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Old 10-15-2016, 01:50 AM   #1
Evangelical
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Default Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

There is a quote on the main page of this site that I just want to address:

The Spirit inspired the Word and therefore He goes where the Word goes.
The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience.
~ John Piper.

Many individuals, ministries, churches believe this, that by knowing, loving and teaching the Word of God, that we are becoming more filled with the Spirit.

It sounds logical, the Spirit inspired the Bible, therefore read the Bible and you get the Spirit! Read the Bible more and you get more Spirit! But it is correct? No, and it is in fact illogical. The Bible came from the Spirit, but the Spirit does not come from the Bible. It's like if I write a letter to my wife, does she get more of me by reading and loving my letter? No. Even if she studies my letter diligently and knows it inside out, she only gets me when she asks for me. Likewise, reading, studying, loving the bible, God's letter to us, does not get us more of God. What gets us more of the Spirit is when we ask for the Spirit.

This idea of reading the Bible to get the Spirit is false for a few more reasons.

1. The Pharisees were diligent and loved the Scriptures and knew them very well, yet Jesus said:

John 5:39 "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,".

Jesus stated right there that knowledge of the Scriptures does not give eternal life, and since the Spirit is the Spirit of (eternal) life, we can conclude that knowledge of the Scriptures does not give the Spirit.

2. The Bible itself says that scripture's purpose is to make us wise, not give us the Spirit:

2 Tim 3:15 "From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

3. In the Bible, believers received the Spirit the moment they heard the gospel and believed, not read the Bible (Acts 10:44-47) and

Acts 19:2 "and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.""


4. When the apostle Paul had his conversion experience, he was blinded, obviously he was not reading the Scripture to get the Spirit.

5. Jesus breathed His Spirit on the disciples and did not tell them to read the Scriptures to get the Spirit.

6. When the disciples were waiting for the outpouring of the Spirit, they were not reading their Bibles fervently to get filled with the Spirit, but waiting as the Lord told them to (Acts 2).

7. A large percentage of the world's Christians do not have or have access to the Bible in their own language. Does it mean they cannot be filled with the Spirit? Of course not. The Christians who arguably need the Spirit the most (in persecuted or underground churches) may not even have a bible! Does this mean they are helpless? Of course not.

8. We find no example in the New Testament of anyone reading their Scriptures to get the Holy Spirit or be filled with the Holy Spirit.

The only true and sure fire way to be filled with the Spirit is to ask!

Luke 11:13 "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!""
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

You did a slick "bait amd switch" here.

Piper said, "The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience."

You changed this to, "reading the Bible does not give us the Spirit."

Classic Lee.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

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You did a slick "bait amd switch" here.
Classic Lee.
haha. wl - lower case wl, in WL life and nature but not the WL head.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

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Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
This idea of reading the Bible to get the Spirit is false for a few more reasons.

1. The Pharisees were diligent and loved the Scriptures and knew them very well, yet Jesus said:

John 5:39 "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,".

Jesus stated right there that knowledge of the Scriptures does not give eternal life, and since the Spirit is the Spirit of (eternal) life, we can conclude that knowledge of the Scriptures does not give the Spirit.
By this logic we shouldn't drive cars because many people have been killed in car accidents. We shouldn't go swimming because many people have drowned to death. etc. etc. Jesus did not rebuke them for studying the Bible, he rebuked them for not coming to Him because the scriptures they were studying testified of Him. What was your point, that reading the scriptures doesn't give you life, rather it gives you the testimony of Jesus? If that is your point it seems it should have been included in the title, otherwise the title will very likely be misunderstood.

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2. The Bible itself says that scripture's purpose is to make us wise, not give us the Spirit:

2 Tim 3:15 "From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
So then your point is that reading the Bible doesn't give us life, it gives us wisdom? If that is your point it seems it should have been included in the title, otherwise the title will very likely be misunderstood.

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3. In the Bible, believers received the Spirit the moment they heard the gospel and believed, not read the Bible (Acts 10:44-47) and

Acts 19:2 "and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.""
Right this portion shows the deficiency in the gospel they heard and in the salvation that they received. So if your point is that "reading the scripture doesn't give you life but it does result in a complete salvation" then why didn't you say that. Your title is very likely to be misunderstood.

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4. When the apostle Paul had his conversion experience, he was blinded, obviously he was not reading the Scripture to get the Spirit.
What? You are talking about a man who has spent years of his life studying the scriptures but because he probably wasn't reading at the moment he was riding on a horse you conclude we don't need to read scripture? This is absurd.

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5. Jesus breathed His Spirit on the disciples and did not tell them to read the Scriptures to get the Spirit.
So then what was the purpose for these same disciples writing the gospels and epistles or Revelation?

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Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
6. When the disciples were waiting for the outpouring of the Spirit, they were not reading their Bibles fervently to get filled with the Spirit, but waiting as the Lord told them to (Acts 2).
Oh, so you aren't talking about fellowshipping over the word, you aren't talking about meditating on the word, or praying over the word. You assume that no one had yet to write down what had taken place over the last few years, and even if they had it wasn't part of the canon yet. What do you think they were praying, meditating on, and fellowshipping about?

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7. A large percentage of the world's Christians do not have or have access to the Bible in their own language. Does it mean they cannot be filled with the Spirit? Of course not. The Christians who arguably need the Spirit the most (in persecuted or underground churches) may not even have a bible! Does this mean they are helpless? Of course not.

8. We find no example in the New Testament of anyone reading their Scriptures to get the Holy Spirit or be filled with the Holy Spirit.

The only true and sure fire way to be filled with the Spirit is to ask!

Luke 11:13 "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!""
That is terrible. A large percentage don't have the Bible in their own language? Can you be a little more specific. What percentage don't have access to a Bible? Thanks
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

Evangelical, You put fourth a number of contentions in your opening post. I'll just touch upon a couple of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Many individuals, ministries, churches believe this, that by knowing, loving and teaching the Word of God, that we are becoming more filled with the Spirit.
If the writings and teachings of "many individuals, ministries and churches" over the past 2,000 years accounts for anything, then what John Piper has stated is spot on accurate. I think in your rush to judgment against Piper, a longtime respected and admired Christian teacher and writer for decades, you have ventured into territory that even Witness Lee would not have gone to. Congratulations my friend, maybe you're not as stuck on Lee as I thought.

Quote:
The Bible came from the Spirit, but the Spirit does not come from the Bible.

I'm sure what you meant to say is "the Spirit does not necessarily come from the Bible", right? Actually, adding the qualifier "necessarily" still puts us on some very tenuous ground, but I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here. Care to restate or clarify?



Quote:
1. The Pharisees were diligent and loved the Scriptures and knew them very well, yet Jesus said:
John 5:39 "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,".
Interesting choice of translation here. I bet you're quite aware that the Recovery Version renders this Greek word (ἐρευνάω ereunáō) "search", as do the vast majority of modern translations. Why did you choose the minority translation of "study"? I suspect you referred us to this translation because it apparently (in your mind) backs up your notion that "the Spirit does not come from the Bible". What you might not be aware of, is this Gk word ἐρευνάω is universally rendered "search" throughout the New Testament. In any event, the context of John 5:39, and indeed the entire chapter, dictates that the Lord Jesus was referring not to the "study" of the Scriptures per se, but rather that the Jews were ignoring the vital message that was apparently hiding in plain sight - that He was the Son of God, sent by the Father, to do the work of the Father. The problem was not with the Scriptures, but with their hardness and blindness to the clear message behind the black and white.

My point is most exemplified by the opening verses in John 5 - the invalid man at the pool of Bethesda who was healed by Jesus. The Jews chastised Jesus for ostensibly breaking the black and white law of the Sabbath, however, they failed miserably at seeing the real message: "For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will."(Vr 21)


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Old 10-17-2016, 04:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
You did a slick "bait amd switch" here.

Piper said, "The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience."

You changed this to, "reading the Bible does not give us the Spirit."

Classic Lee.
I agree with what Ohio said. Piper was talking about experiencing the Spirit.
A simple example maybe would clarify:

We read in the Word (The Bible) about loving our neighbor or our enemies. We realize that in ourselves we cannot. We pray God to manifest His love in us. He answer our prayer by filling us with His Spirit, His Love, etc.. We experience more of God Spirit. If this is what Piper meant, there is nothing wrong with it.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:07 AM   #7
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

Reading the Scriptures does not give life, is the same as saying reading the Scriptures does not give the Spirit.

There is no example anywhere in the Bible of someone receiving the Spirit by reading the Scripture.

The statistics of Christians not having a bible or one in a language they can read or understand is found at www.bibleleague.org
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
You did a slick "bait amd switch" here.
Piper said, "The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience."
You changed this to, "reading the Bible does not give us the Spirit."
Classic Lee.
It means the same thing. Experiencing the Spirit is essentially same as being filled with the Spirit. Both the experience and the filling or receiving of the Spirit is not by reading the Bible.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:13 AM   #9
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John F. MacArthur, Piper and others are among a number of Christian teachers and authors who are confused on this matter and despite being heralded as great Christian teachers, are teaching something not found in the Bible at all.

The Spirit inspired the Bible but they flip it around and say that the Spirit depends on the Bible , or that the Bible "inspires" or results in the Spirit. They equate the Spirit with what we do, and that is the mistake. Anything that says the Spirit depends upon the Bible or us is to say that the Spirit is not God. This kind of teaching is also prevalent in the denominations that supposedly believe in the Spirit and the spiritual gifts. For example, when a tv-evangelist waves his hands, the Spirit falls on people and they fall down. Churches claim the Spirit comes down to them when the band starts playing during the worship time. Associating the Spirit with any sort of religious activity is a mistake. When the Spirit first fell upon the believers at Pentecost, all they did was wait for it. Nothing they did caused the Spirit to fall. When Jesus breathed the Spirit on the disciples, they did nothing to make that happen.

The proper understanding of the Spirit is to realize that the Spirit may fall upon the saint or the sinner alike, and it has nothing particularly to do with how much of the Bible we know, or how obedience we've been.

There is a number of incorrect teachings found in
MacArthur 2-in-1: 2 Truth-Filled Books in 1 Volume to Strengthen Your Faith
By John F. MacArthur, some quote John Piper.

These teachings include:

"The Spirit goes where the Word goes" - wrong, the bible says - the Spirit goes wherever He likes, like the wind (John 3:8).

"Churches can't be Spirit-led unless they are Word fed" (Bob Kauflin) - it is wrong to equate the Spirit's leading with the amount of biblical knowledge.

"The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience." - Piper.

It doesn't matter whether it is receiving, being filled or experiencing the Spirit, none of it depends upon reading the Bible or even obeying the Bible.

The Bible says the Spirit is received by grace and it is a gift. If it depended upon us it would not be a gift.

Galatians 3:2 says "Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? "

Did we receive the Spirit by our bible reading or obedience to the bible? (law), no.

There is no verse or example in the Bible of anyone being filled, experiencing, or receiving the Spirit because of reading, studying, or applying the Bible.

It is possible that what people claim to experience as the "Spirit" when they follow or obey the Bible is just an appeasement or satisfaction of their own religious conscience. A person may experience the "Spirit" when they do any sort of religious activity. Just as a Catholic may experience the "Spirit" as they bow to the statue of the virgin Mary, a protestant or an evangelical may experience a similar "religious hot flush" when they devote themselves to reading the Bible.

In the Pentecostal denominations, what they experience when the "Spirit comes" is likewise a heightened sense of zeal, emotion or feeling, aroused by the atmosphere and the particular occasion. It is really no different to the feelings and experiences that a person of any religion might experience they are in a large gathering and devoted to some particular religious cause.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

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Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Reading the Scriptures does not give life, is the same as saying reading the Scriptures does not give the Spirit.

There is no example anywhere in the Bible of someone receiving the Spirit by reading the Scripture.

The statistics of Christians not having a bible or one in a language they can read or understand is found at www.bibleleague.org
As of September 2016 the full Bible has been translated into 554 languages, and 2,932 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.

Anyone with internet access could access any of these translations. Either through the internet or order them and have them shipped to them.

It is highly unlikely that there are any significant percentage of human population that is not illiterate that does not read one of these 554 languages.
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Old 10-19-2016, 08:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

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Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Experiencing the Spirit is essentially same as being filled with the Spirit. Both the experience and the filling or receiving of the Spirit is not by reading the Bible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Reading the Scriptures does not give life, is the same as saying reading the Scriptures does not give the Spirit.

