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Old 05-07-2014, 04:13 PM   #1
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Default Became or Not Became - Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

A couple of days ago, a lurker posted to my blog (as Unregistered) and asked the question:

Quote:
Woah! @ (OBW) Did Christ "become" or not "become" the Life-Giving Spirit according to 1 Cor 15:45? I think I would love to hear your understanding on the Oneness of God..
While I answered there in the blog, I note that despite our constant references to the discussions that have gone on before, they are sometimes rather daunting to find. In hindsight, thread titles are not always as clear as we would like. And the ability to find the best way to search for certain items is not as simple as we might like.

And then, once you do manage to find it, there could be 500 posts to go through, 75 percent of which are not really on topic, and the ability to follow the thought trails is not always easy.

Now, starting a new thread on an old (or new) topic will remedy none of those problems. Unless those who participate choose to avoid them.

So just in case Mr/Ms Unregistered didn't see my response in the blog, or there is some desire to actually discuss both my reply and the parts of the question that I didn't even reply to, I'm putting it here as well. And this makes it easier to restart the thinking without it simply appearing as part of another topic.

And we might get some new perspectives anyway.

I really didn't respond to the challenge to provide my "understanding on the Oneness of God." But I did deal with the "become" or "not become" question in my own way.

Here it is (with some more recent edits):
- - - - -

1 Cor 15:45 does not speak about the Holy Spirit. That is the most important thing to know about the verse. Other than the fact that it references one (and only one) member of the Trinity (and that would be Christ, the Son), the Trinity is not a focus of the verse.

This verse is in the midst of a discussion about the kind of body that believers will receive when they are resurrected. So Paul turns to the only example that he can point to in a solid way — Jesus. He is speaking of the physical body that Jesus had after resurrection. And there is no way to describe that body as simply physical since it was not always visible, and could move through solid walls and locked doors. So Paul referred to it as "spiritual." Sort of a no-brainer since the Son is part of the Godhead and God is spirit. So Jesus is spirit. That is different from declaring that Jesus is the Holy Spirit.

I know that Lee strongly declared that there can be only one spirit that gives life. But he was wrong. Jesus gives life and he became "A" spirit. Not the Holy Spirit. I think that it is also provable that the Father can give life. And he is also spirit. BTW. The Holy Spirit is also spirit.

That may seem obvious since that is his name. But it doesn't always work that way. "The Spirit" or the "Holy Spirit" are names for what we refer to as the third of the Trinity. It is obvious that the word "Spirit" in the name is actually linked to his essence as spirit. But both the Father and the Son are also spirit, yet they are not called "The Spirit." Isn't it interesting that Mr. Brown may actually be pasty white, or Mr. White be as black as coal. The name does not cause the one who bears the name to subsume all that the word that is their name implies. Neither does it deny others the ability to possess some of the attributes that the name implies.

Seems like a no-brainer. Unless you are Lee or are under his spell (and I used to be). He is equivocating between "sprit" and "Sprit." The word "spirit" has many meanings. Among them is the idea of a state of being that is not simply physical. And God is spirit. All of Him — Father, Son, and Spirit. It just happens that one of those three has a name that is the same word — Spirit.

Your question is phrased in the words of the Lee/LSM/LRC lexicon. "The Life-Giving Spirit" is a code word for this singular thing that is the Holy Spirit. But this verse does not say that. It says that the last Adam became "A" quickening (life-giving) spirit. Jesus surely gives life. That does not make him the Holy Spirit. It simply acknowledges the truth that Jesus has this different body — a spiritual body — and he does give life.

Besides, if you buy Lee's version of the verse, then you have to assume that Paul is busy talking about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the Trinity other than to consider the body that Jesus received in resurrection. Then suddenly, in the middle of that discussion, Paul had a serious bout of ADHD, shouted "squirrel" and rambled on about how Jesus became the Holy Spirit (without ever actually saying those words) then just as suddenly returned to the discussion he had been carrying on before.

In short, Lee demanded that "spirit" can only be the "Holy Spirit" — and that is just plain wrong. So the answer to your question is "Christ did not become the Life-Giving Spirit" according to 1 Cor 15:45. At least not in the way that Lee meant it. He did receive a spiritual body in resurrection. And he does give life. But that did not cause Jesus to morph over and become the Holy Spirit. That is not supported by this or any other verse in scripture.

- - - - -

Anything still unclear? Any different thoughts?

I know I did not quote a bunch of verses. But we all know the verse in question and it is easily seen as the one I am referring to. Do you think I have misrepresented it?
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" — That is the Question

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Anything still unclear? Any different thoughts?
You make a good point. Saying "God is spirit" and saying "there is a Holy Spirit" aren't the same things. If they were, then we could just say that the Father is the Holy Spirit and be done with it.

But that's not really saying anything more than "The Father is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and since there is only one God they must be the same thing." At some level that might be true, but if that's all there is to it then why does the Bible reveal a Son who relates to the Father as if they are different persons? And why does the Son speak of the Spirit as if he is a different person?

I never get tired of speculating about the Trinity. But in the end I have to admit I can't know for sure what I'd like to know. So I have to go with what I do know, and continue to wonder.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" — That is the Question

The only objection I have to the Trinity debate is when it results in bloodshed ... as has happened in the past of Christendom.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" — That is the Question

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The only objection I have to the Trinity debate is when it results in bloodshed ... as has happened in the past of Christendom.
I would agree.

And when some get so strong for a particular way that they are ready to cut off everyone that does not agree 100 percent with their view, there is at least mental, emotional, and psychological bloodshed on the way. It is more important to argue people to put down their guns.

And every time some wannabe spiritual guru comes along and takes common words in a defined context with clear meaning and says they are talking about something else and mean something besides the obvious, there is yet one more faction in the debate.

So the beginning of hope is when you can get them, or their followers, to face the error in their thinking.

Now there are aspects of what we believe that is a matter of faith. But that is not primarily in the things that are given for us to believe. The Bible says much about God, man, righteousness, evil, etc. There are some who believe that what it says is true and others who do not.

But among those who claim to believe what it says, there are some who take what it says and turn it, twist it, misapply it, etc., to say something that it does not say. And that is what they believe. So when they say that they believe what the Bible says, there is a certain amount of ambiguity in that statement. (I'm being kind.) They may believe a lot of what it says, but they don't believe it all. At least part of what they think the Bible says is not actually there.

I like the way Iqzy put it. And that reminded me of yet another approach — math, and more specifically, set theory. There is a set of things that are "spirit." There are three members of that set, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Separately and together they are God, therefore God is spirit (which is actually the statement from scripture that gets this little ball rolling). But when considering the members of any set, membership, while having its privileges, does not turn one member into another. It just points to the common characteristic. So being a member of the set of God/spirit, Jesus (the Son) is God and he is spirit. But he is not the Father. And the Father is God and he is spirit, but he is not the Son. And neither of those, being God and spirit, are the Holy Spirit.

Yet this is what Lee is declaring when he reads 1 Cor 15:45. But as I started my original post (on the blog), the verse is not about the Trinity other than the fact that one member (the Son) is referenced. Paul is somewhat poetically saying that Adam was created with the body we know as living humans. Christ was resurrected with a different body — one that is spiritual. And while Paul used the word "spirit" (or some Greek equivalent), he was not using it in the sense of saying that Christ became "spirit" in the sense that John recorded when Jesus said "God is spirit." Same word, but different meaning. In John's gospel, Jesus is speaking of the essence of God. In Paul's letter, he is speaking of the change in the nature of the physical body that Jesus was seen walking around with after the resurrection. It has physicality, but was not bound to the limitations of the body I now inhabit. So his use of the word "spirit," while perfectly valid, is not a reference to the essence of God as "spirit." Neither is it a reference to the "third" or the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.

I know that many of us who have seen through Lee's error here still like the idea that it still speaks of the unity fo God. But it does not. It was not a statement about the unity of the Godhead. Neither was it a statement about the "processing" of Christ.

We used to get so excited when we heard those words — the processed Triune God. Why was that? What does having some theology down in such a fine way (assuming it is correct) really do for you? Does it cause God to love you more for understanding the hidden code better? Do we really believe in that God (or more correctly god)? If we don't, then what does it do for us besides give us a sense of superior understanding of the Bible.

God is God. Those who seek him will find him. They will find him praying "sinner's prayers" and singing Baptist Hymns. They will find him as they are reminded of the truth of God in the weekly liturgy and as they come down and pray at the end of a more evangelical/charismatic service. They will find him as they spend a little time in the Word and/or in contemplation at the beginning of the day, and as they set themselves to be righteous as they drive in rush hour traffic on the major freeway in the middle of a 5-year reconstruction project. As they treat all their coworkers with respect, including the gay guy or the one who is . . . .

I honestly believe that most of our past LRC experiences were of two kinds. First are those that happened because we really were seeking God and found him. The others were because we jointly worked ourselves up over a point of knowledge or just experienced a bit of mob dynamics. I know that sounds more onerous that I mean it, but it is more about the euphoria of being in "the group" than something real. And we got that way over "realizing" that "Christ became the Holy Spirit."

But he didn't, so the entire experience was manufactured. It was a farce. We went gaga over a lie. How do you continue to defend that? (And for those who can't tell, I am not talking to/about awareness.)
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" — That is the Question

I think the Trinity will always be something of a mystery. Just like the answer to "Why does God love us?" will always be something of a mystery. We are talking about the essences of reality here. In one sense I don't want to completely understand it, because I'm afraid it would be like learning a magician's trick. The fact that I could completely understand something as fundamental as God's nature or God's love shows that it was never that wonderful to begin with.

In the same breath, I think the mystery of the Trinity can be better understood when viewed from the principles it seems to declare. Here is the numbers mystery we can't understand:

1) The Oneness of God is important.
2) The Threeness of God is important.
4) Neither trumps the other.

But now look at just the ideas themselves.

1) Unity is important.
2) Plurality is important
3) Neither trumps the other.

The Oneness-Threeness of God is the upholding of these principles on his level. Oneness and plurality must coexist.

Lee saw the importance of the oneness, particularly to our experience. He also saw how rigid adherence to Trinitarian threeness could hinder experience. He wanted to nail down the oneness of God, but in doing so he took a short cut, like an Indy car driver cutting across the infield. He thought it would gain him the victory, but it just got him disqualified.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" — That is the Question

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The only objection I have to the Trinity debate is when it results in bloodshed ... as has happened in the past of Christendom.
Objection duly noted Harold, but let's not blame God or his Word for the sinful, fleshly and despicable behavior of SOME people back five or six hundred years ago. And such behavior has been condemned by the vast majority of "Christendom" for centuries. Bloodshed has not been a part of Christian debate for all these hundreds and hundreds of years, so it's hardly relevant to us today.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:08 AM   #7
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OBW & all.

If we can hate the sin but love the sinner, why can't we, hate the heresy but love the heretic?

Christian history shows that it's easier than we think to fall into heresy. In fact, it seems as common and ubiquitous as humanity, or to humanity.

But we can't kill the heretics, or exclude them, persecute & discriminate against them, like they are less than human.

I made friends with the Jehovah's Witness' coming to my door. We talk on cell phones, and I've been to his house a couple of times. He gave me a ton of cut oak for my stove.

And you can't believe the hard time I've given him, and the big gun honchos he brings to my door. I've been brutally honest and outspoken.

About a yr ago he showed up with a couple JW big guns. I charged out the door, in a rant.

I said:
I can't believe y'all would join a group that's been wrong prolly more than a thousand times ; that started out from William Miller -- The Great Disappointment -- that should have been stoned as a false prophet ; then your founder Charles Russell picks up where Miller failed, and begins failed prophecy after failed prophecy. And it's been that way for you guys ever since. Why would you want to be a member of such a system that has such a long track record of failure after failure?
They were all taken aback on their heels.

But he still loves me. And I him. Love covers.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:57 AM   #8
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A number of years ago I ran into a huge (in length) polemic work entitled "LIFE GIVING SPIRIT - PROBING THE CENTER OF PAUL'S PNUEMATOLOGY". The author is Richard B. Gaffin Jr. Gaffin is a professor of Biblical and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. I think this paper was produced in 1998. The basic premise of Gaffin's arguments center around his contention that the title "spirit" in 1 Corinthians 15:45 should be rendered Spirit with a capitol S because it must, he claims, refer to The Holy Spirit. Gaffin spends a great deal of time and energy trying to prove his point. But unlike Witness Lee, who uses weak and even childish arguments (cf: "are there two sprit's that give life?"), Gaffin uses strong, biblical and logical arguments and shows a lot of theological prowess in the process. I don't happen to agree with his conclusions, but I do find this work fascinating, if nothing else. Too bad this was produced after Lee's death in 1997, he would have surely used this as a kind of confirmation, if not endorsement, of his teaching that Christ became the Life-Giving Spirit.

Here is a link to the PDF of this paper:

https://www.google.com/#q=paul's+pneumatology
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:15 AM   #9
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Thanks for the heads up on Gaffin, and the link. For those interested, here's a link to the whole work without necessity of joining Galaxie Software:
http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PD...3-589-JETS.pdf
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" — That is the Question

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But he still loves me. And I him. Love covers.
Listening to the simple basic message of Jesus, "love your enemy, love your neighbor as yourself," all the knowledge in the world should not undermine God's message. In I Cor 13, Paul had something similar to say about this.

Why is it that all too often, Christian leaders like Lee begin to build walls around their little empires by altering this rudimentary command of our Lord, and equipping their followers to critique those on the other side of the wall? As Paul has said, "knowledge puffs up and divides, but love builds up and unites."

I actually love the way Lee's take on I Cor 15.45 and Rom 8.6 helped to revolutionize my views of God close to 40 years ago. Maybe it was never the actual teaching on these verses that changed me, but the Spirit Himself! These verses made me alive in Christ! They made the Lord so near to me! But take away the Spirit of reality, and we are left with dead doctrines condemning "poor, poor Christianity" and an elite group of people puffed up with pride.
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" — That is the Question

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OBW & all.

If we can hate the sin but love the sinner, why can't we, hate the heresy but love the heretic?
Actually, no one says we aren't loving them.

But loving them (and their followers) does not simply mean ignore their error or allow their teaching (that Paul would have said to refuse) to go unchallenged. For those who are in charge of the flock, or are teaching it, the stakes are high. And the price is high. We can argue that God indicated that he will deal with them all in the end (the whole bit about wood, hay, and stubble) But he also gave us instructions (through Paul and John — if not others) to not tolerate bad teaching. That means you have to tell them to go away (as teachers). These references do not seem to indicate that you cannot fellowship with them (unless they are not actually Christian). But you don't have to tolerate them as teachers.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" — That is the Question

I might feel differently if I hadn't heard hundreds of messages on 1Cor15:45 but just the fact that Christ meeting with his disciples on the day of His resurrection and noticing that they thought He was a spirit said,"Look, touch me, a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see me have." I don't think anyone knows much about what was actually said. One thing is certain WL was always forming a sect whether he was teaching Isa 9:6, 1Cor15:45, God's economy, outer darkness,one church one city, and on. He was secterian from the very beginning and never changed.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" — That is the Question

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I might feel differently if I hadn't heard hundreds of messages on 1Cor15:45 but just the fact that Christ meeting with his disciples on the day of His resurrection and noticing that they thought He was a spirit said,"Look, touch me, a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see me have." I don't think anyone knows much about what was actually said. One thing is certain WL was always forming a sect whether he was teaching Isa 9:6, 1Cor15:45, God's economy, outer darkness,one church one city, and on. He was secterian from the very beginning and never changed.
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Yeah, it became very clear near the end of Lee's ministry (if it wasn't already clear) that he was in the business of being novel. He had to stay relevant, and his stuff became more quirky. It was always idiosyncratic, if not heretical, and got worse over time. In the end he did fall into heresy with his "Man becomes God" silliness.

But he was always about setting himself in contrast to everyone else. There's me, then there's everyone else. On rare occasions that might be good. But usually it's a signal for patrons to head for the doors.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

I hope OBW doesn't mind but I changed the end of the title on this thread. I think it more fully describes what this thread will be about.

There is no doubt that this is an important matter to discuss here on this forum. After all this is one of the signature or hallmark verses used by Witness Lee and his followers. Furthermore, it touches upon the very nature of God in his triune being. What could be more important than this? Our knowledge and apprehension of God, his nature, his character and his ways are essential if we, as his people, are going to really know him in full way. If we are going to be able to worship him in spirit and in truth, if we are going to "go forth to all the nations" to teach and preach about him to a lost world which desperately needs to know God in the most fullest and accurate way possible.

One key question in correctly interpreting any biblical passage (especially one which touches on the nature or character of God) is to know what interpretive parameters, or maybe guidelines will one be limited or adjusted by. Almost everyone, including many of the cults such as Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons will tell you that "they only go by what is in the Bible". But we all know that they view anything in the Bible (Especially the NT) through the prism of the writings and interpretations of their founders.

So what will we be limited by? What will we be adjusted by? Will we be limited by and adjusted by the early Church fathers and major creeds, or will we simply ignore these for the sake of bringing the words of our Lord and the apostles (kicking and screaming if need be) into our modern 21st century? Is there a happy medium? Is there any way to know the difference between what the apostle Paul MEANT versus what it might MEAN for us today? Who is qualified to know?
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Only a zealot Bible literalist will interpret 15:45 as Jesus being the Holy Spirit. Talk about accepting premises.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Only a zealot Bible literalist will interpret 15:45 as Jesus being the Holy Spirit. Talk about accepting premises.
Look at Revelation chapter 1. Does anyone besides Witness Lee's acolytes really believe that "the seven spirits which are before His throne" in verse 4 are really the same as "Jesus Christ the faithful Witness, and firstborn from the dead" in verse 5? I mean, why put an "and" in between the two?

It seems as if the apostle John hadn't pray-read 1 Corinthians 15:45b enough and was perhaps a bit confused in his introductory chapter... thankfully God eventually raised up the ministry of Witness Lee to set matters straight... otherwise we might be misled by John and think that "seven spirits" and "Jesus Christ" were actually referring to two entirely different things! And what terrible confusion which that might engender!

Yes, yes, I know: "the seven eyes of the lamb which are the seven spirits of God going into all the earth"... now that makes it all so clear, doesn't it? Thank God for Lee's pat, simplistic explanations; otherwise we might have to struggle with some of these nuanced issues, like Jacob wrestling with the angel. Instead, all we have to do is pray-read a few selected verses.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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... "the seven eyes of the lamb which are the seven spirits of God going into all the earth"... now that makes it all so clear, doesn't it? Thank God for Lee's pat, simplistic explanations; otherwise we might have to struggle with some of these nuanced issues...
In Genesis 16:13 Hagar told the angel who appeared to her, "You are the God who sees me". Remember the wheels full of eyes, spinning around the throne in Ezekiel's vision? "Their entire bodies, including their backs, their hands and their wings, were completely full of eyes, as were their four wheels." (10:12) Perhaps the "eyes" bring God's sight, or awareness, to the whole universe. They are indeed "going into all the earth"... not a sparrow falls but the Father doesn't know it, remember? All the hairs of your head are numbered, no?

Perhaps in the text we see ministering spirits functioning as God's eyes (and ears and speaking -- they are of course messengers) to effectively connect God, on His throne, to people like Hagar, and to you and to me. In Luke's first chapter, when the Zechariah was doubting Gabriel he was really doubting God, because Gabriel, being an effectively transparent conveyor, did not distort the message but faithfully brought it from source to recipient. God spoke to Zechariah through the messenger who stood in front of His throne (v.19), and who now was at the right side of the incense altar, before the astonished priest (v.11).

But Lee made it "God became a man who became the Holy Spirit who became intensified". So the wheels, the eyes going into all the earth, the faithful angelic messengers bearing glad tidings, the seven spirits before the throne, they all got telescoped into one uniform "processed God". And whatever couldn't get processed by Lee's hermeneutic was explained away or ignored. These unhelpful scriptures were even referred to as "mixed expressions of fallen men", as if they contained little of profit for those seeking God. And such scriptures, as you begin to look at it, constitute much the material in question. I am no systematic theologian, but even I can see this: in order to process God into one neat, homogeneous mass, Lee really had to truncate the scriptural text. Put another way, he didn't use 1 Corinthians 15, or even 1 Corinthians 15:45, for his point, but he needed to use 1 Corinthians 15:45 "b"; otherwise the Holy Spirit might unfortunately remain just that, and likewise so would Jesus Christ.

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...if you buy Lee's version of the verse, then you have to assume that Paul is busy talking about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the Trinity other than to consider the body that Jesus received in resurrection. Then suddenly, in the middle of that discussion, Paul had a serious bout of ADHD, shouted "squirrel" and rambled on about how Jesus became the Holy Spirit (without ever actually saying those words) then just as suddenly returned to the discussion he had been carrying on before.
Lee's theology required that Paul have these "squirrel" moments out of the discussion's context. And then Lee could lever those de-contextualized parts elsewhere like with chapter 1 of John's Apocalypse, in order that things which would otherwise be differentiated (the seven spirits, and Jesus Christ the faithful Witness) could now be merged.

If the reader can ignore all that, it is indeed a nice, neat conceptual scheme. If you like such things, it's attractive because it's so simplistic. Just pray-read the right verses...
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Old 05-25-2014, 04:52 AM   #18
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Let me break ranks and mention my early understanding of I Cor.15.45.

Raised Cat'lic, I believed Jesus was far away in heaven, and the Holy Spirit was like a benevolent uncle. Even after being born of the Spirit, those old mind sets remained, which included God the Father as a nasty old judge and executioner (loosely based on my own father) out to get me every time I tried to have "fun."

Lee's interpretation, along with being filled with joy in those early LC meetings, brought Jesus, my Savior, down to earth, and right into my heart. Jesus was now living within me, as the Spirit, giving me life. Life on earth for me could not be any better!

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:36 AM   #19
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I don't think it will be interesting to the brothers. But I've checked out how some of the Orthodox Church writers, including St. Theophan the Recluse, interpret 1 Cor 15:45. That's what I found:

Probably, in 1 Cor 15:45, the Apostle Paul speaks about two periods in human history. Each of the two periods has two representatives. The first period is represented by the first man, the living soul, named Adam. The second period is represented by Jesus Christ, the life-giving spirit, who is the last Adam. The verse also shows the difference between our current and future bodies. Our current body is our physical body with soul. It's mortal. Our future body will be not physical but spiritual. It will not know corruption or death. We already have the roots or the source of our future life (and bodies), Jesus Christ.

St. Theophan the Recluse says that it's hard to say clearly, for sure, what the Apostle Paul meant. But probably, according to St Paul, in Jesus Christ human race starts a new life, not only in soul but also in spirit (through Jesus Christ). When Jesus Christ came to earth, all people were after (alike) the first Adam, i.e. living souls who lived "soul" lives. Jesus was the first person who lived according to the life-giving spirit. After resurrection, Our Lord Jesus Christ became the head of new humanity whom He gives His life-giving spirit. We are becoming the new humanity because we bear this life-giving spirit. Our spiritual bodies are growing within our current bodies which are the living souls. But on the day of the Lord's second coming, the first period of human history will come to its end. Our bodies, the living soul of the first Adam, will be transformed. We will be completely transformed through Christ, and after that we will have new life and new body, in spirit.

In other words, after resurrection, Christ became the source of mankind transformation. In Christ, we got a new life -- eternal life in spirit. So we are on our way to become a new humanity. The old human has been replaced by the new. The change is not (yet at any rate) biological but spiritual. It might be connected to the idea of baptism leading to a new birth. Besides, we are not going to return to the old paradise (the Eden) and the old Adam condition. But we will have a union with Christ and be transformed through Him, Who will bring us to the new paradise, New Jerusalem.

Next interpretation supports the previous idea:

"So also it is written"... "became a living soul". Where is it written? Let's check Genesis 2:7. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul". The phrase says about man's creation. God created the first man, Adam, a living soul. Adam is limited by this definition. The first goal of creating had been reached. Mankind became a living soul. It was the first period of mankind growth and development. Spiritual life or life in spirit starts later, in the second period of human history, after the Lord's resurrection. The last Adam is Christ, the Lord of mankind and there will be no other lords. "A life-giving spirit" is a new human condition which is opposite to the previous condition, "a living soul". In this context "life-giving spirit" means that it revives the organism where the spirit dwells. The spirit gives makes the body alive, giving it new strength, new youth, and new life. What moment in Jesus's life did the Apostle Paul had in mind? We believe Christ started becoming the life-giving spirit step by step - from His birth to His Resurrection and Ascension, when His physical body became fully spiritual. On the Lord's second coming, He will transform our bodies and they will become like His - spiritual and immortal.
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:20 AM   #20
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Interesting (left below). Thanks for presenting. Those E. Orthodox ... and their theosis. Everything is becoming -- a present on-going process -- heavenly.

