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Old 02-28-2018, 09:49 AM   #1
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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.)
The problem with conferring apostleship without those proofs is that it potentially puts far too much power in the hands of unqualified people. As I said, the Church needs more evidence than someone's claim of having an impressive ministry and of having planted churches. Nothing wrong with those things. They are good. But they don't make someone an Apostle in the sense of having God-given extra-local authority.

Now there are a lot of church movements and organizations that, based on mutual agreement, do allow extra-local authority. The Methodists are like this. Methodist church pastors answer to a central authority. They even agree to relocate based on a timetable set up by the organization.

But that is voluntary. And I see no big problem with it if it is. There is difference between that and someone claiming "Apostle" authority directly from God. This was what Lee assumed. And even though Lee coyly avoided claiming to be an Apostle, I think it's safe to say he believed he was. If you believe you are the MOTA, you have to believe you are an Apostle. Anyway, his followers believed it.

So the thought was, Lee is an Apostle like Paul, so if you don't follow him you are rebelling against God. That's a whole lot different than saying, "I'm going to submit to the Methodist arrangement as a personal choice." But what were Lee's credentials based upon? Nothing but a subjective opinion about him. And that's not enough.

Again, I think history has shown us in no uncertain terms that conferring Apostleship including the kind of authority Lee claimed causes nothing but problems. It doesn't accomplish anything positive, and it causes a lot of damage. I think that's why God included 2 Cor 12:12 in the Bible.

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.

If you like Lee and his ministry and want to follow it, that's your business. If you think God generally wants to everyone follow him because he was an Apostle, I think you are deceived. That goes even more for the current Blendeds, or whatever they are called now.
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:39 AM   #2
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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.)
The problem with conferring apostleship without those proofs is that it potentially puts far too much power in the hands of unqualified people. As I said, the Church needs more evidence than someone's claim of having an impressive ministry and of having planted churches. Nothing wrong with those things. They are good. But they don't make someone an Apostle in the sense of having God-given extra-local authority.
Thanks Igzy for sharing your views. Though I do not agree with them I appreciate the opportunity to lay out an alternative viewpoint on this topic.

I’ve already addressed your previous assertion that apostles were those who were with the Lord during his earthly ministry. We saw that that is not accurate according to the New Testament record because many of the apostles were given as gifts by the Lord Himself in His ascension and Paul lists several of them by name as indicated in my previous post. Timothy, for instance, was not even circumcised and may have even been too young to be part of the Lord Jesus’s ministry on earth. In your revised point #1 above you say apostles were associated with somebody who was associated with Jesus during his earthly ministry but that is also inaccurate according to the New Testament record because the apostle Paul only came to know the Lord after His ascension. So those apostles affiliated with Paul’s ministry, and mentioned by Paul in his letters were associated with an apostle (Paul) who was not part of the Lords earthly ministry.

But the main purpose of this post is to address your second assertion concerning the evidence of apostleship being miracles and wonders and works of power according to second Corinthian‘s 12:12. Here is why your assumption that evidence of apostleship is validated by those things is incorrect.

First, the apostle Paul said of those things that he performed them because the Corinthians compelled him to prove his apostleship. The Corinthian‘s were questioning his apostleship as compared to the other “super-apostles”. In verse 11, Paul said that he became foolish because they compelled him to prove his apostleship by those very things. He was well pleased in weaknesses, and insults, in necessities, in persecutions, distresses, on behalf of Christ, for when he was weak then he was powerful. Yet the Corinthian‘s wanted some evidence according to the manifestations of the “super apostles“, these works of power, signs, and wonders. Rather than signs and wonders and works of power being proof of apostleship, Paul said to the Corinthian‘s that their request forced him to become foolish and compelled him to perform them but, the real proof of apostleship was that His grace is sufficient and His power is perfected in weakness. This is confirmed again by Paul‘s word in the next chapter, chapter 13, verse three, where he says of them that they seek a proof of the Christ who was speaking in them, and yet his apostleship should have been validated in their mind by the fact that though he was speaking to them in weakness, yet, at the very same time Christ was speaking in them powerfully. That mutual speaking of the speaker, Paul, speaking in weakness, while He also spoke in power in them, is the real proof of apostleship according to the apostle Paul’s persuasive argument to the Corinthians.

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. Of course, no one that I know would demand proof that someone is a believer by asking them to drink poison, pick up venomous snakes, or by any of the other items listed. In the same way though signs, wonders, miracles may be manifested in certain situations, those things are not the proof of apostleship, anymore than the things listed in Mark 16:17-18 are proof points that someone is a believer..... or not.

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Old 03-09-2018, 06:28 AM   #3
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Okay. But he didn’t authorize Paul.

Drake
I am not so sure about that. Here is what Peter said at the end of his last epistle:

"15. And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him. —

16. Speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction."
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:10 AM   #4
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I am not so sure about that. Here is what Peter said at the end of his last epistle:

"15. And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him. —

16. Speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction."
How about "commended". Peter commended Paul to us as writing with the wisdom given to him by God, and he commended Paul's writings as part of scripture.

But as far as "authorized" I would have to go with Paul that it was Jesus who called him and sent him out.

If we all agree that Peter didn't authorize Paul, that also means Peter didn't authorize any of the NT writers.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:19 AM   #5
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How about "commended". Peter commended Paul to us as writing with the wisdom given to him by God, and he commended Paul's writings as part of scripture.

But as far as "authorized" I would have to go with Paul that it was Jesus who called him and sent him out.

If we all agree that Peter didn't authorize Paul, that also means Peter didn't authorize any of the NT writers.
I think we can safely say that Paul authorized Luke's Gospel and Acts.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:44 AM   #6
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How about "commended". Peter commended Paul to us as writing with the wisdom given to him by God, and he commended Paul's writings as part of scripture.

But as far as "authorized" I would have to go with Paul that it was Jesus who called him and sent him out.

If we all agree that Peter didn't authorize Paul, that also means Peter didn't authorize any of the NT writers.
I agree with this.

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Old 03-09-2018, 08:50 AM   #7
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I think we can safely say that Paul authorized Luke's Gospel and Acts.
Paul was not present for the events in Luke’s gospel.... and also not present for the events in the first half of Acts.

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Old 03-09-2018, 11:30 AM   #8
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Paul was not present for the events in Luke’s gospel.... and also not present for the events in the first half of Acts.

Drake
Duh!!!

Neither was Luke!

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?
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:40 PM   #9
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The LCM positions on the ground of the church and apostles are both designed to exercise control over people.

Their position on the ground of the church says "you have to meet with us the way we say."

Their position on apostles says "you have to follow and submit to the people we say are apostles."

It's all about controlling people. Clear as day to me. They'll deny it until they turn blue. But it's the truth.

I guess some of them no longer even realize they are being controlled. Someday God is going to set them free, and the first thing they'll say is, "I knew something wasn't right! But I was afraid to say or do anything about it."

Fear is the enemy. And fear is one of the LCM's basic tools for controlling people. Don't let them control you. Put your foot down. Refuse to be intimidated.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:43 AM   #10
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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?

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Trying to understand what and why you posted in #399.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:38 AM   #11
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Trying to understand what and why you posted in #399.
Well...ok..

I was challenging this notion you proposed of approval from Paul for Luke to write. But, I can be convinced.. so make your case for “approval” by Paul and why is that relevant?

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Old 03-10-2018, 08:02 AM   #12
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Igzy,

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

Drake
Not sure exactly what you mean. If you are saying that Paul's speaking matched the Spirit's speaking in the Church, maybe it did. But that doesn't mean someone can just say Lee's speaking matched the Spirit's speaking and that settles it. I don't believe it did, for one. So where does that leave us?

Again, remember in those days the Apostles were the Bible to the Church. That's no longer true. The Bible is the Bible now, and I can point out place after place where Lee got the Bible wrong. So if Lee is an Apostle how can he get the Bible wrong?

Those two chapters show how Paul pleaded with the Corinthians to trust him as one who was qualified to lead them. That is totally different in tone and content from what Lee and his successors did. Lee threatened, both implicitly and explicitly. His successors threaten even more. Not only so, they act on their threats. I'm not taking about rebukes, I'm talking about what Richard Nixon called "dirty tricks," back alley finagling to undermine elderships and churches.

Paul was completely different. He loved the Corinthians and wanted to serve them. The leadership of the LCM acts more like they own everyone.

These two chapters are actually more evidence of how the bunch is unqualified.

BTW, you still haven't told me how an Apostle proves himself as per Rev 2:2.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:28 AM   #13
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Igzy》"BTW, you still haven't told me how an Apostle proves himself as per Rev 2:2."

Igzy,

I will address the main point of your post in a separate note. .. but to the above .. Rev 2:2 does not say how... it only indicates they did. The best explanation is Paul's in 2Corinthians 12 and 13. Christ spoke powerfully in them simultaneously through the grace exhibited in His speaking through a weak vessel. You will argue that the proof would have been some miraculous exhibition by true apostles that the false apostles were not able to replicate. Yet, that is an odd test because the False Prophet also performs magical tricks on queue and thereby deceives many.... Paul explained to the Corinthians that their seeking miracles as proof of apostleship was misguided.

Jesus warned us about the fallacy of relying on miracles...

:Matthew 24:24 King James Version (KJV)
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

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Old 03-10-2018, 10:14 AM   #14
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Well...ok..

I was challenging this notion you proposed of approval from Paul for Luke to write. But, I can be convinced.. so make your case for “approval” by Paul and why is that relevant?

Thanks
Drake
About the time you were having your "worst enema," we were discussing the authority of the apostles related to the church and the writings of the NT.

Try to follow!

Paul was not one of "The Twelve," yet his apostolic authority has never been questioned by evangelicals. Peter endorsed Paul's writings, and Paul endorsed Luke's writings. The Bible is today a finished book.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:18 AM   #15
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Igzy》"BTW, you still haven't told me how an Apostle proves himself as per Rev 2:2."

Igzy,

I will address the main point of your post in a separate note. .. but to the above .. Rev 2:2 does not say how... it only indicates they did. The best explanation is Paul's in 2Corinthians 12 and 13. Christ spoke powerfully in them simultaneously through the grace exhibited in His speaking through a weak vessel. You will argue that the proof would have been some miraculous exhibition by true apostles that the false apostles were not able to replicate. Yet, that is an odd test because the False Prophet also performs magical tricks on queue and thereby deceives many.... Paul explained to the Corinthians that their seeking miracles as proof of apostleship was misguided.

Jesus warned us about the fallacy of relying on miracles...

:Matthew 24:24 King James Version (KJV)
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Drake
Drake, "the elect" in this verse does NOT refer to the church or to the believers, but to Israel. (see Mt 24.15) Please read this verse in context, "Let him who reads understand!"
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:32 AM   #16
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About the time you were having your "worst enema," we were discussing the authority of the apostles related to the church and the writings of the NT.

Try to follow!

Paul was not one of "The Twelve," yet his apostolic authority has never been questioned by evangelicals. Peter endorsed Paul's writings, and Paul endorsed Luke's writings. The Bible is today a finished book.
Somebody questioned whether the Bible is a finished book?



But.. you keep making the point that Paul authorized Luke.

That suggests an order in the work. I might agree with that.

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Old 03-10-2018, 11:11 AM   #17
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Drake, "the elect" in this verse does NOT refer to the church or to the believers, but to Israel. (see Mt 24.15) Please read this verse in context, "Let him who reads understand!"
Ohio,

You’re missing the point. See Matt 7:22-23

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Old 03-10-2018, 01:26 PM   #18
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About the time you were having your "worst enema," we were discussing the authority of the apostles related to the church and the writings of the NT.

Try to follow!

Paul was not one of "The Twelve," yet his apostolic authority has never been questioned by evangelicals. Peter endorsed Paul's writings, and Paul endorsed Luke's writings. The Bible is today a finished book.
When Peter endorsed Paul's writings as "scripture" his writings became part of "the apostle's fellowship". This is why I prefer to use the term "apostle's fellowship" when referring to the foundation of the church. We are told in Acts that we are "keep the Apostle's fellowship" so there is a direct charge. Also, even though Paul was not one of the 12 that does not disqualify his epistle's from "the apostle's fellowship" that we are charged to keep.
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:17 PM   #19
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Igzy》"BTW, you still haven't told me how an Apostle proves himself as per Rev 2:2."

Igzy,

Jesus warned us about the fallacy of relying on miracles...

:Matthew 24:24 King James Version (KJV)
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Drake
These false prophets in Revelation are not preaching anything approaching the gospel. And the fact is Jesus himself performed miracles to show who he was. And he gave power to the Apostles to do likewise. Miracles themselves are not enough, neither is a nifty set of teachings. God plainly gave Jesus and the Apostles both truth and power. Lee had teachings (many of which were downright false), and he lacked power.

You are right. The best explanation is 2 Cor 12. Verse 12 specifically, which clearly says that true Apostles have supernatural power.

So answer me this. Who is the Apostle now? Besides Nee and Lee, who has been an Apostle in the last 100 years? Who was the Apostle before them? Why did the ministry of these two "great Apostles" produce so little?
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:54 PM   #20
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When Peter endorsed Paul's writings as "scripture" his writings became part of "the apostle's fellowship". This is why I prefer to use the term "apostle's fellowship" when referring to the foundation of the church. We are told in Acts that we are "keep the Apostle's fellowship" so there is a direct charge. Also, even though Paul was not one of the 12 that does not disqualify his epistle's from "the apostle's fellowship" that we are charged to keep.
And when Luke wrote his gospel and Acts under Paul's mentoring, then I consider Luke's writings part of "the apostle's fellowship".
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:21 PM   #21
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2 I 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;

In the thread on "the boundary of the church" this question came up and seems to be central to this forum on the ministry of Witness Lee and the impact that had on the Lord's Recovery Churches (LRC).

How do you test and determine that an apostle is false?
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:11 PM   #22
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2 I 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;

In the thread on "the boundary of the church" this question came up and seems to be central to this forum on the ministry of Witness Lee and the impact that had on the Lord's Recovery Churches (LRC).

How do you test and determine that an apostle is false?
It's hard to prove a negative. So, before you can determine that an apostle is false, can we first arrive at a scriptural definition of an "apostle". That is, what is a "true" apostle?

One website says: "False apostles are people who masquerade as Christian leaders, get other people to follow them, and then lead them astray. A true apostle is one who is “sent” by God as an ambassador of Jesus Christ with a divine message. A false apostle is a pretender who does not truly represent Christ and whose message is false.
https://www.gotquestions.org/false-apostles.html

Matthew 7:15-20 says "You Will Know Them by Their Fruits" then discusses false prophets.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Can we apply the same test to false prophets that we apply to false apostles? In light of false prophets/apostles and their fruit, to determine if an apostle is false, look at the fruits of their ministry. There is no shortage of testimony on the fruit of Witness Lee's ministry from which a test could easily be derived. Does Lee's ministry represent Christ, or himself? Is Lee pretending to represent Christ, all the while representing himself?

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Old 03-11-2018, 07:59 AM   #23
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Igzy>”So answer me this. Who is the Apostle now?”

Igzy,

I disagree with premise of your question. According to the scriptures there are also plural and little “a” apostles..... not just a singular big “A” Apostle.

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Old 03-11-2018, 08:36 AM   #24
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Drake, you like to pick apart questions without ever answering them.

I was in the LC's for years, and LSM would only recognize Nee and Lee as apostles.

If you truly believe what you answered above, would you recognize Titus Chu as an apostle, or why not?
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:34 AM   #25
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Drake, you like to pick apart questions without ever answering them.

I was in the LC's for years, and LSM would only recognize Nee and Lee as apostles.

If you truly believe what you answered above, would you recognize Titus Chu as an apostle, or why not?
Ohio,

You’re trying to give impression that I am avoiding questions, as if I am afraid to answer, as it is part of your disinformation campaign against Christians in the Lord Recovery. I have nothing to hide, your questions are not difficult, and I am delighted to address them where relevant. Yet, not every question deserves an answer, rather many of the questions here deserve a review for their accuracy as they are questions of presumption. For instance, if I were to ask you “are you still beating your wife, yes or no?” would you answer yes or no? Either answer validates the underlying presumption you are guilty of beating your wife.

Questions like that are not really a question, they are commentary in disguise either naively in the mind of the questioner or to deliberately plant the thought into the readers mind. Everyone here is entitled to commentary in any form they prefer, however, I choose not to respond to every commentary no matter how it is couched. Yet, if I believe the poster is sincere in wanting to have a dialogue then I will address the premise of question of presumption as I did with a Igzy.

