Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Writings of Former Members > Papers by various

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-28-2012, 05:23 AM   #1
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Here is a discussion I recently ran across of the "overcomers" vs. the "thousand years of darkness". The writer appears to be a former member of the local churches of Witness Lee. Full text, as "Topic 12", found at

http://www.controversialchristiantopics.com

All Christians have the light that the Passover is a type of Christ dying as our sacrifice - that we are justified by faith in the blood of Jesus and not by any meritorious works of our own. If one doesn't believe this, he cannot be a Christian. That is the beginning of the Christian life. But what about the end of the Christian life, the inheritance? There arose a teaching in the middle of the nineteenth century that agreed with the beginning of our walk -that we are justified by faith alone, apart from works. But the end of our walk, the kingdom, our inheritance, must be earned by fulfilling certain obligations. And only a better class of Christians, the "overcomers", would actually enter into the inheritance. The noted scholar, G.H. Pember taught this in the most unequivocal language. Robert Govett, another eminent scholar, also taught it, acknowledging his debt to Pember. Jesse Penn-Lewis passed it on in her Overcomer magazine, to which M.E. Barber subscribed, and taught it to Watchman Nee. He mixed it with his teaching about the three circles and transformation (which he also received through the Overcomer, from Mary McDonough, of Brookline MA). And in that form it passed to us through Witness Lee. In the spring of 1973 Witness gave a history of our movement, citing rapture by maturity and the kingdom as a reward for maturity, as having been seen by Bro.Nee in the mid to late 1920's, "..through the help of so many spiritual giants". It is a matter of fact that the Local Church Movement is, in a large part, based upon this teaching...

It should not surprise anyone then, that a devout Christian viewing the Christian profession with not only its outright unbelief in God's word and its idolatry, but also its carelessness, indifference, and worldliness - should think it might be a good idea to come up with a teaching which would scare us back to reality. I can remember Witness lecturing us that 'God in His wisdom' knew that many Christians would not be faithful, not be diligent, and He therefore decided to give the kingdom as a reward for maturity, and the "outer darkness" as a threat to the "lazy" Christians. But he assured us that even the lazy Christians, because they had believed the gospel, would, after the Kingdom, be allowed entrance into the eternal state, the New Jerusalem. How assured did that make you feel?

We had the unique experience, possibly the singularly unique experience in the twentieth century, of seeing the results on a large scale of this kind of reward & punishment system woven back, or should I say, "added", into the New Covenant. Our whole movement was based upon the teaching started by Pember a century earlier. Only we were reminded that it was not simply righteousness which was required. We also had to "buy the oil", "gain Christ", "love not our soul-lives", and "ripen" before the Lord returns. Or else! This was the subject of many of our meetings and much of our fellowship.

How well did it work among the many hundreds of devotees who threw themselves with all their hearts and souls into this teaching? Do you remember the trail of human wreckage, the weepings, the public outbursts of humiliation, the mental breakdowns? Do you remember also the heartless Phariseeism? Remember how many (so very many!) fell away, not because of worldliness or lukewarmness, but because they just couldn't stand the condemnation, the dread, the sense of perpetual defect, of not measuring up? My own dear wife fell away out of discouragement turned into bitterness.

How well did it work? I witnessed the believers in our group fall into three categories:

1. Pharisees. This type compares himself, not against the Bible, but against the others he meets with and, seeing his superior advances, thinks, "I'm doing OK." He has the false peace derived from resting on a false standard. There weren't too many of these, but they usually became leaders who presumed to teach others.

2. Breast beaters (Lk.18:13). These were the most sincere and the most condemned. They were sometimes able to get a little peace through self-flagellation: "I revile myself, Lord!" Ever confessing, ever praying, "Lord, make me more for you!" And thereby gaining a temporary peace through such continual reconsecrations. But this is not real peace, because it is not based on the whole truth. The state of one's heart and his/her spiritual progress become the object, and not Christ. There can be no peace in that.

3. Unconscious Unbelievers. Paul teaches us we must be "holding faith and a good conscience" in balance. If one drops, the other must drop also. Many Local Churchers unconsciously lowered the standard of what they believed was expected of them, in order to keep from having a continually condemned conscience. Without actually facing it, they would develop a creeping unbelief, after so many failures: "He doesn't really expect me to do and be all these things". This does bring relief from condemnation. Only it is not really peace, but slumber. The great majority of all believers stop struggling and slide into this pitfall. Most of the older Local Churchers have lapsed into this category.

Brother, you and I should be the last people to be preaching to our brothers and sisters that they must buy the oil and ripen or else they will be left to endure the Tribulation along with the unbelievers. We have seen firsthand the disastrous effect upon the faith of sincere believers and the puffing up of the more self-vindicating minded believers. Remember how superior we felt to the "cotton candy Christians"? How we talked of how precious Witness' message pamphlets would be to the poor Fundamentalists during the Tribulation? If you are not preaching about the verses I have quoted concerning the kingdom as a promise, and others like it, such as:" Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom"; if you are not giving these equal time along with your warnings, your ministry will be stilted. "The legs of the lame are not equal".