There is no example anywhere in the Bible of someone receiving the Spirit by reading the Scripture.
Dumbest things I ever heard a Christian say.

I was miraculously given the life of God, washed in the blood of Jesus, filled with His Spirit, and born anew in my bedroom, just by reading the scriptures the night I was saved. And, btw, it was not the Recovery Version or the KJV, but some "shallow" paraphrased version called the "The Greatest is Love."

Since there is "no example anywhere in the Bible" does that mean it never happened to me?

Evangelical, you continually amaze me with some of your comments.
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:00 PM   #12
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John 6: 63

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
There is a quote on the main page of this site that I just want to address:

The Spirit inspired the Word and therefore He goes where the Word goes.
The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience.
~ John Piper.

Many individuals, ministries, churches believe this, that by knowing, loving and teaching the Word of God, that we are becoming more filled with the Spirit.
Evangelical,

W. Lee was even more bold to affirm that the Word is the Spirit and the Spirit is the Word.

"Thank the Lord, we now have the Word and the Spirit.

These three—the Lord, the Word, and the Spirit—are one. The Lord is the Word, and He is also the Spirit. The Word is the Spirit, and the Spirit is the Lord."



http://www.prayreading.org/quotes/quotes_chapter.html
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Old 10-20-2016, 12:49 AM   #14
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By Evangelical: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit.

http://www.prayreading.org/quotes/quotes_chapter.html

"Rather, we pray by means of the Word of God and the Spirit of God to take in God Himself, who is in His words and in His Spirit. In this way, His words in us not only become a supply to us, but they also convict and teach us from deep within. This is the proper way to read the Lord's Word. May the Lord give us grace and strength and lead us to practice this every day."
Quoted from webpage titled:
The following is Chapter 6 from A Living of Mutual Abiding with the Lord in Spirit by Witness Lee, published by Living Stream Ministry, 2000

Evangelical listen to your master. If reading the bible does not give you the Spirit, follow WL advice to the 'proper' way to read the Lord's Word.
May the Lord give you grace and strength and lead you to practice this every day. (Thus, to qualify a 'proper' wl, express WL properly. )
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:09 PM   #15
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I've been sitting on the sidelines of this topic. 2 Corinthians suggests there is a veil that lies over hearts that can make reading scripture just killing letters that is done away with in Christ as one turns their heart to the Lord to receive the freeing and transforming Spirit while gazing at and reflecting the glory of the Lord.

http://biblehub.com/nasb/2_corinthians/3.htm

I'm always amazed how often it is about who our heart is turned to, and where our eyes are pointed.... the Lord Jesus Christ!
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Old 10-22-2016, 02:21 AM   #16
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JJ wrote:

I've been sitting on the sidelines of this topic. 2 Corinthians suggests there is a veil that lies over hearts that can make reading scripture just killing letters that is done away with in Christ as one turns their heart to the Lord to receive the freeing and transforming Spirit while gazing at and reflecting the glory of the Lord.

http://biblehub.com/nasb/2_corinthians/3.htm

I'm always amazed how often it is about who our heart is turned to, and where our eyes are pointed.... the Lord Jesus Christ!


JJ,
I am not going to analyze 2 Corinthians 3 in detail.
2Co 3:12 Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech,
2Co 3:13 and are not as Moses, who put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look stedfastly on the end of that which was passing away:
2Co 3:14 but their minds were hardened: for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remaineth, it not being revealed to them that it is done away in Christ.
2Co 3:15 But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart.
2Co 3:16 But whensoever it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

Paul was saying that when the Jews (the children of Israel) read Moses (Moses' writing, or the old covenant) there is a veil over their heart. That veil can be removed only when their hearts turn to the Lord.
Moses covered his face with a veil, Paul did not.

2Co 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Paul was comparing the two covenants. The law could not give life.
Rom 7:10 and the commandment, which was unto life, this I found to be unto death:
It is the Spirit that gives life.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The moment we believed in the Lord Jesus, and His Spirit got into us to regenerate us, if there was a veil ( I say if because Paul is referring to the children of Israel, but let's assume Gentiles had the same veil) it was taken away. Now when we come to the Bible, with an open heart and with prayer, for the purpose of knowing more about God and His will, are we just going to get more knowledge about Him or do we expect to experience more of God, Christ, and the Spirit?

Brother George Mueller (and many other servants of God) read the Bible hundred of times (someone said 200 times), and prayed over the Bible every day of his life. Does anyone believe that if he hadn't spend time in God's Word in the way he did, his life and ministry would have been the same?

Without the Word, there is no knowledge of God. How do we know God loves the world? How do we know we have been saved? How do we know we are children of God? How do we know what God wants? How do we know God listen to prayers?... God and His Word go together. The Word leads us to God and God leads us to His Word. The more we know the Word, the more we will go to God. The more we pray the Word the more we will experience God (or God's Spirit).

Evangelical wrote:

There is a quote on the main page of this site that I just want to address:

The Spirit inspired the Word and therefore He goes where the Word goes.
The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience. ~ John Piper.

Many individuals, ministries, churches believe this, that by knowing, loving and teaching the Word of God, that we are becoming more filled with the Spirit.

It sounds logical, the Spirit inspired the Bible, therefore read the Bible and you get the Spirit! Read the Bible more and you get more Spirit! But it is correct? No, and it is in fact illogical. The Bible came from the Spirit, but the Spirit does not come from the Bible. It's like if I write a letter to my wife, does she get more of me by reading and loving my letter? No. Even if she studies my letter diligently and knows it inside out, she only gets me when she asks for me. Likewise, reading, studying, loving the bible, God's letter to us, does not get us more of God. What gets us more of the Spirit is when we ask for the Spirit.



I don't have the context of J. Piper's quote, but if he meant that just by reading the Bible we can experience God's Spirit than what Evangelical wrote seems right. I don't think J. Piper is so naive to assume that. Reading is the first step. Praying is the second. If we have these two steps I don't see why we can't experience God's Spirit.
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Old 10-22-2016, 11:02 AM   #17
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

Quote:
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Evangelical wrote:

There is a quote on the main page of this site that I just want to address:

The Spirit inspired the Word and therefore He goes where the Word goes.
The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience. ~ John Piper.

Many individuals, ministries, churches believe this, that by knowing, loving and teaching the Word of God, that we are becoming more filled with the Spirit.

It sounds logical, the Spirit inspired the Bible, therefore read the Bible and you get the Spirit! Read the Bible more and you get more Spirit! But it is correct? No, and it is in fact illogical. The Bible came from the Spirit, but the Spirit does not come from the Bible. It's like if I write a letter to my wife, does she get more of me by reading and loving my letter? No. Even if she studies my letter diligently and knows it inside out, she only gets me when she asks for me. Likewise, reading, studying, loving the bible, God's letter to us, does not get us more of God. What gets us more of the Spirit is when we ask for the Spirit.



I don't have the context of J. Piper's quote, but if he meant that just by reading the Bible we can experience God's Spirit than what Evangelical wrote seems right. I don't think J. Piper is so naive to assume that. Reading is the first step. Praying is the second. If we have these two steps I don't see why we can't experience God's Spirit.
Always take note of the ole switcheroo when reading Evangelical.

Piper speaks of "knowing God's word enables us to receive the Spirit." Evangelical changes "God's word" to the book called the Bible. Obviously, people have read (or "searched" like the Pharisees) the Bible for self-serving interests, and did not receive the Spirit of God.

This is classic Lee.

Lee often warned us about reading the Bible "incorrectly." Why, however, did he not warn us about reading his own books?
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Old 10-23-2016, 03:48 AM   #18
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Always take note of the ole switcheroo when reading Evangelical.

Piper speaks of "knowing God's word enables us to receive the Spirit." Evangelical changes "God's word" to the book called the Bible. Obviously, people have read (or "searched" like the Pharisees) the Bible for self-serving interests, and did not receive the Spirit of God.

This is classic Lee.

Lee often warned us about reading the Bible "incorrectly." Why, however, did he not warn us about reading his own books?
Ohio,

I think you are doing a switching thing when you claim or pretend that God's Word is not the Bible. It is according to Piper.
Piper said:

"We believe that the Bible is the Word of God" ~- John Piper.
http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/...e-bible-part-1

When Piper said the more of God's Word we know and love, he is referring to the Bible, the Scripture. In fact, I wish Piper would draw the distinction between God's Word and the Bible, because then he would be closer to the truth.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:06 AM   #19
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As of September 2016 the full Bible has been translated into 554 languages, and 2,932 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.
You need more education then, according to this article:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/bi...nguage-137423/

https://www.bibleleague.org/what-we-do/translation/
Today about 200 million, in almost 1,800 languages, still don’t have a Bible in their native language. And many more have limited access to translations of the Bible that are too difficult to understand.
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Old 10-23-2016, 04:23 AM   #20
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Default The Ethiopian eunuch

If the Scripture was that important for receiving the Spirit we should find at least one example. The fact is we cannot.

Does knowing and loving the Bible automatically give us the Spirit? Not according to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:27).

The eunuch was a worshiper of God, and obviously loved reading the Scripture. Yet it was not sufficient to grant him the Spirit.

The eunuch is another example of Piper not knowing the Bible. Piper's claim that loving the Bible gives us the Spirit is false.

According to Piper, more Spirit is a result of knowing and loving God's Word more. But it is possible for an illiterate person to have more Spirit than a highly qualified theologian, as Simon Peter might testify. Piper's doctrine is bordering on bibliolatry which is prevalent in Christianity.

In Christianity and society today, the Bible is often used as a tool of "superstition and magic" and for conjuring religious experiences, rather than for it's true intended purpose.
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Old 10-23-2016, 05:53 AM   #21
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You need more education then..
Is there a significant portion of the human population that does not read one of these 554 languages? That is the question.

If a person reads two languages and the Bible is only written in one you are making an issue about what?

85% of the world's population speaks one of the top 100 languages as their native language.

http://www.worldlibrary.org/articles...ative_speakers

Now that just refers to their "native language". In the vast majority of these cases people will speak more than one language. This does not say how many speak the top 554 languages, but you can see from this chart that it may very well be another 14% by simple extrapolation. But what we can certainly conclude is that the number speaking the 555th language must be less than 0.035% of the world's population.

Now if you read a language that only a hundred thousand people spoke, it is very likely that you also speak another language since there is no nation on this earth with that language as its national language.

Therefore you can claim this is a problem of bible translation, but it can also be seen as a problem of illiteracy in some 3rd world nation.
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Old 10-23-2016, 06:38 AM   #22
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ZNPaaneah, I am not making an issue about this. There are many bible organizations that are making an issue about this. It seems you are oblivious to the facts and why these organizations are existing.

Also your idea for them to use the internet is also not possible:
https://joshuaproject.net/resources/...everyone_heard
As of 2015, only about 45% of the world’s population has internet access. So more than half the world's population does not have online access to spiritual information and the message of the Messiah. The situation is worse in areas where the Gospel has least spread. For example, internet penetration is only 39% in Asia and 27% in Africa. The 10/40 Window region, where most unreached peoples reside, has some of the lowest internet penetration. These regions are also some of the poorest, thus further limiting internet usage even where it is available.

My point is if the Bible was so important for following the Spirit as Piper claims, then there should be no Christians in these countries unless they first get a bible. According to Piper, they cannot know and love God's word more (because they do not have it), therefore they cannot get more of the Spirit.

In fact, this also means that during the centuries in which the bible was not readily accessible or readable (in the middle ages etc), it means Christians could not have had the Spirit or more of the Spirit.
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Old 10-23-2016, 01:41 PM   #23
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My point is if the Bible was so important for following the Spirit as Piper claims, then there should be no Christians in these countries unless they first get a bible. According to Piper, they cannot know and love God's word more (because they do not have it), therefore they cannot get more of the Spirit.

In fact, this also means that during the centuries in which the bible was not readily accessible or readable (in the middle ages etc), it means Christians could not have had the Spirit or more of the Spirit.
Since the Bible is so important that could explain why it has been translated into 554 languages and parts of the Bible have been translated into 2,932 languages.

Second, you have not proven that there is anyone on this planet that can read yet does not have access to a Bible. All you have said is that it is possible that they can't read it in their native language.

"There are more than 6,170 known languages (not dialects, but languages). After subtracting the 1,907 we’ve started on, that leaves 4,263 to cover the last 3 percent. Almost all of the remaining languages are spoken mostly in remote areas by small groups of people. Almost all of these languages have never even been written—they are spoken languages." (https://www.lds.org/ensign/1990/01/t...to-go?lang=eng)

So then, as I said, "if a person is literate", i.e. they can read, then they must be reading a language other than one of these, and the language they can read does have a Bible.