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Old 03-11-2018, 10:34 AM   #26
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It's hard to prove a negative. So, before you can determine that an apostle is false, can we first arrive at a scriptural definition of an "apostle". That is, what is a "true" apostle?

One website says: "False apostles are people who masquerade as Christian leaders, get other people to follow them, and then lead them astray. A true apostle is one who is “sent” by God as an ambassador of Jesus Christ with a divine message. A false apostle is a pretender who does not truly represent Christ and whose message is false.
https://www.gotquestions.org/false-apostles.html

Matthew 7:15-20 says "You Will Know Them by Their Fruits" then discusses false prophets.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Can we apply the same test to false prophets that we apply to false apostles? In light of false prophets/apostles and their fruit, to determine if an apostle is false, look at the fruits of their ministry. There is no shortage of testimony on the fruit of Witness Lee's ministry from which a test could easily be derived. Does Lee's ministry represent Christ, or himself? Is Lee pretending to represent Christ, all the while representing himself?

Nell
Yes, I think this is the principle that the Lord gave us. However, "you shall know them by their fruit" doesn't mean they don't have fruit. It means they don't have "good fruit". In the same way you will know a prospective elder by his fruit, his children. The test is not if he has children, but rather "did he raise them well".

Applying this to Witness Lee, no doubt those that feel he was a true apostle will point to his fruit. Those that don't feel he was a true apostle will also point to his fruit.

So I do agree we have to examine the fruit, still it is not a simple question even if you do that.

The other thing that is interesting to me is that you examine their fruit prior to receiving them, not as part of a historical reflection on the place that this person might have. You examine the fruit of an elder before you appoint him, you examine the fruit of an evangelist long before you would describe the person as a gifted evangelist, likewise with shepherds and teachers.

when they saw that I had been intrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter with the gospel of the circumcision 8 (for he that wrought for Peter unto the apostleship of the circumcision wrought for me also unto the Gentiles); 9 and when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision;

You examine the fruit of the person to see that they "have been intrusted with the gospel" before you "give unto them the right hand of fellowship".
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:51 AM   #27
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Ohio,

You’re trying to give impression that I am avoiding questions, as if I am afraid to answer, as it is part of your disinformation campaign against Christians in the Lord Recovery. I have nothing to hide, your questions are not difficult, and I am delighted to address them where relevant. Yet, not every question deserves an answer, rather many of the questions here deserve a review for their accuracy as they are questions of presumption. For instance, if I were to ask you “are you still beating your wife, yes or no?” would you answer yes or no? Either answer validates the underlying presumption you are guilty of beating your wife.

Questions like that are not really a question, they are commentary in disguise either naively in the mind of the questioner or to deliberately plant the thought into the readers mind. Everyone here is entitled to commentary in any form they prefer, however, I choose not to respond to every commentary no matter how it is couched. Yet, if I believe the poster is sincere in wanting to have a dialogue then I will address the premise of question of presumption as I did with a Igzy.

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Whether Titus Chu and Dong Yu Lan are apostles or not IS RELEVANT to our discussion, and you should straightforwardly answer the question.

This is not a trick question with "commentary in disguise."
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:25 AM   #28
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Whether Titus Chu and Dong Yu Lan are apostles or not IS RELEVANT to our discussion, and you should straightforwardly answer the question.

This is not a trick question with "commentary in disguise."
You are clouding the discussion yet again because it is part of your campaign against other Christians with whom you do not agree with.

How about this.... you provide an answer to your own question..., share your point of view about Titus Chu and Dong Yu Lan as apostles... or not. Then, if it relevant I will respond. If not, then you have made your point unhindered.

Please provide an answer to your own question. If you are unwilling to answer your own question, then you already have my response and the explanation as to why.

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Old 03-11-2018, 11:52 AM   #29
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Has anyone else been frustrated getting simple answers from brother Drake, or is it just me?
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:04 PM   #30
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Has anyone else been frustrated getting simple answers from brother Drake, or is it just me?
Me! Drake is very adept at the LC "dodge"--coming across as very reasonable while purposely evading. He knows what he's doing.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:46 PM   #31
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Has anyone else been frustrated getting simple answers from brother Drake, or is it just me?
Ohio,

I can help you out here.... free advice follows below.

It is not just you because there are many in here who use the same antics as you do.

Alleviate your frustration by engaging in a dialogue of mutual respect for a fellow poster and Christian (in this case moi). Start by stating your own position instead of trying to create a trap with gotcha questions that you yourself refuse to answer. Your refusal to answer your own question is a proof point that your intentions in asking them are impure.

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Old 03-11-2018, 02:02 PM   #32
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Me! Drake is very adept at the LC "dodge"--coming across as very reasonable while purposely evading. He knows what he's doing.
Koinonia

As I mentioned, Ohio is not the only one who uses those same questioning antics.

It’s like this..... Steel joins and attempts to answer all your questions and does so straightforwardly and comprehensively and he is too much for you.... Evangelical answers your questions in the most scholarly way and he is deceived by the Devil ..... Drake refuses to engage with some who use questioning antics because he recognizes it for the propaganda that it is.

I’ll advise you in the same way I advised Ohio.... state your position and if it relevant I will respond. Else, you can just assume that I interpreted such questions as commentary.

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Old 03-11-2018, 03:51 PM   #33
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You’re trying to give impression that I am avoiding questions, as if I am afraid to answer, ...
I think it's pretty clear you are dodging questions, Drake.

Now you might disagree, but it's not by any means the first time you've done it.

It's just another reason why the LCM is fringe. There are things about yourselves that you all are in denial about. It sticks out to those looking on, and your attempts to rationalize it away just make it worse.

I don't think that fact is lost on objective observers here.

Ohio doesn't give disinformation. He gives information. What's funny is you don't give much. If you hear something about the LCM you'd rather not hear you just say, "I don't know nuttin 'bout dat, so it must be a lie." And then act like it's not an issue.

That seems a lot like denial to me, acting like issues you don't want to face are not issues.

I know, I know. I wrong... But the evidence says otherwise. Ohio is not a liar.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:34 PM   #34
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Another characteristic of a true apostle is he is not shy about declaring his apostleship. Paul did it. Peter did it. Paul plainly acknowledged the 12 Apostles.
"Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." (1 Cor. 15:7-9)
Lee never boldly claimed he was an apostle. I was in a meeting once where he spoke. He told a story of a woman who approached him and asked, "Are you the apostle?" He said his response was to just laugh.

That wisdom seemed to have left him later on, as he saw the power advantage of people believing he had an apostle's commission. Even so, he still did not have the boldness to claim it. He just took advantage of the fact that some people believed it.

So, really, it seems silly to argue that Lee was an apostle if even he didn't claim it himself. If Lee wasn't bold enough to declare "I'm an apostle!" then why should we believe it?

Note also in the verses above that Paul again implies that a qualification for apostleship is "seeing Jesus." And also note that the argument could be made that Paul is implying he is the last apostle.
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:50 PM   #35
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Another characteristic of a true apostle is he is not shy about declaring his apostleship. Paul did it. Peter did it. Paul plainly acknowledged the 12 Apostles.
Yes, his claim to have been called to be an apostle to the Gentiles by the will of God is a cornerstone of his ministry.

How do you test an apostle?

2 Thessalonians 2:3 For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 4 but even as we have been approved of God to be intrusted with the gospel, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God who proveth our hearts. 5 For neither at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness; 6 nor seeking glory of men, neither from you nor from others, when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ.

You asked about Rev 2:2, how did they test the apostles. Here Paul says that God tests them. Their experiences put them through trials to see if they would use flattery, or a cloak for covetousness, seek glory of men, uncleanness, guile or "pleasing men".

Paul is referring to this to the Thessalonians that they did not see any of these things during his trials. Therefore I think it is a reasonable conclusion from this that uncleanness, guile, pleasing men, flattery, covetousness or seeking glory from men would all indicate someone who is not fit to be an apostle.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:58 AM   #36
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If you take the point that Igzy made about Apostles being very up front about their calling and apply this to Witness Lee then his claim to apostleship is completely wrapped up in "the ground of the church" doctrine.

If you take what Paul said in 2 Thessalonians then proving Witness Lee comes down to determining if "his exhortation [concerning the ground of the church] is of error, or of uncleanness or of guile".
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:45 AM   #37
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The psychology of the LCM is that Lee was a specially commissioned apostle with something approaching if not attaining direct revelation from God--revelation that effectively trumps the Bible. If you feel compelled to believe and defend everything Lee says about the Bible, then you no longer believe in the Bible, you believe in Lee.

LCMers will accept Lee's teaching and fight for it no matter what, even when the teaching is plainly tenuous and in conflict the vast majority of the Church. Why? Because he is "the apostle," and so beyond questioning. It's not about truth anymore, it's about him. The Bible means what he says it means. If he adds to the Bible (e.g. man becoming God) that's okay, too. It all begins and ends with Lee. That's the mindset of the LCM.

And that's why some of the otherwise reasonable people on this board can suddenly seem to go into denial and stonewalling. Because the bottom-line with them is not reason, but Lee.

It is easy to see how holding a human being in such high esteem can go terribly wrong. As I've said before, there is no fail-safe. There are no brakes on the bus. Once you believe about someone the way LCM believes about Lee, you are married to it as it is approaching and even after it goes over the cliff, all the time claiming you are doing the right thing.

That's not faith. That's true-believerism.
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:54 AM   #38
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I met with the LRC for 20 years (1978 to 1998) and this was not my experience. I never felt that his revelation "trumped the Bible", nor did I accept it because "he is the apostle".

If I disagreed with him over something (and there were things from 1978 on that I did disagree with) since they were not a matter of the faith I simply agreed to disagree.

I bought into the "ground of the church" doctrine because I was taught it when I had no foundation in the Bible. Within 10 years I had come to question this. But, most of the things that are brought up on this forum that are clearly in error I was completely unaware of or had no knowledge of the details.

Therefore, although this was your experience I know for a fact that it was not everyone's experience and I probably represent a significant percent of those who met with the LRC during this period.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:00 AM   #39
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Therefore, although this was your experience I know for a fact that it was not everyone's experience and I probably represent a significant percent of those who met with the LRC during this period.
This is probably why you were able to leave. There are many who cannot leave because of who they believe Lee was and what they believe their movement is.

Effectively to them Lee is the faith and the Recovery is the Church. To them, in essense, there is nothing genuine outside their walls, so leaving is not an option. That's how the LCM holds people there.

I have no doubt the Blendeds have this mindset.

I'm not saying they consciously think this way. Some may, but most probably don't. I'm saying that when you get right down to it, they defer to Lee, so the effect is the same.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:38 AM   #40
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I met with the LRC for 20 years (1978 to 1998) and this was not my experience. I never felt that his revelation "trumped the Bible", nor did I accept it because "he is the apostle".
Back in the 70's, during the "Jesus People Movement," there was much interest in the Lord, and many dynamic salvations, including my own, during this time of a genuine out-pouring of the Spirit. This joy and excitement provided much blessing for the fledgling LC's. Many were also attracted to Lee because of Nee's books. To be honest, Lee was a gifted minister and teacher.

Subtly, however, we became persuaded that the reason for this blessing was Lee himself and his unique teachings. There was a time when guests would come to their first meeting and proclaim, "God is surely among you," (I Cor 14.25) but that also happened in many other congregations at the time. Funny thing was that the more he promoted himself and his exclusive teachings, the more the blessing dried up, and dead doctrines took over. Over time the growing number of radical zealots in the Recovery promoting Lee displaced those who were here for the Lord alone and His people.

Apostle Paul had warned us that men would rise up from within speaking perverted things (Acts 20.30) to draw the disciples after themselves, but we were convinced that this could never happen to us. We were taught that following a man was just fine, as long as he led us to God. Problem was that the time when we were "led to God" became ancient history, and all that was left was "following a man." And that man demanded to be first among us, (3 John 9) just like Diotrephes of old. Lee and his ministry thus became the bond of a false oneness and the source of division in the LC's.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:45 AM   #41
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The psychology of the LCM is that Lee was a specially commissioned apostle with something approaching if not attaining direct revelation from God--revelation that effectively trumps the Bible. If you feel compelled to believe and defend everything Lee says about the Bible, then you no longer believe in the Bible, you believe in Lee.

LCMers will accept Lee's teaching and fight for it no matter what, even when the teaching is plainly tenuous and in conflict the vast majority of the Church. Why? Because he is "the apostle," and so beyond questioning. It's not about truth anymore, it's about him. The Bible means what he says it means. If he adds to the Bible (e.g. man becoming God) that's okay, too. It all begins and ends with Lee. That's the mindset of the LCM.

And that's why some of the otherwise reasonable people on this board can suddenly seem to go into denial and stonewalling. Because the bottom-line with them is not reason, but Lee.

It is easy to see how holding a human being in such high esteem can go terribly wrong. As I've said before, there is no fail-safe. There are no brakes on the bus. Once you believe about someone the way LCM believes about Lee, you are married to it as it is approaching and even after it goes over the cliff, all the time claiming you are doing the right thing.

That's not faith. That's true-believerism.
Great post. These are words of wisdom.

We used to laugh when Lee used the example of going off the cliff.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:23 AM   #42
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I think it's pretty clear you are dodging questions, Drake.
I haven't been active here for a while, but I've been reading a lot of what's being written here. There are 3 obvious trolls here, and I think Igzy has put it perfectly. I can't believe the amount of patience these 3 have been shown. It's obvious they are obfuscating, avoiding answers, and misleading. In short, trolling. They are the best example of what is possible in the LC. It wouldn't surprise me if they were sent to this forum to troll. After so many opportunities to answer direct questions, speak clearly and openly, it's evident they do not want to.
They are constant reminders of why my family and I left the LC.
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:33 AM   #43
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I agree on the trolling, (I'm definitely not in the LC anymore and DON'T agree with most of the teachings/practices) but, my family is in and I just want to point out- none of my family or friends still in the LC would say some of the things said to me and others by (for lack of a better word) "trolls" on here trying to defend the Lord's Recovery. It's kind of surprising actually to see their hypocrisy being in such a spiritually elite group as the Lord's Recovery! (sorry for the sarcasm!)

Perhaps this forum just appeals to an argumentative person that wants to "defend" the group. But, it's not fair to generalize and say that they "represent" the LC. Their attitudes towards other Christians are new to me! I've just been met with kind dismissals and invisible walls put up between myself and members in the LC. It's obvious that my family/friends are defensive when I've talked to them about it and I've learned that's part of the "phenomenon" of the cult mentality. I've been on their side too, so I feel a little grace towards the situation. Even if they can't see it for what it is right now, at least they're still kind and respectful (most of them) just as I've tried to be towards them. My problem is the system, not the members! I have nothing but love for anyone else but it's obvious some ppl of this forum just want to cause chaos- perhaps in their minds, "in the name of the Lord?" Ha! Whatever their justification and motive, the "trolls" aren't a representation of MOST members in the LC's, in my experience!
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:28 AM   #44
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My problem is the system, not the members! I have nothing but love for anyone else but it's obvious some ppl of this forum just want to cause chaos- perhaps in their minds, "in the name of the Lord?" Ha! Whatever their justification and motive, the "trolls" aren't a representation of MOST members in the LC's, in my experience!
You've expressed my feeling as well. My issue is practices in the system that does nothing to encourage accountability nor grace to those whose opinions is not in line with the church leadership.
My parents still meet with the locality I was raised in since age 11. Whenever my family and I visit my parents, we'll meet with the locality on LDM. Nothing but fondness and love for the brothers and sisters.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:47 AM   #45
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The LCM positions on the ground of the church and apostles are both designed to exercise control over people.
That tends to be how it is. In the LC you're more likely to see fear of man rather than fear of God. Of course it's termed in a pseudo-spiritual way "be one with the brothers".
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:16 PM   #46
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... none of my family or friends still in the LC would say some of the things said to me and others by (for lack of a better word) "trolls" on here trying to defend the Lord's Recovery. ...

