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Darby Bible Translation
Again I say to you, that if two of you shall agree on the earth concerning any matter, whatsoever it may be that they shall ask, it shall come to them from my Father who is in [the] heavens.

Darby Bible Translation
For where two or three are gathered together unto my name, there am I in the midst of them.

I'm not saying me and my wife when we are praying are "the" church, but we are part of the the church and God answers are prayers whether we are meeting with the local church of WL or not. There is not benefit in belonging to the local church of WL.
02-08-2018 05:05 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

One major bone of contention was that two or three are not enough to make important decisions. The “proof” offered by Evangelical of this claim is that there was one meeting in Acts concerning doctrinal issues that had more than two or three (though there were other meetings that only had two or three recorded in the NT that also dealt with doctrinal matters). So the obvious question which was asked repeatedly by Ohio but never answered by Evangelical is “what is the minimum number needed?”

17And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.

This question is answered in a figure in the New Jerusalem. The wall is the boundary. Everything within the wall qualifies as “the New Jerusalem” and everything outside of it is not. This wall is 144 cubits high, 12 x 12 cubits high. And the cubit (the measure of a man) in this case is the measure of an Angel.

This is a very high standard. 60 blendeds will not measure up. Adding more people will not help you meet this standard. The only thing that meets this standard is the fellowship of the Apostles, the Word of God, Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone of the foundation. The issue isn’t two or three saints, the issue is that they are “in Christ”. Very often we see those who are standing on sinking sand will think adding the numbers will add to the legitimacy. Jesus did not think this way in Matt 18, Paul did not think this way in rebuking Peter or helping Apollos.

If you want to disqualify gatherings of Christians as not being up to the standard of the church, then the issue is not how many are meeting, but whether or not they are “in Christ”. You might think this is the function of the wall, to separate the New Jerusalem from everything else. However, the wall has 12 gates built into it. Therefore I think it is more accurate to say the function of the wall is to make sure all who enter the New Jerusalem do so by the gates. This is how you enter into Christ.

12 having a wall great and high; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

One might be confused that the names on the gates by which we enter into the New Jerusalem are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. This might seem to be Old Testament, similar to the book of James being written to the twelve tribes in the dispersion. But once again, we can make sense of this with Matthew 18. Joseph could have condemned 10 of his brothers, exposing their sin. His mercy opened the door for them to enter in. For ten of them being shown mercy was their entrance into the kingdom, for Joseph it was showing mercy that gave him an entrance. If he had not shown mercy he also would not have entered in. He would have been vindicated, gotten revenge, but his dreams would never have been realized. Mercy is likened to that pearl that covers the offending sand grain. For Benjamin he also benefited from the mercy shown. If his ten brothers had been excluded, and if Joseph had never realized his dreams, what would be left for him? Our experience in the LRC falls into these three categories. Many sinned and will need mercy. Some have to show mercy. And there will also be a few innocent bystanders, they are not in a position to show mercy, nor do they need mercy, but they will benefit all the same.

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl:

Also, please remember years later the tribe of Benjamin was almost cut off but for the mercy of the other tribes.
02-07-2018 07:00 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations

Ps 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne: Lovingkindness and truth go before thy face.

Heb 6:1 not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

1Cor 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Eph 2:20 being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone

These four verses make it clear that the foundation must be Jesus Christ. He is our righteousness and Justice. He is the revelation of the apostles and prophets. He is the reason we repented of dead works. Our foundation is our faith in Him.

There is a very striking similarity between the description of this wall and the description of the Breastplate of Judgement in Exodus 28. It also is adorned with almost the same 12 stones. These stones are given the names of the 12 tribes whereas the stones on the foundation of this wall are given the names of the 12 apostles. The breastplate was worn on the breast of the High Priest when he was to ask judgement of God and it was used by God to speak to the High Priest. The precious stones signified how precious God’s people were in His sight. If the New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ, then the wall is her breastplate of judgement.

The breastplate of judgement provides the counsel and judgement of God, it covers the breast and protects the priest providing security. In the same way the wall surrounds the heart of the city of Jerusalem. It is God’s judgement and counsel that protects the city and gives it security. The foundation of this judgement and counsel is the precious people of God. With the Breastplate God shines a light on different stones to speak to the priest. With the wall those stones represent the 12 apostles. God’s judgement and counsel is in His word, this is our protection, this is the wall that surrounds the city. If you leave the word you leave the city.

Now this ties into Matt 18 — if the two or three gathering together are within these walls, they are within the counsel and judgement of God, then everyone within these walls, everyone in the New Jerusalem will amen their decision. No one cares that a decision is made in Cleveland or Toledo, what they care is that the decision is made within the confines of the NT, within the fellowship of the apostles, within the counsel and judgement of God.
02-06-2018 05:43 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

First mention of “wall”.

Gen 49:22
Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a fountain;
His branches run over the wall.


This is the first mention of the term "wall" in the Bible. We saw with Joseph there was judgement, righteousness, there was also mercy and truth. This is the cross of Christ. This is where we can see all of these things together, this is the "wall" for the church.

Ex 14:29
And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.


Once again, this "wall" of water signifies the cross of Christ. That is our wall. That is our boundary.

Ps 51:18
Build thou the walls of Jerusalem


Those that claim there are no boundaries, this is a strong confirmation that the church, the New Jerusalem does have walls. If there were no walls then why are you complaining about PL?

Eph 2:14
For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition,


In the church there are many partitions that have been broken down. The one between Jews and Gentiles, Rich and Poor, Male and Female. All of these have been broken down by the cross of Christ. Once again we can see this in Matt 18 where every member needs to humble themselves as a small child to enter the kingdom.

Rev 21:12
having a wall great and high


If you understand that the cross of Christ is our wall, then it is certainly a "great and high" wall. If you teach that the boundary of a worldly city is the wall then what a poor excuse for a wall.
02-05-2018 01:13 PM
UntoHim
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP,
I think you have milked and stretched this thread as far as you can. Your last number of posts are becoming very repetitive, and you're stretching out the original subject of the thread beyond reason in my view. If you have to resort to using the producer of 60 mins to make a point, it's past the time to move on.

-
02-05-2018 12:31 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Tell it to the church

This word by the Lord is the first mention and is the blueprint. If the boundary of a city was part of the vision it seems it would be here. Instead Jesus makes it very clear that you need a bare minimum of two or three. These two or three can be "wherever". They also have the promise to "bind and loose" and that "anything they ask will be done" provided they are "meeting in the Lord's name". For example the Apostle Paul instructing the church to excommunicate the evil brother, Martin Luther nailing his 95 points to the door, etc.

Two or three would be all it would take to excommunicate someone from the LSM office, or to ban them from a building owned by them, etc. We can understand that as few as two or three could have authority here on Earth over something. So the Lord's word is that "what they bind on Earth". That is their authority, some part of the Earth. What they bind on Earth will be what is bound in Heaven. Jesus doesn't say they have authority to bind in heaven, only that if they are one with the Lord in this decision (meeting in His person and work) that the kingdom of heaven will be one with their decision. He also tells them that they need to "tell it to the church and if he refuses to hear the church". I believe this has to refer to the kingdom of the heaven.

If I am offended with a brother, say PL, I can sue him, I can take him to criminal court, I can get a legal judgment that prevents him from coming within a few hundred yards of my property, etc. There are many ways that two or three could "bind an evil brother here on Earth".

But, where I differ with Witness Lee is interpreting "tell it to the church" as being a local church defined by the boundary of a city. For example, suppose I tell it to the church in Houston. How exactly do I do this? There is absolutely no basis to say that "telling it to the church" should be interpreted as having a private meeting with two or three elders. So maybe, two or three of us come from Anaheim and announce in the Lord's table what took place, my efforts to reconcile, and why I am binding PL.

You may claim, as Ray and Benson did, that this is a "local matter" and should be announced in Anaheim. But why? I meet in Houston. I was sent several times from Houston to Anaheim on behalf of the LSM to deliver printed materials. A very large number of saints in Houston were serving LSM. Why does this not concern them? One of the sisters abused by PL was sent to Houston. PL was the President of LSM, why isn't this a concern to all serving LSM?

OK, so in my case, I stand up in the Lord's table, and "tell it to the church". But we all know we often had visitors from other localities. We also know that many saints who used to live in Houston have moved to other localities and this would be big news that would spread. People would get home and make phone calls. (What happened in Anaheim was heard among the entire Lord's Recovery. I heard of it when I was in Taipei.) Why doesn't that count as "tell it to the church"? Surely, if you equate "tell it to the church" with the person being bound "in the kingdom of heaven" then how could you say that this is a local matter? So I do not see any limitation at all when the Lord says "tell it to the church". You could speak to saints in Texas, New York and California. Why not? There is nothing in Matt 18 that suggests any boundary or limitation to the term "church". When Titus Chu was excommunicated the Blendeds wrote an open letter to the church. This included every one associated with the Local church, not just in a single locality.

Therefore I do not interpret "tell it to the church" as referring to a single locality defined by the boundary of that city. I do not see any reference at all to suggest "tell it to the church" equals "tell it to the elders". So I don't see any requirement for some kind of "approved elders". The only indication of a prerequisite or requirement is that they make this decision "in the Lord's name". When Titus, or Max, or the Sister's rebellion were being disciplined an explanation was given to the saints. In my opinion none of these explanations met this standard of "being in the name of the Lord". The church in Houston is not the 200 saints that meet on Windswept, but rather every believer in the city. Will every genuine believer "amen" the excommunication of PL? That is the standard? Will every genuine believer "amen" the excommunication of Titus, or Max, or the Sister's? That is the standard.
02-04-2018 11:08 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Who is the greatest in the Kingdom?

So then this brings us back to the initial question in Matthew 18

18:1 In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

This chapter ends with a very big emphasis on Mercy which points us back to Joseph in Genesis. Joseph had dreams, but that is not what made him great. He endured being sold by his brothers, being a slave, being a prisoner, but that is not what made him great. He was a man of faith that saved many people alive. He could have condemned his brothers, "emerged victorious, vindicated" but had he done that instead of losing one son his father would have lost 10. What made Joseph great was his mercy. His ability to prove that his brothers were truly repentant and then forgiving them.

But Jesus responds first with the warning

10 See that ye despise not one of these little ones:

Recently we saw a trial of a doctor that treated gymnasts. He was guilty of sexually abusing over 100 girls. Yet 14 years earlier a 17 year old girl came forward and accused him of this. Those listening were swayed by the doctor's mumbo jumbo, and despised this girl. Today, all those girls who were abused in the last 14 years, that is on those who despised her. Many people who thought they were important, someone significant, are now forced to resign in disgrace as being a complete shame. That of course is a warning to all who would follow the lord.

But there is another man, he was a producer for 60 minutes. He had a very sensitive ear to pick up the cries of help from these "little ones". He is the one who accidentally talked to Jeffrey Wigand, realized he had something to say, gained his trust, heard his story and helped him in many ways to tell his story. He was forced to quit his job at CBS and was threatened by the lawyers, but in the end he was instrumental in the tobacco company settlement. He is an example of someone who didn't despise one of these little ones and as a result he slew a very big and nasty giant.

We can learn from this, if you want to be "great in the kingdom" you need to realize that every single member is significant, every one plays a role. The wolves in sheep's clothing will be trying to pick off the "little ones" so they are the first indication that there is a wolf in sheep's clothing among you. If you want to be "great in the kingdom" you will be extremely attentive to these little ones, just as that man at CBS was.

This is not what I witnessed in the LRC. I believe the Sister's rebellion is a shameful event for all those who were involved in accusing those sisters. I also feel that anywhere you have a false prophet like Balaam, you will have a lot of damaged brothers and sister's in his wake. I also believe that it is the fact that those who should be shepherding the sheep actually despise these little ones that allow Balaam to operate. It is this attitude which is the foundation for those who "tolerate Jezebel". You cannot tolerate Jezebel's lies and abuse without despising those she has defrauded. I also believe that despising these little ones leaves a very nasty stain on your "garments" that is difficult to remove.

So if the "boundary of the church" are these "great ones in the kingdom" we need to realize they could do nothing without hearing the "little ones" and "not despising them".
02-03-2018 09:09 PM
Terry
Re: How many is "a church"?

The two or three I've been referring to is when excommunication/quarantine/disfellowship occurs. The cases discussed on this forum, the issue is not sin but brothers who are not lining up with headquarters.
02-03-2018 01:52 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

If a brother is involved in some sin, two or three go to him, and he listens to them it may not be necessary to involve anyone else. But, once you decide this sinning brother is not willing to listen to them, then at that point you do need transparency. You need to present the proof to the church of a gross sin. Two or three are certainly sufficient to do that in some cases, in others you may need 10 or 20 (how many have testified on this forum?). But it must be transparent, it must provide proof, and it must be supported by scripture. This is without a doubt the failing in the LRC. I saw more people excommunicated there than anywhere else, but rarely did I get to see the proof. I would say that Titus Chu was the only time I was given the evidence, but I felt it was not supported by scripture.
02-03-2018 12:30 PM
Terry
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It seems you agree with me that just any two is not always sufficient.
Certainly not. You would need at the minimum disclosure and transparency. Without it will lead to rumors, questions, and ultimately division.
To be told "honor the feeling of the brothers" is not good enough for me. Let's have disclosure. Let's have transparency. When I was told about Titus Chu, Nigel Tomes, etc I said okay, where's the proof? Where's the supporting evidence to support a quarantine. It's not something I can support unconditionally, but conditionally.
If a brother or sister is not welcome for fellowship, tell the entire assembly an acceptable scriptural reason why their persons is not welcome. What gross sin was committed? What heresy were they speaking?
That's why not just any two or three is always sufficient.
02-03-2018 10:04 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie

We now discover, hidden in Matthew 18, the boundary between the church and the synagogue of Satan.

Satan is a liar, and the father of lies. Matt 18 forces you to either follow the Lord in Truth or to lie. You have no other option. All Christians claim that their meeting, their decisions are "in the name of Jesus Christ". It is given in benedictions, mottos, slogans, etc.

But if you are truly "in Christ" you would humble yourself as a little child. The problem is a false prophet can't do that, they have to befuddle people with the false impression that they are someone "significant", someone with a special vision, a special calling, "the Apostle", "The Prophet". A false prophet cannot allow "little brothers" and "the common laity" to question what they are doing, otherwise they would not be able to fleece the sheep. So they must lie.

There will be those who are "stumbled" once they realize that "the Apostle" has fleeced them. The False prophet cannot allow others to go seeking out the lost sheep because if you did you would discover his sins, so he must lie to prevent us from being one with "the Great Shepherd" in seeking out the lost sheep. They have to lie, claiming they are in Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, while making their disciples two times the son of Gehenna.

This is the Clergy laity system, where some people are "significant brothers" when it comes to running the church, disciplining the saints, and functioning. Others are "small brothers" who are despised. These small brothers are the boundary, the wall, the canary in the coal mine. They are too "small" to have a profit motive (the false prophet is a prophet for hire). They are the first to see that someone is being taken advantage of. If you feel you are "too small and insignificant" to speak up about something, then you can be sure you are in the synagogue of Satan, you are not in Christ. If you have to lie to defend your "faith" you are not in the church, you are in the synagogue of Satan and are taking after the father of lies.

for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever
02-03-2018 04:03 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
you wrote previously:

"all of our doctrinal issues are defined in the writings of Paul, Peter, John and the various apostles."

These seem like significant people as they define all of our doctrinal issues.
At the judgement seat of Christ we will know how the Lord judges us. Till then we are told not to despise the least of these brethren. This is repeated by James in his epistle. This is repeated by Peter when he baptized the gentiles. This is repeated in the experience of Paul when a small brother laid hands on him so he could get his sight.

On the other hand Peter shrinking from the Gentiles in Galatians because "brothers from James came" indicates they were "significant brothers".

Yes, Paul wrote the NT, but he was also a prisoner that those in Asia had abandoned and very few even visited in prison. His name means "small". And he said he was "less than the least of all saints". 2,000 years later you can make him appear "significant" but at the time he was despised by many, if not most.
02-03-2018 04:03 AM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
There is nothing strange about this. To be gathered into he name of Jesus indicates you are acting one with what Jesus wants. My statement that you did this "because you wanted to" indicates that the prime mover is you, not Jesus. You are not one with the Lord, you are acting according to your own self interest and then covering the whole thing with a cloak claiming "in the name of Jesus". This is using the Lord's name in vain and is a sin.

Once again your "logic" is simply a form of you justifying your lies.

My statement that "this indicates you are not meeting in the name of Jesus" clearly proves your statement that "you denied that myself and two others could meet in the name of Jesus and excommunicate you" in post #130 is a lie. Instead of apologizing, repenting, admitting fault you continue to justify yourself.

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, but he is a liar and the father of lies. Claiming that you meet in the name of Jesus yet lying and being the father of lies simply indicates that it is the synagogue of Satan.
The bible does not say "where two or three are gathered in my name and satisfy ZNP's criteria for meeting".
02-03-2018 03:53 AM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
And I also pointed out that they were not significant people, they were unlearned fishermen. So when the elites saw them they did not consider them to be anything.

you wrote previously:

"all of our doctrinal issues are defined in the writings of Paul, Peter, John and the various apostles."

These seem like significant people as they define all of our doctrinal issues.
02-03-2018 03:51 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In a recent post where you wrote:

If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.


This is a strange thing to say because two or three people would normally gather together when they wanted to for a particular purpose and this would be sufficient. My understanding of your teaching is that any two believers anywhere in the world can come together in the name of Jesus and decide about anything and it shall be done for them based on Matt 18:19 which says if two or three agree about anything it shall be done.

So I wonder why you denied this when it concerns myself and other local church members, given that we are not meeting in the name of a denomination but the name and person of Christ.

Logically it does not add up that just any two could decide about anything. Some qualifiers need to be added and you seem to have added restrictions about what meeting in the name of Jesus does or does not mean.
There is nothing strange about this. To be gathered into he name of Jesus indicates you are acting one with what Jesus wants. My statement that you did this "because you wanted to" indicates that the prime mover is you, not Jesus. You are not one with the Lord, you are acting according to your own self interest and then covering the whole thing with a cloak claiming "in the name of Jesus". This is using the Lord's name in vain and is a sin.

Once again your "logic" is simply a form of you justifying your lies.

My statement that "this indicates you are not meeting in the name of Jesus" clearly proves your statement that "you denied that myself and two others could meet in the name of Jesus and excommunicate you" in post #130 is a lie. Instead of apologizing, repenting, admitting fault you continue to justify yourself.

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, but he is a liar and the father of lies. Claiming that you meet in the name of Jesus yet lying and being the father of lies simply indicates that it is the synagogue of Satan.
02-03-2018 03:49 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In a recent post where you wrote:

If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.
Like I said, I did not say that "two or three brothers gathered in the name of Jesus" could not excommunicate me. You take something I say, twist it to what you want it to mean, and then claim that this is in fact what I said. You are a liar. You need to repent.
02-03-2018 03:33 AM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
In what post did I deny this? Your practice of making false statements about me is a form of lying. Stop this practice.

Quote the post in which I denied that you and two others meeting in the name of Jesus could excommunicate me, if you don't, you are a liar.

In a recent post where you wrote:

If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.


This is a strange thing to say because two or three people would normally gather together when they wanted to for a particular purpose and this would be sufficient. My understanding of your teaching is that any two believers anywhere in the world can come together in the name of Jesus and decide about anything and it shall be done for them based on Matt 18:19 which says if two or three agree about anything it shall be done.

So I wonder why you denied this when it concerns myself and other local church members, given that we are not meeting in the name of a denomination but the name and person of Christ.

Logically it does not add up that just any two could decide about anything. Some qualifiers need to be added and you seem to have added restrictions about what meeting in the name of Jesus does or does not mean.
02-03-2018 03:26 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Clearly you don't believe in your own teaching as you denied that myself and two others could meet in the name of Jesus and excommunicate you.
In what post did I deny this? Your practice of making false statements about me is a form of lying. Stop this practice.

Quote the post in which I denied that you and two others meeting in the name of Jesus could excommunicate me, if you don't, you are a liar.
02-03-2018 03:23 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You mentioned three significant people in a previous post - Peter, James and John.
And I also pointed out that they were not significant people, they were unlearned fishermen. So when the elites saw them they did not consider them to be anything.
02-03-2018 03:20 AM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This is very telling -- 'The LRC is right, unlike denominations.' This is not to "humble yourself as a little child" -- and the chapter begins with this, that if you don't you can't even enter into the kingdom.

I would agree with you that the LRC is all about "we do it right and everyone else does it wrong". It is that arrogance that I have repented of.
For your two or three meeting in Jesus name to work, it must be outside of the denominations. By definition to meet under a denomination is to not meet in the name and person of Jesus.

Clearly you don't believe in your own teaching that ANY two or three can decide about anything, as you denied that myself and two others could meet in the name of Jesus and excommunicate you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I have no idea what you are saying other than it appears to be highly offensive. What do you mean by "significant people"?
You mentioned three significant people in a previous post - Peter, James and John. Elders and apostles are also significant in the church.
02-03-2018 03:04 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Being gathered in the person and name of Jesus is what the recovery is all about..unlike the denominations. So gatherings in the name of some denomination do not count.
This is very telling -- 'The LRC is right, unlike denominations.' This is not to "humble yourself as a little child" -- and the chapter begins with this, that if you don't you can't even enter into the kingdom.

I would agree with you that the LRC is all about "we do it right and everyone else does it wrong". It is that arrogance that I have repented of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Conversely the problem with your view is that if any two claimed to be gathered in the name of Jesus then you could easily deny that they are. If those two or three were significant people then you might take more notice.
I have no idea what you are saying other than it appears to be highly offensive. What do you mean by "significant people"? In my own experience whenever I have been in a meeting with "significant people" I have not detected the presence of Jesus. Perhaps the presence of "significant people" makes it hard to detect the presence of Jesus in the same way as someone with overpowering BO makes it hard to detect anything else and you are forced to take notice of them.
02-03-2018 02:59 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It seems you agree with me that just any two is not always sufficient.
Terry described the way excommunication is done in the LRC. If that is what you "agree with" then that is very different from what is prescribed in Matthew 18. Elders don't need input? They don't need to tell the church?
02-02-2018 06:56 PM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.

