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Old 09-21-2018, 05:23 PM   #1
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Default Plumb the depths of Adoption

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If "most Christians" do not properly appreciate the depths of Paul's unique use of the Roman legal word for "adoption," then rather than condemning them in front of all the LC's, he should plumb the depths of this truth, and teach that, which he never did. Instead Lee took the word at face value and used it to criticize the entire Christian public. Most decent teachers and ministers would never do this.
The reason for me to even address this topic was my wife's life-long distaste for Paul's use of the word "adoption," which she received from Lee. She preferred "born again" children of God. Though I would explain that there was no conflict, and both were simultaneously true, addressing our status as sons of God from different directions, she was pickled by Lee's exclusive teaching and unchanging.
Then one day recently I came across a few websites explaining Paul's use of adoption based on Roman law and showed her an article on the rich benefits of Roman "adoption," and she was instantly transformed by the renewing of her mind. The truth had set her free!
(Post 109 from Ohio in an open letter to Ron Kangas)

I didn't want to continue this discussion in the "open letter to Ron Kangas" thread since I felt it would be too far off topic. But I agree with Ohio, there is a great truth here and WL famously took issue with the use of the word "adoption", rather than teach this truth. Since we have all been influenced by his teaching to some extent I thought it would be valuable for all of us, not just Ohio's wife, to address this here.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Plumb the depths of Adoption

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Why do we care what the Romans thought, taught, or did? Didn't they torture and kill Jesus?
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Plumb the depths of Adoption

The meaning of adoption under Roman law was still a legal transfer of identity. So it does not matter how much better Roman adoption was to adoption today, or what benefits it brought, when its meaning is strictly a legal meaning - the organic sonship is a much more comforting concept, which is found to be almost non-existent within Christianity.

I believe the adoptive language is a cause of many Christians not realizing their full identity in Christ - quite a number of Christians I have spoken to in the past cannot fathom how Jesus can be our adoptive brother, let alone an actual brother organically.

When we are talking about the born again experience, of the Holy Spirit making us born again, the legal adoptive explanation does not make much sense to me other than a way to describe the benefits that being born again brings. It seems to have served Paul's purpose for the audience he was writing to, but for us today I think we can understand the organic salvation better.

However I wonder why it is necessary at all to think of sonship in an adoptive/legal way, when we obtain all of the same benefits and more by virtue of organic sonship.

If we are organically sons and daughters of God, why do we need to think of ourselves as being adopted?
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Plumb the depths of Adoption

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Why do we care what the Romans thought, taught, or did? Didn't they torture and kill Jesus?
But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins...
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Plumb the depths of Adoption

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If we are organically sons and daughters of God, why do we need to think of ourselves as being adopted?
The term is not that we were "adopted" as it is understood today, but rather

4but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Gal 4:4-5)

The purpose of redemption was that we might receive the adoption of sons.

This is what Paul referred to in Ephesians:

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: 5having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of the glory of his grace, (Ephesians 1:3-6)

The adoption of sons is not a reference to the "organic union" but rather to the authority of having a position in God's kingdom to exercise His authority.

22 For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgment unto the Son; 23 that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent him… 27 and he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man

Hebrews explains it best:

hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds; Heb 1:2

That was when Jesus received the "adoption of sonship" when He was appointed heir of all things.
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Plumb the depths of Adoption

So Paul is talking about what we get (authority) as opposed to who we are (born again sons of God). I've never taken issue with the adoptive stance and the organic stance co-existing, I have always thought adoption is from an objective/legal point of view.
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Plumb the depths of Adoption

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So Paul is talking about what we get (authority) as opposed to who we are (born again sons of God). I've never taken issue with the adoptive stance and the organic stance co-existing, I have always thought adoption is from an objective/legal point of view.
The NT and Paul never say that this is "what we got" rather this is what we are foreordained to get, and it is never that "we get it" but rather it is "through Jesus".

Jesus has been appointed heir of all things. That is done. The gospel that Paul preached was based on this fundamental revelation:

15But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me, even from my mother’s womb, and called me through his grace, 16to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles; Gal 1:15-16

The heir of all things.

When we were born again we received a relationship with God the Father, and that is a basis to pray. But you could be the child of a very powerful king and it doesn't mean He is going to respond to every prayer this child prays. Receiving the adoption of sonship indicates a walk with the Lord, submissive to Him.

14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: 17and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him. (Rom 8:14-17)
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:44 PM   #8
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But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins...
So we need Hellenism to step into our Christian experience?
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:54 PM   #9
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So we need Hellenism to step into our Christian experience?
Most Greek stories deal with appeasement (a lower stature person trying to mollify the powerful offended person) or clemency (a powerful person trying to subjugate someone else). I am not aware of any Greek story of God giving His son to pay the price to redeem sinners so that they could ultimately receive the adoption of sonship.
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Plumb the depths of Adoption

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Most Greek stories deal with appeasement (a lower stature person trying to mollify the powerful offended person) or clemency (a powerful person trying to subjugate someone else). I am not aware of any Greek story of God giving His son to pay the price to redeem sinners so that they could ultimately receive the adoption of sonship.
Then why bring in the Roman definition of adoption into it?
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Old 09-21-2018, 09:08 PM   #11
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Then why bring in the Roman definition of adoption into it?
The term refers to the ruling and reigning position of Jesus. At the time of the gospel that was much easier to convey with the Roman term than the Hebrew term. At the time of the gospel Israel was a branch broken off of the tree and fading away.

The Roman empire was built on a revolutionary concept -- the value of citizenship. The Roman Empire spread because the surrounding peoples saw the value in being citizens of Rome.
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Old 09-21-2018, 09:38 PM   #12
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The term refers to the ruling and reigning position of Jesus. At the time of the gospel that was much easier to convey with the Roman term than the Hebrew term. At the time of the gospel Israel was a branch broken off of the tree and fading away.

The Roman empire was built on a revolutionary concept -- the value of citizenship. The Roman Empire spread because the surrounding peoples saw the value in being citizens of Rome.
Okay. So pagan Hellenism was just fine. Got it.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:42 AM   #13
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Okay. So pagan Hellenism was just fine. Got it.
I prefer the way Paul explains it:

13 who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; 14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins: 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; 17 and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:53 AM   #14
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I rarely see Witness Lee recognize the word "adoption ". He said adoption is wrong concept and he promotes
"sonship" by claiming the meaning from greek etymology.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:05 AM   #15
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Default Re: Plumb the depths of Adoption

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The meaning of adoption under Roman law was still a legal transfer of identity. So it does not matter how much better Roman adoption was to adoption today, or what benefits it brought, when its meaning is strictly a legal meaning - the organic sonship is a much more comforting concept, which is found to be almost non-existent within Christianity.

I believe the adoptive language is a cause of many Christians not realizing their full identity in Christ - quite a number of Christians I have spoken to in the past cannot fathom how Jesus can be our adoptive brother, let alone an actual brother organically.

However I wonder why it is necessary at all to think of sonship in an adoptive/legal way, when we obtain all of the same benefits and more by virtue of organic sonship.

If we are organically sons and daughters of God, why do we need to think of ourselves as being adopted?
This post is filled with errors, misconceptions, and falsehoods.

Firstly, "the organic sonship is a much more comforting concept" was not true among the Gentiles under Roman Law. Born sons could be dis-owned and dis-inherited. Not so with adopted sons! It's so much more comforting to know the truth, than to know Lee's teachings!

Is this really "found to be almost non-existent within Christianity?" Another Lee falsehood. All true Christians confess they are born of God. Where have you been?

Witness Lee and his many lovers love all things "organic." But until one has been organically blacklisted, organically quarantined, and organically sued in courts by your own local and organic brothers, then you realize "organic" means nothing, and is just the latest buzzword without any reality to is.

Evangelical says, "If we are organically sons and daughters of God, why do we need to think of ourselves as being adopted?" Why that's very simple. Because the Apostle Paul taught us so! And the entire body of Christ considers his teachings to be better than your source of teaching -- Witness Lee.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: Plumb the depths of Adoption

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This post is filled with errors, misconceptions, and falsehoods.

Firstly, "the organic sonship is a much more comforting concept" was not true among the Gentiles under Roman Law. Born sons could be dis-owned and dis-inherited. Not so with adopted sons! It's so much more comforting to know the truth, than to know Lee's teachings!
This is true in the NT.

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matt 7:23

Compare:

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Jn 14:13

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures. James 4:3


In both cases we can assume the person praying is a child of God.

We have been foreordained to the adoption of sons, this is referring to us working together with God.

19Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner. 20For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and greater works than these will he show him, that ye may marvel.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:44 AM   #17
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So much for Evan G's "organic security."
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:15 AM   #18
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So much for Evan G's "organic security."
5 He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:05 PM   #19
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11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do.

To me, this is what "the adoption of sons" is referring to. To be redeemed, forgiven, saved by grace and a child of God does not imply that "I am in the Father, and the Father in me" nor does it imply that "whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do".

If we view God as running a great business and Jesus has been appointed Lord of all and heir of all things. That implies that Jesus "is in the Father and the Father is in Him" and that implies that if you are in Jesus Christ, the Chief executive officer, that "whatever ye shall ask in Jesus name, that will he do".

Ps 2:7 -- This day I have begotten thee -- That is not the day of incarnation.

"This day have I begotten thee — This also is applied by some to David, understanding, by this day, the day of his inauguration, when he might be said to be begotten by God, inasmuch as he was then raised and delivered from all his calamities and troubles, which were a kind of death, and brought forth and advanced to a new kind of life, of royal state and dignity: and so this was the birth-day, though not of his person, yet of his kingdom" (Benson commentary)

Ps. 2:7 -- I will tell of the decree: Jehovah said unto me, Thou art my son; This day have I begotten thee.

"Here it refers not to a law which he was to obey, but to an ordinance or statute respecting his reign: the solemn purpose of Yahweh in regard to the kingdom which the Messiah was to set up; the constitution of his kingdom. This, as the explanation shows, implied two things:
(a) that he was to be regarded and acknowledged as his Son, or to have that rank and dignity Psalm 2:7; and

(b) that the pagan and the uttermost parts of the earth were to be given him for a possession, or that his reign was to extend over all the world Psalm 2:8." (Barnes notes on the Bible).

This "decree" is referring to the "Sonship" legally conferred. This rank includes Lord of All.
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:15 PM   #20
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This post is filled with errors, misconceptions, and falsehoods.

Firstly, "the organic sonship is a much more comforting concept" was not true among the Gentiles under Roman Law. Born sons could be dis-owned and dis-inherited. Not so with adopted sons! It's so much more comforting to know the truth, than to know Lee's teachings!

Is this really "found to be almost non-existent within Christianity?" Another Lee falsehood. All true Christians confess they are born of God. Where have you been?

Witness Lee and his many lovers love all things "organic." But until one has been organically blacklisted, organically quarantined, and organically sued in courts by your own local and organic brothers, then you realize "organic" means nothing, and is just the latest buzzword without any reality to is.

Evangelical says, "If we are organically sons and daughters of God, why do we need to think of ourselves as being adopted?" Why that's very simple. Because the Apostle Paul taught us so! And the entire body of Christ considers his teachings to be better than your source of teaching -- Witness Lee.
Well if true (because you tend to get the facts wrong, any historical sources to support your statements?) it might sound comforting to a Roman but last time I checked most people on here do not live under Roman law so do not understand it. For that reason organic sonship is better to explain than adoption. Why not make the illustration relevant to today?

Also, the Roman adoption idea Paul presented is just a metaphor. The spiritual reality is organic son-ship. This is because when a person is born again, they receive the Spirit ("I will put My Spirit in you"~ God) , they do not receive legal adoption papers ("I will send you the contract~God"). Think about it.
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:32 PM   #21
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Well if true (because you tend to get the facts wrong, any historical sources to support your statements?) it might sound comforting to a Roman but last time I checked most people on here do not live under Roman law so do not understand it. For that reason organic sonship is better to explain than adoption. Why not make the illustration relevant to today?
Most people don't understand crucifixion either, and don't understand that part of Roman law either. Did you know that Jesus died on the cross? How did you understand what happened? Where did you get your point of reference?

Perhaps God should have designed a more "organic" death for His Son. Perhaps a simple kitchen knife -- like Abraham planned to use on Isaac -- would have been more in tune with your culture. Since capital punishment is out of style these days, maybe you have something else in mind for Jesus.

I'm trying to make this easy for you bro, since you are so hung up on Paul's use of cultural norms to explain spiritual realities.
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:53 PM   #22
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This term is somewhat confusing because our titans of industry are corporate leaders.

So, where the Bible says:

Thou crownedst him with glory and honor, And didst set him over the works of thy hands: & Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet.

You should understand that as "appointed as CEO of God, Inc."

The context of these verses is the ascension of Jesus and the decree "thou art my Son, this day I have begotten thee".
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:06 PM   #23
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Most people don't understand crucifixion either, and don't understand that part of Roman law either. Did you know that Jesus died on the cross? How did you understand what happened? Where did you get your point of reference?
The cross concerns the past, I think most people can understand it was an ancient Roman execution device. Adoption concerns the present - is a believer today , adopted under ancient Roman law? Much harder for them to understand what adoption means in this context. If we were crucified ourselves, today, to receive salvation, then I suppose we could consider more modern execution devices like lethal injection to keep it relevant. But the cross is a fact of history.

Either "adoption" is a metaphor or "born again" is a metaphor - we know that "born again" is the reality, not the adoption.

In Christianity when a person is told they are born again and adopted, it must be terribly confusing. "What? You mean my heavenly Father is not my real Father, only my adoptive Father?" Remember that if we call ourselves adopted we are also implying something about the Father - that we are not actually "born again".