So much from one little verse.


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I don't think it will be interesting to the brothers. But I've checked out how some of the Orthodox Church writers, including St. Theophan the Recluse, interpret 1 Cor 15:45....
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:15 PM   #21
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Interesting (left below). Thanks for presenting. Those E. Orthodox ... and their theosis. Everything is becoming -- a present on-going process -- heavenly.

So much from one little verse.
Thank you. I believe it can give some food for mind even if one doesn't believe that the interpretation is correct.

Of course, we should not blindly trust anyone, even the Church Fathers and especially Wikipedia but that's what the latter says about 1 Corinthians 15.

1 Corinthians: 15 is the fifteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians by Paul the Apostle. The first eleven verses are the earliest account of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus in the New Testament. The rest of the chapter stresses the primacy of the resurrection for Christianity.

Resurrection of the body: 35-58

The chapter concludes with an account of the nature of the resurrection. At the Last Judgement the dead will be raised and both the living and the dead transformed into "spiritual bodies" (44):

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Through the power of Christ "Death is swallowed up in victory" (54). Referencing a verse in Hosea, Paul asks: "O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?" (55), equating sin with death and the Judaic Law which have now been conquered and superseded by the victory of Christ.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_Corinthians_15
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:44 AM   #22
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Correction. So much from one little chapter : Everything is becoming heavenly.
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Old 05-27-2014, 05:16 AM   #23
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Lee's interpretation ... brought Jesus, my Savior, down to earth, and right into my heart. Jesus was now living within me, as the Spirit, giving me life.
I certainly would not deny your experience. It is as real to you as mine has been to me.

But having fun in third grade with paint-by-numbers doesn't mean that your destiny is to be the next Rembrandt. Singing "Jesus is the living Spirit, let us now proclaim" in the meetings may indeed have been fun, initially. However, to maintain that position dogmatically meant ignoring or explaining away a lot of scripture. Lee, ultimately, was about preserving his hermeneutic and thus his ministry. He could care less about you, the church, the scriptures, or the Spirit.

So Lee introduced us to the notion via the Word. "Now the Lord is that Spirit" and "the last Adam became the life-giving Spirit" and "Christ in you the hope of glory" and so forth. Eventually, though, to maintain this as a dogmatic truth we had to ignore a lot of other possible positions also suggested by those same scriptures.

How about, for instance, "The word of Christ dwelling in us richly" equivalent to "being filled in Spirit", both in the apostle Paul's references to the singing of the Psalms, which Psalms repeatedly and continually show us on intimate, first-person terms the relationship of the obedient Son with His Father in heaven? Hebrews 5:8 says "He learned obedience through suffering"; how much of the suffering of Jesus Christ in the flesh did Lee present, versus the "processed Triune God"? I argue not much, as it wasn't helpful to his (Lee's) ministry.

So you got the relationship of Jesus the life-giving Spirit within you, which was good, but you repeatedly (and on Lee's end, deliberately) missed the relationship of the obedient Son on earth with His Father in heaven, which is tragic.

Looking back, it seems as if Lee was all about conformity. Even the scriptures had to conform to him.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:06 AM   #24
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Ohio and Aron ... it was all good in the early days. It was spoiled by Nee's deputy/delegated authority ... that usurped and substituted Christ's headship.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:29 AM   #25
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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It was all good in the early days. It was spoiled by Nee's deputy/delegated authority ... that usurped and substituted Christ's headship.
The "ground of the church" idea opened the door for other bad ideas, which followed hard upon. I am thinking of "deputy authority", "the Jerusalem principle", "handing over", "line up with the one in front of you", and so forth.

And errors such as "deputy authority" allowed mediocre theologians like Lee to bludgeon us incessantly with their half-baked ideas.

So our christian experience got reduced to "Thank you Mr Apostle of the Age. May I have another?" When I watched Lee berate a shamefaced Titus Chu (and others) in public for not being up to speed on "the new way", that was exactly what I saw. If you think that is "enjoyment", I've got a slightly used bridge to sell you. Cheap.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:18 AM   #26
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Besides, if you buy Lee's version of the verse, then you have to assume that Paul is busy talking about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the Trinity other than to consider the body that Jesus received in resurrection. Then suddenly, in the middle of that discussion, Paul had a serious bout of ADHD, shouted "squirrel" and rambled on about how Jesus became the Holy Spirit (without ever actually saying those words) then just as suddenly returned to the discussion he had been carrying on before.
There is a term used in relation to the buying and selling of real estate: "Location, Location, Location!". Suppose you were in the market for buying a home and a realtor tells you "I have the perfect house for you". Then he goes on to describe the house in great detail, right down to the color of the front door and how shiny the brass door knobs are. Naturally your response would be, "great, just where is this perfect house located?" Then the realtor gets all indigent and says "you foolish person, I just told you that I found the perfect house for you. You must be under the influence of all those people who think only of location. Location, Location, Location? Fooey on Location!"

Please forgive me for the lame story, but it does have some application to what we are discussing here. When it comes to interpreting many of the passages in the Bible (especially the New Testament, and particularly in the writings of Paul) the concern is also Location, Location, Location - or to put a finer point on it, Context, Context, Context!

1 Corinthians 15:45 is written within a particular context, and we can zoom out just a little, putting it within the context of the immediate surrounding verses, (maybe verses 44-46) or we can zoom out to the entire chapter, or the entire book of 1 Corinthians, or the entire body of Paul's writings, and on and on. But no matter what, if we are going to be "rightly dividing the Word of truth" we must take care to interpret any particular word, term or phrase within as large of a context as is necessary to accurately ascertain the correct interpretation. If we don't do this then we are going to end up cutting off our hands and plucking out our eyes!

Witness Lee proclaiming "how many spirits are there that give life?" is like somebody saying "what part of cutting off your hands and plucking out your eyes do you people not understand? Now shut up and pass out the swords and gouges and get to work!".

"The last Adam became a life giving spirit". Firstly we might ask, does every reference to "spirit" refer to the Holy Spirit? Sometimes it IS appropriate to answer a question with a question, especially if the question is to clarify the context of any particular word, term or phrase. So, job one here, it seems to me, is to accurately ascertain what Paul meant by "spirit". The apostle Paul was a master theologian and was very thoughtful and precise in his use of language, so there is no reason that any latter day theologian should not be as thoughtful and precise as well.

Sorry, too long of a post already.


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Then suddenly, in the middle of that discussion, Paul had a serious bout of ADHD, shouted "squirrel" and rambled on about how Jesus became the Holy Spirit
Shouted "squirrel"
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:45 AM   #27
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

I've admittedly been all over the map on this subject. Although I agree that Lee took some liberties with the Scripture, I think, with all due respect to those who say, "neither divide the Godhead nor confound the Persons," the Scripture itself in some places seems to do both.

The fact is, if the Son is God and the Spirit is God and there is only one God, then in some way, at some level, the Son has to be the Spirit.

However, the inverse is also true. If the Son and Spirit are distinct persons, in the sense we understand persons (that is they can have relationships), then in some way, at some level, the Son is not the Spirit.

Attempting to be orthodox only takes us so far, and itself can lead to error. In my experience, being too distinctive about the Persons gets in the way of my experience. It's as if God is saying, "Let it flow," while I'm attempting to be consistent in my mental picture of the Trinity, kind of like trying to analyze dances steps while dancing.

So the crucial questions should probably be--How is it helpful to consider the Persons as distinct, and how is it helpful to consider them as one?

To answer, it clearly expedites experience to not overly distinguish between Jesus and the Spirit when praying or having other personal spiritual experiences. On the other hand, it clearly enriches experience, and understanding, to realize that relationships, particularly ones of love, submission, cooperation, honor and appreciation of roles, seem to be at the heart of who and what God is.

Placed in the best light, Lee's downplaying the distinction between the Son and the Spirit is a nod to our experience. We experience God as one. I have no experiential realization of any personality differences of the Persons of the Trinity. Although I believe there are three Persons, there only seems to be one personality. Put plainly, whether I'm experiencing the Father, Son or Spirit, it's essentially the same to me.

Placed in the worst light, Lee neglected the relational lessons of the Trinity, Loving the Other. This opened the door wider to a cold approach to others, which empowered callousness, betrayal and other abuses. Not to mention that he play fast, loose and abusive to push his view.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:49 AM   #28
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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The fact is, if the Son is God and the Spirit is God and there is only one God, then in some way, at some level, the Son has to be the Spirit.

However, the inverse is also true. If the Son and Spirit are distinct persons, in the sense we understand persons (that is can have relationships), then in some way, at some level, the Son is not the Spirit.

Attempting to be orthodox only takes us so far...
Attempting to impose our logical overlay onto the Bible only takes us, and our notions of orthodoxy, so far. For example, since Elizabeth called Mary "The mother of my Lord" in Luke 1:43, and the Lord Jesus is the incarnated God (John 1:4 and elsewhere), why can't our logic then call Mary as "The Mother of God"?

Or, "That they all may be one, Father, even as I am in You and You in Me". So therefore Aaron is in Igzy and Igzy is in Aaron? Is that where our logic should take us?

Lee specialized in logical leaps: "A indicates B"; "B indicates C"; therefore "A equals C". Because he had a captive and uncritical audience, he got away with it. In the open marketplace of ideas, Lee would not go as far, I suspect. But the "ground of the church" preserved his ministry, and there was no one to restrain the logical leaps of the prophet.

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whether I'm experiencing the Father, Son or Spirit, it's essentially the same to me.
True. I think most professing Christians, except the combative ones, would not be too interested in splitting hairs. In LC parlance, it doesn't give life. Yet some how Lee splitting hairs made us all warm and fuzzy. Go figure.

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Placed in the worst light, Lee neglected the relational lessons of the Trinity, Loving the Other. This opened the door wider to a cold approach to others, which empowered callousness, betrayal and other abuses. Not to mention that he play fast, loose and abusive to push his view.
Lee gave us the Processed God in our human spirit. We now had an instantaneous relation with our Creator. God wasn't far away in the heavens, frowning and looking down on all our failures. God was real, God was here and now. We could experience the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Wonderful. Like I said, third grade was fun, too. I really liked reading "Dick and Jane." But I didn't stay there the rest of my life.

Lee seemed to miss the human Jesus, loving and obeying His Father in Heaven. The relation of love between a man on earth and the Creator God in heaven is arguably the core of the Bible, and when I began to see glimpses of this love in the shadows and types of scripture it changed my walk. Ironically some of these expressions of love and fealty were in what Lee termed "fallen" and "natural" sections of the Old Testament.

I think that when we see this love it will help us to love one another. "Greater love has no one than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friends".
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:55 AM   #29
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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I certainly would not deny your experience. It is as real to you as mine has been to me.
At the time I heard, "the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit," apparently a huge need of mine was met within. The verse -- admittedly taken out of context -- Context!?! who cared about Context?!? -- since for the first time in my life I was made alive -- Alive together with Christ!

In those days, and those afterwards, what caught my attention, or should I say changed my heart and my life, was not the theological ramifications of 2nd of the Trinity becoming the 3rd of the Trinity, but how I was now alive. I was alive with Christ! And I got a verse to prove it.

Perhaps I didn't get the verse altogether right, or perhaps it really didn't matter. I probably was like that blind guy touched by the Lord in Mark 6 who said, "I see men like trees walking!" That poor guy was just so happy to see, who can blame him if he didn't get it all right the first time? After Jesus laid His hands on him again, this time was perfect! With his own two eyes he was privileged to behold the Son of Man, the Father's delight, the Savior of the world.

I don't fault Lee for taking a verse out of context, getting all excited about it, and then passing on that same inspiration to others. Nothing wrong with that, happened many times, even happened in the Bible. Remember in John 1 where Philip was overwhelmed with excitement, and called Nathanael saying, "we have found the promised One, the son of Joseph!" Obviously he got some of his facts wrong, but he got the important points, and that's what really matters. Too bad Lee decided to defend the indefensible, declaring war on all of Christianity, instead of just claiming the same inspirational license that every preacher benefits from, yanking phrases out of context to make his point.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:10 PM   #30
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Lee seemed to miss the human Jesus, loving and obeying His Father in Heaven.
That's because Lee's Christology was so high that it was "out of this world." His Christology was so heavenly that it was no earthly good ... except to make him exceptional than all the rest ... and to bona fide him as the oracle and authority of God on the earth. Lee's Christology was intended to bewitch our minds into following him blindly.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:37 PM   #31
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At the time I heard, "the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit," apparently a huge need of mine was met within. The verse -- admittedly taken out of context -- Context!?! who cared about Context?!? -- since for the first time in my life I was made alive -- Alive together with Christ.
Ohio,

The thing about your experience in this particular case is that you were made to realize something that was not exactly what Lee was talking about. It appears that you were not concerned with Jesus becoming the Holy Spirit, but rather with the fact that the "last Adam" gives life.

And that has never been disputed. While technically unnecessary to Paul's ongoing discussion there in 1 Corinthians, he slipped in the fact that the one who received this "spiritual" body is, in fact, one who gives life. That is note-worthy even if you are not tracking with Paul or with Lee.

But, oddly, I'm not sure that you were "for the first time . . . made alive." Just for the first time made aware of it. I won't even get into any arguments about your spiritual status during your days in Catholicism. But, except by stroke of timing, I bet you were already "made alive" before you heard this particular passage spoken of, whether with correct or incorrect understanding of its context.

I'm not dismissing your revelation. I'm wondering if it is being described accurately. Were you already made alive when you heard that verse? If so, then what was different when you heard it? Your realization about things that were already true? It is an exciting revelation. So the follow-on question is "what did knowing do for you?"

I'm trying to find my way through the world between "you don't need to know anything and it doesn't matter how you say it," and "the better your lexicon, the better your spiritual experience." I don't think either is uniquely right. And it may be that too close to either extreme is wrong. If I know nothing, then what am I believing. But if I think that saying it better is important, then I am probably creating yet one more Christian idol. Somewhere in there at way less than theological genius but more than "I don't know — whatever that guy says" is probably real and meaningful for most of us.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:25 PM   #32
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But, oddly, I'm not sure that you were "for the first time . . . made alive." Just for the first time made aware of it. I won't even get into any arguments about your spiritual status during your days in Catholicism. But, except by stroke of timing, I bet you were already "made alive" before you heard this particular passage spoken of, whether with correct or incorrect understanding of its context.

I'm not dismissing your revelation. I'm wondering if it is being described accurately. Were you already made alive when you heard that verse? If so, then what was different when you heard it? Your realization about things that were already true? It is an exciting revelation. So the follow-on question is "what did knowing do for you?"
Probably my post lacked clarity.

It's undeniable that many like me got excited about the freshness of the divine life, realizing that the Lord was so near, living within as the Spirit, making us alive together with Christ. I am not saying that Lee was responsible for the blessing, rather all the glory goes to God, since He can use anyone to minister to His people.

At this point, there was nothing wrong with Lee's teaching, since he was inspired to open the scripture. He was anointed, and we were anointed hearing what was shared. Actually, this teaching probably came to me, not thru Lee himself, but thru those in Cleveland ministering to us.

The problem then developed when Lee decided to use his inspiration to attack all Christianity. And look at the results. We have LSM promoting theological doctrines outside of Christian orthodoxy, over-emphasizing the oneness of God to a fault, and the fresh inspiration of the anointing is long gone. What was helpful for a season now is dividing the church.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:42 PM   #33
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In those days, and those afterwards, what caught my attention, or should I say changed my heart and my life, was not the theological ramifications of 2nd of the Trinity becoming the 3rd of the Trinity, but how I was now alive. I was alive with Christ! And I got a verse to prove it.
But that's part of the whole problem I've tried (not too well I'm afraid) to address - 1 Corinthians 15:45 proves no such thing. No worries though, there are probably HUNDREDS of verses that prove that we have been made alive with Christ, and why we were not changed by those is somewhat of a mystery to me. In fact, if you were at the Ephesians training I'm sure we all heard of the verse "even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (Eph 2:5) I'm afraid that many of us (including me) were more impressed with who was telling us about how we were made alive in Christ then any actual biblical passages telling us it is so!

Look, before we go further in this thread I think it might be beneficial to have some kind of understanding that theology and experience are not mortal enemies, and in fact there is a wonderful, glorious symbiotic relationship between the two. It's kind of like "faith without works is dead" - so too theology without experience is dead. But the analogy works both ways (just like the biblical verse) - "Experience" that is based in erroneous teaching (aka theology) can lead to serious errors in our personal and corporate practice, as well as leaving us vulnerable to spiritual and psychological abuse. The Local Church of Witness Lee is the virtual poster boy of this dynamic.

Ok, I really would like to see this thread continue on as a "theological", "biblical" discussion. Far be it from me to take away anybody's positive experience, especially if it brought them closer to God. I kind of feel like throwing up my hands and say what Paul told the Philippians: What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.(Philippians 1:18) I rejoice at all the positive experiences we had in the Local Church. I had MANY positive experiences, and there was some good teaching too. What I would not like to see more of IN THIS PARTICULAR THREAD is the use of "experience" as an argument against how this particular verse is interpreted.

I'm not saying that we all have to come to the same interpretation, only that we approach this matter in a more objective manner.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:03 AM   #34
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Originally Posted by aron View Post
Or, "That they all may be one, Father, even as I am in You and You in Me". So therefore Aaron is in Igzy and Igzy is in Aaron? Is that where our logic should take us?
I think that when we encounter these verses of "in-ness" or "being-ness" we err by thinking in terms of location or state is some way that reflects a physical location or state. I think it helps to think about them more in relational and moral terms.

Christ is in us, not physically or locationally, but relationally and morally. God isn't interest in "location." He's a Spirit. He has no physical location. He's interested in moral state and relationships. This is why Jesus can pray that they may be one as He is "in" the Father and the Father "in" Him.

We get hung up on how the Father, Son and Spirit can be one or "in" each other. But their oneness and in-ness is one of essence. And that essence is relationship, also known as love. And God is love. Genuine love always produces oneness.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:08 AM   #35
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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And God is love. Genuine love always produces oneness.
Well said.

I saw way too much fervor and orchestration when it came to the life-giving Spirit, and far too little love. Remember Paul's classic definition which begins, "love is patient, love is kind." Instead we had "stand up and exercise your spirit," which produced competitive performances and religious showmanship, rather than genuine faith operating in love.

So it's no wonder why a ministry and a collection of churches can talk and boast of oneness, and yet have so little of it. In the name of oneness and the life-giving Spirit, both featured in 1 Corinthians, they can bring lawsuits against one another for not being sufficiently "Of Lee," all the while dismissing any instructions about not suing your brothers.

Sorry to say, the shortage of love in the Recovery not only cheated them from real oneness, but opened the door for all kinds of other rotten things to step in.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:56 AM   #36
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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We get hung up on how the Father, Son and Spirit can be one or "in" each other. But their oneness and in-ness is one of essence. And that essence is relationship, also known as love. And God is love. Genuine love always produces oneness.
Very well stated. Yes, "that essence is relationship". Genuine love not only produces oneness, love is the very foundation and even description of the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "The Father loves the Son" describes something within the relationship of the Trinity, "for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son" describes the seminal action of this loving Trinity's loving work among mankind.

1 Corinthians 15 actually describes what the completion of this work will look like "Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed (1 Cor 15:51-52) The Lord Jesus, in his resurrection, became the pioneer, the forerunner into this glorious "state of being" that we will enter into. And this is the context in which we find "the last Adam became a life-giving spirit"

Yes, we have been given a wonderful foretaste, or down payment as the Bible tells us: In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14) Again we see the relationship and action of the Trinity that will effect this glorious change - "just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father" (Romans 6:4) and "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you"(Romans 8:11) These are not descriptions of a "processed triune God", these are descriptions of the mysterious, loving relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the actions that this loving triune being has taken towards his fallen creation.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:48 AM   #37
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Christ is in us, not physically or locationally, but relationally and morally. God isn't interest in "location." He's a Spirit. He has no physical location. He's interested in moral state and relationships. This is why Jesus can pray that they may be one as He is "in" the Father and the Father "in" Him.
Traditional, orthodox Christian scholars and teachers have usually taught that Christ is in us through the representation of the Holy Spirit. I think when we take into the consideration the totality of the words of the Lord Jesus, and those of the scripture writing apostles, this is as accurate of a teaching regarding how Christ is in us as we can wrap out little minds around.

Yes, God is interested in moral state and relationships, but the fact is is that God also addresses location as well. Twice in Matthew 6 the Lord Jesus gave an indication of the location of the Father: "for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven" (vr 1) and "Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name" (vr 6).

Also we can go back to that very familiar verse in John: "for God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son...". Not trying to be flippant here (UntoHim flippant...no way!)...Well, God sent his Son somewhere, now didn't he? I don't think we need to have degrees in language to get the drift that God the Father sent his Son from somewhere to some place. And let's all at least agree to thank, praise and glorify him for this!


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We get hung up on how the Father, Son and Spirit can be one or "in" each other. But their oneness and in-ness is one of essence. And that essence is relationship, also known as love. And God is love. Genuine love always produces oneness.
I really and truly believe that good, solid theology does not get us "hung up" at all, in fact I think it has great potential to "un-hang" us from erroneous and harmful thoughts about the nature and character of God. Look what happened when we were taught "we don't care about doctrine we only care about life" - we became a bunch of people that could be best described as the blind leading the blind.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:51 AM   #38
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Traditional, orthodox Christian scholars and teachers have usually taught that Christ is in us through the representation of the Holy Spirit. I think when we take into the consideration the totality of the words of the Lord Jesus, and those of the scripture writing apostles, this is as accurate of a teaching regarding how Christ is in us as we can wrap out little minds around.

Yes, God is interested in moral state and relationships, but the fact is is that God also addresses location as well. Twice in Matthew 6 the Lord Jesus gave an indication of the location of the Father: "for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven" (vr 1) and "Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name" (vr 6).

Also we can go back to that very familiar verse in John: "for God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son...". Not trying to be flippant here (UntoHim flippant...no way!)...Well, God sent his Son somewhere, now didn't he? I don't think we need to have degrees in language to get the drift that God the Father sent his Son from somewhere to some place. And let's all at least agree to thank, praise and glorify him for this!


I really and truly believe that good, solid theology does not get us "hung up" at all, in fact I think it has great potential to "un-hang" us from erroneous and harmful thoughts about the nature and character of God. Look what happened when we were taught "we don't care about doctrine we only care about life" - we became a bunch of people that could be best described as the blind leading the blind.
Well, I believe heaven is more a moral location than a physical location. Jesus gave us an "address" but he never said it was a physical place. I think it helps to realize that heaven is a place where moral realities have more substance than physical ones. The moral is the physical there, so to speak. The inside is the outside.

When you say "Christ is in us through the representation of the Holy Spirit" that sounds good theologically, and I have little problem with it, but it really doesn't answer the question whether Christ is actually in us himself. Are two in me, or one? And can I experience the distinction between the two, or do I need to? And if I don't, doesn't the idea that Christ is in some way the Spirit carry some weight?

"Through the representation of the Holy Spirit" doesn't mean much unless you again interpret it from relational angle. If the Holy Spirit can be seen as the relationship and flow of love and light between the Father and the Son, then it's easy to picture that the relationship (the Spirit) brings with it the person related to (the Son). That's what I mean when I say it at least helps to consider these things from the moral/relational angle.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:44 AM   #39
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Very well stated. Yes, "that essence is relationship". Genuine love not only produces oneness, love is the very foundation and even description of the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "The Father loves the Son" describes something within the relationship of the Trinity, "for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son" describes the seminal action of this loving Trinity's loving work among mankind.