But, it's not fair to generalize and say that they "represent" the LC. Their attitudes towards other Christians are new to me! ... My problem is the system, not the members! I have nothing but love for anyone else but it's obvious some ppl of this forum just want to cause chaos- perhaps in their minds, "in the name of the Lord?" Ha! Whatever their justification and motive, the "trolls" aren't a representation of MOST members in the LC's, in my experience!
I agree with you. I didn't know personally know people that would respond in the ways these have, but I have heard them and know there are not just a few. I don't think they represent the LC's individuals, not at all. But, as I said, they are an example of what is possible in the LC. Of course trolls are possible in any group, but certain systems lend themselves much more to such behavior. One of the ways is by actively hiding information. When I was still in the LC I went with some college students to the Christians on Campus meetings in order to go through what they were going to do on the campus that day. I have no doubt that most of the students I was with were there to preach the gospel and hopefully get some saved. However, we were told, "Don't talk about the link to the LC. " We were told to avoid it, not to offer any info that would connect Christians on Campus to the LC. This is the type of system where trolls are tolerated as long as they are trolling others...and we all know what the LC (of course not all of them) thinks of Christianity and its members.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:23 PM   #47
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It’s like this..... Steel joins and attempts to answer all your questions and does so straightforwardly and comprehensively and he is too much for you.... Evangelical answers your questions in the most scholarly way and he is deceived by the Devil ..... Drake refuses to engage with some who use questioning antics because he recognizes it for the propaganda that it is.
As Drake has so aptly put it, it is unfair to expect local church members to respond to questions which are obviously loaded or have some ulterior motive, only then to blame them for refusing to answer.

As we have seen already on this forum, every person with a complaint becomes a victim, and every small thing is evidence of the LC being a cult.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:53 PM   #48
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I agree with you. I didn't know personally know people that would respond in the ways these have, but I have heard them and know there are not just a few. I don't think they represent the LC's individuals, not at all. But, as I said, they are an example of what is possible in the LC. Of course trolls are possible in any group, but certain systems lend themselves much more to such behavior. One of the ways is by actively hiding information. When I was still in the LC I went with some college students to the Christians on Campus meetings in order to go through what they were going to do on the campus that day. I have no doubt that most of the students I was with were there to preach the gospel and hopefully get some saved. However, we were told, "Don't talk about the link to the LC. " We were told to avoid it, not to offer any info that would connect Christians on Campus to the LC. This is the type of system where trolls are tolerated as long as they are trolling others...and we all know what the LC (of course not all of them) thinks of Christianity and its members.
Yes, this is 100% true. I was told the same thing when I worked with Christians on campus. I just did it a few times but I was also taught about “inoculating” (saying WL’s name casually and mentioning that there were some lies about him on the internet, but they weren’t true). That way, the “contact” wouldn’t be as affected by what they read. I was a little surprised by it at the time because I didn’t know there was that much negative info online! Of course I never looked, for fear of “poisoning myself.” Ha! I just want to go back and shake myself sometimes!

But yes, as someone raised in it- I can say that they definitely do look down on Christianity. That was fallen, we were “recovering” it. No doubt at all-that is the attitude in teaching and practice.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:05 AM   #49
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As Drake has so aptly put it, it is unfair to expect local church members to respond to questions which are obviously loaded or have some ulterior motive, only then to blame them for refusing to answer.
Just because an honest answer to a question would not reflect well on the LCM does not make the question "loaded."
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:50 AM   #50
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As we have seen already on this forum, every person with a complaint becomes a victim, and every small thing is evidence of the LC being a cult.
Every complaint is not evidence of victimhood. But the culmination of complaints and tendencies points to a problem. Whether you want to categorize that problem as being a "cult," the word is simply shorthand for a group that shares many characteristics with the LCM, including:
  • Personality Driven / Leader or Founder is Best Source of Truth
  • Authoritarian Leadership
  • Lack of Leadership Accountability
  • Special Knowledge / Unique Revelation
  • Special Status / Elitism / Exclusivism
  • Isolationism / Suspicion of Non-members / Socialization Largely Limited to Group
  • Polarization / Persecution Complex / Siege Mentality / Us-vs-Them Mentality
  • End-Justifies-Means Mentality / Leaders and Group are Always Right
  • Group Think / Independent Thinking Discouraged / Fear of Disagreement
  • Fear of Being Dis-fellowshipped / Shunning
  • Appearance / Dress Standards
  • Opaque and/or Shady Finances
  • Group Consumes Members' Free Time
  • Leaving Group Considered Evil
These tendencies are not characteristic of the typical community church. But they are disturbingly characteristic of the LCM. This is not propaganda or bias, it is observable fact.

There is no doubt these characteristics describe the LCM. So you either have to say there is a big problem with the group, or the only other alternative is that God designed his best version of his people to look very much like a cult/abusive religious group.

So the question becomes, given that people are justifiably extremely wary of such groups, why would he do that?

My opinion is, he wouldn't. Therefore as far as I'm concerned the LCM cannot be what it claims to be.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:53 AM   #51
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As Drake has so aptly put it, it is unfair to expect local church members to respond to questions which are obviously loaded or have some ulterior motive, only then to blame them for refusing to answer.

As we have seen already on this forum, every person with a complaint becomes a victim, and every small thing is evidence of the LC being a cult.
This forum readily vets out those with legitimate "complaints." You have the freedom here to refute false accusations. Seeking the truth about one's own ministers should never be tagged an "ulterior motive." Our spiritual leaders must be above reproach, and must be held accountable.

For many, many years I defended Witness Lee against accusations of "modalism" and the like, willing to suffer the loss of my reputation on behalf of a "faithful servant of God." I would do the same for any minister wrongly accused.

Then I discovered W. Lee was not who he said he was. His business dealings were corrupt. He treated other ministers with contempt. He fabricated lies to protect and deflect from his own corrupt practices.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:37 AM   #52
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This forum readily vets out those with legitimate "complaints." You have the freedom here to refute false accusations. Seeking the truth about one's own ministers should never be tagged an "ulterior motive." Our spiritual leaders must be above reproach, and must be held accountable.
It's a lot easier to accuse someone of spreading "propaganda" or having "ulterior motives" than it is to simply answer their questions as honestly as you can.

If someone asks "Has the LCM stopped abusing members and former-members?" that is a loaded question.

But if someone asks "Has the LCM ever abused members or former members?" that is NOT a loaded question and it deserves an answer.

Failure to answer such questions honestly does not reflect well on the person asked nor on the LCM. Claiming such questions are loaded is just stonewalling.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:20 PM   #53
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Just because an honest answer to a question would not reflect well on the LCM does not make the question "loaded."
They are often questions not asked to fulfil a gap in knowledge, but in order to elicit negative information to be used against the ministry.
It is "loaded" because the answer is already decided in your mind based on assumption.. If an answer is given which reflects well on the ministry it is discounted, because your minds are already made up.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:46 PM   #54
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They are often questions not asked to fulfil a gap in knowledge, but in order to elicit negative information to be used against the ministry. It is "loaded" because the answer is already decided in your mind based on assumption.. If an answer is given which reflects well on the ministry it is discounted, because your minds are already made up.
I'm perfectly capable of recognizing positive things about the LCM and the LSM. I realize everything they do is not bad.

My point is and has always been that does not make up for nor excuse the abuses they've rendered. It does not make up for nor excuse their blatant attempt to control people by telling them their spiritual future will be threatened by not being loyal to the movement--anymore than a parent's material support makes up for the abuse of his children.

Everything I post is designed to bring that to light. If you are squeamish about answering questions honestly to try to avoid that light then I'd say I'm not the one with the closed mind.

As for "using information against the ministry," if facts reflect poorly on them that's their problem. My job is not to cover their rears. That seems to be your chosen mission in life.

As far as I'm concerned as long at they continue to try to control people with fear they don't deserve the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:27 PM   #55
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Yes, his claim to have been called to be an apostle to the Gentiles by the will of God is a cornerstone of his ministry. How do you test an apostle?
Some have said Paul gives a defense of his apostleship in 2 Cor 5:13-6:13, and if someone claims to be an apostle, their life should be compared to the things Paul says were true of his apostleship.

Compare this list Paul gives to your favorite apostle, and see how they fare.
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:35 AM   #56
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Some have said Paul gives a defense of his apostleship in 2 Cor 5:13-6:13, and if someone claims to be an apostle, their life should be compared to the things Paul says were true of his apostleship.

Compare this list Paul gives to your favorite apostle, and see how they fare.
Excellent, here it is:

13For whether we are beside ourselves, it is unto God; or whether we are of sober mind, it is unto you. 14For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15and he died for all, that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again.

1. Apostles do not Iive unto themselves but unto Him who for their sakes died and rose again.

16Wherefore we henceforth know no man after the flesh: even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more. 17Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

2. Apostles are a new creation, their old life according to the flesh has passed away.

18But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation; 19to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

3. Apostles have a ministry of reconciliation. Everything that happened in their life is of God and a testimony of God reconciling the world to Himself.

20We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God. 21Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.



1And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain 2(for he saith,
At an acceptable time I hearkened unto thee,
And in a day of salvation did I succor thee:
behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation):


4. Apostles are working together with God that the world might be saved.

3giving no occasion of stumbling in anything, that our ministration be not blamed; 4*but in everything commending ourselves, as ministers of God,

5. Apostles are very concerned that nothing they do would give an occasion of stumbling.

In all of these things they are commending themselves as ministers of God:

in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; 6in pureness, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in love unfeigned, 7in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

6. All of the biases, the middle walls of partition, the ways in which the believers wall themselves off from others, that is not of the Apostle’s fellowship but is something in their flesh.

11Our mouth is open unto you, O Corinthians, our heart is enlarged. 12Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own affections. 13Now for a recompense in like kind (I speak as unto my children), be ye also enlarged.
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:41 AM   #57
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Igzy>”Note also in the verses above that Paul again implies that a qualification for apostleship is "seeing Jesus." And also note that the argument could be made that Paul is implying he is the last apostle.”

Igzy,

Your argument that Paul was the last apostle has no scriptural basis

First, there were many apostles that came after Paul became an apostle as Evangelical also identified.

Furthermore, Paul did not insinuate he was the last, he said he was the least.

Lastly, there is no scriptural basis for your assertion that the Bible replaced the apostles.

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Old 03-18-2018, 02:35 PM   #58
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Lastly, there is no scriptural basis for your assertion that the Bible replaced the apostles.
There is also no scriptural basis that the New Testament is scripture.

Point: You are stretching your no scriptural basis argument to tenuous lengths.

Where is the scriptural basis for a subset group of the Church to tell its members that they should not leave that group?
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Old 03-18-2018, 02:56 PM   #59
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Fear is the enemy. And fear is one of the LCM's basic tools for controlling people. Don't let them control you. Put your foot down. Refuse to be intimidated.
And get the boot.
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Old 03-18-2018, 03:21 PM   #60
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Many protestants believe that the "bible replaced the apostles". Actually they are wrong because in history it was the Catholic bishopry which replaced the apostles. Nothing to do with the Bible. There is no Bible verse which says "the bishops of the Catholic church will now replace the apostles". This idea continued with the Lutheran and Anglican churches, unchallenged. Those bishops eventually became pastors or senior pastors in Protestant evangelicalism, unchallenged. This idea of bishopry replacing apostles has never really changed since the Catholics started it. Today the idea is that "pastors replaced the apostles". Pastors function in more or less the same way as Catholic bishops.

Today the function which most closely resembles the work that Paul and other early apostles did is the missionaries. Missionaries go to unreached places, preach the gospel, sometimes with signs and wonders, and plant and build churches. Today the word missionary is used to describe a person who probably would have been called an apostle in the Bible times. No one would call a missionary an apostle today because pastors who replaced apostles in the church believe "apostles don't exist anymore". Bishops, priests or pastors replaced apostles in the church. Missionaries replaced apostles in the field. But clearly the function and need for apostles remains.

It depends on whether we believe the Catholic bishops should have replaced the apostles or not. If the Catholics were right and the bishops replaced the apostles, then every denomination which is headed by a senior pastor is right. If the work of an apostle is still needed today, then to presume that apostles don't exist anymore or that God replaced them with anything or did away with them is very shortsighted and missing the bigger picture of God's plan. To say that we don't need or have apostles today is to also say that we don't need evangelism, miracles, planting churches etc.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:49 PM   #61
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There is also no scriptural basis that the New Testament is scripture.

Point: You are stretching your no scriptural basis argument to tenuous lengths.

Where is the scriptural basis for a subset group of the Church to tell its members that they should not leave that group?
Igzy

Using that logic anybody could say anything and then cite some irrelevant points to justify an unscriptural viewpoint.

Of course you are entitled to hold those views but it should be clear that they are not according to scripture.

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Old 03-18-2018, 05:33 PM   #62
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Igzy>”Note also in the verses above that Paul again implies that a qualification for apostleship is "seeing Jesus." And also note that the argument could be made that Paul is implying he is the last apostle.”

Igzy,

Your argument that Paul was the last apostle has no scriptural basis

First, there were many apostles that came after Paul became an apostle as Evangelical also identified.

Furthermore, Paul did not insinuate he was the last, he said he was the least.
I agree with you based on my understanding of apostle, but not based on Igzy's definition that the apostle's were the ones with the authority to write scripture. Paul said he was called to "complete the word". Peter said that Paul's writings were scripture. Therefore I would argue that there is a scriptural basis to say that the NT is complete.

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Lastly, there is no scriptural basis for your assertion that the Bible replaced the apostles.

Drake
I also agree with this. However, I would also agree with Igzy that there is a scriptural basis to say that there are no apostles henceforth with the authority to add to or to take away from the NT. That is essentially given to us in the conclusion of the NT in the book of Revelation.
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:50 PM   #63
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Paul provides to the Corinthians the signs of an apostle :

2Co 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:49 PM   #64
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I agree with you based on my understanding of apostle, but not based on Igzy's definition that the apostle's were the ones with the authority to write scripture. Paul said he was called to "complete the word". Peter said that Paul's writings were scripture. Therefore I would argue that there is a scriptural basis to say that the NT is complete.
I also agree with this. However, I would also agree with Igzy that there is a scriptural basis to say that there are no apostles henceforth with the authority to add to or to take away from the NT. That is essentially given to us in the conclusion of the NT in the book of Revelation.
The NT is complete. Nevertheless, there were many apostles in the NT that did not write letters to be included in the NT, and they were apostles nonetheless.

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Old 03-18-2018, 06:52 PM   #65
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Paul provides to the Corinthians the signs of an apostle :

2Co 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
Paul referred to that as foolishness.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:05 PM   #66
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Paul referred to that as foolishness.
Foolishness or not, Paul still complied, and proved his empowerment.

Lee didn't, most likely because he couldn't.

Either way, case closed as far as I'm concerned.

Jesus proved his empowerment with miracles. So did Peter and Paul. Lee didn't.

So let's break it up and go home. There is nothing you can say that's going to convince me that Lee or any other Johnny-Come-Lately with a fringe sycophantic following is an apostle either, short of miracles.

Personally I think it's foolishness that anyone would NOT ask Lee to prove his apostleship, given his track record.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:07 PM   #67
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Your argument that Paul was the last apostle has no scriptural basis
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There is also no scriptural basis that the New Testament is scripture.
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Many protestants believe that the "bible replaced the apostles".
Apostle Paul in Eph. 2.20 tells us that "the household of God, the church, is being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets." This clearly identifies an accomplished foundation work of God's house. For two millennia the church has readily identified certain initial apostles as both patterns for the church and writers of New Testament scripture. Yes they were "sent ones," but more than that, they were literally Ambassadors for Jesus Christ Himself. Unfortunately today, of these original 12 ambassadors plus Paul, we really only have the writings and work of Peter, John, and Paul.

On the other hand Paul also told us in Eph 4.11 "that He gave some apostles ..." clearly informing us that the Head of the body will continue to give gifts for building up. Church history is filled with gifted men, including genuine apostles, who did not lay another foundation, but built well on the original apostles. Their anointed ministries made alive what we know as scripture. In this regard, I agree with the statement, if properly understood, that "the New Testament has replaced the apostles," not the apostles acc. to 4.11, but the apostles acc. to 2.20.

How can we not make a distinction? Does anyone really believe that "Andronicus and Junia notable among the apostles, and in Christ before Paul," (Rom. 16.7) should be measured by the same standards? And this highlights the difficulty we face on this forum. How do we measure Witness Lee? What are the N.T. standards by which the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers are measured?

In the US, WL did not do the work of a missionary apostle bringing the gospel to new lands. Some have testified that he left Taiwan under questionable financial impropriety. He began working here after a period of sincere repentance. Personally I think WL was a gifted teacher who failed in many regards.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:11 PM   #68
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The NT is complete. Nevertheless, there were many apostles in the NT that did not write letters to be included in the NT, and they were apostles nonetheless.

Drake
Yes, I agree with that. However, if a "so called" apostle were to try and add something to the NT or take away something from the NT they would be exposed as a fraud. Therefore, although the NT has not "replaced" the apostles it does represent a higher authority than modern day apostles.