Being gathered together into the name of Jesus indicates both the person and work of Jesus, not in some empty claim, but in reality. The fact that this decision is later ratified by the "kingdom of Heaven" is a verification of the fact that they were meeting together in the name of Jesus.

At the time of Jesus resurrection Peter, James and John were "just any two or three". They were unlearned fisherman, and were despised by the ruling elites. When Luther nailed his letter to the door of the church it was really a "David vs Goliath" moment.

When Paul rebuked Peter Paul was a nobody in the church compared to Peter.

My concern about you, Peter, Paul, or anyone else "excommunicating me" is if they were speaking the truth and that truth were a valid reason for excommunication.

When Jesus says that this offending brother "might refuse to listen" this indicates arrogance and is quite typical in people who think they are better than others. Witness Lee was an example of someone who refused to listen to others. When He tells us to be careful not to despise the little brother this also is an indication that there is a temptation to stratify the church. In these two places Matt 18 hits on the clergy laity system and rebukes it. There is no place for a "clergy" class that is above the common laity. When you say you cannot see how it can apply to the "common" brothers (the laity) you are saying you can't see how the church can function without a "clergy-laity". Just one more example of the church being a mystery (an organism, not an organization).
Being gathered in the person and name of Jesus is what the recovery is all about..unlike the denominations. So gatherings in the name of some denomination do not count.

Conversely the problem with your view is that if any two claimed to be gathered in the name of Jesus then you could easily deny that they are. If those two or three were significant people then you might take more notice.
02-02-2018 06:53 PM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Not any two or three brothers randomly. If you happen to be elders, you don't need input and you don't need to disclose any details to the locality. Your decision stands. If you happen to gather other fellow elders for fellowship, even if one dissents with the decision, it doesn't matter. The decision has been made.
Fellowship with the other responsible brothers is nothing more than getting a decision notarized.

It seems you agree with me that just any two is not always sufficient.
02-02-2018 12:07 PM
Terry
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I cannot see how it can apply to any two or three, logically. Because then me and two brothers could excommunicate you if we wanted to couldn't we, and you can't do anything about it. It doesn't matter if we are not in the same local church, and doesn't matter who we are (God is not a respecter of persons). But you probably won't be worried if it was me excommunicating you. But if I was the apostle Paul and my two brothers were James and John you might be worried.
Not any two or three brothers randomly. If you happen to be elders, you don't need input and you don't need to disclose any details to the locality. Your decision stands. If you happen to gather other fellow elders for fellowship, even if one dissents with the decision, it doesn't matter. The decision has been made.
Fellowship with the other responsible brothers is nothing more than getting a decision notarized.
02-02-2018 11:53 AM
ZNPaaneah
Clergy / Laity and Matthew 18

So it is exciting to see that the "Clergy-Laity" system is also addressed in Matthew 18.

The key issues are:


1. Do not despise any saint in the church, regardless of how they may appear. (This is also covered in James). False prophets will come into the fold to stumble those that they can stumble. You need to "cut them off". Therefore the weakest saints among you are like the "canary in the coal mine". You will realize that a false prophet is among you when they are stumbled. Likewise, a true church will seek out the lost sheep. The second indication of a false prophet is a number of "lost sheep" that you are forbidden from seeking out. To prohibit saints from seeking out the lost sheep is to deny the Lord, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep.

2. Do not act arrogantly. Any person in the church can be offended by any other person. We need to listen to one another. Recently in the trial of the Gymnast doctor convicted of sexual abuse it came out that a girl aged 17 accused him of sexual abuse 14 years ago and she was dismissed. They didn't listen to her and only now 14 years later they apologized and begged her forgiveness.

3. Meet in the name of Jesus. This is the person and work of Jesus. WL's condemnation of denominational names is a valid point, but it is the flea versus the camel. The reality of "meeting in the name of Jesus" is that what you bind on Earth is bound in heaven, what you loose on Earth is loosed in heaven, your prayers are answered and the presence of Jesus is with you.

4. All local meetings must be one with the "Kingdom of Heaven", the universal church. A true meeting of the Body of Christ has the authority to bind and loose on Earth and what they bind will be bound in heaven. This indicates that the universal church of all believers on this earth will Amen what they bind and loose. This can only take place if you are meeting in the name of Jesus and not in any other name or with any other agenda or bias.

5. There is no reference at all that only Elders, leaders or "Apostles" have the right to make a charge against someone that has offended them or sinned, or to listen to the charge, or to make a judgement. Any suggestion that this is the jurisdiction of a special clergy class of saints is the "clergy - laity" system and has no basis in Matthew 18.
02-02-2018 04:39 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I cannot see how it can apply to any two or three, logically. Because then me and two brothers could excommunicate you if we wanted to couldn't we, and you can't do anything about it. It doesn't matter if we are not in the same local church, and doesn't matter who we are (God is not a respecter of persons). But you probably won't be worried if it was me excommunicating you. But if I was the apostle Paul and my two brothers were James and John you might be worried.
If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.

Being gathered together into the name of Jesus indicates both the person and work of Jesus, not in some empty claim, but in reality. The fact that this decision is later ratified by the "kingdom of Heaven" is a verification of the fact that they were meeting together in the name of Jesus.

At the time of Jesus resurrection Peter, James and John were "just any two or three". They were unlearned fisherman, and were despised by the ruling elites. When Luther nailed his letter to the door of the church it was really a "David vs Goliath" moment.

When Paul rebuked Peter Paul was a nobody in the church compared to Peter.

My concern about you, Peter, Paul, or anyone else "excommunicating me" is if they were speaking the truth and that truth were a valid reason for excommunication.

When Jesus says that this offending brother "might refuse to listen" this indicates arrogance and is quite typical in people who think they are better than others. Witness Lee was an example of someone who refused to listen to others. When He tells us to be careful not to despise the little brother this also is an indication that there is a temptation to stratify the church. In these two places Matt 18 hits on the clergy laity system and rebukes it. There is no place for a "clergy" class that is above the common laity. When you say you cannot see how it can apply to the "common" brothers (the laity) you are saying you can't see how the church can function without a "clergy-laity". Just one more example of the church being a mystery (an organism, not an organization).
02-01-2018 07:10 PM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I will be happy to address questions you might have, but I would first like you to answer the question I asked.

Did you mean to say that the promise the Lord made to bind and loose is not given to any two or three believers, because that is what you did say, and these questions support the contention that this is what you meant to say?
I cannot see how it can apply to any two or three, logically. Because then me and two brothers could excommunicate you if we wanted to couldn't we, and you can't do anything about it. It doesn't matter if we are not in the same local church, and doesn't matter who we are (God is not a respecter of persons). But you probably won't be worried if it was me excommunicating you. But if I was the apostle Paul and my two brothers were James and John you might be worried.
02-01-2018 06:30 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Yes, I do think being a respecter of persons is at the root of all the evil in the LRC.

"but if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors." James 2:9
02-01-2018 05:46 PM
aron
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The fact that the writings of Fred and Ted are not in the bible strongly disproves the idea that any two or three believers are sufficient and that who they are does not matter.
So it turns out that God is a respecter of persons after all - we should have known that, with the Lee Rules.

-Submit to one another, unless you're Witness Lee, and you submit to no one.

-Out of the mouths of two or three witnesses it will be established, unless it's regarding Witness Lee or next of kin, then two or three witnesses is a conspiracy and a rebellion.

The fact of the Lee Rules strongly disproves the idea that God is not a respecter of persons. Who they are does indeed matter, it turns out.
02-01-2018 03:31 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What determines if two or three meet in Christs name? If the pope and two cardinals meet are they not meeting in the name of catholicism?
It also depends on the matter. It is illogical to think that just any two or three can excommunicate someone for example. Unless those two or three are leaders.

Why are the three apostles you referred to included in the bible and scripture is not made up of any two or three believers? The fact that the writings of Fred and Ted are not in the bible strongly disproves the idea that any two or three believers are sufficient and that who they are does not matter.
I will be happy to address questions you might have, but I would first like you to answer the question I asked.

Did you mean to say that the promise the Lord made to bind and loose is not given to any two or three believers, because that is what you did say, and these questions support the contention that this is what you meant to say?
02-01-2018 03:18 PM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Did you mean to say that this promise to bind and loose is not given to all Christians but only to a select few?

If that is what you meant to say, can you illuminate us as to what decides which few this promise applies to?
What determines if two or three meet in Christs name? If the pope and two cardinals meet are they not meeting in the name of catholicism?
It also depends on the matter. It is illogical to think that just any two or three can excommunicate someone for example. Unless those two or three are leaders.

Why are the three apostles you referred to included in the bible and scripture is not made up of any two or three believers? The fact that the writings of Fred and Ted are not in the bible strongly disproves the idea that any two or three believers are sufficient and that who they are does not matter.
02-01-2018 12:10 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So I thank Evangelical for pointing out the error in Witness Lee's church. This has also resolved the burning question of locality. The two or three (and that could be two or three hundred) refer to any and all possible localities whereas the "church" refers to the body of believers universally that represent "the kingdom of heaven". The oneness of the two is also indicated. If they are both one in the decision so that what is bound is also bound in the Church and what is loosed is also loosed in the universal church then this indicates the two are in oneness.
This has wide-ranging applications.

Matt 18 says that whenever 2 or 3 gather together in the Lord's name they can bind and loose, and what they bind and loose on Earth will be what has been bound and loosed in Heaven.

Matt 18 also says that if this offending brother refuses to listen to the two or three they are to "tell it to the church" referring to their judgement (binding or loosing).

It also says "and if" indicating that the church is not a mindless rubber stamp to these two or three but rather can view this carefully and make their own determination. The decision of the church is also referred to as "will be bound in heaven". The church is the kingdom of the heavens.

So let's consider the case where JI came to RG and BP about PL. Ray and Benson claimed that PL's profligacy as President of LSM was "a local matter". There is no basis at all for this claim in Matt 18. JI was well represented as a group of at least 2-3 meeting in the name of the Lord. He had the right to then tell Ray and Benson (two other leaders in the recovery who were very actively involved with LSM).

This is not a blanket rule. I can definitely see a basis for brothers in the initial phase of examining the offenses of a brother to recuse themselves for various reasons. But there is no basis to claim that something like this "is a local matter". There is also no basis for the church to refuse to hear these two. The only consideration is that the offending brother might take that route. What Ray and Benson did was to make themselves one with PL's sins.
02-01-2018 12:05 PM
Terry
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Now it is perfectly acceptable for the "church" to read the letter, consider the letter, ask to hear verification, hear witnesses, hear from Titus, etc. This is the practice that has taken place on this forum. However, I never once saw this practiced in the Lord's Recovery Church. I saw a roommate who was excommunicated and we were simply told that the elders made this decision, if you asked questions you would be immediately viewed as negative, poisoned, and would also fall under suspicion. There was no review, no "telling it to the church". They simply told us their decision without the slightest thought that we needed to hear the evidence as well.

Likewise with Max. They had numerous messages where Witness Lee and Benson would tell the saints the decision. Accusations were made. But you could not in the slightest feel that it was a "fair trial" in which both sides were given an opportunity to speak and respond.

Sister's rebellion was the same thing.

So I thank Evangelical for pointing out the error in Witness Lee's church. This has also resolved the burning question of locality. The two or three (and that could be two or three hundred) refer to any and all possible localities whereas the "church" refers to the body of believers universally that represent "the kingdom of heaven". The oneness of the two is also indicated. If they are both one in the decision so that what is bound is also bound in the Church and what is loosed is also loosed in the universal church then this indicates the two are in oneness.
There are "two sides to a coin", but in the local church culture, only one side is to be heard or to be examined. In the local churches practice is different than what Matthew 18 would say. Expectation is you or I would "honor feeling of the brothers" and submit to their decision. For most brothers and sisters this is the protocol they follow. I know. Within last 10 years I had appealed to an elder and regardless of how he might have felt inside, verbally he had to "honor feeling of the brothers".
There's no examining why a brother/sister was put out in order to confirm the decision. Certainly the leaders don't their decisions scrutinized. Those that question the leaders motives may be put out as well.
When there's instances like your former roommate where there's no review, no telling it to the church. Or even instances as what Mario Sandoval and Steve Isitt experienced, there's no telling it to the church. Decisions are made without consideration. The tone comes across more like 3 John than it does Matthew 18.
02-01-2018 06:04 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Evangelical has raised a very important point, and a point I am very glad that he made since I will now not need to debate him on it.

On the one hand in Matt 18 Jesus says that "two or three" can bind on Earth. On the other hand in Matt 18 Jesus says they need to "tell it to the church and if" definitely proving that the church has the authority to accept, reject or modify this judgement. How do we reconcile these two statements, both given by the Lord, both in the same chapter, both in the same context?

So then we missed something. Jesus said that "what they bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven". Since he also said the church will decide whether or not to bind them this equates the church with "the kingdom of the heaven".

Witness Lee taught that in Chapter 18 it is a chapter about the Local church. But this is not true. The two or three (two or three hundred?) represent the Local church that has authority over a certain portion of the Earth. Whereas "the church" refers to the body of believers in totality.

When the Blendeds excommunicated Titus Chu they had the authority to do that. However, their goal was not that these 60+ believers would no longer have contact with Titus but that all the believers would cut him off. So they sent out the letter to the "church" so that what they had bound would be bound in the kingdom of heaven.

Now it is perfectly acceptable for the "church" to read the letter, consider the letter, ask to hear verification, hear witnesses, hear from Titus, etc. This is the practice that has taken place on this forum. However, I never once saw this practiced in the Lord's Recovery Church. I saw a roommate who was excommunicated and we were simply told that the elders made this decision, if you asked questions you would be immediately viewed as negative, poisoned, and would also fall under suspicion. There was no review, no "telling it to the church". They simply told us their decision without the slightest thought that we needed to hear the evidence as well.

Likewise with Max. They had numerous messages where Witness Lee and Benson would tell the saints the decision. Accusations were made. But you could not in the slightest feel that it was a "fair trial" in which both sides were given an opportunity to speak and respond.

Sister's rebellion was the same thing.

So I thank Evangelical for pointing out the error in Witness Lee's church. This has also resolved the burning question of locality. The two or three (and that could be two or three hundred) refer to any and all possible localities whereas the "church" refers to the body of believers universally that represent "the kingdom of heaven". The oneness of the two is also indicated. If they are both one in the decision so that what is bound is also bound in the Church and what is loosed is also loosed in the universal church then this indicates the two are in oneness.
02-01-2018 05:29 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
ZNP is wrong about this, that telling the church is informative, because the verse says "if he neglect to hear the church", indicating that the church has something to say. And if the church has something to say about it, then it is clearly not just informative.
You are correct. However, Aron is also correct. The two or three pass judgement. When they tell the church then this assembly also has the authority to check into it. For example, the Blendeds passed judgement on Titus Chu and then informed the church. However, we also have the ability to investigate this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I can easily show that ZNP is wrong on this matter by presenting some scholarly resources. ZNP stresses the importance of the two or three but then ignores the matter of the church in the next verse, saying that telling the church is merely informative.
In ZNP's world, only two or three need to gather together in the name of Jesus and can decide about anything, even without elders. Not only was this not practiced in the early church (unless those two or three were apostles, of course), but even today it is impractical, and leads to the situation of denominationalism.
You can stop referring to this as "ZNP's world". I quoted Paul in 1Cor who practiced this, so you can call this Paul's world, or the NT.

I have already agreed that unlike the LC and LSM would have you believe the believers are not mindless automatons who must do whatever they are told. When the Blendeds wrote a letter excommunicating Titus Chu we all had the ability to read it and determine for ourselves the merit. Had they been in Christ according to Matthew 18 it would have stood up to all scrutiny and the what they bound on Earth would have been bound in Heaven. But as it was it was biased, unscriptural, and hypocritical. So they can tell us and we can reject it.

Just because two or three or in the case of the Blendeds sixty or seventy agree on anything it does not mean that what they bind will be bound unless they are gathering in the name (person and work) of Jesus Christ.

This forum has acted according to what you have quoted in examining the charges and deciding they lack merit. I doubt any "church" in the LC did the same.
02-01-2018 05:21 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It depends who those two or three are. Paul, Peter and John, for example.
Did you mean to say that this promise to bind and loose is not given to all Christians but only to a select few?

If that is what you meant to say, can you illuminate us as to what decides which few this promise applies to?
02-01-2018 05:20 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It depends who those two or three are. Paul, Peter and John, for example.
Can you please explain further? What determines if the two or three are according to the Lord's word in Matthew 18.
01-31-2018 04:38 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Two or three are sufficient to bind or loose, in context this refers to judging a brother and even excommunicating him from the fellowship as Paul did. "Telling it to the church" is informative, there is no indication that the church then rules on the case. There is no indication that these two or three need the authority of an elder or Apostle, rather they need to gather "in the name of Jesus".
ZNP is wrong about this, that telling the church is informative, because the verse says

"if he neglect to hear the church", indicating that the church has something to say. And if the church has something to say about it, then it is clearly not just informative.

I can easily show that ZNP is wrong on this matter by presenting some scholarly resources. ZNP stresses the importance of the two or three but then ignores the matter of the church in the next verse, saying that telling the church is merely informative.

Here, Barne's says that bringing it to the church was a kind of trial:

Barne's notes on Matt 18:17 says:
Tell it to the church - See the notes at Matthew 16:18. The church may here mean the whole assembly of believers, or it may mean those who are authorized to try such cases - the representatives of the church, or these who act for the church. In the Jewish synagogue there was a bench of elders before whom trials of this kind were brought. It was to be brought to the church in order that he might be admonished, entreated, and, if possible, reformed. This was, and is always to be, the first business in disciplining an offending brother.

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges says similar:
tell it unto the church] The word “church” (Grk. ekklesia) is found only here and ch. Matthew 16:18 in the Gospels. In the former passage the reference to the Christian Church is undoubted. Here either (1) the assembly or congregation of the Jewish synagogue, or rather, (2) the ruling body of the synagogue (collegium presbyterorum, Schleusner) is meant. This must have been the sense of the word to those who were listening to Christ. But what was spoken of the Jewish Church was naturally soon applied to the Christian Church.

Geneva Study Bible says similar:
(i) He speaks not of just any policy, but of an ecclesiastical assembly, for he speaks afterward of the power of loosing and binding, which belonged to the Church, and he has regard for the order used in those days, at which time the elders had the judgment of Church matters in their hands, Joh 9:22 12:4216:2, and used casting out of the synagogue for a punishment, as we do now by excommunication.

Even John Piper upholds the authority of the church and its ability to rule:
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles...ep-of-leniency

In ZNP's world, only two or three need to gather together in the name of Jesus and can decide about anything, even without elders. Not only was this not practiced in the early church (unless those two or three were apostles, of course), but even today it is impractical, and leads to the situation of denominationalism.
01-31-2018 04:25 PM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
You keep changing. First a group of 2 or 3 cannot make important decisions. This is clearly not true as they can bind something on Earth and heaven. Examples of Paul doing this are given in the NT. Then you changed this to a group of two or three cannot decide doctrinal issues. Again, not true as there are numerous examples in the NT of key doctrinal issues like the path to salvation and the fellowship of the church being decided between Paul and Apollos, Paul and Peter, and Paul and Mark. Now you are saying that key doctrinal issues cannot be "defined". Once again a baseless claim since all of our doctrinal issues are defined in the writings of Paul, Peter, John and the various apostles.

It depends who those two or three are. Paul, Peter and John, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
There is nothing, whatsoever, in Matthew 18 that supports the need to "seek higher authority" other than Jesus. You meet together in the name of Jesus. You bind and loose in that name. There is no authority in the name of Witness Lee or Watchman Nee, you have been greatly deceived. There was no authority in the name of Peter, Paul proved that.
The apostles were given authority to bind and loose. This was reflected in the early church by their practice.

Even the fact that the new testament canon and the Trinity were not decided by gatherings of two or three but those with authority in the church, disproves your doctrine.
01-31-2018 05:51 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

There is a reason I have focused on the Lord's words in Matthew. This section is the "vision" of the church, even the "blue print" of the church as given to us by Jesus.

Acts is not the blue print, it is not the vision, it is the "case law". For example many feel that the decision for Paul to go and make sacrifices to appease the Jews, a decision pushed on him by James was an error. Acts shows us the issues they faced and how they addressed them. But it is derivative of the vision in Matthew and in many cases we see the bias and religious influence on those in the early church.

The Epistles give much greater detail than you see in Matthew. So if you want to examine the details of some question it is hard to find it in Matthew, but if you want a bird's eye view, the Lord's word in Matthew is clearly the best starting point.

Finally, we should appreciate that the letters to the churches in Revelation are a direct continuation of this portion in Matthew. These are the only two places in scripture that are directly attributed to the Lord Jesus in discussing the church.

This is why I feel that using a meeting in Acts 15 to pronounce overarching doctrinal rules concerning the church that contradict Matthew 18 is a very poor approach that is either ignorant or deceptive.

Matthew 16 the Lord says "I will build my assembly". In Matthew 18 He says "wherever two or three are gathered". I think it is perfectly acceptable to interpret a meeting of two or three as the "building block" that He will use to build His assembly. By doing this He eliminates the person who wants to claim that they, praying their closet, are a building block of the church. This is also in line with Paul's word about "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together".

This is simple and straightforward.

The kink in the chain comes when you accept concepts like "seeking the authority in the church" as though it were different from the Lord Jesus. Accepting the doctrine of "Apostle's having an authority that is separate from the Lord Jesus or separate from other Christians".