If a person gets saved and denominations are telling them they are adopted and what that might mean under ancient Roman law, the local church is telling them that they are actually sons of God.

Another reason why Roman adoption law view is flawed is that the Old Testament never speaks of Roman law adoption where it concerns justification - it does speak of regeneration by the Spirit however. No verse in the OT prophesies that believers will become adopted.

So there are some things that we can appreciate Paul saying in his use of the Roman adoption law metaphor, but to take this as a spiritual reality will distort the true meaning and also contradict Ezekiel 36:27 and other OT verses prophesying of organic salvation. I think that some people are reading the metaphor as if it were a spiritual reality, without realizing how little OT support the idea has. And why would the OT which is Jewish, support any notion that believers would be adopted under a pagan legal system?

The present reality is that not many believers would be comforted to know that they are adopted under any sort of legal system (Roman or otherwise) - it would equivalent to telling our own biological sons or daughters that they are adopted.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:44 AM   #24
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Thank you, this demonstrates very well the confusion in the LRC over this matter and how little those under this "high peaks ministry" understand concerning this matter.

Several very clear errors in your speaking.

1. Psalm 2 is very clear concerning this matter of adoption -- Jesus was declared to be the Son of God at His ascension when He was crowned Lord of All. So to say the OT doesn't speak of this is false.

2. This verse is referenced in Hebrews 1 proving unequivocally that it was speaking concerning this.

3. I am not aware of any verse in the NT that says the believers "were adopted". It says we have been foreordained to this through Jesus Christ. When we are "in Christ" we are in the one who was crowned Lord of All.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:42 AM   #25
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Either "adoption" is a metaphor or "born again" is a metaphor - we know that "born again" is the reality, not the adoption.
Once again returning to ploy #2, EvanG is presenting a false choice set.

Nearly every English translation in existence uses "adoption" for all 5 of Paul's uses of the word. Witness Lee comes along, declares himself the MOTA, out to "recover" the true Bible, thus discrediting every other translator for half a millennium, and all his adherents shout for joy, not knowing what they do.

From Kittel, regarding the O.T. use of word, "Adoption confers equality with physical sons. The O.T. has legitimation rites that serve this purpose; cf. Gen 30:3 and perhaps Ruth 4:16-17 (where Naomi recognizes the child of Boaz and Ruth as the rightful heir of her dead son.)"

Also from Kittel, "... Only Paul uses this term. His aim is to show that the sonship of the believers is not a natural one but is conferred by divine act. The term might refer either to the act or the result. In Rom 9.4, relating to Israel, adoption is associated with the covenant and the promises. It means freeing from the law in Gal 4.5. In Rom 8.15 freedom comes from the spirit of sonship in virtue of Christ's all-transforming act. Eph 1.5 traces it back to God's foreordination and thus leaves no room for boasting. In Rom 8.23 the adoption is future, this teaches us that we always need God, but also that His purpose does not change."

Contrary to EvanG's thought, adoption/sonship is not being born again, nor does it conflict with being born again or regenerated. Obviously Lee's theology has pigeon-holed your thinking in conflict with the ministry of Paul. That's unfortunate. Paul's thought here includes Israel in the past and our future in glory.

Going back to the beginning of this discussion, the Roman laws for adoption supersede and exceed those for children of natural birth. Obviously Paul thought this was important for the church. Adoption relates to our status as sons of God. Under Roman laws, born sons could actually be disowned, but adopted sons were "chosen" and thus enjoyed numerous perks like inheritance and a security like no other.

It's sad to see EvanG reject these spiritual blessings which we have in Christ because of Lee's misunderstandings of these truths. If you don't understand Paul's use of the word "adoption," then please don't use your misunderstanding to condemn the rest of the body of Christ.

It should always be remembered that all of Lee's errant teachings have a few characteristics in common. First, they were designed to distinguish his ministry from the rest of the body of Christ. Secondly, they afforded him opportunity to critique the rest of the body of Christ. Thirdly, the teachings resulted in the LC's being puffed up against their brethren.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:46 AM   #26
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Thank you, this demonstrates very well the confusion in the LRC over this matter and how little those under this "high peaks ministry" understand concerning this matter.

Several very clear errors in your speaking.

1. Psalm 2 is very clear concerning this matter of adoption -- Jesus was declared to be the Son of God at His ascension when He was crowned Lord of All. So to say the OT doesn't speak of this is false.

2. This verse is referenced in Hebrews 1 proving unequivocally that it was speaking concerning this.

3. I am not aware of any verse in the NT that says the believers "were adopted". It says we have been foreordained to this through Jesus Christ. When we are "in Christ" we are in the one who was crowned Lord of All.
This corresponds with Romans 1.3-4, "Concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who came out of the seed of David according to the flesh, and was designated the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness out of the resurrection of the dead."
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:50 AM   #27
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In Christianity when a person is told they are born again and adopted, it must be terribly confusing. "What? You mean my heavenly Father is not my real Father, only my adoptive Father?" Remember that if we call ourselves adopted we are also implying something about the Father - that we are not actually "born again".
First of all Mr E, why do you use "In Christianity" as such a negative epithet? YOU ARE "In Christianity". No? Are you in Judaism? Are you in Islam? Are you in Buddhism or Hinduism? You are in a very small, insignificant sect of Christianity. Actually, Witness Lee's followers should be happy to be considered as "in Christianity" (this is how your benefactor Hank Hanegraaff et al categorized the Local Church of Witness Lee) The alternative categories that really describe the Local Church are not as pretty, trust me.

What is terribly confusing is Witness Lee's teachings regarding "adoption". As par for the course for him, Lee was decidedly ignorant and desperately ill-informed about what is and what is not generally taught "in Christianity". And now Witness' followers continue on with the ignorance. What orthodox, evangelical church have you personally witnessed someone teaching or even saying out loud "my heavenly Father is not my real Father, only my adoptive Father"? You have never heard any such thing. This was a figment of Witness Lee's bizarre imagination. You are clueless my friend.
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If a person gets saved and denominations are telling them they are adopted and what that might mean under ancient Roman law, the local church is telling them that they are actually sons of God.
What the Local Church of Witness Lee is telling them is that they "are becoming God in life and nature". What the Local Church of Witness Lee is telling them is that they can become "baby Gods". (they also are to become "Witness Lee tape recorders"...but that's for a different thread) So only the Local Church is teaching that "they are actually sons of God"? Do you really believe that Mr. E? You can't possibly be that ignorant. No way.
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:56 AM   #28
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What the Local Church of Witness Lee is telling them is that they "are becoming God in life and nature". What the Local Church of Witness Lee is telling them is that they can become "baby Gods". (they also are to become "Witness Lee tape recorders"...but that's for a different thread) So only the Local Church is teaching that "they are actually sons of God"? Do you really believe that Mr. E? You can't possibly be that ignorant. No way.
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So then Athanasius has become their first MOTA?
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:16 PM   #29
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Either "adoption" is a metaphor or "born again" is a metaphor - we know that "born again" is the reality, not the adoption.
Neither one is a metaphor, and both are the reality.
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:26 PM   #30
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Thank you, this demonstrates very well the confusion in the LRC over this matter and how little those under this "high peaks ministry" understand concerning this matter.

Several very clear errors in your speaking.

1. Psalm 2 is very clear concerning this matter of adoption -- Jesus was declared to be the Son of God at His ascension when He was crowned Lord of All. So to say the OT doesn't speak of this is false.

2. This verse is referenced in Hebrews 1 proving unequivocally that it was speaking concerning this.

3. I am not aware of any verse in the NT that says the believers "were adopted". It says we have been foreordained to this through Jesus Christ. When we are "in Christ" we are in the one who was crowned Lord of All.

Are you saying Jesus was adopted based on Psalm 2? Wow
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:38 PM   #31
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Are you saying Jesus was adopted based on Psalm 2? Wow
Why do the nations rage,
And the peoples meditate a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against Jehovah, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bonds asunder,
And cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens will laugh:
The Lord will have them in derision.
5 Then will he speak unto them in his wrath,
And vex them in his sore displeasure:
6 Yet I have set my king
Upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will tell of the decree:
Jehovah said unto me, Thou art my son;
This day have I begotten thee.

8 Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance,
And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.


the decree is made by Jehovah when Jesus was crowned Lord of all -- the decree is "Thou art my Son".

Yes, this is precisely what Paul and Hebrews refers to. The legal term is used by Paul when he refers to "the spirit of adoption" or "adoption of sons". It refers to God appointing Jesus Lord of all.
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:43 PM   #32
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Once again returning to ploy #2, EvanG is presenting a false choice set.

Nearly every English translation in existence uses "adoption" for all 5 of Paul's uses of the word. Witness Lee comes along, declares himself the MOTA, out to "recover" the true Bible, thus discrediting every other translator for half a millennium, and all his adherents shout for joy, not knowing what they do.

From Kittel, regarding the O.T. use of word, "Adoption confers equality with physical sons. The O.T. has legitimation rites that serve this purpose; cf. Gen 30:3 and perhaps Ruth 4:16-17 (where Naomi recognizes the child of Boaz and Ruth as the rightful heir of her dead son.)"

Also from Kittel, "... Only Paul uses this term. His aim is to show that the sonship of the believers is not a natural one but is conferred by divine act. The term might refer either to the act or the result. In Rom 9.4, relating to Israel, adoption is associated with the covenant and the promises. It means freeing from the law in Gal 4.5. In Rom 8.15 freedom comes from the spirit of sonship in virtue of Christ's all-transforming act. Eph 1.5 traces it back to God's foreordination and thus leaves no room for boasting. In Rom 8.23 the adoption is future, this teaches us that we always need God, but also that His purpose does not change."

Contrary to EvanG's thought, adoption/sonship is not being born again, nor does it conflict with being born again or regenerated. Obviously Lee's theology has pigeon-holed your thinking in conflict with the ministry of Paul. That's unfortunate. Paul's thought here includes Israel in the past and our future in glory.

Going back to the beginning of this discussion, the Roman laws for adoption supersede and exceed those for children of natural birth. Obviously Paul thought this was important for the church. Adoption relates to our status as sons of God. Under Roman laws, born sons could actually be disowned, but adopted sons were "chosen" and thus enjoyed numerous perks like inheritance and a security like no other.

It's sad to see EvanG reject these spiritual blessings which we have in Christ because of Lee's misunderstandings of these truths. If you don't understand Paul's use of the word "adoption," then please don't use your misunderstanding to condemn the rest of the body of Christ.

It should always be remembered that all of Lee's errant teachings have a few characteristics in common. First, they were designed to distinguish his ministry from the rest of the body of Christ. Secondly, they afforded him opportunity to critique the rest of the body of Christ. Thirdly, the teachings resulted in the LC's being puffed up against their brethren.
You are missing the whole point which is that Paul was writing to early Christians who were Roman citizens. To a Jewish believer it was about to who you were born and adoption was nothing. This is found in 1 peter 1.23. The spiritual blessings can be well understood from the Jewish understanding too. Anything that Paul communicated to Romans using adoption was already understood by Peter and James such that the Roman adoption view adds nothing. Today the Jewish understanding matches modern society better. No one would understand the Roman adoption unless they studied history.
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:54 PM   #33
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Why do the nations rage,
And the peoples meditate a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against Jehovah, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bonds asunder,
And cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens will laugh:
The Lord will have them in derision.
5 Then will he speak unto them in his wrath,
And vex them in his sore displeasure:
6 Yet I have set my king
Upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will tell of the decree:
Jehovah said unto me, Thou art my son;
This day have I begotten thee.

8 Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance,
And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.


the decree is made by Jehovah when Jesus was crowned Lord of all -- the decree is "Thou art my Son".

Yes, this is precisely what Paul and Hebrews refers to. The legal term is used by Paul when he refers to "the spirit of adoption" or "adoption of sons". It refers to God appointing Jesus Lord of all.
Your last sentence contains the proper understanding...that it is an appointment rather than an actual adoption. I would agree with this view.

The actual adoptive view comes from gnosticism however.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:00 PM   #34
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You are missing the whole point which is that Paul was writing to early Christians who were Roman citizens. To a Jewish believer it was about to who you were born and adoption was nothing. This is found in 1 peter 1.23. The spiritual blessings can be well understood from the Jewish understanding too. Anything that Paul communicated to Romans using adoption was already understood by Peter and James such that the Roman adoption view adds nothing. Today the Jewish understanding matches modern society better. No one would understand the Roman adoption unless they studied history.
Tell that to Reuben, Simeon, and Levi. Oh, and Esau might find that amusing as well. Likewise the sons of David.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:32 PM   #35
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Your last sentence contains the proper understanding...that it is an appointment rather than an actual adoption. I would agree with this view.

The actual adoptive view comes from gnosticism however.
We'll at least we can see the reason for the confusion, you are not reading anything that people have posted. Way to stick your foot in your mouth.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:12 PM   #36
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You are missing the whole point which is that Paul was writing to early Christians who were Roman citizens. To a Jewish believer it was about to who you were born and adoption was nothing. This is found in 1 peter 1.23. The spiritual blessings can be well understood from the Jewish understanding too. Anything that Paul communicated to Romans using adoption was already understood by Peter and James such that the Roman adoption view adds nothing. Today the Jewish understanding matches modern society better. No one would understand the Roman adoption unless they studied history.
I'm not missing any point.

We all know that Jesus spoke to a Jewish teacher named Nicodemus when He said, "you must be born anew." We all know that Paul spoke mainly to Gentile Roman citizens when he wrote concerning "adoption" to Ephesus, Galatians, and Romans. Do we now alter the scriptures because modern day readers may not understand adoption to your liking. Paul said Jews seek signs, and Greeks seek wisdom -- know your audience.