In addition, every single one of these people you claim cannot get access to a Bible is a citizen of a country where the national language does have a Bible.

Please note, every single one of these people has access to a Bible in one of 554 languages, some of which are the national language of the country they live in.

How is this evidence that the Bible is not important?
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Old 10-23-2016, 07:51 PM   #24
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ZNPaaneah, the fact that there are organizations distributing bibles worldwide is proof that not everyone has access to a bible. Particularly in countries where Christianity is outlawed, there are still Christians there, who may not have a bible or only have a portion of it.

The fact that you expect people to get on the internet to read the Bible when 45% of the world does not have internet access proves you are out of touch with reality.

Piper's words suggest that these Christians would not be able to have more of the Spirit because their access to the Bible is limited. This amounts to saying it is not possible to be an effective Spirit-filled Christian in a persecuted country. That is the logical extension of Piper's words.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:33 PM   #25
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

[QUOTE=testallthings;52148]JJ wrote:

I've been sitting on the sidelines of this topic. 2 Corinthians suggests there is a veil that lies over hearts that can make reading scripture just killing letters that is done away with in Christ as one turns their heart to the Lord to receive the freeing and transforming Spirit while gazing at and reflecting the glory of the Lord.

http://biblehub.com/nasb/2_corinthians/3.htm

I'm always amazed how often it is about who our heart is turned to, and where our eyes are pointed.... the Lord Jesus Christ!


JJ,
I am not going to analyze 2 Corinthians 3 in detail.
2Co 3:12 Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness of speech,
2Co 3:13 and are not as Moses, who put a veil upon his face, that the children of Israel should not look stedfastly on the end of that which was passing away:
2Co 3:14 but their minds were hardened: for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remaineth, it not being revealed to them that it is done away in Christ.
2Co 3:15 But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart.
2Co 3:16 But whensoever it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

Paul was saying that when the Jews (the children of Israel) read Moses (Moses' writing, or the old covenant) there is a veil over their heart. That veil can be removed only when their hearts turn to the Lord.
Moses covered his face with a veil, Paul did not.

2Co 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Paul was comparing the two covenants. The law could not give life.
Rom 7:10 and the commandment, which was unto life, this I found to be unto death:
It is the Spirit that gives life.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The moment we believed in the Lord Jesus, and His Spirit got into us to regenerate us, if there was a veil ( I say if because Paul is referring to the children of Israel, but let's assume Gentiles had the same veil) it was taken away. Now when we come to the Bible, with an open heart and with prayer, for the purpose of knowing more about God and His will, are we just going to get more knowledge about Him or do we expect to experience more of God, Christ, and the Spirit?

Brother George Mueller (and many other servants of God) read the Bible hundred of times (someone said 200 times), and prayed over the Bible every day of his life. Does anyone believe that if he hadn't spend time in God's Word in the way he did, his life and ministry would have been the same?

Without the Word, there is no knowledge of God. How do we know God loves the world? How do we know we have been saved? How do we know we are children of God? How do we know what God wants? How do we know God listen to prayers?... God and His Word go together. The Word leads us to God and God leads us to His Word. The more we know the Word, the more we will go to God. The more we pray the Word the more we will experience God (or God's Spirit).

I agree with you, Testallthings
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:55 PM   #26
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

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Brother George Mueller (and many other servants of God) read the Bible hundred of times (someone said 200 times), and prayed over the Bible every day of his life. Does anyone believe that if he hadn't spend time in God's Word in the way he did, his life and ministry would have been the same?

Without the Word, there is no knowledge of God. How do we know God loves the world? How do we know we have been saved? How do we know we are children of God? How do we know what God wants? How do we know God listen to prayers?... God and His Word go together. The Word leads us to God and God leads us to His Word. The more we know the Word, the more we will go to God. The more we pray the Word the more we will experience God (or God's Spirit).
testallthings, I can show that these claims are false and straight from the influence of Bibliolatry.

It is claimed that Mueller's success was related to how much he read and knew the Bible. Why does it say "spend time in God's Word" and not "spend time in God's presence". Why the emphasis on Mueller's reading and not his prayer? I know why, because these folk are influenced by Bibliolatry.

Would we say Mueller's living and knowledge of God was greater than Abraham's?

I don't think anyone would make that claim.

Now tell me, which Scripture did Abraham use to know God? Absolutely zero, nilch, nada, nothing. What about Noah? Likewise, nothing.

Who do the New Testament authors often refer to as one of the greatest examples of someone who knows God and lives by faith? -Abraham.

So categorically we can say this sort of statement:

"Without the Word, there is no knowledge of God. "

is wrong.

The Bible itself says we can know God without the Bible,

Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."

Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, knew God, without any Scripture.
Abraham knew God, without any Scripture.
Moses knew God, without any Scripture.
Many other examples.

All of these examples show that the Bible, came from experience. Moses knew God already before the Law and Old Testament. Jesus came before the New Testament.

All of these examples show that spiritual experience does not come from the Bible.

The only way to know God is by prayer. It is by prayer that we gain the Spirit, is by prayer that we gain salvation. These people who emphasise their bible reading or bible knowledge as the means to their success or knowledge of God, cannot have true knowledge of God unless they pray. Bibliolatry is alive and well.

The Bibliolaters twist "the Bible is God-breathed" around to say "God's-breath comes from the Bible". The Bibliolaters are many of the pastors in the pulpit, the priests holding the mass, they do not accept spiritual experiences and direct revelation from God through prayer, many do not believe in the Spirit. The bible colleges and theological colleges are producers of Bibliolaters, more so than genuine followers of God like Abraham. These Bibliolaters hold many "bible studies" as routine, but pay little attention to prayer.

The main concern of the genuine followers of Christ is prayer, as evidenced by the disciples request for Christ to teach them how to pray, not how to study the Bible. The only way to know God genuinely is by searching, observation, prayer and experience, the same way Noah,Abraham, Moses, and many others knew God.
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:41 AM   #27
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If the Scripture was that important for receiving the Spirit we should find at least one example. The fact is we cannot.

Does knowing and loving the Bible automatically give us the Spirit? Not according to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:27).

The eunuch was a worshiper of God, and obviously loved reading the Scripture. Yet it was not sufficient to grant him the Spirit.

The eunuch is another example of Piper not knowing the Bible. Piper's claim that loving the Bible gives us the Spirit is false.

According to Piper, more Spirit is a result of knowing and loving God's Word more. But it is possible for an illiterate person to have more Spirit than a highly qualified theologian, as Simon Peter might testify. Piper's doctrine is bordering on bibliolatry which is prevalent in Christianity.

In Christianity and society today, the Bible is often used as a tool of "superstition and magic" and for conjuring religious experiences, rather than for it's true intended purpose.
You are simply proving the point that the Recovery Version and LSM's BFA are just money grabbing schemes.
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:14 PM   #28
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Evangelical,

it seems that for you there is no relationship between the Word of God and the Spirit. For me and many others the Word of God cannot be separated from God. After all He has been pleased to give us this precious book called the Bible (or the Holy Scriptures). Reading the Bible in a formal way, and without prayer, doesn't give us anything except some knowledge. There are probably many who are just doing that and I agree with you that it is like the Pharisees who read the Scriptures but didn't want to go to the Lord Jesus. You said that if we want to receive the Spirit we need to ask for Him. True. But if we ask in a formal way (like those who read the Bible just with their mind), will the Spirit come?

There are probably many more who having in their possession dozen of Bible rarely open them. Isn't this a bigger issue?

I believe that the Word leads us to God, and God to the Word, and the Word to God, and so on. In my previous post I always said that we have to come to the Word of God with prayer. Even when I mentioned G. Mueller's experience I mentioned prayer. Here is his own testimony:

The Study of Scripture
The Benefits of Meditation (1842)
WHILE I was staying at Nailsworth,16 it pleased the Lord to teach me a truth,
irrespective of human instrumentality as far as I know, the benefit of which I
have not lost—though now, while preparing the eighth edition for the press,
more than forty years have since passed away. The point is this: I saw more clearly than
ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to
have my soul happy17 in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how
much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord, but how I might get my soul
into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might seek to set
the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to
relieve the distressed, I might in other ways seek to behave myself as it becomes a child
of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and
strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right
spirit.
Before this time my practice had been at least for ten years previously, as an habitual
thing, to give myself to prayer after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw that the
most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God
and to meditate on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned,
reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into
experimental communion with the Lord
. I began, therefore, to meditate on the New
Testament from the beginning, early in the morning. The first thing I did, after having
asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to
meditate on the Word of God, searching, as it were, into every verse to get blessing out
of it—not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word, not for the sake of preaching
on what I had meditated upon, but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The
result I have found to be almost invariably this: that after a very few minutes my soul has
been led to confession, thanksgiving, intercession, or supplication; so that though I did
not, as it were, give myself to prayer but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately
more or less into prayer.
When thus I have been for a while making confession,
intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse,
turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the Word may lead to it; but
still continually keeping before me that food for my own soul is the object of my
meditation. The result of this is that there is always a good deal of confession,
thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my
inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened, and that by
breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Thus

16 Nailsworth – town in Gloucestershire, England.
17 happy – blessed; enjoying the presence and favor of God.

23
also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, very soon after, I have
found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public
ministry of the Word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner
man.
The difference then between my former practice and my present one is this:
Formerly, when I rose I began to pray as soon as possible, and generally spent all my
time till breakfast in prayer, or almost all the time. At all events, I almost invariably
began with prayer, except when I felt my soul to be more than usually barren, in which
case I read the Word of God for food, or for refreshment, or for a revival and renewal of
my inner man, before I gave myself to prayer. But what was the result? I often spent a
quarter of an hour, or half an hour, or even an hour on my knees, before being
conscious to myself of having derived comfort, encouragement, humbling of soul, etc.;
and often, after having suffered much from wandering of mind for the first ten minutes,
or a quarter of an hour, or even half an hour, I only then began really to pray. I scarcely
ever suffer now in this way. For my heart being flourished by the truth, being brought
into experimental fellowship with God, I speak to my Father, and to my Friend (vile
though I am, and unworthy of it!) about the things that He has brought before me in His
precious Word.
It often now astonishes me that I did not sooner see this. In no book did I ever read
about it. No public ministry ever brought the matter before me. No private intercourse18
with a brother stirred me up to this matter. And yet now, since God has taught me this
point, it is as plain to me as anything, that the first thing the child of God has to do
morning by morning is to obtain food for his inner man. As the outward man is not fit
for work for any length of time except we take food, and as this is one of the first things
we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man. We should take food for that,
as everyone must allow. Now what is the food for the inner man?—not prayer but the
Word of God; and here again not the simple reading of the Word of God so that it only
passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we
read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.
When we pray we speak to God. Now prayer, in order to be continued for any length
of time in any other than a formal manner, requires, generally speaking, a measure of
strength or godly desire. And the season, therefore, when this exercise of the soul can be
most effectually performed, is after the inner man has been nourished by meditation on
the Word of God, where we find our Father speaking to us, to encourage us, comfort us,
instruct us, humble us, reprove us. We may therefore profitably meditate with God’s
blessing, though we are ever so weak spiritually; nay, the weaker we are, the more we
need meditation for the strengthening of our inner man. There is thus far less to be
feared from wandering of mind, than if we give ourselves to prayer without having had
previously time for meditation.
18 intercourse – communion.
24
I dwell so particularly on this point because of the immense spiritual profit and
refreshment I am conscious of having derived from it myself, and I affectionately and
solemnly beseech all my fellow believers to ponder this matter. By the blessing of God I
ascribe to this mode the help and strength that I have had from God to pass in peace
through deeper trials in various ways than I had ever had before; and after having now
above forty years tried this way, I can most fully, in the fear of God, commend it. How
different when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it
is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the
day come upon one!

These lessons from the pen of George Müller have been used of the Lord to shape our lives and ministries.
See too George Müller: My Journal, also available from Chapel Library.
Compiled by HeartCry Missionary Society. The HeartCry Missionary Society began in 1988
in Peru with a desire to aid native missionaries so that they might reach their own peoples
and establish biblical churches among them. Since then, the Lord has expanded its borders
to include not only Latin America, but also Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Russia.
The goal of the ministry is to facilitate the advancement of indigenous missionaries
throughout the world. Its strategy consists of four primary components: financial support,
theological training, Scripture and literature distribution, and the supply of any tool necessary
to facilitate the completion of the Great Commission. It currently supports approximately
200 missionary families in 28 countries around the globe.
HEARTCRY MISSIONARY SOCIETY
PO Box 3506
Radford, VA 24143-3506
Phone: (540) 707-1005
info@heartcrymissionary.com
www.heartcrymissionary.com
© Copyright 2015 Chapel Library: annotations. Printed in the USA. Permission is expressly
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http://www.georgemuller.org/articles.html
(emphasis added)



In my case, after having spent some time with the Lord and His Word, I have no desire for debate or discussion. I am sure you all can testify about this. There is still something to say about your post, but this one is already very long.