1 Corinthians 15 actually describes what the completion of this work will look like "Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed (1 Cor 15:51-52) The Lord Jesus, in his resurrection, became the pioneer, the forerunner into this glorious "state of being" that we will enter into. And this is the context in which we find "the last Adam became a life-giving spirit"

Yes, we have been given a wonderful foretaste, or down payment as the Bible tells us: In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14) Again we see the relationship and action of the Trinity that will effect this glorious change - "just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father" (Romans 6:4) and "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you"(Romans 8:11) These are not descriptions of a "processed triune God", these are descriptions of the mysterious, loving relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the actions that this loving triune being has taken towards his fallen creation.
This was a glorious post. Thanks Untohim.

But now you've introduce YOUR paradox, your conundrum, at demanding we stick to just the theology of 15:45.

Cuz when you bring in the context of 15:45 you bring in our experience. Paul is not speaking theology. He's speaking of the guarantee of our inheritance. He's speaking of experiences.

So the truth is, if/when we get down to the bottom of the theology of 15:45, without experience as the conclusion, our theology will be hollow and empty of content.

So bro Ohio was right to bring in his experience of the last Adam. That's where the theology of 15:45 brings us.
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:03 PM   #40
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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So bro Ohio was right to bring in his experience of the last Adam. That's where the theology of 15:45 brings us.
No problem at all bringing in experience. I plainly stated that theology without experience is dead, just as faith without works is dead. Yet we should not "interpret" the bible with our experience. (very awkward statement, but can't think of another way to say it for now) This can and does lead to all sorts of error in teaching and in practice.

Let me put it this way: We should not use the Word of God to "prove" our experience is legitimately of God, rather we should be willing to let our experiences be guided, adjusted and even reproved by the Word of God. Yes we have the Holy Spirit who is to be our helper, advocate and guide. But Jesus said that the Spirit would "guide you into all truth" - So just how are we to verify that we have been guided by the Holy Spirit? Well I think the surest way is to be guided by the truth that is right before us in the Word of God.

We're probably getting off track here. Darn you guys! You are so good at this, that before I even realize that I'm off topic, I'm way off topic!
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Old 05-29-2014, 01:56 PM   #41
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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What I would not like to see more of IN THIS PARTICULAR THREAD is the use of "experience" as an argument against how this particular verse is interpreted.

I'm not saying that we all have to come to the same interpretation, only that we approach this matter in a more objective manner.
To me, it is as clear as the noon day sun in Tucson, Arizona that, objectively and theologically, based on I Corinthians 15.45, the following are absolutely true:
  1. The first man Adam (husband of Eve) became a living soul.
  2. The last Adam (the man Christ Jesus) became a life-giving Spirit.
The previous statements are true whether or not you experience them or not, but it is a whole lot better to experience them.

By inference from the context, we can also conclude the following:
  1. As descendents of Adam, we all are living souls.
  2. As believers in God, we all can be made alive by Christ Jesus, the life-giving spirit.
The one question not settled by this verse alone is whether Christ Jesus the life giving Spirit can make us alive in this age, or only at the future resurrection of the dead.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:10 PM   #42
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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No problem at all bringing in experience. I plainly stated that theology without experience is dead, just as faith without works is dead. Yet we should not "interpret" the bible with our experience. (very awkward statement, but can't think of another way to say it for now) This can and does lead to all sorts of error in teaching and in practice.

Let me put it this way: We should not use the Word of God to "prove" our experience is legitimately of God, rather we should be willing to let our experiences be guided, adjusted and even reproved by the Word of God. Yes we have the Holy Spirit who is to be our helper, advocate and guide. But Jesus said that the Spirit would "guide you into all truth" - So just how are we to verify that we have been guided by the Holy Spirit? Well I think the surest way is to be guided by the truth that is right before us in the Word of God.

We're probably getting off track here. Darn you guys! You are so good at this, that before I even realize that I'm off topic, I'm way off topic!
Off topic sort of. You bring out good points about experience and the word of God.

But how deep can we go with theology on 15:45?

I'd like to go deeper if possible. Y'all are smarter than me. You brought in the context and that cleared up much. But I'm at a loss to go any deeper.

For example, what did Paul mean by life giving spirit? If we look at the use of spirit in the Bible it's all over the map.

Lee said it was the Holy Spirit, but that's just conjecture on his part. When it comes down to it what did Lee know? He wasn't the oracle he claimed to be and sold us on.

Personally I don't think Paul was speaking of the Holy Spirit when he used the phrase "life giving spirit."

But what do I know? When I pray to God I don't have a clue what I'm speaking to and experiencing. I leave the mechanics up to God.

Hell, I don't even know if I'm going off topic. Y'all have to be real strong Christians, exercising long suffering and forbearance, just to tolerate me.

Thanks for that. Must have something to do with the life giving spirit.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:19 PM   #43
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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What I would not like to see more of IN THIS PARTICULAR THREAD is the use of "experience" as an argument against how this particular verse is interpreted.

I'm not saying that we all have to come to the same interpretation, only that we approach this matter in a more objective manner.
Experience is a funny thing.

Every genuine Christian regularly discusses his/her experiences of the Lord. I have been hearing about others' experiences for almost 40 years. What kind of life would we be living if we had no experiences of the Lord?

The New Testament is filled with normal folks "experiencing" God, yet the New Testament never once uses the word "experience."

How weird is that?
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:34 PM   #44
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Experience is a funny thing.
Well it is "life giving." Giving means receiving is also going on. And as you testify that's what happened when the verse popped out to you ; there was a giving and receiving happening, to your joy.

But Untohim makes a good point. In context it sounds like Paul is speaking about what will happen when the trumpet sounds. Now that will be real life giving ... to and for us us all, even those coming up out of the graves. That's a life giving spirit.

Is that what Paul meant?
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:15 PM   #45
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Yes, experience is a funny thing, but it is not the topic of this thread.

Ok Ohio and others.

You win! I give up! I confess that you have worn me down. I only have so much time to combat your "experience" blitzkrieg. Apparently some of you are so hell-bent on side tracking any thread that would have even the slightest focus on "theology" that you will continue on no matter what I post.

There is only one caveat....OBW is the one who started this thread. If he acquiesces, then let's just change the whole direction of the thread to "experiencing the last Adam who became the life-giving Spirit". Wow, I just thought of that out of the blue! I hope that one of the brothers over at the LSM doesn't see this because that may be the title of the next message at one of the Seven Feasts.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:58 AM   #46
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

I know I am the least qualified for this topic. I don’t have your knowledge and intelligence, brothers, especially those of Aron, Igzy, Ohio, OBW, Terry, and UntoHim. And surely, I don’t have brother Awareness's sharp wit. But let me pop in again. It’s not that I believe I can clarify something, I'd rather hope to support some ideas of other posters.

Yesterday in a book shop, I found this bible called “Orthodox Study Bible.”

http://www.amazon.com/The-Orthodox-S.../dp/0718003594

It didn’t look like a study bible to me because the footnotes (with the Church Fathers’ quotes) are too sparse and brief compared to the Lord’s Recovery Bible with a vast area of WL’s comments. Anyway, I just checked the footnotes of 1 Corinthians 15:45. Luckily, it had a comment but again – it was way too brief. If I am not mistaken, it says only “Our current body is Adam’s. But our resurrection body will be that of Christ’s”.

I’ve checked some other Eastern Orthodox resources in my native language again. They have lots of information on 1 Corinthians, but unfortunately, I could not find English translations. So I tried to translate the comments on 15:45 with Google Translate. But probably, some things might be lost in translation. Anyway, I believe the EO church point of view is similar to brother UntoHim’s words in his posts #33 and #36.

Just to clarify once again: the Church Fathers of East (who knew Greek and read NT in the original, i.e. in the Greek language) never understood “a life-giving spirit” as the Holy Spirit. They understood the Apostle Paul’s words about “a living soul” and “a life-giving spirit”(sometimes also translated “quickening spirit”, i.e. not only living, but making alive) as a comparison or distinction between our current natural or animal-souled body and our future spiritual body.

As for the difference and similarity among “a life-giving spirit”, the Son and the Holy Spirit, maybe we can look at this way: (Though I'm not sure that my conclusions are correct). The Son is not the Holy Spirit. They are distinct, but not separate. They are one in essence or nature. So probably, the nature or essence of “a life-giving spirit” might be similar to the nature or essence of the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are also distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. After the Lord’s second coming and the Resurrection of the Dead, the Lord will glorify our current Adam's bodies. But we will neither become the Son, nor the Holy Spirit. I assume that our “a living soul” mortal and corrupted bodies will be transformed and become fully spiritual, obtaining the nature or essence (at least to some degree) of the Son and the Holy Spirit (who share the same nature).

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The one question not settled by this verse alone is whether Christ Jesus the life giving Spirit can make us alive in this age, or only at the future resurrection of the dead.
I believe we already have the source of this transformation in Our Lord Jesus Christ. When we turn to the Lord, when we live in communion with Him, and when we acquire the Holy Spirit – that is the beginning of our transformation. It's a small but important first step that starts in this age. In this age, I don’t mean physical but mainly mental and spiritual transformation. The Lords starts transforming us, through the grace of the Holy Spirit. The full transformation of our physical and animal-souled body (living soul), will be after the Lord’s second coming. Interestingly enough, it’s has something to do with Theosis that assumes that humans from the beginning are made to share in the Life or Nature of the all-Holy Trinity. It means once we have to become like God to such a degree that we participate in the divine nature. With the Incarnation, God has assumed and glorified our flesh and has consecrated and sanctified our humanity. He has also given us the Holy Spirit. So probably, God's target for us and our target is to become not just Christ-like, but the likeness of Christ.

More about Theosis:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosis...hodox_theology)

Here is the google translation I mentioned earlier. It’s almost the same what I posted before; maybe with more details.

1) 1 Corinthians 15:45

So it is written, "The first man Adam became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

The apostle confirms the existence of a dual body, giving a link to the Holy Scriptures: "So it is written." The phrase “it is written" applies to the first half of the verse. "Became a living soul" ( Genesis 2:7). The first part says about the creation of man. Man "became" man or an animate being, after God breathed the breath of life into the man’s body, created from the dust of the earth. By these words, the Apostle defines the threshold (limits) that the first man could never cross. The boundary is indicated by the phrase "living soul” (ψυχή ζῶσα). Probably, this is the same definition, applied to man that equates him with animals that were also called "living souls" by Moses. ( Gen. 1 : 20, 24). But in fact, in relation to humans, this term encompasses incomparably larger than in its application to the animals. In the book of Genesis, the primordial man immensely towered over the animals in his mind, free will and heart. It’s also known that primeval man came into direct communion with God, and it refers to the activities of the supreme principle (element) of human beings – his spirit. If Moses didn’t directly attribute the spirit to man, then this shows that the fact that the man became "a living soul" was the purpose of the first creation and this purpose was achieved. Spirit as the guiding principle of human beings had to become active at a later age. According to the Apostle Paul, primordial man took only an initial stage of existence and activity .

"The last Adam" – that’s how the Apostle Paul calls Christ as the head and the Lord of humanity, after whom there will be no other heads and lords. Christ is "a life-giving spirit." This human condition is opposite to another human condition, "living soul." In this context, spirit is called "life-giving" not because it gives man spiritual life (as in John 4 : 14), but because it’s the spirit that animates the body where the spirit dwells. Soul also animates and movies the body. But spirit makes(does) much more – spirit makes the body fully alive, giving it new strength and new youth. Which moment in Christ’s life can be applied to this statement? Probably, Christ was becoming the "life-giving spirit" gradually - from His miraculous birth till His wonderful ascension when his body became completely spiritual. But in the full sense, Christ will manifest His life-giving spiritual activity at the time of resurrection when He glorifies the bodies of believers and make them fully spiritual like His own body (compare to Philippians 3: 21).

Philippians 3: 20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.

2) Another comment by St Theophan the Recluse:

1 Corinthians 15:45

So it is written, "The first man Adam became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Adam became a living soul, as “it is written” in Genesis 2:7. But there is no verse in the OT that says that the Lord Savior is a life-giving spirit. St. Paul says these words from himself, accompanied by the Scripture, however, without indicating where the Scripture ended and where his own words started. Then it’s all Gods words for us. The Apostle Paul combines the meaning of many Scripture verses about the coming Redeemer who was abundantly anointed by the Spirit.

What did the Apostle Paul want to say by these words? He points out that there are two periods of human existence. The first period is represented by Adam, “a living soul”. The second period – by Christ, the last Adam, “a life-giving spirit.” The first Adam lives in his physical body with soul and mortal and corrupted body. The last Adam lives in the new spiritual body which is of immortal and uncorrupted life-giving spirit. This new spiritual body will be given by Christ to the believers after His second coming. St Chrysostom says: "The Apostle said this so that you know the signs and evidence of the present and future lives: the present life is Adam’s and the future life is of Christ’s. Since he promises the best benefits in the future, it’s already now when he proves that the beginning and the source of the future life have already come. The source and the root have been revealed. If the root and source are obvious, we should not doubt about fruits. That’s why the Apostle Paul says that the last Adam is of life-giving spirit; and also: And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you." (Romans 8 : 11) .

It’s hard to clearly define the real thoughts of the apostle. But it is obvious that for him, in the person of Christ the Savior, mankind starts a new life not only mentally and physically but also spiritually as that was revealed by Christ. When the Lord Jesus Christ came on earth, all the people were like the first Adam, “living souls”. Christ was the first one of the life-giving Spirit. Through His resurrection and ascension, Christ became the head of the new humanity who is born of Him. One of the unique features of this new humanity is spirituality – the new mankind may possess the Spirit of God. This Spirit is the guarantee of the future revival and the transfiguration of the natural body which will become spiritual. Spiritual bodies are being prepared in the field of the first natural Adam’s body; they will be revealed in their spiritual glory later. Our natural body of Adam’s living soul will come to its end. Through Christ and by the grace of the Holy Spirit our natural bodies will be transformed. We will be new mankind – spiritual humanity. But this will happen only after the Lord’s second coming. All in good time.

----

I also found homilies on 1 Corinthians by John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople (c. 347 – 407). That’s what he wrote on 1 Corinthians 15:45:

So also it is written, Genesis 2:7 the first man Adam became a living soul: the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.

And yet the one indeed is written, but the other not written. How then said he, it is written? He modified the expression according to the issue of events: as he is wont continually to do: and indeed as it is the way of every prophet. For so Jerusalem, the prophet said, should be called a city of righteousness; Isaiah 1:26 yet it was not so called. What then? Did the prophet speak false? By no means. For he is speaking of the issue of events. And that Christ too should be called Immanuel; Isaiah 7:14 yet was he not so called. But the facts utter this voice; so also here, the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.

And these things he said that you may learn that the signs and pledges both of the present life and of that which is to come have already come upon us; to wit, of the present life, Adam, and of the life to come, Christ. For since he sets down the better things as matters of hope, he signifies that their beginning has already come to pass, and their root and their fountain been brought to light. But if the root and the fountain be evident to all, there is no need to doubt of the fruits. Wherefore he says, The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. And elsewhere too, He shall quicken your mortal bodies through His Spirit that dwells in you. Romans 7:11 It is the Spirit's work then to quicken.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2201.htm
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/220141.htm
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:08 AM   #47
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Yes, experience is a funny thing, but it is not the topic of this thread.

Ok Ohio and others.

You win! I give up! I confess that you have worn me down. I only have so much time to combat your "experience" blitzkrieg. Apparently some of you are so hell-bent on side tracking any thread that would have even the slightest focus on "theology" that you will continue on no matter what I post.
Sorry bro UntoHim,

I guess I had no idea what I was doing.

When it comes to a theological discussion of this verse, I am not qualified to post.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:49 AM   #48
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Great post #43 ICA.

Maybe you have redeemed us to UntoHim, with your EO take on 15:45.

After all, we don't want our moderator to be flabbergasted ...
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:08 AM   #49
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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When it comes to a theological discussion of this verse, I am not qualified to post.
Sure you are, we all discuss theology all the time on this forum.

Ok, how about a homework assignment?

Ravi Zacharias is one of the preeminent theologian/philosophers of our day. (and no I'm not saying he's the one theologian with the one theology for the age...only that he explains the trinity the clearest I've ever heard) Here is a short video of some question/answer session he had a some university. The good stuff really starts at about the 3:00 minute mark.

Due to some of the "advanced" vocabulary, it is somewhat hard to follow Zacharis. Here's a real zinger from this video: "The only way to explain unity and diversity in the effect is if you've got unity and diversity in the first cause, and only in the Trinity is there unity and diversity in the community of the Trinity".


If you're like me you will have to listen to this a few times before you get what he's saying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9gwoZNudCI
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:41 AM   #50
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Sure you are, we all discuss theology all the time on this forum.

Ok, how about a homework assignment?

Ravi Zacharias is one of the preeminent theologian/philosophers of our day. (and no I'm not saying he's the one theologian with the one theology for the age...only that he explains the trinity the clearest I've ever heard) Here is a short video of some question/answer session he had a some university. The good stuff really starts at about the 3:00 minute mark.

Due to some of the "advanced" vocabulary, it is somewhat hard to follow Zacharis. Here's a real zinger from this video: "The only way to explain unity and diversity in the effect is if you've got unity and diversity in the first cause, and only in the Trinity is there unity and diversity in the community of the Trinity".


If you're like me you will have to listen to this a few times before you get what he's saying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9gwoZNudCI
I see resurrection -- quickening -- of the dead in 15:45, but not the trinity. Is this your theology on 15:45? If so, go on. I want to hear more. Even if it means more homework.
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:45 AM   #51
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Was the apostle Paul even a Trinitarian? If so I don't see it. I think I need some help from you smart people. Somebody educated me. Was Paul a Trinitarian?
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:43 AM   #52
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

Ravi Zacharias is one of the preeminent theologian/philosophers of our day. (and no I'm not saying he's the one theologian with the one theology for the age...only that he explains the trinity the clearest I've ever heard) Here is a short video of some question/answer session he had a some university. The good stuff really starts at about the 3:00 minute mark.
I watched several minutes of this video, while reading some of the comments below it. It seemed that not one of them was favorable to RZ's lecture.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:57 AM   #53
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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I watched several minutes of this video, while reading some of the comments below it. It seemed that not one of them was favorable to RZ's lecture.
Sounded like intellectual spiritual razzmatazz to me. In the end he can't explain the mystery of the trinity any more than anyone else.

But I got a kick out of his explanation of love. That, basically, before the creation, the trinity were lovers of each other. Not sure I'm buying it, but it's great to picture it in my head.

Over all, thanks Untohim for the homework.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:13 PM   #54
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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I watched several minutes of this video, while reading some of the comments below it. It seemed that not one of them was favorable to RZ's lecture.
Interesting. Sounds like you spent more energy looking at the comments then actually listening to the short statement itself. Of course none of the comments were favorable, they were coming from people who don't believe in the Trinity in the first place - Unitarians and non-Christians mostly. Anyway, when you get a chance maybe you could actually listen to that last 5 minutes, and then make a comment yourself.

Look, I didn't say that this video was easy listening. I'm only trying to get us all to maybe slightly agree upon some very basic "framework" (for lack of better word) about the theology of the Trinity. Again, I would ask you to listen to the last 5 minutes and try to catch some of the basic premises put forth by Zacharias.

If you'd rather not, no biggie.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:45 PM   #55
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Was the apostle Paul even a Trinitarian?

Since a great majority of Trinitarian theology is based upon many of the writings of Paul, I don't think it would be a stretch to call him the father of Trinitarian theology - or maybe just the very first Trinitarian.

It seems to me many people are confused between the terms trinitarianism and tritheism (The teaching/view that the three of the Trinity are three Gods). Tritheism has been considered a heresy since the very beginning of the Christian Church. There is little doubt that the great majority of early Church Fathers, teachers and those who followed them were Trinitarians. They may have not have used the actual term, but all the records and writings of the first two centuries indicate that they were. Of course there were all sorts of dissenters (many of whom were the first major heretics).

We know that Witness Lee did not really consider himself a "conventional" Trinitarian - in fact he commonly called orthodox-type teachings on Trinitarianism "borderline tritheism". And I realize that many of us are coming from that point of view, or maybe some modified version thereof. But I was really hoping that we could approach this verse (1 Cor 15:45) from the conventional Trinitarian point of view - conceding that there are differing points of view within the pale of biblical Christianity - but also conceding that we have to have some common ground from which to make our arguments.

Also, as always, LET US TRY OUR BEST TO NOT MISUNDERSTAND EACH OTHER ON PURPOSE!
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:50 PM   #56
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Since a great majority of Trinitarian theology is based upon many of the writings of Paul, I don't think it would be a stretch to call him the father of Trinitarian theology - or maybe just the very first Trinitarian.
Please elaborate ...
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:29 PM   #57
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

The apostle Paul, a monotheistic, Jewish rabbi wrote the following to some people in Corinth around 57AD:

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
(2 Corinthians 13:13)

Jewish people, and specifically Jewish teachers, were not in the habit of mentioning ANY person, place or thing along side of God. It was considered anathema to put anything, especially a human, on equal footing as the almighty God. Yet this is clearly what Paul was doing here in this last word to the Corinthians. To Paul grace could only come from God - Ultimately man was to have fellowship only with God. Paul knew this, and so did the believers in Corinth.

Sorry, this is all the elaboration you're gonna get from me for now.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:35 PM   #58
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
The apostle Paul, a monotheistic, Jewish rabbi wrote the following to some people in Corinth around 57AD:

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
(2 Corinthians 13:13)

Jewish people, and specifically Jewish teachers, were not in the habit of mentioning ANY person, place or thing along side of God. It was considered anathema to put anything, especially a human, on equal footing as the almighty God. Yet this is clearly what Paul was doing here in this last word to the Corinthians. To Paul grace could only come from God - Ultimately man was to have fellowship only with God. Paul knew this, and so did the believers in Corinth.

Sorry, this is all the elaboration you're gonna get from me for now.
Okay, if you don't feel like talking about it.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:44 PM   #59
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Ok, how about a homework assignment?
The only way to explain unity and diversity in the effect is if you've got unity and diversity in the first cause, and only in the Trinity is there unity and diversity in the community of the Trinity".
The phrase is beyond my understanding. To literally translate it into my native language is one thing. To grasp and comprehend the meaning of these words is another thing. And to know God and the Living Reality of God behind the words and concepts, in our living union with Him, is something else. I can do only the first and easiest thing – to translate. The other two are beyond my strength. So I have failed my homework assignment and not even qualified to proceed to the video. But I’ll comfort myself, saying that probably, no human words can convey the divine reality. No terminology or formulation is adequate to communicate the mystery of the Trinity. We all need God's grace to comprehend trinitarian theology so that we might pass beyond our words and concepts about God and to come to know Him for ourselves in our own living union with Him.

Anyway, I checked out the EOC doctrine about the Holy Trinity. The doctrine is summarized in the Nicene Creed (Symbol of Faith) and here is one of explanations. I can’t comprehend it fully but the terminology doesn’t sound like rocket science to me.

"The Holy Trinity is one God in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These Persons are distinct, but not separate, and are not three gods. They are One God because They are one in essence or nature. The Father is the unbegotten Fountainhead of Deity. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father (Jn 1:18; 3:16; 16:28). The Holy Spirit is the Helper (Jn 14:16) and Spirit of Truth (Jn 14:17; 16:13), Who proceeds from the Father (Jn 15:26)."

St Spyridon: God is one, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who has created all things through the power of the Son and the operation of the Holy Spirit. (“The Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit” (Eph 2:18-22).

Following the Holy Scriptures and the Church Fathers, the Church believes that the Trinity is three divine persons (hypostases) who share one essence (ousia). It is paradoxical to believe thus, but that is how God has revealed himself. All three persons are consubstantial with each other, that is, they are of one essence (homoousios) and coeternal. God is not an impersonal essence or mere "higher power," but rather each of the divine persons relates to mankind personally.

The source and unity of the Holy Trinity is the Father, from whom the Son is begotten and also from whom the Spirit proceeds. Thus, the Father is both the ground of unity of the Trinity and also of distinction. To try to comprehend unbegottenness (Father), begottenness (Son), or procession (Holy Spirit) leads to insanity, says the holy Gregory the Theologian, and so the Church approaches God in divine mystery, approaching God apophatically, being content to encounter God personally and yet realize the inadequacy of the human mind to comprehend Him.