With adoption, you and Lee have created an issue where none existed. Dozens of modern day translations use Paul's word "adoption," and millions upon millions understand "adoption" and "regeneration" simultaneously. We both know that Lee created this issue to prove that he was better than the rest of Christianity. Why would Lee reject 1st century understanding here, and then launch his ground of locality doctrines using strict adherence to Revelation chapter 2-3 using city names for churches? Why would he go back to 4rd century teacher Athanasius for his errant teaching "God became man to make man God?"

Why? Why? Why the inconsistencies? Why ditch the Biblical use of "adoption" claiming Christians might misunderstand? Why demand strict adherence to Revelation, neglecting other epistles, for proper church naming? Why ditch both Paul's, Peter's, and John's teachings and adhere to Athanasius? Why claim to be "today's Paul" and yet reject his prominent adoption teachings and lack of proper church naming?

Why is Lee so inconsistent here? The answer is simple. He's not!!!

His hermeneutics may be inconsistent, but Lee is always consistent when it comes to being different from Christianity so that he can constantly convince his hearers that he is better, he is unique, his teachings are exclusively his, and he is thus qualified to bash Christianity regularly. What does this add up to? Pride.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:43 PM   #37
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We'll at least we can see the reason for the confusion, you are not reading anything that people have posted. Way to stick your foot in your mouth.
I read it for sure. But your last sentence was the statement of fact that Jesus was appointed not adopted in the traditional sense. He was truly Gods son who was appointed. Your adoption view you will find support with Ehrman.
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:45 PM   #38
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I'm not missing any point.
Most believers do not understand what adoption means in the Roman context. The analogy is fine for a Roman audience but for today - know your audience.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:21 PM   #39
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If I talk about advanced concepts such as Jesus being adopted, I should quote my sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adoptionism

Adoptionism, sometimes called dynamic monarchianism, is a nontrinitarian theological doctrine which holds that Jesus was adopted as the Son of God at his baptism, his resurrection, or his ascension.

Some scholars such as Bart D. Ehrman and Daniel Boyarin see Adoptionist concepts in the Gospel of Mark.

The fact is, that Jesus was never adopted. Verses which seem to say as if he was adopted are actually talking about his appointment.

The heresy of adoptionism is from failing to understand that Psalm 2 and Hebrews "begotten" speak of Christ's appointment not his adoption. Alternatively, a compromise view is that the Bible contains adoptionism - some scholars such as Ehrman think that the Canon of scripture contains gnostic concepts but they do not believe in the inerrancy of God's Word.

Anyone who has disagreement with my statement that the OT does not talk about the believer's or Christ's adoption, has fallen into the trap of the adoptionism heresy and should look up some historical facts:

https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/adoption/

Old Testament Legal adoption was not prescribed in Jewish law or practiced by the Israelites. In fact, the term "adoption" does not occur in the Old Testament

The site goes on to say how the adoption metaphor was particularly meaningful to Greek and Roman societies, but not so much for Jews.
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:44 PM   #40
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If I talk about advanced concepts such as Jesus being adopted, I should quote my sources:
See Post #19

I refer to Bensons commentary and Barnes notes on the Bible.

I have quoted numerous NT verses that refer specifically to the adoption at the time of the Lord's ascension, I have also referred to OT verses and other verses in Hebrews and Romans.

None of these references are referring to this ridiculous doctrine that you have found on Wikipedia. Once again you are doubling down on your lack of comprehension.

Yes, the term "adoption" is referring to Jesus inauguration and enthronement, but it isn't the "appointment" of a servant but rather of His Son. Since the days of Abraham men groomed, trained and desired their son to inherit their kingdom. But also, since the days of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau, Jacob and Reuben, we have seen many sons who were not "appointed" as heir of all things.
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:08 PM   #41
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Adoption is a metaphor. It was never practiced in Israel in the Old Testament. Can't deny historical facts.

The way it is used in Christianity should give us reason to think - many Christians see adoption as being less than an actual son. They are just a sinner saved by grace, and considered a son but not actually a son. This is how many Christians think of themselves and other believers. The adoption metaphor is not helping. If Paul re-wrote Romans to a modern Western audience I don't think he would have used the adoption metaphor.
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Old 09-24-2018, 08:22 PM   #42
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First of all Mr E, why do you use "In Christianity" as such a negative epithet? YOU ARE "In Christianity". No? Are you in Judaism? Are you in Islam? Are you in Buddhism or Hinduism? You are in a very small, insignificant sect of Christianity. Actually, Witness Lee's followers should be happy to be considered as "in Christianity" (this is how your benefactor Hank Hanegraaff et al categorized the Local Church of Witness Lee) The alternative categories that really describe the Local Church are not as pretty, trust me.
That's an interesting perspective, to put forward the idea that being part of a religion called Christianity carries some sort of benefits because the alternatives are worse. Many believers might disagree with you that they are in a religion called Christianity, not just local church believers.


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What is terribly confusing is Witness Lee's teachings regarding "adoption". As par for the course for him, Lee was decidedly ignorant and desperately ill-informed about what is and what is not generally taught "in Christianity". And now Witness' followers continue on with the ignorance. What orthodox, evangelical church have you personally witnessed someone teaching or even saying out loud "my heavenly Father is not my real Father, only my adoptive Father"? You have never heard any such thing. This was a figment of Witness Lee's bizarre imagination. You are clueless my friend.
So you can honestly state that a person who thinks they are "merely adopted" also thinks that God is truly their Father? That does not make sense. It follows that however we see ourselves affects how we see the Father. Those who think they are adopted see the Father as an adoptive father - they must. Maybe orthodox evangelicals are more enlightened than the rest - but remember that the majority of Christianity is Catholicism which believes that a person becomes an adopted son of God at Baptism.


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What the Local Church of Witness Lee is telling them is that they "are becoming God in life and nature". What the Local Church of Witness Lee is telling them is that they can become "baby Gods". (they also are to become "Witness Lee tape recorders"...but that's for a different thread) So only the Local Church is teaching that "they are actually sons of God"? Do you really believe that Mr. E? You can't possibly be that ignorant. No way.
-
There are very few, teaching that we are actually sons of God, because that would invoke cries of blasphemy and "only Jesus is God's actual son" all around. Just look at the reaction on this thread, and people here are already somewhat enlightened.

Or do we seriously think that every Christian out there and pastor in church has a full understanding of what it means to be adopted under ancient Roman Law? I doubt it. They are just happy to be a second class citizen in God's kingdom, an adopted son because of the real Son Jesus. Not realizing that adoption speaks of their future inheritance, not how they became God's son.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:44 PM   #43
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Most Christians I know both understand that they are born again and appreciate the transfer of once being an unwanted orphan without a father that wanted them, to having a father that chose them, loves them, and gives them the full rights of sonship and an inheritance through adoption.

If one doesn’t put themselves in the shoes of an adopted orphan they will never appreciate the term adoption.
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:54 AM   #44
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Adoption is a metaphor. It was never practiced in Israel in the Old Testament. Can't deny historical facts.

The way it is used in Christianity should give us reason to think - many Christians see adoption as being less than an actual son. They are just a sinner saved by grace, and considered a son but not actually a son. This is how many Christians think of themselves and other believers. The adoption metaphor is not helping. If Paul re-wrote Romans to a modern Western audience I don't think he would have used the adoption metaphor.
It is not a metaphor and your insistence that it is doesn't change that fact. Psalms 2 says that it was a decree at the time of Jesus being enthroned. Hebrews reiterates this saying repeatedly "of which of the angels has God ever said". The term refers to a legal recognition of status. Romans says that Jesus "was declared to be". Jesus status as Lord of all is not a metaphor, it is a declaration of fact and one day everyone will bow their knee to this fact.


"Many Christians"? I think you have proven that it is virtually all Christians in the LRC. Not only have you demonstrated that Christians in the LRC have this erroneous concept, and that it perpetuates, but that they have also adopted WL's practice of rewriting the Bible.

Everyone, in every culture "assigns an heir". That is what this is referring to. When Jesus was declared Lord of all he was made heir of all things. Being born of your father does not guarantee that you are appointed heir. That is something that the Jews were well aware of (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Esau, Ishmael, etc)

Finally, no verse says that we have "been adopted". It says that this is the goal, not the accomplished fact. Our redemption is for this purpose. We have been chosen and sanctified with this goal in mind.
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:03 AM   #45
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It is not a metaphor and your insistence that it is doesn't change that fact. Psalms 2 says that it was a decree at the time of Jesus being enthroned. Hebrews reiterates this saying repeatedly "of which of the angels has God ever said". The term refers to a legal recognition of status. Romans says that Jesus "was declared to be". Jesus status as Lord of all is not a metaphor, it is a declaration of fact and one day everyone will bow their knee to this fact.

"Many Christians"? I think you have proven that it is virtually all Christians in the LRC. Not only have you demonstrated that Christians in the LRC have this erroneous concept, and that it perpetuates, but that they have also adopted WL's practice of rewriting the Bible.

Everyone, in every culture "assigns an heir". That is what this is referring to. When Jesus was declared Lord of all he was made heir of all things. Being born of your father does not guarantee that you are appointed heir.

Finally, no verse says that we have "been adopted". It says that this is the goal, not the accomplished fact.
For me discussions like this expose serious flaws and deficiencies in the ministry of Witness Lee. He was all about himself and his work rather than the actual exposition of the New Testament. One serious flaw was that WL had no peers, no balance, no tempering, or in his own words, no "blending" with other ministers and mature teachers. Hence, misconceptions such as Paul's us of "adoption" go on for years unchecked.

Here is a portion of what Vine says in his Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words ...
Quote:
In Eph 1.5 they [the believers] are said to have been foreordained unto "adoption as sons" through Jesus Christ, RV;

the KJV, "adoption of children" is a mistranslation and misleading.

God does not "adopt" believers as children; they are begotten as such by His Holy Spirit through faith.

"Adoption" is a term involving the dignity of the relationship of believers as sons; it is not a putting into the the family by spiritual birth, but a putting into the position of sons.
Firstly, it appears like the source of Lee's initial error was the mistranslation in the KJV, the version originally used in the LCM before the Recovery Version was developed.

Secondly, Vine's Dictionary, nearly the de facto standard for Bible semantics among all Christians, clearly delineates that adoption does not refer to our birth, our regeneration, into the family of God.

This is why today's Christians are not troubled by the "problems" Lee and Company claim for them. Adoption is a manufactured crisis, one that exists only in the minds of the LC faithful.
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:16 AM   #46
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Most Christians I know both understand that they are born again and appreciate the transfer of once being an unwanted orphan without a father that wanted them, to having a father that chose them, loves them, and gives them the full rights of sonship and an inheritance through adoption.

If one doesn’t put themselves in the shoes of an adopted orphan they will never appreciate the term adoption.
Let's be careful, the NT does not give believers "the full rights of sonship and an inheritance through adoption". We receive these rights and inheritance "through Jesus Christ". When we are in Jesus Christ we receive this. If a believer is not in Jesus Christ (James refers to those who pray according to their lusts) then we don't receive this.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:33 AM   #47
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And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Jn 14:13

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may spend it in your pleasures. James 4:3
This brings us to the point. If you are in the name of Jesus then it is true that you are in "the Lord of all" and "the heir of all things" and "whatsoever ye shall ask that will I do".

The determining factor is not whether or not you are a child of God, born of God, but if you are in the name of the one who has been declared Lord of All.
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:37 PM   #48
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It is not a metaphor and your insistence that it is doesn't change that fact. Psalms 2 says that it was a decree at the time of Jesus being enthroned. Hebrews reiterates this saying repeatedly "of which of the angels has God ever said". The term refers to a legal recognition of status. Romans says that Jesus "was declared to be". Jesus status as Lord of all is not a metaphor, it is a declaration of fact and one day everyone will bow their knee to this fact.


"Many Christians"? I think you have proven that it is virtually all Christians in the LRC. Not only have you demonstrated that Christians in the LRC have this erroneous concept, and that it perpetuates, but that they have also adopted WL's practice of rewriting the Bible.

Everyone, in every culture "assigns an heir". That is what this is referring to. When Jesus was declared Lord of all he was made heir of all things. Being born of your father does not guarantee that you are appointed heir. That is something that the Jews were well aware of (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Esau, Ishmael, etc)

Finally, no verse says that we have "been adopted". It says that this is the goal, not the accomplished fact. Our redemption is for this purpose. We have been chosen and sanctified with this goal in mind.
It's a metaphor in my view because God is not constrained by human Roman adoption law. If it is not a metaphor then we should expect to see some sort of actual legal agreement or contract. Adoption is the metaphor.. assignment or inheritance is the meaning.

Adoption to become a son of God - this is the view I was talking about. You don't seem to be presenting this view so I wonder if we agree more than we disagree.

Adoption is a metaphor for future assignment or inherit in the future - I think this is the understanding you are presenting although you disagree that adoption is a metaphor.

I think it is a fair statement, especially for Catholics, that many Christians
-think adoption applies to how they became a son of God, and not future assignment or inheritance.
-do not understand ancient Roman adoption law

Your "Let's be careful" post to JJ somewhat reinforces my view that this is not an easy topic and many Christians misunderstand.
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:54 PM   #49
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For me discussions like this expose serious flaws and deficiencies in the ministry of Witness Lee. He was all about himself and his work rather than the actual exposition of the New Testament. One serious flaw was that WL had no peers, no balance, no tempering, or in his own words, no "blending" with other ministers and mature teachers. Hence, misconceptions such as Paul's us of "adoption" go on for years unchecked.

