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Old 01-16-2018, 05:37 AM   #52
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,860
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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.
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
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