Since man is made in the image of God, man also has three natures. Both man and woman have three parts: body, soul, and spirit. God the Son is comparable to the body since the Son is God incarnate. God the Father is comparable to the soul, or mind, since he was the mind that created everything. The Holy Spirit is comparable to man's Spirit. As the body of man is the temple of our spirit, the body of Jesus Christ is the temple to the Holy Spirit which proceeds from the Father through (dia) the Son.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Holy_Trinity

GOD THE FATHER is the fountainhead of the Holy Trinity. The Scriptures reveal that the one God is Three Persons--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--eternally sharing the one divine nature. From the Father the Son is begotten before all ages and all time (Psalm 2:7; 2 Corinthians 11:31). It is also from the Father that the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds (John 15:26). Through Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, we come to know the Father (Matthew 11:27). God the Father created all things through the Son, in the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1; 2; John 1:3; Job 33:4), and we are called to worship Him (John 4:23). The Father loves us and sent His Son to give us everlasting life (John 3:16).

http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/doctrine1.aspx
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:10 PM   #60
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

A few more more links explaining the EO doctrines:

Concerning the Dogma of the Trinity

“All the Christian Churches accept this dogma. In other words, they all believe (1) that God is one, and (2) that there are three Persons in God. Who are different from each other, but are the one God.

The Roman Catholic Church, however, has partly broken the dogma of the Trinity by having introduced in the article of the Creed “and in the Holy Spirit… Who proceeded from the Father,” the words “and from the Son,” in Latin Filioque, after the words “from the Father.”

The addition appeared first in Spain, during the seventh century. In the eighth century it penetrated into France, where, however, it was fervently opposed. (John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me).

At the beginning of the ninth century, Charlemagne asked Pope Leo III to confirm this addition, but the Pope refused to do so. Nevertheless, a considerable number of Churches accepted it, influenced by Charlemagne, who reigned over the greater part of Central Europe. The Eastern Church rose up against this innovation, but its voice was not heeded. During the eleventh century the Roman Church, at the request of Emperor Henry I, accepted the addition. Since then it has come to be accepted by all the Western Churches.

In the sixteenth century both the Anglican and the Protestant Churches overlooked this addition and the former kept both the Creed and the addition after is separation from the Roman Church.

The Anglican Church as well as the Roman tried to prove the justice of this addition, and to this end there were two means: namely, either the Son was given the importance of a secondary cause in the Holy Trinity, or else separate passages from the writings of the Fathers of the Church were quoted, which seemingly confirmed the perfect accord between this addition and the teachings of the tradition.

The Eastern Orthodox Church had no difficulty in proving that no part of the Holy Trinity can be of secondary importance, and that the characteristic of being the cause is the personal characteristic of the Father exclusively and could not be ascribed to the Son without the personal qualities of the Father also being ascribed to Him in some degree, and, therefore, without the dogma of the Trinity being broken. The East quoted in confirmation of the addition are either an entire invention, or distorted and incomplete; and that the quotations which are exact with the authentic sayings of the Fathers of the Church refer to the sending of the Holy Spirit, and not by any means to His procession before all time.

http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/theorthodoxteachings.htm

"Of the Holy Ghost, we both say that He is from the Father, and call Him the Spirit of the Father; while we nowise say that He is from the Son, but only call Him the Spirit of the Son.”
-St John Damascus

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

About the Holy Spirit

In the Old Testament we find Yahweh, the one Lord and God, acting toward the world through His Word and His Spirit. In the New Testament the “Word becomes flesh” (Jn 1:14). As Jesus of Nazareth, the only-begotten Son of God becomes man. And the Holy Spirit, who is in Jesus making him the Christ, is poured forth from God upon all flesh (Acts 2:17).

THE HOLY SPIRIT is one of the Persons of the Holy Trinity and is one in essence with the Father. Orthodox Christians repeatedly confess, "And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified..." He is called the "promise of the Father" (Acts 1:4), given by Christ as a gift to the Church, to empower the Church for service to God (Acts 1:8), to place God's love in our hearts (Romans 5:5), and to impart spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 12:7-13) and virtues (Galatians 5:22, 23) for Christian life and witness. Orthodox Christians believe the biblical promise that the Holy Spirit is given through chrismation (anointing) at baptism (Acts 2:38). We are to grow in our experience of the Holy Spirit for the rest of our lives.

http://www.protomartyr.org/believe.html
http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodo...th/holy-spirit The Symbol of Faith
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:36 AM   #61
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Thanks ICA for presenting the intrigue between the EO and the RCC on the precision of the trinity.

One thing we know for certain is that the apostle Paul did not hold to the trinity with the precision we have today.

2 Corinthians 13:13 is weak in support of any such notion.

Because, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is spoken of all over the Bible. So therefore, by such logic, that 13:13 is evidence that Paul was a trinitarian, the trinity can be read into all of it ... by overlaying our present conception of the trinity onto all of the Bible. It's a contrivance.

If we do this, we risk Witness Lee's error, of seeing his vision everywhere in the Bible, like even seeing it in the Song of Songs.

Let's not repeat his errors, in our theological mentations.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:38 PM   #62
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http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking/th...ransformation/
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Old 05-31-2014, 04:18 PM   #63
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Isn't that basically the text version of the video Untohim posted? I'm still not bedazzled about it, or by him.

Ravi strikes me as a guru from India ... speaking to disgruntled, disenchanted, or desperate, perchance, Christians who are open to anything better.

I'm no stranger to these gurus. They give me the willies.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:41 PM   #64
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I have spent a good deal of time yesterday and today reading this entire thread and doing all the "homework" because I believe the topics being discussed are highly important. At the beginning, I noticed some Witness Lee bashing, which I expected; however, I also perceived some good theological discussion about 1 Corinthians 15:45, much of which was quite interesting and, for the most part, respectful of the views of the others in the thread. The latter part of the thread turned to discussing the theology behind the Trinity.

Since this site is dedicated to the "open discussion of the Local Church Movement and the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee," I think it is important to examine what they say about these two topics in their own words.

1) On 1 Corinthians 15:45: http://online.recoveryversion.org/Fo...sp?FNtsID=4674

As I read this footnote (see link above), nowhere does it say that Christ became the Holy Spirit. It actually says that "Christ became a life-giving Spirit with a spiritual body" (emphasis mine). [Please note the difference between "the" and "a." THE (one and only) Holy Spirit vs. A life-giving Spirit] This closely aligns with what OBW is saying about in post #1:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
- - - - -
1 Cor does not speak about the Holy Spirit. That is the most important thing to know about the verse. Other than the fact that it references one (and only one) member of the Trinity (and that would be Christ, the Son), the Trinity is not a focus of the verse.

This verse is in the midst of a discussion about the kind of body that believers will receive when they are resurrected. So Paul turns to the only example that he can point to in a solid way — Jesus. He is speaking of the physical body that Jesus had after resurrection. And there is no way to describe that body as simply physical since it was not always visible, and could move through solid walls and locked doors. So Paul referred to it as "spiritual." Sort of a no-brainer since the Son is part of the Godhead and God is spirit. So Jesus is spirit. That is different from declaring that Jesus is the Holy Spirit.

I know that Lee strongly declared that there can be only one spirit that gives life. But he was wrong. Jesus gives life and he became "A" spirit. Not the Holy Spirit. I think that it is also provable that the Father can give life. And he is also spirit. BTW. The Holy Spirit is also spirit.

That may seem obvious since that is his name. But it doesn't always work that way. "The Spirit" or the "Holy Spirit" are names for what we refer to as the third of the Trinity. It is obvious that the word "Spirit" in the name is actually linked to his essence as spirit. But both the Father and the Son are also spirit, yet they are not called "The Spirit." Isn't it interesting that Mr. Brown may actually be pasty white, or Mr. White be as black as coal. The name does not cause the one who bears the name to subsume all that the word that is their name implies. Neither does it deny others the ability to possess some of the attributes that the name implies.

Seems like a no-brainer. Unless you are Lee or are under his spell (and I used to be). He is equivocating between "sprit" and "Sprit." The word "spirit" has many meanings. Among them is the idea of a state of being that is not simply physical. And God is spirit. All of Him — Father, Son, and Spirit. It just happens that one of those three has a name that is the same word — Spirit.

Your question is phrased in the words of the Lee/LSM/LRC lexicon. "The Life-Giving Spirit" is a code word for this singular thing that is the Holy Spirit. But this verse does not say that. It says that the last Adam became "A" quickening (life-giving) spirit. Jesus surely gives life. That does not make him the Holy Spirit. It simply acknowledges the truth that Jesus has this different body — a spiritual body — and he does give life.

Besides, if you buy Lee's version of the verse, then you have to assume that Paul is busy talking about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the Trinity other than to consider the body that Jesus received in resurrection. Then suddenly, in the middle of that discussion, Paul had a serious bout of ADHD, shouted "squirrel" and rambled on about how Jesus became the Holy Spirit (without ever actually saying those words) then just as suddenly returned to the discussion he had been carrying on before.

In short, Lee demanded that "spirit" can only be the "Holy Spirit" — and that is just plain wrong. So the answer to your question is "Christ did not become the Life-Giving Spirit" according to 1 Cor . At least not in the way that Lee meant it. He did receive a spiritual body in resurrection. And he does give life. But that did not cause Jesus to morph over and become the Holy Spirit. That is not supported by this or any other verse in scripture.

- - - - -

Anything still unclear? Any different thoughts?

I know I did not quote a bunch of verses. But we all know the verse in question and it is easily seen as the one I am referring to. Do you think I have misrepresented it?
It seems to me that OBW and the footnote are in agreement on this one. The footnote says "Christ became a life-giving Spirit with a spiritual body" (emphasis mine). OBW also emphasizes "a" throughout the post and mentions "a spiritual body" in the last quoted paragraph before the line.

The only untrue thing I see in OBW's post is what he/she claims that Lee says. OBW claims that in the "Lee/LSM/LRC lexicon," " 'The Life-Giving Spirit' is a code word for this singular thing that is the Holy Spirit." As can be clearly seen from reading the linked footnote, the "Lee/LSM/LRC lexicon" does not say anything of the sort.

In conclusion, I do not think OBW misrepresented the verse. I think he/she misrepresented what Lee said about the verse.

It is getting late for me; therefore, I’ll let y’all read and digest this first post before I finish writing and post part two on the Trinity.

This is my first time on this site, and I do not have a user name yet; however, I'll sign my posts with "~Faith" to avoid confusion with other "Unregistered"s. I trust that no one else will write posts and sign them with "~Faith" during this interim.

Thank you for taking the time to read and consider what I am presenting in this post.

~Faith
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:45 AM   #65
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On 1 Corinthians 15:45: http://online.recoveryversion.org/Fo...sp?FNtsID=4674

As I read this footnote (see link above), nowhere does it say that Christ became the Holy Spirit. It actually says that "Christ became a life-giving Spirit with a spiritual body" (emphasis mine). [Please note the difference between "the" and "a." THE (one and only) Holy Spirit vs. A life-giving Spirit]

The footnote says "Christ became a life-giving Spirit with a spiritual body" (emphasis mine).

OBW claims that in the "Lee/LSM/LRC lexicon," " 'The Life-Giving Spirit' is a code word for this singular thing that is the Holy Spirit." As can be clearly seen from reading the linked footnote, the "Lee/LSM/LRC lexicon" does not say anything of the sort.

In conclusion, I do not think OBW misrepresented the verse. I think he/she misrepresented what Lee said about the verse.
It seems as though Faith is ignoring the ministry of Witness Lee in order to defend it. As soon as WL told us, “The last Adam, Jesus Christ, became a life-giving Spirit”, he then asked us, “Are there two life-giving Spirits?” Next, he showed us the verse “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”, and he said that it told us that THE Lord is THE Spirit.

One would have to be pretty obtuse not to miss this. Lee hammered us with it, repeatedly.
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:10 PM   #66
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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It seems as though Faith is ignoring the ministry of Witness Lee in order to defend it. As soon as WL told us, “The last Adam, Jesus Christ, became a life-giving Spirit”, he then asked us, “Are there two life-giving Spirits?” Next, he showed us the verse “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”, and he said that it told us that THE Lord is THE Spirit.

One would have to be pretty obtuse not to miss this. Lee hammered us with it, repeatedly.
Faith is linking a text that's been sanitized ....
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:03 PM   #67
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

No, actually she has linked to the actual footnote, which is unaltered in the link she provided.

I do agree with the other "unregistered". This footnote is not all that Lee taught regarding this and some of the other related verses, such as 2 Corinthians 3:16. When these are coupled with Lee's teachings on Isaiah 9:6, one comes away with a deep impression of a "modalistic" Godhead, where the Father becomes the Son and then the Son becomes the Spirit. Of course Lee strongly insisted that his teachings were not modalism, but most of the current scholars/theologians who've reviewed them strongly insist that they are some form of modalism.

It's the old swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, feathers like a duck....
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:08 PM   #68
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No, actually she has linked to the actual footnote, which is unaltered in the link she provided.

I do agree with the other "unregistered". This footnote is not all that Lee taught regarding this and some of the other related verses, such as 2 Corinthians 3:16. When these are coupled with Lee's teachings on Isaiah 9:6, one comes away with a deep impression of a "modalistic" Godhead, where the Father becomes the Son and then the Son becomes the Spirit. Of course Lee strongly insisted that his teachings were not modalism, but most of the current scholars/theologians who've reviewed them strongly insist that they are some form of modalism.

It's the old swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, feathers like a duck....
Obviously the footnote does not represent all Lee had to say about 15:45.
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:52 AM   #69
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Ravi Zacharias strikes me as a guru from India ... speaking to disgruntled, disenchanted, or desperate, perchance, Christians who are open to anything better.

I'm no stranger to these gurus. They give me the willies.
I watched a couple of his videos and he seems to me to be a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian who is also not afraid to be an intellectual. I.e. to be educated and to think.

So he is simultaneously attempting to traffic in two worlds: among those who think, and among those who believe. Not an easy task.

Now, is he speaking to disenchanted and desperate Christians, as awareness says? I'd say that being a Christian here on this captive planet, in our fallen flesh and with our damaged soul should lead us to be desperate! Zacharias seems to be taking the gospel message to those who imagine that "Believe into the name of Jesus Christ and go to heaven" is an irrational, superstitious, and intellectually demeaning proposition. And he is trying to simultaneously train believers not to be dull but to sharpen their sword and go out and compete in the marketplace of ideas.

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Ravi Zacharias is one of the preeminent theologian/philosophers of our day. (and no I'm not saying he's the one theologian with the one theology for the age...only that he explains the trinity the clearest I've ever heard).
I did enjoy the video. I didn't particularly agree with or understand his explication of the trinity, but that didn't bother me because I've never understood the trinity, at least on the terms that it is commonly presented (Remember Lee with his tea bags and water...).

But I did want to comment on one of Unto's remarks, that Zacharias doesn't have "the one theology for the age"... Zacharias said in another video that he didn't expect everyone to agree with him. He realizes that minds work differently. People can see the same thing and come up with different conclusions. He seems to get this, and doesn't insist on primacy.

What he said that he wanted to do was to engage others in the free market of ideas... "Let the best idea win out in the end", is how he put it. Zacharias is willing to let others think differently, and speak differently, and he believes that if he's also allowed to speak his message, that God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to rescue us from both our sins and our sinful nature, then some people will indeed apprehend the power of the gospel. Zacharias believes that other narratives, both religious and what he calls "naturalistic" (i.e. rational/scientific) have inherent flaws, and contain hidden assumptions that cannot be supported on their own terms. He believes that the Christian message is the one coherent message that can satisfy us all emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and can bring us back to our source, our Father God.

So he is quite different than Witness Lee, who had some unresolved inner need to be the only voice at the party. Zacharias is taking an entirely different tack, and is quite willing to be one voice among many. If you look at his videos, he seems to go where they don't admire the Christian message. Quite different from gurus who surround themselves with acolytes. It was interesting to watch a video of Zacharias taking confrontational questions from a crowd at an Ivy League university, and turn the tables on the questioners. He would point out that their questions contained implicit assumptions, and he would ask them, where did those assumptions come from? So when they tried to question him, he made them question themselves.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:42 AM   #70
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Well Ravi did sign onto the Kingdom of the Cults, with Walter Martin
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:19 AM   #71
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Cuz when you bring in the context of 15:45 you bring in our experience. Paul is not speaking theology. He's speaking of the guarantee of our inheritance. He's speaking of experiences.

So the truth is, if/when we get down to the bottom of the theology of 15:45, without experience as the conclusion, our theology will be hollow and empty of content.
And therein lies the problem with 1 Cor 15:45 as experience. This is the middle of a discussion about something that none of the participants to the conversation had experienced. Not Paul. Not the Corinthian believers. Not anyone who has read the dialog since. That verse is an attempt to focus the minds of a bunch of believers who were speculating about something that had never been discussed previously, and that none of them could experience and talk to others about. And even if Paul was not entirely correct on the ultimate similarity of the coming body in resurrection, he only had one example to provide — Jesus after his resurrection — and it was not really talked about other than by inference from the accounts of his actions during those few days before his ascension.

If anything, I believe that Paul's goal was not to school the Corinthians on what was to be, but to give them a narrower range of imagination so they would drop it and move on to what mattered — living now. And from what I can see, no matter how high and lofty and spiritual the other things Paul taught, it was all tied in with their practical living as a community of faith and as individuals representing that community in the larger community of life.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:17 AM   #72
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Well Ravi did sign onto the Kingdom of the Cults, with Walter Martin
I saw that, too. Not sure what it signifies, as I've never read Martin's work.

As I said, I only watched maybe 3 videos of Ravi, and took a cursory look at his website, and won't try to defend or trumpet his ministry.

But I resonate with the idea that he takes his message to Hindus, Muslims, atheists, and Mormons. Instead of staying in a relatively safe place, and speaking before a throng of agreeable folks, he often puts himself in a vulnerable position, in front of people who don't have a vested interest to see things his way.

My sense was that he was counting on magnanimity, humility, and grace (i.e. "Christ in me") as much as rhetoric, to convey his message. He was clearly defending his position, and saying, "This is my truth", yet he was openly cultivating an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Anyway, I liked watching it. But I'm not going to evaluate the man's ministry, yea or nay. I'm not qualified, and I'm not interested in taking the time and effort to become qualified.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:19 AM   #73
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And therein lies the problem with 1 Cor 15:45 as experience.
Thanks Mike, I think what you have posted here can serve as a catalyst for us to refocus this thread away from some of the peripheral matters. It is naturally taken for granted that any discussion that involves God, the Trinity or any actions taken by Him may very well involve our experience (Good, bad or indifferent). But to make our experience the central hub of every discussion will end up in a lot of chasing of our tails and getting us nowhere.

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I did enjoy the video. I didn't particularly agree with or understand his explication of the trinity, but that didn't bother me because I've never understood the trinity, at least on the terms that it is commonly presented (Remember Lee with his tea bags and water...)
Point very well taken aron. From Genesis to Revelation, I don't see where God has expected us to fully "understand" Him. He asked us to love Him, obey Him, serve Him, worship Him, proclaim Him and yes, even know Him. And knowing does imply understanding. Remember when the lawyer asked the Lord Jesus "what is the great commandment" he answered "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" - Mat 22:37 (Darby says "understanding" here). To those of us who sat under Witness Lee for many years, knowing and understanding God and the things of God became almost counterintuitive...Experiencing God and the things of God trumped everything. We became a very unbalanced lot, and it showed in our interaction with other LC members and non-members alike, and with other believers and non-believers alike.

"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119:105) Brothers, sisters, friends, lurkers: It all comes down to "Your Word" - without the Word, and I would contend, without an understanding and comprehension of and even obedience to the Word, we will find ourselves groping in the dark, stumbling over every obstacle that our enemy has placed in the way. Christian theology (especially biblical/systematic theology) is nothing less then a necessary instrument to light the lamp. It is not the lamp, and it is certainly not the light itself...it is merely a tool which God has provided....if we will only use it!
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:43 AM   #74
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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If anything, I believe that Paul's goal was not to school the Corinthians on what was to be, but to give them a narrower range of imagination so they would drop it and move on to what mattered — living now. And from what I can see, no matter how high and lofty and spiritual the other things Paul taught, it was all tied in with their practical living as a community of faith and as individuals representing that community in the larger community of life.
Two sections come to my mind, here. First, where Paul said, "I know that you want to know about certain foods..." then he suddenly started talking about the vanity of knowledge and the better way, which is love.

1 Cor 8:1 "Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. 2 If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.…"

The way is not to scrupulously parse the rule book, but rather to love one another. True knowledge is not objective fact closely held but rather to love. Paul was not interested in answering their question so much as re-directing their inquiry, and focus.

Secondly, remember where Paul wrote "For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged..." in 1 Cor 14:31? WL made it appear as if the apostle was encouraging us all to stand one by one, and speak. But actually Paul was dealing with a situation in which everybody tried to speak at once, and to re-create the excitement of Pentecost. The Corinthians were going to each meeting expecting the building to shake and tongues of fire to fall, and each would shout in the language of angels (or at least in Scythian) of the mighty works of God. Paul was saying, "Calm down, be sober, speak to edify the hearers."

But Lee divorced that word from its context and it became, repeated endlessly, the basis of our "popcorn testimonies", in which we would line up behind the microphone, and one by one, tell everyone else what a revelation the latest speaking was.

Likewise, if we consider the over-all context of 1 Corinthians 15:45b we might see what the merit of OBW's comment. Perhaps Paul is not attempting to lay the foundation for someone's trinitarian dogma but rather trying to bring some measure of closure and/or restraint to what is, for the speculating Corinthians, a largely hypothetical realm.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:45 AM   #75
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Christian theology (especially biblical/systematic theology) is nothing less then a necessary instrument to light the lamp. It is not the lamp, and it is certainly not the light itself...it is merely a tool which God has provided....if we will only use it!
Wow. Where did you come up with that one? I feel like I'm in church on Sunday morning. Seriously - I like it! Thanks.
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:52 AM   #76
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile.
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:36 PM   #77
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Christian theology (especially biblical/systematic theology) is nothing less then a necessary instrument to light the lamp. It is not the lamp, and it is certainly not the light itself...it is merely a tool which God has provided....if we will only use it![/COLOR]
Oh it's been used Untohim ... but the results aren't pretty.

And concerning 15:45 ... considering the context, the last Adam is life giving because he's gonna raised the dead ... and quicken our bodies into new bodies.

That will be the ultimate experience. Theology won't be needed.
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:32 PM   #78
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Theology won't be needed.
That one sentence is the key to so much of the wrangling over these things. Understanding it right does not change the underlying truth. It just changes whether we understand it or not.

Now if the thing we are trying to understand is important to whether I decide to follow Christ, and to follow in an active and ongoing way, then getting it right has some importance. But if it is just haggling over whether the rapture is pre, post, or pan tribulation (or whether the thing we call the rapture is even correctly understaood) then it does not have a bearing on my decision to actively follow and obey. So getting it right is entirely unimportant.

Now that might lead us to suggest that there is no reason to spend time discussing the docrinal errors of Nee, Lee and/or the LSM/LRC. But if the collection of errors leads someone who might believe and/or follow/obey to fail to do so, then we have problems. And those things are worthy of serious discussion and debate. Things like "don't care for right or wrong . . . just life (or just the spirit)" cause people to refrain from actively seeking obedience in their following.

And I realize that there may be no independent problem that arises from getting the Trinity wrong due to Lee's erroneous readings in 1 and 2 Corinthians, among others. But as it is part of the barrage of nonsense that lowers the logical and spiritual defenses to more serious errors, I cannot just ignore them. Every chance we get to make Lee and company out to be seen as unworthy of the status as anything higher than members of a church (and unfit to teach) is one step closer to freeing someone from the bondage to the teachings that rob them of their participation in the full experience of the Christian life.
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:31 PM   #79
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Yes Mike, I think we've fully exposed Witness Lee's foolish embellishment of 15:45, into something not meant by Paul, that, the Son is the Holy Spirit.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:02 AM   #80
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Understanding it right does not change the underlying truth. It just changes whether we understand it or not.
Well said!

Why then the need for biblical and systematic theology? Well, we modern people are used to organizing just about everything. In fact, this is what most of education is all about - it is organizing - organizing words into sentences, paragraphs and books, organizing facts and figures into a cohesive work, organizing elements into a table, and on and on.