Here is a portion of what Vine says in his Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words ...
Firstly, it appears like the source of Lee's initial error was the mistranslation in the KJV, the version originally used in the LCM before the Recovery Version was developed.

Secondly, Vine's Dictionary, nearly the de facto standard for Bible semantics among all Christians, clearly delineates that adoption does not refer to our birth, our regeneration, into the family of God.

This is why today's Christians are not troubled by the "problems" Lee and Company claim for them. Adoption is a manufactured crisis, one that exists only in the minds of the LC faithful.
This does not make sense. If there is a critical flaw in the KJV then it is a sort of crisis, not manufactured. Anyone who reads the KJV (and there are many) can be affected by this problem. This is why we need teachings (and bible footnotes?) that correct the view that God has sons through adoption. We could even say that this is why we should read the RCV and not the KJV.

You have pointed out a critical flaw in the KJV, made it sound as if only Witness Lee has been duped by this flaw and "manufactured" the issue, and that every Christian "today's Christian's" have read Vine's Dictionary and has the proper understanding of adoption. I find all of these ideas very biased and misleading.

Let's reference the Tomes article in "LSM's Attack on Adoption - Tomes" where these ideas are found. It affirms that RK is correct by saying the bible does not say we are children of God by adoption:

Ron Kangas states, “The Bible nowhere says that we are children of God by adoption.” The Greek word, huiothesia, translated as “adoption” literally means “to place as a son.” Hence this statement by Ron Kangas is true by definition.


So it seems that the recovery already has the proper understanding that you say is presented in Vine's.

If this issue is caused by or worsened by errors in the KJV, then you or anyone cannot claim that Lee manufactured the crisis. There is a real need for the truth about adoption to be stated more clearly because this matter extends beyond Lee and the recovery. You should be thanking the recovery for addressing and fixing the translation problems in the KJV and the misunderstandings which follow.

One question I have is why was this verse in the KJV mistranslated?, perhaps they too had a misunderstanding about adoption.
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:06 PM   #50
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It's a metaphor in my view because God is not constrained by human Roman adoption law. If it is not a metaphor then we should expect to see some sort of actual legal agreement or contract. Adoption is the metaphor.. assignment or inheritance is the meaning.
So then do you think that redemption is a metaphor?

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Adoption to become a son of God - this is the view I was talking about. You don't seem to be presenting this view so I wonder if we agree more than we disagree.
Adoption here is a legal term that refers to Jesus being made heir of all things. You are not guaranteed the status of an heir simply because you are the biological son of a man. Since being made an heir also means being made Lord of All, this is also part of the meaning. Surely Jesus enthronement that He is Lord of All and Heir of all things required a legal decree from God.

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Adoption is a metaphor for future assignment or inherit in the future - I think this is the understanding you are presenting although you disagree that adoption is a metaphor.
This is not future assignment of inheritance, it took place when Jesus ascended. The future tense refers to us, we will all be judged at the judgement seat of Christ.

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I think it is a fair statement, especially for Catholics, that many Christians
-think adoption applies to how they became a son of God, and not future assignment or inheritance.
-do not understand ancient Roman adoption law
I think many people do not fully understand this, nor do I think it is frequently taught, certainly not as often as other fundamental truths. Yet it is absolutely fundamental to prayer.

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Your "Let's be careful" post to JJ somewhat reinforces my view that this is not an easy topic and many Christians misunderstand.
Yes, it is another example of how we could not quite understand this or misstate it, but it was a very different example of what you have spoken of up to this point.
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Old 09-25-2018, 05:24 PM   #51
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This does not make sense. If there is a critical flaw in the KJV then it is a sort of crisis, not manufactured. Anyone who reads the KJV (and there are many) can be affected by this problem. This is why we need teachings (and bible footnotes?) that correct the view that God has sons through adoption. We could even say that this is why we should read the RCV and not the KJV. ...
Blame King James my friend. It was he who declared the KJV the official "authorized" translation for nearly 4 centuries. Blame the subsequent British monarchy, the official heads of the Anglican church, which prevented another improved translation to the KJV until the late 19th century -- the so-called Revised Standard of 1887.

If you don't like the numerous flaws in the KJV, then why did you allow Lee and the LC's to use it, with numerous changes, until the mid-80's?

You say that your "recovery already has the proper understanding that is presented in Vine's," then what's the problem? Why are you condemning the rest of the body of Christ concerning this non-issue of adoption? This is a true LSM "straw man" creation. LSM condemns all Christians for that which is patently not true, and then build their ministry upon the condemnation of these Christians.

The result is pride at LSM. Laodicean pride. Arrogance towards your brothers in Christ. Divisive hearts filled with the leaven of malice and evil. So sad.
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:38 PM   #52
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A fundamental misunderstanding on how believers are made sons of God is a non-issue? It's an issue and apparently still an issue today.

Let us look at how many bible versions are tainted by this KJV error:

https://biblehub.com/ephesians/1-5.htm

26 out of the 28 different bible versions refer to adoption so 93% of the English bible versions contain this error. This means that 93% of English-speaking people are liable to be led astray by reading these translations, if they don't consult the dictionary.

Suppose that no Christians bother to look up a dictionary, which is likely considering that most Christians are taught to read the bible for themself, the bible alone, without any other guides.

Then up to 93% of Christians might have the wrong understanding of adoption due to errors in translation. Suppose that 50% of these 93% discover the error by reading the dictionary, then that is still 46%, or 1 out of 2 Christians that have a misunderstanding
about adoption.

Only the Aramaic bible, the Good News Translation, and the Recovery version does not say adopted. This 93% figure is probably being conservative, given that most Christians do not use the Aramaic, GNT, or RCV bibles, and the KJV and its variants and the NIV etc are the most popular or freely available. I would actually put the figure closer to 98%.

98% and 46% are still conservative numbers, given that most Christians do not read the Bible for themselves or bother to look up the dictionary for the proper meaning.

This also means that 98% of churches might have the wrong understanding about adoption as sons of God if the pastor/priest is not aware of this issue with the KJV and other versions and does not communicate it to their congregations.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:06 PM   #53
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John Piper here talks about adoption and quotes and interprets from the mistranslated version of Ephesians 1:5

https://www.desiringgod.org/messages...e-of-his-glory

The article says "God’s adopted children."

"Consider and embrace the wonder of our adoption into God’s family through Jesus Christ."

Vine's says:

"It is not a putting into the family by spiritual birth"

"the "adoption" of the believer is set forth as still future"


Piper presents the idea that believers are adopted into God's family by spiritual birth, a present reality.

Piper believes that believers are "spiritually adopted", whereas the truth is that believers are begotten by faith (Vine's).

If this sort of error bypasses even the great John Piper..... or he knows about it but does not make it clear...

Witness Lee on the other hand explains clearly that the word "adoption" in Ephesians 1:5 does not mean we have been literally adopted by God, but rather born of Him (begotten by faith as Vine's says).

Piper seems to have bought and propagates the false idea that believers become sons of God by adoption.
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Old 09-25-2018, 11:09 PM   #54
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Studying John Piper's view of adoption a little has been intriguing for me.

The main article I refer to is this one:

https://www.desiringgod.org/messages...-of-the-gospel

The proper understanding of adoption as Paul used it, is that it conveys the benefits and blessings bestowed upon people who have become born again children of God. Piper seems to say that Jesus died to satisfy adoption law so that God could adopt us, and then we can receive the benefits of sonship. While this makes sense from a Western adoption viewpoint, it misses the point of what Paul conveyed about Roman adoption, and even gets it wrong about why Jesus died and how we become sons of God.

Firstly we become children of God by faith, being born again by the Spirit, and then later we become legally "adopted" as sons, as joint-heirs of Christ.

Let us examine a few of these wrong concepts found in the article:

"Adoption is the heart of the gospel"

- more correctly, "sonship" is the heart of the gospel, and that through new birth, or being born again:

John 1:12-13, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

Adoption is a term used by Paul in the NT, and found no where else, particularly not the Old Testament, where the practice of adoption was non-existent in ancient Israel (but existed in surrounding nations - ancient Israelites knew what adoption was).

Piper incorrectly sees adoption as coming first, whereas the proper understanding is that adoption comes later:

the status of being a son legally preceded the experience of the Spirit coming to give us the affections of sons. We are legally sons before we experience the joy of sonship.

Piper seems to say that Jesus died on the cross so the legal requirements could be met enabling God to adopt us:

Jesus satisfied all the legal demands precisely by shedding his blood

"So it is with our adopting children today: The legal transactions precede and under gird the growth of family feelings."


I understand that Piper is speaking to an audience of adoptive parents or children. Still, that is no reason to make adoption front and center when it is the new birth or being born again which saves us.

Piper turns God into an adoptive parent, who had to satisfy certain legal requirements by sending Jesus to die on the cross, so that He could adopt us. Someone needs to tell Piper that God has never been subject to Roman adoption law.

There is absolutely no Scriptural precedent to say that we are adopted first and get the Spirit later or "spiritually adopted". This is the incorrect understanding that needs to be corrected in Christianity.

Piper and others present a "adopted to become a son of God" point of view, whereas the proper understanding is we become children of God by faith by being born again, and adoption refers to our standing post-fact in terms of our appointment and inheritance.

This is the main point of difference between the Gnostic adoption heresy - that Jesus was adopted, and Paul's teaching. Jesus himself was firstly born of God, and then later "adopted" as the son of God. When this took place is another topic of discussion (e.g. at his baptism). Some, may misunderstand this to mean that Jesus was not fully the son of God until his baptism. Rather, I see this "adoption" as Christ's appointment. As ZNP rightly said " It refers to God appointing Jesus Lord of all."
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Old 09-26-2018, 12:00 AM   #55
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Another website, bible.org, presents the topic of adoption in a much better way than Piper:

https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-...god-romans-817

It properly conveys the understanding that "adoption is higher than justification" and does not put adoption and being "born again" on the same level.

While the article does seem to convey the proper understanding of adoption, the language in places tells me that it could be paraphrasing the KJV mistranslation because it refers to adoption and child/children in the same sentence:

Does the doctrine of God’s gracious adoption of you as His child...

He first chose us and predestined us to adoption as His children

Do you think often of your adoption as God’s child?

The Spirit is the seal or pledge of our inheritance as adopted children of God


Vine's says about Ephesians 1:5:

"The KJV "adoption of children" is a mistranslation and misleading".

However despite using the word child/children, we can see that the article is careful to say "adoption as children", not "adoption of children". The change from "of" to "as" makes all the difference.

- "Adoption of children" conveys that God is adopting children like any adoptive parent adopts a child.

- "adoption as children" conveys that adoption is a subsequent benefit of being a child (by birth).
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Old 09-26-2018, 01:03 AM   #56
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Most Christians I know both understand that they are born again and appreciate the transfer of once being an unwanted orphan without a father that wanted them, to having a father that chose them, loves them, and gives them the full rights of sonship and an inheritance through adoption.

If one doesn’t put themselves in the shoes of an adopted orphan they will never appreciate the term adoption.
This illustrates well the misunderstanding of "most Christians" that biblical adoption is about God taking orphans off the street and putting them into His family.

It's actually not about that. In Western culture, no one adopts their own child or a child who is wanted. But in Roman times, a father could adopt one of his own children or another child to be their heir.

So the key to understanding biblical adoption is that God adopts His own children where adoption means to be appointed as heir, as others e.g. ZNP rightly said.

There are a few ways which Roman adoption is unlike Western adoption:

- adoption served the interests of the parents more than the child - a privileged family with too many sons might give up some of their children for adoption to other families, for money, or privilege.
- adoption could be used like marriage - to forge ties and alliances between families - a number of Roman emperors were adopted, coming from obscure backgrounds.
- adoption was not secretive, and the adopted son retained connection with their biological parents, possibly enjoying privileges from both biological and adoptive families.

From our modern perspective, this view of adoption seems rather selfish - children were used as commodities to either further the father's interests as an heir, or be sold into slavery for money. This was not really about taking a poor orphan boy off the street and giving them a home for the sake of the child.

We can see in Romans 8:16-17 the pattern of God adopting His own children, such that we become children first, and then heirs:

Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,

Here, verse 16 is showing that we are children because of the Spirit.. "then we are heirs" in verse 17 refers to being heirs, which relates to Roman adoption.

To an ancient Gentile mind, Paul's use of Roman adoption might have conveyed to the Gentiles just how privileged and special they were to be chosen by the "God of the Israelites" as an heir. At the same time, it probably would have bothered the Jews who claimed special privileges of being "God's chosen people" to know that God had chosen gentile believers in Christ as heirs.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:22 AM   #57
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Evangelical, it so refreshing to see how you have come to your senses and now appreciate the Apostle Paul's rich ministry and use of the term "adoption" to refer to the rich blessing and inheritance God has afforded us in His Son.

These riches in the word of God are able to build us up and give us this inheritance among all the sanctified ones in Christ. (Acts 20.32)
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:23 AM   #58
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A fundamental misunderstanding on how believers are made sons of God is a non-issue? It's an issue and apparently still an issue today.

Let us look at how many bible versions are tainted by this KJV error:
You tell us that Bibles "contain this error" of using the word adoption, but you don't give us the reference. Which verses? Because the verses I have quoted are not referring to incarnation, nor are they referring to being born again, receiving the Lord's redemption by faith, etc. On the contrary the book of Hebrews makes it clear we need to move on from the beginning of the oracles, perhaps this is your problem.