Please allow me this poor example, which I have used to help believers through the difficulties we all experience reconciling grace and responsibility:
A. The train is leaving at 3:00PM. If you do not do what is necessary to be at the station on time YOU WILL BE LEFT BEHIND.
B. Your heavenly Father loves you and has predestined you to have a seat on the train before the world's foundation. And He WILL DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE SURE YOU ARRIVE THERE.

As the hour approaches and one believer sees he is not yet ready, he begins to fear and to think, "I do not find in myself the resources to be ready on time; I fear I will be left behind!" The Father answers, "Do not fear; your heart and spirit are right. Leave the details to me. I will get you there; and you will glorify me for it. Remember my promise".

Another believer sees the hour approaching and is at least dimly aware that he is not at all ready. When questioned about it, he remarks that these things are in God's hands and reminds us of the divine promises. To this one the Holy Spirit must come and remind him of the divine warnings, "If you don't prepare yourself now you will be left behind. That is also a divine promise!"

I hope this example will not be too simple.... But on more than one occasion Paul wrote of speaking "humanly because of the weakness of your flesh". It doesn't take a genius to see, at least in the train station analogy, the disastrous effect of telling people only one side. We really do need both sides of the truth maintained because of our weakness. A ministry which majors on the promises of God, skirting away from the warnings, which seem to contradict them, will not produce any exercise. And where there is no exercise, there is no progress. This has happened to much of Fundamentalism. A ministry which majors on the warnings, skirting away from the promises because it is believed we have heard too much of them, will bleed out all the believers' confidence. And confidence is the one thing we must have for continuance. And continuance is the only true mark, as Hebrews emphasizes, which proves that we do have faith. This has happened in groups such as the Local Church and some of the Pentecostal churches, which teach that one can lose his salvation.


Mr. Anderson seems to lean a little too close to Calvinistic "predestination" for my taste, but still he is erudite and passionate enough to listen to. My beef with his logic, which uses the Book of Hebrews' exposition on the Israelites who "fell because of unbelief" in the wilderness, is this: according to his logic Moses is an unbeliever, cast aside for his unbelief. But we see Moses on the mountaintop with Jesus in the NT gospels.

It seems clear to me from the OT text that Moses' death on Pisgah, overlooking the Good Land, was significantly not in Egypt or in some way station. Anderson seems to overlook this distinction. I cannot.

But at the same time I cannot dismiss his writings on God's promises: "What I have said I will do, I will do." I as a failed human being sense that we both have free will to obey, and that with our free choice we may "lean on the everlasting arms."

However, it's not a subject which I feel that I can treat with any sophistication. And although I can't buy Anderson's arguments whole cloth, his warnings on the possible effects of the "overcomer" teachings are sobering. I think it's a very difficult subject, and I appreciate his efforts on this regard. The whole "free will/predestination" discussion seems to have been going on, often heatedly, for centuries. I had felt that the Nee/Lee school found a fairly tenable middle ground.

Thoughts, anyone?
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 07:40 AM   #2
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

I think it's good enough to realize:
  • Our eternal security is assured.
  • The Lord expects us to be faithful as believers.
  • There will be varying rewards based on faithfulness.
  • You will experience a loss if you squander the chance to use your life to gain kingdom value.

The rest is details.

I think many of Lee's dire threats, in particular being "touched by the second death" and that kind of thing, are misled and damaging.

First, the second death is reserved for unbelief. It is not the portion of believers. It refers to final, spiritual death. There is no reason to think that believers will be subject to such a thing. How could spiritual death be a proper discipline for those who are destined for eternal life?

Second, the reference to the second death is given to the church in Smyrna, the suffering, martyred church. Think about the context. In the midst of their suffering, the Lord is reassuring them that even though they may die physically, they will not die eternally. It doesn't make sense that the Lord would threaten a church which was dying for him with the possibility of experiencing the eternal death.

I think our reward will be the realization that we participated in eternal things in a positive way. It is something you cannot be given. You have to gain it for yourself.

It's like being on a sports team for the entire season. You work, you sacrifice, you give all for the team. When you finally win the championship, no one can give you the feeling of knowing that you had part in producing the champion. Someone may have joined the team in the last game and helped a little, and he can hoist the trophy, too. But he cannot have the same feeling that those who went through the entire season have. That's what I think the reward is, at least in part.

Those who missed that chance will never be able to experience that feeling. They will experience other blessings, but not that one.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 08:19 AM   #3
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Those who missed that chance will never be able to experience that feeling. They will experience other blessings, but not that one.
And as far as experiencing a loss goes, which is worse? Being burned for a while, or realizing that you will never again get the chance to on Earth do good for the Lord?