I like the picture that Paul paints, he laid the foundation, others are building on that foundation. They cannot lay another foundation, nor can they build on another foundation.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:20 PM   #69
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Igzy>^So let's break it up and go home. There is nothing you can say that's going to convince me that Lee or any other Johnny-Come-Lately with a fringe sycophantic following is an apostle either, short of miracles.”

I never expected to convince you Igzy. You should feel free to disengage anytime you like.

Thanks
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:21 PM   #70
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Foolishness or not, Paul still complied, and proved his empowerment.

Lee didn't, most likely because he couldn't.

Either way, case closed as far as I'm concerned.

Jesus proved his empowerment with miracles. So did Peter and Paul. Lee didn't.

So let's break it up and go home. There is nothing you can say that's going to convince me that Lee or any other Johnny-Come-Lately with a fringe sycophantic following is an apostle either, short of miracles.

Personally I think it's foolishness that anyone would NOT ask Lee to prove his apostleship, given his track record.
I hope that we can all agree to disagree. I don't think it is useful to use 20/20 hindsight to conclude that WL was not an apostle.

Instead I would argue that Balaam was a real apostle and Judas was a real apostle. The common flaw of Judas and Balaam was that they loved money more than the Lord. (As far as WL is concerned my evidence is circumstantial and I don't think it is profitable for me to judge nor do I think it is my place). I think all apostles, like Peter, had to deal with this and to decide which they loved more, 153 fish, or the Lord Jesus.

I agree with Drake that depending on miracles is a very dangerous and slippery slope. You could easily end up being the Pharisees assuring the rest of us that "nothing good can come out of Nazareth". Just because the miracles are a sign doesn't mean they are a flashing neon sign that everyone will see.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:32 PM   #71
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I agree with Drake that depending on miracles is a very dangerous and slippery slope. You could easily end up being the Pharisees assuring the rest of us that "nothing good can come out of Nazareth". Just because the miracles are a sign doesn't mean they are a flashing neon sign that everyone will see.
Please tell me why it is so important to recognize a person as an apostle with scant proof? What is the upside? What is the downside? Look at the damage done in Church history by goofballs claiming apostleship.

Sorry, but I think expecting the latter days to conform to the pattern of the first century is an example of what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the "foolish consistency" which is the "hobgoblin of small minds."

There is a reason, and a good one, that the Church-at-large has not recognized one single apostle for over 1800 years.

Sure, if you want to believe there are still apostles, go for it. But that is a fringe belief--and rightfully and thankfully so, IMHO.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:35 PM   #72
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Ohio>”How can we not make a distinction? Does anyone really believe that "Andronicus and Junia notable among the apostles, and in Christ before Paul," (Rom. 16.7) should be measured by the same standards? And this highlights the difficulty we face on this forum. How do we measure Witness Lee? What are the N.T. standards by which the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers are measured?”

Ohio,

I agree with much of what you said. My point is that denying that those NT apostles even exist is contradicted by Pauls own commendation of them. All the gifts you listed are for the building up of the Body of Christ and there is no compelling evidence that Paul was the last apostle.

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Old 03-18-2018, 07:39 PM   #73
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Yes, I agree with that. However, if a "so called" apostle were to try and add something to the NT or take away something from the NT they would be exposed as a fraud. Therefore, although the NT has not "replaced" the apostles it does represent a higher authority than modern day apostles.

I like the picture that Paul paints, he laid the foundation, others are building on that foundation. They cannot lay another foundation, nor can they build on another foundation.
Yep. I agree with that ZNP.

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Old 03-18-2018, 07:46 PM   #74
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Ohio>”How can we not make a distinction? Does anyone really believe that "Andronicus and Junia notable among the apostles, and in Christ before Paul," (Rom. 16.7) should be measured by the same standards? And this highlights the difficulty we face on this forum. How do we measure Witness Lee? What are the N.T. standards by which the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers are measured?”

Ohio,

I agree with much of what you said. My point is that denying that those NT apostles even exist is contradicted by Pauls own commendation of them. All the gifts you listed are for the building up of the Body of Christ and there is no compelling evidence that Paul was the last apostle.

Drake
Okay, fair enough. I won't argue that Paul was the last apostle. But he did say that Jesus appeared lastly to him. There was a reason he said that, and I don't think it had anything to do with him being "least." I think it was about that set of men being somehing special apart from any that came after them. They had "seen Jesus." Paul more than once pointed to this as a credential. He wasn't just bragging, it was something significant and important about him and a few others.

So I don't think we can necessarily confer to someone we want to call a current day "apostle" the same power and authority Paul and those few others had. Certainly I think we all agree that no one can add to scripture. So the question becomes, what is the extend of authority of apostles.

I simply do not believe that God confers the kind of authority that allows a person, apostle or not, to go into a church and start ordering the leadership around. You don't have to be a genuis to see the kinds of problems that can cause. Thinking latter day "apostles" have that kind of authority is a recipe for disaster as far as I can tell.

I just don't see the point of looking to recognize "apostles," other than to empower someone (Lee? Blendeds?) with carte blanche authority. I think the only reason the LCM defends apostleship is to defend Lee's authority. They certainly aren't interested in any apostles not in their movement.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:46 PM   #75
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The NT is complete. Nevertheless, there were many apostles in the NT that did not write letters to be included in the NT, and they were apostles nonetheless.
Actually bro Drake we don't hear from most of the apostles. Acts says John and Peter were illiterate, so maybe most of the apostles, not coming from the upper elite, couldn't write. We don't know. The scriptures we do have don't say.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:48 PM   #76
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Paul referred to that as foolishness.
How so? Can I burden you to explain?
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:57 PM   #77
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Ohio>”How can we not make a distinction? Does anyone really believe that "Andronicus and Junia notable among the apostles, and in Christ before Paul," (Rom. 16.7) should be measured by the same standards? And this highlights the difficulty we face on this forum. How do we measure Witness Lee? What are the N.T. standards by which the apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers are measured?”

Ohio,

I agree with much of what you said. My point is that denying that those NT apostles even exist is contradicted by Pauls own commendation of them. All the gifts you listed are for the building up of the Body of Christ and there is no compelling evidence that Paul was the last apostle.

Drake
I said Paul was the last of the original ambassadors of Christ, the last of the apostles who laid the foundation of God's house, and among the foundational apostles who wrote the New Testament.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:59 PM   #78
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Actually bro Drake we don't hear from most of the apostles. Acts says John and Peter were illiterate, so maybe most of the apostles, not coming from the upper elite, couldn't write. We don't know. The scriptures we do have don't say.
Bible never said they were illiterate. Go study the Greek words.
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:52 PM   #79
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Bible never said they were illiterate. Go study the Greek words.
Strong's Acts 4:13 :
ἀγράμματος
agrammatos
ag-ram-mat-os
From G1 (as negative particle) and G1121; unlettered, that is, illiterate: - unlearned.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:50 AM   #80
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Please tell me why it is so important to recognize a person as an apostle with scant proof? What is the upside? What is the downside? Look at the damage done in Church history by goofballs claiming apostleship.
It isn't important. However, I see disproving the claim of apostleship as the flip side of the same coin. If it is extremely difficult to confirm an apostle then it is equally difficult to disprove it. Hence you are dragged into the mud of an argument that is not central.

The central argument that I see from the NT is this:

1. Do they keep the fellowship of the apostles?

second --

There is a very strong prohibition in the NT "above all" other prohibitions, to not pledge an oath of loyalty to any man.

Therefore warning against elevating a man's writing to the level of scripture, John's warning to not add or subtract from scripture, and James warning above all to not pledge an oath of loyalty to anyone. These are the things I think are important.

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Sorry, but I think expecting the latter days to conform to the pattern of the first century is an example of what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the "foolish consistency" which is the "hobgoblin of small minds."
Yes, I agree with you. That is why I have pointed out that Paul's calling was to "complete the word of God" and that Peter claimed that Paul's writing was "scripture". No modern day apostle can claim that their writing is scripture. Therefore they must all be aligned to the NT.

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There is a reason, and a good one, that the Church-at-large has not recognized one single apostle for over 1800 years.

Sure, if you want to believe there are still apostles, go for it. But that is a fringe belief--and rightfully and thankfully so, IMHO.
If you define an apostle as "a sent one" from the Lord then there are obviously still apostles to this day. If you define apostle as one of the gifts that are perfecting the saints and that saints may not be "gifted" as evangelists, prophets, or apostles they can still function in that way, then obviously there are still apostles today.

If the NT record was as simple as you make it "no apostles after the first century" then there would be no need for the church in Ephesus to examine them, simply "are they on the approved list, yes or no?" There would also be no need for Paul to give the extensive description of the proofs of his apostleship, none of which were that he was "on the accepted list". If you accept the function of apostles to go out and establish churches then obviously we have had many apostles since the first century.

Therefore I do not find scriptural support for your position, other than to say that no one can claim to write scripture.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:53 AM   #81
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Strong's Acts 4:13 :
ἀγράμματος
agrammatos
ag-ram-mat-os
From G1 (as negative particle) and G1121; unlettered, that is, illiterate: - unlearned.
From where I come from "unlettered" and "illiterate" are two different things. Unlettered refers to someone who did not attend higher education whereas illiterate refers to someone who can't read (i.e. elementary education).
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:55 AM   #82
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Okay, fair enough. I won't argue that Paul was the last apostle. But he did say that Jesus appeared lastly to him. There was a reason he said that, and I don't think it had anything to do with him being "least." I think it was about that set of men being somehing special apart from any that came after them. They had "seen Jesus." Paul more than once pointed to this as a credential. He wasn't just bragging, it was something significant and important about him and a few others.
Yes, I agree that this statement of Paul's makes a very strong inference that these initial apostles who had seen Jesus in the flesh were distinct from those that follow.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:56 AM   #83
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I said Paul was the last of the original ambassadors of Christ, the last of the apostles who laid the foundation of God's house, and among the foundational apostles who wrote the New Testament.
I think that is an excellent distinction. We have "foundational apostles" based on Paul's words, and we have those that will build on this foundation that has been laid.
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Old 03-19-2018, 06:12 AM   #84
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How so? Can I burden you to explain?
Hi brother awareness,

When this thread was created it did not include the entire discussion from the other thread.

Here is the link to my explanation in the other thread for this related subtopic.


http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...&postcount=334

If after reading my post you want to comment or discuss, I suggest bringing the conversation here, to this thread, in order to preserve the moderators preference for creating this thread.

Thanks
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Old 03-19-2018, 06:33 AM   #85
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I just don't see the point of looking to recognize "apostles," other than to empower someone (Lee? Blendeds?) with carte blanche authority. I think the only reason the LCM defends apostleship is to defend Lee's authority. They certainly aren't interested in any apostles not in their movement.
Hi Igzy,

V13 in Ephesians 4 explains why the gifts given by the Lord himself are still relevant today.

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:


Drake
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:00 AM   #86
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If the NT record was as simple as you make it "no apostles after the first century" then there would be no need for the church in Ephesus to examine them, simply "are they on the approved list, yes or no?" There would also be no need for Paul to give the extensive description of the proofs of his apostleship, none of which were that he was "on the accepted list". If you accept the function of apostles to go out and establish churches then obviously we have had many apostles since the first century.
The first century early church did not have a ready compilation of approved books forming the N.T. The churches regularly were forced to determine which apostles and which writings should be received as part of the "teaching and fellowship of the apostles." (Acts 2.42) We see this battle over legitimacy throughout Paul's writings. The burden Paul faced was extraordinary since he both opposed "the way," and he was not including with the Twelve. John wrote that Ephesus was commended for trying the apostles, showing us how trying their churchlife had become.

Eventually the early church was forced to decide which writings were to be received into the canon, rejecting all others. This, in effect, closed the door to modern day so-called "apostles" who attempted to add their own writings to the canon. Think about how absurd it would be today for some gifted teacher or minister to elevate himself to the status of Apostle Paul, declare his own writings the "interpreted word," and begin to discredit certain "undesirable" books of scripture like the book of James or some of the Psalms. No one would receive such a preacher.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:15 AM   #87
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Hi Igzy,

V13 in Ephesians 4 explains why the gifts given by the Lord himself are still relevant today.

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:


Drake
Today in the Recovery we have those who love to uplift Lee to the status of MOTA, "acting God," or "today's Paul," yet there seems to be no other genuine gifts given to the Recovery. Where are the apostles? Where are the prophets? Where are the evangelists? Where are the pastors? Where are the teachers?

The more they have worked for 40+ years to elevate their glorious leader, the less they have the real gifts from the Head to His body. The Recovery view of the "measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" is one minister exalted at the top -- the MOTA -- and all the other members flat as a pancake.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:20 AM   #88
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The first century early church did not have a ready compilation of approved books forming the N.T. The churches regularly were forced to determine which apostles and which writings should be received as part of the "teaching and fellowship of the apostles." (Acts 2.42) We see this battle over legitimacy throughout Paul's writings. The burden Paul faced was extraordinary since he both opposed "the way," and he was not including with the Twelve. John wrote that Ephesus was commended for trying the apostles, showing us how trying their churchlife had become.
Sorry for being so brief as to be unclear. In this discussion it began with Igzy asking a question of Drake to explain how, like the church in Ephesus, we can examine and determine if an apostle is true or false. That question would have been unnecessary if only first century apostles were apostles.

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Eventually the early church was forced to decide which writings were to be received into the canon, rejecting all others. This, in effect, closed the door to modern day so-called "apostles" who attempted to add their own writings to the canon. Think about how absurd it would be today for some gifted teacher or minister to elevate himself to the status of Apostle Paul, declare his own writings the "interpreted word," and begin to discredit certain "undesirable" books of scripture like the book of James or some of the Psalms. No one would receive such a preacher.
No one? Really? You have a lot more faith in your fellow man than I do. Perhaps my experience in the LRC has made me less trusting.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:24 AM   #89
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I said Paul was the last of the original ambassadors of Christ, the last of the apostles who laid the foundation of God's house, and among the foundational apostles who wrote the New Testament.
Ohio,

Yes you did.

You listed 3, Peter, John, Paul, of the foundational 12+1 who authored books in the New Testament.

How about those who authored books in the NT who were not of the foundational 12+1?

Matthew, Mark, Luke, author of Hebrews, James, Jude.

That would be twice as many authors nonfoundational as foundational and yet I'm sure we would agree that their accounts and letters are foundational .

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Old 03-19-2018, 07:27 AM   #90
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Hi Igzy,
V13 in Ephesians 4 explains why the gifts given by the Lord himself are still relevant today.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
First, the fact that he gave apostles for the building of the Body and that the Body is not yet completely built is no proof that he is continuing to give apostles.

It also says that he gave prophets. Although it's hard to discern apostles (unless you agree that they should be empowered), it's relatively easy to discern prophets. If their prophecies consistently come true, they are likely prophets. So who have been the prophets in the last 1800 years? If the Lord has been continuing to give apostles, why hasn't he been continuing to give prophets? If he has, name one.

I'm afraid your argument falls flat there.

Second, we have no clear agree-upon, scriptural way to to discern apostles (again, unless you agree that they should be empowered). If we did, there would have been much more agreement down through the centuries on who were apostles. In fact, as far as I know, the Church has not had anything approaching consensus since the 1st century on one single "apostle."

I'm sorry, Drake. But the fact is your view only produces a situation were a tiny group agrees someone is an apostle, and looks down their noses at those who don't, and let's his legacy of "apostleship" run roughshod over a lot of God's people.

You have no system for viably convincing those who are skeptical about Lee that he is an apostle. The only thing left to do is convince yourself that you and your little group alone have the purity of heart to see the "truth." You alone are the chosen ones, the remnant, the Recovery, and all those other characteristics for which the best adjective is "cultic."
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:37 AM   #91
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Hi brother awareness, When this thread was created it did not include the entire discussion from the other thread.
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...&postcount=334
If after reading my post you want to comment or discuss, I suggest bringing the conversation here, to this thread, in order to preserve the moderators preference for creating this thread.
I have moved the referenced post by Drake (and the one referenced in Drake's post which was posted by Igzy) to this thread. Actually, these two posts are now the opening posts on the thread.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:46 AM   #92
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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.)
The problem with conferring apostleship without those proofs is that it potentially puts far too much power in the hands of unqualified people.
Can you explain how the claim to being an apostle puts power in someone's hands?

I understand that Peter and Paul exhibited power, but it wasn't a result of their claim to being apostles. I also understand that if some small splinter group is affected by a personality cult they could give power to someone claiming to be an apostle, but again, the error there is in giving this man power, something that is prohibited in the NT.

If someone claims to be an evangelist it may or may not be true, but I don't see how that claim gives them power. Likewise with a prophet, teacher, etc.