11 Of [e]whom we have many things to say, and hard of interpretation, seeing ye are become dull of hearing. 12 For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again [f]that some one teach you the rudiments of the [g]first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. 13 For every one that partaketh of milk is [h]without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. 14 But solid food is for [i]fullgrown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:27 AM   #59
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Another website, bible.org, presents the topic of adoption in a much better way than Piper:

https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-...god-romans-817

It properly conveys the understanding that "adoption is higher than justification" and does not put adoption and being "born again" on the same level.
You are the only person on this forum who has done that. Nor have you made a compelling case that this is taught widely in Christianity. Rather you have confirmed that WL made this error. Conflating and confusing the two.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:29 AM   #60
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This illustrates well the misunderstanding of "most Christians" that biblical adoption is about God taking orphans off the street and putting them into His family.

It's actually not about that. In Western culture, no one adopts their own child or a child who is wanted. But in Roman times, a father could adopt one of his own children or another child to be their heir.
Can we be careful because it is very much "like" that. We were poor, blind, sinners saved by grace. You can imagine the contrast when such a person is later appointed to rule and reign together with Christ and as part of the Bride of Christ becomes heir of all things.

You know what it is like?

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
And the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him but little lower than [b]God,
And crownest him with glory and honor.
6 Thou makest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands;
Thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen,
Yea, and the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
Whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:33 PM   #61
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Can we be careful because it is very much "like" that. We were poor, blind, sinners saved by grace. You can imagine the contrast when such a person is later appointed to rule and reign together with Christ and as part of the Bride of Christ becomes heir of all things.

You know what it is like?

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
And the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him but little lower than [b]God,
And crownest him with glory and honor.
6 Thou makest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands;
Thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen,
Yea, and the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
Whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
If it helps to understand God's nature and the gospel, the Western orphanage view is not so bad. But it can easily be misunderstood to be referring to justification, and could lead to us viewing God as merely our adoptive Father. There is no sense in scripture of putting adoption and being born again on the same level. Many see adoption as an alternative way of looking at John 1:12-13, when it means something different. Why would we replace the perfectly adequate doctrine of new birth with adoption, when new birth is consistent from the Old Testament to the New and Paul was using a nice metaphor of Roman adoption to explain how wanted and loved the Gentiles were.

There are other analogies from modern society that we could use to explain "adoption" , we could even use the story of Cinderella. An unwanted woman despised by her sisters, ending up marrying a prince. But the mistake would be to think that God justifies us by inviting us to the ball and meeting a handsome prince.

At first glance, Roman adoption seems like a nice story to describe how God takes orphanages off the street and puts them into a home. But the reality was that Roman boys chosen for adoption were more like prized possessions, and they might sell the ugly ones to pay the adoption costs for the handsome ones.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:34 PM   #62
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You tell us that Bibles "contain this error" of using the word adoption, but you don't give us the reference. Which verses? Because the verses I have quoted are not referring to incarnation, nor are they referring to being born again, receiving the Lord's redemption by faith, etc. On the contrary the book of Hebrews makes it clear we need to move on from the beginning of the oracles, perhaps this is your problem.

11 Of [e]whom we have many things to say, and hard of interpretation, seeing ye are become dull of hearing. 12 For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again [f]that some one teach you the rudiments of the [g]first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. 13 For every one that partaketh of milk is [h]without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. 14 But solid food is for [i]fullgrown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.
Ohio first mentioned the error, it's a few posts back. It's Ephesians 1:5.
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Old 09-26-2018, 07:46 PM   #63
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Evangelical, it so refreshing to see how you have come to your senses and now appreciate the Apostle Paul's rich ministry and use of the term "adoption" to refer to the rich blessing and inheritance God has afforded us in His Son.

These riches in the word of God are able to build us up and give us this inheritance among all the sanctified ones in Christ. (Acts 20.32)
I'm not sure what you mean. If Christianity understands the proper use of the term "adoption" then that is fine ( I don't think they do), but the recovery uses the word sonship to avoid misunderstanding in the first instance.

At first, I was talking about the misunderstanding in Christianity that we are adopted children of God - this is where people using faulty translation of Eph 1:5 may not realize. "Adopted children of God" in this sense means God signs some legal papers so we can become children of God. If taken literally, this directly contradicts John 1:12-13 which says we become children of God by the Spirit. Some use "adoption" as a metaphor for the objective aspects of being saved, however this is not in the same sense that Paul used it - this is interpreting the bible according to modern day human concepts such as adoption and Western orphanages.

In the biblical Roman adoption sense, "adopted sons of God" means God's children who are already born again, and have been chosen to be heirs (in Christ).

However in the recovery, because it is easy to misunderstand the word adoption, the word sonship is preferred.

The word sonship in the recovery means everything that adoption means - the inheritance, being heirs of God, our glorification etc.

"Glorification is the full sonship of the children of God". ~ Witness Lee
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:18 PM   #64
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I expected more from John Piper, being the great bible scholar that he is, he does not explain biblical adoption properly and gives people a misleading idea about what the bible means by adoption.

In John Pipers message about adoption it says:

God did not have to use the concept of adoption to explain how he saved us, or even how we become part of his family. He could have stayed with the language of new birth so that all his children were described as children by nature only (John 1:12-13, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”). But he chose to speak of us as adopted as well as being children by new birth. This is the most essential foundation of the practice of adoption.


https://www.desiringgod.org/messages...-of-the-gospel

God did not use the concept of adoption to explain "how he saved us" - he used the concept of adoption to explain how we will be heirs and co-heirs with Christ.

Adoption is not about "how God saved us" but about being chosen as an heir for the inheritance. Biblical adoption is about what happens after God has already saved us. Piper turns this around and explains how Jesus made it possible for God to "legally adopt" us, and sees adoption as another way to explain new birth. He puts the adoption analogy on the same level as "new birth". Hundreds of years (from Old Testament to New) of prophesy about the new birth and God putting His Spirit in us, is put in the back seat in favor of an inferior analogy that only Paul introduced once or twice in the New Testament writing to a Gentile Roman audience.

While Piper admits that "God did not have to use the concept of adoption", he goes onto use this concept to probably relate to an adopted audience.

It makes sense that we would present the gospel to adopted people by using biblical examples of adoption. Just as we might present the gospel to rich people by explaining how the gospel can make us rich.

However if speaking to adopted children or adoptive parents - why would we not speak about the new birth in Christ? For anyone who is adopted and does not know their biological father, what better way to illustrate the gospel than to explain that they can be born again and know a Father who will never leave them and loves them unconditionally? Why settle for something less, by presenting God as their "heavenly adoptive Father" ?

The doctrine of new birth is perfectly adequate for explaining justification, to anyone, whether they are cloned, adopted, orphan, rich or poor. Being born again into a new family is much better than being "adopted into" a new family.

By saying that God used adoption to explain how he saved us, using it to explain how God had to "sign the adoption papers by sending Jesus to die on the cross" is the wrong concept that the RCV bible avoids by using the term sonship in Ephesians 1:5. Using the language of sonship there can be no confusion - every believer receives new birth, no one is adopted to be a child of God, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, everyone receives the same new birth.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:29 AM   #65
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Ohio first mentioned the error, it's a few posts back. It's Ephesians 1:5.
5having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, (ASV)

5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself (KJV)


The error is not in the use of the term "adoption" but rather "adoption of children" rather than "adoption as sons". This contrast is precisely what we are saying. Adoption as sons doesn't mean "born again" or becoming a child of God, rather it refers to God assigning us as His heir.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:56 AM   #66
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5having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, (ASV)

5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself (KJV)


The error is not in the use of the term "adoption" but rather "adoption of children" rather than "adoption as sons". This contrast is precisely what we are saying. Adoption as sons doesn't mean "born again" or becoming a child of God, rather it refers to God assigning us as His heir.
Here is just another example where EvanG purposely misunderstood Vine's Expository Dictionary.

Then he goes on his long rant of how "93% of English-speaking people are liable to be led astray" by the use of the word "adoption."

Reminds me of a saying by Titus Chu. For the years I heard him, he often said "try not to misunderstand me." It always sounded a little strange to me until I finally realized that sleeper cells in the audience were reporting back to HQ's in Anaheim distorting his words.

This ministry at LSM creates suspicious people. I once heard that the opposite of brotherly love is suspicion.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:03 AM   #67
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I expected more from John Piper, being the great bible scholar that he is, he does not explain biblical adoption properly and gives people a misleading idea about what the bible means by adoption.
So you're disappointed in John Piper, but you think Witness Lee was the One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age? Do you realize how silly and ludicrous this sounds to anyone with even a passing knowledge of both Piper and Lee? Not to mention Piper has never referred to himself as a "great bible scholar", much, much less as the only person on earth speaking as God's oracle.

As you usually do, you cherry picked a partial section and then proceeded to spit out the usual Local Church pablum how your guru was able to "explain biblical adoption properly". If this wasn't so sad and tragic, I'd be busting a gut from laughing so hard. For anyone really interested in understanding how a real bible teacher (not a pompous, wanna-be apostle) expounds and explains the biblical concept/doctrine of adoption I suggest that they read the entire article here:


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adoption: The Heart of the Gospel

The Foundation of Adoption
The deepest and strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans. And this act is not part of his ordinary providence in the world; it is at the heart of the gospel. Galatians 4:4-5 is as central a gospel statement as there is: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” God did not have to use the concept of adoption to explain how he saved us, or even how we become part of his family. He could have stayed with the language of new birth so that all his children were described as children by nature only (John 1:12-13, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”). But he chose to speak of us as adopted as well as being children by new birth. This is the most essential foundation of the practice of adoption.

Eight similarities between what God did in adoption and what happens in a Christian adoption today
*1. Adoption was (for God) and is (for us) costly.
*2. Adoption did (for God) and does (for us) involve the legal status of the child.
*3. Adoption was blessed and is blessed with God’s pouring out a Spirit of sonship.
*4. Adoption was (for God) and is (for us) marked by moral transformation through the Spirit.
*5. Adoption brought us, and brings our children, the rights of being heirs of the Father.
*6 Adoption was (for God) and is (for us) seriously planned.
*7 Adoption was (for God) and often is now (for us) from very bad situations.
*8 Adoption meant (for all Christans) and means (for Christian parents) that we suffer now and experience glory later.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:55 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by UntoHim;80033[URL="https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/adoption-the-heart-of-the-gospel"
Adoption: The Heart of the Gospel[/URL]

The Foundation of Adoption
But he chose to speak of us as adopted as well as being children by new birth. .
How is Pipers understanding different from this one from Brother Lee?

“Sonship implies having not only the life but also the position of a son. God’s marked-out one’s have the life to be His sons and the position to inherit Him”

From footnote Ephesians 1:5 (2).

I do understand the sonship meaning more than just the process of adoption. Is that the pivot of this discussion?

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Old 09-27-2018, 11:02 AM   #69
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If you read Evangelical's posts, particularly his earlier ones in this thread, you will see the concept that this term "adoption" is erroneous because we have the life and nature of God, which is not implied in Adoption. That is the concept that is pushed by WL and is pervasive in the LC. The problem is that they are misinterpreting the meaning of Adoption, it isn't referring to being a child of God or being born of God, but rather it refers to Jesus inauguration as Lord of All and Heir of all things. That was a legal decree. There is no guarantee that being a child of God means you are also one with the Lord of All and Heir of all things.

Jesus said 'if you abide in Me ask whatever you will and it will be done for you'. That indicates that the prerequisite is not simply to be a believer, but to be one (to abide in) the Lord of All.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:07 AM   #70
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How is Pipers understanding different from this one from Brother Lee?
Well I could probably write reams and reams on this very point, but I'm not the one making a stark distinction....that would be your comrade Mr. E.
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I expected more from John Piper, being the great bible scholar that he is, he does not explain biblical adoption properly and gives people a misleading idea about what the bible means by adoption.
So your question should be directed to him, not moi.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:28 AM   #71
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If you read Evangelical's posts, particularly his earlier ones in this thread, you will see the concept that this term "adoption" is erroneous because we have the life and nature of God, which is not implied in Adoption...
Ok ZNP.

But I understand the point that the term “adoption” by itself as we understand it does not confirm a life relationship.... it confirms a positional status. Neither does the term “adoption “ in our modern definition express the idea of inheritance for a person may be adopted but not necessarily become an equal inheritor with say a son born of a father in the same family. I don’t think many Christians upon hearing adoption think “ in the Roman family....”, rather, I think they consider the meaning like an orphan that obtains a family and gets cared for.

Yet, where do you disagree with Brother Lees definition in Ephesians 1:5?

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Old 09-27-2018, 03:40 PM   #72
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Are you referring to his definition of sonship which you quoted, if so I don't disagree with that. Look at Post #1, I don't take issue with his definition of "Sonship", I point out that many people in the LC have the knee jerk reaction to the term "adoption" that we saw exhibited by Evangelical which is why I felt it was appropriate to discuss on this forum.
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:51 PM   #73
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oh ok...

well, then, there is not that much daylight between us. I just think the meaning of adoption was thought of differently 2000 years ago in Rome than in America today as I previously stated.

I think Piper veered into the swim lane of sonship when he said this "*2. Adoption did (for God) and does (for us) involve the legal status of the child." and "*5. Adoption brought us, and brings our children, the rights of being heirs of the Father."

But at least in the summary UntoHim posted on this topic Piper didn't go much further than that.... (and I don't know what he meant exactly with the "brings our children" part.....maybe there is something off there... have to think about it).

Thanks
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:43 PM   #74
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I think that is a misconception. We think of adoption as taking in a child as your own. But the use here is of legally assigning an heir. I think that use is common from the time of Abraham all the way to the present. We all know that some children can be disowned and written out of the will. For common people it is a small thing, but when you are Prince of England it is a major issue that is referred to frequently by many. How much more if you are God and Lord of All?