The first is immediately more scary, but I think the second is worse.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

The same goes for the marriage feast. Who enjoys a wedding the most? Those who have invested the most in the bride and groom--parents, close friends, family. Acquaintances enjoy the wedding, too, but not like those who have poured into the couple.

Everyone will be at the marriage feast and will have a good time. But some will have a special enjoyment of it commensurate with their investment. It's just the way things work.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 07:11 PM   #5
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

"However, it's not a subject which I feel that I can treat with any sophistication. And although I can't buy Anderson's arguments whole cloth, his warnings on the possible effects of the "overcomer" teachings are sobering. I think it's a very difficult subject, and I appreciate his efforts on this regard. The whole "free will/predestination" discussion seems to have been going on, often heatedly, for centuries. I had felt that the Nee/Lee school found a fairly tenable middle ground.

Thoughts, anyone?"

Aron,

I thought the author was a bit judgmental and I did not agree that Witness Lee taught one side like the Pentecostals. There was and is a vast difference between the two both doctrinally and in the experiential.

I agreed with you that Witness Lee and Watchman Nee taught balanced on this topic.

That is what I liked, and still do, about both men and their teaching. The security of our eternal salvation once we believe and receive, but a loss of the kingdom reward, not the loss of eternal salvation, if we are unfaithful in our christian walk. The assurance and the warning.


__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,869
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
but a loss of the kingdom reward, not the loss of eternal salvation, if we are unfaithful in our christian walk. The assurance and the warning.
So Cassidy, my man! Good to hear from you!
In relation to the teachings of Witness Lee (hate to pin ya down this way..but this is a forum about Nee, Lee and the Local Church) in relation to to the teachings of Witness Lee...what do you consider as "unfaithful in our christian walk".
Watch this folks......
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 05:42 AM   #7
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
That is what I liked, and still do, about [Witness Lee and Watchman Nee] and their teaching. The security of our eternal salvation once we believe and receive, but a loss of the kingdom reward, not the loss of eternal salvation, if we are unfaithful in our christian walk. The assurance and the warning.
This subject, incidentally, points out another weakness in the Protestant Reformation, which I wanted to address in discussion on Erasmus vs Luther. The main promulgators of the Protestant Reformation, I feel, were so horrified by the abuses of "works" (see, for example, the indulgences issue) that they over-reacted: "It is naught of works/'Tis all of grace". They downplayed the issue of "My reward is according to your works" until it was nearly non-existent in the consciousnesses of the Protestant faithful.

Thus, I posit, arose the Anabaptists. I spent some time with a group of them, post-LC, and was really impressed with their living. The children were a glaring contrast to LC children. Instead of fussy and agitated, they were calm and obedient. At the time I was still pretty strong for LSM teachings, even though I'd gone "back to christianity". But I realized that to introduce these young Anabaptist children to the LC young people would be like introducing them to the plague. So it was part of my journey: the realization that teachings, terminology and doctrine don't equal the kingdom. I somewhat heard about the kingdom in the local churches of Nee and Lee, but I saw more clearly it in the intentional communities of the anabaptists, and elsewhere.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 05:55 AM   #8
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
Aron,

I agreed with you that Witness Lee and Watchman Nee taught balanced on this topic.

That is what I liked, and still do, about both men and their teaching. The security of our eternal salvation once we believe and receive, but a loss of the kingdom reward, not the loss of eternal salvation, if we are unfaithful in our christian walk. The assurance and the warning.
I still prefer the "balanced" approach of Nee & Lee. However, I find it rather crude. The topic deserves a more thorough teaching than they provided (to me, anyway; perhaps you have gotten more than I). And it deserves a better rebuttal than Mr. Anderson gave.

The "overcomers" is a topic raised in scriptures so it ought to command our attention. If we wave "overcomers" off as being tantamount to "believers" we do it disservice, I believe. But I have in the past characterized Lee's teaching on the topic as equivalent to spreading butter with the head of an axe. It works, after a fashion, but it is neither as fine nor nuanced as the subject deserves.

Unfortunately, I can only offer my "homespun" reading as well. I am sure someone out there has addressed this more satisfactorily, but I have not yet come across them, or if I did I wasn't paying sufficient attention.

A few of my objections, in brief:

- Witness Lee taught that "raptured and martyred" folks got the thousand year "Wedding Feast" with the Lord. The rest, per John's "Revelation", were not raised until the thousand years were over. Witness taught us that "Watchman Nee was surely martyred" in China, thus was a Wedding Feast overcomer. But Lee wasn't, so I guess he's in torment for a thousand years.

Of course you'll reply, "No, not torment." But what, then? Silence. The Nee/Lee school has no idea, at least that came across my attention.

-- Jesus taught that if you do wrong, you'll get punished. If you do wrong and should know better, you'll get "many stripes", but if you do wrong ignorantly, you'll get "few stripes". Silence from Nee & Lee.