Evangelical represents the LC dogma that Matthew 18 presents the authority of the church and how dealing with sin goes up the chain of command in a local church. But if you look at the chapter carefully you don't see the same thing. Two or three are sufficient to bind or loose, in context this refers to judging a brother and even excommunicating him from the fellowship as Paul did. "Telling it to the church" is informative, there is no indication that the church then rules on the case. There is no indication that these two or three need the authority of an elder or Apostle, rather they need to gather "in the name of Jesus".
01-31-2018 05:16 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Evangelical, we all know what your favorite denomination is, and who your favorite minister is.

Since it is a "lie" to consider "two or three in the Lord's name" to be a "church," then tell us what is the minimum number? Wasn't Nee's first Lord's Table with only him and three sisters? Was that a "church?" Is four then the minimum?

What about fifty people, and none of them is in the Lord's name, but rather all are in the name of Lee? Is that a church?

How about in Crete, when Paul left Titus there to appoint elders? Were they a church before elders were appointed?
Evangelical, these are all legitimate questions for you. Why no response?
01-31-2018 05:04 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
There is a difference between correcting someone's doctrine and defining what that doctrine should be. There is no case of two or three gathering together to determine what a doctrine or practice should be. The example I provided was in regards to defining what the doctrine or practice should be concerning the Gentiles and the law of Moses.
You keep changing. First a group of 2 or 3 cannot make important decisions. This is clearly not true as they can bind something on Earth and heaven. Examples of Paul doing this are given in the NT. Then you changed this to a group of two or three cannot decide doctrinal issues. Again, not true as there are numerous examples in the NT of key doctrinal issues like the path to salvation and the fellowship of the church being decided between Paul and Apollos, Paul and Peter, and Paul and Mark. Now you are saying that key doctrinal issues cannot be "defined". Once again a baseless claim since all of our doctrinal issues are defined in the writings of Paul, Peter, John and the various apostles.

You are hanging your entire thesis on the fact that there was a council meeting in Acts 15. What does this have to do with the boundary of the church? What does this have to do with "proving" that a church (gathering of the called out ones) cannot be 2 or 3 but must have a certain minimum number greater than this which you have not ever provided.

The person who has never answered this question is you. Where is the Scriptural basis to say that 2 or 3 is somehow categorically different in function from a group of 100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
This practice of consulting the church in the early church period continued with the development of the canon and the doctrine of the Trinity. In fact, that these important matters were not decided by "two or three" is strong proof against your argument.
Yes, the practices of the Roman Emperors and the Roman Catholic Church were quite different from what was laid out in Matthew 18. That is not "proof against my argument" but rather proof that Christianity has deviated from the NT. Thank you for bringing that up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I find this "entire Earth" argument to be a weak one. Jesus's statement about binding and loosing was concerning the apostolic authority given to the disciples. Practically and logically, the place to seek such authority is in the local churches where the apostles resided, and not in a "global church" which was beyond many people's reach.
Wow! Wow! Wow! A great demonstration of the corrosive effect of WL's doctrine. Jesus Christ, Lord of Heaven and Earth, resides in each believer. He is the authority. He is the one we seek, not some wannabe apostle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Also today, it is not practical or logical to seek higher authority in a church which is not local to us. But some may due to denominationalism. This may occur in denominations (for example, a Roman Catholic person travelling to Rome to consult the Pope).
There is nothing, whatsoever, in Matthew 18 that supports the need to "seek higher authority" other than Jesus. You meet together in the name of Jesus. You bind and loose in that name. There is no authority in the name of Witness Lee or Watchman Nee, you have been greatly deceived. There was no authority in the name of Peter, Paul proved that.
01-31-2018 02:58 AM
aron
The Acts 15 conference in Jerusalem

The Acts 15 conference in Jerusalem was for the seeing, agreeing upon, and dissemination of what had been established by two or three outside Jerusalem, on earth as in heaven, that gentile believers were not to be held to Jewish practices. And it wasn't established by Paul the MOTA, because as Witness Lee noted, James spoke last.

"This is the LORD'S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes". ~Psa 22
01-31-2018 02:45 AM
aron
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
today, it is not practical or logical to seek higher authority in a church which is not local to us.
In practice, the Local Church franchises continually seek higher authority from HQ in Anaheim. Not to do so is deemed rebellious. In my LC group the lead elder tried to hold a regional conference based on one of WL's books. He was told, "Re-speak the most recent of the Seven Feasts". Two brothers came from Anaheim, to monitor compliance.

And it's logical to see the LC as based on the wholesale rejection and despising of every form of religious expression save what is being currently promoted by HQ.

Suppose there is an unaffiliated local expression of collective Christian testimony in San Marcos. Continual gatherings, shepherding, exhorting, outreach. Openness to all the faith, oneness with all, yet slavish to none. Various ministries functioning. But no LSM materials, as they've heard of Timothy and Philip Lee, and believe that Witness Lee has been disqualified as elder, much less apostle, by Paul's writings.

Suppose LSM-affiliated believers find such a church in that city. There's your practical expression. Do they recognize it? No, they despise it. Some pretext is found to reject it as . . . "Christianity"

To repeat, the LSM-affiliated LC is based on neither their righteousness nor God's mercy, but on the blanket condemnation of all Christian expression save their own. Which isn't a very Christian expression, if you ask me.
01-30-2018 10:22 PM
Evangelical
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I have responded to this repeatedly (Posts #74, 76, 77, 86, 89, and 93)

The expression "tell it to the church" has the jurisdiction of the entire Earth. We know this because Jesus tells the "two or three" that what they bind on Earth will be what has been bound in Heaven and what they loose on Earth will be what is loosed in heaven.

Therefore this term "the church" refers to the universal group of Christians on this planet. It is not limited to a single city.

Second, Aron pointed out (Post #78) that "tell it to the church" does not mean "inquire of the church". You insinuated that 2 or 3 cannot make a decision, but that is obviously false. Paul was only 2 or 3 when (Paul plus the one or two brothers that relayed the information what was going on in Corinth) when he "told it to the church". He didn't "inquire", he told them to cast that brother out. The church did not make the decision, they carried out the decision that was made.

Now you might claim that Paul "told it to the church" referring to the local church in Corinth. However, this telling was public (in his letter published for all Christians to read) and we are to understand that had that brother tried going to another city the declaration of Paul would have still applied.

You said that some council in Acts over doctrinal issues among brothers from many different localities was "proof" that two or three cannot decide doctrinal issues. That also is a claim that has no Biblical support. When Paul took Apollos apart to declare the way more clearly to him that was a doctrinal issue being decided by two or three. So we have two or three deciding an issue in Acts, we have Peter coming back from baptizing gentiles in a meeting that can be assumed to be a little larger, and we have the meeting with Paul which was larger still. We have different situations and different sized meetings but in every case they are deciding doctrinal issues. You also have the meeting where Paul decides Mark cannot go with them, how many were in that meeting? You have the meeting where Paul rebukes Peter recorded in Galatians, how many in that meeting?

If there were ten people in one meeting it doesn't prove you can't have five. If there were twenty, it doesn't prove you can't have ten. The only proof is the Lord's word that "wherever two or three are gathered He is in the midst."
There is a difference between correcting someone's doctrine and defining what that doctrine should be. There is no case of two or three gathering together to determine what a doctrine or practice should be. The example I provided was in regards to defining what the doctrine or practice should be concerning the Gentiles and the law of Moses.

This practice of consulting the church in the early church period continued with the development of the canon and the doctrine of the Trinity. In fact, that these important matters were not decided by "two or three" is strong proof against your argument.

I find this "entire Earth" argument to be a weak one. Jesus's statement about binding and loosing was concerning the apostolic authority given to the disciples. Practically and logically, the place to seek such authority is in the local churches where the apostles resided, and not in a "global church" which was beyond many people's reach.

Also today, it is not practical or logical to seek higher authority in a church which is not local to us. But some may due to denominationalism. This may occur in denominations (for example, a Roman Catholic person travelling to Rome to consult the Pope).
01-30-2018 01:30 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You have denied a simple fact of the bible that two or three are not "the church" as I have shown in the scripture I posted. You have been unable to explain why Jesus tells us to tell "the church" if telling two or three does not help. Clearly they are not the same thing. Not being able to see such simple facts proves to me that you are not qualified to lecture me about the church.
I have responded to this repeatedly (Posts #74, 76, 77, 86, 89, and 93)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Your belief about Christ's presence in the midst of two or three can be taken to its illogical conclusion to say "God is with me, therefore I am a church". You have confused the matter of meeting in His name with the local church.
The expression "tell it to the church" has the jurisdiction of the entire Earth. We know this because Jesus tells the "two or three" that what they bind on Earth will be what has been bound in Heaven and what they loose on Earth will be what is loosed in heaven.

Therefore this term "the church" refers to the universal group of Christians on this planet. It is not limited to a single city.

Second, Aron pointed out (Post #78) that "tell it to the church" does not mean "inquire of the church". You insinuated that 2 or 3 cannot make a decision, but that is obviously false. Paul was only 2 or 3 when (Paul plus the one or two brothers that relayed the information what was going on in Corinth) when he "told it to the church". He didn't "inquire", he told them to cast that brother out. The church did not make the decision, they carried out the decision that was made.

Now you might claim that Paul "told it to the church" referring to the local church in Corinth. However, this telling was public (in his letter published for all Christians to read) and we are to understand that had that brother tried going to another city the declaration of Paul would have still applied.

You said that some council in Acts over doctrinal issues among brothers from many different localities was "proof" that two or three cannot decide doctrinal issues. That also is a claim that has no Biblical support. When Paul took Apollos apart to declare the way more clearly to him that was a doctrinal issue being decided by two or three. So we have two or three deciding an issue in Acts, we have Peter coming back from baptizing gentiles in a meeting that can be assumed to be a little larger, and we have the meeting with Paul which was larger still. We have different situations and different sized meetings but in every case they are deciding doctrinal issues. You also have the meeting where Paul decides Mark cannot go with them, how many were in that meeting? You have the meeting where Paul rebukes Peter recorded in Galatians, how many in that meeting?

If there were ten people in one meeting it doesn't prove you can't have five. If there were twenty, it doesn't prove you can't have ten. The only proof is the Lord's word that "wherever two or three are gathered He is in the midst."
01-30-2018 01:02 PM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Matthew 18 is a chapter on dealing with sin so that you have righteousness and truth. It is very instructive that the conclusion of this chapter is to remind us to be merciful in the same way that we have received mercy.
Matthew 18 presents it starkly, doesn't it? (But then, Jesus is nothing if not clear). Verse 10 has "despising" and then verse 33 has "mercy".

And it's all about reciprocity - what you do is what you get.

The ground of the Local Church isn't mercy but despising. Try to make it through one ministry message without hearing a caricature of "Christianity" presented as a foil.
01-30-2018 12:27 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The one the Lord is building. Based on the context it is built up with those who follow the Lord to the cross.
That is hysterical. You cling to WL's mantra like some kind of magic formula. Everything we have discussed in these chapters is very practical.
What an ugly, slanderous thing to say. Please refer me to the offensive post, otherwise cease with your slander. You are truly twice the son of Gehenna that WL was. Is it Biblical? If so show us your scriptural basis.
How does this contradict anything that I have said? Once again, please refer to the offensive post otherwise cease from your slander.
You have denied a simple fact of the bible that two or three are not "the church" as I have shown in the scripture I posted. You have been unable to explain why Jesus tells us to tell "the church" if telling two or three does not help. Clearly they are not the same thing. Not being able to see such simple facts proves to me that you are not qualified to lecture me about the church.

Your belief about Christ's presence in the midst of two or three can be taken to its illogical conclusion to say "God is with me, therefore I am a church". You have confused the matter of meeting in His name with the local church.
01-30-2018 06:11 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I think that "mercy" is a great topic. The LC was based on judgment: that "Christanity" had become utterly corrupt and must be abandoned. Where is the mercy? Where the considering and receiving others, "just as I am, without one plea"? Where's the bearing one another in love? Where the covering?

When Witness Lee sinned we were told to "cover drunken Noah" but Lee was signally disinterested to aid or cover in the frailties of others.

And yet the bare, unrelenting principle of the NT is that what you do to others you do to yourself. To those who show mercy, mercy is shown; those who show no mercy receive none.
WL loved to compare the "best" of his ministry (e.g. some young teen giving a wonderful training review) with the "worst" of Christianity, thinking it was somehow a fair comparison. There actually are LC brothers today who are convinced the rest of the body of Christ has absolutely nothing of Christian/spiritual value -- not meetings, not books, not gospel, not shepherding, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
"Mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other." ~ Psalm 85:10

We could spend our lifetimes exploring the deep connotations of these words.
These all happened at the cross of Christ!

The so-called "low gospel" of the recovery. Go figure!
01-30-2018 04:44 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I think that "mercy" is a great topic. The LC was based on judgment: that "Christanity" had become utterly corrupt and must be abandoned. Where is the mercy? Where the considering and receiving others, "just as I am, without one plea"? Where's the bearing one another in love? Where the covering?

When Witness Lee sinned we were told to "cover drunken Noah" but Lee was signally disinterested to aid or cover in the frailties of others.

And yet the bare, unrelenting principle of the NT is that what you do to others you do to yourself. To those who show mercy, mercy is shown; those who show no mercy receive none.

"Mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other." ~Psalm 85:10 We could spend our lifetimes exploring the deep connotations of these words.
If you have "righteousness" without mercy then you will not have peace. Imagine what would have happened to Joseph's brothers if he had exposed them in a way of "righteousness and truth" but without mercy? It would have created a situation similar to Ishmael. Either the Jews become nothing more than the "Hatfields and McCoy's" or the Middle East becomes even more confusing than it already is.

Matthew 18 is a chapter on dealing with sin so that you have righteousness and truth. It is very instructive that the conclusion of this chapter is to remind us to be merciful in the same way that we have received mercy.

Why are religious leaders always vilified as hypocrites? They make a big deal over righteousness and truth, but have forgotten mercy.
01-30-2018 02:53 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Moving beyond the tasteless drudgery of LSM's recycled ministry, I have found so much inspiration and anointing "out there" in the greater body of Christ..
I think that "mercy" is a great topic. The LC was based on judgment: that "Christanity" had become utterly corrupt and must be abandoned. Where is the mercy? Where the considering and receiving others, "just as I am, without one plea"? Where's the bearing one another in love? Where the covering?

When Witness Lee sinned we were told to "cover drunken Noah" but Lee was signally disinterested to aid or cover in the frailties of others.

And yet the bare, unrelenting principle of the NT is that what you do to others you do to yourself. To those who show mercy, mercy is shown; those who show no mercy receive none.

"Mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other." ~Psalm 85:10 We could spend our lifetimes exploring the deep connotations of these words.
01-29-2018 07:56 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Very good exposition. I for one am hungry for this kind of presentation.
Agreed.

Moving beyond the tasteless drudgery of LSM's recycled ministry, I have found so much inspiration and anointing "out there" in the greater body of Christ.

Right now I am going thru a great little book by Larry Huch entitled, The Seven Places Jesus Shed His Blood.
01-29-2018 07:12 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This path involved Joseph taking the cross..
Very good exposition. I for one am hungry for this kind of presentation.
01-29-2018 05:23 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

11And their father Israel said unto them, If it be so now, do this: take of the choice fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spicery and myrrh, [b]nuts, and almonds; 12and take double money in your hand; and the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks carry again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: 13take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: 14and God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release unto you your other brother and Benjamin. And if I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

The first use of the word “mercy” in the Bible is the story of Israel sending his sons to Egypt for food. This story is extremely instructive and applicable to us.

Joseph’s brothers are jealous of him because of his dreams and his favored son status. At first the most vicious of them (Simeon) wants to kill him. Simeon is also the one most responsible for killing those in the town of the man that wanted to marry his sister. Reuben wants to preserve him alive to return to his father to put him back in the good graces with him. But that is an idiotic plan, is he going to expose his brothers? If not, what is Joseph going to say? But the plan collapses when Reuben decides to leave the group for a little recreational visit to a camel train from Egypt. Reuben’s profligacy did him in. But Judah takes charge, comes up with a plan that will save Joseph’s life without exposing the sins of his brothers. However, it involves a lie presented as the truth. They dip Joseph’s coat in blood and tell their father “we found this”. They let their father identify it as Joseph’s coat and infer the rest.

All of this works out for good according to God’s plan. There is one little problem. How can Joseph trust them? When he reveals himself to his father he will expose their sins and lies. Israel has prayed for “mercy” because he is not a fool. The story of some Egyptian ruler having dinner with his sons, identifying Simeon as the one that needs to be locked up, and discovering that there is yet another brother, Benjamin, is all very implausible.

So then, how can Joseph merge the truth of their sins with mercy? How can Joseph be merciful but also not be a fool?

It is crucial for Joseph to see his brother Benjamin, after all what happened to him might have been a play to get his inheritance, which will now go to Benjamin. Learning that Israel had sent the ten but held back Benjamin reveals to Joseph that Israel does not trust them either.

By fabricating false charges against Benjamin he forces Judah to confess and demonstrated that his brothers were not monsters and he could trust them. Also, to go from thinking that Benjamin would be imprisoned as a thief in Egypt for the rest of his life and they would have to bring this news back to their father to suddenly realizing the ruler is Joseph made it much easier to embrace the truth. Yes it exposed their past sin, but at least it saved them from a future sin that would have been even worse.

Joseph reconciling with his brothers is the first mention of mercy. Joseph was not foolish, he was well aware of the truth, of the sins, but he also laid out a path for them to confess and repent and be reconciled.

This path involved Joseph taking the cross. He could have sent for Israel as soon as he was promoted to a ruling status in Egypt. Had he done that it would have eliminated any possibility of reconciliation with his brothers. He had to trust the Lord that they would be sent and he could work this out, all the while hoping his father doesn't die in the interim.
01-28-2018 08:08 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

So, if you have followed this thread we have come to the heart of the "boundary" of the church. This boundary is the wall that keeps out false prophets like Balaam who teaches scam artists how to stumble the little brothers so that you can build your kingdom. This boundary keeps out the little perches that are built into this distorted kingdom for Jezebel to come in and abuse the saints. The boundary is mercy.

When we bought into WL's merciless attack on all Christians other than himself we opened the door for the merciless attack of Balaam and Jezebel. Mercy is the protection that you are in "the one true church" and the lack of it cannot be covered over with all kinds of distorted "ground of the church" doctrines. The ground that we stand on is the "mercy seat".
01-27-2018 01:59 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which church?

Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today.

You have propagated a lie on this forum that two or three are a church. The scripture I have posted prove this is not the case, that if two or three (not a church) cannot resolve the matter then "tell the church" (note, it does not say, "tell your favorite denomination").
Therefore is the church likened to a certain king who would make a reckoning with his servants. Some saints were brought to him from Christianity and they owed him Ten Million dollars each. Since they had nothing with which to pay, the Lord commanded them to be sold, along with their wives and children and all they owned. But these saints fell down and worshipped the Lord, repenting for their errors made in Christianity, they asked the Lord to have patience with them and they would start afresh and build the church that would repay the Lord. So the Lord was moved with compassion and forgave those saints their debt and they went and started the Local Church in the US. But the leader of that group, Witness Lee, then went out and found some of his fellow Christians that owed him $20. He railed against them. He called them satanic and dead. Those meeting in denominations he condemned because they were incorrectly denominated. Those in non denominational churches he condemned because that is not the right way. He condemned those in free groups and small groups. He even sued them and was abusive towards many. So some who witnessed this were very sorry and they came and told the Lord all that was done. They wrote it down on the internet so that the church could see. Then the Lord called unto these saints and said to them, “thou wicked servants, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou besoughtest me: shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow servant, even as I had mercy on thee?

This is my understanding of the fundamental error. This is the church in Ephesus "leaving their first love". This path of being merciless to other Christians includes Balaam, Jezebel, stained robes, and ultimately a poor, wretched, blind condition. This is where the LRC went wrong, all the other errors could have been corrected, but once we took this path we would get further and further away from the Lord.
01-27-2018 10:23 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

The Local Church is a guanxi network, a Christian personality cult that reflects and expresses the culture that gave it root and nourishment. The Bible is of interest, even intense interest, inasmuch as it's useful to the maintenance & propagation of the network; otherwise it's ignored or even dismissed as "fallen" and "mixed sentiments" and "natural concepts".

The reason they don't see their own fallen natural concepts is because seeing would be detrimental to the network. "I'm proud to be an ostrich with my head stuck on the sand" is how one current leader once put it. That's how he got where he is today. If he saw, he'd be put out.

Why join such a network? Well, for one it gives the immediate impression of power. The network is sold as the great success, and all you have to do is join & that success becomes by association your own. Just ignore the man behind the curtain. And ignore the cries of the abused. And ignore those who apparently "couldn't make it". And ignore scripture that doesn't line up with the master plan. And ignore. . .

The gospel is Jesus Christ. The testimony of the church is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is our life, our focus, our aim. The rest is, at best, a distraction. At worst it becomes a stumbling, an invitation to a kind of deliberate, self-conscious myopia, where the network is all. There may be word-games, with "church" versus "ministry initiatives", but in the LC it always comes back to the network and one's relative standing therein. And the testimony of Jesus is suborned. As awareness says; I got my hat & t-shirt; paid the price for joining it.
01-27-2018 08:26 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The implication based on the context is that he sees multiple churches, denominations, free groups, non denominational, and in his logic there can only be "one true church".

This is why I tune out whenever Evangelical says "it is logical".
Reminds me of Hodgson's classic piece "The Logical Song."

Perhaps another theme song for ex-LCers, especially those who got sent to the FTTA! Quite appropriate!
01-27-2018 07:52 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Practical? The Grand Poohbah installs admittedly "unspiritual" son as head of his publishing house, saying it's his private business an he can do what he wants. Complaints from various parties fall on deaf ears. The "two or three" are void in this system.

The Local Church is a guanxi network. It is a Christian personality cult, dominated by the oriental culture
Why is it they can sideswipe every spiritual requirement for those serving in His church by claiming to be a work, or a ministry, or only a publisher, etc.
01-27-2018 07:25 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

In Post #84 Evangelical raises a question that is fundamental to these three chapters in Matthew: "Which church?"