This may seem to be a trivial doctrine until you consider the application. The Lord said And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Jn 14:13. That is certainly relevant to us on a daily basis. But that promise is based on us being one with the Lord of All and heir of all. It is not based on our being born again.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:36 PM   #75
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Perhaps it is an artifact of the denominations I was in but most of the Christians I knew, including myself, weren’t that deep on adoption.....

Give you the last word.

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Old 09-27-2018, 06:43 PM   #76
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I would agree.

I think that is what Hebrews 6 is referring to.
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:22 AM   #77
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5having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, (ASV)

5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself (KJV)


The error is not in the use of the term "adoption" but rather "adoption of children" rather than "adoption as sons". This contrast is precisely what we are saying. Adoption as sons doesn't mean "born again" or becoming a child of God, rather it refers to God assigning us as His heir.
That is correct and also my understanding.

"adoption of children" - most likely to be misinterpreted
"adoption as sons" - better , two main changes - the word "as" and the word "sons" instead of "children". "Adoption as children" could also be misconstrued, so the word "sonship" might be better..

Admittedly the word "sonship" can also be misinterpreted because sonship has both the generative and the adoptive aspects.
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:26 AM   #78
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If you read Evangelical's posts, particularly his earlier ones in this thread, you will see the concept that this term "adoption" is erroneous because we have the life and nature of God, which is not implied in Adoption. That is the concept that is pushed by WL and is pervasive in the LC. The problem is that they are misinterpreting the meaning of Adoption, it isn't referring to being a child of God or being born of God, but rather it refers to Jesus inauguration as Lord of All and Heir of all things. That was a legal decree. There is no guarantee that being a child of God means you are also one with the Lord of All and Heir of all things.

Jesus said 'if you abide in Me ask whatever you will and it will be done for you'. That indicates that the prerequisite is not simply to be a believer, but to be one (to abide in) the Lord of All.
Not really misinterpreting the meaning of adoption - the meaning is understood. I was using the term "adoption" as understood by most Christians - putting orphans into a home. It's fine to draw biblical analogies from Western culture, but it is erroneous to think that is the intended biblical meaning. Unless we understand Roman adoption, in my view it is best to avoid the term altogether.
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:35 AM   #79
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So you're disappointed in John Piper, but you think Witness Lee was the One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age? Do you realize how silly and ludicrous this sounds to anyone with even a passing knowledge of both Piper and Lee? Not to mention Piper has never referred to himself as a "great bible scholar", much, much less as the only person on earth speaking as God's oracle.

As you usually do, you cherry picked a partial section and then proceeded to spit out the usual Local Church pablum how your guru was able to "explain biblical adoption properly". If this wasn't so sad and tragic, I'd be busting a gut from laughing so hard. For anyone really interested in understanding how a real bible teacher (not a pompous, wanna-be apostle) expounds and explains the biblical concept/doctrine of adoption I suggest that they read the entire article here:


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adoption: The Heart of the Gospel

The Foundation of Adoption
The deepest and strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans. And this act is not part of his ordinary providence in the world; it is at the heart of the gospel. Galatians 4:4-5 is as central a gospel statement as there is: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” God did not have to use the concept of adoption to explain how he saved us, or even how we become part of his family. He could have stayed with the language of new birth so that all his children were described as children by nature only (John 1:12-13, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”). But he chose to speak of us as adopted as well as being children by new birth. This is the most essential foundation of the practice of adoption.

Eight similarities between what God did in adoption and what happens in a Christian adoption today
*1. Adoption was (for God) and is (for us) costly.
*2. Adoption did (for God) and does (for us) involve the legal status of the child.
*3. Adoption was blessed and is blessed with God’s pouring out a Spirit of sonship.
*4. Adoption was (for God) and is (for us) marked by moral transformation through the Spirit.
*5. Adoption brought us, and brings our children, the rights of being heirs of the Father.
*6 Adoption was (for God) and is (for us) seriously planned.
*7 Adoption was (for God) and often is now (for us) from very bad situations.
*8 Adoption meant (for all Christans) and means (for Christian parents) that we suffer now and experience glory later.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But Piper has factually wrong statements in the article. The first error is in the title of the article "adoption is the heart of the gospel". New birth is the heart of the gospel (John 1:12-13). It means "Jesus died on the cross so that God could adopt us". To say that "adoption is the heart of the gospel" is to imply that God the Father's heart is to "adopt many children". We might as well quote the erroneous translation of Ephesians 1:5 here which says "adoption of children" when "adopted children of God" refers to the new birth in John 1:12-13 and does not refer to adoption. He does not make that distinction clear or even discuss how biblical adoption and the new birth are related.

Piper is presenting an erroneous view that we are both born again and adopted. Try telling any child that they are both biologically related and adopted - very confusing.

No where does he explain that adoption refers to our inheritance after being born again - he presents adoption as another way of looking at justification.

As we can see in the summary, Piper is relating adoption to "Christian adoption today". He is not explaining biblical adoption in the context of Roman society at all.

I see that he is relating what the bible says about adoption to his audience. But in doing so, he misses the whole point of biblical adoption, as ZNP and others have revealed.
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Old 09-28-2018, 06:07 AM   #80
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But Piper has factually wrong statements in the article. The first error is in the title of the article "adoption is the heart of the gospel"...I see that he is relating what the bible says about adoption to his audience. But in doing so, he misses the whole point of biblical adoption, as ZNP and others have revealed.
This is not a "factually wrong statement". 4but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Gal 4:4-5)

It is a two step process. Redeemed from slavery of sin is portrayed by the Israelites leaving Egypt, "receiving the adoption of sons" is portrayed by the Israelites receiving their inheritance in the good land.

To designate an heir requires a will or testament. So it is perfectly acceptable to teach that the heart of the New Testament is that we would be "adopted as sons" or "receive the sonship". New Birth cannot be viewed as more than part of the "heart of the gospel" since 2/3 of the NT deals with issues for those who have already received the new birth.
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Old 09-28-2018, 06:09 AM   #81
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Not really misinterpreting the meaning of adoption - the meaning is understood. I was using the term "adoption" as understood by most Christians - putting orphans into a home. It's fine to draw biblical analogies from Western culture, but it is erroneous to think that is the intended biblical meaning. Unless we understand Roman adoption, in my view it is best to avoid the term altogether.
Can we stop speaking for "most Christians"? The bible is the authority and it does not have an uncertain voice on this.
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Old 09-28-2018, 06:20 AM   #82
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Not really misinterpreting the meaning of adoption - the meaning is understood. I was using the term "adoption" as understood by most Christians - putting orphans into a home. It's fine to draw biblical analogies from Western culture, but it is erroneous to think that is the intended biblical meaning. Unless we understand Roman adoption, in my view it is best to avoid the term altogether.
Perhaps the term "beneficiary" would eliminate that confusion.

4but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might be His beneficiaries. (Gal 4:4-5)

This presents the idea of receiving the inheritance. But it doesn't convey the concept of ruling and reigning as sons the way sonship does (i.e. John Rockefeller and John Jr.).
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:15 AM   #83
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Can we stop speaking for "most Christians"? The bible is the authority and it does not have an uncertain voice on this.
I am confident that most Christians do not know about this.

There are numerous articles online which address this topic for general Christian readers.

One is called "Biblical Adoption Is Not What You Think It Is" on Christianitytoday.com

There is also an article on "Truth or tradition" which suggests that the widespread view of adoption in Christianity is from man not God:

https://www.truthortradition.com/art...adopted-by-god
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:53 AM   #84
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This is not a "factually wrong statement". 4but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Gal 4:4-5)

It is a two step process. Redeemed from slavery of sin is portrayed by the Israelites leaving Egypt, "receiving the adoption of sons" is portrayed by the Israelites receiving their inheritance in the good land.

To designate an heir requires a will or testament. So it is perfectly acceptable to teach that the heart of the New Testament is that we would be "adopted as sons" or "receive the sonship". New Birth cannot be viewed as more than part of the "heart of the gospel" since 2/3 of the NT deals with issues for those who have already received the new birth.
Well, yes, but the way I read the title, given the context of the article is this:

"adoption for justification is the heart of the gospel". That is what I am saying is a factually wrong statement. The title is factually wrong given the way Piper is presenting adoption....

I agree with a view that redemption comes first and then adoption. But Piper presents adoption as both a present and future reality:

This strikes us as strange. Aren’t we already adopted? Why does Paul say that we are “waiting for our adoption”? Yes, we are already adopted. When Christ died for us, the price was paid, and when we trust him, we are legally and permanently in the family. But God’s purpose for adoption is not to leave any of his children in a state of groaning and suffering. He raised Jesus from the dead with a new body, and he promises that part of our adoption will be a new resurrection body with no more disabilities and no more groaning. Therefore, what we wait for is the full experience of our adoption—the resurrection of our bodies.

Gal 4:4-5 appears to present adoption as following redemption, not "adopted first at redemption and adopted in full later".

This understanding fits Ellicott's commentary which puts it plainly:

That we might receive the adoption of sons.--Redemption is followed by adoption.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:29 AM   #85
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9*But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10*For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.


Some of the verses in Psalms and Job, are a “taste of death”. You should be able to see Christ in this because as it says in Hebrews the Lord “tasted death for every man”. It is also beneficial for us for teaching, instruction and exhortation. In the “bringing many sons unto glory” this includes all of us entering into our inheritance. We have been called to be a royal priesthood which includes reigning (executing judgement) and interceding. To do this it is crucial to understand and empathize with the suffering of others.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:13 AM   #86
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I am confident that most Christians do not know about this.

There are numerous articles online which address this topic for general Christian readers.
You are confident about most Christians? How would you know? You live in Australia. Have you ever been to America? To Africa? To South America? How in the world would you know what most Christians know? Are you God, the "knower of hearts?"
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:13 PM   #87
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You are confident about most Christians? How would you know? You live in Australia. Have you ever been to America? To Africa? To South America? How in the world would you know what most Christians know? Are you God, the "knower of hearts?"
Three main reasons:


1) The facts about biblical illiteracy.

This is from a ChristianityToday article:

As a whole, Americans, including many Christians, hold unbiblical views on hell, sin, salvation, Jesus, humanity, and the Bible itself.

A recent LifeWay Research study found only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day.


Americans, including churchgoers, aren't reading much of any book, including the Good Book.


https://www.christianitytoday.com/ed...-churches.html

Even fewer would bother to consult Vine's or other resources, on a topic which is so easy to misunderstand.

2) There are numerous online articles which imply that is the case, as I wrote before:

There are numerous articles online which address this topic for general Christian readers.

One is called "Biblical Adoption Is Not What You Think It Is" on Christianitytoday.com

There is also an article on "Truth or tradition" which suggests that the widespread view of adoption in Christianity is from man not God:

https://www.truthortradition.com/art...adopted-by-god


3) The unbiblical view of adoption is also found in many online articles such as Piper's which do not present the biblical view of adoption.

So if well known pastors and book authors are presenting the wrong view of adoption, most believers are not reading their bibles, and they need to consult bible dictionaries to get the proper meaning - it means few Christians would not know about the matter.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:37 PM   #88
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1)As a whole, Americans, including many Christians, hold unbiblical views on hell, sin, salvation, Jesus, humanity, and the Bible itself.

A recent LifeWay Research study found only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day.

Americans, including churchgoers, aren't reading much of any book, including the Good Book.


So if well known pastors and book authors are presenting the wrong view of adoption, most believers are not reading their bibles, and they need to consult bible dictionaries to get the proper meaning - it means few Christians would not know about the matter.
I was in the LC's for years, and I would say those statistics are pretty close to what I saw.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:06 AM   #89
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Ex 34:10*And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.

Being born again is not a covenant. Being redeemed from sin is also not a covenant. But, declaring that Jesus is Lord of all and Heir of all is. Saying that we have been saved and redeemed unto this goal of adoption as sons is also referring to this covenant.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:51 AM   #90
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Ex 34:10*And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.

Being born again is not a covenant. Being redeemed from sin is also not a covenant. But, declaring that Jesus is Lord of all and Heir of all is. Saying that we have been saved and redeemed unto this goal of adoption as sons is also referring to this covenant.
This covenant includes building the tabernacle of God on Earth. It also includes all of the offerings to God to make peace, pay for sin, sins, etc. None of those things could refer to being born again. How could you make a covenant with someone prior to them being born?

But this explains verses like "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" or "how great a salvation" or "saved to the uttermost". The adoption as sons is not guaranteed, nor has it been accomplished once for all.

Building the church -- that is God's work that all people will see. This labor is related to our covenant with God and it is related to us being foreordained according to the good pleasure of God to the adoption as sons.
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:56 PM   #91
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I was in the LC's for years, and I would say those statistics are pretty close to what I saw.
Same here too. They'pretty don't know their Bibles.
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:13 PM   #92
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Same here too. They'pretty don't know their Bibles.
Yes but the difference is the proper teaching about adoption is contained within the ministry material. So even if they don't read the bible but follow the ministry they will get the right idea. As opposed to someone in a denomination who studies the bible for themself and does not know much about it.
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Old 10-04-2018, 06:07 PM   #93
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Yes but the difference is the proper teaching about adoption is contained within the ministry material. So even if they don't read the bible but follow the ministry they will get the right idea. As opposed to someone in a denomination who studies the bible for themself and does not know much about it.
So the writing of Witness Lee is superior to the Bible? What if Witness Lee isnt who he claimed to be? What if his ministry isn’t the high peak truth? Where does that leave the LSM and their affiliated churches?

Paul must not have know how great Witness Lee would be when he wrote Hebrews 4:12.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

If Jesus Christ isn’t who he claimed to be, if his gospel isn’t the high peak truth - we are to be most pitied.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:36 PM   #94
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So the writing of Witness Lee is superior to the Bible? What if Witness Lee isnt who he claimed to be? What if his ministry isn’t the high peak truth? Where does that leave the LSM and their affiliated churches?