I hope all will enjoy G. Mueller's testimony and imitate this great man of God.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:27 AM   #29
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Evangelical,

it seems that for you there is no relationship between the Word of God and the Spirit. For me and many others the Word of God cannot be separated from God. After all He has been pleased to give us this precious book called the Bible (or the Holy Scriptures). Reading the Bible in a formal way, and without prayer, doesn't give us anything except some knowledge. There are probably many who are just doing that and I agree with you that it is like the Pharisees who read the Scriptures but didn't want to go to the Lord Jesus. You said that if we want to receive the Spirit we need to ask for Him. True. But if we ask in a formal way (like those who read the Bible just with their mind), will the Spirit come?

There are probably many more who having in their possession dozen of Bible rarely open them. Isn't this a bigger issue?

I believe that the Word leads us to God, and God to the Word, and the Word to God, and so on. In my previous post I always said that we have to come to the Word of God with prayer. Even when I mentioned G. Mueller's experience I mentioned prayer. Here is his own testimony:
testallthings,

To me the Word of God is the Spirit's inward speaking. So yes there is a relationship between the Word of God and the Spirit. The quote by Piper equates the amount of the Spirit with the amount of knowing God's Word, and we know that Piper believes God's Word = the Bible.

It is wrong to equate the measure of a person's spirituality with how much they know the Bible, as Piper has done. Whether it is Muller or anyone. The men God chose to use in the new testament were unlearned men. I can find many references where Jesus said "when you pray". Jesus taught his disciples to pray. There is no verse where Jesus said "when you read and study the Bible". Jesus and his disciples had prayer times together. We find no example in scripture of them sitting down together for a "bible study".

The majority of Christianity do not believe in the Holy Spirit's speaking for today. They say the Spirit ceased when the Bible was written. This was when their "Bible-god" was born.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:32 AM   #30
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The quote by Piper equates the amount of the Spirit with the amount of knowing God's Word, and we know that Piper believes God's Word = the Bible.
Piper knows full well that many look at the Bible wrongly, treating it as merely another book. Keep digging Evangelical and perhaps you will find those statements too. God's word is God speaking to us, the Logos becoming the Rhema.

Even Lee, your teacher, has said as much.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:43 AM   #31
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Piper knows full well that many look at the Bible wrongly, treating it as merely another book. Keep digging Evangelical and perhaps you will find those statements too. God's word is God speaking to us, the Logos becoming the Rhema.

Even Lee, your teacher, has said as much.
Lee and Nee properly divide the Bible from God's Word (God's inward speaking).

The majority of Christianity believe God's Word = the Bible, because to them the Spirit ceased or is no longer relevant since the bible was written.
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Old 10-27-2016, 11:27 PM   #32
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Lee and Nee properly divide the Bible from God's Word (God's inward speaking).

The majority of Christianity believe God's Word = the Bible, because to them the Spirit ceased or is no longer relevant since the bible was written.
Wow, I don't know where you have been "in Christianity" to make this statement Evangelical. The majority of Christians I know believe God's Word = the Bible because they recognize it as being inspired by the Holy Spirit, and endevour to walk in and by the Spirit today (because He is absolutely relevant and essential to their Christian walk). I do know some who claim to be Christians with weird views like you cite, but that is certainly not the majority of Christians who believe God's word equals the Bible.
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:28 AM   #33
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

The following verses show the Spirit is given by hearing and believing the words of the Lord Jesus and His apostles (aka the Bible).

Jhn 6:63
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words (G4487) that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

Act 10:44
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message (G3056)

Eph 1:13
In Him, you also, after listening to the message (G3056) of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,

1Th 1:5-6
for our gospel did not come to you in word (G3056) only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word (G3056) in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,

Gal 3:2
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

Note the Strongs G numbers are shown because of the distinction made about Rhema (G4487) vs Logos (G3056).

When I search the Bible for each words' use as follows, I don't see a big difference in their usage with respect to what has become "the Bible" or association with the Spirit. Do you?

Rhema - https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang...NASB#lexResult

Logos - https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang...ASB#lexResults
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:56 AM   #34
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

In each of those cases, they were not speaking from the Bible, but from the words that the Spirit gave them.

Similarly, the Lord tells them that the Holy Spirit (not the Bible), will instruct them what to say:

Luke 12:12 "for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.""

Luke 21:15 "For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict."
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:06 AM   #35
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Wow, I don't know where you have been "in Christianity" to make this statement Evangelical. The majority of Christians I know believe God's Word = the Bible because they recognize it as being inspired by the Holy Spirit, and endevour to walk in and by the Spirit today (because He is absolutely relevant and essential to their Christian walk). I do know some who claim to be Christians with weird views like you cite, but that is certainly not the majority of Christians who believe God's word equals the Bible.
They endeavor to walk in and by the Spirit, by following the words in the Bible, because they believe the Bible is the Spirit.
In contrast, Jesus and the disciples indeed had the Scriptures, and used them at times to refute their opponents (Matt 19:4), yet followed God by what the Spirit told them (Luke 12:12, Acts 8:29), not by consulting the Scripture. Furthermore, I cannot find any verse in the bible where Jesus and the disciples held a "bible study".
Many churches teach and preach the Bible but few teach how to listen to and follow the Spirit (without the Bible).
They do this because they think the Bible is a replacement for the Spirit.
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:14 AM   #36
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Evangelical,
although you have raised an important issue about the importance of having the Word of God and not just the letter of the Bible, it seems to me that you went too far in charging the majority of Christians of putting aside the Spirit because they believe that by having the Bible they have the Spirit too.

Your general accusation need to be supported by some proofs, like a few quotations with the relative context. The one that started this thread looks like a twit (too short to really understand what the author meant; of course you may be familiar with his writing so I ask you to provide more quotes in context).
You said,

"Lee and Nee properly divide the Bible from God's Word (God's inward speaking).

The majority of Christianity believe God's Word = the Bible, because to them the Spirit ceased or is no longer relevant since the bible was written."


I am quite familiar with what Nee wrote, but I can't say the same for Lee. Again, if you can provide some quotes it will help our discussion. The same for the second point you made.

You said,
"So categorically we can say this sort of statement:

"Without the Word, there is no knowledge of God. "

is wrong.

The Bible itself says we can know God without the Bible,

Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.""


The irony is that you just need the Bible to prove your point. Granted that people can know that there is a God (knowing that God exist is different from having a knowledge of God, that is to know God). Even demons believe that there is a God and tremble! So, some people by looking at creation can infer that God exist. Good. That means that Genesis 1:1 is “written” in the creation. Fine. Can people find John 3:16 somewhere but in the Bible? Can they find John 1:1? How about Isaiah 53? Maybe Psalm 8? 1 Corinthians 13? How about Daniel 9? Or Heb. 1:1-2. Rev. 21-22? I could multiply the examples but I think you see my point. As Christians we have a complete revelation of God in both the Old and the New Testament. If people can know God without the Bible (as you said), how much more with the Bible and, as I have always said, with prayer.

That the Spirit and the Word are very much connected is not guess work. After the Lord Jesus was baptized and was led by the Spirit to be tempted He answered Satan's temptations with, “It is written...” and “Again it is written...”. If the Lord Jesus Himself used the Word, how much more we need to spend time in it.

You said,
"Jesus and his disciples had prayer times together. We find no example in scripture of them sitting down together for a "bible study".

Joh 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that should be written.

(This verse could be enough to answer your statement.)

I don't remember reading they had prayer times together either. Where did you read that? (If you cannot find a verse you can use John 21:25, forgive my sarcasm). But I can find few places where they had what you called a “Bible study” (We might call it an exposition or explanation of the Scriptures). But before I mention some N. T. passages I would like to quote first from the Old,

Neh 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Jehovah had commanded to Israel.
Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
Neh 8:3 And he read therein before the broad place that was before the water gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women, and of those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
Neh 8:4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Uriah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchijah, and Hashum, and Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
Neh 8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people and when he opened it, all the people stood up.
Neh 8:6 And Ezra blessed Jehovah, the great God: and all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with the lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped Jehovah with their faces to the ground.
Neh 8:7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.
Neh 8:8 And they read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly; and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading.
Neh 8:18 Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the ordinance. (ASV)

What a “Bible study”!!!

How many times the Lord Jesus explained some verses of the Old Testament?

Mar 12:24 Jesus said unto them, Is it not for this cause that ye err, that ye know not the scriptures, nor the power of God?
Mar 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as angels in heaven.
Mar 12:26 But as touching the dead, that they are raised; have ye not read in the book of Moses, in the place concerning the Bush, how God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
Mar 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living: ye do greatly err.

Mat 13:36 Then he left the multitudes, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Explain unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

Here the Lord Jesus explained to His disciples the parable of the tares.

Luk 24:25 And he said unto them, O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Luk 24:26 Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into his glory?
Luk 24:27 And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luk 24:32 And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures?

There is nothing to add to this beautiful example!

Act 19:8 And he entered into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, reasoning and persuading as to the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Act 19:9 But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
Act 19:10 And this continued for the space of two years; so that all they that dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

Paul did the same.

Act 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, they came to him into his lodging in great number; to whom he expounded the matter, testifying the kingdom of God, and persuading them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning till evening.

IN CONCLUSION
Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Joh 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my words: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me.
Joh 14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, while yet abiding with you.
Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you.

The Holy Spirit brings to remembrance the words of God. If people don't read the Bible, and pray, the Spirit will bring absolutely zero, nilch, nada, nothing, to remembrance.
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:27 PM   #37
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In each of those cases, they were not speaking from the Bible, but from the words that the Spirit gave them.

Similarly, the Lord tells them that the Holy Spirit (not the Bible), will instruct them what to say:

Luke 12:12 "for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.""

Luke 21:15 "For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict."
I agree with the importance of the words given by the Spirit. But you are wrong in thinking that the Apostles did not study the scriptures, speak from the scriptures, or teach the importance of that along with the importance of the Spirit.

Here are just a few verses of support, and there are many more.

1Ti 4:13
Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.

Acts 2:14-36
But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.

“For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says,
‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND;
AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY,
AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS,
AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM
EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN,
I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT
And they shall prophesy.

AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE
AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW,
BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.

‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS
AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,
BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.

‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—

this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of [fn]godless men and put Him to death.

“But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

“For David says of Him,
‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;
FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.

‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED;
MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN
BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES,
NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.

‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE;
YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’

“Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

“And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,

he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.

“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.

“Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

“For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:
‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
“SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,

UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”’

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Acts 17:10-12

The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.

Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.

2 Timothy 4:13 (NIV)
When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:04 AM   #38
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The Holy Spirit brings to remembrance the words of God. If people don't read the Bible, and pray, the Spirit will bring absolutely zero, nilch, nada, nothing, to remembrance.

testallthings,

I appreciate all the wonderful verses you posted. I agree with the verses you posted, the disciples and Christ indeed used the Bible. The Bible is very important for instruction, for doctrine, for wisdom. You have showed me that I should not make blanket generalizations about the use of the bible by the disciples or Christ. I would point out that in contrast to the bible studies today, the disciples were being taught directly by Christ himself. But the bible study habits of the disciples is not really my point, but the idea that the Bible and the Spirit are so interconnected that we cannot have one without the other.

But to say if they or we didn't have the Bible they or we wouldn't have the Spirit or wouldn't hear God's Word is not right in my opinion. What Bible did Adam, Eve, Cain, Noah, Abraham, many others, have? When they wanted to hear God did they open their Bibles? In 1 Kings 19:12 with Elijah when he heard God's voice where does it say he read the Scriptures first?