The implication based on the context is that he sees multiple churches, denominations, free groups, non denominational, and in his logic there can only be "one true church".

We need to examine this. When we looked at the seven churches in Revelation (this is the Lord's continuation from Matt 16-18). In every single case the Lord treats them as a "church" though Laodicea has been condemned and he is calling for those still there to leave. You might think that Ephesus sin of "leaving their first love" would condemn them, a warning was issued, but they are still a legitimate church. You might think that Balaam would disqualify one, or Jezebel, or stained robes. But in every case the Lord is speaking to them and working with them.

Imagine how arrogant it is that you think your one little gimmick with your name somehow disqualifies all other christian assemblies from having the Lord's ear. This is what it means to "despise" them. Once again, Matt 18 warns us not to despise these little brothers because they do have the ear of God the Father in heaven.

There is no verse in the NT that provides a solid basis for Evangelical's claim to the "city church with no name" being the only one that Matt 18 is talking about. What is abundantly clear and spelled out in Black and White is that Matt 18 is referring to any and all gatherings in the name of Jesus, even if it is as small as two or three. How blind do you have to be to argue that Matt 18 cannot be referring to meetings of 2 or 3 (even though the Lord makes it crystal clear that He is talking about that) because there was a meeting in Acts that had more than 3?!

This is why I tune out whenever Evangelical says "it is logical".
01-27-2018 06:51 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which church?

Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today..
Practical? The Grand Poohbah installs admittedly "unspiritual" son as head of his publishing house, saying it's his private business an he can do what he wants. Complaints from various parties fall on deaf ears. The "two or three" are void in this system.

The Local Church is a guanxi network. It is a Christian personality cult, dominated by the oriental culture
01-27-2018 06:03 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which church?

Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today.

You have propagated a lie on this forum that two or three are a church. The scripture I have posted prove this is not the case, that if two or three (not a church) cannot resolve the matter then "tell the church" (note, it does not say, "tell your favorite denomination").
Evangelical, we all know what your favorite denomination is, and who your favorite minister is.

Since it is a "lie" to consider "two or three in the Lord's name" to be a "church," then tell us what is the minimum number? Wasn't Nee's first Lord's Table with only him and three sisters? Was that a "church?" Is four then the minimum?

What about fifty people, and none of them is in the Lord's name, but rather all are in the name of Lee? Is that a church?

How about in Crete, when Paul left Titus there to appoint elders? Were they a church before elders were appointed?
01-27-2018 02:22 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which church?
The one the Lord is building. Based on the context it is built up with those who follow the Lord to the cross.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today.
That is hysterical. You cling to WL's mantra like some kind of magic formula. Everything we have discussed in these chapters is very practical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You have propagated a lie on this forum that two or three are a church. The scripture I have posted prove this is not the case, that if two or three (not a church) cannot resolve the matter then "tell the church" (note, it does not say, "tell your favorite denomination").
What an ugly, slanderous thing to say. Please refer me to the offensive post, otherwise cease with your slander. You are truly twice the son of Gehenna that WL was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It is simply logical to say that the matters which the church can resolve are greater than those that two or three can resolve. This is both logical and common sense. Note how the bible orders it by importance - resolve the dispute with the individual (try to fix it ourselves), if not, tell two or three (maybe our friends or family), if not , tell the church. This is equivalent to going to higher and higher authorities to resolve the matter. This is no different to the federal court system having different levels. The most important problems are resolved at the highest level.
Is it Biblical? If so show us your scriptural basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
For example, "important matters" such as doctrinal disputes cannot be resolved by only two or three. According to the Bible, these were resolved by the church not by two or three.

Here is an example:

Acts 15:6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

Acts 15:7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.

Acts 15:12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened

I only need one example to disprove your claims that two or three can represent the whole city, and Acts 15 provides this.
How does this contradict anything that I have said? Once again, please refer to the offensive post otherwise cease from your slander.
01-26-2018 05:39 PM
Ohio
Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Google John So's testimony - a brother from Stuttgart Germany, in the 1980s. It is all posted online, in detail. Or, read the testimonies of Bill Mallon, or John Ingalls. Etc..

Beware of wolves that wear sheep's clothing. The testimony of these former "insiders" make it clear what we had, here.

See also http://www.concernedbrothers.com/Can...edBrothers.pdf -- (letter by Don Rutledge)
I love and respect brother Don Rutledge and his views of Witness Lee.

But it is hard to believe that WL was merely fooled by those around him, especially when he concocted his story of some vast global conspiracy in order to protect his son Philip and discredit all those who cried out for his removal. I heard the same story from Titus Chu for years.
01-26-2018 02:11 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Yes, I agree that the gathering of "two or three" is considered separately from the term "the church". However, it is very clear that "binding" this person via the church is not for a single city but rather for the entire Earth. So this term "church" does not refer to the "local church" with the jurisdiction of a city as defined by WL and company, but rather refers to the universal assembly of all believers on the Earth.

Second, you described this group of 2 or three as a rabble -- that was to despise them even though Jesus specifically warned against that. You have tried to avoid this in the further posts, but have not apologized.

Third, you say that they are "unable to decide important matters" yet it is very clear from Matt 18 that two or three are able to bind on the entire Earth and what they bind on Earth is also bound in Heaven. You have not provided any evidence at all to say that these are not important matters.

So, to conclude -- what you view as evidence two or three not representing the assembly in a city is not supported in Matt 18. The term church in that chapter clearly has the sphere of the entire earth, not of a single city. What you view as evidence that two or three cannot decide important matters is completely and utterly repudiated by the very chapter you are referencing. Finally, your initial post despised this group of two or three even though this chapter specifically warned you against doing just that. You have not apologized for this, instead you have tried to ignore that and cover it up.
Which church?

Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today.

You have propagated a lie on this forum that two or three are a church. The scripture I have posted prove this is not the case, that if two or three (not a church) cannot resolve the matter then "tell the church" (note, it does not say, "tell your favorite denomination").

It is simply logical to say that the matters which the church can resolve are greater than those that two or three can resolve. This is both logical and common sense. Note how the bible orders it by importance - resolve the dispute with the individual (try to fix it ourselves), if not, tell two or three (maybe our friends or family), if not , tell the church. This is equivalent to going to higher and higher authorities to resolve the matter. This is no different to the federal court system having different levels. The most important problems are resolved at the highest level.

For example, "important matters" such as doctrinal disputes cannot be resolved by only two or three. According to the Bible, these were resolved by the church not by two or three.

Here is an example:

Acts 15:6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

Acts 15:7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.

Acts 15:12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened

I only need one example to disprove your claims that two or three can represent the whole city, and Acts 15 provides this.
01-26-2018 07:55 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In Ephesus they tried evil men, these false Apostles, and left their first love. (Rev 2.2-4)
Paul warned the elders in Ephesus about those who rise up, drawing the disciples away after themselves. (Acts 20.30)
The connection here is obvious. When these false apostles rise up from within, all are damaged by them. Same thing happened to us in the LC's.
Everyone has to go through the cross of Christ if you wish to follow the Lord. However, for those who overcome the promise is to make them a pillar in the house of God.
01-26-2018 06:05 AM
aron
Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In Ephesus they tried evil men, these false Apostles, and left their first love. (Rev 2.2-4)

Paul warned the elders in Ephesus about those who rise up, drawing the disciples away after themselves. (Acts 20.30)

The connection here is obvious. When these false apostles rise up from within, all are damaged by them. Same thing happened to us in the LC's.
Google John So's testimony - a brother from Stuttgart Germany, in the 1980s. It is all posted online, in detail. Or, read the testimonies of Bill Mallon, or John Ingalls. Etc..

Beware of wolves that wear sheep's clothing. The testimony of these former "insiders" make it clear what we had, here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John So, Manila 1990
Using his own term, really the fermentation started at Stuttgart in 1986. made by the coming of 5 brothers sent by Witness Lee and sent by his office, Philip Lee. Ironically, things didn’t start with us, really did not start with us. At that time Witness Lee was invited by us to come to Germany and we were all expecting brother Lee to come, really. But to our disappointment, brother Lee didn’t come. He said he was busy and instead he and his office sent 5 brothers to come to Stuttgart. I think brother Ray Graver came, brother Benson Phillips, brother Minoru Chen, Brother Ken Unger, and Brother Dan Towle. The Lord knows when we were in disappointment, we brothers had had fellowship just before the brothers came, and I told the brothers, and all the brothers could testify for me, that we should receive these brothers just as Witness Lee himself. We shouldn’t make any difference, we should not make any difference.

So the 5 brothers came. Now, of course, speaking now, you have to realize I’m speaking retrospectively—I’m looking back. At that time we thought their intention was to give a conference, even the “one accord” conference that Witness Lee had just given in the elder’s meeting in Anaheim. So we welcomed them. But to our surprise, this 5 brothers themselves proclaimed that their burden was not the conference, but in the afternoon fellowship from the leading brothers from Europe. There were at least a hundred brothers present there. And they told us that their burden—and every afternoon from 3:00 to 5:30, 6:00 we had fellowship with these 5 brothers concerning the leading of the ministry office—to be one with the ministry office. And I do have the tapes of these meetings. They were on record and since the matter is opened up, I would certainly request the brothers in Stuttgart to transcribe all these messages and make it available to the public. In all these afternoons I was there present maybe just a few times and almost at the end sometimes at the end of these meetings. In these afternoons the brothers’ burden was very strong to propagate and to promote the ministry office, and at that time, really, none of the leading brothers had any idea what the office is; at one point, somebody was very ignorantly and innocently asking, “Well, what is the office, anyway?” And everybody was just laughing, you know, we don’t really know what is the office. Of course, we found out that the office is really brother Lee’s son, Philip Lee.
See also

http://www.concernedbrothers.com/Can...edBrothers.pdf
01-26-2018 05:38 AM
Ohio
Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Once again I think we need to learn from the church in Ephesus. I feel like I am leaving Laodicea, starting over, examining those who say they are apostles and lie. All of this is good work as long as we don't leave our first love which is the redeemer who redeemed us and forgave us.

Yes, they were not holy and they were not true, even though that was the pretense. But let's remember that Jesus has the key of David.

There is a reward for those that can keep the word of the Lord's patience.
In Ephesus they tried evil men, these false Apostles, and left their first love. (Rev 2.2-4)

Paul warned the elders in Ephesus about those who rise up, drawing the disciples away after themselves. (Acts 20.30)

The connection here is obvious. When these false apostles rise up from within, all are damaged by them. Same thing happened to us in the LC's.
01-26-2018 05:22 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This simply confirms how unprincipled they really are, yet shrouded with a guise of "spiritual principles" to deceive even the elect.

Kind of like how Paul's command not to sue your brothers in I Cor 6 gets distorted into "appealing to Caesar."

The plain words of scripture can never be understood by laity, and must always must be "properly interpreted" by LSM.

Funny how the nuns in Catholic school always told us the same thing.
Once again I think we need to learn from the church in Ephesus. I feel like I am leaving Laodicea, starting over, examining those who say they are apostles and lie. All of this is good work as long as we don't leave our first love which is the redeemer who redeemed us and forgave us.

Yes, they were not holy and they were not true, even though that was the pretense. But let's remember that Jesus has the key of David.

There is a reward for those that can keep the word of the Lord's patience.
01-26-2018 04:58 AM
Ohio
Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
When John Ingalls tried getting two or three, Witness Lee said it was a conspiracy.

When John So tried to go alone, Witness Lee said, "We are too much misunderstanding here" and dismissed him.

The Living Stream Ministry/Lord's Recovery/Local Church is a guanxi network in spiritual garb.
This simply confirms how unprincipled they really are, yet shrouded with a guise of "spiritual principles" to deceive even the elect.

Kind of like how Paul's command not to sue your brothers in I Cor 6 gets distorted into "appealing to Caesar."

The plain words of scripture can never be understood by laity, and must always must be "properly interpreted" by LSM.

Funny how the nuns in Catholic school always told us the same thing.
01-26-2018 02:46 AM
aron
Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
These puppet elders "loosed" Phillip Lee. Do you think this decision was honored in heaven?
Suppose two or three make a decision. Jesus said, "When two or three are in agreement, it is done." To "tell it to the church" in this context is the dissemination of the fait accompli and not an appeal to a higher level. Of course the offender can still repent, here. But that is a decision of the offender and not the church.

Suppose every time two or three wanted to bind or loose, they had to convene every believer in that city? If it were the first-century church in Antioch that may be practical. But 21st-century Detroit?

"Oh that's for the proper one-city church and proper elders, chosen by the apostle." But what happens when Today's Paul becomes Drunken Noah? When John Ingalls tried getting two or three, Witness Lee said it was a conspiracy. When John So tried to go alone, Witness Lee said, "We are too much misunderstanding here" and dismissed him.

The Living Stream Ministry/Lord's Recovery/Local Church is a guanxi network in spiritual garb. Look at the cases of Bill Mallon, Max Rappoport, Titus Chi, Dong Yu Lan, Jane Anderson: who gets reconciled or restored in this system? Once you've violated the web of the Supreme Master there is no adjudication. "Two or three" have no power against him.

Now, this actually works quite well when the Supreme Master is Jesus Christ. The two or three are in his name. They have his presence, and his spirit, and his authority. Jesus is the New Moses (Acts 3:22), the Deputy God. We are commanded to hear him. If you do not, you will be cut off from the people (Acts 3:23).
01-25-2018 07:17 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Excommunication

To summarize:

1. Excommunication is not "quarantine". As it has been shown in other threads this term is equivocation from WL and LSM because they fear being sued for slander. However, there is no mention of a quarantine in Matt 18 (the word refers to a short period of observation of a person not showing symptoms of disease yet who was exposed to a contagious disease. The purpose is to stop the spread of the disease. The practice of "quarantine" by LSM is simply a lie. They do not observe those who are quarantined. It is not for a short period of time. The thought is not that they have not exhibited symptoms but rather they have been judged contagious by the elders. There is no visitation or attempt to bring this sheep back into the flock.) What takes place is what Paul did in 1Cor where he stated evidence as to why the brother should be excommunicated and he was very clear as to the sin. It was public with the evidence clearly stated. Then in 2Cor there was the forgiveness and restoration of this brother.
2. Evangelical has argued that "two or three are incapable of making important decisions" yet 1Cor shows Paul making the decision to excommunicate the brother based on what he had heard from two or three. This comment by Evangelical shows that he despises these small groups even though Matt 18 specifically warns against despising them.
3. Evangelical has argued that two or three cannot be "the church" since they then must "tell it to the church". However, this "church" cannot be the "local church" as taught by WL and LSM because their authority is limited to the boundary of a city whereas the binding of this brother is over the whole earth. This forum is a very good example of "telling it to the church". All of the Christians on Earth. This forum is a gathering of Christians from dozens, maybe even hundreds of localities over this earth.
4. WL and company would have you believe that it is the boundary of a city that makes a church authentic. However, in Matthew 18 it is the binding of a brother on Earth and him being bound in Heaven that proves a church is authentic. For example, if I say "I am one with all Christians in this city" then I "quarantine" brother Titus Chu because he published Christian materials outside of LSM and no Christians in this city are one with that decision am I really one with them? Saying that you are one with them is not proof that you are. So, yes, when Paul excommunicated a brother all Christians were one with him, so his claim to be one with the Christians in the city was true. It isn't the claim that makes it true, it is the truth of the claim that makes it true.

So then let's test this out: Phillip Lee was excommunicated by the Anaheim elders due to repeated evidence of sexual molestation while acting as President of the Living Stream Ministry. As a result all of these elders were forced to resign. New puppet elders were installed by Phillip Lee's dad. These elders then wrote an apology letter to Phillip Lee. There was no public confession or repentance by Phillip Lee, nor was there any suggestion that he had been forgiven of his sins, rather it was the puppet elders who repented and asked forgiveness. Why? Ed Marks said he signed this letter "because it made Witness Lee happy". Do you think all of the Christians in Anaheim CA would be "one" with this?

These puppet elders "loosed" Phillip Lee. Do you think this decision was honored in heaven?
01-25-2018 06:50 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I can easily show that telling important matters to "two or three" is insufficient and for this reason "two or three" are not "the church".

Matt 18:15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. [ the context here is clearly about resolution of disputes]

Matt 18:16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' [here is mention of two and three witnesses. Matt 18:20 is connected to this verse].

Matt 18:17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. [here it says if the two or three will not listen, THEN tell it to THE CHURCH. Clearly, the two or three and "the church" are different entities. ]

By comparing verse 16 with verse 17 we can see that verse 16, the two or three, are not a church, and that two or three are insufficient to resolve all matters. The church is obviously the higher, final authority than two or three gathered together. For this reason, two or three gathered together are not a church.

Seems to me that the bible does not teach your idea of "two or three + Jesus" being sufficient.
Yes, I agree that the gathering of "two or three" is considered separately from the term "the church". However, it is very clear that "binding" this person via the church is not for a single city but rather for the entire Earth. So this term "church" does not refer to the "local church" with the jurisdiction of a city as defined by WL and company, but rather refers to the universal assembly of all believers on the Earth.

Second, you described this group of 2 or three as a rabble -- that was to despise them even though Jesus specifically warned against that. You have tried to avoid this in the further posts, but have not apologized.

Third, you say that they are "unable to decide important matters" yet it is very clear from Matt 18 that two or three are able to bind on the entire Earth and what they bind on Earth is also bound in Heaven. You have not provided any evidence at all to say that these are not important matters.

So, to conclude -- what you view as evidence two or three not representing the assembly in a city is not supported in Matt 18. The term church in that chapter clearly has the sphere of the entire earth, not of a single city. What you view as evidence that two or three cannot decide important matters is completely and utterly repudiated by the very chapter you are referencing. Finally, your initial post despised this group of two or three even though this chapter specifically warned you against doing just that. You have not apologized for this, instead you have tried to ignore that and cover it up.
01-24-2018 07:46 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This is true. God divided the light from the darkness, He divided the land from the sea. The word of God divides soul from Spirit. The cross of Christ divides nominal Christians from the genuine ones.


Don't give us this either or spineless drivel. The church is a top down hierarchy with Jesus as Lord. The structure is that every single member is attached directly to the head, just as every member of your body is attached directly to the head. Elders are simply the sheep that the shepherd has put a bell on. They are not the "chief shepherd", merely the sheep that follow the shepherd closely.


A wonderful opinion without any Biblical basis. How is it that Jesus can say that if two or three agree it will be done for them, even if it includes binding on earth and it being bound in heaven or loosing on earth and it be loosed in heaven and yet you have the audacity to say that those decisions "are not important matters"? How is it that you despise these little gatherings when Jesus is in their midst?

10 See that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.

I can easily show that telling important matters to "two or three" is insufficient and for this reason "two or three" are not "the church".

Matt 18:15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. [ the context here is clearly about resolution of disputes]

Matt 18:16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' [here is mention of two and three witnesses. Matt 18:20 is connected to this verse].

Matt 18:17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. [here it says if the two or three will not listen, THEN tell it to THE CHURCH. Clearly, the two or three and "the church" are different entities. ]

By comparing verse 16 with verse 17 we can see that verse 16, the two or three, are not a church, and that two or three are insufficient to resolve all matters. The church is obviously the higher, final authority than two or three gathered together. For this reason, two or three gathered together are not a church.

Seems to me that the bible does not teach your idea of "two or three + Jesus" being sufficient.
01-24-2018 06:28 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
No boundaries = lawlessness.
This is true. God divided the light from the darkness, He divided the land from the sea. The word of God divides soul from Spirit. The cross of Christ divides nominal Christians from the genuine ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Whether the church was seen to be a top-down hierarchy or a plurality of elders, it should be obvious that the bible teaches structure and order in the church.
Don't give us this either or spineless drivel. The church is a top down hierarchy with Jesus as Lord. The structure is that every single member is attached directly to the head, just as every member of your body is attached directly to the head. Elders are simply the sheep that the shepherd has put a bell on. They are not the "chief shepherd", merely the sheep that follow the shepherd closely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Not a rabble of groups of 2-3 believers who take it upon themselves to decide important matters.
A wonderful opinion without any Biblical basis. How is it that Jesus can say that if two or three agree it will be done for them, even if it includes binding on earth and it being bound in heaven or loosing on earth and it be loosed in heaven and yet you have the audacity to say that those decisions "are not important matters"? How is it that you despise these little gatherings when Jesus is in their midst?

10 See that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
01-24-2018 05:56 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

No boundaries = lawlessness.

Whether the church was seen to be a top-down hierarchy or a plurality of elders, it should be obvious that the bible teaches structure and order in the church.

Not a rabble of groups of 2-3 believers who take it upon themselves to decide important matters.
01-24-2018 05:07 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
It is an exercise in semantics. And for the LRC, an exercise in equivocation.

The term "church" has many aspects and is not a singular thing. It is the body of Christ, and in that since is singular universally. But it also refers to each assembly of believers who are part of that body. Those are the extremes of meaning. But that leaves a lot of ground in between (the so-called undistributed middle).

In the middle is any subgroup of those who make up the body of Christ. It is not even necessary that they be a regular part of any assembly (though that is strongly advised against). In that middle ground, it would be correct to refer to either church (singular) or churches (plural) within any particular defined space. There is "church" in any city, state/province, country, or continent because the body of Christ is there. There are also "churches" in any of those to the extent that there are multiple assemblies to be found.

There is nothing in scripture that puts a boundary on anything. It is appropriate to refer to the church in Dallas, meaning the body of Christ (the totality of believers) that are in that city. It is also appropriate to refer to churches in Dallas, meaning the various assemblies that meet there, including the one that uses the name "Church in Dallas."

The LRC insists that there is a prescriptive boundary of an assembly and that this boundary coincides with that of the city in which it is found. But if that is prescriptively true, then there is a problem when those who live in other cities nearby travel across city boundaries to meet in the alleged city-wide church in another city. For example, those in Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Plano, Addison, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, etc., do not have an LSM-branded "local church" in their city, so they travel to Dallas. (It is possible that some of those travel to Irving. Also, I am a little behind on where there are LSM churches here so Richardson or Plano might have their own now.)