It seems to my understanding of your position that you aren't really bothered by the idea that we have different gifted members for the perfecting of the saints, but rather that someone wields undo power and influence. I agree with the concern over undo power and influence but think the claim to being an apostle is merely an expression of deceit.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:56 AM   #93
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Sorry for being so brief as to be unclear. In this discussion it began with Igzy asking a question of Drake to explain how, like the church in Ephesus, we can examine and determine if an apostle is true or false. That question would have been unnecessary if only first century apostles were apostles.
I understand. It's too bad we don't know what criteria Ephesus used.

We have discussed signs and wonders, seeing Jesus, etc. which have not arrived at a consensus. Looking at Ephesus, I saw a distinction between "foundational" apostles (2.20) and "building" apostles (4.11-12)

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No one? Really? You have a lot more faith in your fellow man than I do. Perhaps my experience in the LRC has made me less trusting.
I was being a little sardonic.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:06 AM   #94
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If the NT record was as simple as you make it "no apostles after the first century" then there would be no need for the church in Ephesus to examine them, simply "are they on the approved list, yes or no?" There would also be no need for Paul to give the extensive description of the proofs of his apostleship, none of which were that he was "on the accepted list". If you accept the function of apostles to go out and establish churches then obviously we have had many apostles since the first century.

Therefore I do not find scriptural support for your position, other than to say that no one can claim to write scripture.
The record of the church in Ephesus was in the first century. Revelation was written around 90AD. Also, John was still alive. That was my point, there were no more apostles after the first generation, which ended roughly after the first century.

As I've said before, I did not say there were no Apostles but the 12 and Paul. I said the evidence is that every Apostle had a close association with Jesus or with someone who did. There is no evidence of an Apostle popping up and no being approved by the original Apostles. Peter and James approved Paul. It seems those other mentioned of Apostles in the NT are people Paul or some other original Apostle confirmed.

There is no way to confirm an Apostle without empowerment or the confirmation of know Apostles. Saying "oh he raised up churches" is not enough to confer to anyone (especially Lee) the kind of authority Lee presumed to have.

Also, I think the results of such unconfirmed succession speak for themselves. This board would not be here if they had been otherwise.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:13 AM   #95
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Igzy>"First, the fact that he gave apostles for the building of the Body and that the Body is not yet completely built is no proof that he is continuing to give apostles. "

V13 starts with the word "until".... meaning up to the events mentioned in v13.

The gifts mentioned in v11 are given to perfect the saints in v12 to do the building up of the Body until the items in v13 are completed.

The goals are v13, the procedure is v12, and the enablers are in v11.

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Old 03-19-2018, 08:15 AM   #96
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Ohio,

Yes you did.

You listed 3, Peter, John, Paul, of the foundational 12+1 who authored books in the New Testament.

How about those who authored books in the NT who were not of the foundational 12+1?

Matthew, Mark, Luke, author of Hebrews, James, Jude.

That would be twice as many authors nonfoundational as foundational and yet I'm sure we would agree that their accounts and letters are foundational .

Drake
This is my understanding:
Matthew (Levi) was one of the 12.
Mark was with the 12, and gave us Peter's Gospel. Mark was a connecting link between Peter and Paul.
Luke was with Paul for many years, almost exclusively. (2 Tm 4.11)
Hebrews was authored by Paul, and written by Luke. (My conclusion)
James and Jude, brothers of the Lord, "saw Jesus" and believed following the resurrection.
Had Stephen, Barnabas, Timothy or Titus written accounts, probably the early church would have received those as well.

Initially the books of Hebrews, 2 Peter, James, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation were not readily included in the NT canon, until church fathers gathered to gather all the evidences.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:18 AM   #97
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Can you explain how the claim to being an apostle puts power in someone's hands?
Good grief, I thought I made this clear a long time ago! This is all about avoiding the abuse of presumed authority.

According to the LCM, apostles have the authority to command multiple churches. We all know that the LCM believed Lee had the authority to command every church on earth, probably including all the non-LCM groups as well.

Now my question is, would the Lord give that much power to on individual without giving the Church a sure-fire way to confirm that person's apostleship? I say no.

The LCM confers it to Lee because they want to be under his authority. Well, I'm not so eager for that myself, so I want more confirmation.

I fail to see why this point is so hard to understand.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:20 AM   #98
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Igzy>"Also, I think the results of such unconfirmed succession speak for themselves. "

Ephesians 4 does not describe succession. ... that is a Catholic concept.

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Old 03-19-2018, 08:22 AM   #99
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I said the evidence is that every Apostle had a close association with Jesus or with someone who did. There is no evidence of an Apostle popping up and no being approved by the original Apostles. Peter and James approved Paul. It seems those other mentioned of Apostles in the NT are people Paul or some other original Apostle confirmed.
I definitely agree with this.

I would consider these the "foundational" apostles and prophets which Paul referred to in Eph. 2.19-20.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:25 AM   #100
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Igzy>"Also, I think the results of such unconfirmed succession speak for themselves. "

Ephesians 4 does not describe succession. ... that is a Catholic concept.

Drake
Drake it's hard to respect your ideas when you can't even provide proper quotation for Igzy's words.

If "succession" is a Catholic concept, how do you explain Lee succeeding Nee and the Blendeds succeeding Lee?

This kind of blasts LSM's MOTA genealogy and mythology out of the water.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:30 AM   #101
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Igzy>"First, the fact that he gave apostles for the building of the Body and that the Body is not yet completely built is no proof that he is continuing to give apostles. "

V13 starts with the word "until".... meaning up to the events mentioned in v13.

The gifts mentioned in v11 are given to perfect the saints in v12 to do the building up of the Body until the items in v13 are completed.

The goals are v13, the procedure is v12, and the enablers are in v11.

Drake
If if said "he gives" instead of "he gave" you might have a point. But there is no proof in this verse that he is continuing to give apostles. The baseline of "gave" is only past tense.

We know he has continued to give evangelists, shepherds and teachers, their presence has been and is undeniably manifest. There has been little evidence of apostles and prophets.

As I've said, the Church has not recognized any Apostles since John died. Even under the unlikely possibility that Lee was an apostle, the fact that you and your fringe groups believes it is nothing confirmation. Believe what you want, but it's unreasonable for you to expect anyone else to.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:31 AM   #102
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Can you explain how the claim to being an apostle puts power in someone's hands?
This is a twisting. It's backwards.

It is God who provides evidences.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:32 AM   #103
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This is my understanding:
Matthew (Levi) was one of the 12.
Mark was with the 12, and gave us Peter's Gospel. Mark was a connecting link between Peter and Paul.
Luke was with Paul for many years, almost exclusively. (2 Tm 4.11)
Hebrews was authored by Paul, and written by Luke. (My conclusion)
James and Jude, brothers of the Lord, "saw Jesus" and believed following the resurrection.
Had Stephen, Barnabas, Timothy or Titus written accounts, probably the early church would have received those as well.

Initially the books of Hebrews, 2 Peter, James, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation were not readily included in the NT canon, until church fathers gathered to gather all the evidences.
Ok. We could debate authorship in another thread. But no need for this thread bacause it is clear that the NT is not made up exclusively of the 12+Paul. Also, that leaves 8 of the 12 who did not contribute to the NT canon. Therefore, the correlation between apostles and authors of the NT is not established. Like the giving of gifts to the Body so also is the NT scripture given to us, it is the Holy Spirit that compels.

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Old 03-19-2018, 08:37 AM   #104
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If you define an apostle as "a sent one" from the Lord then there are obviously still apostles to this day. If you define apostle as one of the gifts that are perfecting the saints and that saints may not be "gifted" as evangelists, prophets, or apostles they can still function in that way, then obviously there are still apostles today.
My dog in this fight is that I was booted over this very matter of Lee being the one and only apostle on the earth.

And bro ZNP you point out that apostle means sent one. So my question is, was Lee a sent one of the Lord?

Other than that all this squabbling over details and qualifications don't matter a hang to me. If Lee got there, how is just the booster rocket.

To put it bluntly : Was Lee the apostle on the earth?
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:38 AM   #105
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Ok. We could debate authorship in another thread. But no need for this thread because it is clear that the NT is not made up exclusively of the 12+Paul. Also, that leaves 8 of the 12 who did not contribute to the NT canon. Therefore, the correlation between apostles and authors of the NT is not established. Like the giving of gifts to the Body so also is the NT scripture given to us, it is the Holy Spirit that compels.

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How do we separate apostleship from the authority to write scripture?

How do we separate the accepted canon of the early church from the compelling of the Spirit?
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:39 AM   #106
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Drake it's hard to respect your ideas when you can't even provide proper quotation for Igzy's words..
Well ok.

Igzy, what did you mean by succession?

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Old 03-19-2018, 08:41 AM   #107
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Igzy>"Also, I think the results of such unconfirmed succession speak for themselves. "

Ephesians 4 does not describe succession. ... that is a Catholic concept.

Drake
The word succession can be used for something other than a Catholic concept. It's pretty clear that in the first century to be an Apostle you had to know and be confirmed by another Apostle. There are no free-lancers or Johnny-Come-Latelys.

Why would the Lord not give the Church a way to easily confirm Apostles?

The answer is, either he did and Lee does not measure up, or he didn't.

I believe he did, and Lee does not measure up.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:46 AM   #108
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How do we separate apostleship from the authority to write scripture?

How do we separate the accepted canon of the early church from the compelling of the Spirit?
On the first, the argument was not about apostles writing the NT, but whether that was an exclusive function to the 12+Paul.

On the second, there is no debate among main stream evangelical or fundamental. ., only Catholics would include other writings. We can agree the NT is complete.

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Old 03-19-2018, 08:50 AM   #109
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Hi brother awareness, When this thread was created it did not include the entire discussion from the other thread.
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...&postcount=334
If after reading my post you want to comment or discuss, I suggest bringing the conversation here, to this thread, in order to preserve the moderators preference for creating this thread.
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I have moved the referenced post by Drake (and the one referenced in Drake's post which was posted by Igzy) to this thread. Actually, these two posts are now the opening posts on the thread.
-
I'm so lost I'm now ashamed to even comment on this thread. I'm sorry bro Drake if I've been off base.

Thanks for telling me, and sharing the link to original thread, if it is that. I'll try to catch up before I open my mouth again.

I don't know why this concerns me so much. I'm way over Lee being anything but a self made Bible teacher. I guess it's because I was booted out over this very matter. But that turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. Still, it obviously hits a nerve.

Thanks again bro Drake. I think bro Untohim has made that link null and void.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:56 AM   #110
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On the first, the argument was not about apostles writing the NT, but whether that was an exclusive function to the 12+Paul.

On the second, there is no debate among main stream evangelical or fundamental. ., only Catholics would include other writings. We can agree the NT is complete.

Drake
The Lord himself confirmed that after Revelation there was to be no more direct revelation (Rev 22:18). This basically coincided with the end of the life of the last of the original Apostles, John.

I believe it is no coincidence that after that time the Church recognized no believer as an Apostle.

Seems pretty clear that if you were a first century Apostle, you could potentially write Scripture. No more new Scripture, no need of any new apostles. Do we need teachers, shepherds, church planters? Yes. But we don't need apostles in the sense of the original ones. Their mission has been completed and their special authority no longer exists. If would be unreasonable and irresponsible for the Church to think otherwise. There is a reason only fringe groups like the LCM have Apostles. Every one of them has abuse their "authority."

To quibble that there are still "sent ones" that raise up churches so therefore we can have someone like Lee who thought he was in charge of everything is crazy reasoning.

Lesson clear enough? Duh!
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:15 AM   #111
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To quibble that there are still "sent ones" that raise up churches so therefore we can have someone like Lee who thought he was in charge of everything is crazy reasoning.

Lesson clear enough? Duh!
Lee did the word "apostle" a great disservice claiming that any member could be "sent," and thus an apostle. It was just typical of the semantic word games he loved to play.

He did this purposely to discredit those the church has always accepted as legitimate NT apostles.

I understand that "apostle" is a transliteration of the Greek "apostolos," but the real meaning of this word is closer to ambassador. The apostles were ambassadors of Christ.

In this regard, those who do not properly represent Christ and speak for Him as the Head of the body, should be "recalled" by the Sender, and disqualified.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:17 AM   #112
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Okay I've started at the OP. And yes I'm ashamed that I've made points that were made in the opening post (left below). But now I think I can make sensible points, perchance.

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But what were Lee's credentials based upon? Nothing but a subjective opinion about him. And that's not enough.
It was we, Lee's followers, that swelled Lee's head up like a Puffer Fish, into an apostle. We, the royal we, the we of yesteryear, and presently, around the world, that provides Lee's apostleship bona fides.

And it is enough, for Lee followers ; and both past and present followers are complicit in doing it. If all, or enough, followers fall away, Lee's house of cards all fall down ... so in the end Lee's movement was not of God (in the sense of the apostle Paul, and the others).

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If you like Lee and his ministry and want to follow it, that's your business. If you think God generally wants to everyone follow him because he was an Apostle, I think you are deceived. That goes even more for the current Blendeds, or whatever they are called now.
If Lee was the apostle, what are the Blendeds? Are they Apostolic succession?

Harold



------------------------------------
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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.)
The problem with conferring apostleship without those proofs is that it potentially puts far too much power in the hands of unqualified people. As I said, the Church needs more evidence than someone's claim of having an impressive ministry and of having planted churches. Nothing wrong with those things. They are good. But they don't make someone an Apostle in the sense of having God-given extra-local authority.

Now there are a lot of church movements and organizations that, based on mutual agreement, do allow extra-local authority. The Methodists are like this. Methodist church pastors answer to a central authority. They even agree to relocate based on a timetable set up by the organization.

But that is voluntary. And I see no big problem with it if it is. There is difference between that and someone claiming "Apostle" authority directly from God. This was what Lee assumed. And even though Lee coyly avoided claiming to be an Apostle, I think it's safe to say he believed he was. If you believe you are the MOTA, you have to believe you are an Apostle. Anyway, his followers believed it.

So the thought was, Lee is an Apostle like Paul, so if you don't follow him you are rebelling against God. That's a whole lot different than saying, "I'm going to submit to the Methodist arrangement as a personal choice." But what were Lee's credentials based upon? Nothing but a subjective opinion about him. And that's not enough.

Again, I think history has shown us in no uncertain terms that conferring Apostleship including the kind of authority Lee claimed causes nothing but problems. It doesn't accomplish anything positive, and it causes a lot of damage. I think that's why God included 2 Cor 12:12 in the Bible.

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.

If you like Lee and his ministry and want to follow it, that's your business. If you think God generally wants to everyone follow him because he was an Apostle, I think you are deceived. That goes even more for the current Blendeds, or whatever they are called now.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:04 AM   #113
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Good grief, I thought I made this clear a long time ago! This is all about avoiding the abuse of presumed authority.

According to the LCM, apostles have the authority to command multiple churches. We all know that the LCM believed Lee had the authority to command every church on earth, probably including all the non-LCM groups as well.

Now my question is, would the Lord give that much power to on individual without giving the Church a sure-fire way to confirm that person's apostleship? I say no.

The LCM confers it to Lee because they want to be under his authority. Well, I'm not so eager for that myself, so I want more confirmation.

I fail to see why this point is so hard to understand.
But that is the error. The NT does not support the idea that Apostles can command churches.

We have the epistles of Paul -- I do not see Paul commanding the church except in the matter of gross sin that was reported in different cities. That is not based on "apostolic authority".

We have the letters to the churches in Revelation -- again I don't see John commanding the churches but rather relaying a message from the Lord.

On the other hand I see Paul rebuking Peter at a time when Peter was clearly a leading apostle. I see Peter being afraid of James when James was not an apostle. I see James leading a conference over doctrinal issues when James was not an apostle.

The error to my understanding is allowing a man to claim authority over the kingdom of the heavens, usurping the Lord Jesus' authority.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:06 AM   #114
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Drake it's hard to respect your ideas when you can't even provide proper quotation for Igzy's words.

If "succession" is a Catholic concept, how do you explain Lee succeeding Nee and the Blendeds succeeding Lee?

This kind of blasts LSM's MOTA genealogy and mythology out of the water.
Perhaps Drake is saying that LSM is wrong in this concept of Blendeds succeeding from WL and have adopted an unscriptural Catholic concept.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:09 AM   #115
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Ok. We could debate authorship in another thread. But no need for this thread bacause it is clear that the NT is not made up exclusively of the 12+Paul. Also, that leaves 8 of the 12 who did not contribute to the NT canon. Therefore, the correlation between apostles and authors of the NT is not established. Like the giving of gifts to the Body so also is the NT scripture given to us, it is the Holy Spirit that compels.