If a person cannot (ever) hear the Spirit's voice without the Bible, it only indicates that their God is the Bible and not the true God of Abraham, Noah, Elijah. What you are describing as the "Spirit's voice" after reading the Bible, could possibly be ones own memory and recollection, not necessarily the Spirit. I am not saying that God cannot and does not speak using the Bible, but to make a claim that without the Bible we can't hear the Spirit, seems to rule out experience of the Spirit without the Bible.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:13 AM   #39
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I agree with the importance of the words given by the Spirit. But you are wrong in thinking that the Apostles did not study the scriptures, speak from the scriptures, or teach the importance of that along with the importance of the Spirit...
I don't deny the Bible is very important, but I see the distinction between reading the Bible for its intended purpose, and claiming we get the Spirit because of reading the Bible.

1Ti 4:13 indicates the Bible is for exhortation and teaching, not for getting more of the Spirit.

In Acts 2:14-36, the reading of the Word was AFTER the Spirit was poured out upon them. Peter was able to speak those words from the Bible because he was already filled with the Spirit, not because he obtained a theological degree.

You see? Completely opposite what Mr Piper said:

"the more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience. "

According to Mr Piper, these folk in Acts 2:14-36 would have had to read the Word first, know and love it more, and then they would experience more of the Spirit. But in Acts 2:14-36 it was the other way around - Spirit first, Bible second. This is because the Spirit inspired the bible, the bible does not (necessarily) inspire the Spirit. I say necessarily because if the bible is prayed back to God (pray-reading), we may gain the Spirit. But that is because of the prayer, and our hearts turned to the Lord. There is no magic about reading the Bible and the Spirit jumping into us because of our bible reading.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:29 AM   #40
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What Bible did Adam, Eve, Cain, Noah, Abraham, many others, have?
They had the ever expanding Genesis account.
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Old 10-31-2016, 06:50 AM   #41
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According to Mr Piper, these folk in Acts 2:14-36 would have had to read the Word first, and then have the Spirit poured out on them. But it was the other way around. This is because the Spirit inspired the bible , the bible does not (necessarily) inspire the Spirit. I say necessarily because if the bible is prayed back to God (pray-reading), we may gain the Spirit. But that is because of the prayer, and our hearts turned to the Lord. There is no magic about reading the Bible and the Spirit jumping into us because of our bible reading.
Piper never said that. You read that into it.

These fine "folks" waiting in Jerusalem were already filled with God's word. It was a living word spoken by the Word Himself, which they had been hearing for months, even years for some.

For example, one word of God abiding with them during this difficult time, i.e. "stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high," even though they all were in fear of both the Jews and the Romans.

Evangelical, please learn the distinction between the word of God and mere letters. For you to constantly criticize Piper's instruction, "the more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience," separates you from the entire body of Christ and isolates you in some insignificant (borderline heretical) sect. You become like that brother contented to stay home, all the while condemning all Christians for praying in public, and not in their "closet."

I'm sure you must have something better from the Lord to say.
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:54 PM   #42
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Ohio,

That they had the "living word spoken by the Word Himself", is precisely my point. The Word they had came from Christ Himself and not the written Scripture which they also had. The Word came from His Presence not the written Scripture.

So Piper is actually saying
"the more of the Spirit you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience" ?

"the more of Jesus you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience" ?

So his quote has nothing to do with the written Scripture. If that is true then I would agree with that.

But I know his quote has something to do with the written Scripture. They believe if they teach or read the written Scripture, they have the Word of God. Little to do with God's presence.
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:23 PM   #43
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I don't deny the Bible is very important, but I see the distinction between reading the Bible for its intended purpose, and claiming we get the Spirit because of reading the Bible...
So if I understand you correctly, your view is that "the more of God's Spirit you experience the more of God's word you will know and love".

This reminds me of Matt 1:1, Jesus Christ Son of David, Son of Abraham.

Abraham was one who walked by faith, not knowing where he was going. It was as though he was in the light, getting a word from God, to walk out into the black darkness.

David on the other hand was "a man after God's own heart". He pursued God as a Deer panteth after the water brooks. It is as though He can see God in front of him, as a bright shining light that he is pursuing, but he himself is coming out of the darkness.

Together they make one dynamo. A dynamo is powered by a battery, on one side the magnet is attracted to the magnet pulling it forward, once it gets there it is repelled by the magnet pushing it forward.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:10 AM   #44
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It seems to me that Evangelical is treading some dangerous waters by saying the Spirit comes first, then the Word of God comes, and by broadbrushing Christians outside TLR as dead letter Christians.

Read 1 Corinthians 2

http://biblehub.com/nasb/1_corinthians/2.htm

note that Paul says the words he spoke were taught by the Spirit, yet he quotes scripture at the same time.

Ephesians 6:17 says "the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God", and that is preceded by "taking up the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation", and it is followed "by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit". So here the order is faith, salvation, Spirit = Word of God, praying in spirit.

Now Google search "The Spirit and the Word go together" to see what "Christianity" is teaching on this topic. I see eight references to articles or books which delve into the importance of having both together on the first page.

Witness Lee taught this same truth that the Word and the Sprit go together in this way (recall I listened to and read his ministry from 1978- 2015 so this is from first hand knowledge).

But the trap he and his followers made (including me until I was delivered from it) was thinking that his ministry and the churches following his leadership were alone in seeing and speaking that and other truths.

The trap of Satan is to receive something from God, and think it came from you, and become proud.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall

Beware! The Lord hates pride!

http://biblehub.com/proverbs/16-18.htm
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:54 PM   #45
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I agree that the Spirit and the Word go together. But how many interpret the Word as Christ (John 1:1) versus those who interpret the Word as the Bible? I would even agree that the Spirit and the Bible go together, but one is alive and one is dead (without the One who makes it alive). We cannot get something alive (the Spirit) from something dead (the bible without the Spirit). For this reason we practice pray-reading and calling on the Lord's name before or during Bible reading. In contrast with the "dead letter Christians".
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:58 PM   #46
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So if I understand you correctly, your view is that "the more of God's Spirit you experience the more of God's word you will know and love".
To me that is the proper way to say it. In both cases of Abraham and David, the word of God did not come from the written Scripture it would seem.
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:01 PM   #47
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I agree that the Spirit and the Word go together. But how many interpret the Word as Christ (John 1:1) versus those who interpret the Word as the Bible? I would even agree that the Spirit and the Bible go together, but one is alive and one is dead (without the One who makes it alive). We cannot get something alive (the Spirit) from something dead (the bible without the Spirit). For this reason we practice pray-reading and calling on the Lord's name before or during Bible reading. In contrast with the "dead letter Christians".
Wow, Evangelical. I continue to be amazed at this interpretation that separates the term Word of God from the Bible, and broad brushing of all but TLR Christians as dead letter Christians.

Do you realize what a scary place this is to be? Now you are supposedly following Christ as the Word (which He is, and most Christians acknowledge, just do an Internet search on "in the beginning was the Word"). But, the written word of the Bible is "dead letter", so you don't need to study it (just pray-read and call on the Lord's name). So the only way to know if the spirit leading you is Christ is some sort of "feeling".

Also, do an Internet search on "praying God's Word back to Him" to see how many other Christians also practice "pray reading".

My point is not to belittle pray reading and calling on the Lord, which I and others here still practice (not robotically, or mindlessly!). Nor is it to say Christ isn't the Word. But, that the mystery is that Christ is the Word of God, and so is the Bible. The two match each other! The genuine leading of Christ lines up with the Bible. So, there is a check we can all have as a reference to see if we are off. Unfortunately it seems TLR doesn't have that check (again, very scary!). It just has "the Ministry", that no one but the Blended Bro can check. Now I don't know what spirit is leading it. Sure seems like a haughty spirit, based on what came out of me and others towards other Christians when under its influence.

So, Evangelical. I beg you, in love, as a brother to reconsider getting back to studying the Bible too, and cross check what is going on in TLR vs it and the Lord Spirit's leading.
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:58 PM   #48
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I'm not against Bible study or Bible reading, but the confusion of the Bible with God or the Spirit.

You said "Christ is the Word and so is the Bible". Well, there is a problem with that because that means Christ is the Bible, or God is the Bible, that's why this view is more or less Bibliolatry.

Matthew 22:29 Jesus said "Jesus replied, "Your mistake is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God.". It is clear that we must know the Scriptures, and we also must know the Spirit.

The problem is when people think that the Scriptures is the power of God or the Spirit. In the Bible, the Scripture and the Spirit are clearly separated. This is why we do not find phrases such as "Jesus healed the sick after He studied the bible", or "the more we know the Bible the more Spirit we will get". We do not even find a phrase "then Jesus and the disciples had a bible study".

I will bring your attention to another example of Bibliolatry in this article:

https://gotquestions.org/Bible-God-Word.html

The article says " If the Bible is the Word of God, then to dismiss it is to dismiss God Himself.". In other words, they are saying the Bible = God.

The Bible never says that if we come to the Bible we come to God, or if we reject the Bible we reject God. If that were true then these words of Christ would not make sense:

John 5:39 "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,"
John 5:40 "yet you refuse to come to me to have life."

It is clear from John 5:39 it is possible to come to the Scriptures and yet not come to God. We just come to God by prayer and faith.
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:43 PM   #49
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I agree that it is possible to come to the scriptures and yet not come to God. But making a blanket statement that people who consider the Bible as God's Word are all doing that, and are practicing biblioidolatry is going too far.

As the verses you quoted say, "the scriptures testify about Jesus Christ"'; we would thus be fools and be impoverished to not read them and welcome Christ as the living one they speak about at the same time.

The following link is a word search for verses in the New American Standard version that use the term "word of God". One can use other versions too.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/sear...=s_primary_0_1

So, if the Bible is a compilation of writings from these men of God who clearly were speaking "the word of God" according to these verses, how is it not "the Word of God"?

Then, if "faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the word of God", your statement that "we just come to God by prayer and faith" is missing the precursor of hearing the word of God.

The apostle John was very clear that if we reject the commandments of Jesus to believe in Him and the Father who sent Him (this is written in the Bible), eternal negative consequences result.

OK, I think I've said enough. I've got a busy life and neglected wife to get back to.

It's been good to discuss this topic with you Evangelical. May the Lord bless you!

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Old 11-03-2016, 08:36 PM   #50
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There is a quote on the main page of this site that I just want to address:
The Spirit inspired the Word and therefore He goes where the Word goes.
The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience.
~ John Piper...
Silly Evangelical! Straining at knats and swallowing camels. Piper used the word love. I don't know about you but the people I love I talk to and that includes the Lord Jesus. I'll let you be the judge of whether there is a spiritual interaction between me and my Lord when I read, study, pray, and obey His word.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:31 PM   #51
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Silly Evangelical! Straining at knats and swallowing camels. Piper used the word love. I don't know about you but the people I love I talk to and that includes the Lord Jesus. I'll let you be the judge of whether there is a spiritual interaction between me and my Lord when I read, study, pray, and obey His word.
The problem is if we put the emphasis on our bible knowledge and bible study, no matter how much we love it. Loving the Scripture didn't work for the Pharisees.

In any case, it doesn't change the truth of the statement "reading the Bible does not give us the Spirit".

The Scripture teaches only one way to get the Spirit - ask, or hear in faith.
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:52 AM   #52
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The problem is if we put the emphasis on our bible knowledge and bible study, no matter how much we love it. Loving the Scripture didn't work for the Pharisees.
It doesn't seem to be working for you either.
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:43 PM   #53
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Yeah...I hear a lot of sounding brass and tinkling symbols.

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Old 11-06-2016, 01:04 AM   #54
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You are most welcome to share any bible verse you have showing that when we read the Bible we experience the Spirit.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:09 PM   #55
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So Evangelical, remind me again how you interpret

Eph 6:17-18 (NASB):
"And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,"

Because since I do believe that the Bible is the word of God, I can experience the Spirit when I take it up with prayer and petition.
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Old 11-07-2016, 09:30 PM   #56
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I believe it refers to the words the Spirit gives us to "fight" our adversaries.
It does not mean that the written word of God is the sword of the Spirit.

The Scripture overwhelming uses sword to refer to the spoken word, not written word.

Consider:

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

Isaiah 49:2 He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,

Luke 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say."

Luke 21:15 "For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict."

Revelation 2:16 "Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth"

Revelation 19:15 "From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations"


It seems you need the Bible to be able to wage spiritual warfare - you read it, you apply it, you speak or pray what it says. However for Jesus and the disciples, they did not need the Bible to do that, just the Holy Spirit.

The sword of the Spirit is (Isaiah 49:2) or comes from (Revelation 19:15), our mouth. Many Christians believe the "sword" is the written Bible in their hands, but the Scripture shows the sword is to do with our mouth.
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:38 PM   #57
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Thanks for reminding me of your interpretation of Ephesians 6:17-18, brother Evangelical.