In doing so, they negate the much-heralded "unity" with respect to the much larger number of Christians in each of those cities (relative to the number that travel to Dallas) and meet outside of the boundary of their city.

But the truth is that cities have political boundaries. They change over time. Larger cities often absorb smaller cities to improve services within those smaller communities. And none of this is relevant to the makeup of the assemblies that meet to learn about and worship Christ.
A boundary refers to a limit of the sphere of activity. Matthew 18 gives a very specific "limit to the sphere of activity" of the church.

18 Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The sphere is the Earth. Cities are "political creations", with "ephemeral boundaries". But the Earth is God's creation with boundaries that He created. I agree that with the LRC it is an exercise in equivocation, but I don't agree that it is an exercise in semantics. Matt 18 refers to the church dealing with sin as a government and as a court would do. Both governments and courts have clearly defined spheres of influence.

Our sphere on Earth is clearly submissive to the Heaven. But if we are properly under the headship of Christ then what we bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven.
01-24-2018 01:02 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is a true local church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
17 And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
This is a very high standard and requirement. If you are going to "quarantine" or "discipline" or "excommunicate" a brother it must be done officially, publicly, and to this standard. Our example in this matter is the Apostle Paul in 1Corinthians.

Very often people are afraid to "convict" based on innuendo, allegations, speculation, because that would bring liability to the church. If that is the case then you don't excommunicate. The standard is that what you bind on Earth is bound in heaven. If you can't meet that standard then you have no business binding.

When you "tell it to the church" the church is not deciding based on the fact that this is a "spiritual brother" making these claims, or "the apostle", etc. They should base it on verifiable facts. If the claims cannot be verified then you should not excommunicate. The standard of the kingdom should not be lower than the standard of the secular courts.

The excommunication of the "sister's rebellion" did not meet this standard. I observed other excommunications in Houston that also did not meet this standard. One brother, R, was excommunicated because he talked to another brother who was "quarantined" even though no one in the church was told why he was quarantined. Likewise, no one was officially told why R was quarantined (I learned of this because I was his roommate and was questioned by the elders). In both cases the church was informed not to talk to these brothers without any further explanation other than the elders were "disciplining them". That is not the standard in Matt 18. If an adult is convicted in a court it is always a matter of public record.
01-24-2018 09:19 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is a true local church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
17 And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
This is a test. Anyone can claim they are the "one true church" or that they "do church right" or that everyone else is somehow wrong. But, if you are a laughing stock and no one listens to you, who cares what you say?

The Blendeds quarantine of Titus Chu is an excellent example. No Christian outside of this very tiny camp of LSM adherents would pay any attention to that.

This forum is another example. If a person concerned about the LRC were to first check out this forum and then decide to steer clear of them, that would indicate that they have been bound by these words. If they ignore these words, then they haven't.

The error that LRC makes is to think that correlation = causation. It doesn't. They see a correlation between the reference to the church and to the city. Hence they infer a causal link between the two. For example, if you graphed the consumption of ice cream on one axis and the air temperature on the other you would see a direct correlation. People consume more ice cream when it is hot. If you then conclude that the way to make the air temperature go up is to consume more ice cream, that would be to infer a causal link between the consumption of ice cream and air temperature.

Every true church is one with all believers in a city. They flip this around and infer that declaring I am one with all believers will make me a true church. The problem is that if you aren't a true church you will soon be caught in the lie.
01-24-2018 04:30 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
When we complain about the quarantines in the Local church we are looking at this wrong. The question is not whether or not it is Biblical for you to quarantine, nor is the question whether or not WL should or shouldn't have done this. The question is was this person bound in Earth and Heaven?

The reality is virtually no one cares what WL and his cronies do.

Imagine Titus visiting a Christian assembly and someone tells them "he has been quarantined". Why? He was publishing Christian material.

It is absurd.
Don't forget he wanted clean sheets in Thailand!
01-24-2018 04:20 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

When we complain about the quarantines in the Local church we are looking at this wrong. The question is not whether or not it is Biblical for you to quarantine, nor is the question whether or not WL should or shouldn't have done this. The question is was this person bound in Earth and Heaven?

The reality is virtually no one cares what WL and his cronies do.

Imagine Titus visiting a Christian assembly and someone tells them "he has been quarantined". Why? He was publishing Christian material.

It is absurd.
01-23-2018 09:36 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is a true local church?

17 And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Binding and loosing is a matter of authority. The "boundary" of a local church is also a matter of authority. The context of "binding and loosing" is in reference to a sinning brother that you are dealing with. This "local church" has the final authority to "bind or loose" this brother. I do not imply that this verse should be limited to this one application, but rather point out this is the context in which the Lord said this. Based on that context this is referring to the authority of the local assembly.

The only way this could be fulfilled is if the Christians are one. If you have multiple assemblies all independent and this brother simply moves to another one he may not be "truly bound". So it is reasonable to infer from this that the word of this assembly will have weight with all Christians in the city. However, they would also have to have weight with Christians in other cities, otherwise the brother who is "bound" in Anaheim simply moves to San Francisco. Therefore the decision of this church, to bind on Earth and have it bound in heaven would have to apply to the entire earth, not just a single locality. This decision would have to be fully aligned with the Bible. Paul referred to this kind of binding of a brother in 1Cor.

So then, the authority from this locality is not because the elder was appointed by brother so and so, or by "the apostle". The authority is because they are "in the name of Jesus". Their authority is because they are one with the Lord Jesus. They are branches attached to the vine.
01-23-2018 09:24 AM
OBW
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
How many churches are there? 1 or ten thousand?
It is an exercise in semantics. And for the LRC, an exercise in equivocation.

The term "church" has many aspects and is not a singular thing. It is the body of Christ, and in that since is singular universally. But it also refers to each assembly of believers who are part of that body. Those are the extremes of meaning. But that leaves a lot of ground in between (the so-called undistributed middle).

In the middle is any subgroup of those who make up the body of Christ. It is not even necessary that they be a regular part of any assembly (though that is strongly advised against). In that middle ground, it would be correct to refer to either church (singular) or churches (plural) within any particular defined space. There is "church" in any city, state/province, country, or continent because the body of Christ is there. There are also "churches" in any of those to the extent that there are multiple assemblies to be found.

There is nothing in scripture that puts a boundary on anything. It is appropriate to refer to the church in Dallas, meaning the body of Christ (the totality of believers) that are in that city. It is also appropriate to refer to churches in Dallas, meaning the various assemblies that meet there, including the one that uses the name "Church in Dallas."

The LRC insists that there is a prescriptive boundary of an assembly and that this boundary coincides with that of the city in which it is found. But if that is prescriptively true, then there is a problem when those who live in other cities nearby travel across city boundaries to meet in the alleged city-wide church in another city. For example, those in Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Plano, Addison, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, etc., do not have an LSM-branded "local church" in their city, so they travel to Dallas. (It is possible that some of those travel to Irving. Also, I am a little behind on where there are LSM churches here so Richardson or Plano might have their own now.)

In doing so, they negate the much-heralded "unity" with respect to the much larger number of Christians in each of those cities (relative to the number that travel to Dallas) and meet outside of the boundary of their city.

But the truth is that cities have political boundaries. They change over time. Larger cities often absorb smaller cities to improve services within those smaller communities. And none of this is relevant to the makeup of the assemblies that meet to learn about and worship Christ.

I realize that I am not addressing the various points that ZNP has raised, though those are points that the LSM/LRC raises in asserting their faux superiority of position.

But there is no requirement of following anyone, even a so-called MOTA. Paul lamented that so many in Asia had "left me." And by the time of the writing of Revelation, there were some serious problems in some of the cities in Asia Minor. Yet they were still churches. Their lampstands were not removed. Christians still met to learn about and worship Christ. First Nee, then Lee, and now those from the LSM (like those from James) seek to dismiss all who do not follow their way. They tell tales of successions of MOTAs (genealogies) and insist that their faithful pay for standing orders for old materials recycled in new books, reminiscent of sending money for prayer cloths prayed over by radio evangelist (huckster) X.

If it were just about doctrines, I would not become as incensed. But it is also about the enslaving of the minds and pocketbooks of otherwise excellent Christians.
01-22-2018 04:14 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church (i.e. the ground of the church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
ZNP, I think you're spot-on with this and the previous post.

The gospel is: A) Jesus; and B) following Jesus. It is NOT: A) the ground; B) the church; C) God's economy; D) whatever.

Much of what we do in scripture is akin to a 4-year-old watching Dad drive off to work. We have a bit of tangential information and can somewhat relate. God is, after all, our Father. But we know so little! Our subjective imagination runs wild.

But we have the prophetic word made clear (2 Pet 1:19). It is Jesus. Peter was there, and he testified. This is not some "Low gospel". It is our goal, our aim, our hope, our joy and our strength. It is Jesus.

Now, do we live it, or get distracted by vain speculations and reasonings?
This is not just a cautionary tale concerning LSM and the Local Church. It applies to all of Christianity.

When you are bringing in a Balaam, a prophet for hire, to spin the word of God to someone's advantage, you are not "becoming as a little child". When you are setting up your throne in Vatican city or anywhere else, you aren't becoming as a little child. When you parade around in your fancy garments that are stained with decades of sins that have not been dealt with you are not becoming as a little child.
01-22-2018 06:44 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church (i.e. the ground of the church

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Crucifying the sins with the passions and lusts, letting your worldly ambitions and all the profit you envisioned die, dealing with your flesh, your ego, and forgiveness. These are aspects of being crucified with Christ. That is how you know you are standing on "the ground of the church".
ZNP, I think you're spot-on with this and the previous post.

The gospel is: A) Jesus; and B) following Jesus. It is NOT: A) the ground; B) the church; C) God's economy; D) whatever.

Much of what we do in scripture is akin to a 4-year-old watching Dad drive off to work. We have a bit of tangential information and can somewhat relate. God is, after all, our Father. But we know so little! Our subjective imagination runs wild.

But we have the prophetic word made clear (2 Pet 1:19). It is Jesus. Peter was there, and he testified. This is not some "Low gospel". It is our goal, our aim, our hope, our joy and our strength. It is Jesus.

Now, do we live it, or get distracted by vain speculations and reasonings?
01-22-2018 05:49 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church (i.e. the ground of the church

LSM accolytes will preach that the ground of the church is the determining factor, regardless of the condition. Church could be dead, sinful, the Lord does not hear their prayers, etc. As long as they have the "ground" they are the unique church.

If you look at this doctrine the point is that you have to own the land you build on. This is crucial, it is righteousness. We see this with Abraham buying a place to bury his dead and we see this with David buying the site for the Temple.

When Jesus said He was going to the cross this was His purchase of the church. When Satan tempted Him saying you don't need to do this it was the typical temptation in the world. Trying to get something for nothing. Many wealthy people have built fortunes on the abuse of others. But what is interesting is that the Lord also said that we need to follow Him to the cross. The principle in the church is you get what you paid for. Peter, Paul and John are all apostles, in part because of the price they paid.

Slapping a name on a building is not equivalent to paying the price.

Crucifying the sins with the passions and lusts, letting your worldly ambitions and all the profit you envisioned die, dealing with your flesh, your ego, and forgiveness. These are aspects of being crucified with Christ. That is how you know you are standing on "the ground of the church".
01-21-2018 01:47 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: The one unique church?

This now brings us to the most controversial topic -- the "one unique church". When you look at the seven churches in Revelation they are all in different situations, but most would agree that "Philadelphia" is the church that sets the standard.

But instead I would like to turn this topic to Matthew 18 where I believe it is addressed better and more to the point.

18 In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

I think most of us are uncomfortable with this question, but the Lord does not rebuke them for it, instead I would say that Matthew 18 is the answer to this question.

I would like to interpret this question as referring to the "one unique church". Although we might consider it fleshly to discuss which person is the greatest, it is commonly taught in the ministry of Witness Lee that there is one unique church and the rest of the gatherings of Christians are somehow deficient.

"Then all the saints here, with the one Christ, would form the one unique church in Los Angeles. Composed together and built upon Christ as their foundation, they would be standing simply upon the ground of Los Angeles, which is the local ground, the unique ground of genuine unity. That is the only proper ground for the local church in Los Angeles and the only ground which can keep all the saints in this locality in oneness." (The Ground of the Church, Chapter 1, Section 1)

It is Biblical to say that Christian churches can be in a number of different and degraded situations like Laodicea, Sardis, and Thyatira. So therefore it is not unusual that you might ask how to know if this gathering of Christians is proper, one with the Lord, even "the greatest".

In Matthew 18 we see several characteristics of "the greatest" church.

1. They entered the kingdom by becoming as little children.
2. They don't tolerate those that stumble the little believers.
3. They seek out the "lost sheep", backsliders, the ones that leave the fold.
4. They deal with sin
5. They forgive those that sin against them 7x70
6. Jesus is known to be in their midst
7. They are known by their answered prayers.
8. What they bind on earth is bound in heaven and what they loose on Earth is loosed in heaven.
01-19-2018 07:49 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

7And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and none shall shut, and that shutteth and none openeth:


The church is the “testimony of Jesus”. Unlike Pergamum, this church is Holy. Unlike Smyrna this church is true. Unlike Thyatira this church has “the key of David”. Unlike Sardis this church testifies that no one shuts them out. Unlike Ephesus, they open the door for those who have sinned and repented.

8I know thy works (behold, I have set before thee a door opened, which none can shut), that thou hast a little power, and didst keep my word, and didst not deny my name.

When you get to the “merry go round” churches they pretend to have a lot of power, they can “blot your name out”. They hold the saints in fear. This church has a little power. In the merry go round they don’t keep the Lord’s word, they make up stuff. They are liars. Their doctrines are designed to protect the synagogue of Satan, to establish their own little kingdom. They use false prophets like Balaam.

9Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

So even though they only mentioned the “synagogue of Satan” with Smyrna I think it is reasonable to think that all of the churches, from Smyrna to Laodicea have the “synagogue of Satan”.

10Because thou didst keep the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Imagine how patient you have to be when after 30 years you are still being told “they don’t want to deal with that sin right now”.

11I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown.

This is the crown of life given to those who are faithful to the Lord to take up their cross and follow Him. To cross that boundary line is to be given this crown.

12He that overcometh, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go out thence no more:

All of those in Philadelphia are pillars in the temple and they are also those who “have gone out”. You cannot be an overcomer in Philadelphia if you have not overcome one of the other six church situations. Overcoming those includes “going out” just as those in Laodicea are being called to come out.

and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and mine own new name.

This is incredible. With the LRC the name was so important, the no name church where the name decides everything. However, if you overcome that then look at all the names that are written on you! Mysterious names. These are names that the synagogue of Satan does not know.

13He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

I like how this is not "let him hear what the Spirit says to the "church" or to "Philadelphia" but rather to the "churches". You need to see all seven.

You can immediately determine where a church is at by how they deal with sin.

You can immediately determine if a church is on the right path or not by whether they are following the Lord to the cross.

Liars, grandiose names, false prophets, Jezebel, stained garments, these are simply symptoms of those who do not go to the cross and who do not deal with sin.

The root cause for the abuses and corruption in the Local Church is that they did not take the way of the cross.

The key characteristic of the Local Church that should be the alarm is that they did not deal with sin.
01-18-2018 12:45 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: The key point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Another predictable pattern is not only dealing with sins and forgiveness, but an inability to practice the spiritual discipline of reconciliation.


"I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church."
It reminds me of the invention of indoor plumbing and sewer systems. Some people say this was the single biggest innovation that allows people to live in cities. You cannot have a city if you don't properly deal with the foul sins that take place every day. It is absolutely fundamental. This is the real "high peaks" revelation.
01-18-2018 11:43 AM
Terry
Re: The key point

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
In Matthew 16 -- we see that the boundary of the church is the cross of Christ.

In Matthew 18 -- we see that the cross of Christ is very much about dealing with sins and forgiveness.

In Revelation 2-3 -- we see that if you leave your first love (don't follow Him to the cross, deal with sins and forgive) then you are in danger of losing your lamp stand. And this process of losing your lamp stand follows a predictable pattern:
Another predictable pattern is not only dealing with sins and forgiveness, but an inability to practice the spiritual discipline of reconciliation.


"I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church."
01-18-2018 05:07 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: The key point

In Matthew 16 -- we see that the boundary of the church is the cross of Christ.

In Matthew 18 -- we see that the cross of Christ is very much about dealing with sins and forgiveness.

In Revelation 2-3 -- we see that if you leave your first love (don't follow Him to the cross, deal with sins and forgive) then you are in danger of losing your lamp stand. And this process of losing your lamp stand follows a predictable pattern:

Pretending to be a church without the cross makes you a liar and the synagogue of Satan. We see this in the doctrine of the ground of the church where they replace the cross of Christ with the best name for the meeting hall. What is the cause of all the division in Christianity? It is that they don't have the very best name for their meeting hall, the "no name name".

In order to maintain this false kingdom you will need a false prophet like Balaam. You will then begin to see that the believers are stumbled (rebellions, cleaning house, puppet elders). Those who are faithful will be blotted out of the church, those who see and fear can be installed as puppets. We saw all of this in our experience of the LRC. This ruthless behavior proclaims the boundary to their little kingdom as equal to a worldly boundary, and the Prince of the World sits on the throne in this church. We saw this with the "doctrine of dirt" in the LRC.

Now that the toxicity level has increased you have a good environment for self proclaimed prophets like Jezebel who are all about using their position as a pretense to rob and steal others vineyards. For example what WL did with the church in NY which was not raised up by him. We had a very good example of this in WL, both of being proclaimed as the "prophet" and of seizing other vineyards that didn't belong to him and accusing those that object of rebellion.

The church will now have thirty years or more of un dealt with sins. Their garments are stained with the sins and abuses of the last 30-50 years. As a result the church is dead. However, to counter this they will come up with innumerable names that they are "living". The pure word of God is replaced with the pure spin put on the "living ministry" by the false prophets. We saw this with Ed Marks when he said that "he didn't want to deal with this [sin of apology letter to PL] today" about 30 years after the fact.

And finally, the Lord leaves the building. He is outside knocking for those who are still genuine believers to come out of this festering pit and join Him.

At this point, when you come out you have the risk of entering Ephesus all over again. This church is "patient" having endured the deadness and corruption of Sardis, or Thyatira, or Laodicea. In Ephesus they are taught to use the word to explore the errors of the "church" they were in and condemn them as "false". But the error is taking the road of self righteous judgement without forgiveness. Hence the merry go round begins all over again.

The other option is that at any time you can leave the merry go round and become part of Philadelphia. Simply take up the cross and follow the Lord. The path is described in detail in Matthew 16-18.
01-17-2018 03:07 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

14And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined by fire, that thou mayest become rich; and white garments, that thou mayest clothe thyself, and that the shame of thy nakedness be not made manifest; and eyesalve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I reprove and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


So there is a very interesting connection between Laodicea and Ephesus.

2I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false; 3and thou hast patience and didst bear for my name’s sake, and hast not grown weary.

Imagine you were in Laodicea. You could see they claimed to be rich but were poor, blind, naked, etc. Now you get to Ephesus -- the Lord commends you because you can't bear evil men, He commends you because of your patience and that you found those in Laodicea to be false. He commends you that you have not grown weary. It is a never ending cycle.

When we came to the Local Church we had "left religion", we were not going to go back anymore, etc. We discovered that they were false. But then the cycle began all over again. The meeting hall of Satan with the better name. The kingdom of Satan with the worldly boundary, the self proclaimed prophet, the false prophet teaching the saints to commit fornication, stumbling the little brothers, etc. Where was the error? How do you get off of this merry go round?

The church in Philadelphia is the exit. Everyone in this church has exited the merry go round, which is why the Lord says "they will not need to go out anymore".

The door out is mentioned in every church. In Ephesus it is "their first love". When we came to Jesus we confessed our sins and he forgave us. You can't simply find that certain brothers and sisters are false, you have to continue all the way to forgiveness. If you don't deal with the sin until you get to forgiveness, then you simply stay on the merry go round.

In Smyrna the exit is the cross of Christ. Remember, taking up your cross and following the Lord includes forgiving your brother 70 times 7 times.

In Pergamum the exit is holding fast the Lord's name and not denying the faith. When you make a boundary line of a worldly city the foundation of the church you have denied the faith in the Lord's blood. No longer are you holding to the Lord's name but rather to Balaam's name.

In Thyatira "suffering Jezebel" is where the Lord draws the line. When you allow this adulterous, evil woman to call herself a prophetess, even "the prophet of the Age" you are on the wrong side of the line the Lord draws.

In Sardis the stained garments are the boundary. The church walks in white, not because we are sinless, but because we deal with our sins. If you refuse to deal with your sins it is evidence that you are on the wrong side of the boundary the Lord has drawn.

In Laodicea we see the "door". This is the boundary. The Lord is on one side and everyone in Laodicea is on the other. Jesus is the Lamp, He is the light. Laodicea is the fulfillment of the warning to Ephesus about losing their lamp stand.
01-16-2018 07:37 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

3And to the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead. 2Be thou watchful, and establish the things that remain, which were ready to die: for I have found no works of thine perfected before my God.


There is a beautiful symmetry here. The synagogue of Satan in Smyrna has become an empty husk, it still has the name that it lives, but it is obviously and plainly dead. This is why Jesus rebuked Peter -- Get behind me Satan. This is where this "minding the things of men" leads. Nothing but the pretense of having a name that you live, when everyone can see you are dead. The things that are not dead yet are ready to die. No works are perfected, for all of their boasting and pomp they haven't accomplished anything.

3Remember therefore how thou hast received and didst hear; and keep it, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.


Remember Matt 16, remember the Lord's word that you have to follow Him to the cross. Remember His word about gaining the world and losing your soul.