Drake
Fair point, there is no scriptural basis to say that the term "apostle" is equated with the writers of scripture. Certainly some that wrote did claim to be apostles and did claim to be called to write the scripture. But others that were apostles did not write scripture and didn't claim that calling.

The closest equivalent I can find is "the fellowship of the apostles" which the saints kept prior to the NT being completed.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:12 AM   #116
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How do we separate apostleship from the authority to write scripture?

How do we separate the accepted canon of the early church from the compelling of the Spirit?
If God calls you and sends you, then you are an apostle.

If God calls you to write scripture and complete the word of God then that is your calling. You can be an apostle without being called to write scripture. That is my understanding.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:14 AM   #117
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The word succession can be used for something other than a Catholic concept. It's pretty clear that in the first century to be an Apostle you had to know and be confirmed by another Apostle. There are no free-lancers or Johnny-Come-Latelys.

Why would the Lord not give the Church a way to easily confirm Apostles?

The answer is, either he did and Lee does not measure up, or he didn't.

I believe he did, and Lee does not measure up.
Are you basing this on Galatians? Is this based on Paul's word about "laying on of hands"? What are you basing this on?
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:16 AM   #118
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The question is, what is the point of believing Lee was an apostle? So that people will accept his teachings and the Church will benefit? People accepted Rick Warren's teachings much more than Lee's. Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life is the best selling non-fiction book of all time. Nobody had to believe that Rick Warren was an apostle for that to happen.

The reason Drake and those like him want people to believe Lee was an apostle is to confer to him the authority to order the Church around, and thus confirm their own decisions to let him define their lives. I.e. misery loves company. Lee couldn't convince enough people by the power of his teachings, so he has to co-opt the authority of an apostle to intimidate people into following him. For this cause he has the willing accomplices like Drake and other stubborn true believers, who say to themselves, If I have to follow Lee then everyone else does too.

Make no mistake, they are not arguing for the existence of latter day apostles for any other reason but to defend the supposed authority of their guy(s).

Again, a common sense view of the Scripture and of history shows us it is very unwise to consider people like Witness Lee to be apostles. The Church-at-large understands this. Those that think otherwise will continue to remain fringe operators, and people will continue to be hurt because of them, which the true believers will sweep under the rug and rationalize away. I post here to try to somehow push against that.


A few years ago I was in a small town in California and was approached by three young Mormon men. They were very nice and by the end I was almost convinced they were true Christians, and they might have been. They were humble, loving and genuine. I have to say they were more pleasant than I was. But they were convinced that they were right and Jesus was not God. Still they weren't exclusive. They believed we were all in the same family of God.

I didn't think of this at the time, but if I ever get into another conversation like that I'm going to ask, "If we are all believers, all God's children, then what makes you think 95% of the believers are wrong about Jesus and only you are right? What gives that reassurance? "

Of course the only reason they believed it was that was what they were used to, what they identified with, and no one wants to admit that the beliefs that define them on the deepest level are wrong.

LCMers are the same way. What gives them the reassurance that apostles with the kind of authority they confer to Lee still exist? The overwhelming majority of the Church doesn't believe it. So what makes the LCM right and others in the vast majority wrong? Do they really believe they understand the Bible so much better than everyone else?

So to me they are just like those Mormon boys. They believe what they believe because confirming what they've always believed is easier than admitting they might be mistaken. There is probably an element of wanting to be special as well. But either way, the odds of the LCM being right about its fringe beliefs are about the same as that the Mormons are right about Jesus not being God. Slim to none.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:16 AM   #119
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Why would the Lord not give the Church a way to easily confirm Apostles?
The answer is, either he did and Lee does not measure up, or he didn't.
I believe he did, and Lee does not measure up.
So then, are you saying the way to easily confirm an Apostle is if he knew and was confirmed by another apostle?

What is this easy way you are referring to?
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:17 AM   #120
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But that is the error. The NT does not support the idea that Apostles can command churches.
Earth to Z. What's the LCM's point of believing Lee was an apostle if not to confer to him that authority?
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:51 AM   #121
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Fair point, there is no scriptural basis to say that the term "apostle" is equated with the writers of scripture. Certainly some that wrote did claim to be apostles and did claim to be called to write the scripture. But others that were apostles did not write scripture and didn't claim that calling.

The closest equivalent I can find is "the fellowship of the apostles" which the saints kept prior to the NT being completed.
Accurate summary ZNP.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:03 AM   #122
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The question is, what is the point of believing Lee was an apostle? So that people will accept his teachings and the Church will benefit?

The reason Drake and those like him want people to believe Lee was an apostle is to confer to him the authority to order the Church around, and thus confirm their own decisions to let him define their lives.

Make no mistake, they are not arguing for the existence of latter day apostles for any other reason but to defend the supposed authority of their guy(s).
Yes, this is exactly the point, and let me add to it.

Apostolic authority, aka deputy authority, is used in exclusive systems like the Plymouth Brethren, Nee's Little Flock, Lee's Recovery, and the Blendeds LSM to wield great power and advantage to silence critics. Lee used his authority to introduce all sorts of failed businesses, cover up for criminal activity of his sons, silence whistleblowers, eliminate perceived rivals, etc.

Unfortunately, Lee's authority was not just for building up, (ref. 2 Cor 10.8) but also for tearing down those who got in his way.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:05 AM   #123
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Igzy >”The reason Drake and those like him want people to believe Lee was an apostle is to confer to him the authority to order the Church around, and thus confirm their own decisions to let him define their lives. I.e. misery loves company. Lee couldn't convince enough people by the power of his teachings, so he has to co-opt the authority of an apostle to intimidate people into following him. For this cause he has the willing accomplices like Drake and other stubborn true believers, who say to themselves, If I have to follow Lee then everyone else does too. ”

Igzy,

What odd beliefs you own about me. Accomplices. Intimidated, letting others define my life..... ?

You apparently are bent on defining me on your terms. Hate to be the bearer of bad news... I don’t fit your description.

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Old 03-19-2018, 11:08 AM   #124
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Igzy,

What odd beliefs you own about me. Accomplices. Intimidated, letting others define my life..... ?

You apparently are bent on defining me on your terms. Hate to be the bearer of bad news... I don’t fit your description.

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Are you now then willing to answer my question about whether Titus Chu is an apostle or not?
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:35 AM   #125
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Igzy,

What odd beliefs you own about me. Accomplices. Intimidated, letting others define my life..... ?

You apparently are bent on defining me on your terms. Hate to be the bearer of bad news... I don’t fit your description.

Thanks
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Nothing odd about them at all. They describe the mindset of a person in a controlling religious group, especially one who has been there for a long time. Do some research on the subject. There is nothing odd about the description at all. A lot of people fit it. It's a pity, but it's a fact.

Now, either you fit the description or you are pretending to. But either way the shoe fits.

Now, tell me again why you are right about apostles and 99% of the Church is wrong...

Here's another thing, just so there is no confusion.

I'm not trying to convince you. I know I can't.

I'm interested in the people that are watching.

And I think I give them credit for being more intelligent than you do.

If someone has a true believer mindset (or a incurable troll mindset, whichever it is), I know I'll never convince those people, and I'm not trying to.

Just to make things clear.

Now, where were we? Oh yes, you are right about apostles and the vast majority of the Church is dead wrong. Right. Please continue...
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:06 PM   #126
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Yes, this is exactly the point, and let me add to it.

Apostolic authority, aka deputy authority, is used in exclusive systems like the Plymouth Brethren, Nee's Little Flock, Lee's Recovery, and the Blendeds LSM to wield great power and advantage to silence critics. Lee used his authority to introduce all sorts of failed businesses, cover up for criminal activity of his sons, silence whistleblowers, eliminate perceived rivals, etc.

Unfortunately, Lee's authority was not just for building up, (ref. 2 Cor 10.8) but also for tearing down those who got in his way.
I see a big difference between apostolic authority and deputy authority. You don't see the writers (epistles and gospels) puffed up with pride. That being pride is a characteristic deputy authority produces. There's similarities between deputy authority and divine right of kings (as seen in European history). Each claim to be accountable only to God and not to man.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:50 PM   #127
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Earth to Z. What's the LCM's point of believing Lee was an apostle if not to confer to him that authority?
I agree that this is the LCM's point, but that doesn't make it scriptural.

Their error was creating a mediator between the Lord and us. That is the error. The NT does not make apostle's mediators. You are throwing out the possibility that there are any apostles because of LSM's erroneous teaching, not because of any scriptural basis.

If you deny that there are apostles anymore it makes much of the NT irrelevant. Why did Ephesus need to examine them? Why does Paul need to give us his credentials? Why does Jesus tell us "you will know them by their fruits"?

Are you denying that the Body of Christ has gifts given to it by the Lord? I doubt it. Therefore Eph 4 is relevant, those gifts were given when the Lord ascended, event though we don't see them until later in time. If you agree that the Lord has given gifts to the body, even in the modern age, then how can you parse out apostles?

If you use Galatians where Paul went up to those who were of repute, then you have to also use Galatians where he says that if anyone preaches another gospel other than the one we have received let him be anathema. That is the criteria.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:54 PM   #128
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Yes, this is exactly the point, and let me add to it.

Apostolic authority, aka deputy authority, is used in exclusive systems like the Plymouth Brethren, Nee's Little Flock, Lee's Recovery, and the Blendeds LSM to wield great power and advantage to silence critics. Lee used his authority to introduce all sorts of failed businesses, cover up for criminal activity of his sons, silence whistleblowers, eliminate perceived rivals, etc.

Unfortunately, Lee's authority was not just for building up, (ref. 2 Cor 10.8) but also for tearing down those who got in his way.
"Apostolic authority" is a different doctrine than apostles.

I agree that LSM's doctrine on "Apostolic authority" is completely bogus.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:12 PM   #129
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Now, tell me again why you are right about apostles and 99% of the Church is wrong...
John Gill — agrees with Igzy

Ellicott — agrees with Igzy

Benson — agrees with Igzy

Matthew Henry — ducks the issue, probably disagrees with Igzy as he emphasized the fact that each member is growing and maturing in grace. Also he defines apostles as “messengers, sent forth to proclaim His kingdom." The impression I get is he sides with the idea that every believer has the capacity to experience these gifts in some measure but is afraid to say that there are still apostles.

Matthew Poole — responds to the claim that the Apostle’s were appointed by Jesus Christ in Mathew 10:1, which is the go to argument for Gill and others. He says Ephesians 4 — refers to Christ giving apostles after his resurrection and ascension, therefore it cannot refer to those he appointed prior to that.

Meyer appears to give merit to both arguments. Kind of siding with the foundational apostles theory posited by Ohio.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:31 PM   #130
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I agree that this is the LCM's point, but that doesn't make it scriptural.
Actually, they think it is scriptural. They point to Paul seeming to give orders to churches as evidence an apostle can step in and take control.

So which is it? I'm sure if you start a thread titled "There are still Apostles but they don't have Apostolic Authority," then Drake is going to step in and argue with you about it.

So where are we?
  • We can't agree on what an apostle is.
  • We can't agree on the extent of an apostles' authority.
  • We can't agree if there is only one kind or several kinds of apostles.
  • We can't agree if the original 12 + Paul were fundamentally different.
  • We can't agree how to confirm apostles.
  • We can't agree if apostles still exist.

This problem doesn't just exist with us. It's one of the reason the Church stopped calling people "apostles," and have opted for more specific terms like "missionary," and "church planter," which do not carry the same possibility of confusion about authority.

It is the whole question of authority that is the problem. So it's similar to the local ground issue. Given an issue which has so much potential for affecting people, there ought to be some kind of general agreement. There is, and it is, generally, Don't call people apostles.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:37 PM   #131
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Benson — agrees with Igzy
Agrees with me about what specifically? Where did he say it?
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:43 PM   #132
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Agrees with me about what specifically? Where did he say it?
I was looking at their commentary on Eph 4:11, three agreed that Apostles were a once and for all thing that took place at the beginning of the church age.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:56 PM   #133
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I was looking at their commentary on Eph 4:11, three agreed that Apostles were a once and for all thing that took place at the beginning of the church age.
I guess you weren't talking about Benson Phillips....
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:59 PM   #134
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Where is Benson's commentary?
http://biblehub.com/commentaries/ephesians/4-11.htm
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:00 PM   #135
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I thought you were talking about Benson Phillips.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:04 PM   #136
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Actually, they think it is scriptural. They point to Paul seeming to give orders to churches as evidence an apostle can step in and take control.
That is not how I read it.

2Cor 10:8 For though I should glory somewhat abundantly concerning our authority (which the Lord gave for building you up, and not for casting you down), I shall not be put to shame:

The key point in this chapter is that it is not the one who commendeth himself that is approved but rather who the Lord commends.

2Cor13:10 For this cause I write these things while absent, that I may not when present deal sharply, according to the authority which the Lord gave me for building up, and not for casting down.

He says that by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. This is the same authority that is given to those that meet in the name of Jesus to bind and lose. He even says that they should try themselves to see whether they are in the faith, that Jesus Christ is in them. The authority that he refers to here in chapter 13 is surely the same as in chapter 10 and that authority was given by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 18. In neither verse does he claim some kind of special "apostolic authority".

1Thess 2:6 nor seeking glory of men, neither from you nor from others, when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ.

The context is “even as we have been approved of God to be intrusted with the gospel”. This verse about claiming the authority as apostles is in reference to his saying that he did not “seek glory of men, neither from you or others”. It is not a positive point, he is exposing the phony claim of those who are seeking glory of men.

Titus 2:15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

If Titus can speak "with all authority" then that must certainly include this so called "apostolic authority". This term is only used once in the NT in 2 Corinthians in a disparaging way concerning people who seeking glory of men.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:08 PM   #137
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If if said "he gives" instead of "he gave" you might have a point. But there is no proof in this verse that he is continuing to give apostles. The baseline of "gave" is only past tense.

We know he has continued to give evangelists, shepherds and teachers, their presence has been and is undeniably manifest. There has been little evidence of apostles and prophets.

As I've said, the Church has not recognized any Apostles since John died. Even under the unlikely possibility that Lee was an apostle, the fact that you and your fringe groups believes it is nothing confirmation. Believe what you want, but it's unreasonable for you to expect anyone else to.
Very interesting that you appeal to the Catholic viewpoint that the bishopry replaced apostles after Johm died. Any Bible verse for that?
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:21 PM   #138
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That is not how I read it.
Me neither. But you said a misinterpretation of apostolic authority was the problem, not the existence of apostles. But to the LCM they are one in the same. They argue for apostles because they want to confirm extra-local authority.

Like I said, there is no point in getting all worked up about whether apostles exist if all you talking about is missionaries and church planters. But if you are talking about what Lee eventually became, or at least what the Blendeds turned him into, then you are talking about something with significant repercussions.

In reality, apostle should equal church planter.

But in the LCM, apostle equals pope, or at least cardinal.

That's why it's worth debating whether they exist, and if they do, what are the limits of their power.

It's clear the Church-at-large has pretty much opted to not use the term "apostle" because of the confusion and the potential for abuse surrounding the issue. That is wise, IMHO, especially when we can't even agree what an apostle is.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:23 PM   #139
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Very interesting that you appeal to the Catholic viewpoint that the bishopry replaced apostles after Johm died. Any Bible verse for that?
I never said the bishopry replaced the apostles.

What I said was since the revelation was closed there was no more need for men to receive direct revelation from God. (Rev 22:18).

That being the case, the authority of apostles was by definition reduced. The nature of the apostolic gift changed. Big 'A' apostles gave way to little 'a' apostles. These we now call missionaries or church planters. But I don't believe any of them have extra-local authority.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:47 PM   #140
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Are you now then willing to answer my question about whether Titus Chu is an apostle or not?
Sure. After you answer your own question I will follow in kind. I was always willing to do that.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:51 PM   #141
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Igzy>”Now, tell me again why you are right about apostles and 99% of the Church is wrong...”

This is a fallacy in argument... you cannot possibly know what 99% of the Church thinks.

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Old 03-19-2018, 04:53 PM   #142
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I thought you were talking about Benson Phillips.
Whew! Close call..... can you imagine?

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Old 03-19-2018, 05:10 PM   #143
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I never said the bishopry replaced the apostles.

What I said was since the revelation was closed there was no more need for men to receive direct revelation from God. (Rev 22:18).

That being the case, the authority of apostles was by definition reduced. The nature of the apostolic gift changed. Big 'A' apostles gave way to little 'a' apostles. These we now call missionaries or church planters. But I don't believe any of them have extra-local authority.