You bring up some good points about the scriptures' frequent use of "sword" and mouth together, versus sword and the written word. I can't refute that.

You go too far to say that Jesus and his disciples did not need the Bible to wage spiritual warfare, just the Holy Spirit.

If that is true explain why:

The New Testament authors quote or refer to the Old Testament over 300 times (see list here https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/quotes.cfm), including when Jesus battles Satan in the wilderness, and often when the apostles faced their opposers.

Jesus spent time when he was 12 years old with the temple teachers, listening and asking questions (Luke 2:42-47).

Jesus had a custom of entering the synagogue on the Sabbath, standing up to read from the scrolls, and preaching (Luke 4:16-21).

Paul urged Timothy to devote himself to the public reading of scripture along with exhortation and teaching (1 Timothy 4:13).

Paul kept scrolls with him (2 Timothy 4:13).

Peter refers to "some who twisted scriptures", and considers Paul's writings as scripture ((2 Peter 3:16). {if the apostles didn't deem scripture important, why is it mentioned?}.

The Bereans were considered "noble" for examining the scriptures every day to see if Paul's teachings were true.

There are positive references for study of scripture (not just the negative "you search the scriptures, but won't come to me" you often quote):
  • Ezra 7:10
  • Nehemiah 8:13
  • Psalm 119:15
  • James 1:25
Again, I say we need both inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the written word of God as recorded in the Bible to properly experience the Spirit (not just the Bible, as you accuse me of).

Witness Lee would say that you are "using an antennae without a ground wire" for saying you only need the Spirit's inspiration.

Blessings! Have a good night. I must return to other things for a while.

JJ
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:42 AM   #58
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Thankyou for your well constructed and thought our response.

I accept all of those examples you gave, study of the Bible is very important. But I don't agree with a view that says we can get the Spirit from the Bible.
The Bereans use of the Scripture is an example of what I'm talking about.
We can see they used the Scripture for knowledge and wisdom. They did not use the Scripture for receiving or experiencing the Spirit. In fact there is no example anywhere in the Bible of people using the Scripture to experience the Spirit.

Lee's understanding of the Word and the Spirit was not quite accurate in my view, if he believed we could get the Spirit from the Bible. Even his understanding of electricity was not correct. He wrote that we require an antenna with a ground wire to receive the "electricity" - actually a ground wire is not required.
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Old 11-13-2016, 10:20 AM   #59
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In fact there is no example anywhere in the Bible of people using the Scripture to experience the Spirit.
Lee's understanding of the Word and the Spirit was not quite accurate in my view, if he believed we could get the Spirit from the Bible. Even his understanding of electricity was not correct. He wrote that we require an antenna with a ground wire to receive the "electricity" - actually a ground wire is not required.
I'd suggest you read all of Acts 1, 2, and 4, and look at what precedes the filling of the Holy Spirit in v 2:4 and 4:31, and you will see that scripture was indeed being used.

I only pointed out Witness Lee's antennae and ground wire illustration (see Life Study of Phillipians pages 388-390) to say that you seem to be out of synch with him on this topic. He does seem to have something haywire in his illustration, in that the ground wire in TV and radio are for safety and better reception, while he talks about the heavenly flow of electricity vs reception of heavenly speaking in a safe manner (think avoiding being hit by lightening or electric shock here). He also makes a broad brush statement that Bible colleges and Seminaries teach the Spirit is not needed with the Bible (sounds like you, hmmm). I doubt that is true of all Bible colleges and seminaries, based on discussions I've had with those who have attended them, but probably true of some.

Grace to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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Old 11-14-2016, 01:15 PM   #60
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Scripture makes clear they were praying constantly not studying scripture:
Acts 1:14 They all joined together constantly in prayer"

They referred to scripture in Acts 1:20 to confirm replacing Judas. The fact they used the Bible here to confirm replacing Judas has no relevance to them being filled with the Spirit in chapter 2. It is not causal.

In Acts 2 starting from verse 1, they were filled with the Spirit without as much a mention of scripture. According to Piper, to experience the Spirit they would have been studying their Bible at this point. Rather, they were engaged in constant prayer. Why doesn't Piper say "to experience the Spirit more you have to pray more"? Why does Piper attribute experiencing the Spirit with Bible knowledge rather than prayer?

Scripture followed the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2:17+
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:14 PM   #61
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OK, Evangelical. You may separate the apostles referring to scripture to help them with the decision of what to do with Judas' vacant spot in Acts 1 with the filling of the Holy Spirit in Chapter 2. But, recall Chapter divisions were added to the text later. I think it (and Peter's multiple quotes of "the prophets" and "scripture" in Acts 3) show they were indeed studying scripture, and it helped to guide their leadership (along with obedience to the Lord's spoken word and prayer), which God blessed with His promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Before you condemn John Piper, please watch the following seminar he gave:http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/...t-1#full-video , and note at 8:30 he says “… the work of the Holy Spirit is therefore essential for right understanding of the Bible, and prayer for his assistance belongs to a proper effort to understand and apply God’s word.”

I am not here to defend John Piper, though, but to try to arrive at truth.... because this is important for our right experience of the Spirit today.

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Old 11-15-2016, 03:57 AM   #62
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You are right the scripture was very important to them and they made use of it.

The question is does the Scripture show a causal relationship between their infilling with the Holy Spirit and their study and reading of Scripture? I cannot see a causal relationship there. Peter was most likely speaking from inspiration and the scripture that he knew. There is nothing to indicate that their knowledge of scripture contributed to them all being filled with the Spirit.
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Old 11-15-2016, 05:49 AM   #63
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According to Piper, to experience the Spirit they would have been studying their Bible at this point. Rather, they were engaged in constant prayer.
Why doesn't Piper say "to experience the Spirit more you have to pray more"?
Why does Piper attribute experiencing the Spirit with Bible knowledge rather than prayer?
Dear brother Evangelical, either you have forgotten Piper's original quote, or you are willfully distorting his message.

Piper said "loving the word" not "studying their Bible." Do you know the difference? Loving and studying are not the same. Based on your faith and love, the Bible may or may not be God's word to you.

Have you read ALL of Piper's writings, that you can conclude that he NEVER said to "pray more to experience the Spirit" of God?

Piper NEVER attributed "experiencing the Spirit" with mere "bible knowledge."

Dear brother Evangelical your own preconceived prejudices have biased your ability to accurately post concerning what John Piper has written.
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:13 AM   #64
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I will have another look then:

The Spirit inspired the Word and therefore He goes where the Word goes.

are you saying that Word here does not refer to the written Word of God, the Bible? The word "inspired" gives me the clue that Word here refers to the Bible and not to Christ. The Spirit did not inspire Christ. So is not Piper saying that the Spirit goes where your Bible goes?

The more of God's Word you know and love, the more of God's Spirit you will experience. ~ John Piper.

It is the Spirit that turns the bible from mere knowledge into God's Word. So I would say this statement is back to front - it should say "the more of God's Spirit you experience, the more of God's Word you will know and love".
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Old 11-15-2016, 11:08 AM   #65
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It is the Spirit that turns the bible from mere knowledge into God's Word. So I would say this statement is back to front - it should say "the more of God's Spirit you experience, the more of God's Word you will know and love".
I'm not sure which is "back" and which is "front." Does one have to be? Even Witness Lee said that the Spirit and God's word are like two wings of an airplane.

I see no value in disputing John Piper's saying. You are merely splitting hairs and straining gnats.

Your launch point was the Pharisees "searching the scriptures" in John 5.39, yet were "not willing to come to Me" in 5.40. Granted there are many wrong ways to approach the scriptures, and them Pharisees did them all. We could talk all day, and all week, and all month, and ... about how them Pharisees messed thinks up. And we could do the same concerning many radical tongue-speakers who try to experience the Spirit without a proper approach to God's word, but what's the point? Do you have to argue every scriptural nuance that you find?

Most of us who have left the LC's, are attempting to focus on the common faith, that which is important to our walk with Christ. I have testified on several occasions that I am a recovering "judgaholic," one who once specialized in condemning all things Christian. I thought I was taught by the best, but little did I know that our Lord was not pleased with that. In His heart, love conquers and mercy triumphs.
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Old 11-15-2016, 01:43 PM   #66
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Perhaps I am "splitting hairs and straining gnats" (viewpoint dependent). Yet I think the matter of how people use their Bibles and the understanding of how they receive and experience the Spirit affects many things in their daily life. People seem to have gone through the Recovery without experiencing the Spirit much, because they were always attending meetings, praying ineffectually, studying Lee's writings and ministry rather than the Bible. But I submit to you, that in the denominations there is a similar thing called bibliolatry, where people are always attending church, studying the Bible rather than experiencing the Spirit. In fact there are whole organizations and denominations built around the Bible without the Spirit, because they essentially think or believe the Bible and the Spirit are one and the same. They are built on study and teaching of the Bible but they don't experience the Spirit.
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:46 PM   #67
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Perhaps I am "splitting hairs and straining gnats" (viewpoint dependent). Yet I think the matter of how people use their Bibles and the understanding of how they receive and experience the Spirit affects many things in their daily life. People seem to have gone through the Recovery without experiencing the Spirit much, because they were always attending meetings, praying ineffectually, studying Lee's writings and ministry rather than the Bible. But I submit to you, that in the denominations there is a similar thing called bibliolatry, where people are always attending church, studying the Bible rather than experiencing the Spirit. In fact there are whole organizations and denominations built around the Bible without the Spirit, because they essentially think or believe the Bible and the Spirit are one and the same. They are built on study and teaching of the Bible but they don't experience the Spirit.
Well consider two scenarios then ...

(1) Perhaps they were experiencing the Spirit and He led them out of the LC's.

(2) Perhaps they were not experiencing the Spirit and they figured they had enough of the LC's.

So much for all the false promises of the Spirit and life exclusive to the Recovery.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:54 PM   #68
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Well consider two scenarios then ...

(1) Perhaps they were experiencing the Spirit and He led them out of the LC's.

(2) Perhaps they were not experiencing the Spirit and they figured they had enough of the LC's.

So much for all the false promises of the Spirit and life exclusive to the Recovery.
God does not lead people out of fellowship with the genuine local church. There is no example in the Bible of anyone being led out of a church by the Spirit. Can you find one? I can't. The only "church" that God calls us to leave is the Babylonian worldly mixture of denominations.

So it must be option (2).
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:58 PM   #69
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God does not lead people out of fellowship with the genuine local church. There is no example in the Bible of anyone being led out of a church by the Spirit. Can you find one? I can't. The only "church" that God calls us to leave is the Babylonian worldly mixture of denominations.

So it must be option (2).
That's like saying Jesus never led any Jews out of Judaism. Show me one example in the O.T.

The Lord has led many out of the LC's. That's just something you are going to have to accept. Start with the posters on this forum. They will tell you.
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Old 11-16-2016, 06:38 PM   #70
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That's like saying Jesus never led any Jews out of Judaism. Show me one example in the O.T.

The Lord has led many out of the LC's. That's just something you are going to have to accept. Start with the posters on this forum. They will tell you.
I can accept their belief that the Lord led them out. However based upon the Bible I don't have to accept that it was the Lord.

There are also people who claim the Lord led them to be married despite the fact they were divorced or gay etc. Or lead them to separate from their husband or wife without any biblical reason.

Consider Moses, he came down from that mountain and saw the people of God doing all kinds of crazy things. According to your view he might have said, sorry guys, I'm going to find another group of God's chosen people, I feel the Lord leading me out. But he didn't. There is no example in the OT or NT of God leading someone out of his nation (Israel) or church.

Jesus never lead anyone out of Judaism. Jesus was a Jew when he died, and his disciples were also Jews. In fact Jesus did not call the "elites" of Judaism, the Pharisees etc, he called fishermen etc to follow him. He never told anyone they had to leave Judaism.
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:05 PM   #71
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There is no example in the OT or NT of God leading someone out of his nation (Israel) or church.
Therein lies the problem. You equate the church with Israel in every aspect. But when it comes to the idea of being "led out," we are not talking about being led out of the church, but being led out of an assembly or a group of assemblies. You clearly have no problem with that. You ask everyone else to leave their assembly to come to yours. But you wouldn't even consider the same about leaving yours. You "know" that it is the only one.

So, if it had turned out that the little church group in the general vicinity of San Francisco that was led by Jim Jones had been a bona fide "church in a city" as Mr. Jones began his slow slide into being something that no longer resembled a sound gathering of Christ's followers, you would have refused to leave?? You would have been all over that. You would have left in a heartbeat.