-- In the parable of the unrighteous steward, the steward and the creditors still are on the negative side of the ledger (the steward is still expelled, and th creditors still owe), but the relative positions have all improved. Silence from Nee and Lee.

I suspect, as a non-schooled laity, that these stories meant something to the hearers, as they meant to Jesus and the apostles. But what I don't know. It seems they meant nothing to Nee and Lee. They had their "Wedding Feast", and their "outer darkness", and that was sufficient for them.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 06:13 AM   #9
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

I don't think Witness Lee was very balanced on this. For one thing, he kept tying overcoming to "growth," saying you had to be full-grown to be raptured (harvested), and equated rapture with overcoming. But this doesn't make much sense. Reward is about faithfulness, not growth. How about someone who is saved, then dies young? Or saved late in life without much time to grow? These people can't be overcomers? He never explained this kind of thing. He was just so enamored with "life" and "growth" he kept pushing it without tying the loose ends together.

Sorry, but there are a lot of problems with Lee's teaching on this subject. I would not suggest anyone just take it carte blanche.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 07:15 AM   #10
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
So Cassidy, my man! Good to hear from you!
In relation to the teachings of Witness Lee (hate to pin ya down this way..but this is a forum about Nee, Lee and the Local Church) in relation to to the teachings of Witness Lee...what do you consider as "unfaithful in our christian walk".
Watch this folks......
Hi UntoHim,

Witness Lee taught very much about the inner life and following the leading of the Spirit. My takeaway from that aspect was this: That each believer should learn to follow the Lord in everyday personal matters, not only big things, but even in little things, matters that we often might think too small to pay any attention to. Sensing the Lord in your conversations and their manner, what you wear, relationships, etc.

Applying that to the topic of this thread means that if we are faithful to follow the Lord's leading in all aspects of our life, even in little things, fine matters, He will commend us at His judgement seat. If we are loose in our living, not following the Lord, then we will miss out on a reward. Nevertheless, though we may suffer loss, we are eternally saved by our believing and faith.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 07:23 AM   #11
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

"- Witness Lee taught that "raptured and martyred" folks got the thousand year "Wedding Feast" with the Lord. The rest, per John's "Revelation", were not raised until the thousand years were over. Witness taught us that "Watchman Nee was surely martyred" in China, thus was a Wedding Feast overcomer. But Lee wasn't, so I guess he's in torment for a thousand years."

Aron,

No. All born again christians are raptured before the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth.

Just want to clarify that misunderstanding in your sentence above.


__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 07:28 AM   #12
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I don't think Witness Lee was very balanced on this. For one thing, he kept tying overcoming to "growth," saying you had to be full-grown to be raptured (harvested), and equated rapture with overcoming. But this doesn't make much sense. Reward is about faithfulness, not growth. How about someone who is saved, then dies young? Or saved late in life without much time to grow? These people can't be overcomers? He never explained this kind of thing. He was just so enamored with "life" and "growth" he kept pushing it without tying the loose ends together.

Sorry, but there are a lot of problems with Lee's teaching on this subject. I would not suggest anyone just take it carte blanche.
Igzy,

Witness Lee addressed the above scenario in blue in the teaching of the thief on the cross contrasting the thief's request (the Kingdom) with His promise (Paradise).
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 07:34 AM   #13
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I don't think Witness Lee was very balanced on this. For one thing, he kept tying overcoming to "growth," saying you had to be full-grown to be raptured (harvested), and equated rapture with overcoming. But this doesn't make much sense. Reward is about faithfulness, not growth. How about someone who is saved, then dies young? Or saved late in life without much time to grow? These people can't be overcomers? He never explained this kind of thing. He was just so enamored with "life" and "growth" he kept pushing it without tying the loose ends together.

Sorry, but there are a lot of problems with Lee's teaching on this subject. I would not suggest anyone just take it carte blanche.

The emphasis on growth over faithfulness established a hierarchy based on how many years in the LRC while deemphasizing the need to be faithful
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 07:36 AM   #14
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
Igzy,

Witness Lee addressed the above scenario in blue in the teaching of the thief on the cross contrasting the thief's request (the Kingdom) with His promise (Paradise).
So what did the thief do to earn the kingdom reward?
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 07:52 AM   #15
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
So what did the thief do to earn the kingdom reward?
He didn't.

However, though the Lord did not grant the thief his request for the Kingdom, He did promise him the portion of every believer (Paradise)
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #16
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
He didn't.

However, though the Lord did not grant the thief his request for the Kingdom, He did promise him the portion of every believer (Paradise)
So, in other words you are saying that the way Lee addressed the issue was to say that those who die before getting a chance to grow will miss out on the kingdom reward? Is that your point?
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 08:42 AM   #17
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
So, in other words you are saying that the way Lee addressed the issue was to say that those who die before getting a chance to grow will miss out on the kingdom reward? Is that your point?
Almost. In the case of the thief on the cross, definitely.