Makes sense. When you wrote "the Church has not recognized any Apostles since John died" I interpreted as the Catholic Church being the one to introduce the idea of apostolic succession after the death of John.

I find the idea that "there was no more need for men to receive direct revelation from God" dangerous and parallels the situation in ancient Israel with the prophets.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:24 PM   #144
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Makes sense. When you wrote "the Church has not recognized any Apostles since John died" I interpreted as the Catholic Church being the one to introduce the idea of apostolic succession after the death of John.

I find the idea that "there was no more need for men to receive direct revelation from God" dangerous and parallels the situation in ancient Israel with the prophets.
Yes. The whole notion of succession starting with the erroneous teaching that Peter was the first pope is heretical. Though there may be successive people that God raises up and uses there is no biblical evidence that succession as practiced by Catholicism is valid.

Concerning receiving direct revelation from God I am thankful He speaks to us directly today, not to add to the canon of scripture, but rather to guide us in every aspect of our lives. He is living and operative if we allow Him.

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Old 03-19-2018, 05:25 PM   #145
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Matthew Henry — ducks the issue, probably disagrees with Igzy as he emphasized the fact that each member is growing and maturing in grace. Also he defines apostles as “messengers, sent forth to proclaim His kingdom." The impression I get is he sides with the idea that every believer has the capacity to experience these gifts in some measure but is afraid to say that there are still apostles.

I just highlighted in bold the part about being "afraid to stay there are still apostles". It is interesting you write that as it fits with my theory.

My theory is that a general fear pervades Christianity in both Catholic and Protestant churches to claim or admit that apostles and prophets exist today or could exist today. The reason is that the denominations both Catholic and Protestant are headed by men put in those positions by other men and not God. Apostles and prophets appointed by God are a threat to their control. To think that any God-appointed no body could rise up and take over their role is a threat.

Apostles and prophets, as being represented by Moses and Elijah, are the two main functions which Satan would surely seek to destroy. His tactics are the same used as in ancient Israel - destroy the prophets and the leaders.
Interestingly, this corresponds to limiting the function of the first two and most important roles in the church (1 Corinthians 12:28).

I might accept a view that "helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues" might cease, but I cannot see how or why God would limit or restrict the role of apostles and prophets for 2000 years. This would be equivalent to a company, removing the roles of CEO and Executives but keeping middle and lower management. Or a country, removing the role of President but keeping other roles such as the communications director.

If we believe that apostles and prophets have ceased then all the other functions should cease as well, because apostles and prophets are the first and second.
It is a strange position that some Christians hold, that God would remove the first and second most important, and leave the third , fourth and fifth (teaching, miracles, tongues). This is clearly a deception to remove the most important and leave the less important. If these are truly God's gifts to the church, then he has removed the best gifts? Today in Christianity the less important roles (teaching, evangelism, and tongue speaking) are emphasized and the most important - prophesy and apostle, are not. This contradicts scripture where Paul said to desire prophesy and tongues is the least gift (1 Corinthians 12:31; 14:1).
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:29 PM   #146
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-1

Very insightful. Had not considered it before.

Thanks
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:47 PM   #147
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Igzy>”Now, tell me again why you are right about apostles and 99% of the Church is wrong...”

This is a fallacy in argument... you cannot possibly know what 99% of the Church thinks.

Drake
And that is a weak cop-out.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:50 PM   #148
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Makes sense. When you wrote "the Church has not recognized any Apostles since John died" I interpreted as the Catholic Church being the one to introduce the idea of apostolic succession after the death of John.

I find the idea that "there was no more need for men to receive direct revelation from God" dangerous and parallels the situation in ancient Israel with the prophets.
Well, Rev. 22:18 pretty much puts the kabosh on any boldness to add to the revelation. Seems to me what it says is that it is dangerous to claim to have revelation in addition to the Bible rather than constrained by it.
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Old 03-19-2018, 06:00 PM   #149
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My theory is that a general fear pervades Christianity in both Catholic and Protestant churches to claim or admit that apostles and prophets exist today or could exist today. The reason is that the denominations both Catholic and Protestant are headed by men put in those positions by other men and not God. Apostles and prophets appointed by God are a threat to their control. To think that any God-appointed no body could rise up and take over their role is a threat.
This is an interesting point and worthy of consideration. But in my opinion concern is not justified in this day and age. Anybody and everybody is writing books and expressing their point of view. I even wrote a book myself (not published yet). So anyone with computer and an Internet connection is potentially the next "oracle."

No one heard of Rick Warren until he wrote The Purpose-Driven Life. That work was not marketed or strategically endorsed by the power elite. It just struck a nerve and took off. The rest is history.

So what does it mean to be "appointed by God?" Wasn't Rick Warren appointed by God? If not, how did his book achieve such success? There is nothing in it that appeals to the flesh or the masses. The first sentence in the book is "It's not about you." That a Christian book that starts that way goes on to be the best-selling non-fiction book of all time has to be something of God.

So in this day of the Internet the playing field is leveled. In keeping with human nature, some of those in positions of attainment likely are threatened by the newest star. But history shows they come and they go. The pure of heart understand this, and have their moment and do not begrudge the next in line. The self-interested on the other hand might be envious. This would be true whether the person in question is in a religious organization or thinks he is "appointed by God."
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Old 03-19-2018, 06:30 PM   #150
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Well, Rev. 22:18 pretty much puts the kabosh on any boldness to add to the revelation. Seems to me what it says is that it is dangerous to claim to have revelation in addition to the Bible rather than constrained by it.
I agree but not for those reasons.

Consider that if those same standards were applied to the Old Testament then we would not have a New Testament today. Jews may fall back on the same reasoning to reject Christ and the gospels.

I believe Rev. 22:18 pertains only to that prophesy in, as it says, "this book", referring to Revelation. Not to the compilation of numerous books and endorsed with the seal of King James, for example.

I agree because the truth presented in Revelation is clearly all that remains.
If the Bible did not say anything about the future or describe an ending such as described in Revelation, I would disagree that the revelation was complete.

God's truth stands on its own - Romans 1:20-21 confirms. It existed before books were written. Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham and Lot and many others, were all living by direct revelation.

If the Bible alone was sufficient then God would not have given his people prophets, either in the old or the new testaments. As we see in the life of Christ, the Jews had the Scripture but he still had to explain to them so many things.

For example, the greatest and second greatest commandments about love were in their scripture, but they needed God's revelation to draw them out and put them at the forefront.

The New Testament is essentially a drawing out of the old testament, so it is not "new" in that sense. However there is much in the New Testament which is new or not obviously in the Old Testament.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:00 PM   #151
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I agree but not for those reasons.
The New Testament ends with a specific command not to add to the revelation. The Old Testament ends like a movie promising a sequel, as if there has to be more. The New Testament ends with an air of finality, as if there is nothing left to say, and even commands to not say anything else.

I agree that we all experience direct revelation of a kind, but nothing that changes or adds to what the Bible says. We might get further insight on the New Testament's meaning, but nothing added that was not basically there before.

The only thing I see in the New Testament that was really a shocker to the OT mindset was that the Gentiles and the Jews were made one in the new creation.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:07 PM   #152
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2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

I witnessed Lee transforming himself into the Apostle. When I objected. I was told I had a week to stand up in the meeting and repent, or be excommunicated.

I didn't. I couldn't. I had to be true to my conscience, that wasn't convicted. I had done nothing wrong. I didn't deny God, Christ, the Spirit, the Church, or the Bible. I only denied that Lee was the Apostle.

When the week was came due, I was nailed, and out of there. I was basically told, that, that Lee was the Apostle was the way of life. I saw it as the way of death.

Why do you think Paul warned about "self transformers?"

In the end, those out here defending that there are apostles today, are, by and large, defending a whole lot of self transformers.

Self transformers use a sleight of hand trick to make it sound like they are speaking for God. They quote a lot of the Bible ... just like Lee did ... to make it sound like God is speaking thru them in real time.

When it came to Lee I had ears to hear. But I only heard a Bible teacher. I certainly didn't hear someone that could override Christ in my spirit.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:39 PM   #153
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I witnessed Lee transforming himself into the Apostle. When I objected. I was told I had a week to stand up in the meeting and repent, or be excommunicated.
I knew an elder in Texas. Around 1990, he told his fellow elders that he could not in good conscience commit to following Witness Lee exclusively. They told him to not share that with anyone. He said he could not do that either, so they asked him to resign.

Even Paul did not expect churches to follow him exclusively.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:53 PM   #154
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The New Testament ends with a specific command not to add to the revelation. The Old Testament ends like a movie promising a sequel, as if there has to be more. The New Testament ends with an air of finality, as if there is nothing left to say, and even commands to not say anything else.

I agree that we all experience direct revelation of a kind, but nothing that changes or adds to what the Bible says. We might get further insight on the New Testament's meaning, but nothing added that was not basically there before.

The only thing I see in the New Testament that was really a shocker to the OT mindset was that the Gentiles and the Jews were made one in the new creation.
I agree we should not add to God's revelation nor take away from it. However the verse you have chosen is not the best to explain this.

It seems to apply only to the book of Revelation, and not the NT Canon which would follow.

On Rev 22:18, consider some bible commentators:

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges:

It is certain that the curse is designed to guard the integrity of this Book of the Revelation, not to close the N. T. canon. It is not even certain that this was the last written of the canonical books.

Benson:
It is true, however, that this solemn caution particularly refers to this book of the Revelation.

Barnes:
The reference here is to the book of Revelation only - for at that time the books that now constitute what we call the Bible were not collected into a single volume. This passage, therefore, should not be adduced as referring to the whole of the sacred Scriptures.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:58 PM   #155
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Sure. After you answer your own question I will follow in kind. I was always willing to do that.
Titus Chu is an apostle, at least to Akron and Cleveland.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:55 PM   #156
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I agree we should not add to God's revelation nor take away from it. However the verse you have chosen is not the best to explain this.
I've often wondered why there is such a strong warning about changing the book of Revelation. I don't question it, but it makes me wonder why the warning is there. Perhaps it's because it is the one most directly dictated by the Lord. I don't know. Revelation is one of the last NT books I would worry about being changed.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:43 PM   #157
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Titus Chu is an apostle, at least to Akron and Cleveland.
I don’t know Brother Titus’ complete history in the mid-west. However, based on what I know I would say to the mid-west he functioned as an apostle to establish churches in that region. Therefore, I have always viewed him as an apostle in that way. Whether that is limited to Akron and Cleveland I cannot say.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:15 PM   #158
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And that is a weak cop-out.
It’s only a cop-out to you because you don’t know that 97.4% of Evangelicals agree with me that your argument is a fallacy.

82.5% of Lutherans and 89.5% of Methodists are pretty sure but won’t commit.

65% of Catholics would agree but they need to check with their parish first.

Pentecostals were more inclined to agree with you and not me but that reversed when they realized your assertion was not prefaced with “thus saith the Lord...”. However, a number of the Holiness groups said they would flip their votes back to you if you were willing to have your legs lengthened.

The Seventh Day Adventist are undetermined because the survey was taken on a Saturday.

Baptists weighed in at 65% against you but a number would not commit until they understood in the exact way you were baptized.

So all things considered Igzy, the majority of Christians agree with me that you engaged in a fallacy in argument. Now don’t ask me to validate that because that would be a cop out on your part.



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Old 03-20-2018, 02:38 AM   #159
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And you wonder why outside Christians believe stereotypes and speak so negatively of the Recovery.
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:38 AM   #160
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What happens when we read and use Scripture in ways that are different from what God had in mind? When we no longer turn to God's Word in order to listen for God's own intentions, what happens is that even if we continue to use the Bible, we replace God's purposes with our own. We may use the Bible to underwrite and give authority to our own opinions or to the topics which interest us, or to criticize others with whom we disagree.

So, please beware of quoting Scripture without understanding God's own intentions.

I am watching Unlocking the Bible series by David Pawson from Youtube. It helped me to know the Bible better. Glad to share with all.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:22 AM   #161
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2Co 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
Why do you think Paul warned about "self transformers?"
I find this whole concept of "Apostolic authority" bizarrely interesting. Yes, it is mentioned once in the NT:

So in the same section where Paul tells us everything he didn't do -- his appeal does not come from delusions or impure motives [reminds me of the MOTA], nor was it motivated by deceit [again, reminds me of the MOTA]. He spoke the gospel, not as a way of pleasing people to gain power and popularity. He didn't speak with words of flattery nor with a pretext for greed. He didn't seek glory and honor from people. In this context he also tells us he didn't assert his authority as an apostle. (1Thess 1:3-6).

Think about that, it is the only place in the NT that refers to "apostolic authority" and it is referred to as something that Paul did not assert. Nor do we see Peter asserting it when Paul rebukes him. On the other hand John refers to Diotrophese asserting his authority when he refuses brothers sent by John because "he loves the preeminence among them"

Maybe I'm missing something but it seems to me this whole "MOTA" and "apostolic authority" refers to those who love preeminence in the church, like the false brothers who wanted to bring others into bondage.

The authority that was given to Paul, which he refers to in his epistle to the Corinthians, and which he does use is the authority that was given by the Lord in Matthew 18 to those who are meeting in the Lord's name.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:49 AM   #162
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I agree we should not add to God's revelation nor take away from it. However the verse you have chosen is not the best to explain this.[/I]
Well amen bro EvanG for pointing that out. It's also a common method for giving a pseudepigrapha authority.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:02 AM   #163
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It’s only a cop-out to you because you don’t know that 97.4% of Evangelicals agree with me that your argument is a fallacy.
Boy, you put some effort into that little piece of sarcasm. I was just matching your joke.

All I was saying by the 99% remark was that the LCM view on apostles is in the extreme fringe. This view includes their beliefs that apostles:
Have direct authority from God:
To hire and fire elders.
To interfere in the affairs of churches.
To define the meaning of scripture in such a way as members of the churches they control have little choice but to agree.
To judge that churches have become "rogue," effectively to "remove their lampstand."
It also includes their view that certain special apostles are "the ministers of age. (You forgot about that one. Well, it's part of their belief about apostles, like it or not, which by itself puts them in the fringe.)
So it is neither a fallacy nor a cop-out to point out that the LCM view on apostles is not shared by the vast majority of Christians or churches, which my "99%" argument was intended to point out, which I'm sure fair-minded observers understood. You as usual could not pass up the opportunity to turn something into a red herring, which I'm sure fair-minded observers also noticed.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:09 AM   #164
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Maybe I'm missing something but it seems to me this whole "MOTA" and "apostolic authority" refers to those who love preeminence in the church, like the false brothers who wanted to bring others into bondage.
It seems to mean that, for example, when Paul tells Timothy to speak with all authority, he is not saying you have the authority to command, but you have the authority to speak. Whether someone listens to you is their affair.

But I agree with you, the kind of authority the LCM has granted apostles is a perversion of that.

Let's be clear. Nee and Lee both once condemned workers employing extra-local authority. Lee said the idea of a bishop, a worker who has oversight of several churches, was a fallen concept. Well, what did he and his successors become but just that, whether you call them co-workers, bishops, cardinals or apostles. They are all birds of the same feather. Ducks with the same quack, dogs with the same bark.

I will grant you apostles that works as missionaries and church planters, setting up and advising churches. I will not grant you apostles who have the right to wrest authority from established elders, even in churches they planted.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:28 AM   #165
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This view includes their beliefs that apostles:
Have direct authority from God:
To hire and fire elders.
To interfere in the affairs of churches.
To define the meaning of scripture in such a way as members of the churches they control have little choice but to agree.
To judge that churches have become "rogue," effectively to "remove their lampstand."
It also includes their view that certain special apostles are "the ministers of age. (You forgot about that one. Well, it's part of their belief about apostles, like it or not, which by itself puts them in the fringe.)
Thank you for itemizing their belief.

I want to number these to make it easier to discuss them individually:

1. Have direct authority from God:To hire and fire elders.

There is clearly scriptural basis for those who raised up a church to also appoint elders. However, the NT provides the criteria by which appointing should be done. As for firing the NT is very clear that you have to have at least 2 witnesses before you can hear a charge about an elder, hence no "apostle" would be able to fire someone on their own whim.

2. To interfere in the affairs of churches.

I suppose they refer to Paul's charge in 1Corinthians about the sinning man. However, you don't need to be "an apostle" to do that. His "interference" was based on Matthew 18 which does not require anything more than to be in the name of Jesus and to also have at least 2 or three in agreement. Once again, no apostle would have the right to interfere on their own whim.

3. To define the meaning of scripture in such a way as members of the churches they control have little choice but to agree.