4But thou hast a few names in Sardis that did not defile their garments: and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy. 5He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

The vast majority of those who have travelled this road. Leaving their first love with unforgiveness. Being swayed by the synagogue of Satan, those that claim to be the chosen of God, but are simply liars. Building your little kingdom with Satan's throne right in the center and all of your persecution of the faithful witnesses. All of these ones have defiled their garments. I guess that is "old news". All those stains that they have never wanted to deal with all these years.

And we even have a window into their most heinous sins. "I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life". I didn't know this was an option. I didn't know that once your name is in the book of life it could be blotted out. But then, in the LRC, I saw as time and time again different ones were "blotted out". They were "poisoned". You could not "confess their names". So it shouldn't be a surprise, we were told in the gospels that "as you have done it will be done to you".

That is the way this seed grows:

Unforgiveness -- special name for the chosen ones -- grows into a worldly kingdom with worldly boundaries -- self proclaimed prophets

until the life is sucked dry and all you can see is either they are dead or ready to die. Their garments are all stained with stains that are decades old, no one wants to deal with that, it is old news. What are those stains? All those brothers and sisters they stumbled, the ones they blotted out. The lawsuits, excommunications, etc.
01-16-2018 02:35 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

The boundary, as we have seen from Typology is the "burnished brass" signifying the cross of Christ. The boundary as we have seen in Matt 16 is the cross of Christ.

If you ignore this we have the following progression

1. Ephesus -- great at judging others, not great at forgiving.

2. Smyrna -- Separated into two groups -- those that appear poor (yet are rich) and are suffering tribulation. The other group are the liars, those that say they are the chosen generation, the elite of God, they have a meeting hall with a great name. They make "the name of their meeting hall" the boundary instead of the cross.

3. Pergamum -- Grown worse, their synagogue is now a kingdom with a throne for Satan. They employ "Balaam" a false prophet, who puts stumbling blocks in front of the saints. His purpose is to eliminate any who might rival Balack's kingdom, and for those who will be puppets he teaches them to commit fornication. The faithful are being persecuted and put to death. They make the worldly boundary of Satan's kingdom their boundary instead of the cross.

4. Thyatira -- here "the Prophet" is an adulterous woman, a heathen, who appears chaste, but is notoriously evil. She proclaims that "she is a prophet". Maybe she even sets herself up as the Prophet of the Age.

18 And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like unto burnished brass: 19 I know thy works, and thy love and faith and ministry and patience, and that thy last works are more than the first. 20 But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time that she should repent; and she willeth not to repent of her fornication. 22 Behold, I cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of her works. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto each one of you according to your works.

In every church you see these two groups. In Smyrna they are told to be faithful unto death. In Pergamum they are commended because they did not deny the faith. But in Thyatira he has something against them, that they tolerate this woman. Why would you tolerate Jezebel telling you she is the "Prophet of the age"? This is a very clear denial of Jesus who is our "Prophet of the Age".
01-16-2018 06:47 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

-1

Ohio>”Drake, please help, can you throw us a lifeline here?”

Sure. Do you want to use “Ask the Audience”, 50-50, or “Phone-a-Friend”?

01-16-2018 06:19 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
One thing that is clear is that taking city as boundary has proven to be toxic in practice among the open brethren (Needed Truth branch) and TLR.
We discussed that cities like Toronto, Canada have multiple LC assemblies all claiming to be the "unique" testimony of that city.

If we include "Needed Truth" and all of the other Exclusive Brethren splinter sects in Toronto, one wonders how our Lord can actually decide which of the dozen or more assemblies in that city He is supposed to recognize, and bless with His presence at their Table??

Why should our Lord recognize Nee or Lee to be your MOTA, when He has the likes of Darby, Kelly, Raven, Taylor, etc. to choose from?? Should He decide based on longevity (Darby) or perhaps having the most books (Lee)??

So many questions!!

Drake, please help, can you throw us a lifeline here?
01-16-2018 05:37 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Thanks ZNP for leading us on this discussion on the Title. Very relevant and helpful for things I’ve been struggling to understand about “the practical expression of the church” (to borrow a term from Witness Lee).

One thing that is clear is that taking city as boundary has proven to be toxic in practice among the open brethren (Needed Truth branch) and TLR.
Yes, and when we look at Revelation 2-3 as a continuation / case study of what the Lord spoke you see the development of the toxicity.

Smyrna -- Two groups, the liars call themselves the "chosen of God", "Jews", the so called elite christians. The name of their meeting hall is a very big issue. The synagogue of Satan indicates they violated the Lord's word concerning "minding the things of men". This also confirms the word in Matt 4 that Satan would return. Satan is the "prince of this world" and this church is "his synagogue".

this becomes more toxic in Pergamum

Pergamum -- No longer just synagogue of Satan, now it is a kingdom with the throne of Satan.

12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

These things saith he that hath the sharp two-edged sword: 13 I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s throne is; and thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny my faith, even in the days [j]of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there some that hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also some that hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans in like manner.

A kingdom has a boundary. So now they don't just have a great name for their meeting hall, they now have delineated a boundary for their kingdom. We see this progression in the doctrine of the ground of the church. The name of the church (the church with no name) is key, better than all other names. Then they define the church as having authority up to the boundary of the city. This is their kingdom. This kingdom has "the prince of this world" on the throne, so it is a worldly boundary to this kingdom. We are also reminded of Matt 18 where the Lord warned about "stumbling one of these little ones". He clarifies this and brings in Balaam as the example. According to Jewish history Balaam taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, teach them to commit fornication, and as a result destroy their testimony. Friendship with the world is a type of fornication. Marrying the church to the world is a fornication. Why would Balaam do this? A strong, vibrant, prevailing testimony by Israel threatened Balak's kingdom. We saw this with Witness Lee, the "rebellions" were designed to clean house of any that might rival him while at the same time bringing others in line (teaching them to commit fornication). As we have discussed on this forum many were stumbled by WL, PL, TL, and the puppet elders. Just as Ed Marks said, he signed the apology to PL because "it made WL happy". This is how they teach them to commit fornication and how they stumble the little ones.
01-15-2018 10:38 PM
JJ
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Thanks ZNP for leading us on this discussion on the Title. Very relevant and helpful for things I’ve been struggling to understand about “the practical expression of the church” (to borrow a term from Witness Lee).

One thing that is clear is that taking city as boundary has proven to be toxic in practice among the open brethren (Needed Truth branch) and TLR.
01-14-2018 07:10 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
Maybe I'm too simple, but the Lords testimony that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered into His name there He is in our midst works for me as to minimum a church can be. I'm pretty sure receiving LSM materials is not required.
Well the discussion hit a little speed bump when Drake argued that Jesus rebuke of Peter "Satan get behind me" was due to his human affection for the Lord. This is a strange teaching that some have, including WL.

I quoted John Gill because Drake seemed somewhat condescending that his interpretation was the plain and logical one.

I also quoted Matt 4 to show that the same author used two very similar terms in the same book. Once when Satan tempted the Lord, and then here where Satan had returned, this time by tempting the weak link, Peter.

I quoted WL to show the strange dichotomy. The typology he shared concerning the tabernacle is very nicely aligned with Matthew 16 and the interpretation that Peter was tempted by Satan, the prince of the world, to avoid the cross. Yet when WL comes to this chapter in Matt 16 he seems to have forgotten that and instead teaches that we need to deny human love and concern.

Then when we go to the church in Pergamon there is a very clear boundary between the church and the synagogue of Satan. The boundary line is the cross of Christ. Some are on one side, seemingly poor, suffering tribulation, and being insulted by the "elites". The other side are those who pretend to be God's chosen, they aren't, they are liars, but they have a very good name for the building they meet to worship in. The only problem is that they have succumbed to the temptation from Matt 4 and are worshipping and serving Satan, the prince of this world. It might seem innocent to be "minding the things of men", it might even appear that they are "good hearted", but the reality is they are insulting God, His people, and are showing contempt for the Lord's blood as our only foundation.

However, my point in this thread is that this term "gathered into the Lord's name" maybe simple, but it is in the full context of Matt 16-18 which includes the Lord's word on the need to go to the cross. No doubt the "synagogue in Satan" would also claim to meet "in the Lord's name" but as He said "they are liars".
01-14-2018 06:13 PM
HERn
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
God’s building must have a definite boundary line. Within that line everything belongs to His building; outside of that line everything belongs either to Babel, Sodom, or the treasure cities. Today’s fallen Christianity does not have the proper, necessary boundary line. Such a boundary has never been built up; it has never been drawn. The people are still participating in idols, sins, and treasures of worldly enjoyment. They have never experienced the brass altar and the brass laver. They have never been judged and been put to death on the altar or cleansed and purged by the laver. If we would practice the church life and share in the building of God, we must first experience the brass altar with the brass laver. Then we will have the brass sockets laid as the foundation of the boundary line. It is by such experiences that the boundary line of God’s building is drawn. (Witness Lee, The Vision of God’s Building, Chapter 5, Section 4)

This is an interpretation of the account in Exodus concerning the tabernacle, the brass sockets and brass laver.

I would say the reality is in Matthew 16 and this rebuke of Peter. Jesus drew the very clear boundary line for the church. On one side you have idols (tabernacles to Moses, Elijah, and Jesus), sins and treasures of worldly enjoyment -- Peter succumbing to the temptation of the "prince of this world" to seek out the kingdom without the cross.

In Matthew 16 Jesus makes it very clear you have to first experience the brass altar with the brass laver before you can enter into the church He is building.
Maybe I'm too simple, but the Lords testimony that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered into His name there He is in our midst works for me as to minimum a church can be. I'm pretty sure receiving LSM materials is not required.
01-14-2018 06:08 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: Satan and the boundary of the church

This section Matthew 16-18 is the first mention of the church in the Bible, in the NT, and by the Lord Jesus. It gives us the key principles.

We saw a very direct correlation between where Matthew 18 ends and where the church in Ephesus leaves their first love.

Now with Smyrna we see a direct correlation between the reference to Satan in Matthew 16.

8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and lived again: 9 I know thy tribulation, and thy poverty (but thou art rich), and the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.


We have a "synagogue of Satan" -- that is the building where the Jews meet to worship and study the word. It is a two faced situation, they "say they are Jews" but they lie. And this lie is a blasphemy. It means they insult God and show contempt for God.

In addition to the continuation of Satan's attempt to create a false church we see the necessity of following the Lord to the cross, a second very strong correlation with Matthew 16.

So in this two faced blasphemous situation you have one group who says they are the chosen ones, and they have the best name for their building. The blasphemy is that they insult God, or the people of God. Also they show contempt for the work of Christ on the cross as our only foundation.

Based on the context I believe this is a common occurrence. In any city you will have the "poor" and "suffering" saints who are in fact rich, needing to be strengthened to endure the coming tribulation. You will also have the phony saints who give themselves great names that they are the chosen ones of God, yet they disrespect the Body of Christ, insulting God's redeemed, and they show contempt for the blood of Christ as our only foundation. The only thing they have is a great name for the building they meet in.

Just like the type of the tabernacle. the boundary is being faithful unto death, not the name of the building you meet in. The name of the building is a phony, blasphemous "boundary" of the church created by Satan in order to avoid the cross of Christ.
01-14-2018 03:57 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

God’s building must have a definite boundary line. Within that line everything belongs to His building; outside of that line everything belongs either to Babel, Sodom, or the treasure cities. Today’s fallen Christianity does not have the proper, necessary boundary line. Such a boundary has never been built up; it has never been drawn. The people are still participating in idols, sins, and treasures of worldly enjoyment. They have never experienced the brass altar and the brass laver. They have never been judged and been put to death on the altar or cleansed and purged by the laver. If we would practice the church life and share in the building of God, we must first experience the brass altar with the brass laver. Then we will have the brass sockets laid as the foundation of the boundary line. It is by such experiences that the boundary line of God’s building is drawn. (Witness Lee, The Vision of God’s Building, Chapter 5, Section 4)

This is an interpretation of the account in Exodus concerning the tabernacle, the brass sockets and brass laver.

I would say the reality is in Matthew 16 and this rebuke of Peter. Jesus drew the very clear boundary line for the church. On one side you have idols (tabernacles to Moses, Elijah, and Jesus), sins and treasures of worldly enjoyment -- Peter succumbing to the temptation of the "prince of this world" to seek out the kingdom without the cross.

In Matthew 16 Jesus makes it very clear you have to first experience the brass altar with the brass laver before you can enter into the church He is building.
01-14-2018 11:21 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

The topic of "the boundary of the local church" is an important one, and it is one that the LRC and the ministry of WL stresses. But like anything else there is the "camel" and the "gnat".

If a church leader sees the church as an opportunity for themselves to build their kingdom, to make personal profit, to leave a financial inheritance to their kids, then this is "worshipping Satan" the "prince of this world". It is "minding the things of men" and results in them "serving Satan". That is to "swallow the camel".

On the other hand the name by which the church is listed in the phone book is a gnat.

Straining out the gnat is fine, but swallowing the camel, that is the thing that is completely intolerable.
01-13-2018 04:15 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

8 Again, the devil taketh him unto an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 and he said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

This is the first mention of "Satan" in the book of Matthew. This expression "Get thee hence, Satan" is very similar to the expression in Matthew 16 -- "Get behind me Satan".

This temptation to Jesus, is repeated with Peter. These are recorded in the NT because this is a common temptation to anyone in the church.

It is a valid concern that WL, WN, and the officers of LSM may have also been tempted with this same temptation. Daystar and other financial schemes of WL support those who have expressed concern about this. All of the children and relatives of the officers who receive rent or wages from LSM raise the concern that they have succumbed to this temptation.

Worshipping thy God only is the most significant boundary of the church.

So then, is the "Ground of the church" doctrine about worshipping thy God alone or is it about giving LSM a monopoly? Giving LSM a monopoly serves Satan. How can we discern?

1. If the purpose is to give LSM a monopoly then their would be stiff penalties to anyone who violated this. Titus Chu was excommunicated because he violated LSM's monopoly.

2. If the purpose is to give LSM a monopoly then this rule would trump the ground of the church doctrine. This is seen in multiple churches in a single city who embrace this doctrine. The one who receives LSM is the approved one, the others are vilified.

3. If they are truly worshipping and serving Satan this would trump the Bible. This is seen in the lawsuits that they conduct despite the Biblical prohibition.

This is what WL said concerning the temptation by Satan in Matthew 4:

Luke 4:6 says that the kingdoms of the world and their glory were delivered unto the Devil; hence, to whomever he wills he gives them. Before his fall,*Satan*as the archangel was appointed by God to be the ruler of the world (Ezek. 28:13-14). Thus, he is called the ruler of this world (John 12:31), holding all the kingdoms of this world and their glory in his hand. He presented all these to the newly anointed King as a temptation in order to secure worship. The heavenly King overcame this temptation, but the coming Antichrist will not (Rev. 13:2, 4).
This temptation involves the matter of ambition and promotion. Even among the saints, there is the desire to be a leader. This is the desire for worldly glory. Your eagerness to be a leader is your ambition. This is the glory of the world. Whenever you are tempted in this manner, you must realize that behind this temptation is the tempter seeking to gain your worship.*Satan*told the Lord Jesus that if He would worship him, he would give Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. Behind every ambition there is a hidden idol. If you are ambitious to have a position, a promotion, or a name, there is an idol behind that ambition. If you do not worship any idol, you will never fulfill your ambition. In order to have any part of the glory of the world, you must worship some idol. Without worshipping idols it is impossible to have a position. Whenever you are seeking a certain position, deep within you know that you are worshipping an idol. For this reason, the Apostle said that covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5). (Life-Study of Matthew,*Chapter 11, Section 5)


I would note that Satan is only referred to by Satan when it comes to the temptation about giving Jesus the world, and this is tied to the fact that Satan is the ruler of the world. If we connect this section with the other place in Matthew where Jesus says "get behind me Satan" then there is a very nice correlation between what WL teaches here and how I interpret Peter's temptation from Satan.
01-12-2018 04:43 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
These two examples from Matthew show that human love and relationships can hinder the Lord's work. You first said it was a" bizarre teaching" then you said "it is obvious". The Lord even used the same words as a remedy... "take up your cross".... true for our family relationships and true for Peter.

Drake
I think Post #255 by Boxjobox in the thread: How many people have heard of LSM/Lee/Recovery

Is a very strong confirmation of your position and ironically my position. This post, if you missed it, provides a list of family members of officers at LSM who get salaries and / or rent paid by LSM.
01-12-2018 05:49 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

I think this is without a doubt the most significant boundary of the church that is presented to us in Matthew 16-18.

Jesus saying to Peter "get behind me Satan" reminds us of the temptations after He had fasted where Satan offered him a way to get the kingdom without going through the cross, simply bow down to Satan.

I and others interpret Peter's seemingly "good hearted concern" for the Lord's well being to actually be a Satanic temptation to get the kingdom without going through the cross. What we see with Peter is that he now had a vested interest in the success of the Lord in setting up the kingdom (he was given the keys to the kingdom). There has always been a temptation that the leaders of the church would try to profit from it. This is what we saw with WL. He set up Daystar, sold chairs, mobile homes, and training fees. They established standing orders for books where you were not able to return unsold books. They vilified anyone who took offense at this setup (John So, etc). He was willing to sacrifice anyone to keep this system running (PL -- JI, etal). Anyone in the LRC saw that it moved from a wonderfully Biblical feel to much more aligned with "minding the things of men". Lawsuits, accounting practices employed in the gospel, restructuring of elders, growth projections and a plan to "gain the whole world".

It is no wonder that those who staunchly defend WL and LSM would try to dismiss this reading. In WL's doctrine it is the "boundary of the city" which is the boundary of the church. You are kept in a system out of fear.

In this interpretation it is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus that draws all men. We are kept because "He has the words of life" and He is the one we love.
01-11-2018 06:46 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Very good. We have heard what Drake has to say, and what WL has to say.

Here is John Gill's commentary on Peter minding the things of men:

but those that be of men:
he thought of nothing but worldly grandeur in the kingdom of the Messiah, as a temporal prince and Saviour; and of the continuance of Christ's natural life, for his own carnal and worldly advantage; which showed him to be, at this time, greatly under the influence of corrupt nature. So, though the blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and death of Christ, are savoury things, things to be savoured, minded, and regarded by believers, and accounted precious; and they do mind them, so the word signifies, ( Romans 8:5 ) when being blessed with a spiritual and experimental knowledge, and application of them to themselves, they exercise faith, hope, and love upon Christ, with respect unto them; when they remember them aright in the ordinance of the supper, the love from whence they spring, and the benefits that come hereby; and when they discern the Lord's body in it, a crucified Jesus, and the blessings of grace which come by him, and ascribe their whole salvation to his sufferings and death, and taste the sweetness there is in these things, eating his flesh and drinking his blood by faith; yet being left to themselves, they do not savour, mind, and regard these things, but carnal things, and human schemes; as when they are dilatory to profess a crucified Christ, and submit to those ordinances of his, which set forth his sufferings and death; or are negligent in their attendance on them, their place being often empty at supper time; or if they do attend, their hearts go after other things.


I find it fascinating that the very first mention of the church includes this temptation from Satan, to be able to establish your kingdom without taking the way of the cross. How often in church history have we seen this attempted.
01-11-2018 04:07 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP,

I have and you addressed it. What can I clarify that has not already been stated?

Thanks
Drake
Matthew 16:24-26 does not seem to have anything to do with your interpretation, yet it begins with "Then" as though it is related to the context.
01-11-2018 03:48 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Now if you would be so kind as to do the same and make it clear what you are teaching.
ZNP,

I have and you addressed it. What can I clarify that has not already been stated?

Thanks
Drake
01-11-2018 03:37 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Okay... you are entitled to change your mind.

".. a pathetic attempt to save his life" does not convey the idea of merely losing his soul life.

Drake
It may not have been clear to you what I meant, but when you asked my later post was very clear. I have not changed my mind, I have clarified what is meant since you made it clear you didn't understand.

Now if you would be so kind as to do the same and make it clear what you are teaching.
01-11-2018 03:34 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Peter saw himself as the right hand man to Jesus who was about to set up His kingdom on Earth. When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.

The context of "save his life" is soul life. 1. Right hand man to Jesus

I define Peter losing his life as "losing his dreams, his profit" it is a referral to "losing his soul life".
Okay... you are entitled to change your mind.

".. a pathetic attempt to save his life" does not convey the idea of merely losing his soul life.

Drake
01-11-2018 03:34 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I believe your private interpretation about Peter’s self serving motives grossly mischaracterize the more obvious and straightforward meaning of this passage. The Lord’s response was that even Peter’s love for the Lord, his soul life, must be subjected to the cross so that it does not become a hinderance to carrying out the things of God.
So let's go back to your explanation.

22 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee.

According to Drake this word is a result of Peter's natural love for the Lord.

23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.

Seems remarkably harsh.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Denying your love for the Lord is the requirement to take up your cross and follow the Lord? Sounds absurd.

25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Seems to have nothing to do with this. Peter, according to Drake, was trying to save the Lord's life, yet here the Lord is justifying taking up the cross because if you try to save your life you will lose it.

26 For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

Once again, what does this have to do with anything? What profit? Who was trying to "gain the whole world"?
01-11-2018 03:25 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>"In Matthew 10 we don't need a bizarre interpretation to conclude that your family members are trying to hinder your walk with the Lord. It is obvious. The point of the Lord's word is "don't be surprised if this happens".

This has nothing to do with Peter."

Come on now, brother.

You said "You on the other hand have a bizarre teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to the Lord's work and even worse are "Satanic".

These two examples from Matthew show that human love and relationships can hinder the Lord's work. You first said it was a" bizarre teaching" then you said "it is obvious". The Lord even used the same words as a remedy... "take up your cross".... true for our family relationships and true for Peter.

Drake
01-11-2018 03:23 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>"Where is the post that you keep referencing about "pathetic attempt to save his life"."

I gave that to you.. see Post #31.
Peter saw himself as the right hand man to Jesus who was about to set up His kingdom on Earth. When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.