At first the Christian Gospel was spread by word of mouth. It was several decades after Christ's death and resurrection that it was recorded on paper. Why the need to put it on paper? Well, one of the main reasons was to see that the people were getting a true and accurate account of the good news. The Gospel was/is the most important news in the history of the world, and it was important to get the news right! Much of the rest of the New Testament are the teachings of the apostles regarding God and the things of God in the form of epistles circulated among the early Church.

Christian theology, and more specifically, biblical and systematic theology, are nothing more (and hopefully nothing less) then organizing these teachings about God and the things of God into a cohesive collection of words, terms, doctrines, etc. which strive to accurately represent and explain the nature, character, will and works of God as they are recorded for us in the Bible.

Yes, one day we will not need theology. One day we will have no need of a lamp to light our path either, for God himself will illuminate the new heaven and the new earth. We will have no more need to learn about God, for He will actually dwell with us and we will be his people. "for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."(Isa 11:9) How wonderful that will be!

But until then....
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:57 AM   #81
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Great post Untohim (below). Maybe you're more qualified than I thought.
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Well said!

Why then the need for biblical and systematic theology? Well, we modern people are used to organizing just about everything. In fact, this is what most of education is all about - it is organizing - organizing words into sentences, paragraphs and books, organizing facts and figures into a cohesive work, organizing elements into a table, and on and on.

At first the Christian Gospel was spread by word of mouth. It was several decades after Christ's death and resurrection that it was recorded on paper. Why the need to put it on paper? Well, one of the main reasons was to see that the people were getting a true and accurate account of the good news. The Gospel was/is the most important news in the history of the world, and it was important to get the news right! Much of the rest of the New Testament are the teachings of the apostles regarding God and the things of God in the form of epistles circulated among the early Church.

Christian theology, and more specifically, biblical and systematic theology, are nothing more (and hopefully nothing less) then organizing these teachings about God and the things of God into a cohesive collection of words, terms, doctrines, etc. which strive to accurately represent and explain the nature, character, will and works of God as they are recorded for us in the Bible.

Yes, one day we will not need theology. One day we will have no need of a lamp to light our path either, for God himself will illuminate the new heaven and the new earth. We will have no more need to learn about God, for He will actually dwell with us and we will be his people. "for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea."(Isa 11:9) How wonderful that will be!

But until then....
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:49 PM   #82
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Why then the need for biblical and systematic theology?
You did well with the answer to your own question.

But for me, the thing I consider is that while the average Joe/Jane in the Christian community does not need to know and understand so much that is borderline esoteric theology, having some around who do helps in providing the kinds of talks we need when we become like the Corinthians, or the Philippians, etc., and get sideways in our orthopraxy — in our practice. And when I read through the things that Paul talked about (as well as Peter, John, James, etc.) it is interesting that while there are truly spiritual things that we need to be engaged in, so much of it — whether within the community of faith or out living in the world — is practical. But sometimes we get messed up in our practice, whether it is how we practice having meetings, how we treat each other in general, and how we interact with the world around us.

Someone needs to come along and say "don't forget that you are crucified with Christ," or "set your mind on the Spirit and you will fulfill the righteous commandment of God," or "submit yourselves one to another," or "love your neighbor as much as you love yourself." (And don't just hate yourself so you can get away with hating them too.) And they need to have a reason, not just an opinion. Some good systematic theology helps them know the reason. I don't need to understand the meaning of substitutionary atonement . . . I need to believe in Christ and obtain it without the words ever being said. But sometimes, if I get to thinking that there is no way that God could love me and forgive me, I need someone who knows what a bunch of those things mean, and knows how to bring it down to my level. Those are the leaders who are servants to all. And worthy of their pay (and then some).
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:27 PM   #83
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Someone needs to come along and say "don't forget that you are crucified with Christ," or "set your mind on the Spirit and you will fulfill the righteous commandment of God," or "submit yourselves one to another," or "love your neighbor as much as you love yourself."
This is true. But I think it goes all astray in an authoritarian environ, like the LSM LRC.

From what I know you wouldn't do or say such things to Witness Lee. And according to Nee's teaching on following authority you don't question the leader enough to know if he need's a wake-up call, or swift kick in the rear.

In such an authoritarian environ there's not a lot of freedom to be giving advice to leaders.

Lee, for example, needed someone to come along and balance him on 1Cor 15:45. Cuz he went too far on that verse ... squeezing it into his grand -- only Witness Lee had the true word from God -- systematized theological authoritative contrivances.

But who could question his authority? Those that did weren't around for long.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:24 PM   #84
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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You did well with the answer to your own question.
OOOWWWWCCCCHHHH!. Man oh man did I have that one comin!
(and no, Harold you can't pile on...even though I know you want to)

Of course I don't really see biblical/systematic theology as esoteric theology...but then again....maybe one man's theology is another's torture chamber? I do get your point that biblical/systematic theology may be something more of a corrective/medicinal thing than something for the regular diet of Christians. And you're probably right.

So, can we still proceed on here? I would love to hear all the differing views of 1 Corinthians 15:45. Sister Faith has registered, and I'm assuming she is ready and loaded for bare to present and defend Witness Lee's interpretation.

Ok, Let's do this!
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:34 PM   #85
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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OOOWWWWCCCCHHHH!. Man oh man did I have that one comin!
(and no, Harold you can't pile on...even though I know you want to)
I would never kick a man when he's down....

Let's move on. I two would love to hear different views on 15:45.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:30 AM   #86
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OOOWWWWCCCCHHHH!. Man oh man did I have that one comin!
Wasn't aiming at you. It is just a perspective.

But I think there is something in a view of the Bible as broadly instructive to us common folk without a need to be memorizing the details of the deep possibilities of theology. Having those who know those things helps keep it all in line.

Remember, we are likened to sheep being led by a shepherd. While those parables about the sheep, shepherd, fold, gate, etc., did have Jesus as the good shepherd, he also made it clear that there are shepherds that are not simply Christ by implying that we need to have some consideration as to the nature of those shepherding us. If it is "simply Christ" and only that, then we just reject all humans.

And we need to be awake enough to hear nonsense, perk up our ears and say "huh? You're crazy! Get out of here!" Then find someone(s) who is(are) not crazy and allow them to help us from falling off cliffs, wandering off after greener-looking grass, etc.

I have been noticing that Jesus spoke one way to the masses and another to those he was sending to continue in his stead. We like the reference to a kingdom of priests, but I'm beginning to thing that even that had a context. Yes, we are all to be ready to preach the gospel. But our primary goal is living the life man was made to live in obedience and righteousness. If we do that, the opportunities for using our mouths will come. But even then, the best part of our "preaching" is what we can say about the changes in our own lives. We do not need to be ready to provide deep theology. Peter said to be ready to give an answer for what you believe, not for how to understand the description of the decimation of entire groups of people (which, by the way, appears to have never happened). Our living is about righteousness, not better understanding of the theology of the Trinity.

Yet, at the same time, we need to recognize that "Christ became the Holy Spirit" is simply not in the Bible. But that should be enough. Recognize the gross error and turn away from such teachers. Not become our own self-teachers.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:37 AM   #87
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

As a tack-on to the above. . . .

Note that of all the writings that are good enough that we could have included them in the NT, there are only a very few that were not at least a little off track. And there were only a few others (on or off track). Everyone was not out writing their understanding of theology and getting into the deep stuff. Later on, it was not Augustine v 3,265,974 different views on theology as written by that many people, none of which quite agreed with the others.

There have always been those who have the task of study and leading. Considering that even Paul records setting Peter straight on at least one occasion, it is hard to believe that the intention was that we would all try to become so knowledgeable about all this stuff that we would continually either have a Paul to set us right, or we wander off and start a new group of one.

The better answer is to learn to reject what is clearly not there, and be open to what is reasonably there, even if not taking it hook, line, and sinker.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:17 AM   #88
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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I have been noticing that Jesus spoke one way to the masses and another to those he was sending to continue in his stead. We like the reference to a kingdom of priests, but I'm beginning to thing that even that had a context.
I've noticed that too, that there were the "inner 3" of Peter, John and James, there were the 12, there were 70 sent out two by two, there were the women who ministered out of their possessions, there were the 120 continuing together in Jerusalem. There were the 500+ Jesus appeared to in resurrection, according to 1 Cor. 15:6. And so forth. The thousands sitting in the grass, grouped in companies of hundreds, receiving the broken-up bread and fish.

And, they didn't all get the same message. Yes, they all were told to love one another, and to seek the kingdom of God, but there clearly was a public ministry and a private one. And the written word, while a public document, has enough overlapping and/or unspecified material, where each one of us could look at and say "This equals that" in a different fashion, that there is much room for public discussion. And much room for private, prayerful consideration, and "study to show thyself approved."

But boilerplate theology on the fringe of orthodoxy, or beyond it, especially on such matters as public debate over the construction of the trinity, doesn't seem to stand up to cost/benefit analysis. I think Paul would have said that. In fact, I think Paul did say that, in various ways at various times. "Let each one be convinced in his own mind," etc.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:50 PM   #89
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But boilerplate theology on the fringe of orthodoxy, or beyond it, especially on such matters as public debate over the construction of the trinity, doesn't seem to stand up to cost/benefit analysis. I think Paul would have said that. In fact, I think Paul did say that, in various ways at various times. "Let each one be convinced in his own mind," etc.
aron, I do fully agree with you about "theology on the fringe of orthodoxy". Life is WAY too short to contend over non-essentials. But I must tell you that non-essentials are exactly what the apostle Paul was talking about when he told the Romans "Let each one be convinced in his own mind". -He was talking about eating meat or not eating meat, or celebrating a certain holiday or not celebrating a certain holiday. He was not talking about anything that is essential to the Christian faith.

I think that any kind of debate/argument/discussion regarding the nature, character or actions of God by definition involves something that is essential to the Christian faith.

Witness Lee flat out claimed that "the Father was called the Son" (and by extension he claimed the Father became the Son). He also went further to claim that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, "became the Life-Giving Spirit" (and by extension he claimed that Jesus Christ became the Holy Spirit). These claims/teachings/doctrines involve the very nature of the Godhead, and thus they involve matters that touch the very foundational core of the Christian faith.

So, back to 1 Corinthians 15:45 we come.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:03 AM   #90
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Witness Lee flat out claimed that "the Father was called the Son" (and by extension he claimed the Father became the Son). He also went further to claim that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, "became the Life-Giving Spirit" (and by extension he claimed that Jesus Christ became the Holy Spirit). These claims/teachings/doctrines involve the very nature of the Godhead, and thus they involve matters that touch the very foundational core of the Christian faith.

So, back to 1 Corinthians 15:45 we come.
And this is the reason that a bunch of armchair theologians are busy working through Lee's nonsense. So far, going back at least to Walter Martin's complaints and most of what has gone on since, there has been a lot who have over-labeled, or have simply labeled (or at least supplied insufficient information on why the label applies). Over at the Bereans forum, Justyn just goes into his description of that alternate form of modalism. But it does not seem to fit (at least to me) and he won't take the time to really show how he thinks Lee's theology fits it. I think Walter Martin did better, but my recollection of the audio was that while he seemed (to me) to accurately point to what was wrong, he didn't describe the error sufficiently for those who might not already have thought through it.

In other words, he correctly pointed to one or more of Lee's errors. His somewhat blunt approach may have seemed cold to some, but he was right. But for those who don't understand the theology, especially when you have been constantly fed an aberrant version of theology, someone needs to slow down and show why, for example, 1 Cor 15:45 does not say Jesus became the Holy Spirit. In fact 1 Cor 15:45 makes no reference to the Holy Spirit.

Let the actual Word of God be the revelation. I really don't need to know much theology to step back from that passage and see that Lee was wrong. In fact, if he was right, then he should have milked it as evidence that we are all becoming God since Paul has used Jesus after the resurrection as the example of what our bodies become in resurrection — the Holy Spirit.

Yeah. Right.

What the Bible actually teaches us is wonderful. But compared to the world of over-adjectivized, uber-spiritual phrases found in message after message by Lee, the actual Bible seems dull. It is more about real life in the real world lived in this age as it would if there had been no fall. There wasn't a lot of meetings in the garden. God came along once a day. And it was good. When he chastised Israel, it was about idolatry and their abuse of there fellow man, especially the "marginal" — widows, orphans, aliens among them. It was not for having dull meetings. Sitting in pews. Hearing one man speak.

That last one is funny to me. We all wax so nostalgic about everyone speaking in the meetings. But I would rather have one to three really say something with meaning and application than get stirred-up over an excited bunch of popcorn kernels popping up to shout little exciting snippets that do not prepare me for my day(s) to come. It is exciting. It seems special. But I think Paul was right when he said to be in order. And the only order in all of that would be the rare occasion when an elder actually stands up and tells someone to sit down. And that is the part we now hate the most.

And while one chapter earlier in 1 Corinthians, I do not think that Paul meant what the LRC is busy doing (or was busy doing pre- ministry station meetings) when he said "all can prophesy." Once again, the context speaks against it. The reading we seem to like for that one sentence is just to much "squirrel" to be understood in that way.

Prophets prophecy. Prophets are those with the gift (see chapter 12). And despite Paul's wish that all could prophesy, he did not declare that all have the gift. Just that if they are all going to do one thing, it would be better to prophesy than to speak in tongues. (Context). And then two chapters later, telling them to stop having three-ring circus meetings, he places limits on things. A few songs. A few tongues, but only if there is someone there who speaks the language. Two or three to prophesy (speak). And since prophets prophesy, then they are the only "all" who can prophesy. Those with other gifts are not suddenly given carte blanche to go beyond their gifts. To read it otherwise is to have yet another "squirrel" moment.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:12 AM   #91
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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So, back to 1 Corinthians 15:45 we come.
Okay, I will pick up your gauntlet. Or at least try to re-iterate why I think nobody can pick up the gauntlet, adequately.

1 Corinthians 15:45 is being presented to us by LSM as a continuation of the "became" in the gospel of John chapter 1. There, the beloved disciple presented the astonishing proposition that "God... became flesh", which is a shocking thought -- it certainly was a head-on assault on the gnosis that was penetrating Christian circles. Supposedly, and it does make sense, light and perfection could never co-exist with the fallen, darkened material realm. But the glorious source of perfection itself became "sarx", a bag of flesh, according to John.

Now, did Paul continue this idea in his first epistle to the Corinthians, at least subconsciously, to let some adroit scholar like WL raise it before the church? Or was he talking about something different? I can't definitively answer that, and hopefully my ruminations won't stumble someone trying to escape the clutches of the LSM. "Yeah, maybe the blendeds are wrong, but look what happens when you leave the local ground! These folks is flat-out crazy, man!!"

So, on to speculation... the whole "processed Triune God" idea perhaps requires an application of this: "There is one God, one Lord, one Spirit, one faith, one baptism..." So if Jesus became "A" life-giving spirit, then perforce He became "THE" life giving Spirit, i.e. the Holy Spirit. That seems to be the logic. I can still hear: "If 'the Lord is the Spirit', there in 2 Corinthians 3:17, then how many spirits are there?" Did anyone else hear WL ask that question: "How many life-giving spirits does the Bible contain?"

I would counter with, "And he answered and spoke unto me, saying, This is the word of Jehovah unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts." (Darby) Who is my Spirit, here? Singular? "The" Holy Spirit? Why then "Jehovah of hosts", plural? And why do we continually shy from the multiplicity seen in the text? Surely there is unanimity within not only the Godhead but within the kingdom itself. "You all shall be one" is a primary command. Yet I am not Unto, nor OBW, nor Ohio nor awareness. Why do we insist God conform to our theology? A tree is not a fish, nor a fish a tree, yet both point to and glorify their source. The "hosts" in question may be "ministering spirits" perhaps, and not THE Spirit, but still we have multiplicity and unity, and LSM's theology apparently cannot handle the multiplicity part. It can't, period: it just collapses when plural manifestations occur. To survive, therefore, it needs to collapse plurality, a fish has to "become" a tree and so forth. Only then can "Christ become all in all" to them. So all the troublesome parts of the Bible are explained away (often by changing definitions of the same word!) or simply ignored.

I find that simplistic, boiler-plate statements of theology attempting to explicitly define, as Unto put it, "the very nature of the Godhead" often end up ignoring vast, vague, troublesome, and/or seemingly contradictory/irreconcilable parts of scripture that don't conform to the theology at hand. The LSM acolytes wave their choice portions of scripture like 1 Cor 15:45 "B" while ignoring dozens or even hundreds of equally choice portions of scripture that were not profitable to their ministry and its oeuvre. They like the "my Spirit" part of Zech 4:6 but don't like the "hosts" part. So they pretend it doesn't exist. Their theology can't even make it through one verse, Zechariah 4:6, unscathed! They have to ignore Zechariah 4:6 "D"... they can only use parts "A", "B", and "C" for their theology. Why? What idea is so mesmerizing that the Bible has to bow, trembling, before it? Especially while YOU, Mr expert theologian, are still here in your untransfigured flesh?

As Hamlet said, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." I know, that was a couple of days before poor Hamlet committed suicide, but still... nice quote. Couldn't resist.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:25 AM   #92
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Those with other gifts are not suddenly given carte blanche to go beyond their gifts...
All of us, arguably, are gifted. God is a businessman, in one sense. Jesus repeatedly touched this in the parables. God dispenses, and expects return. But there are limits on gifts. Nobody has the universal, all-inclusive gift which all must imitate, unless they are named Jesus Christ the Nazarene. The rest are redeemed and regenerated sinners, attempting to re-create the journey home to the Father.

And we need the gifts, all of them. But if any name other than Jesus becomes interposed as a mediator of the flock, whether Darby, Luther, Calvin, or Nee, I argue that it unnaturally suppresses the function of the rest. And I say this specifically in relation to crafting a theology of the trinity. There has been much discussion of this subject since the last apostle put down his quill, or stopped speaking to his attendant scribe. But I don't see any one speaker or author or thinker having the definitive word in this matter. God has gifts to men, but there are limits to those gifts. God gives the Spirit without measure, but each vessel is limited. Along with the gift is a requirement not to go beyond the measure. Even some of the angels violated this code, according to Jude verse 6.

Now back to my previous post, about unanimity co-existing within multiplicity: if Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit, then why, ten days later, did tongues of flame sit on each one? Why did singularity get manifested as plurality? Was God divided in that upper room? Obviously not.

I have probably written far too much already here, and so will attempt to exit the field... probably ungraciously, sorry to say. But I will exit.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:27 AM   #93
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Now back to my previous post, about unanimity co-existing within multiplicity: if Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit, then why, ten days later, did tongues of flame sit on each one? Why did singularity get manifested as plurality? Was God divided in that upper room? Obviously not.
I cannot assert this with any force of superior knowledge, but this has been described by many with a more studied a view than mine (or Lee's for that matter) that consider the events of the visible tongues of fire, and the broad spread speaking in other languages as a sign. And that sign was more to the participants than to the onlookers, even though it was a significant thing for those onlookers. To the participants, they were suddenly filled with the realization that they really had not been abandoned. That the lack of the physical presence of Jesus actually left them no worse off than they were immediately before his departure, and quite arguably in a better position because they could all go in different directions and still have what they needed.

Having been raised initially in the Assemblies of God, one of the more tame of the Pentecostal groups dating back to the beginning of the movement, I have begun to consider some of the things I learned there — and since. It seems that the Pentecostal/charismatic groups so often speak of the "sign gifts," mostly considering tongues, healing, and prophecy (more in line with foretelling or revealing something hidden (about something other than scripture)). And then when they get to 1 Corinthians 12 and following, they look on their pet gifts in that list as "sign" gifts. But I wonder if there is a difference between the tongues as seen in Acts 2, then with the Samaritans, and then at the house of Cornelius, and the item listed as a gift in 1 Corinthians. In the three instances in Acts, the persons there (both the Christians and any others) all could understand each other, so language gifts were not necessary. They stood as a clear miracle to proclaim something about God. It put the light on Peter and company to speak the words of life. it turned the attention. And then with the Samaritans and at the house of Cornelius, it was a clear sign to the Jewish Christians that these non-Jews were also part of the Christian family.

Were the healings the Peter performed similar? Seems that he went along and healed someone who was not part of the church, yet not everyone in the church gets healed by some gift. Seems more of a sign than a gift to the church.

In 1 Corinthians 12, the items listed as gifts are necessities for the church. Some are in constant need. Some are needed on occasion. But they are given for use as needed. Not as desired. Not as something to drum up with a group of people standing around you with their hands on you urging you to begin to make sounds, "allowing the Spirit to begin to speak through you," or something like that. And the gift of prophesy is not something that suddenly falls on people to be exercised at the appointed time of the meeting so that they can jump up and declare "Jesus is Lord!!" and sit back down. Not saying that no one should do that. But I have serious doubts that the action/speaking and the gift of prophesy and/or the prophesying that Paul spoke of 2 chapters later are the same thing.

Lee was correct to state that "prophesy" means to speak for. And in some sense we all get to speak for God at times. Mostly with our actions and sometimes with our words. But I honestly believe that it is a point of equivocation to assert that this low level definition is what Pau is talking about in 1 Corinthians.

Not saying that testimony meetings are bad. They are good. The help encourage others that it is not just a bunch of good sermons to store away and check off on your "I'm more orthodox (or spiritual)" list. But the kind of attribution of that kind of speaking to the thing that Paul called prophecy is, I honestly think, an error. And it is not consistent with the whole of the words Paul used in 1 Corinthians 12-14. And the reading of "all can prophesy" as in invitation to open the mic for everyone is a "squirrel" moment.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:31 AM   #94
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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I cannot assert this with any force of superior knowledge, but this has been described by many with a more studied a view than mine (or Lee's for that matter) that consider the events of the visible tongues of fire, and the broad spread speaking in other languages as a sign. And that sign was more to the participants than to the onlookers, even though it was a significant thing for those onlookers. To the participants, they were suddenly filled with the realization that they really had not been abandoned. That the lack of the physical presence of Jesus actually left them no worse off than they were immediately before his departure, and quite arguably in a better position because they could all go in different directions and still have what they needed...
It still doesn't negate my point that the "One" Holy Spirit is apparently doled out like so many portions of oil. The multiplicity is inferred, and multiple manifestations of spiritual dispensation is a given, both here at Pentecost and elsewhere. (and it certainly gives the rub to Lee's 'only one move of God on the earth is an option at any given time' idea)

Yet, we are still talking about the trinity, and we are therefore still talking about the "one" Holy Spirit. Paul said that there is one God and Father of all, one Lord, one Spirit, etc. So we craft our theology and ignore the apparent multiplicity. Look at the Roman Centurion. "I also have servants (plural) under me, whom I tell, 'Come' and they come, and 'go', and they go, and 'do this' and they do it." Etc.

You have "the (mingled?) spirits of just men made perfect", you have wheels full of eyes in Ezekiel, you have multiple spirits going to and fro throughout the earth, you have angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man, etc. But those are (I guess) in different conceptual boxes than "the trinity" so we can ignore the disconnect. I guess.

Of course I may be the one disconnected, at least to some extent. So when I am in meetings, I say, "Jesus is Lord! Amen!" But at least (fairly quietly) I can mention that boiler-plate theology doesn't actually seem to carry too far in the narratives of scripture.

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And the reading of "all can prophesy" as in invitation to open the mic for everyone is a "squirrel" moment.
I agree. It is totally out of context of what Paul was writing about. He was giving nearly the opposite message to the Corinthians, ironically. He was saying, "You can all sit down and be quiet, except one." The contextual emphasis was on "one by one", not "you all can speak". But again, that wasn't convenient to the ministry, was it?
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:07 AM   #95
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It still doesn't negate my point that the "One" Holy Spirit is apparently doled out like so many portions of oil.
I know. And I wasn't really commenting on your point. It was just that when I read your comment about that event in the upper room, I saw yet another example of how we (all of us, certain ones of us, charismatics, and/or Lee/LRC/LSM/BBs) often muddle things together. With the charismatics, it is about tongues and miracles. With Lee, it is about the misunderstanding of the Trinity (1 Cor 15:45, among a number of abused passages), and about elevating the position of all his followers (and not anyone else) through a "better" understanding of prophesying and the gift of prophecy.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:06 PM   #96
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I know. And I wasn't really commenting on your point. It was just that when I read your comment about that event in the upper room, I saw yet another example of how we (all of us, certain ones of us, charismatics, and/or Lee/LRC/LSM/BBs) often muddle things together. With the charismatics, it is about tongues and miracles. With Lee, it is about the misunderstanding of the Trinity (1 Cor 15:45, among a number of abused passages), and about elevating the position of all his followers (and not anyone else) through a "better" understanding of prophesying and the gift of prophecy.
What do you mean by spirit? Is it a symbol? Is it precise enough an idea to be considered a concept that we can make valid statements about? If not, how can we hope to escape "muddling things together"?
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:13 PM   #97
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...when I read your comment about that event in the upper room, I saw yet another example of how we ... often muddle things together...
Which is why civil discussions are okay, even beneficial, and moreso even on subjects as unfathomable as the trinity. As long as it doesn't... hmmm... degenerate into antagonistic scenarios over... hmmm... deep truths...
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:26 PM   #98
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Of course I may be the one disconnected, at least to some extent.
In fact I am sure I am disconnected to some extent. I still possess a 'disjointed' Bible, in which everything doesn't fit as neatly as I wish. I still have much that I only 'see darkly', if at all. I still get behavioral reminders that even the basics that I think are factually clear (love one another, etc), I still don't 'get' in my daily living.