Again, there is the scriptural basis that Paul's gift was to bring every thought that sets itself against God into submission. But it seems to me if someone is way off base, as in the MOTA doctrine, all you would need is a good backbone to stand up to them as well as being committed to the truth even if it got you kicked out.

4. To judge that churches have become "rogue," effectively to "remove their lamp stand.

I don't see the basis for this. No doubt if you see sin you are required to speak, as we are doing on this forum. If you are one with the Lord then "what you bind on Earth" will be what is bound in heaven. But again, this would need to be something that 2 or 3 agree on, then you have to tell it to the church (as the Blendeds did with Titus) and then if it doesn't hold water the church can reject it (as we have done on this forum).

5. MOTA -- The only scriptural basis I see for this is Diotrophese who loves the preeminence in the church and refuses those sent by John. This also falls into the category of the false brothers mentioned by Paul, those that came from James that intimidated Peter to not walk according to the truth, and the Judaizers.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:32 AM   #166
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I will grant you apostles that works as missionaries and church planters, setting up and advising churches. I will not grant you apostles who have the right to wrest authority from established elders, even in churches they planted.
Look at this we all can agree (You, Me and Nee) that a Pope is not scriptural, but the gift of Apostles is.

I think you meant Paul charged Titus to speak with all authority.

Personally I believe that verse in Titus disputes the whole concept of "apostolic authority" since the word "all" should include every form of authority. Since Paul says very clearly that he never claimed "apostolic authority" it would be hard to then justify his telling Titus to claim it. On the flip side it would be hypocritical of Paul to tell Titus to speak "with all authority" if he didn't also. Hence I find it untenable to say that this term "all authority" can refer to some kind of "apostolic authority". Therefore, I interpret "all authority" to refer to the authority that the Lord gave to the two or three that gather together in his name in Matthew 18.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:22 AM   #167
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Look at this we all can agree (You, Me and Nee) that a Pope is not scriptural, but the gift of Apostles is.

I think you meant Paul charged Titus to speak with all authority.

Personally I believe that verse in Titus disputes the whole concept of "apostolic authority" since the word "all" should include every form of authority. Since Paul says very clearly that he never claimed "apostolic authority" it would be hard to then justify his telling Titus to claim it. On the flip side it would be hypocritical of Paul to tell Titus to speak "with all authority" if he didn't also. Hence I find it untenable to say that this term "all authority" can refer to some kind of "apostolic authority". Therefore, I interpret "all authority" to refer to the authority that the Lord gave to the two or three that gather together in his name in Matthew 18.
Where did Paul specifically say he never claimed "apostolic authority?"

The reason I push against the idea that the Apostolic gift still exists is:

(1) We can't even agree what it consists of.
(2) Some, given the freedom to define apostles as they wish, create monsters like the MOTA.

It seems to me what the Church has done, by default, is to define apostles as church planters and missionaries. Certainly the idea of some ongoing care and advisement is there. But not the idea of control and lording which clearly exists in the LCM. Paul advised churches to listen to him, even begged them, but he was never overbearing about it. He was willing to let a church follow its own path rather than try to strong-arm them.

The classic example is what happened in the Midwest ten or so years ago. Rather than allow some Midwest churches to follow their own leading, the Blendeds condemned them and came in and installed new churches in Columbus and Toronto.

This also illustrates a big problem with one-church-one-city. There is only room for one, and the LCM is more than willing to discredit other "squatters." Which as far as I'm concerned shows the hypocrisy of the whole thing.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:48 AM   #168
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Igzy>”So it is neither a fallacy nor a cop-out to point out that the LCM view on apostles is not shared by the vast majority of Christians or churches, which my "99%" argument was intended to point out, which I'm sure fair-minded observers understood. You as usual could not pass up the opportunity to turn something into a red herring, which I'm sure fair-minded observers also noticed.”

I understand what your point was perfectly. Nevertheless, the way you presented it was a fallacy in argumentum as was my tongue in cheek response. You cannot know what 99% of the Church thinks anymore than I could know what any of those groups think. Just throwing out meaningless statics might shore your argument up in your mind though.

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Old 03-20-2018, 10:01 AM   #169
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Igzy>”So it is neither a fallacy nor a cop-out to point out that the LCM view on apostles is not shared by the vast majority of Christians or churches, which my "99%" argument was intended to point out, which I'm sure fair-minded observers understood. You as usual could not pass up the opportunity to turn something into a red herring, which I'm sure fair-minded observers also noticed.”

I understand what your point was perfectly. Nevertheless, the way you presented it was a fallacy in argumentum as was my tongue in cheek response. You cannot know what 99% of the Church thinks anymore than I could know what any of those groups think. Just throwing out meaningless statics might shore your argument up in your mind though.

Drake
Like I said, you appealed to a red herring. I think intelligent people can realize the LCM's view of apostleship is in the tiny minority. Describing it as 1% is probably very generous. It's probably closer to 0.0001%. So count your blessings and quit griping.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:14 AM   #170
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Where did Paul specifically say he never claimed "apostolic authority?"
1Thess 1:3-6 -- this section talks about all the things Paul didn't do, and they describe false brothers and those that love the preeminence. It is the only reference in the NT that I can find that specifically refers to "apostolic authority".

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The reason I push against the idea that the Apostolic gift still exists is:

(1) We can't even agree what it consists of.
(2) Some, given the freedom to define apostles as they wish, create monsters like the MOTA.

It seems to me what the Church has done, by default, is to define apostles as church planters and missionaries. Certainly the idea of some ongoing care and advisement is there. But not the idea of control and lording which clearly exists in the LCM. Paul advised churches to listen to him, even begged them, but he was never overbearing about it. He was willing to let a church follow its own path rather than try to strong-arm them.

The classic example is what happened in the Midwest ten or so years ago. Rather than allow some Midwest churches to follow their own leading, the Blendeds condemned them and came in and installed new churches in Columbus and Toronto.

This also illustrates a big problem with one-church-one-city. There is only room for one, and the LCM is more than willing to discredit other "squatters." Which as far as I'm concerned shows the hypocrisy of the whole thing.
Well, that is one way to respond. I have chosen instead to look more closely at the NT and that is why I latched onto Matthew 18.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:20 AM   #171
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Like I said, you appealed to a red herring. I think intelligent people can realize the LCM's view of apostleship is in the tiny minority. Describing it as 1% is probably very generous. It's probably closer to 0.0001%. So count your blessings and quit griping.
Griping? Heavens no.

I’m just not willing to let weak arguments stand up without a shred of supporting evidence. Your stats above fall into the same fallacy category.

I attempted to have a go at that with levity but I see you prefer candor... so there you have it. Happy to accommodate.

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Old 03-20-2018, 10:33 AM   #172
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Griping? Heavens no.

I’m just not willing to let weak arguments stand up without a shred of supporting evidence. Your stats above fall into the same fallacy category.

I attempted to have a go at that with levity but I see you prefer candor... so there you have it.

Drake
Oh, I'm having fun with you for sure.

Again, the LCM view of apostleship is a fringe, tiny minority view. I stand by that statement. That was my central point which is not a fallacy and which you are desperately trying to obfuscate.

If you haven't figured out that your views are fringe you probably still think one day tens of millions of Christians will be pray-reading the HWMR. Dream on.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:53 AM   #173
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Well, that is one way to respond. I have chosen instead to look more closely at the NT and that is why I latched onto Matthew 18.
ZNP,

I agree with this.

Our starting point should always be the Bible as you state above and as C.S.Lewis said pursue the truth wherever it leads.


Igzy,

Your starting point is your experience or what you believe and hence you trace into the Bible from that starting point. Therefore, the views you have stated about apostles is not rounded out according to the scriptural revelation but selective and piecemeal leading to erroneous ideas about the end of apostles, the Bible replacing their function, etc. This is further validated by what seems to be some kind of fear about where truth might lead causing you to veer from a scriptural discussion to an anecdotal one. I know you don’t see it that way but every time you interject about others motives and fear where the conversation might lead you expose your own agenda driven motive and not the pursuit of truth wherever it leads. I challenge you to drop that agenda and let the truth lead wherever it will. Don’t worry, no one is trying to force you to change your beliefs and reasonable observers can make up thier own mind about what makes more sense.

Thanks
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:20 AM   #174
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1Thess 1:3-6 -- this section talks about all the things Paul didn't do, and they describe false brothers and those that love the preeminence. It is the only reference in the NT that I can find that specifically refers to "apostolic authority".
Sorry I don't follow your scriptural reference. Please quote the verses that support apostolic authority.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:30 AM   #175
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Igzy,

Your starting point is your experience or what you believe and hence you trace into the Bible from that starting point.
I believe experience and perspective, both personally and historically, are critical to Biblical interpretation. I don't believe Scripture should be interpreted in a vacuum. I believe the lessons of history and of observing the fruit of views and practices are crucial to a healthy application of Scripture, especially to what we should admit are vague principles like apostleship and church ground.

Many of the LCM's fringe beliefs have been shown over time to be unhealthy, to the observation of many. What I have seen about you and others is that you simply pretend these unhealthy fruits don't exist. What you should be doing is applying a healthy skepticism to those LCM views (or anyone's) which are based on debatable principles and which produce questionable fruit.

I've noticed some people want certainty about every little item in the Bible. If they can't get it, they pretend their best guess is certain. For example, we can't for sure say what an apostle is, but they pretend to know exactly what one is. Then they force that view upon themselves and others. Why not just say, 'we don't know for sure, so let's not go to extremes'? The same goes for church ground.

If anyone on this board thinks that they are going to, at this late date, nail down and settle once and for all that they know what all this stuff means then they are dreaming and probably a little crazy. Greater minds and purer hearts than ours have been trying to for centuries. There is a wisdom in the general consensus, and it says that some of this stuff we just can't nail down for sure. Fringe groups like the LCM pretend they have, and thus do damage.

This is why I always return to general ideas and principles, while others are scratching through the details. In my opinion they often miss the forest for the trees. The sad thing about the LCM defenders is that they aren't even defending their own beliefs. They are defending what someone else told them they should believe, thus being "good brothers," like those Mormon boys who faithfully defended their belief that Jesus wasn't God.

In your case, Drake, I'm not sure you believe any of the stuff you say. I tend to think it's mostly just a game to you, a way to pass the time.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:46 AM   #176
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I attempted to have a go at that with levity but I see you prefer candor... so there you have it. Happy to accommodate.

Drake
Folks get fired these days for "lacking candor."

Too bad that same standard never applied to LSM.
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:11 PM   #177
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Sorry I don't follow your scriptural reference. Please quote the verses that support apostolic authority.
1Thess 2: 3 For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:

There is a clear contrast in this section between those who spoke in error, uncleanness and / or guile. I would say that this forum has done a nice job of exposing the error in WL and LSM, the uncleanness, and the guile.

4 but even as we have been approved of God to be intrusted with the gospel, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God who proveth our hearts.

Once again, a contrast between the sycophants, the puppet elders, etc and the apostle Paul.

5 For neither at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness; 6 nor seeking glory of men, neither from you nor from others, when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ.

Now we have discussed the aspect of covetousness that is common to false prophets (Judas, Balaam, and WL). We have discussed WL's boasting "who said this? Lee, Lee, that's who" etc. So the context of Paul saying that he might have claimed apostolic authority (but didn't) is the same context where he said he hadn't done any of these other things either. This is the only mention of "apostolic authority" in the NT. You don't see Peter claiming it, you don't see John claiming it, you don't see Paul claiming it.

But obviously someone is. Diotrophese who loves to have the preeminence uses his "authority" to reject those from John. False brothers in Galatians try to bring the saints into bondage (under their authority). Judaizers from James intimidate Peter into not walking according to the truth. And, here in this section we can infer that those speaking in error, uncleanness and guile do this as well.

Then Paul charges Titus to speak "with all authority". Now the term "all authority" would have to include "apostolic authority" if there were such a thing. But that would be hypocritical for Paul to exhort Titus to use "apostolic authority" if he has said he didn't. On the other hand, if Paul is exhorting Titus to speak "with all authority" then surely he must have done so too. Therefore I conclude that "apostolic authority" is a bogus term made up by false brothers and false prophets. No doubt, authority has been given to us, and Paul says the same, so it is difficult to debate whether or not there is such a thing since Apostle's have been given authority, the same authority promised to all believers in Matthew 18, Ephesians 1, etc. So instead of being dragged into that swamp Paul makes it clear he has not claimed this, nor has he done any of the other things these false brothers do.
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:19 PM   #178
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Folks get fired these days for "lacking candor."

Too bad that same standard never applied to LSM.
Wasn't John Ingalls fired for "lack of candor"?
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:45 PM   #179
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Igzy>”In your case, Drake, I'm not sure you believe any of the stuff you say. I tend to think it's mostly just a game to you, a way to pass the time.”

Nope.

Appreciate your explanation Igzy. I believe Truth is absolute. I believe when experience leads it becomes a filter to Truth. The kind of Bible you have then depends on the kind of person you are shaped by experience. Nevertheless many people do interpret the Bible and the truths therein based on experience. I don’t. It is not good practice to lead with something that is unreliable and limited. It has its place but not in establishing Biblical Truth.

On this quote above allow me to clarify.

Remove all doubt from your mind. If I am not sure about something I will indicate or qualify it as I did with the question on Titus Chu. When I state something in a back and forth rest assured I believe it. I don’t like to waste time. Do I allow room to be persuaded ? Certainly. Do I hold deep convictions about most of the things I speak of? Certainly. Do I disengage when I think a fellow poster is not discussing in good faith? Almost always.

But again, appreciate the conversation.

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Old 03-20-2018, 12:50 PM   #180
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1Thess 2: 3 . . .
Thanks bro ZNP, now I get it. You cited 1 Thess 1:3-6, I guess by mistake. And as a result I was greatly confused. I'm glad I asked.

v. 6 IS interesting, cuz Paul didn't seek glory, or use his power of apostleship to exercise demands on the Thessalonians.

As I've stated, I never saw Lee as an Apostle, but only a self made Bible teacher. But, even if he was the Apostle in his own mind, and in the minds of his blind sycophants, he and they, had to glossed over those verses.

Good catch brother.
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Old 03-20-2018, 01:21 PM   #181
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The reason I push against the idea that the Apostolic gift still exists is:

(1) We can't even agree what it consists of.
(2) Some, given the freedom to define apostles as they wish, create monsters like the MOTA.
I think we can all agree that an apostle is a "sent one" who has been sent by God to deliver a message.

Now I realize that seems to overlap with a prophet, but only superficially. For example, I was once walking across campus and I had one gospel tract left and I wanted to hand it out. So I was praying. I passed many people without handing it out and became more and more desperate in my prayer. Finally I arrived at the office I was heading for and in the waiting room there was another student so I handed her the tract and said "here, this is for you". She looked at the title "Life at best is very brief like the falling of a leaf" and said "That is appropriate, I just learned I have lung cancer".

I could share a number of other experiences, but to me there is a distinction between being sent by the Lord to deliver a message, vs speaking for the Lord vs evangelizing vs teaching.

The reason I am not willing to dismiss Apostles as a gift is because in Eph 4 it says these gifts perfect all the saints to grow into a full grown man. To me that means we all can function in all of these gifts. We may not be "gifted" but we can still function.

To me the "gift" of apostle is when they don't want to receive your message. Paul makes it very clear that he is revealed to be an apostle by delivering the message to those who very much did not want to receive it. For example, just about everyone can hit a layup in basketball. But what if Lebron James doesn't want you to make the shot? That changes everything.

Another example: my brother was getting married and asked if I would read a verse from the Bible during the ceremony. Again, I put quite a lot of prayer into this. Prior to the wedding I was driving with my Dad who asked about this. I told him I was desperately trying to edit it down because it was taking me 5 minutes. He freaked out, 5 minutes! Well as soon as I started to speak he began to signal my two brothers to yank me out of there. Since he was sitting on the front row everyone in the church could see this (except me). It was incredibly quiet, everyone was on the edge of their seat to see what was about to happen as my older brother, standing behind me was leaning in to yank me out. I was talking about how my father's children expressed him and as they were just about to cut me off I said "and we'll even let you see things he doesn't want you to see". Well I got to share my full burden and it was very memorable and I heard about it for years afterwards.

So, I also use my experience when studying the word.
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Old 03-20-2018, 01:21 PM   #182
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The kind of Bible you have then depends on the kind of person you are shaped by experience.
This is true whether you want it to be or not. Cannot be avoided. You believe the things you do largely because of the type of person you are. We all do. That's why the Bible doesn't tell us to eliminate ourselves from the equation, it says seek to be pure in heart.

God can't teach you anything if you don't know something first.
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