I say almost because it depends, for instance if they died by being martyred. Many believers died after first becoming believers through martyrdom. They "loved not their soul lives even unto death". I don't see that as a matter of growth exactly, more like following the Lord to the ultimate extent.

For instance, in Foxes Book of Martyrs there is one young sister mentioned (Blandina) that may fall into the category of young in age, maybe not a lot of opportunity for spiritual growth, but "loved not her soul-life even unto death" even through excruciating torture. I weep when I think about her suffering and consecration.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 08:53 AM   #18
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
Almost. In the case of the thief on the cross, definitely.

I say almost because it depends, for instance if they died by being martyred. Many believers died after first becoming believers through martyrdom. They "loved not their soul lives even unto death". I don't see that as a matter of growth exactly, more like following the Lord to the ultimate extent.

For instance, in Foxes Book of Martyrs there is one young sister mentioned (Blandina) that may fall into the category of young in age, maybe not a lot of opportunity for spiritual growth, but "loved not her soul-life even unto death" even through excruciating torture. I weep when I think about her suffering and consecration.
So if the thief would have somehow survived the crucifixion and gone on to live awhile he could have qualified for reward?

How long would he have had to live to have a chance to get into the kingdom reward?
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 09:08 AM   #19
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
So if the thief would have somehow survived the crucifixion and gone on to live awhile he could have qualified for reward?

How long would he have had to live to have a chance to get into the kingdom reward?
That is speculation. He died right there on the cross.

If your question is who is qualified for a reward that is up to the Lord. It depends on their circumstances and His righteous assessment. Of course, we want to be counted worthy. He is righteous in all His ways.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 09:42 AM   #20
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
That is speculation. He died right there on the cross.

If your question is who is qualified for a reward that is up to the Lord. It depends on their circumstances and His righteous assessment. Of course, we want to be counted worthy. He is righteous in all His ways.
But you are speculating that he didn't gain the kingdom. Just because the Lord said he would be in Paradise neither states nor implies that he would not receive the kingdom.

The fact is, the thief may have gained the kingdom.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 10:22 AM   #21
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,869
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

One thing we can be sure of, this guy was not an overcomer, yet he got to be with the Lord Jesus in Paradise. The apostle Paul clearly implied that when Christians die they get to "be with Christ".(Phil 1:23) This puts a little bit of a hitch in the teachings of Nee and Lee. It really doesn't make much sense (biblically or otherwise) that the 1,000 year Kingdom (if it is indeed literal) is going to be a place of punishment for all the little bad boys and girls who didn't live up to some arbitrary, man-made set of teachings and requirements. So they get to be in Paradise with Christ (possibly for thousands of years), then at the 2nd coming they get to spend 1,000 years gashing their teeth in the outer darkness of Nee/Lee's "Summer School"(a la Dan Towle, LSM chief eschatologist) This sounds more like an attempt to control people and keep people in fear and trembling of your group and it's leader than sound biblical teaching.
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 10:26 AM   #22
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
But you are speculating that he didn't gain the kingdom. Just because the Lord said he would be in Paradise neither states nor implies that he would not receive the kingdom.

The fact is, the thief may have gained the kingdom.
I am assuming that if the thief's request had been granted the Lord would have not made the distinction because Paradise is not the Kingdom. Rather He would have affirmed the thief's dying request.

I am also assuming that the thief did not have ample opportunity to fulfill the majority of the qualifications and practices of the kingdom people defined by the Lord in Matthew Chapters 5-7.

If you think otherwise, be my guest.

Thanks for the dialogue.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 10:39 AM   #23
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
One thing we can be sure of, this guy was not an overcomer, yet he got to be with the Lord Jesus in Paradise. The apostle Paul clearly implied that when Christians die they get to "be with Christ".(Phil 1:23) This puts a little bit of a hitch in the teachings of Nee and Lee. It really doesn't make much sense (biblically or otherwise) that the 1,000 year Kingdom (if it is indeed literal) is going to be a place of punishment for all the little bad boys and girls who didn't live up to some arbitrary, man-made set of teachings and requirements. So they get to be in Paradise with Christ (possibly for thousands of years), then at the 2nd coming they get to spend 1,000 years gashing their teeth in the outer darkness of Nee/Lee's "Summer School"(a la Dan Towle, LSM chief eschatologist) This sounds more like an attempt to control people and keep people in fear and trembling of your group and it's leader than sound biblical teaching.
UntoHim,

We agree that this thief was not an overcomer and we agree that he was with the Lord in the abode of the dead people of God, a place called Paradise, the place visited by Christ after His death, a place of apparent comfort implied by not only its name, and the reference of Paul you mentioned, but also that Abraham was there with a poor man named Lazarus. The alternative being a place of torment as indicated by the suffering of the rich man.