The context of "save his life" is soul life. 1. Right hand man to Jesus

I define Peter losing his life as "losing his dreams, his profit" it is a referral to "losing his soul life".
01-11-2018 03:16 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>"Where is the post that you keep referencing about "pathetic attempt to save his life"."

I gave that to you.. see Post #31.
01-11-2018 01:01 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”In my interpretation I do not have anything other than what is already clearly taught in the Bible.”

No, you are not presenting what is clearly taught in the Bible. When you say that when Peter spoke against the Lords going to the cross because he only wanted to save his own skin alive, retain profit, His dreams, and that his was “a pathetic attempt to save his life”.... that is not clearly taught in the Bible.
Where is the post that you keep referencing about "pathetic attempt to save his life". I quoted post #21 in detail where I made it clear that the reason Peter rebuked Jesus was because "he was minding the things of men". That is what the Bible says. Nothing added. I then explain what "minding the things of men" is by quoting Jesus explanation. Minding the things of men = 1. Self centered 2. Save your own life 3. Personal profit and 4. Gain the whole world.

The only "teaching" I am giving is to equate Jesus explanation as an explanation of what "minding the things of men is". Regardless, no one can say it is my teaching to say that Peter was minding the the things of men, nor can anyone claim it is my teaching to equate "deny yourself", "take up your cross and follow me" with the four things Jesus referred to. That is why I am saying I am not adding anything. I am simply connecting the two. If you prefer to read the Bible as though they are all a bunch of non sequitors and unrelated comments, that is your prerogative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”You on the other hand have a bizarre teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to the Lord's work and even worse are "Satanic".

Human love and relationships can be a hindereance to the Lords work... Matthew 10:37-38

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me...”

Drake
Many things can be a hinderance, doesn't make them Satanic.

The context of Matt 10:37-38 is this:

Matt 10:21 And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child: and children shall rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

You put a completely new spin on the term "loving someone to death".

In Matthew 10 we don't need a bizarre interpretation to conclude that your family members are trying to hinder your walk with the Lord. It is obvious. The point of the Lord's word is "don't be surprised if this happens".

This has nothing to do with Peter.
01-11-2018 12:54 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”In my interpretation I do not have anything other than what is already clearly taught in the Bible.”

No, you are not presenting what is clearly taught in the Bible. When you say that when Peter spoke against the Lords going to the cross because he only wanted to save his own skin alive, retain profit, his dreams, and that his was “a pathetic attempt to save his life”.... that is not clearly taught in the Bible.

ZNP>”You on the other hand have a bizarre teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to the Lord's work and even worse are "Satanic".

Human love and relationships can be a hindrance to the Lords work... Matthew 10:37-38

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me...”

Drake
01-11-2018 12:39 PM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

-1

ZNP>”I was unable to find what it is you are referencing”

Post #4
01-11-2018 11:36 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”My interpretation is that Peter was concerned about losing his soulish life.”

Okay, but that is not what you said. You said Peter was concerned about getting killed.

You said “Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life
I was unable to find what it is you are referencing, but in Post 21 I said this, which is obviously referring to Peter losing his soul life:

This is what was said that prompted Peter to rebuke Jesus.

22 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, [n]Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.

Here it is stated clearly but in vague terms that what prompted Peter is that he is minding the things of men.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

The context of "deny himself" is Peter's rebuke of Jesus due to his "minding the things of men". Therefore I am equating these two based on the term "Then said Jesus". Likewise with "save his life" and "what shall a man be profited if he shall gain the whole world".

So in my interpretation Jesus is explaining what He means by saying that Peter was "minding the things of men"

Minding the things of men = 1. Self centered 2. Save your own life 3. Personal profit and 4. Gain the whole world. Minding the things of men is not equal to be empathetic and sympathetic to Jesus suffering.

In context self centered this would refer to Peter seeing himself as the right hand man of Jesus in this kingdom He is setting up on Earth. "Save your own life" means that when Jesus dies, Peter's position dies with it. "Personal profit" refers to Peter being concerned about the losses he'll suffer when Jesus dies. "Gain the whole world" refers to Peter seeing himself on the throne alongside of Jesus. Jesus saying He is going to go and die messes that up and prompts Peter to respond.

However, if you read 1Peter you can see references to all of the gospel accounts, and you can get into his mind much more. The entire epistle to my understanding shows a man who failed in the first crucifixion and realizes he will be given a second chance and is completely focused on how to go to deny himself, take up his cross, and and follow the Lord.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I believe your private interpretation about Peter’s self serving motives grossly mischaracterize the more obvious and straightforward meaning of this passage. The Lord’s response was that even Peter’s love for the Lord, his soul life, must be subjected to the cross so that it does not become a hinderance to carrying out the things of God.
Yes, you have made this clear in your previous post. However, this interpretation equates "Peter's love for the Lord" with "Satan". This leads to a warped teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to carrying out the Lord's move. There is no scriptural basis for this being rebuked as "Get behind me Satan". First, Peter gets married and has kids. There is no suggestion that Peter took away from this that this was some kind of hinderance, instead he refers to families and children as "multiplied grace". Second, elders "must be the husband of one wife" and they "must raise up their families well". Once again, no suggestion that these human relationships are a hinderance and certainly no basis to say they are "Satanic".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
But for arguments sake, let’s say both your ascribing bad motives to Peter and my attributing his reaction to love are both private interpretations. I thought earlier in this thread you objected to private interpretations of scripture. Was that not you? You say Peter was motivated by self serving interests and you condemn Brother Lee for saying some scripture reflects the human concept point of view. Either it’s right for both or neither.

Drake
No you misread that. What I said is you cannot make a private interpretation an item of the faith.

In my interpretation I do not have anything other than what is already clearly taught in the Bible. Usurping the Lord's headship is condemned, worshipping anyone other than the Lord is condemned, etc. I have not added or created any new teaching, only drawn a connection from the Lord's explanation to His condemnation of Peter and then tied that into Peter's epistle.

You on the other hand have a bizarre teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to the Lord's work and even worse are "Satanic".

However, in my interpretation "gaining the whole world" is equated to "minding the things of men" and it is Satanic since the world belongs to Satan.
01-11-2018 11:12 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”My interpretation is that Peter was concerned about losing his soulish life.”

Okay, but that is not what you said. You said Peter was concerned about getting killed.

You said “Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life

I believe your private interpretation about Peter’s self serving motives grossly mischaracterize the more obvious and straightforward meaning of this passage. The Lord’s response was that even Peter’s love for the Lord, his soul life, must be subjected to the cross so that it does not become a hinderance to carrying out the things of God.

But for arguments sake, let’s say both your ascribing bad motives to Peter and my attributing his reaction to love are both private interpretations. I thought earlier in this thread you objected to private interpretations of scripture. Was that not you? You say Peter was motivated by self serving interests and you condemn Brother Lee for saying some scripture reflects the human concept point of view. Either it’s right for both or neither.

Drake
01-11-2018 07:32 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP, I think you are reading into the scripture a private interpretation.
Here is something that WL said based on these verses:

Have you ever realized that often your opinion has been the expression of Satan? I doubt that you have ever understood the matter in this way. It is crucial that we see that our natural opinion is the incarnation of Satan. Nothing damages your Christian life more than your opinions. The expression of the natural opinion is the product of satanic inspiration. Because your natural opinion comes from Satan's inspiration, you need to beware of it. If you use your mind excessively, the Lord Jesus will call you Satan. If you exercise your mind too much, you will be the expression of Satan, and the Lord Jesus will say to you, “Get behind Me, Satan.” (Life-Study of Matthew, Chapter 48, Section 2)


This section is a major basis for his teaching about "Get out of your mind" which is Witness Lee's reading into these verses his private interpretation.

This is one reason why I feel it is critical to examine these verses under a microscope.

In chapter 17 Peter says that his master pays the tribute. That was an opinion. Jesus didn't say "Get behind me Satan". Instead He reasoned with Peter, simple little logical question to identify his error and then sent him off to make good on his error.
01-11-2018 07:16 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”You are correct that this is an interpretation. It is based on these verses:

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

This is what was said that prompted Peter to rebuke Jesus.”


Yes, but the Lord explained that He would be raised up the third day in that same instance. So, if Peters motives were all about profit, saving his own skin, and self serving interests as you claim he would have been comforted and assured by the promise of the Lord’s resurrection.

ZNP, I think you are reading into the scripture a private interpretation.

Seems from the account that Peter loved the Lord and was reacting to the thought of His, the Lord’s, suffering. Even Peter’s love for the Lord needed to be subjected to the cross. The Lord was referring to losing the soul-life (psuche) not the bios life.

Drake
And that also is your reading into the scripture a private interpretation.

However, this does not explain why the Lord would say "Get behind me Satan". Your interpretation makes human love and concern Satanic.

The second problem with your private interpretation is that the Lord's word that follows is now a non sequitor. None of it explains why human love and concern is Satanic.

Also your point that Jesus was referring to losing the soul life, not the physical life supports my interpretation. Your interpretation is that Peter was concerned about Jesus losing His physical life. My interpretation is that Peter was concerned about losing his soulish life.

Your point that Jesus' word includes the resurrection is a good one. Which is why I referenced Peter's opening to his epistle:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

And my "private interpretation" infers that Peter lacked faith in the word concerning the resurrection. This lack of faith in his "rebuke" to the Lord would also explain the Lord's rebuke being so harsh. That lack of faith was the fundamental error that Peter made and hence it is where he begins his epistle, with the fundamental faith he was lacking earlier.

Here is the key difference from my "private interpretation" and yours. In your private interpretation we have problems, we have verses that don't follow, we have the reference to soul life while you are talking about sympathy for human life. Also your interpretation opens the door to a wild and bizarre teaching that human love and concern is satanic. This teaching has no Biblical basis other than a bizarre interpretation.

In my interpretation I don't have any non sequitur problems, all the verses follow and build on this. Most of the disciples probably didn't understand the reason for the severe rebuke, hence the explanation. In my interpretation the Lord's explanation explains the rebuke. The only problem you have with my interpretation is that Peter exhibits a lack of faith in the Lord's word concerning resurrection, which also supports the Lord's rebuke of Peter. I also don't add any bizarre teachings about "get out of your mind" (see the next post with WL's private interpretation) or your bizarre teaching that human love is satanic.
01-11-2018 06:57 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”You are correct that this is an interpretation. It is based on these verses:

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

This is what was said that prompted Peter to rebuke Jesus.”


Yes, but the Lord explained that He would be raised up the third day in that same instance. So, if Peters motives were all about profit, saving his own skin, and self serving interests as you claim he would have been comforted and assured by the promise of the Lord’s resurrection.

ZNP, I think you are reading into the scripture a private interpretation.

Seems from the account that Peter loved the Lord and was reacting to the thought of His, the Lord’s, suffering. Even Peter’s love for the Lord needed to be subjected to the cross. The Lord was referring to losing the soul-life (psuche) not the bios life.

Drake
01-11-2018 06:05 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven golden [a]candlesticks:

Compare this with Matt 18 where the Lord says “wherever two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst”. If Jesus is walking in the midst of the seven lamp stands then the requirement to be a lamp stand is to meet in the name of Jesus. This is a concluding word to the previous three chapters. If Peter rebukes Jesus, then really Peter is the authority and you are meeting in Peter’s name. If they build tabernacles to Moses and Elijah as well as Jesus then you are meeting in all three names. If they are a “healing church” you are meeting in the name of the gifted healer. If they are paying tribute to local authorities (State church) then you are meeting in their name.

Now if you aren’t doing any of that but you are causing little ones to stumble then you are a false brother, on the surface you appear to be in the name of Jesus but inwardly you are a ravenous wolf. You will know this by the attitude towards the “lost sheep”. If the attitude is to avoid and stay away from a “Lost sheep” then you know they have institutionalized the stumbling of small brothers. If they are leaving the 99 (the meeting) to seek and find the lost sheep then you know that inwardly they are truly meeting in the name of Jesus.

You will also know this by how they reconcile offenses. If any brother or sister regardless of who they are, is treated according to Matt 18 then you know they are meeting in the name of Jesus. On the other hand, if a “brother” is found guilty of gross offenses, is dealt with according to Matt 18 and as a result the elders responsible are relieved of their duty, puppets are installed who then apologize to this offensive brother, then you know their use of the name of Jesus is vain and a deceit.

Only once those requirements have been met does the Lord give the promise concerning binding, loosing, answered prayer and His presence.

2*I know thy works, and thy toil and [b]patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false; 3*and thou hast [c]patience and didst bear for my name’s sake, and hast not grown weary. 4*But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love. 5*Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy [d]candlestick out of its place, except thou repent. 6*But this thou hast, that thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7*He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the [e]Paradise of God.

But then this letter expands on this. They did all this yet left their first love, Jesus. Our first love is the redeemer who died for us, sinners, so that we could be saved. The Final boundary given in Matt 18 is forgiveness. As the Lord forgave you, that is how you are to forgive others.

And this is how Matt 18 concludes:

21*Then came Peter and said to him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? 22*Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until [m]seventy times seven. 23*Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, who would make a reckoning with his [n]servants. 24*And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, that owed him ten thousand This talent was probably worth about £200, or $1000.talents. 25*But forasmuch as he had not wherewith to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26*The [p]servant therefore fell down and [q]worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27*And the lord of that [r]servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the [s]debt. 28*But that [t]servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, who owed him a hundred [u]shillings: and he laid hold on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay what thou owest. 29*So his fellow-servant fell down and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee. 30*And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay that which was due. 31*So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were exceeding sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32*Then his lord called him unto him, and saith to him, Thou wicked [v]servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou besoughtest me: 33*shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow-servant, even as I had mercy on thee? 34*And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due. 35*So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.
01-10-2018 04:51 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If boundaries are not localities.. why does each locality have an angel, and why does each one have a lampstand?
Time and space is a boundary for creation. The church in Sardis represents the believers who are limited by both time and space. In that time and in that space they had the circumstances described and needed the word from the Lord that was given.

However, these letters could not be prophetic and could not represent the church through the ages if the church were limited by time and space. If the church is limited by time and space then the letter written to Sardis 2,000 years ago has nothing to do with me today. If that is true then Witness Lee's messages are false.

Most Christians, myself and Witness Lee included, do not agree with that. We see the letter to believers 2,000 years ago living in Sardis to apply to us today. I don't live in Sardis, and yet I can see the same circumstances in churches today. The truth in that letter for the church is not bound by the city boundary of Sardis. The letter to the church "in Sardis" is not limited to believers living or meeting in Sardis. Therefore Sardis cannot simply refer to the boundary of a city 2,000 years ago but rather to a circumstance that the Body of Christ must pass through.

So then why do they have a messenger?

10 See that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven

All the believers have angels. Matthew 18 makes it clear and in that chapter the promises are to two or three that meet in the name of the Lord.

What about the lamp stands?

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And having turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man,

compare this with Matt 18

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Now compare this with the full context of Revelation 1

9 I John, your brother and partaker with you in the tribulation and kingdom and patience which are in Jesus, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet 11 saying, What thou seest, write in a book and send it to the seven churches: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamum, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And having turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle.

John is in Patmos, but He is in Spirit, and Jesus was in his midst and was in the midst of the 7 golden lamp stands. If the city boundary is a boundary and it represents Sardis, or Ephesus, etc. how could John be there? In Spirit the church is not bound by time or space.

Matthew 18 says "wherever" -- proving that the Spirit is not bound by any spacial boundary. It can be "wherever".

Revelation 2 and 3 give seven "wherevers". These are not simply locations in time and space, they also represent specific circumstances. This confirms that it is "wherever".

Correct me if I am wrong, but is Revelation 2-3 the next portion, after Matthew 18, where Jesus talks about the church? Should we consider it a continuation of Matthew 16-18?
01-10-2018 03:48 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
What promises are given to those that name themselves "the church in _____?" Nothing. What promises are given in Matthew 16-18 -- several great promises.
Nothing?

What about the promises (and warnings) to various "the church in....." are given in Revelation.

e.g. "To the angel of the church in Sardis write...."


If boundaries are not localities.. why does each locality have an angel, and why does each one have a lampstand?
01-10-2018 03:35 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

If a person doesn't understand local church boundaries how can they know the difference between the books of the bible? They might think the book of Corinthians was written to the Romans and the book of Acts was written to the Egyptians.

Every time a person reads the New Testament eg read the book of Corinthians then the book of Ephesians they are using local church boundaries whether they are aware of it or not.

Without boundaries we might say that the Romans had a problem with female preachers and the Corinthians had a problem with keeping the law. What does it matter as they are all Christians, "Jesus is the boundary"?

Everyone knows when you write a letter to someone you put their proper address. You can't just put the address as anything you want and hope it gets there. To say the bible or the early church does not have practical boundaries is like saying it doesn't matter what address I put on a letter.

To say "It doesn't matter what you call yourself or what the boundary lines of the city are. If Jesus is in your midst then you are the Body and if not you aren't."
is like saying a "letter either has a stamp or it doesn't", and "every letter has a stamp, so it doesn't matter what address you put".

While it is true that a letter must have a stamp, it is not very practical to put any address you like on the letter and think you can just because it is a letter with a stamp.
01-10-2018 07:20 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.”

ZNP,

On what scriptural basis do you make these allegations about Peter’s motives and his action?

Drake
You are correct that this is an interpretation. It is based on these verses:

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

This is what was said that prompted Peter to rebuke Jesus.

22 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, [n]Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.

Here it is stated clearly but in vague terms that what prompted Peter is that he is minding the things of men.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

The context of "deny himself" is Peter's rebuke of Jesus due to his "minding the things of men". Therefore I am equating these two based on the term "Then said Jesus". Likewise with "save his life" and "what shall a man be profited if he shall gain the whole world".

So in my interpretation Jesus is explaining what He means by saying that Peter was "minding the things of men"

Minding the things of men = 1. Self centered 2. Save your own life 3. Personal profit and 4. Gain the whole world. Minding the things of men is not equal to be empathetic and sympathetic to Jesus suffering.

In context self centered this would refer to Peter seeing himself as the right hand man of Jesus in this kingdom He is setting up on Earth. "Save your own life" means that when Jesus dies, Peter's position dies with it. "Personal profit" refers to Peter being concerned about the losses he'll suffer when Jesus dies. "Gain the whole world" refers to Peter seeing himself on the throne alongside of Jesus. Jesus saying He is going to go and die messes that up and prompts Peter to respond.

However, if you read 1Peter you can see references to all of the gospel accounts, and you can get into his mind much more. The entire epistle to my understanding shows a man who failed in the first crucifixion and realizes he will be given a second chance and is completely focused on how to go to deny himself, take up his cross, and and follow the Lord.

In contrast to this 1 Peter begins:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

According to the human concept when Jesus died, Peter's hope died with it. But when Jesus was resurrected, we were born again to a living hope. Our inheritance is incorruptible, whereas the human thought is that it would die with Jesus. Death did not defile it, nor did it fade away. I see this as a man who let the Lord's words sink deep into him, and his epistle is a response to the Lord's speaking to him throughout his entire life, not just during the gospels.
01-10-2018 06:46 AM
Drake
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.”

ZNP,

On what scriptural basis do you make these allegations about Peter’s motives and his action?

Drake
01-10-2018 04:59 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
The "property" was purchased by Jesus on the cross and is owned by Him. He can certainly identify where it begins and ends. It is an item of the faith that we are the redeemed of the Lord. Nowhere is it taught in the NT that the Lord redeemed a particular city up to the boundary of that city. If a church meets in Houston, and then due to floods is forced to move to college station we simply refer to them now as "the church in college station". The boundary of the city or the condition of the city has nothing to do with their status as a church, only with the how to write them a letter. The city lines of Houston were not some boundary that the church was not permitted to cross.

In theory it works in practice, but in practice it doesn't. Many of the saints who met in "the Church in Houston" lived in Deer Park. Many of the saints who met in the Church in Odessa lived in Midland. Many of the saints in the church in NYC lived in cities in Long Island. In practice the boundary of any local church includes all those who subscribe to Witness Lee's teachings and are close enough to come and meet regularly, regardless of city boundaries.
01-10-2018 12:46 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This is not the age for Christians to be "stumbling" others, which would have happened if Peter told them that Jesus doesn't pay the tribute. This is the time for us to be trained in cutting off the occasion of stumbling. This is the church that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against.

This is a boundary that cannot be crossed. We cannot stumble others. We have to be very strict with ourselves, with our hands and feet and eyes. This is why Jesus rebuked Peter "get behind me Satan", this is why they were rebuked on the mount of transfiguration, this is why Peter was rebuked when he said his master pays tribute. The Lord's word was like antibiotic, killing the germs so quickly we hardly even realized they were germs. But after being in the LRC we see how these germs can become gangrene. If Peter can rebuke Jesus what's next? Maybe Micah? James? Proverbs? The Psalms? If you are going to build tabernacles to Moses and Elijah, what's next? Peter? Paul? An infinite number of MOTA's?

I really like what the Lord says here "if your foot caught thee to stumble". This reminds me of Adam blaming Eve who blamed the serpent. Yes, perhaps the foot "caused thee to stumble" but you still have a responsibility as well. Cut it off. No one wants to be maimed, or halt or lose an eye. But we need to be aware of when that is the best option. At some point they realized they were better off cutting off PL. I believe that when the puppet elders apologized and brought him back, they brought a curse upon the LRC. It became spreading gangrene.

This is completely contrary to the world. In the world we sacrifice a few "little children" for "the greater good". RG and BP can justify what they did for "the sake of the vision", etc. But here, in the kingdom, it is the opposite. If you are calculating the "profitability" it is more profitable for one who would stumble one of these little ones to have mill stone around their neck and be cast into the sea instead.
I think this is a good, cautionary word. Surely we needed such warnings, way back when! And we still need them, today.
01-09-2018 08:19 PM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
LSM has been in so many lawsuits over property and property lines, that they think the church must have definite boundary lines too.
01-09-2018 06:55 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Matthew 18 continues:

7 Woe unto the world because of occasions of stumbling! for it must needs be that the occasions come; but woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh!