You speak of church alternately in the universal sense and then in the sense of an assembly of believers without qualification. It is an exercise in equivocation. You want to declare that believers who are not part of your assembly are not part of the universal church. But you dare not say that because the universal church is not assemblies, but the believers. It is little different from saying "church" is not buildings but people. Same goes for assemblies. The church is the people, not the assemblies. But it is expressed in assemblies. And there is no formula for what that looks like. And all the accounts in Acts and all those letters by Paul, Peter, John and others demonstrate the diversity of expression, even if you read past the things that might have been problems that caused the letter in the first place. The cure was never to be just like "the church in X." It was to recognize that we are called to something higher than better teachers, ritual laws, three-ring circus meetings, and so on. But the cure was never to be just like another assembly. It was to recognize that Christ provided a different way in love. Not in lording it over people. Or in better works in hope of salvation. Or anything else. It was just in the belief and faith in Jesus Christ and the living that bears his image on the earth.

You complain that we spend so much time complaining about the LRC and its teachings and ways. But if you listen, you will recognize that it is not so that you would drop all of that and simply go our way. In the important sense, we all, including you, are going the same direction. We believe 4that salvation is only in Christ. We believe in the basic tenets of the faith. And beyond that, we probably have as many variations in understanding of the other things as there are people here. That includes each separate current member of the LRC that comes and participates or even just lurks. They don't all think the same thing. They dare not admit that they don't. But they don't. There are a myriad of variations in understanding of many things within your group. They dare not speak about it because there is a clear history of silencing any sign of variation.

But it is there.

The problem is that you insist that one church one city is effectively among the fundamentals of the faith. Failure to follow this rule results in your group's effective "washing of the hands" with respect to them. But there is no such imperative of the faith. Our goal isn't necessarily to insist that you drop your belief in this formula. Only that you admit that it may not be as you understand it, and that even if it is, it does not define a Christian as somehow deficient. It is so interesting that your group effectively dreamed up this little rule in the 1900s and then argued it as being there for centuries even though not even mentioned by a single apostle as anything approaching a rule.

There is a chance that one church per city is a rule. But given the pains that the Bible goes to in spelling-out so many clearly important things, it seems almost ludicrous that something that should be raised to the level of a "tenet of the faith" would be couched in such veiled terms that it took 1900 years for someone to realize that it was there and was so blinkin important.

With that as the background, you have to understand why it is that despite throwing out references where it says "the church in [city]" that there has never been anyone consider that this meant that only the boundary of a city should define the contents of an assembly. A word that by its very usage clearly means "Christians" because they are the body of Christ suddenly has to mean "assembly." Why? "Because I think it does."

There is a huge body of Christians in this world. It is far from a majority of the population. Even in America. But it is immensely larger than the meager group that calls itself "THE church" and dismisses all others. We are not cutting your off from fellowship with the larger body of Christ. You are. You insist on it. You insist that the right little toe is all that is needed. There is no need for the rest of the toes, or feet or other "body" parts. The church is so much more. You have settled for a toe and are busy using self-congratulatory phrases over and over to keep yourselves pumped up so you won't think about how poor and naked and blind you are as an amputated little toe.

I don't condemn you to hell for that. I implore you to drop your need for being special and segregating yourselves into the LRC. Join the whole of the church. You can keep your beliefs, but in the understanding that they are nonessentials.

The only true essential is Christ.
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:05 AM   #72
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God does not lead people out of fellowship with the genuine local church. There is no example in the Bible of anyone being led out of a church by the Spirit. Can you find one? I can't. The only "church" that God calls us to leave is the Babylonian worldly mixture of denominations.

So it must be option (2).
Well, I decided to revisit. I see Evangelical is still up to his shenanigans.

Anyway, EV, hope you are doing well.

Your statements above are typical of the LC mindset because, although they are are consistent in themselves, they are based on false premises.

You say God would never lead someone out of fellowship with a genuine local church. But you don't define "fellowship." More importantly you don't define a "genuine local church," and you can't because the Bible never differentiates between local and other kinds of churches, nor does it differentiate between "genuine" or "false" churches. We do not know if there is such thing as a "false" church, since the Bible never defines or cites such a thing. We can look at the extreme example of "Babylon," but we really don't know what Babylon is for sure. LCers believe it is the RCC. But it may just represent a generally corrupt and worldly religious view. When the Bible doesn't clearly define a idea, it is probably teaching us about a general principle, rather than an actual thing. I agree that the city churches in the Bible show us that unity is important. I disagree that they show us that churches must be organized around the borders of a city. If the Bible wanted us to believe that as bad as you do it would have told us to.

So "genuine local church" sounds good, but it is really a useless and probably destructive term. The Bible doesn't give you enough information to genuinely (ahem) and confidently define it. You cannot know for sure if any church is really such a thing. It's just words and puffery. This is why your posts on the subject have the ring of arrogance and condescension. If you were really confident in your beliefs you could afford to be gracious and generous about them. Since you don't you exhibit hardness.

The extremes are easy. The New Jerusalem or Babylon. But most of us don't live in the extremes. We live in the real world where calling an assembly of Christians a "non-genuine church" is a reckless thing to do. I admire LCer's desire for purity, but I don't admire the way they go about it. You can't be a church God approves of based on an obscure Biblical technicality. There are so many things much more important than that. Jesus said so in Matthew 23:23, if you care to read it. The local ground as espoused by you is not about justice, mercy and faithfulness. It's about mint, dill and cumin. It's about focusing on gnats while ignoring the camel dung piling up around you.

Jesus asks us to do something that is very much against our nature. He asks us to even (sometimes) not act like we are right even when we think we are. This is what really bring loves and unity. Most times when we think we are standing up for the truth we are really standing up for ourselves. It's a delicate thing. It's very easy to condemn others, but hard to be honest with ourselves. If you cheat the man in the mirror you've gained nothing.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:42 AM   #73
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Evangelical,

Igzy just said some very profound things. Some of them are worthy of restatement. These are from the previous post, though I have separated parts to make them stand out, and left some out.

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You say God would never lead someone out of fellowship with a genuine local church. But you don't define "fellowship."

More importantly you don't define a "genuine local church," and you can't because the Bible never differentiates between local and other kinds of churches, nor does it differentiate between "genuine" or "false" churches.

We do not know if there is such thing as a "false" church, since the Bible never defines or cites such a thing.

We can look at the extreme example of "Babylon," but we really don't know what Babylon is for sure. LCers believe it is the RCC. But it may just represent a generally corrupt and worldly religious view. When the Bible doesn't clearly define a idea, it is probably teaching us about a general principle, rather than an actual thing. I agree that the city churches in the Bible show us that unity is important. I disagree that they show us that churches must be organized around the borders of a city. If the Bible wanted us to believe that as bad as you do it would have told us to.

So "genuine local church" sounds good, but it is really a useless and probably destructive term. The Bible doesn't give you enough information to genuinely (ahem) and confidently define it. You cannot know for sure if any church is really such a thing. It's just words and puffery. This is why your posts on the subject have the ring of arrogance and condescension. If you were really confident in your beliefs you could afford to be gracious and generous about them. Since you don't you exhibit hardness.

. . . .

There are so many things much more important than that. Jesus said so in Matthew 23:23, if you care to read it. The local ground as espoused by you is not about justice, mercy and faithfulness. It's about mint, dill and cumin. It's about focusing on gnats while ignoring the camel dung piling up around you.

Jesus asks us to do something that is very much against our nature. He asks us to even (sometimes) not act like we are right even when we think we are. This is what really bring loves and unity. Most times when we think we are standing up for the truth we are really standing up for ourselves. It's a delicate thing. It's very easy to condemn others, but hard to be honest with ourselves. If you cheat the man in the mirror you've gained nothing.
In the midst of this he made the following statement.

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You can't be a church God approves of based on an obscure Biblical technicality.
I know what he means, but I think that he was more than generous to you in it. I do not believe that there is any obscure technicality. Rather there is an obscure statement that if its meaning is among the more unlikely candidates it would be a technicality. Because it is not clearly stated, and not even a front-runner among understandings of what was said, it cannot be declared to be a technicality, therefore not "Biblical" because that term should only be used in reference to things that are so clearly stated and understood that it is the general consensus that it is true. Any other use of the term Biblical is merely packaging to attempt to stop any discussion that it might not be correct.
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Old 11-19-2016, 08:45 AM   #74
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In the midst of this he made the following statement.
You can't be a church God approves of based on an obscure Biblical technicality.
I know what he means, but I think that he was more than generous to you in it. I do not believe that there is any obscure technicality. Rather there is an obscure statement that if its meaning is among the more unlikely candidates it would be a technicality. Because it is not clearly stated, and not even a front-runner among understandings of what was said, it cannot be declared to be a technicality, therefore not "Biblical" because that term should only be used in reference to things that are so clearly stated and understood that it is the general consensus that it is true. Any other use of the term Biblical is merely packaging to attempt to stop any discussion that it might not be correct.
I agree. My point was not that the local ground itself is Biblical, but rather that if one is to assert that it is, one must also admit it is (1) a technicality and (2) obscure. It's a technicality in the same way legally insisting on "holy kisses", "love feasts" or "laying everything at the apostles feet" would be technicalities--they are things the Bible cites the early church as doing but doesn't command us to do. The local ground is obscure because down through history the teaching has not been embraced but by a tiny handful of Christians.

As I said, when the Bible gives us examples, but doesn't make totally clear their meaning or directly command us to imitate them, then it is probably showing us general principles of behavior rather than expecting exact imitation. Thus "holy kisses" need only tell us to be comfortable with open and pure affection for one another. "Love feasts" can mean we can and should gather in social situations that give love a chance to shine.

City churches should tell us that unity is important, but not that churches must be organized based on the borders of a city. The citation of house churches in the Bible leaves a reasonable door open to other grounds of organization rather than city borders, so insisting otherwise is unreasonable. I have no problem with all the Christians in a city realizing they are all part of the church in that city, just as they realize they are part of the universal church. That's a good thing. But to insist that we can only meet as the church in that city or, even worse, must organize around a group of leaders who claim to be the leaders of the entire city church (how they know this or why anyone should believe them is not clear) is taking things way too far. The Bible never comes close to commanding such a thing, and it is easy to see why not. One should think if the local ground is the important principle the LC would like everyone to believe it is then the Bible would have unmistakably commanded us to uphold it.
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Old 11-19-2016, 02:42 PM   #75
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...If the Bible wanted us to believe that as bad as you do it would have told us to.
Hi Igzy, am well thank you, hope you are too - grace to you and peace in the Lord Jesus.

This topic is related to the discussion had in the other thread where we talked about descriptive versus prescriptive commands in the Bible.
I agree there is no clear prescriptive command in the Bible that a church must be organized around a city. There is no black and white text that says this is how the church must be done.

In the book of Acts we see a lot of things that were not clearly written down as an instruction or a command. There was no Old Testament command that says "Christians don't have to be circumcised". The early Christians followed Christ. They followed Christ out of the Jewish synagogues and into the church. Christ forming the church was not clearly foretold by the OT prophets. The first time church was mentioned was Matt. 16:18. Had a person followed the Scripture at that time, they might have stayed in the Jewish synagogues. Just like the early Christians followed Christ out of Judaism, we try to follow Christ out of religious Christianity. We don't do this because there is a black and white command in the Bible to do so (well there is, if we consider Babylon), but because of the leading of the Lord. The important thing is that we follow the Lord. We believe that if the Lord leads one to the denominations then do that, if the Lord leads one out, then do that, if the Lord leads one to stay at home and not go to church, then do that too. This does not mean, however, that the denominations are approved by God, anymore than Jesus meeting with the Pharisees meant they were approved by God.

The idea of one city per church is meant to be about freedom from the religious institutions. If we leave "Babylon", believers in each city is what remains. That is, it is more about coming out of Babylon, than entering any particular thing called the "One City Per Church" church. We are not about building up another denomination in the name of a doctrine of one city per church. I know that is contrary to what many claim and experience, but this no way invalidates the ideals or God's plan.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:10 PM   #76
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

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In the book of Acts we see a lot of things that were not clearly written down as an instruction or a command. There was no Old Testament command that says "Christians don't have to be circumcised". The early Christians followed Christ. They followed Christ out of the Jewish synagogues and into the church. Christ forming the church was not clearly foretold by the OT prophets. The first time church was mentioned was Matt. 16:18. Had a person followed the Scripture at that time, they might have stayed in the Jewish synagogues. Just like the early Christians followed Christ out of Judaism, we try to follow Christ out of religious Christianity. We don't do this because there is a black and white command in the Bible to do so (well there is, if we consider Babylon), but because of the leading of the Lord. The important thing is that we follow the Lord. We believe that if the Lord leads one to the denominations then do that, if the Lord leads one out, then do that, if the Lord leads one to stay at home and not go to church, then do that too. This does not mean, however, that the denominations are approved by God, anymore than Jesus meeting with the Pharisees meant they were approved by God.