I believe the outer darkness is indicative, probably a real sphere or realm, that allows the occupants to see the enjoyment of the kingdom from the outside looking in. Not like the rich man's suffering but rather the loss of not being able to participate in the enjoyment of the millennium with Christ. The wailing and gnashing of teeth brought on by a recounting of one's unwillingness to follow the Lord completely for what will certainly seem as petty things of this life compared with the glory of that time.

Also, there seems to be a scale of exclusion from the kingdom as indicated by the Lord's description "until the last farthing is paid".
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 10:57 AM   #24
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
One thing we can be sure of, this guy was not an overcomer, yet he got to be with the Lord Jesus in Paradise. The apostle Paul clearly implied that when Christians die they get to "be with Christ".(Phil 1:23) This puts a little bit of a hitch in the teachings of Nee and Lee. It really doesn't make much sense (biblically or otherwise) that the 1,000 year Kingdom (if it is indeed literal) is going to be a place of punishment for all the little bad boys and girls who didn't live up to some arbitrary, man-made set of teachings and requirements. So they get to be in Paradise with Christ (possibly for thousands of years), then at the 2nd coming they get to spend 1,000 years gashing their teeth in the outer darkness of Nee/Lee's "Summer School"(a la Dan Towle, LSM chief eschatologist) This sounds more like an attempt to control people and keep people in fear and trembling of your group and it's leader than sound biblical teaching.
I hesitate to get involved in eschatological or theological issues because they don't interest me much. Specific verses do, however. Lee took most of his teachings on this subject from Panton and Govett, and I personally think much of their teaching is good.

UntoHim, your post highlights what does trouble me. First of all, Lee had to live up to his reputation as the last MOTA standing and the latest, greatest oracle of all by systematizing all eschatological events into charts and schedules which subsequently served only to puff up his adherents. Secondly, Lee used the matter of the overcomers to manipulate the saints for personal gain. Overcoming became part and parcel with being one with the ministry. Overcoming was determined by your relationship with LSM, and that held all in fear, so it's no wonder he could get away with murder when necessary.

In the context of endless debates with the Blendeds, Titus Chu made an interesting observation about eschatological events, which I thought was wise. He compared the Lord's return to DaVinci's Mona Lisa, with the saying, "either it inspires you or not." The point being that having all the teaching in the world about the Lord's return does nothing for you if it does not affect your life by inspiring you.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 11:33 AM   #25
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
I am assuming that if the thief's request had been granted the Lord would have not made the distinction because Paradise is not the Kingdom. Rather He would have affirmed the thief's dying request.

I am also assuming that the thief did not have ample opportunity to fulfill the majority of the qualifications and practices of the kingdom people defined by the Lord in Matthew Chapters 5-7.

If you think otherwise, be my guest.

Thanks for the dialogue.
The thief didn't ask to be in the kingdom. He asked to be remembered when the Lord came in his kingdom, i.e. returned from the dead as King. The Lord's answer is universally considered a positive affirmation of the thief's request, not a statement of "Well, you're not going to be in the kingdom, but..."

Lee's (your) kingdom overlay here is artificial and unfounded.

As to "the last farthing (penny) being paid," it's clear we can't "pay" for anything, which is why Christ had to pay it all. Matt 5:25 is saying that every sin must be paid for and you won't get out until it is, meaning if you don't have Christ you won't get out. It's speaking of seriousness of sin, not of the matter of reward.

Again Lee's "kingdom" template here is artificial.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 11:47 AM   #26
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

But, Cassidy, you claimed Lee used this thief passage to address the matter of someone dying before being full grown. I still don't see that being addressed. Why would someone who didn't have time to grow be excluded from the kingdom reward? How is dying too soon be something that could be blamed on him or her?

Again, Lee said you have to be full grown to be considered ready for the kingdom. This is why I say his teachings don't add up. It doesn't make sense that the Lord would hold something against someone that he or she could not control.

In fact, even if you have a lot of time, you can't control how much you grow. Growth is up to the Lord. All you can do is be faithful. But I reckon very few Christians have ever truly be "full grown" before passing from this world, especially by Lee's definition. So if full growth is a requirement of being in the kingdom, I reckon the party is going to be pretty empty, and there are going to be a lot of faithful Christians left out who didn't get all the way grown.

Sorry. Makes no sense. Doesn't pass the nonsense test.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 11:55 AM   #27
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

The Lord's answer is universally considered a positive affirmation of the thief's request,

Only if you equate the kingdom to Paradise. I see no scriptural basis for such a conclusion, nor for the teaching that the Lord Jesus coming into His kingdom was His returning from the dead.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 11:57 AM   #28
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
Also, there seems to be a scale of exclusion from the kingdom as indicated by the Lord's description "until the last farthing is paid".
When you start talking about kingdom punishment being a matter of paying a debt off, you are pretty much in the teaching of Purgatory.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 11:58 AM   #29
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
The Lord's answer is universally considered a positive affirmation of the thief's request,

Only if you equate the kingdom to Paradise. I see no scriptural basis for such a conclusion,

So you are saying (positive) Paradise isn't part of God's kingdom? There is part of that place that isn't under God's rule?
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:17 PM   #30
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
I see no scriptural basis for... the teaching that the Lord Jesus coming into His kingdom was His returning from the dead.
Well, what do you think the thief meant? Do you think he had a clear understanding of Witness Lee's convoluted kingdom theology? Was that his point of reference?