Certainly the "very nature of the Godhead" is something that I don't get. If I got it I probably wouldn't be posting here! I'd probably be doing something more profitable! But by the same token events like "Dayar", "Let's go Linko!!", "Timothy Lee is 'the Office'", the "Young Galileans", the "New Way" and so forth also indicate that WL & co knew not whereof they taught.

So we are (or I am) probably back at the very beginning, which is, the nun once sang, "a very good place to start..."
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:01 PM   #99
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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I find that simplistic, boiler-plate statements of theology attempting to explicitly define, as Unto put it, "the very nature of the Godhead" often end up ignoring vast, vague, troublesome, and/or seemingly contradictory/irreconcilable parts of scripture that don't conform to the theology at hand.
Perhaps I am a naive simpleton, but I have no issue with "the last Adam becoming a life-giving Spirit." Is that THE Holy Spirit? Does now the 2nd become the 3rd? I don't know and I frankly don't care.

I honestly find no attempt in scripture to properly and adequately explain to us all the theology of the Trinity. Then why should I be discontent if I or others cannot properly and adequately explain the theology of the Trinity?
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:24 PM   #100
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Which is why civil discussions are okay, even beneficial, and moreso even on subjects as unfathomable as the trinity. As long as it doesn't... hmmm... degenerate into antagonistic scenarios over... hmmm... deep truths...
Hey, we can fight, argue, and disagree on the trinity. We can even reject brothers over it ... and call them serpents and vipers, and anti-Christs. But personally, I draw the line when bloodletting results over disagreements over God. To me, just hostility over God, without blood, is against what God, Jesus, and the Bible, stands for, ultimately.

To me, fighting over the nature of God is like fleas fighting over the dog.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:51 PM   #101
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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why should I be discontent if I or others cannot properly and adequately explain the theology of the Trinity?
Agreed. We should not be discontented. If our contentment requires adequate explanation of the trinity by Lee or anyone else, then we're in for a rough ride.

So we can indeed be content. And in this solid, stable immovable position of contentment in the Lord Himself as our portion, we utterly reject a simplistic, paint-by-numbers theology which masquerades as God's penultimate speaking to mankind, in which the entire content of God's person and activities are reduced to a "process" which is as compelling as pureed squash. It is based on phrases removed from original context, it is ignores or pushes away a bulk of scriptures which indicate other things, even possibly diametrically opposite things, and most of all it simply isn't a compelling narrative. God was processed. Inclusive, intensification. Etc. If that makes someone out there satisfied, great.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:44 PM   #102
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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What do you mean by spirit? Is it a symbol? Is it precise enough an idea to be considered a concept that we can make valid statements about? If not, how can we hope to escape "muddling things together"?
Great question! This is why I think Witness Lee's rhetorical question (are there two spirits that give life?) is really one of the worst cases of "asking the wrong question" that a Christian teacher could possibly make. And it wasn't as if he only made this error of circular reasoning just once or twice...nearly every time this verse came up he asked the same old lame rhetorical question.

As I have previously noted, the proper retort to this question is to answer his question with another question: "so, EVERY TIME the bible uses the word spirit (Greek: πνεῦμα,) it is referring to the Holy Spirit?" Of course this is the just the opening salvo to punch the first hole in Lee's teaching regarding 1 Corinthians 15:45
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:11 PM   #103
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Perhaps I am a naive simpleton, but I have no issue with "the last Adam becoming a life-giving Spirit." Is that THE Holy Spirit? Does now the 2nd become the 3rd? I don't know and I frankly don't care.

I honestly find no attempt in scripture to properly and adequately explain to us all the theology of the Trinity. Then why should I be discontent if I or others cannot properly and adequately explain the theology of the Trinity?
Penetrating thoughts and considerations bro Ohio. I would respond in kind but I fear that it would be outside the stated range of this thread, to hold strictly to theological considerations of 15:45.

Cuz so far, to be honest, I'm at a loss. I'm still expecting more views on it ... with bated breath.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:37 PM   #104
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Perhaps I am a naive simpleton, but I have no issue with "the last Adam becoming a life-giving Spirit." Is that THE Holy Spirit? Does now the 2nd become the 3rd? I don't know and I frankly don't care.
Anybody who's been on these forums for any length of time knows you're not a naïve simpleton.

At taking the risk of getting your ire up (once again), I think we all should care. And I don't mean we all end of agreeing, much less simply agreeing with the majority interpretation here. This is touching on something of the core of the Christian faith. But as I was just writing this I realized something...maybe your idea of the "core" teachings/doctrines of the Christian faith is not what mine is...or maybe is contains less items. (I afraid to get us off track so maybe let's leave this discussion for another day or another thread)

Anyway, no matter what, I can't see how anything as important as something that touches the very nature of God - the nature and function of the Trinity - would not engender a little bit more of concern for you. I do understand (and appreciate) that you consider Lee's interpretation as biblical, and maybe quite a number of others out there on the forum do as well, but all I'm asking/hoping/wishing for is for something a little more than "Lee said it, I think that's what the Bible says and that settles it!" (I'm painting with a very broad brush here, and I know you would not put it this way!) I can certainly understand how some people would get the same type of impression from my postings here, which probably sound like "The Church Fathers, early Creeds and historic orthodox Christianity says and that settles it!"

Quote:
I honestly find no attempt in scripture to properly and adequately explain to us all the theology of the Trinity. Then why should I be discontent if I or others cannot properly and adequately explain the theology of the Trinity?
Well there are a LOT of things that it seems that the scriptures do not (apparently) adequately explain, including some very major stuff - like the dual natures of Christ (divine and human), like the virgin birth and many, many others. Should we not dig just a little, search the scriptures and "see if these things are so?" Anyway, I hope there are some out there that would like to dive in a little. It looks like we might have one other taker who posted as a guest today.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:00 PM   #105
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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What do you mean by spirit? Is it a symbol? Is it precise enough an idea to be considered a concept that we can make valid statements about? If not, how can we hope to escape "muddling things together"?
That my question as well. What means "spirit?"

As I see it, and understand it, Jesus was fully human but was indwelt by the Holy Spirit. So "the last Adam was made a quickening spirit" is something different.

And I think that's what we're trying to get at.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:28 AM   #106
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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The apostle Paul, a monotheistic, Jewish rabbi wrote the following to some people in Corinth around 57AD:

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
(2 Corinthians 13:13)
I'm sorry to seem nitpicky, but the actual reference is 2 Corinthians 13:14, which is the verse I will be working with in this post about the Trinity.

2) On the Trinity using 2 Corinthians 13:14: http://online.recoveryversion.org/Fo...sp?FNtsID=5199

Just a heads up, I’m only covering the first two paragraphs of the footnote in this post.

i) In the first paragraph of the footnote, Philip Schaff is quoted, introducing the term “hypostases.” This is the same term that ICA mentions in post #59:

Quote:
Originally Posted by InChristAlone View Post
Following the Holy Scriptures and the Church Fathers, the Church believes that the Trinity is three divine persons (hypostases) who share one essence (ousia). It is paradoxical to believe thus, but that is how God has revealed himself. All three persons are consubstantial with each other, that is, they are of one essence (homoousios) and coeternal. God is not an impersonal essence or mere "higher power," but rather each of the divine persons relates to mankind personally.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/doctrine1.aspx
It seems to me that this opening paragraph establishes that God is both three and one. His plurality and His unity compose His Trinity. As aron put it in post #92, “unanimity co-existing within multiplicity.” As Ravi Zacharias (introduced by UntoHim in post #49) put it, “Only in the Trinity is there Unity and Diversity in the Community of the Trinity!” (I copied and pasted the Ravi Zacharias quote from this link: http://wonderful-words-of-life.blogs...7/trinity.html. It also has several other key quotes from his video if anyone needs a quick reminder.)

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unanimity co-existing within multiplicity
Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

Ravi Zacharias is one of the preeminent theologian/philosophers of our day. (and no I'm not saying he's the one theologian with the one theology for the age...only that he explains the trinity the clearest I've ever heard) Here is a short video of some question/answer session he had a some university. The good stuff really starts at about the 3:00 minute mark.
Due to some of the "advanced" vocabulary, it is somewhat hard to follow Zacharis. Here's a real zinger from this video: "The only way to explain unity and diversity in the effect is if you've got unity and diversity in the first cause, and only in the Trinity is there unity and diversity in the community of the Trinity".

If you're like me you will have to listen to this a few times before you get what he's saying.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9gwoZNudCI
ii) The first sentence of the second paragraph can be illustrated (albeit not perfectly) with a stream. God the Father is “the source,” the fount or origin of the stream. God the Son is “the course,” the route the stream takes, connecting the fount with the location of the drinker. God the Spirit is “the transmission,” the action of the water from the stream entering and becoming a part of the drinker when he/she drinks. Though “the source,” “the course,” and “the transmission” are three distinct “functions” of the stream, there are not three separate streams. There is only one stream with three “supporting substances.”

This is much like what ICA quotes in post #59: “The Holy Trinity is one God in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These Persons are distinct, but not separate, and are not three gods. They are One God because They are one in essence or nature.”

This illustration also seems to agree with the “traditional, orthodox Christian scholars and teachers” from post #37 by UntoHim: “Christ is in us through the representation of the Holy Spirit.”

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Traditional, orthodox Christian scholars and teachers have usually taught that Christ is in us through the representation of the Holy Spirit.
~~~~~Warning: tangent to follow~~~~~

(Please note the difference between “orthodox,” used above as an adjective meaning “conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true” (definition courtesy of Google), and “Eastern Orthodox Church,” used below.)

I must note: This illustration seems to agree with post #59 by ICA in that God the Father is the “Fountainhead” and the “source”; however, it also seems to disagree in that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son. To debate this difference would be a repeat of the East-West Schism, which split the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church (or the Orthodox Catholic Church), and would not, in my opinion, further the aims of this thread.

I apologize if any of the included definitions in the above two paragraphs seem to be common knowledge.

In case anyone wants more information: I think ICA covered the Eastern Orthodox view pretty well in posts #59 and #60. Here are a few links that cover the Roman Catholic view:
http://catholiceducation.org/article...ion/re0844.htm
http://www.catholic.com/quickquestio...er-and-the-son
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/jo...9851120en.html

Here is a link to Wikipedia’s article on the East-West Schism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East%E2%80%93West_Schism

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Originally Posted by InChristAlone View Post
"The Holy Trinity is one God in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These Persons are distinct, but not separate, and are not three gods. They are One God because They are one in essence or nature. The Father is the unbegotten Fountainhead of Deity. The Son is eternally begotten of the Father (Jn 1:18; 3:16; 16:28). The Holy Spirit is the Helper (Jn 14:16) and Spirit of Truth (Jn 14:17; 16:13), Who proceeds from the Father (Jn 15:26)."
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Originally Posted by InChristAlone View Post
The source and unity of the Holy Trinity is the Father, from whom the Son is begotten and also from whom the Spirit proceeds. Thus, the Father is both the ground of unity of the Trinity and also of distinction. To try to comprehend unbegottenness (Father), begottenness (Son), or procession (Holy Spirit) leads to insanity, says the holy Gregory the Theologian, and so the Church approaches God in divine mystery, approaching God apophatically, being content to encounter God personally and yet realize the inadequacy of the human mind to comprehend Him.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Holy_Trinity <== The original link for the two ICA quotes above.

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Originally Posted by InChristAlone View Post
GOD THE FATHER is the fountainhead of the Holy Trinity. The Scriptures reveal that the one God is Three Persons--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--eternally sharing the one divine nature. From the Father the Son is begotten before all ages and all time (Psalm 2:7; 2 Corinthians 11:31). It is also from the Father that the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds (John 15:26). Through Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, we come to know the Father (Matthew 11:27). God the Father created all things through the Son, in the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1; 2; John 1:3; Job 33:4), and we are called to worship Him (John 4:23). The Father loves us and sent His Son to give us everlasting life (John 3:16).
http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/doctrine1.aspx
~~~~~end tangent~~~~~

Sorry about that tangent. Let’s get back to the stream illustration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
When you say "Christ is in us through the representation of the Holy Spirit" that sounds good theologically, and I have little problem with it, but it really doesn't answer the question whether Christ is actually in us himself. Are two in me, or one? And can I experience the distinction between the two, or do I need to? And if I don't, doesn't the idea that Christ is in some way the Spirit carry some weight?
Hopefully the stream illustration answers the questions from post #38 by Igzy. Question 1: When you drink water from the stream, you just have one thing (water) in your system; however, that water includes “the source,” “the course,” and “the transmission.” Question 2: There isn’t really a need to “experience the distinction between” “the course” and “the transmission.” Water is water. Just enjoy slaking your thirst with it. Question 3: Just because you don’t need to “experience the distinction” doesn’t mean “the course” and “the transmission” are the same thing.

It looks like this post is quite long already, and I’ve only covered the first two paragraphs of the footnote. (The lengthy tangent didn’t help.) I’m going to go ahead and submit this for y’all to review.

Again, thank you for taking the time to read and consider what I am presenting in this post.

Until next time!

~Faith
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:39 AM   #107
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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The phrase is beyond my understanding. To literally translate it into my native language is one thing. To grasp and comprehend the meaning of these words is another thing. And to know God and the Living Reality of God behind the words and concepts, in our living union with Him, is something else.
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Certainly the "very nature of the Godhead" is something that I don't get. If I got it I probably wouldn't be posting here! I'd probably be doing something more profitable!
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I honestly find no attempt in scripture to properly and adequately explain to us all the theology of the Trinity. Then why should I be discontent if I or others cannot properly and adequately explain the theology of the Trinity?
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Hey, we can fight, argue, and disagree on the trinity. We can even reject brothers over it ... and call them serpents and vipers, and anti-Christs. But personally, I draw the line when bloodletting results over disagreements over God. To me, just hostility over God, without blood, is against what God, Jesus, and the Bible, stands for, ultimately.

To me, fighting over the nature of God is like fleas fighting over the dog.
Neither do I claim to understand "all the theology of the Trinity" nor do I intend to argue about the Trinity.

Even Witness Lee said "My answer is that He is the Triune God and that the Trinity is a mystery. If you can understand the Trinity and define it adequately, it is no longer a mystery. In the realm of mathematics or chemistry, things can be scientifically analyzed by the human mind. That is science, not mystery. If you can use your supposedly clever mind to understand the Triune God, He is no longer a mystery. Because none of us can understand the Trinity adequately, it remains a mystery. Do not ask me why. I do not know why. I can only say, ‘The Bible tells us so.’ Do not argue; just take the pure Word of God. […] This one unique God is Triune. I do not know how to explain this, although for many years I tried. During the past fifty years, I spent a great deal of time analyzing and trying to understand the Trinity. Since I could find no way to resolve it, I gave up long ago. I said to myself, ‘Little man, you are too small. You can never understand the Trinity adequately’” (8-9). ~from The Truth Concerning the Trinity – Two Answers by Witness Lee (copyrighted 1976)

Witness Lee also said, "This matter of the Trinity has been a subject of great argument and strong disputation among Christians ever since the second century. During the last eighteen or nineteen centuries, the argument has never ceased. It has been utilized by the enemy to destroy the unity of the saints. Do not get caught in the snare of endless debate. We must come back from the traditional terms sayings, and teachings to the pure Word of God. The controversy concerning such a mystery as the Trinity is endless. Be on the alert to avoid this trap” (7). ~from The Truth Concerning the Trinity – Two Answers by Witness Lee (copyrighted 1976)

Works Cited

Lee, Witness. The Truth Concerning the Trinity – Two Answers by Witness Lee. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1994. Print.

Last edited by FaithInChrist; 06-06-2014 at 05:45 AM. Reason: Wanted to add "nor do I intend to argue about the Trinity."
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:08 AM   #108
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Neither do I claim to understand "all the theology of the Trinity" nor do I intend to argue about the Trinity.

Even Witness Lee said "My answer is that He is the Triune God and that the Trinity is a mystery. If you can understand the Trinity and define it adequately, it is no longer a mystery. In the realm of mathematics or chemistry, things can be scientifically analyzed by the human mind. That is science, not mystery. If you can use your supposedly clever mind to understand the Triune God, He is no longer a mystery. Because none of us can understand the Trinity adequately, it remains a mystery. Do not ask me why. I do not know why. I can only say, ‘The Bible tells us so.’ Do not argue; just take the pure Word of God. […] This one unique God is Triune. I do not know how to explain this, although for many years I tried. During the past fifty years, I spent a great deal of time analyzing and trying to understand the Trinity. Since I could find no way to resolve it, I gave up long ago. I said to myself, ‘Little man, you are too small. You can never understand the Trinity adequately’” (8-9). ~from The Truth Concerning the Trinity – Two Answers by Witness Lee (copyrighted 1976)

Witness Lee also said, "This matter of the Trinity has been a subject of great argument and strong disputation among Christians ever since the second century. During the last eighteen or nineteen centuries, the argument has never ceased. It has been utilized by the enemy to destroy the unity of the saints. Do not get caught in the snare of endless debate. We must come back from the traditional terms sayings, and teachings to the pure Word of God. The controversy concerning such a mystery as the Trinity is endless. Be on the alert to avoid this trap” (7). ~from The Truth Concerning the Trinity – Two Answers by Witness Lee (copyrighted 1976)

Works Cited

Lee, Witness. The Truth Concerning the Trinity – Two Answers by Witness Lee. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1994. Print.
I read the above quotes a couple times and it reminded me ... once again ... of classic Witness Lee doublespeak. Lee liked to venture out into the greater body of Christ from time to time and talk as if he was a mainstream minister, as if fit into the body of Christ like so many other gifted ministers out there in "Christianity." It reminded me how "normal" Witness Lee could appear at times, especially in those early days.

But here's the real question: Who is the real Witness Lee?

After Lee's death in 1997, and rumblings of dissension about future leadership reverberated throughout the Recovery, Titus Chu had all his workers and full-timers go back and read through all of Lee's and Nee's books concerning a number of pertinent issues affecting the leadership of the LC's and "The Work." All these pages of quotes were compiled and personally delivered to the leading "Blendeds" in Anaheim -- ones like Kangas, Yu, Phillips, Chen. What a waste of time! The Blendeds in Power had no interest in quotes extracted from edited books by their hero. Why should they? They knew the "real" Lee, and all the books in the world, including the Bible itself, would never change their minds!

That's why these two quotes above by FaithInChrist mean nothing. Nothing personal to FaithInChrist, who really means well, and sincerely believes these quotes, but after all the time I have invested within and without the Recovery, I can see right through them. Nice quotes that mean nothing. No different than a "presidential" speech.
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:10 AM   #109
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

The trinity used to be a point of confusion for me but I've come to appreciate it after I realized how beautifully it conveys God's love.

Throughout Jesus' ministry the Father glorified the son. At Jesus' baptism, the Father opened the heavens and declared "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.". The Father also expressed his love for the Son again during Jesus' transfiguration.

Jesus on the other hand lived to glorify the Father. He loved the Father so much that he thought nothing of his own will or needs but constantly obeyed his Father and did his will. He taught his disciples to do the same through the Lord's prayer.

The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus (John 16:14) because everything he makes known to us is what he receives from Jesus.

So each part of the trinity lives not for its own glory but for that of the other.. and in this way God is glorified. God is "one" in purpose and essence but because he is also three distinct persons, God lives selflessly and in relationship with one another. In the movie Frozen, love is defined as "putting the needs of others first". This is a pretty good description of how God relates to just himself even.

Contrast this to Satan who is simply 'one' and lives for his own glory. And instead of serving others, he uses others to serve himself.
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Old 06-06-2014, 09:33 AM   #110
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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So each part of the trinity lives not for its own glory but for that of the other.. and in this way God is glorified. God is "one" in purpose and essence but because he is also three distinct persons, God lives selflessly and in relationship with one another. In the movie Frozen, love is defined as "putting the needs of others first". This is a pretty good description of how God relates to just himself even.

Contrast this to Satan who is simply 'one' and lives for his own glory. And instead of serving others, he uses others to serve himself.
Excellent post bearbear! I never really thought of this contrast between God and his Trinity and how Satan is serving himself.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:13 AM   #111
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Thread progress so far:

The last man Adam became a life giving "x" ...

And the Trinity = x.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:17 AM   #112
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Thread progress so far:

The last man Adam became a life giving "x" ...

And the Trinity = x.
Sorry I haven't parsed this thread thoroughly but I just wanted to throw in my two cents.

My understanding of this verse is in context of the previous verse 44. I think life-giving spirit in verse 45 refers to Jesus' spiritual body which is not unlike the spiritual body we'll receive after we pass from our life in the flesh.

God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the fruit of tree of knowledge of good and evil that they would surely die. We all know that after they ate of that tree they didn't drop dead but Adam continued as a living being in the flesh, perhaps because God was referring to another kind of death that mattered more, a spiritual death - the death of Adam and Eve's spirit.

Though it seemed like man was doomed to die this spiritual death forever, Jesus came into the picture and took the key to death and Hades away from Satan. Because he overcame death we can too through what he did on the cross. I think Paul was just trying to convey this contrast between death and life. Before we were doomed to spiritual death, but through Jesus we are made alive and can be born again in the spirit.

The thief comes to kill steal and destroy, but Jesus came that we would have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

This is contrasted with Adam who by eating of the forbidden fruit became a perpetual "death" giver by passing his sin which leads to spiritual death to all mankind.

So I think Paul was trying to communicate two things at once with the phrase "life-giving spirit" : 1. Although Jesus died, he overcame death and he is alive right now in the spirit. 2. His resurrection to life is not limited to himself, but we can share and receive in this same life.

To me, to come to the conclusion that Jesus became the Holy Spirit from a reading of this verse is just way out of left-field and has nothing to do with the spirit of what Paul was trying to convey in the passage.
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Old 06-06-2014, 03:22 PM   #113
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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To me, to come to the conclusion that Jesus became the Holy Spirit from a reading of this verse is just way out of left-field and has nothing to do with the spirit of what Paul was trying to convey in the passage.
Welcome back bro BB. Nice to see your smiling face again.

Witness Lee just got carried away with that verse because he always had to be unique, and so to distinguish himself, above all others, he had to introduce "new revelations."

And in doing so he would wax silly to the absurd. As he did with 15:45.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:27 AM   #114
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God told Adam and Eve that if they ate of the fruit of tree of knowledge of good and evil that they would surely die. We all know that after they ate of that tree they didn't drop dead but Adam continued as a living being in the flesh, perhaps because God was referring to another kind of death that mattered more, a spiritual death - the death of Adam and Eve's spirit.
Here is how I have long understood this verse ...

God told Adam, "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." We know that one day to God is as a thousand years, and this explains, at least to me, why no man has lived longer than "one day," which is a thousand years. In this way, Adam died on the same day he ate of that tree.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:31 AM   #115
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Here is how I have long understood this verse ...

God told Adam, "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." We know that one day to God is as a thousand years, and this explains, at least to me, why no man has lived longer than "one day," which is a thousand years. In this way, Adam died on the same day he ate of that tree.
That's deep bro ...
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:44 AM   #116
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

FaithInChrist, thanks for your posts. Welcome aboard!

Could you please tell us a little about yourself? How long have you been in the LRC? Do you believe that it’s the only genuine Christian church? What do you think about saints who left it? Do you know what reasons make saints leave the church? Have you ever read anything about the hidden history of the LC?