Paul must not have know how great Witness Lee would be when he wrote Hebrews 4:12.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

If Jesus Christ isn’t who he claimed to be, if his gospel isn’t the high peak truth - we are to be most pitied.
We don't need to read the bible to understand the truth of it. We could gain the same knowledge from a different book or even a movie. What matters is our understanding. That's why new bible versions were created to help people understand the truth better. If someone reads the footnotes and understands the truth of the gospel better than someone who reads the bible alone, then ultimately that person with footnotes is better equipped.

Or to put this another way - a person who reads the bible alone and does not consult Vine's dictionary does not understand as much as someone who has read Vine's. Does this mean Vine's is "superior to the Bible"? Not really, it just means the Bible alone does not give enough context to understand what Paul is talking about.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:06 PM   #95
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We don't need to read the bible to understand the truth of it. We could gain the same knowledge from a different book or even a movie. What matters is our understanding. That's why new bible versions were created to help people understand the truth better. If someone reads the footnotes and understands the truth of the gospel better than someone who reads the bible alone, then ultimately that person with footnotes is better equipped.

Or to put this another way - a person who reads the bible alone and does not consult Vine's dictionary does not understand as much as someone who has read Vine's. Does this mean Vine's is "superior to the Bible"? Not really, it just means the Bible alone does not give enough context to understand what Paul is talking about.
So how do you determine truth, as defined by “evangelical”? How do you determine your “understanding” matches this truth?
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:07 PM   #96
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Yes but the difference is the proper teaching about adoption is contained within the ministry material. So even if they don't read the bible but follow the ministry they will get the right idea. As opposed to someone in a denomination who studies the bible for themself and does not know much about it.
That's exactly the opposite of what has happened.

Those reading the ministry material got the false teaching -- they believe that Paul's teaching on adoption is wrong. They reject Paul's ministry because of Lee's bad teaching.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:47 AM   #97
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15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe


1. Hope of His calling is not about being born again or redeemed. We already have that, since we have it why do we need to hope for it?

2. Inheritance in the saints. This also is related to the adoption as sons, because that is when we legally obtain our inheritance.

3. Exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe. Since believing is a prerequisite being born again is also a prerequisite before we can know what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:08 AM   #98
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That's exactly the opposite of what has happened.

Those reading the ministry material got the false teaching -- they believe that Paul's teaching on adoption is wrong. They reject Paul's ministry because of Lee's bad teaching.
They reject the wrong interpretation in Christianity of Paul's ministry as meaning adoption. That's why the word sonship is used in the RCV instead. Paul's ministry is not rejected, it is protected and upheld by using the word sonship which conveys the proper meaning. As opposed to denominational Christianity which allows its members to wallow in ignorance about the matter - so ChristianityToday.com writes articles such as "adoption is not what you think" to try and provide the education that they are not receiving in the church services.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:11 AM   #99
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So how do you determine truth, as defined by “evangelical”? How do you determine your “understanding” matches this truth?
The anointing teaches us the truth.
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:50 AM   #100
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The anointing teaches us the truth.
Let me help you out here brother E. A divine person teaches us the truth; and I'm sorry but it's not Lee.
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:52 AM   #101
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Let me help you out here brother E. A divine person teaches us the truth; and I'm sorry but it's not Lee.
I paraphrased 1 John 2:27. The bible never says that the Bible is our teacher. All scripture is profitable, but is not our teacher.
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:54 AM   #102
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I paraphrased 1 John 2:27. The bible never says that the Bible is our teacher. All scripture is profitable, but not our teacher.
Then you agree that our real teacher is a divine person, just not Lee?
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:01 AM   #103
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Then you agree that our real teacher is a divine person, just not Lee?
The anointing is the work of the divine Person, yes.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:06 AM   #104
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The anointing is the work of the divine Person, yes.
Now you are making progress. Our real teacher is the Holy Spirit, not Lee.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:10 AM   #105
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Now you are making progress. Our real teacher is the Holy Spirit, not Lee.
Eph 4:11-16

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

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


Do you mean that God's gift of teachers to the Church are not real?
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:15 AM   #106
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Eph 4:11-16

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

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


Do you mean that God's gift of teachers to the Church are not real?
Oh no, I mean that Lee was a false teacher, whose ministry you follow.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:17 AM   #107
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Oh no, I mean that Lee was a false teacher, whose ministry you follow.
Yet your view is the one that does not match the Reformer's views. Hmm... so the Holy Spirit taught that the RCC was Babylon to Luther, Calvin, Knox but taught the opposite to HERn it would seem...
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:23 AM   #108
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Yet your view is the one that does not match the Reformer's views. Hmm... so the Holy Spirit taught that the RCC was Babylon to Luther, Calvin, Knox but taught the opposite to HERn it would seem...
Unlike Lee I don't claim that my opinions and beliefs are from a direct revelation from the Holy Spirit; I hope that I have the Spirit's teaching.
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:58 AM   #109
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The anointing is the work of the divine Person, yes.
How do you determine if the person is divine? Countless folks have wasted their life following what they believed to be divine persons. What benchmark do you use to test the persons ministry?
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:22 PM   #110
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Ps 5:11 But let all who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice,
Let them ever sing for joy;
Because You cover and shelter them,
Let those who love Your name be joyful and exult in You.


I appreciate this prayer in Psalm 5 that we would sing for joy, and that we would be joyful and exult in the Lord. Consider the person who prays to win the lottery and then it turns out to be nothing but a grief and a curse? I read of this one boxer, he had a fender bender with his rolls royce and then gave the keys to an onlooker saying this the car had given him nothing but grief. Instead of praying for the money or car they should have prayed for joy.

Then, the prayer in Psalm 5 is answered in Psalm 8

What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?
5*Yet You have made him a little lower than [b]God,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
6*You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,


Jesus being made Lord of all and heir of all lets those that love Him be joyful and exultant. This is truly what it means to be blessed (if you are the one that doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked, not a great day for the wicked or those that followed their advice).
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Old 10-07-2018, 02:27 PM   #111
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Ps 5:11 But let all who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice,
Let them ever sing for joy;
Because You cover and shelter them,
Let those who love Your name be joyful and exult in You.
I am very impressed by the revelation in Ps 5 concerning prayer (even though WL said it was a natural concept).

We all know that when we pray we pray "Lord, thy will be done". But what does that mean, does it mean that His will is to heal this person from death? Hezekiah begged for this healing but it was a mistake. Does it mean its God's will to heal you from some sickness? Paul had a thorn in the flesh and it was God's will for him to have it. So then it becomes very confusing, do I pray for healing? And you can go on with many other examples.

But look at this prayer -- prays that those who take refuge in the Lord would rejoice. Jesus is the Bridegroom, we are the Bride. The end of the age is likened to a wedding day. Surely the Bridegroom's will is that the Bride would "rejoice". And it is even better than that, "rejoice and exult". Rejoice is when the widow of Nain's son is touched by Jesus on the funeral bier and rises up from the dead. Exult is when the gallows that Haman built to execute the Jews on is used to execute him instead.

These are the examples that are the covenant we have with God. To trust in God refers to trusting in our covenant. Ultimately this covenant is the "hope of our calling" to receive "the sonship".
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:15 PM   #112
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How do you determine if the person is divine? Countless folks have wasted their life following what they believed to be divine persons. What benchmark do you use to test the persons ministry?
I was referring to Christ as the divine Person.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:48 PM   #113
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I was referring to Christ as the divine Person.
And how do you know He is divine? Or how do you know you’ve met the true Christ?

There are other herotical groups that claim to know the divine Christ through anointing.
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:41 PM   #114
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And how do you know He is divine? Or how do you know you’ve met the true Christ?

There are other herotical groups that claim to know the divine Christ through anointing.
The genuine anointing can be discerned by applying the test of spirits:

1 John 4:2-3, 1 Cor 12:31, 1 John 4:15

These are the tests that John and Paul gave to the early Christians to be able to discern the spirits and the genuine anointing - and remember at this time Christianity as we know it today did not exist, and paganism/false Christs were more rife then that it is in our "secular Christian culture" today.

Anyone who wants to use other or non-biblical methods to discern because they think they know better are almost sure to reach the wrong conclusions. The categorical "10 ways to tell...." methods that you can find on the internet for trying to discern a good marriage partner, a good job, or even whether a pastor or church is genuine, are also non-biblical approaches and do not work because they do not consider what the mouth speaks from the heart.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:22 AM   #115
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The genuine anointing can be discerned by applying the test of spirits:

1 John 4:2-3, 1 Cor 12:31, 1 John 4:15

These are the tests that John and Paul gave to the early Christians to be able to discern the spirits and the genuine anointing - and remember at this time Christianity as we know it today did not exist, and paganism/false Christs were more rife then that it is in our "secular Christian culture" today.

Anyone who wants to use other or non-biblical methods to discern because they think they know better are almost sure to reach the wrong conclusions. The categorical "10 ways to tell...." methods that you can find on the internet for trying to discern a good marriage partner, a good job, or even whether a pastor or church is genuine, are also non-biblical approaches and do not work because they do not consider what the mouth speaks from the heart.
By just these tests, you believe you can determine anointing?

Quotes from Evangelical below.

“We don't need to read the bible to understand the truth of it. We could gain the same knowledge from a different book or even a movie.”


“So even if they don't read the bible but follow the ministry they will get the right idea.”
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:20 PM   #116
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By just these tests, you believe you can determine anointing?

Quotes from Evangelical below.

“We don't need to read the bible to understand the truth of it. We could gain the same knowledge from a different book or even a movie.”


“So even if they don't read the bible but follow the ministry they will get the right idea.”
Yes absolutely. You seem to believe that the tests are incomplete/inadequate. Why would John or Paul give their readers a test which is inadequate for the purpose?

In relation to my quotes, note that these tests mention nothing about the bible or outward fruit - we don't need the bible to discern the anointing. John and Paul and early Christians were able to discern the anointing before the New Testament was even written.

Most Christians go on a fact-checking exercise against the Bible through the use of their own intellect, instead of actually applying the spiritual tests. This is why their discernment is often wrong.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:42 AM   #117
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Yes absolutely. You seem to believe that the tests are incomplete/inadequate. Why would John or Paul give their readers a test which is inadequate for the purpose?

In relation to my quotes, note that these tests mention nothing about the bible or outward fruit - we don't need the bible to discern the anointing. John and Paul and early Christians were able to discern the anointing before the New Testament was even written.

Most Christians go on a fact-checking exercise against the Bible through the use of their own intellect, instead of actually applying the spiritual tests. This is why their discernment is often wrong.
I would never make such a definitive statement about something as complex as "determining the anointing". So I'd have to disagree your statement that I seem to believe them to be incomplete or inadequate, but that is really besides the point.

So I want to make sure I'm understanding you here - you don't fact check the Bible (like most Christians), instead you rely on the anointing by the Divine person (that is Christ - not Witness Lee), you confirm this anointing by applying the three tests. From this you determine what is truth and also that your understanding matches this truth. Did my summary match your thinking?
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:07 AM   #118
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To Evangelical and Least of These,

Can you please help me out, how is this debate over the anointing relevant to this thread?
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:41 AM   #119
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To Evangelical and Least of These,

Can you please help me out, how is this debate over the anointing relevant to this thread?
It isn't so I will continue elsewhere.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:47 AM   #120
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So my understanding of "adoption" in the NT is similar to Esther and Mordecai being appointed to high positions.

When a bride marries into the family that is a legal process, not by birth. Once she marries she becomes an heir of all that the groom is -- hence she rejoices.

When Haman was promoted the context was that we were reckoned as criminals to be executed on the gallows, God turned that judgement into a promotion -- hence we exult.

Neither of these examples is referring to being born again, rather they refer to the legal process involving contracts and covenants.
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:51 AM   #121
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In the book of acts there are two brothers who try to cast a demon out. The response is "Jesus I Know and Paul I know, but who are you?" That is a huge question, who are you? As a child of God you have a particular status to pray. You received that status when you were born again. Jesus referred to that when He said you wouldn't give your child a stone or a serpent, therefore our heavenly father is even more considerate than an earthly one.

But, if you are the king (Jesus) no one would dare ask "who are you". Likewise, if you are a faithful servant to the king (Paul) no one would dare ask who are you.

Therefore, adoption gives us a much more powerful status for prayer, just as Jesus said "if you abide in Him ask whatever you will and it will be done for you".
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:33 PM   #122
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3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: 5having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of the glory of his grace, (Ephesians 1:3-6)
The word "even as" he chose us and foreordained us unto the adoption as sons is the example that demonstrates we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. If you do not understand when that happened or what these blessings are then it is hard to understand what it means to be chosen and foreordained unto the adoption as sons.

For example:

Galatians 3:9 says We were blessed with Abraham when he received 7 blessings. Ephesians chapter 1 gives us the story of Genesis from Abraham all the way to Joseph, Prince of Egypt.

First blessing to Abraham — “Unto a land that I will show thee”.

Ephesians 1 ends with this prayer —

that we might know the power which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church.

It is a blessing that we could have a spirit of wisdom and revelation to know this Christ.

The six books of Ephesians walk through the 7 blessings given to Abraham. These 7 blessings are the structure for the book as well as being the structure for the first 6 books of the Bible (Genesis through Joshua). But after seeing that you will see that all 7 of these blessings are involved in our being chosen and foreordained unto adoption as sons.
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:32 AM   #123
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The six books of Ephesians walk through the 7 blessings given to Abraham. These 7 blessings are the structure for the book as well as being the structure for the first 6 books of the Bible (Genesis through Joshua). But after seeing that you will see that all 7 of these blessings are involved in our being chosen and foreordained unto adoption as sons.
2nd blessing — “and I will make of thee a great nation”

Exodus presents the Israelites in bondage in Egypt. Ephesians 2 says we were formerly dead in sins in the world.