The idea of one city per church is meant to be about freedom from the religious institutions. If we leave "Babylon", believers in each city is what remains. That is, it is more about coming out of Babylon, than entering any particular thing called the "One City Per Church" church. We are not about building up another denomination in the name of a doctrine of one city per church. I know that is contrary to what many claim and experience, but this no way invalidates the ideals or God's plan.
I was with you until this statement, "Just like the early Christians followed Christ out of Judaism, we try to follow Christ out of religious Christianity."

Let me comment on this. Your construct here is not from the Bible but from Lee and exclusivism.

Firstly, you say "religious Christianity." Let's be honest, for you this is any and all Christians outside of LSM approved LC's, including the GLA LC's who refused to be brought under their subjection. This comment becomes the most divisive belief of all, because it contains no specifics whatsoever. You simply categorize all outsiders, including those quarantined, as "religious Christianity," so that you can dismiss them and condemn them. Oh the arrogance.

The early Christians departed from the leadership of the Pharisees and the Sanhedrin because they killed their Savior, and then persecuted them. They never "followed Christ out of Judaism." On the contrary, the entire early church, including the 3 thousand and the 5 thousand, remained in Judaism, albeit with their Messiah. They met in the temple and house to house, with most of them never leaving the decrees of Moses. It was not until the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple that Christians became basically liberated from the ordinances of the law. Oh the historical revisionism.

Secondly, since my time in the LC's which began in the mid '70's, I have watched an exodus of dear believers being led out of the Recovery due to corruption at LSM. Living through one scandal after another at LSM, life in the LC's was like living in America when the Clinton's were in power. After each round of whistle-blowers were expelled, leadership at LSM cranked up their smear machine in order to hold the remaining faithful in the delusional cloud of a pure and pristine MOTA, who was as infallible as the Pope. Oh the deception.

For LSM to manufacture numerous false standards (one city one church, clergy laity, proper church name which supposedly is not a name, etc.) in order to condemn all others and justify their own existence, is no different than the Pharisees who attempted to kill Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. (John 5.16) Oh the hypocrisy.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:29 PM   #77
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To the contrary, your construct of "everything and anything goes" where it concerns the church, is not really from the Bible.

I use the term religious Christianity as per the book Christ versus Religion by Lee. I did not have LSM in mind when I said that.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:22 PM   #78
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LSM is the publisher of the book Christ versus Religion.

Neither Jesus nor the apostles condemned religion. Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, but never assaulted their entire religion as Lee does.

Evangelical, why do you constantly condemn the entire body of Christ, yet never address the blatant hypocrisy at LSM. What you do is just the opposite of what the Lord did.
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Old 11-27-2016, 10:21 AM   #79
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If I thought for a second that God was backing your words I might be intimidated. But as far as I'm concerned you are only expressing your personal religious opinion. Perhaps well-meaning, but ultimately I don't hear God in your interpretation and attitude.
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:33 PM   #80
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Entirely subjective on your part of course. You will observe, hopefully, that between the both of us, I am using Bible verses, and you are not. God will back His own words that I quote from the Bible. I think that if or when you can find some bible verses supporting the idea of many denominations, you may have God's backing.
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:08 PM   #81
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The devil can quote scripture, as can you.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:08 AM   #82
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Entirely subjective on your part of course. You will observe, hopefully, that between the both of us, I am using Bible verses, and you are not. God will back His own words that I quote from the Bible. I think that if or when you can find some bible verses supporting the idea of many denominations, you may have God's backing.
Peter speaks of false teachers and mockers who quote and twist the scriptures. (II Peter 3.) When I was in the LC's, I heard many messages from Anaheim which "employed" scriptural support which was not at all pertinent to their teachings. Supposedly Lee and his Blendeds could "see things we could not." Uh huh!

And, by the way, the so-called "heretic" Titus Chu was always more knowledgeable and restricted to the Bible than Anaheim ever was. I never heard him condemn all of Christianity.

So much for much of the scripture you write. It really does not support your teachings or practices.

You love to condemn all the churches which identify themselves with a name, saying there is no verse to support them.

Yet you justify the hundreds of names LSM uses, saying it is a ministry and not a church. That is most hypocritical. Where is the scriptural support for these ministry names? There is none.

What legal entity (DCP) or attack publication (A&C) did the apostles ever startup?
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:33 AM   #83
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Let me illustrate by way of analogy. I'm sure most of you have heard of Westboro Baptist Church, the infamous "church" which was led by its late leader, Fred Phelps, into a spirit of hate, exhibited by his catchphrase "God hates fags." Westboroans would do things like picket the funerals of fallen soldiers and mock them for dying for evil America.

Here is the slogan from the Westboro website:

"God hates fags. God hates fag-enablers. Therefore, God hates america and this doomed world."

Phelps died a couple of years ago. He maintained his arrogant assurance to his grave. But as repulsive as his stance was, there was a certain logic to it. Logic, but ultimately such a twisted logic that calling him anti-Christ is not much of a stretch.

I'm sure some think their condemnation of "Christianity" and "division" is logical and justifiable, as Phelps did.

Just be careful you don't fall into his spirit.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:43 AM   #84
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Let me illustrate by way of analogy. I'm sure most of you have heard of Westboro Baptist Church, the infamous "church" whose late leader, Fred Phelps, led into a spirit of hate, exhibited by his catchphrase "God hates fags." Westboroans would do things like picket the funerals of fallen soldiers and mock them for dying for evil America.

Here is the slogan from the Westboro website:

"God hates fags. God hates fag-enablers. Therefore, God hates America and this doomed world."
Sounds a little like Evangelical.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:01 PM   #85
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Luke 18:10-14
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:19 PM   #86
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doubt you've ever asked the Lord whether He approves of Catholicism, for example. I doubt you've bothered to hear His answer. You certainly have not found it in His written Word. Can you find a verse that supports Catholicism?
I've prayed about the whole matter of unity and the situation as it is in the Church as a whole. My sense and experience is although I can find fault with the overarching leadership of movements, it's very hard for me to condemn individual congregations. I've been to several Catholic services in the last few years, as many in my family are Catholic. My experience is that the members are sincere believers. I may not agree with every aspect of their belief or practice, but Romans 12 tells me that is none of my business. As for idols, you might be surprised how little such things mean to modern Catholics. Many of my Catholic family and friend have sincere, solid saving faith. They are believers. I can't argue with that. I attend their services and the emphasis is not on idols, many Catholic congregations don't even display such things anymore. It would be foolish to nitpick about such things when I clearly see a trend away from them. What would be the point?

Trust me, I think the trappings of the Vatican and ex cathedra and all that rot make me sick. But what's coming out of Rome is not what's important. What's important is what is being taught in individual Catholic congregations. If people are hearing the gospel and the truth of Jesus as Savior then that's what important. Don't make the good the enemy of the best.
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I know you refer to the Bible, but on this topic of denominations you cannot find a verse to support your view that denominations are acceptable. When you say denominations are acceptable you are saying that Babylon is acceptable. You are saying that Roman Catholicism is acceptable with all of its idols and various things (Catholicism is the major denomination, remember).
It is you that cannot definitively find a verses that says denominations are so bad that you need to rail about them as you do. You are the one who equated denominations with "Babylon." The Bible record is less clear. I advise against feigning certainly when in fact you don't have it. You are talking about God's people.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:04 PM   #87
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It is good to read you have approached this matter in the proper way. So I have nothing further to add, except to point out that the Catholic service seems like any other (Anglican or Lutheran) service, until the prayers to Mary and dead people are made.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:11 PM   #88
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Why do you not apply that to the pastors and members of that different church next door?
If the differences are nonessential then how do they justify their continued existence? After Luther accomplished his split from RC, why did the Lutherans not disband and join the next best improved one?Maintaining different organisations/denominations because of nonessential differences is a reason why they cannot no longer justify their existence. If they are not so divided why do they continue to exist?

I have been to multi-faith services before where every denomination gets there turn. It looks like unity from the outside but actually it is the unity of agreement. They still maintain their denominational identities.

The early church probably quibbled over nonessentials, but if they did Paul would not have told them to separate and form different denominations.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:24 PM   #89
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It is good to read you have approached this matter in the proper way. So I have nothing further to add, except to point out that the Catholic service seems like any other (Anglican or Lutheran) service, until the prayers to Mary and dead people are made.
Much like the LCM, which is fine until Witness Lee is venerated and young people are led on tours of his mausoleum and sock drawers.
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:04 PM   #90
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There is no good reason why the Lutheran church for example had to exist just because Luther recovered the truth that we are saved by faith alone. Today, everyone knows salvation is by faith alone and we do not need the Lutheran church to tell us that. But they still exist today, 500 years later, why?
Then you would argue that Nee, Lee, Kuang, and others, including yourself, should have remained where they were prior to being part of Nee's group. Under your thinking, Nee was in error to step away from whoever it was that he first met with. Same for Lee, and Kuang, and you, and me.

And if it all started with Luther stepping away from the RCC, then we all have no choice but to reunite with the RCC. If doctrines and practices are not grounds for meeting separately, then we should ignore the practices that we find so objectionable and rejoin the RCC. Besides, if there were that many who would not pray to Saints or to Mary, then maybe those practices would end. They were not there from the beginning. And others have fallen off along the way. They can change. And the weight of the Evangelical body reuniting with them would really make an impact.

Not saying to do it. Rather pointing out why there is no way to argue against Luther leaving while defending one of the latest to leave other groups to start yet another. Doesn't matter that the doctrine that they think is important is not accepted. They should remain.

Can't have it both ways. "You can't leave any group to join another. But everyone must leave their group to join ours."

Yeah. Right.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:50 PM   #91
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

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Then you would argue that Nee, Lee, Kuang, and others, including yourself, should have remained where they were prior to being part of Nee's group. Under your thinking, Nee was in error to step away from whoever it was that he first met with. Same for Lee, and Kuang, and you, and me.

And if it all started with Luther stepping away from the RCC, then we all have no choice but to reunite with the RCC. If doctrines and practices are not grounds for meeting separately, then we should ignore the practices that we find so objectionable and rejoin the RCC. Besides, if there were that many who would not pray to Saints or to Mary, then maybe those practices would end. They were not there from the beginning. And others have fallen off along the way. They can change. And the weight of the Evangelical body reuniting with them would really make an impact.

Not saying to do it. Rather pointing out why there is no way to argue against Luther leaving while defending one of the latest to leave other groups to start yet another. Doesn't matter that the doctrine that they think is important is not accepted. They should remain.

Can't have it both ways. "You can't leave any group to join another. But everyone must leave their group to join ours."

Yeah. Right.
Think you misunderstood what I wrote. I am saying it is right to step away from the corruption, but wrong to make just another denomination which becomes another corruption. Luther should have stepped from the RC church to the ground of locality, not to the Lutheran church. Christians are already in a group, the body of Christ, it is wrong to make another group within that group, which is what all denominations are. There are just Christians, there are no Lutheran Christians, Baptist Christians etc.. this additional group qualifier is what is against genuine oneness. Of course there must be a group to remain in, that group is the body of Christ on the ground of oneness in each locality.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:17 PM   #92
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Default Re: Reading the Bible does not Give us the Spirit

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I understand the attraction of generality. Lee once taught generality.
Yes, he did.

But what I recall of it was that if someone came in, we were "general" with them — for a while. But underlying was the presumption that anyone who stayed around would come to our (LRC) understanding of things, or most likely leave.

And that is what they want:

In — in full agreement with the LSM teaching

Out — if unwilling to change to full agreement with the LSM teaching

All those terms, like denomination and division, were either not in the bible (or supported by it) or not in keeping with the way the bible used them. They were hollow justification for openly dividing while maintaining a pseudo-good conscience. And anyone who was steeped in LRC teaching could probably manage that, even if there was still a small burr in the shoe suggesting something was wrong. They got good at defining that as the attack of the enemy.

And it seems as if the main attack of the enemy was to fool them all into thinking that open derision of every other group was what Jesus really wanted.
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