Why? Why must there be occasions of stumbling? Witness Lee was necessary. David Koresh was necessary. Why? Because we are being trained in this age to rule with Christ as kings.

8 And if thy hand or thy foot causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed or halt, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. 9 And if thine eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire.

The church is where we learn to deal with all of these negative things. This is what it means to bind and loose. All those lawyers in all those lawsuits didn't know how to bind Witness Lee. The FBI fumbled with Waco. This is not the age for Christians to be "stumbling" others, which would have happened if Peter told them that Jesus doesn't pay the tribute. This is the time for us to be trained in cutting off the occasion of stumbling. This is the church that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against.

This is a boundary that cannot be crossed. We cannot stumble others. We have to be very strict with ourselves, with our hands and feet and eyes. This is why Jesus rebuked Peter "get behind me Satan", this is why they were rebuked on the mount of transfiguration, this is why Peter was rebuked when he said his master pays tribute. The Lord's word was like antibiotic, killing the germs so quickly we hardly even realized they were germs. But after being in the LRC we see how these germs can become gangrene. If Peter can rebuke Jesus what's next? Maybe Micah? James? Proverbs? The Psalms? If you are going to build tabernacles to Moses and Elijah, what's next? Peter? Paul? An infinite number of MOTA's?

I really like what the Lord says here "if your foot caught thee to stumble". This reminds me of Adam blaming Eve who blamed the serpent. Yes, perhaps the foot "caused thee to stumble" but you still have a responsibility as well. Cut it off. No one wants to be maimed, or halt or lose an eye. But we need to be aware of when that is the best option. At some point they realized they were better off cutting off PL. I believe that when the puppet elders apologized and brought him back, they brought a curse upon the LRC. It became spreading gangrene.

This is completely contrary to the world. In the world we sacrifice a few "little children" for "the greater good". RG and BP can justify what they did for "the sake of the vision", etc. But here, in the kingdom, it is the opposite. If you are calculating the "profitability" it is more profitable for one who would stumble one of these little ones to have mill stone around their neck and be cast into the sea instead.
01-09-2018 05:47 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
How many churches are there? 1 or ten thousand?

If saints from Corinth and Ephesus met together at Sardis what is that? Suppose two people live in the same house. But because of one brothers job he goes to the church in Corinth and the other Ephesus so that they can make it to work on time after the meeting. What happened to city boundaries?

The real question is what makes the church the Body of Christ? It is that Jesus is in their midst. It doesn't matter what you call yourself or what the boundary lines of the city are. If Jesus is in your midst then you are the Body and if not you aren't.

What makes the church the house of God? It is that Jesus is in your midst. It doesn't matter what you call yourself or what the boundary lines of the city are. If Jesus is in your midst then you are the house of God and if not you aren't.

What makes the church the warrior of God that can bind and loose? It is that Jesus is in your midst. It doesn't matter what you call yourself or what the boundary lines of the city are. If Jesus is in your midst then you are the warrior and if not you aren't.

All of your definitions of taking the table and one eldership are contrived. There is nothing in the NT that prohibits two or three from taking the table. Also your eldership is under the authority of Jesus who is Lord. That is what gives you one leadership. If they are not under Jesus you aren't the church regardless of what self proclaimed prophet laid hands on them.

The bottom line is this -- these verses in Matthew are the first mention of the church, and in these verses the Lord lays out key principles. He does not define the church based on the name or city boundaries. He defines it as the place that can bind on earth and it will be bound in heaven, can loose on earth and it will be loosed in heaven, that whatever they ask it will be done for them by the Father. He also makes it clear that anyone who meets those criteria, even two or three, can receive these promises.

What promises are given to those that name themselves "the church in _____?" Nothing. What promises are given in Matthew 16-18 -- several great promises.
01-09-2018 03:13 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.
Have you ever used Google Earth? Look up Corinth sometime. There it still is, same as when Paul wrote the Local Church there. Same physical boundaries. So why isn't the current Christian fellowship there one of your hypothetical local churches? Because it's not affiliated with the ministry of the age, and not subject to God's humble bondslave? Because they don't have a standing order with LSM? When did the Local Church in Corinth stop being local? They've always had the Faith, and the city boundaries.

No, if the people within the boundaries of the city of Corinth would only recognize Witness Lee as today's Paul, and today's Moses, as God's Oracle and (final) MOTA, they'd be a legitimate and genuine and proper local church.

Bob: "Hey Joe, did you hear they're taking the ground in Corinth?"

Joe: "No, incredible! A lampstand in Corinth! The same city that Paul wrote to!"

B: "Yep. Same one."

J: "Awesome. Hey, when did Corinth lose it's lampstand, anyway?"

B: "Um, I dunno. I think they got degraded somehow."

J: "Yeah, that's right. They affiliated with the Great Harlot the EOC."

B: "Yeah, the Harlot. O wait - wasn't that the RCC?"

J: "Well, nevermind. It wasn't affiliated with the LSM. That's what matters."

B: "Right. If it's not affiliated with anyone, it's the dreaded 'free group'; you know God hates them."

J: "And if it's affiliated with anyone else, then it's a denomination, or the Harlot."

B: "Right. First, one city per church. Second, proper and genuine affiliation with the ministry of the age."

J: "The simple way to remember is: when we do it, it's proper and genuine. When others do it, not so good."

B: "Yes, that's easy to remember."
01-08-2018 10:52 PM
Evangelical
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
01-08-2018 05:59 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
3. Faith. When they come down from the mountain we see the father of an epileptic asking Jesus to heal his son because the disciples “could not cure him”. A third error we make is in thinking the church, more powerful than Hades, able to bind and loose anyone on earth, is filled with great men of faith. God loves mercy. What pleases God is to see a sinner saved, repent, and lifted up. The church is composed of those with little faith. Philadelphia only had “a little strength”. This is a boundary that cannot be crossed but that Witness Lee crossed frequently when he claimed that there was no one in Christianity with anything of value. His reference to “poor, poor Christianity” is an example of his insulting behavior to those with little faith.
2 And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

I love this verse. Witness Lee would have you believe that the MOTA is “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. It is a vey natural thought. The human concept is that the church, the ones who bind on earth and it is bound in heaven, they loose on earth and it is loosed in heaven, that these ones are mighty in faith. It was a shock to the disciples when they “could not” cast out the demon from the epileptic boy. But what did Jesus say — “you need the vision from the MOTA”? No. He said you need to pray and fast, and then here He says “become as little children”. When my son was four we took him to learn to play the violin. He had no idea how tough the journey would be, he was just four. But now, ten years later, he is quite good.

Do you want to heal the sick? Do you want to cast out demons? Do you want to be in a church where what they bind on earth is bound in heaven, what they loose on earth is loosed in heaven? The church where anything they ask it will be done for them of the Father in heaven? Do you want to be in a church where Jesus is in the midst, turning poor, weak, baby Christians and transforming them into mighty men of faith? That is the church that is greatest in the kingdom.

This is the attitude that every new believer has, they want to experience the things promised in the Bible. But then someone comes and teaches a different gospel. Teach them to follow a different Christ, a dumb idol.

6 but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.
01-08-2018 12:00 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

I find it very interesting that we have multiple verse references in Matthew, Acts, and 1Corinthians directly rebuking the concept of "MOTA". What is the basis that Drake, Evangelical and WL give? Human logic -- isn't it reasonable. There is no Biblical basis at all, simply the imagination of men who also imagine that they can discern which parts of the Bible are not up to standard.
01-08-2018 11:08 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Two comments:
1. I believe the NT record shows Christ as the unique MOTA. He is "the prophet like Moses." Not Paul, not Peter, not Luther, not Witness Lee or JN Darby. Christ as the embodiment of Deuteronomy 18's promise is confirmed by Peter in Acts 3:22 and by Stephen in Acts 7:37. Plus, that this was the public expectation, pre-Jesus, is seen by the crowds asking John the Baptist, "Are you the Prophet?" Notice it is "the" Prophet, not "a" prophet.
Great finds here aron.

The fulfillment of Moses' prophecy by the Lord Jesus and it being continually mentioned by the early church, shows us that this was common knowledge by the children of Israel. For centuries Israel looked for "THE PROHET" like unto Moses.

I believe that the lack of blessing on LSM confirms that the Father is offended that Lee would rob His own Son of His rightful place as Minister of the New Covenant age. The Apostle Paul would agree, since at the time he was wrongly uplifted in Corinth (I Cor 1.12-13), he responded "Was I, Paul, crucified for you?" That makes it crystal clear that the Minister of the Age, He who is exalted in the church, can be no one else but the One crucified for us.

Paul's warning with tears to the elders in Ephesus, which may have been his last words on earth as far as he knew, confirmed that the church belongs to only Him who shed His own blood. Even the best of church leaders were only to serve as overseers placed by the Holy Spirit. Those who rejected that "demeaning" role of shepherding were either fierce devouring wolves or self-exalting men, speaking perverted things. (Acts 20.18-38)
01-08-2018 10:46 AM
Ohio
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
18And I also say unto thee, that thou art [k]Peter, and upon this [l]rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

2. Jesus only. After this Jesus takes several apostles up to the mountain where they talk about making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Moses and Elijah are Ministers of the Age. This is undeniable, even the Bible presents them both as Ministers of the Age. This is the second boundary. The church is not a tabernacle to a man. Lutherans and Calvinists are clearly in error here. But other groups like the Brethren also fall into this trap. They know not to have any other name, but the cause of their divisions is different ministers and those that follow the different ministries. This is what identifies a cult, following a man. Even if the man is endorsed by the Bible like Moses and Elijah, the church should only hear Jesus. I believe this is the second boundary concerning the church that the LRC has crossed by setting up WN and WL as “MOTA’s”.
Great commentary here. This is to "rightly divide" the word of God, something sorely needed in the LC's.
01-08-2018 10:02 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This is why they are looking for that "talented" leader -- Moses, Elijah, or Peter. What the Lord is showing them is that He is the talented leader and if they will pray and fast to be trained by him then they too can enter into the kingdom.

Teaching that Witness Lee is the MOTA short circuits this.
Two comments:

1. I believe the NT record shows Christ as the unique MOTA. He is "the prophet like Moses." Not Paul, not Peter, not Luther, not Witness Lee or JN Darby. Christ as the embodiment of Deuteronomy 18's promise is confirmed by Peter in Acts 3:22 and by Stephen in Acts 7:37. Plus, that this was the public expectation, pre-Jesus, is seen by the crowds asking John the Baptist, "Are you the Prophet?" Notice it is "the" Prophet, not "a" prophet.

Jesus was the only one who saw God face-to-face (Exodus 33:11; cf "No one has ever seen God, but Jesus has declared Him"), and came back with the Word of the LORD (Jesus was the incarnate Word!!). None else could do this - all else could only point to the Word. Witness Lee corrupted this, by telling us the God-breathed scripture was fallen man's concepts. (and yet none could point out his fallen concepts!!)

2. The fact that Lee as MOTA was farce was corroborated by what we heard on his death. "The age of spiritual giants is over; it is the age of small potatoes". That is what was solemnly intoned in my 'locality'. No scripture was given. We were so enthralled by the person that when he died we couldn't imagine anyone rising to his stature, and replacing his speaking. So Witness Lee could change the scripture's status from "Holy Word" to "fallen words" and yet when he died, none was qualified to speak forth anything new. His word was final. The "final Moses." As Ed Marks told us, "It is time to eat leftovers". (He said this defiantly).
01-08-2018 07:43 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
2. Jesus only. After this Jesus takes several apostles up to the mountain where they talk about making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Moses and Elijah are Ministers of the Age. This is undeniable, even the Bible presents them both as Ministers of the Age. This is the second boundary. The church is not a tabernacle to a man. Lutherans and Calvinists are clearly in error here. But other groups like the Brethren also fall into this trap. They know not to have any other name, but the cause of their divisions is different ministers and those that follow the different ministries. This is what identifies a cult, following a man. Even if the man is endorsed by the Bible like Moses and Elijah, the church should only hear Jesus. I believe this is the second boundary concerning the church that the LRC has crossed by setting up WN and WL as “MOTA’s”.
Throughout church history church gatherings have been dominated by individuals. Martin Luther -- hence "Lutherans". Calvin -- Calvinists. Brethren knew this was wrong yet were dominated by various ones like JN Darby.

This has led to the teaching by WL and WN of "Minister of the Age" for which we use the acronym "MOTA". In this MOTA teaching Moses plays a very key role as he is undeniably a "Minister of the Age". One way to realize this should not apply to Witness Lee or Watchman Nee is that Moses as the MOTA was a type of Christ. But this is confirmed here where the disciples suggest building three tabernacles to these three (Jesus, Moses and Elijah). This idea is fully rejected by God. Jesus Christ as the Son is on a completely different level.

In the next chapter (Matt 18) the disciples ask "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" This word "then" is very important, it shows that this question is a response to them being repeatedly rebuked in Matt 16 and 17. Peter thought that since he got the vision he was the "greatest" (leader). Rejected. They thought Moses and Elijah -- rejected. They thought that they were chosen because of their great faith -- rejected.

The Lord's answer is startling -- 2 And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

If you put a piano in front of a child they will begin to bang on it. But at a certain age they will respond "I can't play". If you put a computer in front of a child they will begin to bang on it. But after a certain age they will respond "I don't know how it works". We know that any child can play the piano if they are trained. We know anyone can use a computer if they are trained. But it can take time. When the child was not healed they asked "why can't we do it?" The Lord's response was it takes prayer and fasting -- training by the Holy Spirit.

This is why they are looking for that "talented" leader -- Moses, Elijah, or Peter. What the Lord is showing them is that He is the talented leader and if they will pray and fast to be trained by him then they too can enter into the kingdom.

Teaching that Witness Lee is the MOTA short circuits this. Witness Lee has crossed a crucial boundary by stumbling the little brothers and sisters.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me: 6 but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.
01-08-2018 05:04 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
He does this: characterizing it as "mixed human sentiment" and "fallen" and "natural concepts". In this he departs from the pattern of scripture reception given us by the NT apostles, who were following the pattern given by Jesus' use of scripture.

Therefore Lee's ideological template was the basis of church fellowship. If you chose scripture over the template you were outside the boundary of the Local Church.
What I think is most important is that all those who come in contact with this group understand this. When I first met them I asked saints questions about the Bible and they made it absolutely clear that the Bible is the only standard, the only authority and that they believe that every word of the Bible is the word of God. Only later do you see this teaching by Witness Lee that he decides which portions are "human imagination" and which are truly up to the standard of his vision.

To me this is like some kid who took apart an engine and then put it together again. When he is done he has a few spare parts. Instead of realizing he must have made a mistake he decides that these parts "are not necessary".

When you compare this with Peter's rebuke of the Lord and the Lord's subsequent rebuke of Peter you realize this is something that we cannot tolerate. Witness Lee has crossed a crucial boundary.
01-08-2018 02:35 AM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Witness Lee teaches that some scripture did come about by the prophet's own imagination.
He does this: characterizing it as "mixed human sentiment" and "fallen" and "natural concepts". In this he departs from the pattern of scripture reception given us by the NT apostles, who were following the pattern given by Jesus' use of scripture.

Therefore Lee's ideological template was the basis of church fellowship. If you chose scripture over the template you were outside the boundary of the Local Church.
01-07-2018 07:17 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Now, here's where I see the problem. Lee added a further layer of abstraction, one which needed to survive by dismissing portions of scripture as "fallen" and "natural". Lee went beyond anything Paul had done. He made his own teachings the boundary of the Local Church. Instead of Jesus, we focused on "processed", and "consummated" and "High Peak"

I noticed this, when as a member I'd "go off message" and see something that Lee didn't promote. Of course I was excited to see something, and would share. Silence. And God forbid that you treated his work critically, as he'd treated other Christian ministries! LSM got to 'Affirm and Critique' others, but you'd better only 'Affirm' Lee! Otherwise the 'oneness' is broken. If you critique, you've gone off the Lee reservation, and have broken the boundaries of the Local Church.
Consider what the Lord told Peter:

23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men. 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

Making his teachings the boundary was a way to “save his life”, it was a way “to profit”. This is what happens when you pedal the word of God. Peter saw himself as the right hand man to Jesus who was about to set up His kingdom on Earth. When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.
01-07-2018 06:44 PM
aron
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Witness Lee teaches that the books of Micah, James, Psalms, and other sections are the "word of men". No different than Peter telling Jesus "this shall not befall you".
One way to see the seriousness of what Lee did is to see it in context. In the 4 gospels, the OT clearly was used as the basis of promoting Jesus as Messiah. "The scripture must be fulfilled" was the mantra. The OT had promised the Messiah, and now here he was - Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus never promoted his own agenda, but was strictly controlled by the word of scripture. "What I see my Father doing, that is what I do"

Paul developed that further, and added layers of abstraction. But - key - Paul never added anything that changed the gospel message in Acts: that the promised Messiah, foretold by the prophets in the inspiration of God's Spirit, was now fulfilled. The birth, the deeds, the suffering, the death, the glories that followed. Again, all of this was portrayed in the Jewish scripture, the OT.

Now, here's where I see the problem. Lee added a further layer of abstraction, one which needed to survive by dismissing portions of scripture as "fallen" and "natural". Lee went beyond anything Paul had done. He made his own teachings the boundary of the Local Church. Instead of Jesus, we focused on "processed", and "consummated" and "High Peak"

I noticed this, when as a member I'd "go off message" and see something that Lee didn't promote. Of course I was excited to see something, and would share. Silence. And God forbid that you treated his work critically, as he'd treated other Christian ministries! LSM got to 'Affirm and Critique' others, but you'd better only 'Affirm' Lee! Otherwise the 'oneness' is broken. If you critique, you've gone off the Lee reservation, and have broken the boundaries of the Local Church.
01-07-2018 02:46 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
[COLOR="Blue"]1. Jesus is Lord. The Lord’s word concerning being killed didn’t not align with Peter’s vision and Peter “rebukes” the Lord. Jesus rebukes this in the strongest terms. The first boundary concerning the church that cannot be crossed is that Jesus is Lord. We are not His counselor. When Witness Lee rebukes Micah because he doesn’t have the vision, or James because he is not clear on the vision, or the Psalmists because they are writing according to their natural concepts. We are to be one with all Christians who recognize Jesus is Lord, and we need to reject all those who don’t, even the Apostle Peter in this case is rebuked.
No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:20-21).


Witness Lee teaches that some scripture did come about by the prophet's own imagination.

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:17-19)


The fact that the Bible has authority is not imagination, it is not an inferential teaching or a cleverly devised myth like Witness Lee's "Ground of the church" doctrine which elevates the worldly boundaries of a worldly city at giving the boundaries of the church. The NT states clearly that the ground that the church is built on is a rock, it is the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. But this myth denies the Lord who redeemed us and replaces Him with some arbitrary boundary that changes with the whims of men.

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. (1Thess 2:13)


Witness Lee teaches that the books of Micah, James, Psalms, and other sections are the "word of men". No different than Peter telling Jesus "this shall not befall you". Jesus is the incarnated word.
01-07-2018 11:55 AM
ZNPaaneah
What is the boundary of the Local Church?

18And I also say unto thee, that thou art [k]Peter, and upon this [l]rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

1. Jesus is Lord. The Lord’s word concerning being killed didn’t not align with Peter’s vision and Peter “rebukes” the Lord. Jesus rebukes this in the strongest terms. The first boundary concerning the church that cannot be crossed is that Jesus is Lord. We are not His counselor. When Witness Lee rebukes Micah because he doesn’t have the vision, or James because he is not clear on the vision, or the Psalmists because they are writing according to their natural concepts. We are to be one with all Christians who recognize Jesus is Lord, and we need to reject all those who don’t, even the Apostle Peter in this case is rebuked.

2. Jesus only. After this Jesus takes several apostles up to the mountain where they talk about making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Moses and Elijah are Ministers of the Age. This is undeniable, even the Bible presents them both as Ministers of the Age. This is the second boundary. The church is not a tabernacle to a man. Lutherans and Calvinists are clearly in error here. But other groups like the Brethren also fall into this trap. They know not to have any other name, but the cause of their divisions is different ministers and those that follow the different ministries. This is what identifies a cult, following a man. Even if the man is endorsed by the Bible like Moses and Elijah, the church should only hear Jesus. I believe this is the second boundary concerning the church that the LRC has crossed by setting up WN and WL as “MOTA’s”.

3. Faith. When they come down from the mountain we see the father of an epileptic asking Jesus to heal his son because the disciples “could not cure him”. A third error we make is in thinking the church, more powerful than Hades, able to bind and loose anyone on earth, is filled with great men of faith. God loves mercy. What pleases God is to see a sinner saved, repent, and lifted up. The church is composed of those with little faith. Philadelphia only had “a little strength”. This is a boundary that cannot be crossed but that Witness Lee crossed frequently when he claimed that there was no one in Christianity with anything of value. His reference to “poor, poor Christianity” is an example of his insulting behavior to those with little faith.

4. Kings destined to rule. Finally, the chapter ends with Peter being rebuked again for saying that Jesus pays tribute to the leaders. We see this frequently, people presenting the church as a group for political activism. Jesus rebuked Peter for saying that He pays the tribute because that wasn’t according to the truth. This can be absolutely true and scriptural, however you are missing a simple point. The church is here to win souls from sin and death (Hades). We don’t reign in this age, we evangelize. Preaching that we are exempt from the world’s authority would stumble some. Therefore we do pay the tribute, not because we need to, but because we choose to do this so as not to stumble others. Since money is vanity and in light of eternity of no value why not give it?

This brings us to Matthew 18. The disciples are confused, they were told that the church would be more powerful than Hades and that they would be above all on Earth able to bind and loose all. Since all of their assumptions about what that would be like were wrong they ask the Lord what that means. He explains in chapter 18 what that is and concludes with these verses:

18Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it [l]shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

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