Exodus shows how the Israelites were delivered from Egypt. Ephesians 2 talks about how we were made to sit together with Christ in the heavenlies.

In Exodus we see the Passover feast, summing up God’s deliverance of the Israelites, they are made to sit together with Jesus (the empty seat). In Ephesians we are told that we who were once far off were made nigh in the blood of Christ just as Exodus reveals they were made nigh in the blood of the lamb.

Both conclude with the building of the Holy Temple of the Lord being filled with the Glory of God.

19 So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,

This is the second blessing, God making of us a great nation.

3 — and I will bless thee

Ephesians 3 begins with the dispensation of grace that was given by God to Paul for us. Leviticus begins with the sacrifices and offerings that were ordained by God for the Priests to keep for us.

Ephesians 3 talks about what has been made knows to the apostles and prophets, and how he has been made a minister. Leviticus gives the instructions from Moses to the levitical priests and also to Aaron.

Ephesians 3 finishes with this prayer:

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God.

This is the third blessing, that we would be filled unto all the fullness of God.

Leviticus also concludes with a blessing on the nation of Israel.
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:53 PM   #124
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The fourth blessing — and make thy name great

Numbers begins with the Israelites preparing for their journey and entry into the promised land. Ephesians 4 begins with how to walk worthily of the calling. Then Numbers gives instructions for making the Nazarite vows. Ephesians talks about the work of the ministry and how we all can attain.

The nazarite vow means that anyone can be a priest, in Ephesians 4 we see that every one of us can do the work of the ministry.

In Numbers Balak employees Balaam to use craftiness to cause the children of Israel to commit error. Ephesians says that our maturation includes*that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;

Finally Ephesians 4 prays that we would be renewed in the spirit of our mind, putting on the new man.

This is the fourth blessing, making our name great. When we put on this new man we put on a great name in heaven and earth. Walking worthily, doing the work of the ministry, no longer being children deceived by craftiness, all these are required for putting on the new man.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:17 PM   #125
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The fifth blessing — be thou a blessing

In Deuteronomy Moses reviewed the experiences of the Israelites and urges them to keep the laws of God. The Law of God is a portrait of God, when we keep the law of God we are imitating God. In Ephesians 5 Paul reviews the Lord’s offering and sacrifice for us and asks us to be imitators of God.

Then in Deuteronomy we get the principles and instructions for a Godly life. In Ephesians we see the same.

In chapters 29-30 of Deuteronomy they commit themselves as a nation and to stand apart unto God. In Ephesians the church is the Bride of Christ, we are to be in subjection to our husband who has loved us and given Himself for us.

Finally in Deuteronomy we see the change in leadership from Moses, representing the Law, to Joshua representing Jesus.

Likewise Ephesians 5 concludes with us being in subjection to Jesus and being in subjection one to another. Imitating God just as Jesus did is a blessing. Living a godly life, and being in subjection one to another is a blessing.
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:45 PM   #126
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The sixth blessing — I will bless those that bless thee

Joshua begins with the children of the Israelites entering the promised land. It is a miraculous crossing with incredible grace.

Ephesians 6 begins with Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2*Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), 3*that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

The crossing of the Jordan was honoring their parents crossing of the Red Sea. The only parents they had at this point were Moses, Joshua and Caleb who were like the parents and great grandfather for the entire nation, everyone else had died.

This is the sixth blessing, I will bless those that bless thee. Blessing your father and mother comes with a promise, that you also would be blessed. Our fathers and mothers received this blessing, if we honor them we also are blessed.

The seventh blessing — All nations will be blessed in thee

Joshua emphasizes following God’s orders. Ephesians 6 emphasizes being obedient. Children obeying parents, servants obeying masters, and that everything we do we do as unto the Lord.

Finally, in Joshua the land is divided up and the tribes need to take possession of their inheritance. Everything has been done so that they could stand in that good land.

Likewise in Ephesians:

10*Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 11*Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

This leads to our being ambassadors of the gospel, speaking in boldness as we ought to speak. This is the seventh blessing, that “all the families on Earth would be blessed in us”. That is the gospel, the good news, all the families on Earth will be blessed in us.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:13 AM   #127
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3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ: 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love: 5having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6to the praise of the glory of his grace, (Ephesians 1:3-6)
So then, if we were blessed with Believing Abraham with these 7 blessings, and this is what Paul is referring to in Ephesians, he then says it is "even as we were chosen and foreordained unto adoption as sons".

He is using this to illustrate these blessings. For example, suppose you were drafted by the NFL. That is equivalent to being chosen. But you don't have a contract yet, so you aren't officially part of the NFL yet. But, once you sign a contract with the team you are now officially and legally part of the NFL. That contract is equivalent to the "adoption as sons".

In this illustration when you are chosen you get to "see" the land. The team chose you because they want to "make a great team". Your contract is a blessing. The blessing is to give you a great name. If you are really great you will make those around you better, you will be a blessing to the team. You may even take on a leadership role, or even become a coach. In that case those that listen to you, obey you, honor you will be blessed. Finally, you can be a blessing to everyone, regardless of whether or not they are in the NFL or even care about football.

So then, how do you get that contract? You have to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:08 AM   #128
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Too bad Evangelical quit before he could see all your great posts on "adoption."

Thanks.
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:22 PM   #129
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So then, if we were blessed with Believing Abraham with these 7 blessings, and this is what Paul is referring to in Ephesians, he then says it is "even as we were chosen and foreordained unto adoption as sons".

He is using this to illustrate these blessings. For example, suppose you were drafted by the NFL. That is equivalent to being chosen. But you don't have a contract yet, so you aren't officially part of the NFL yet. But, once you sign a contract with the team you are now officially and legally part of the NFL. That contract is equivalent to the "adoption as sons".

In this illustration when you are chosen you get to "see" the land. The team chose you because they want to "make a great team". Your contract is a blessing. The blessing is to give you a great name. If you are really great you will make those around you better, you will be a blessing to the team. You may even take on a leadership role, or even become a coach. In that case those that listen to you, obey you, honor you will be blessed. Finally, you can be a blessing to everyone, regardless of whether or not they are in the NFL or even care about football.

So then, how do you get that contract? You have to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called.
There is a very clear issue with this interpretation:

11in whom also we were made a heritage, (ASV)

11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance (KJV)

11In Him also we have received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own] (amplified)

11in whom we have also obtained an inheritance (Darby)


Verse 11 has a double meaning, it can be translated that "we have obtained an inheritance" or it can also be translated "we have been made a heritage", or you can understand it as meaning both of these.

So the issue is quite simple. Unto the adoption of sons is in the future, to say that we have "obtained an inheritance" is the past.

Jesus Christ was "made Lord and Christ" that is past tense. He has ascended to the father and been declared the Son of God. So then, when we are "in Him" there are two realities. One reality is that we have obtained an inheritance. The other reality is that we have been given to the Lord as an inheritance.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:40 AM   #130
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[COLOR="Blue"]11in whom also we were made a heritage, (ASV)

11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance (KJV)

Verse 11 has a double meaning, it can be translated that "we have obtained an inheritance" or it can also be translated "we have been made a heritage", or you can understand it as meaning both of these.
To understand this duality, how we can be made a heritage while at the same time obtaining an inheritance we should consider the book of Ruth.

In this book we see that Ruth, just like Ephesians says, is no longer a stranger or sojourner to the covenants of God but is made a fellow citizen. She also is blessed with the believing Abraham -- God makes of her a great nation, He blesses her, He gives her a great name, etc.

I'll go into these later, the key point right now is that she obtained an inheritance when she became Boaz's wife. That is a legally binding contract analogous to our "adoption as sons". But the process she went through became part of the word of God. Jesus is the incarnated word, the word made flesh, so Ruth's story became the Lord's heritage.

Ruth obtained an inheritance and she was made a heritage.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:47 AM   #131
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This first blessing to Abraham is a little confusing until we read Judges, Ruth and Samuel.

"I will show you the land"

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.


When the word is revealed to them we see the blessing. Samson knew the word about the Nazarite vow, that was the word that Delilah coerced out of him. Ruth and Boaz knew the word about the "widow of an Israelite" trumping the curse on the moabites. Ruth had a dual status and she chose to be the widow of an Israelite, rather than to return to her own people.

The first blessing we see in every case (Judges, Ruth and Samuel) is that the word of the Lord is revealed to them.

Now in Ephesians we learn

11 in whom we have also obtained an inheritance,

Boaz and Ruth were in the word, in that word they obtained an inheritance, and ultimately their story became the word, they were made a heritage.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:18 PM   #132
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3 — and I will bless thee

Ephesians 3 begins with the dispensation of grace that was given by God to Paul for us. Leviticus begins with the sacrifices and offerings that were ordained by God for the Priests to keep for us.

Ephesians 3 talks about what has been made knows to the apostles and prophets, and how he has been made a minister. Leviticus gives the instructions from Moses to the levitical priests and also to Aaron.
Issue:

*Ephesians 3:6that [they who are of] the nations should be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of [his] promise in Christ Jesus by the glad tidings;

There is nothing in the book of Leviticus that reveals that the nations were to be joint heirs and joint partakers of the promise. Where did Paul get this?

If you see that Jesus is the lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world you then realize He is the reality of the offerings. But that means that all of the offerings that are presented in Leviticus are also for the nations. This wasn't revealed at the time of Leviticus. This is why Paul said:

3that by revelation the mystery has been made known to me, (according as I have written before briefly,
4by which, in reading it, ye can understand my intelligence in the mystery of the Christ,)
5which in other generations has not been made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in [the power of the] Spirit,
6that [they who are of] the nations should be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of [his] promise in Christ Jesus by the glad tidings;
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Old 11-11-2018, 03:20 PM   #133
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Issue:

*Ephesians 3:6that [they who are of] the nations should be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of [his] promise in Christ Jesus by the glad tidings;

There is nothing in the book of Leviticus that reveals that the nations were to be joint heirs and joint partakers of the promise. Where did Paul get this?

If you see that Jesus is the lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world you then realize He is the reality of the offerings. But that means that all of the offerings that are presented in Leviticus are also for the nations. This wasn't revealed at the time of Leviticus. This is why Paul said:

3that by revelation the mystery has been made known to me, (according as I have written before briefly,
4by which, in reading it, ye can understand my intelligence in the mystery of the Christ,)
5which in other generations has not been made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in [the power of the] Spirit,
6that [they who are of] the nations should be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of [his] promise in Christ Jesus by the glad tidings;
My understanding has been that Paul got his revelation from the verses in Genesis: 12:3: and in you all of the families of the earth will be blesssed. Then 22:18: and in you all the nations of the earth of the earth will be blessed.
28:14 and in your seed will all of the families of the earth be blessed. So these verses portray a general blessing, but as the Bible goes on to say what the blessings are, (eg. the offerings in Leviticus), Paul realized that these could be applied to the Gentiles or the rest of mankind.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:38 AM   #134
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My understanding has been that Paul got his revelation from the verses in Genesis: 12:3: and in you all of the families of the earth will be blesssed. Then 22:18: and in you all the nations of the earth of the earth will be blessed.
28:14 and in your seed will all of the families of the earth be blessed. So these verses portray a general blessing, but as the Bible goes on to say what the blessings are, (eg. the offerings in Leviticus), Paul realized that these could be applied to the Gentiles or the rest of mankind.
What is your understanding about the sealing of the spirit?
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:27 PM   #135
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What is your understanding about the sealing of the spirit?
Hi ZNP,

It appears my response earlier today didn't go through.

My understanding of the sealing of the spirit is that it's a mark made by God to designate His chosen ones for His purpose. Once a document is sealed, the seal has been impressed into it and they can't be separated. I also understood it to be something divine imparted into the one sealed.
I submit this without having researched or gotten a recent refreshment on this topic. I still struggle to grasp this and other divine matters.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:05 PM   #136
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Hi ZNP,

It appears my response earlier today didn't go through.

My understanding of the sealing of the spirit is that it's a mark made by God to designate His chosen ones for His purpose. Once a document is sealed, the seal has been impressed into it and they can't be separated. I also understood it to be something divine imparted into the one sealed.
I submit this without having researched or gotten a recent refreshment on this topic. I still struggle to grasp this and other divine matters.
Thanks, that is what WL shared.

The way I see it God the Father blessed us with every blessing -- that is the covenant we have with God, and if we keep that covenant then the promise is we will receive the "adoption of sons", a legally binding document that entitles us to our inheritance.

God the Son has already received this, having been declared the Son of God. If we are "in Him" we also "obtain" an inheritance and become a heritage for those of the faith. Jesus is the incarnated word, the author and perfecter of the faith. When you are in Him you express Him and your story, like Ruth's becomes part of the heritage of all the saints.

Then, we still need the sealing of the Spirit. Just like God told Gideon, He couldn't allow 30,000 Israelites to defeat 130,000 Midianites or else they would think they did it. So He winnowed it down to 300 so there was no doubt that it was God.

2 And Jehovah said to Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give Midian into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

We saw this time and again, the Lord stepped in so that there was no doubt who had signed, or who had sealed this covenant. That is the purpose for a seal, so that you know it was God who signed it.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:46 AM   #137
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"Wherefore I also do not cease to give thanks for you..." Based on the context the "I also" must refer to all the spiritual blessings from the Father, the Son and the Spirit. Because Paul understands that he has been blessed to be a blessing he understands he is in a position to bless us, along with God the Father, Son and Spirit. This is what it means to have the "adoption of sonship".
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