It would be interesting to know you opinion. You may open a new thread here:

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...isplay.php?f=9

Thank you in advance!


PS I got an epub version of Orthodox Study Bible. So I’d like to share some footnotes from it. I don’t think it will add anything new to the discussion. But I’d like to pay attention to 1 Corinthians 15:22, where the Apostle Paul says that we die in Adam, but we shall be made alive in Christ. Paul uses the present tense in the first part of the sentence and the future tense – in the second. So it’s quite clear that in 15:22 and 15:45, Paul doesn't speak about the Holy Spirit but about the contrast between our present mortal body and our future immortal spiritual body. Christ is risen. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. One day Christians will be resurrected and made alive in Christ, living in immortal spiritual bodies.

1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

All people share the same human nature, but Christians have two fathers: first Adam, who became the father of mortality and earthly life, and now Christ, the father of immortality and spiritual life.

1 Corinthians 15:35-54

How will the dead rise? What is the resurrection body like? Paul's most basic contrast is that between the natural (lit. “soulish”; Gr. psychikon) and the spiritual (Gr. pneumatikon, v. 44), that is, between the present body and the deified body. Other contrasts are corruption vs. incorruption (v. 42), dishonor vs. glory (v. 43), weakness vs. power (v. 43), living “soul” (literal translation) vs. life-giving spirit (v. 45), of the earth vs. from heaven (v. 47), of dust vs. heavenly (v. 48), the mortal vs. the immortal (v. 54). This present body is only a seed (v. 38) of the body to come. The “spiritual” body is not a pale shadow of the material world we now know; the opposite is true. The resurrection body is the fulfillment of what God intends for our present body. It is the material fulfilled, not dematerialized

1 Corinthians 15:45
Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Whose body is this? As our present body is Adam's, so the resurrection body is that of the last Adam, Christ.

Adam and Eve did not physically die the day they ate from the tree, the words “you shall die” indicate a spiritual death through separation from God. Adam disobeyed God’s commandment and diverted himself, or fell, from God’s path to perfection, thus separating himself from His Creator, the Source of life. Christ, by His Death and Resurrection, conquered the devil and death, freeing mankind from the fear of death (Heb 2:14–15) and making possible a more complete communion between God and man than was ever possible before. This communion allows people to become “partakers of the divine nature” (2Pt 1:4), to transcend death and, ultimately, all the consequences of the Fall.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:49 AM   #117
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The last man Adam became a life giving "x" ...

And the Trinity = x.
With the variation in meaning of "spirit," the statement you make is true. But at the same time it is of uncertain truth because it is not clear that there is a single meaning of spirit in both cases.

Given the context of Paul's discussion here in 1 Corinthians 15, I do not think that he is necessarily suggesting that we take on the essence of God in resurrection because he is not talking about that. He is talking about the nature of the body in resurrection.

In John 4, Jesus identifies the nature of God as being "spirit." Would you say that Jesus was not part of the Godhead, therefore not spirit? I would think that his essence was not taken away to become born of woman, then returned to him when resurrected, so he was always spirit in the sense of what it is that is common within the Trinity. Yet his body was strictly limited to the physical. While there is record of him walking on water, there is no record of him simply disappearing or appearing within a locked room, floating up into the sky, or anything like that. Paul says that what was observed after his resurrection is like what the Christian should expect at the resurrection.

At resurrection, the body of Jesus was different than before. Paul said that this difference was "spirit." The Godhead is already spirit. And even man is said in numerous places to have a spirit. But that spirit is associated with the soul, not the body. But at resurrection, the body of Jesus changed. It ceased to be bound to the physics of earth, yet it could be touched, so retained some aspects of they physical. Paul called this body spirit.

And the example of what he meant was Christ — the one who gives life. Therefore, the one who gives life is now seen in a spiritual body, and is therefore a life-giving spirit.

As for the claim by Lee that there is only one life-giving spirit, I give you Romans 8:11, where the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, and that he will also give life to our mortal bodies through his spirit that lives in us. In this verse, I can see the propensity to rush for the conclusion that it is the Spirit that raised Jesus and that will give life to our bodies, but that is not what it says. It seems to say that it is the Father who raised Jesus through his spirit (the Holy Spirit) and that it is because of the Holy Spirit that lives in us that he (the Father) will also give life to our bodies.

And yet Jesus is referred to as life-giving. But it is in the context of a change in our present life — in our soul — not in terms of our future body. It is surely the "making alive" of our spirit that is what that reference to "life-giving" is about in 1 Cor 15. But according to Romans, it is the Father, through the Spirit, that raised Jesus from the dead and will do the same for our bodies at a time yet to come. Why do I say "yet to come"? Because I daily feel the effects of the lack of that life in my body. It aches. It does not regenerate its energy as easily from a short nap or even a night of sleep. No matter how I try, I will never do certain things that used to be fairly easy for me (at least not in this life).

From this, I conclude that to say that the reference to spirit in 1 Corinthians 15:45 is not the same as the use of the term spirit to refer to the thing that John 4 claims to be the essence of God. The word is the same, but the meaning is not identical. It is not simply the same thing. To say otherwise is a kind of equivocation. It is to insist on a singularity of meaning where such singularity does not exist.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:41 AM   #118
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Only a zealot Bible literalist will interpret 15:45 as Jesus being the Holy Spirit. Talk about accepting premises.
Your statement is hyperbole, probably intended to provoke the Trinitarians here.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:08 AM   #119
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Harold post something simply to provoke?......NOOOO WAAAAAY!
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:35 AM   #120
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Harold post something simply to provoke?......NOOOO WAAAAAY!
What happened Unto? Why are you letting me back on uncensored? Have you become more open-minded?
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:13 PM   #121
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What happened Unto? Why are you letting me back on uncensored? Have you become more open-minded?
Not saying this applies to UntoHim, but, some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
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Old 06-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #122
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Not saying this applies to UntoHim, but, some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
At least we provoked Bro. Unto's laughter. That can't be all bad, can it?

Wasn't it me that suggested treating the word spirit as an x and then looking at its context in order to derive the word's meaning? For example, in your signature quotes x uses words. Thus, the spirit is a person. But, in ordinary experience, only human beings use words and human beings have bodies while spirits don't. Hence, a candidate for the definition of spirit is a person without a body, an unembodied person. And, as a matter of fact, Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne in his book The Coherence of God defines spirit that way.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:12 PM   #123
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At least we provoked Bro. Unto's laughter. That can't be all bad, can it?

Wasn't it me that suggested treating the word spirit as an x and then looking at its context in order to derive the word's meaning? For example, in your signature quotes x uses words. Thus, the spirit is a person. But, in ordinary experience, only human beings use words and human beings have bodies while spirits don't. Hence, a candidate for the definition of spirit is a person without a body, an unembodied person. And, as a matter of fact, Oxford philosopher Richard Swinburne in his book The Coherence of God defines spirit that way.
And yet Paul made this comment about being a life giving spirit in the midst of the context of the kind of body that Jesus had. And he was saying that it was spirit, or spiritual. And yet it was a body, not unembodied.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:18 PM   #124
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Only a zealot Bible literalist will interpret 15:45 as Jesus being the Holy Spirit. Talk about accepting premises.
Funny that zeek pointed to this post. I missed something in it way back when . . . .

I think that no zealot Bible literalist would interpret that way. Instead, it would be a zealot who plays around with the Bible and only allows one definition of any word to exist within the whole of scripture who would interpret that way. Therefore, since there is clearly the Holy Spirit and he is referred to as The Spirit, then spirit can only mean the Holy Spirit.

And how many times did Lee actually say things like that?

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Old 06-17-2014, 06:37 PM   #125
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Funny that zeek pointed to this post. I missed something in it way back when . . . .

I think that no zealot Bible literalist would interpret that way. Instead, it would be a zealot who plays around with the Bible and only allows one definition of any word to exist within the whole of scripture who would interpret that way. Therefore, since there is clearly the Holy Spirit and he is referred to as The Spirit, then spirit can only mean the Holy Spirit.

And how many times did Lee actually say things like that?

That and a credit card might get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. But it won't get you anything by itself.
Lee said "Some who oppose the claim that Christ today is the life-giving Spirit try to make an issue of the fact that 15:45 does not use a definite article, that this verse speaks of a life-giving Spirit and not of the life-giving Spirit. However, the crucial matter here is not whether the article is definite or indefinite; it is the clear mentioning of the life-giving Spirit. Do our opposers believe that there are two Spirits who give life, the Holy Spirit and the life-giving Spirit? It is heretical to teach that there are two life-giving Spirits, two Spirits who give life. The more I speak on Christ becoming the life-giving Spirit, the more bold, assured, and encouraged I am. It truly is according to the divine revelation that Christ, the last Adam, became a life-giving Spirit.'

Now the two spirit argument, I still find an effective reductio ad absurdum argument seemingly requiring a complex and therefore self-defeating response. However, Lee skips right over the grammatical problem-- the use of the indefinite article. And, I would take the grammatical question further---Paul was a smart guy wasn't he? If he had meant to say that Jesus became the Holy Spirit, wouldn't he have said "Jesus became the Holy Spirit"? The fact that he did not say that is the best evidence we have that that is not what he meant.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:46 PM   #126
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And yet Paul made this comment about being a life giving spirit in the midst of the context of the kind of body that Jesus had. And he was saying that it was spirit, or spiritual. And yet it was a body, not unembodied.
Yes well, a spiritual body is either a paradox or an oxymoron.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #127
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Yes well, a spiritual body is either a paradox or an oxymoron.
Good observation zeek! And this is exactly why there is a need for sound, biblical systematic theology....especially for those of us who were exposed to the homebrew, make-it-up-as-you-go-along theology of Nee and Lee.

Words mean something to us little-brained creatures, right? So what about to the creator of the universe? Well, to the creator of everything, wouldn't you think that words mean something? Sometimes they mean everything. FOR-GOD-SO-LOVED-THE-WORLD. These are words that changed everything for mankind, and even the creation that surrounds us. Jesus Christ made a seemingly strange statement: For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished(Matt 5:18). Well, maybe not so strange after all. So not only words are important, but apparently every iota and every dot will be accounted for.

Without theology...sound, logical, systematic biblical theology, t's perfectly ok to say things like "we don't care for teachings and traditions, we only care for life!" Well, caring for life is all well and good...until you start ignoring all those pesky little iotas and dots. "Until all is accomplished" is a pretty heavy duty declaration my friends. An applicable companion verse may be "so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.(Isa 55:10). Again, point being, God certainly cares a lot about words...especially HIS.

(long way around the mulberry bush on that one guys...sorry bout that)

So back to "the last Adam became a life-giving spirit".

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Old 06-18-2014, 11:15 AM   #128
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Lee said "Some who oppose the claim that Christ today is the life-giving Spirit try to make an issue of the fact that . . . .
The fact is that few oppose that Christ is a life-giving spirit (or even Spirit since capitalization with respect to deity is not always about name). It is only that they oppose that "life-giving spirit" can only be the Holy Spirit.

This is one of those cases where Lee creates a strawman by insisting on the absurd, then chastising those who otherwise agree but don't use his lexicon. He has now driven a wedge between us.

Of course, Lee actually meant to insist that Christ was the Holy Spirit and he dodged saying it directly by cloaking it in this vague terminology. And on that there are not only some that disagree, but virtually all that disagree. And it is Lee's insistence on the article "the" that makes him the absurdity and the one with a problem to be opposed.

As I have recently observed (thanks to hearing this elsewhere), if it is new, novel, and never seen before in this way, it is almost surely an error.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:39 AM   #129
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Good observation zeek! And this is exactly why there is a need for sound, biblical systematic theology....especially for those of us who were exposed to the homebrew, make-it-up-as-you-go-along theology of Nee and Lee.

Words mean something to us little-brained creatures, right? So what about to the creator of the universe? Well, to the creator of everything, wouldn't you think that words mean something? Sometimes they mean everything. FOR-GOD-SO-LOVED-THE-WORLD. These are words that changed everything for mankind, and even the creation that surrounds us. Jesus Christ made a seemingly strange statement: For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished(Matt 5:18). Well, maybe not so strange after all. So not only words are important, but apparently every iota and every dot will be accounted for.

Without theology...sound, logical, systematic biblical theology, t's perfectly ok to say things like "we don't care for teachings and traditions, we only care for life!" Well, caring for life is all well and good...until you start ignoring all those pesky little iotas and dots. "Until all is accomplished" is a pretty heavy duty declaration my friends. An applicable companion verse may be "so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.(Isa 55:10). Again, point being, God certainly cares a lot about words...especially HIS.

(long way around the mulberry bush on that one guys...sorry bout that)

So back to "the last Adam became a life-giving spirit".

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Great post UntoHim. "In the BEGINNING was the WORD..."
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:58 AM   #130
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Great post UntoHim. "In the BEGINNING was the WORD..."
Or how about, "God spoke, and declared that which was not into being." Or Jesus' quote of the OT, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

To which WL subsequently tacked on, "... every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (except the words that can't be used for our 'God's economy' teaching)." Such words, which had proceeded out of God's mouth, are held to be less profitable. Or as WL would say, "Not so good."
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:24 PM   #131
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Or how about, "God spoke, and declared that which was not into being." Or Jesus' quote of the OT, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

To which WL subsequently tacked on, "... every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (except the words that can't be used for our 'God's economy' teaching)." Such words, which had proceeded out of God's mouth, are held to be less profitable. Or as WL would say, "Not so good."
Let's face it ... Witness Lee was a selective Bible-thumping crack.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:28 PM   #132
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The fact is that few oppose that Christ is a life-giving spirit (or even Spirit since capitalization with respect to deity is not always about name). It is only that they oppose that "life-giving spirit" can only be the Holy Spirit.

This is one of those cases where Lee creates a strawman by insisting on the absurd, then chastising those who otherwise agree but don't use his lexicon. He has now driven a wedge between us.

Of course, Lee actually meant to insist that Christ was the Holy Spirit and he dodged saying it directly by cloaking it in this vague terminology. And on that there are not only some that disagree, but virtually all that disagree. And it is Lee's insistence on the article "the" that makes him the absurdity and the one with a problem to be opposed.

As I have recently observed (thanks to hearing this elsewhere), if it is new, novel, and never seen before in this way, it is almost surely an error.
The source of the quote is LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST CORINTHIANS, MESSAGE SIXTY-EIGHT, DEALING WITH THE MATTER OF RESURRECTION, (4), Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 15:45-58, http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?n

Later on in that "life-study" Lee states "I do not want anyone to follow me blindly." That doesn't square with my expereince.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:15 PM   #133
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The source of the quote is LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST CORINTHIANS, MESSAGE SIXTY-EIGHT, DEALING WITH THE MATTER OF RESURRECTION, (4), Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 15:45-58, http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?n

Later on in that "life-study" Lee states "I do not want anyone to follow me blindly." That doesn't square with my expereince.
Quote of the Life-Study:

"In 1964, when we were working on our hymnal, one brother advised us not to publish the hymns on Christ as the Spirit."


In 1964? That means Lee brought this notion from China. Does anyone know if he got it from Nee?
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:19 PM   #134
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Explanation for spiritual body intimated here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/rolf...b_5499969.html
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:41 PM   #135
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"I do not want anyone to follow me blindly."
. . . but don't bother reading anyone else's materials so you won't be poisoned against me.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:42 PM   #136
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. . . but don't bother reading anyone else's materials so you won't be poisoned against me.
And don't question the "acting God".... remember Satan, who started the whole questioning business. You don't want to be satanic, do you? A question mark is shaped like a serpent. So don't ask questions.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:19 PM   #137
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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And don't question the "acting God".... remember Satan, who started the whole questioning business. You don't want to be satanic, do you? A question mark is shaped like a serpent. So don't ask questions.

Right. We were directed to turn away from tools for critical thinking like questioning. Get out of our mind and into your spirit. Questioning Lee's presuppositions was verboten. I was labeled a negative brother because I would not support the lawsuit. The ground of oneness was one church one city+ accept Lee as the MOTA + support the lawsuit, oh yeah + go with this week's turn in the flow. "Drop the past the Lord is moving much to fast." A thought-terminating cliché. How could Lee forget all that and claim he did not want blind followers? I went to the trainings. It was rote indoctrination. All he seemed to want was to hear his sermons regurgitation verbatim with enthusiastic spirit. It sounded good to say he didn't want blind followers. Was He merely dissimilating? Or was he out of touch with the monster he had created?
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:33 AM   #138
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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And don't question the "acting God".... remember Satan, who started the whole questioning business. You don't want to be satanic, do you? A question mark is shaped like a serpent. So don't ask questions.
That one was funny when I was in the LRC. It is ludicris now.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:35 PM   #139
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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It sounded good to say he didn't want blind followers. Was He merely dissimilating? Or was he out of touch with the monster he had created?
I think it's a typo, but you prolly mean dissimulating. And that's being kind. Because, despite Lee's statement that he didn't want blind followers, that's what he was inculcating in his followers. So I would call that statement as I see it: As plain old BS.

Hey, can we get back to "the last Adam became a life-giving spirit?" I don't agree with Lees', "it means Jesus is the Holy Spirit" (the loon), but I'm still having problems understanding it.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:36 AM   #140
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Okay, it's dead out here. I have some down time ... so I'll just write freely on some questions concerning stuff in 15:45.

So far we still seem to be at:

the last Adam became a life-giving "x"
The trinity = "x:
(x = unknown)

Why do I say such crazy things? First, because our record has Jesus saying "unless ye be as little children" and children ask lots of questions.

And second, the Bible is confusing when asking about what spirit is. Example:

1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

God ... by his Spirit ... Spirit searching (so am I) ... God.

So here, the third person of the trinity -- like it is a separate entity -- is searching the first person of the trinity, for deep things (like the Spirit is rummaging around in God the Father, finding deep things (whatever they are).

Witness Lee would have us believe : Jesus the son, is Jesus the Holy Spirit, searching, Jesus the Father. And that hits my funny bone.

But I'll give it that, the divine realm is mysterious.

So back to: the last Adam became a life-giving "x".
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:49 PM   #141
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

First of all the Lord Jesus was talking about being as a child is relation to being humble and simple in our faith, and not how we would do theology.

Quote:
the last Adam became a life-giving "x"
The trinity = "x:
(x = unknown)
Actually neither "x" is unknown...well, it's not if you really want to take the Word of God seriously, and let the Bible interpret the Bible. Of course, if you think the Bible is nothing but a bunch of fairy tales and religious gibberish, then everything is "x" to you anyhow, and searching for the mysterious "x" is a gigantic exercise in futility.

But for anybody who is serious, the apostle Paul gave us the most clear explanation of our future eternal existence as there is before us in black and white. He plainly laid out the beginning - "the first man Adam became a living soul". The account in Genesis is simple and clear: The Lord God...breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. Then the apostle Paul lets us know that this was not the end, but rather only the beginning. The life that was imparted was only the seed. "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." Very simply, "THERE IS A SPIRITUAL BODY" - Amen. There is a spiritual body. The first Adam received a "natural body", and the Lord Jesus, as the second Adam, became the forerunner of all who will receive a "spiritual body".

There is LOTS more to delve into here, but I think I have somewhat accurately, albeit incompletely, given us an initial outline with which to start with. Again, I must emphasis that everything we need to work with is found in the actual biblical text itself. We can use some external material, but only if that material does not lead us astray from, much less contradict, what is plainly and clearly presented to us in the actual text.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:44 AM   #142
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
First of all the Lord Jesus was talking about being as a child is relation to being humble and simple in our faith, and not how we would do theology.
Truth is, I don't see humble, simple, or inquisitiveness in Matt 18:3. So we're both embellishing.

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Originally Posted by Unto
Of course, if you think the Bible is nothing but a bunch of fairy tales and religious gibberish, then everything is "x" to you anyhow, and searching for the mysterious "x" is a gigantic exercise in futility.
Yes, and so, Lee's take, that 15:45 means Jesus is the Holy Spirit, is fairy tales, religious gibberish, and an exercise in futility.

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Originally Posted by Unto
The life that was imparted was only the seed. "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." Very simply, "THERE IS A SPIRITUAL BODY" - Amen.
I've already explained that 15:45 means the last Adam is a life-giving spirit cuz he's gonna raise the dead, and give the living a heavenly body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
There is LOTS more to delve into here, but I think I have somewhat accurately, albeit incompletely, given us an initial outline with which to start with. Again, I must emphasis that everything we need to work with is found in the actual biblical text itself. We can use some external material, but only if that material does not lead us astray from, much less contradict, what is plainly and clearly presented to us in the actual text.
And that's why I introduced 1 Cor. 2:10 ....

Blessings UntoHim ....
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:31 PM   #143
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Truth is, I don't see humble, simple, or inquisitiveness in Matt 18:3. So we're both embellishing.
Harold, do you actually read the context of anything? My man, the very next verse.....Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Quote:
Yes, and so, Lee's take, that 15:45 means Jesus is the Holy Spirit, is fairy tales, religious gibberish, and an exercise in futility.
Nah, that's not what I was inferring at all. The jab was actually at you and not Witness Lee. Lee absolutely believed that the Bible was the Word of God, it's just that he was not a very sound or accurate interpreter of it.

Quote:
I've already explained that 15:45 means the last Adam is a life-giving spirit cuz he's gonna raise the dead, and give the living a heavenly body.
And that's why I introduced 1 Cor. 2:10
Not as far off track as Lee's interpretation, but what you've written here does not accurately comport with the overall context of the latter part of 1 Cor 15. Sorry, but 1 Cor 2:10 is not really even in the ballpark. Not sure why you would bring that one up.
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Old 06-29-2014, 04:01 PM   #144
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Harold, do you actually read the context of anything? My man, the very next verse.....Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
My bad ... mea culpa ...

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Originally Posted by Unto
Nah, that's not what I was inferring at all. The jab was actually at you and not Witness Lee. Lee absolutely believed that the Bible was the Word of God, it's just that he was not a very sound or accurate interpreter of it.
So it was an ad hominem by the admin ... great UntoHim ... and cute. It hurt. Are you out to hurt me out here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
Not as far off track as Lee's interpretation, but what you've written here does not accurately comport with the overall context of the latter part of 1 Cor 15. Sorry, but 1 Cor 2:10 is not really even in the ballpark. Not sure why you would bring that one up.
Because we were wondering what spirit is. And 2:10 is one answer.
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:13 PM   #145
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Harold, do you actually read the context of anything? My man, the very next verse.....Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.



Nah, that's not what I was inferring at all. The jab was actually at you and not Witness Lee. Lee absolutely believed that the Bible was the Word of God, it's just that he was not a very sound or accurate interpreter of it.



Not as far off track as Lee's interpretation, but what you've written here does not accurately comport with the overall context of the latter part of 1 Cor 15. Sorry, but 1 Cor 2:10 is not really even in the ballpark. Not sure why you would bring that one up.
I find both I Cor 15:45 and I Corinthians 2:10 puzzling. But, you don't UntoHim. Are there any verses or passages in the Bible that puzzle you?
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:16 PM   #146
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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So it was an ad hominem by the admin ... great UntoHim ... and cute. It hurt. Are you out to hurt me out here?
Yeah, that was a flat out ad hominem and I thought I could just slip that by as if it was only Harold and I conversing here. Below the belt - deduct 10 points from UntoHim. Sometimes I want people to admit that they don't believe the Bible is the absolute, inerrant Word of God in the same way that I do. But that should NOT be a litmus test for participation on this forum, especially for someone who's been around as long as Harold.

Ok, back to 1 Corinthians 15:45.

Let me try it this way folks. I apologize in advance for the poor fellow that invented the flow chart, but I think this might be a way for me to try to explain how this particular verse should be interpreted.

1. spirit.
2. life-giving spirit.
3. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
4a The first man Adam became a living soul (being)
4b the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

1. Within the immediate context ,(1 Cor 15:42-46) there is plain and clear indication that Paul is speaking of a "spiritual body" and not the person of the Holy Spirit. This is NOT to say that the Holy Spirit is not a concern of, or in the general purview of the apostle when writing this wonderful, mysterious statement!

2 & 3. I only have 2 years of biblical Greek under my belt, and I cannot even begin to understand why Paul would use this term (ζῳοποιέω) in conjunction with the "spiritual body" he is speaking of. I have read numerous commentaries over the years and I have not found any satisfactory interpretation of what is meant here by "life-giving". Is the Holy Spirit involved with this life-giving? Ya sure ya bettcha! Of course He is! But this does not mean that we have to make the same theological leap that Witness Lee did and say that Jesus Christ became the Holy Spirit.