Come on. Look at the situation. The thief saw Jesus dying on the cross. His statement that Jesus would come in his kingdom was an affirmation that he believed Jesus would not stay dead and would be king.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:20 PM   #31
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
But, Cassidy, you claimed Lee used this thief passage to address the matter of someone dying before being full grown. I still don't see that being addressed. Why would someone who didn't have time to grow be excluded from the kingdom reward? How is dying too soon be something that could be blamed on him or her?

Again, Lee said you have to be full grown to be considered ready for the kingdom. This is why I say his teachings don't add up. It doesn't make sense that the Lord would hold something against someone that he or she could not control.

In fact, even if you have a lot of time, you can't control how much you grow. Growth is up to the Lord. All you can do is be faithful. But I reckon very few Christians have ever truly be "full grown" before passing from this world, especially by Lee's definition. So if full growth is a requirement of being in the kingdom, I reckon the party is going to be pretty empty, and there are going to be a lot of faithful Christians left out who didn't get all the way grown.

Sorry. Makes no sense. Doesn't pass the nonsense test.
Personally, it makes a lot of sense to me because it ties many loose ends and closes many gaps that those of the Calvinist and Arminian persuasion have never agreed on. Both have seen truths but the teaching of the kingdom as a reward is kind of like the "theory of everything" in theological terms.

I try to explain why it works and the biblical synergy the teaching of the kingdom provides. Yet, I have found that most people of one persuasion or the other will not agree no matter how much sense it makes to me personally. It is kind of one of those things as Ohio stated about Mona Lisa.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:21 PM   #32
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
When you start talking about kingdom punishment being a matter of paying a debt off, you are pretty much in the teaching of Purgatory.
I don't agree with the teaching of Purgatory so that can't be true.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:21 PM   #33
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
The Lord's answer is universally considered a positive affirmation of the thief's request,

Only if you equate the kingdom to Paradise. I see no scriptural basis for such a conclusion, nor for the teaching that the Lord Jesus coming into His kingdom was His returning from the dead.
So we have the kingdom, we have Paradise, we have the Wedding Feast, and so forth. None of it presented clearly by Mssrs. Nee & Lee. Nor by myself, I might add; but then I don't pretend to be able to. I am just making the point that what ran across my bow during my sojourn in the LC system was not very impressive. The idea of what Cassidy called "promise and warning" was certainly more balanced than what I found in the Congregational and Lutheran Churches, but it remained embarrassingly crude and ill-formed. You have the thief on the cross, for example, being presented out of any context, as if it were some proof text of a critical point. Which I personally doubt it is: it is rather all these different stories, which tell us what? Or more importantly, they told the disciples what?

It seemed to me that Lee tried to sashay in after the fact, with his brilliant mind and a few teachers like Nee & so forth, and give us the definitive word. I find that completely unsatisfying. Again, I cannot do better, but then I don't pretend to.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:30 PM   #34
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
So you are saying (positive) Paradise isn't part of God's kingdom? There is part of that place that isn't under God's rule?
Paradise is the good part (so to speak) of Hades, the abode of the dead. There is of course a not so pleasant part as I stated already. In that sense every place and all of Hades is part of the Kingdom of God as He rules the universe.

The "kingdom" spoken of by the thief refers specifically to the establishing of the kingdom established by Christ as the Messiah in Jerusalem which the Jews were waiting for and expecting. That is the millennial kingdom. Even the disciples contended with each other over the sitting arrangement in the kingdom. They of course were not thinking about the sitting arrangement in Paradise, nor the arrangement in heaven but of His kingdom established at Jerusalem.

I had heard somewhere, and I cannot remember exactly, that Paradise was transferred under the Throne according to the description in Revelation. More I cannot say about that because I do not remember where I read it and I do not know how it ties with the rest of scripture.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:31 PM   #35
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

For me, the seminal text on what did all this mean to the composers of the NT was the Hebrews exposition on the Exodus experience. The Exodus story looms large in the Hebrew history, and the writer of the epistle made the point that they all made it out of Egypt but they didn't make it into the promised land. When I tell people this and they say I am teaching Purgatory then I tell them that the writer of Hebrews was teaching Purgatory as well. If he/she was not, why bring it up?

I just think the Lee/Nee work on this subject is very rudimentary. Number one, they don't list their sources. They have the Bible, their logic and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. You get vague references to teachers past, but without any detail. Their sources are minimal to the extreme. Number two, they treat every other possible viewpoint with almost no respect whatever. Number three, they brook no possibility of any weakness in their own interpretation.