4a & 4b. The first account is given to us in Genesis 2. The "life-giving" was the very breath of God breathing life into man who was formed from the dust of the ground. That initial impartation was apparently not the impartation of the "eternal life" of God. (That was contained in the Tree of Life). This initial impartation made man "a living soul".

Man was made, at the very least, a dual-part being (soul and body), and this initial impartation involved both the soul and the body, but because of the Fall, the body, or flesh, of man became subject with all of creation to "the bondage to corruption" (Rom 8:21). According to the teaching of the apostles, when we believe on the Lord Jesus, our "souls are saved", however the "redemption of our bodies" will be at some future point. The Lord Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man, through his resurrection has already entered this glorious "state of being", and is in fact a forerunner of those of us who will receive the same "spiritual body".

Once again, there is a LOT of theological meaning and implications to all of this. But I don't think that God would leave us just hanging out in the wind without having any way to know what our future will be. The truth is here. It has always been here for us.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:57 PM   #147
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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I find both I Cor 15:45 and I Corinthians 2:10 puzzling. But, you don't UntoHim. Are there any verses or passages in the Bible that puzzle you?
If it's the Word of God, of course it's gonna be puzzling to the non-God mind. We're too limited as humans, fallen or otherwise. That's why Christendom is so divided.

And I think our bro UntoHim has touched down at the true problem with Witness Lee & 1 Cor. 15:45 ; actually touching down on the crux of Lee & Co.

UntoHim points out: "Lee absolutely believed that the Bible was the Word of God . . .

With the caveat: "it's just that he was not a very sound or accurate interpreter of it."

But I say that, that is what Witness Lee used to scam us. He could get away with everything because he said it was the very Word of God.

I won't go in the history, of failures, of those parading under the premise that the Bible is the Word of God. That's a whole nother subject. I'll just say that it's not the first time this premise has been used to deceive and fleece the sheep.

It's this premise, that every verse in the Bible is the very word of God, that allows the handiwork of chopping the verses into puzzle pieces, reassembling them, and making pictures that otherwise ain't actually in there.

Plus, the use of this premise is what makes people look like they are actually speaking the very Words of God ; The Oracle, The Apostle, The Authority, of God, springs from this premise. It makes for the ever important appearance of divinity at work in front of your very eyes ; a sleight of mind trick, sliding verses around to amaze and arouse wonder; mesmerizing by the very Words of God. (David Koresh was good at pulling this off - he had much of the Bible memorized.)

And that's how Witness Lee pulled off claiming 1 Cor. 15:45 means Jesus is the Holy Spirit. He had us convinced that it's the very Word of God, and most everyone just accepted it, as the very Word of God.

As I see it, Witness Lee is giving those that believe the Bible is the Word of God a bad name. They should be ashamed to be identified with him.

If Witness Lee is an example of what it is to believe the Bible is the Word of God I want no truck with that premise.
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:19 PM   #148
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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If it's the Word of God, of course it's gonna be puzzling to the non-God mind. We're too limited as humans, fallen or otherwise. That's why Christendom is so divided.

And I think our bro UntoHim has touched down at the true problem with Witness Lee & 1 Cor. 15:45 ; actually touching down on the crux of Lee & Co.

UntoHim points out: "Lee absolutely believed that the Bible was the Word of God . . .

With the caveat: "it's just that he was not a very sound or accurate interpreter of it."

But I say that, that is what Witness Lee used to scam us. He could get away with everything because he said it was the very Word of God.

I won't go in the history, of failures, of those parading under the premise that the Bible is the Word of God. That's a whole nother subject. I'll just say that it's not the first time this premise has been used to deceive and fleece the sheep.

It's this premise, that every verse in the Bible is the very word of God, that allows the handiwork of chopping the verses into puzzle pieces, reassembling them, and making pictures that otherwise ain't actually in there.

Plus, the use of this premise is what makes people look like they are actually speaking the very Words of God ; The Oracle, The Apostle, The Authority, of God, springs from this premise. It makes for the ever important appearance of divinity at work in front of your very eyes ; a sleight of mind trick, sliding verses around to amaze and arouse wonder; mesmerizing by the very Words of God. (David Koresh was good at pulling this off - he had much of the Bible memorized.)

And that's how Witness Lee pulled off claiming 1 Cor. 15:45 means Jesus is the Holy Spirit. He had us convinced that it's the very Word of God, and most everyone just accepted it, as the very Word of God.

As I see it, Witness Lee is giving those that believe the Bible is the Word of God a bad name. They should be ashamed to be identified with him.

If Witness Lee is an example of what it is to believe the Bible is the Word of God I want no truck with that premise.
I think UntoHim is arguing for a Biblical theology. I suppose that means that the Bible is the absolute truth. Therefore, statements in the Bible can be taken as facts and reasoned from deductively to formulate a systematic theology Is that right, UntoHim?
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:47 PM   #149
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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I think UntoHim is arguing for a Biblical theology. I suppose that means that the Bible is the absolute truth. Therefore, statements in the Bible can be taken as facts and reasoned from deductively to formulate a systematic theology Is that right, UntoHim?
Yes. In a nutshell. And this part of Paul's theology is especially applicable to what you have said here.
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:40 PM   #150
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Yes. In a nutshell. And this part of Paul's theology is especially applicable to what you have said here.
Good. I started to say that since the Bible is absolute truth that every statement could be reasoned from as a factual premise. But, I caught myself because that might lead to absurdities if, for example, someone tried to reason from the words of a false prophet or a genealogy or a parable in figurative language. So, if possible, it would be helpful if there were some general principle to guide when Biblical statements can be applied as factual premises and when they can't.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:47 AM   #151
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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. . . if, for example, someone tried to reason from the words of a false prophet or a genealogy or a parable in figurative language. So, if possible, it would be helpful if there were some general principle to guide when Biblical statements can be applied as factual premises and when they can't.
This, in a nutshell, is he problem with most claims of an entirely logical, factual, and self-interpreting scripture. And what makes it such a problem is that so much of what we call theology is written as part of a narrative of real life. Even the figurative language is describing life, not defining theology.

(I am working with a sticking keyboard and if something reads funny, it may be that here is another word that has a "t" in it that did not get that t.)

Of course, there are some parts that are more direct. The giving of he law is an excellent OT example. And much of the teaching of Jesus, while not always spelled-out in a manner than can be called a comprehensive discourse on the topic, did take the vagaries of the OT law and give it a human face. Some direct statements of "do this" or "don't do that," but still not comprehensive.

Paul and the others come along and begin the job of interpreting. They take specific questions, issues, events, and walk the believer toward righteousness. Sometimes in a direct manner, but sometimes just in a picture.

So anyone who declares that the Bible is it and all we need misses that the Bible speaks differently to each of us. Not necessarily because it actually says all the things we say it does, but because it says what we interpret it to say. I am not inferring that the Bible actually says many of the things we think it says. But for my purposes, or for the purposes of the group that will hear he speaking of any particular person (elder, preacher, evangelist, etc.), the Bible says what is found in it by the one who is reading it.

That does not make the Bible without anchor. It makes our reading without anchor. It has the potential to make "me and my Bible" one of the most divisive and spiritually dangerous things for the life of any Christian. And we have seen what it does to a group of Christians who are following only one reading by one person.

The hope for all of us is that we are with people who are not simply of one mind on everything and therefore take the first thing that comes along, or defer to any one person just because of some real or perceived credentials. Instead we need the openness to speak of what we read and see. To sharpen each other. To be open to consider what another says without despising our own contribution. Through the Holy Spirit, the truth will prevail.

And do we have the willingness to be pat of such a group and never actually see all things in exactly the same way, yet be willing to say that "it seems good" to abide by a common understanding. Not saying to forget the question; or the difference of opinion. But recognize where the importance of he opinion ends and where unity begins.

The problem with most kinds of systematic theology is not that it gets things wrong and is dogmatic about it anyway. The problem is that it makes so much of it overly important and so rigid. I will confess that I believe most of what they teach at Dallas Theological Seminary, one of the bastions of Calvinist, dispensationalist theology. I have attended churches for 27 years with pastors who taught at or otherwise came from that great school. But I don't agree with them on everything. But what I disagree on isn't worth a fight.

That is the reason that I have been more considerate of the parts of Christianity that the evangelicals like to ignore. The Methodists, Lutherans, Anglicans, even RCC and EO. I believe that there are problems in varying degrees in each of these, but wonder if the wall that we put up when even considering them is not just as much an error on our part. I physically pass four other churches on my way to my meetings each time. I'm sure that there are some others just a block or so out of the way that I do not see. Baptist, Church of Christ, another Bible church, and an RCC. How do I consider them as I pass if at all)? Do I consider there error, or pray for the people that they shepherd? Do I see them as problems for the testimony of Christ, or as brothers and sisters in that testimony?
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:07 AM   #152
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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This, in a nutshell, is he problem with most claims of an entirely logical, factual, and self-interpreting scripture. And what makes it such a problem is that so much of what we call theology is written as part of a narrative of real life. Even the figurative language is describing life, not defining theology...
Is that your way of saying in many words that there is no general principle for determining what Biblical propositions can be used as factual premises for a logical systematic theology? Or are you just equivocating again?
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:09 PM   #153
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So, if possible, it would be helpful if there were some general principle to guide when Biblical statements can be applied as factual premises and when they can't.
Of course it's possible! This is what systematic and biblical theology is all about. This was one of the most damaging aspects of the ministry of Witness Lee - That the formal study of theology in a precise, systematic way was in someway negative or harmful. Of course Lee taught this because it flew in the face of his make-it-up-as-you-go-along, homebrew, "I have new light that nobody else has ever seen" theology.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:02 PM   #154
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I find both I Cor 15:45 and I Corinthians 2:10 puzzling. But, you don't UntoHim. Are there any verses or passages in the Bible that puzzle you?
Yes, zeek, I find both of these verses extremely puzzling. But 1 Cor 2:10 is not at all relevant to 1 Cor 15:45 because the "Spirit" in the former is not the same "spirit" that is mentioned in the later. And to get into a debate about this would take us way off track from the theme of this thread.
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:06 AM   #155
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Yes, zeek, I find both of these verses extremely puzzling. But 1 Cor 2:10 is not at all relevant to 1 Cor 15:45 because the "Spirit" in the former is not the same "spirit" that is mentioned in the later
Now we're getting somewhere, of sorts. The last Adam spirit is not the same as the Holy Spirit. That's opposite of what Lee said.

So we don't know what the last Adam spirit is, but we now know it's not the Holy Spirit.

Alright UntoHim! Way to go! Kudos!

And I took the jab at me over 2:10. It wasn't a knockout blow. You opened that door by introducing the trinity into this thread. Which you never tied in to the last Adam ... if I'm not mistaken. I'm still dodgin' and weaving. "Sting like a bee."

I admit that 1 Cor. 2:10 doesn't just puzzle me. It blows my mind. A lot of the Bible blows my mind.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:46 AM   #156
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Yes, zeek, I find both of these verses extremely puzzling. But 1 Cor 2:10 is not at all relevant to 1 Cor 15:45 because the "Spirit" in the former is not the same "spirit" that is mentioned in the later. And to get into a debate about this would take us way off track from the theme of this thread.
That the spirit in 15:45 is not the same as the spirit in 2:10 is your proposition. You have argued for it, but you haven't conclusively proved it. After all, according to the Contemporary English Version (CEV), 2:10 refers to the spirit of God. If Jesus is God, then the spirit in 2:10 is his. Besides, how could the same word used by the same author in the same book not be relevant at least for the purpose of understanding the author's usage? If that is not the case, please explain why not. There are trinitarian formulations in the New Testament, but to assume that every reference in the New Testament is trinitarian is unfounded unless you can back it up. If you are only permitting your own theology on this forum, why allow any opinion but your own? No one has offered a definition of spirit but me, and mine was rejected. How do the theologians you accept define spirit? Maybe they can help. In the end though, we may have to admit that the three hypostases of Father, Son, and Spirit are not objective facts but simply terms that we use to express a way in which the unnameable and unspeakable divine nature adapts itself to the limitations of our human minds.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:31 PM   #157
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Please, let's try to stay away from distractions and get sidetracked. I didn't say the Spirit mentioned in 1 Cor 2:10 was not the Holy Spirit. awareness was the one who brought up that verse. Let's just stay with this portion, there is quite enough to work with here as it is!

There is a particular context that the apostle Paul is working with. The context is actually quite clear - he is dealing with certain people who were teaching the Corinthians that there will not be a bodily resurrection of the dead. "With what kind of body do they come?" Some people were teaching that there will only be a "spiritual" resurrection - that it would only be our spirit and soul that would be with God in eternity. This was actually a very prevalent kind of doctrine/philosophy of the Greek society of the day.

Next: "There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies". Pretty basic. Let's jest try to stay with this guy, shall we? The apostle Paul knew that his audience would absolutely know what he meant by "earthly bodies". What he had to educate the Corinthians about was the "heavenly bodies". This was a new concept to both the Jewish believers and the gentile believers. The heavenly body was something for the future. Both the Jews and Gentiles could easily fathom "the future", what they could not fathom was having a "heavenly body" existence in the future. This went against the grain for both - the Jews had not really been able to ascertain any such concept from the Old Testament scriptures, and the Gentiles (mostly Greeks at that point) had no reason to believe such a bodily resurrection was even remotely possible.

Next: "so it is with the resurrection of the dead". "sown perishable" - "raised imperishable". Stay with him now. What was "sown perishable"? It was Adam, but not just his soul, but his BODY - His physical body. Yet this very same thing that was sown imperishable was to be raised imperishable. The first Adam "WAS MADE A LIVING SOUL", the last Adam "WAS MADE A LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT". Again, as I have previously noted, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever from the context that the apostle Paul was not referring to the Lord Jesus Christ becoming, or was made, the Holy Spirit - He was referring to a future state of BODILY EXISTANCE that the Lord Jesus Christ had entered into - and that he was the forerunner of all those who would, at the resurrection of the dead, also enter into such a BODILY EXISTANCE. This is going to be the ultimate "recovery" from the fall in the Garden of Eden. We - fallen, sinful, ruined MAN IN HIS BODY will be recovered to be in the full, unhindered, naked presence of God almighty.

This my friends is the real mystery, the wonderment, the unfathomable truth that is revealed in this statement - "The last Adam became a life-giving spirit". There is SO MUCH in this statement! What a tragedy that Witness Lee lead us all to believe something that was not even in the thoughts of the apostle Paul.

So much more to get into.

v35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”

40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:39 AM   #158
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Is that your way of saying in many words that there is no general principle for determining what Biblical propositions can be used as factual premises for a logical systematic theology? Or are you just equivocating again?
Equivocating would indicate that I am shifting meanings of a word to create a fiction-as-fact that could not exist without the smoke and mirrors. And reading just a small part and trying to define it alone is the real problem.

Just like trying to interpret scripture just based on a word or two, coupled with an insistence on a singular meaning (what Lee did with 1 Cor 15:45) without any reference to the context which would have destroyed his preferred meaning for the word in question (which is "spirit"). Lee was engaged in a kind of equivocation. There is a word that has multiple meanings, and a context that narrows the selection, but then insists that the word can only mean what the context would not have provided as a reasonable selection.

That is equivocation. It is a word play that works very well on those whose minds have been turned off. Who have willfully gotten "out of their mind." Talk about a fertile ground for evil to enter. It is like what Jesus said about casting out a demon but leaving his old place empty. The thing we called "getting your spirit in gear" was really a void — waiting to be filled by whatever came along.

And despite what I said about systematic theology, if you read it all carefully (rather than bits and pieces like fortune cookies) you will see that I am not opposed to systematic theology. Just to the idea that any particular system can be complete and/or rigid. That it does not need both constant revisiting, openness, and flexibility.
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:51 AM   #159
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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That the spirit in 15:45 is not the same as the spirit in 2:10 is your proposition. You have argued for it, but you haven't conclusively proved it. After all, according to the Contemporary English Version (CEV), 2:10 refers to the spirit of God. If Jesus is God, then the spirit in 2:10 is his
Interesting approach.

But you have only shown what is agreed, and that is that 1 Cor 2:10 refers to the spirit of God, or the spirit of Jesus. But can you show that 1 Cor 15:45 is talking about the spirit of God? You assert that Unto has merely stated something but not proved it.

Actually, I think that the proof concerning 1 Cor 15:45 has been rather clearly shown. And it has been fairly clearly shown that Lee's version is so contextually wrong as to be laughable.

I think that the verse, and especially given its context, is talking about the nature of the resurrected body and not about the spirit of God, the spirit of Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. It is not talking about anyone's spirit — whether that of God or of man — but rather of the nature of the body that is "sown in resurrection." And that body is spiritual. It is spirit.

And since the first example was all he had, Paul is pointing us to the resurrected Christ who happens to also give life. In this case it would be safe to say that Paul waxed a little emotional here. He got a little caught up in the superlatives of the person he was speaking of as the example.

And with that, I think it is fairly safe to say that despite the common word being used in both verses, they are not talking about the same thing.
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Old 07-03-2014, 08:40 AM   #160
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

Just so we all know, in both 1 Cor. 15:45 & 2:10 the Greek word for spirit is pneuma; same same.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:50 PM   #161
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Just so we all know, in both 1 Cor. 15:45 & 2:10 the Greek word for spirit is pneuma; same same.
And just so we all know, the Greek word for spirit is not a singular meaning, just like the English word "spirit" is not a singular meaning. This whole problem could be replicated in Greek.

If I have a pneuma, and God is pneuma, and there is a Holy Pneuma, and the body of the "last Adam" became a pneuma (or in another verse, was "pneuma-ish" in resurrection), then it is evident that the same games in equivocation can occur in the Greek.

Define "bases." A perfectly good English word. With two entirely unrelated meanings. Does anyone think that Greek was composed of words with only one single, simple, unable to be equivocated meaning? Lee evidently did because that is how he created some of his more problematic theology.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:57 PM   #162
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Equivocating would indicate that I am shifting meanings of a word to create a fiction-as-fact that could not exist without the smoke and mirrors. And reading just a small part and trying to define it alone is the real problem.

Just like trying to interpret scripture just based on a word or two, coupled with an insistence on a singular meaning (what Lee did with 1 Cor 15:45) without any reference to the context which would have destroyed his preferred meaning for the word in question (which is "spirit"). Lee was engaged in a kind of equivocation. There is a word that has multiple meanings, and a context that narrows the selection, but then insists that the word can only mean what the context would not have provided as a reasonable selection.

That is equivocation. It is a word play that works very well on those whose minds have been turned off. Who have willfully gotten "out of their mind." Talk about a fertile ground for evil to enter. It is like what Jesus said about casting out a demon but leaving his old place empty. The thing we called "getting your spirit in gear" was really a void — waiting to be filled by whatever came along.

And despite what I said about systematic theology, if you read it all carefully (rather than bits and pieces like fortune cookies) you will see that I am not opposed to systematic theology. Just to the idea that any particular system can be complete and/or rigid. That it does not need both constant revisiting, openness, and flexibility.
How typical of you to write four paragraphs and never answer my question. Perhaps you quoted my question,but never actually read it. Or maybe you're just having fun with me. Anyway, I quote myself again : "Is that your way of saying in many words that there is no general principle for determining what Biblical propositions can be used as factual premises for a logical systematic theology?" If there is a general principle for determining what Biblical propositions can be used as factual premises, please supply it. UntoHim opined that Paul's writings are excellent sources for these. But, I don't think he intended to imply that Paul's were the only ones or even that every statement of Paul's is suitable. The general principle would specify which are suitable and which are not. Now one might say the context is determinative. But, then the question would be what about the context is determinative?
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:15 PM   #163
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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Interesting approach.

But you have only shown what is agreed, and that is that 1 Cor 2:10 refers to the spirit of God, or the spirit of Jesus. But can you show that 1 Cor 15:45 is talking about the spirit of God? You assert that Unto has merely stated something but not proved it.

Actually, I think that the proof concerning 1 Cor 15:45 has been rather clearly shown. And it has been fairly clearly shown that Lee's version is so contextually wrong as to be laughable.

I think that the verse, and especially given its context, is talking about the nature of the resurrected body and not about the spirit of God, the spirit of Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. It is not talking about anyone's spirit — whether that of God or of man — but rather of the nature of the body that is "sown in resurrection." And that body is spiritual. It is spirit.

And since the first example was all he had, Paul is pointing us to the resurrected Christ who happens to also give life. In this case it would be safe to say that Paul waxed a little emotional here. He got a little caught up in the superlatives of the person he was speaking of as the example.

And with that, I think it is fairly safe to say that despite the common word being used in both verses, they are not talking about the same thing.
Thank you for your help. But, I'm still in a bit of a quandary. If Paul meant "spiritual body" in I Corinthians 15:45B, why didn't he say so? In other words, why did Paul not say, " The last Adam became a life-giving spiritual body?" You are claiming that is what he meant. He has no problem saying "spiritual body" in the preceding verse. So, if he meant to say that in 15:45, presumably he could have. Why didn't he say, "spiritual body" here?
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:34 PM   #164
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Default Re: "Become" or "Not Become" Interpreting 1Cor 15:45

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How typical of you to write four paragraphs and never answer my question. Perhaps you quoted my question,but never actually read it. Or maybe you're just having fun with me. Anyway, I quote myself again : "Is that your way of saying in many words that there is no general principle for determining what Biblical propositions can be used as factual premises for a logical systematic theology?" If there is a general principle for determining what Biblical propositions can be used as factual premises, please supply it. UntoHim opined that Paul's writings are excellent sources for these. But, I don't think he intended to imply that Paul's were the only ones or even that every statement of Paul's is suitable. The general principle would specify which are suitable and which are not. Now one might say the context is determinative. But, then the question would be what about the context is determinative?
First, I take a bit of offense at your characterization of my response. I quoted the part that I intended to speak on. And you didn't actually re-quote your original post because the part I commented on is missing.

I could go into a discourse on your use of a strawman to slander what I did respond to.

No, I did not respond to your entire post. Just part of it. And given the nearly nonsensical use of the word "equivocation," it was difficult to determine whether your post to me was serious or meant to be comical. There had been no equivocation in the post from which your comment originally arose.

Of course, some may say that not coming to a definitive answer on a subject is equivocating. If that is what you meant, then the answer is different. First, equivocating is not the correct word for it. If you want to say that I am hedging my bets, or avoiding taking a definitive stand on a "this is the way it is" position, then you would be right. I am very comfortable with the idea that some things are not simple to pin-down.

But at the same time, I think that there is a lot that anyone who declares certain passages to be literal rather than figurative, or visa versa, is either an idiot or thinks we are. A lot of it is exactly what it says.

But then, having said that, it still does not follow that it is simple to figure it all out. Some of it is simple. And a lot of it is fairly easy. But significant portions require more than me and my good mind. It takes a few good minds and the help of the Holy Spirit. And since the Holy Spirit does not enter the room with a T-shirt that says "Hi! I'm the Holy Spirit," we sometimes still end out with bad decisions.

Is there any general principle that tells us where the simple ends and the difficult begins? That clarifies that "this is figurative and this is literal." Yet there are large portions that it is reasonably clear that we do know the answer to that question.

Still people haggle over how to read some parts, even if they agree on whether it is literal or figurative.

And many who push systematic theology as the end-all of theological approaches are bound and determined that they can figure it all out. Not saying that Unto is doing anything like that. Just that some do.

And many who disagree are strongly supported by their version of systematic theology. So at some level is it clearly not an end-all to the discussion.

Is that equivocation? No. I think it is an honest starting point for real learning. A systematic theology that has all the answers has figured it all out and is certain that it is right. It needs no wisdom — only the intelligence to read. Let others figure it all out. Ask questions and someone will supply answers.

Real theology deals with life. It requires wisdom because everything in life is not spelled out in the Bible. The Bible becomes authoritative in telling us about God and pointing us to His principles. But it does not answer every question, therefore is not the sole source of anything. It is unable to be the sola that inerrantists claim. Yet on what it speaks it is authoritative.

Wishy-washy? According to an inerrantist, yes. According to what I think the Bible says about itself, no.

Equivocating? No. No instance of word shifting on you to fool you.
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