It is like having a conversation with a petulant four-year-old, trembling lower lip and all. I find it very unsatisfying, not the least because some of what they teach is probably worth considering. But wading through it all is not what I have in mind when I think of "the kingdom". When Jesus teaches you, you exclaim "Was not our heart burning when He opened for us the scripture?" When Lee teaches... well, the "flavor" just doesn't taste very "kingdom-y" to me. Subjective, I know, but my references above might flesh it out somewhat.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:38 PM   #36
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Here is a discussion I recently ran across of the "overcomers" vs. the "thousand years of darkness". The writer appears to be a former member of the local churches of Witness Lee. Full text, as "Topic 12", found at

http://www.controversialchristiantopics.com

How well did it work? I witnessed the believers in our group fall into three categories:

1. Pharisees. This type compares himself, not against the Bible, but against the others he meets with and, seeing his superior advances, thinks, "I'm doing OK." He has the false peace derived from resting on a false standard. There weren't too many of these, but they usually became leaders who presumed to teach others.

2. Breast beaters (Lk.18:13). These were the most sincere and the most condemned. They were sometimes able to get a little peace through self-flagellation: "I revile myself, Lord!" Ever confessing, ever praying, "Lord, make me more for you!" And thereby gaining a temporary peace through such continual reconsecrations. But this is not real peace, because it is not based on the whole truth. The state of one's heart and his/her spiritual progress become the object, and not Christ. There can be no peace in that.

3. Unconscious Unbelievers. Paul teaches us we must be "holding faith and a good conscience" in balance. If one drops, the other must drop also. Many Local Churchers unconsciously lowered the standard of what they believed was expected of them, in order to keep from having a continually condemned conscience. Without actually facing it, they would develop a creeping unbelief, after so many failures: "He doesn't really expect me to do and be all these things". This does bring relief from condemnation. Only it is not really peace, but slumber. The great majority of all believers stop struggling and slide into this pitfall. Most of the older Local Churchers have lapsed into this category.
I met a brother in the local churches who told me of his "back-slidden" daughter. She had received the Lord, then in college went back to the world. He told me this bad news, then brightened and said, "Well, at least she isn't going into the lake of fire!!"

I found this kind of thinking to be dis-heartening. This guy, the last I knew, was an elder in a local church. Drinking right from "the ministry" fountain. Wonderful guy -- would give you the shirt off his back. I just don't like his teaching.

The children in the LCs got "reward" and "outer darkness", and that's it. All of it very vague & arbitrary. There is some line somewhere, completely ill-defined, that if you cross you'll be blessed and if not you'll be whacked for a thousand years. If I was a teen-ager, sitting in this teaching month after conference after year, I'd probably take my chances on the world as well. At least I might have some enjoyment for a while.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:39 PM   #37
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

"So we have the kingdom, we have Paradise, we have the Wedding Feast, and so forth. None of it presented clearly by Mssrs. Nee & Lee."

To my observation, aron, Mssrs Witness Lee and Watchman Nee spent a great deal of their teaching devoted to the teaching on the kingdom. Witness Lee more so but a significant amount of material from the Life-studies of Matthew, Hebrews, and Revelation. Probably some in the Life-study of Exodus and Deuteronomy and perhaps Kings. There might be several hundred messages on on the Kingdom and not to mention the book "The Kingdom" which covers this matter in significant detail.

__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:41 PM   #38
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
I had heard somewhere, and I cannot remember exactly, that Paradise was transferred under the Throne according to the description in Revelation. More I cannot say about that because I do not remember where I read it and I do not know how it ties with the rest of scripture.
Based on Eph. 4.8-10?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:44 PM   #39
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
I don't agree with the teaching of Purgatory so that can't be true.
It could be true if you don't know what you are talking about.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:44 PM   #40
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Here is a discussion I recently ran across of the "overcomers" vs. the "thousand years of darkness". The writer appears to be a former member of the local churches of Witness Lee.

Thoughts, anyone?
Is Andy Anderson the same "XXXX Anderson" that Matt Anderson also spoke of?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #41
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
"So we have the kingdom, we have Paradise, we have the Wedding Feast, and so forth. None of it presented clearly by Mssrs. Nee & Lee."

To my observation, aron, Mssrs Witness Lee and Watchman Nee spent a great deal of their teaching devoted to the teaching on the kingdom. Witness Lee more so but a significant amount of material from the Life-studies of Matthew, Hebrews, and Revelation. Probably some in the Life-study of Exodus and Deuteronomy and perhaps Kings. There might be several hundred messages on on the Kingdom and not to mention the book "The Kingdom" which covers this matter in significant detail.


Right. But the point is he doesn't tie up the loose ends. He just ignores them.

I mean, I've been trying to get you to address this matter of growth as overcoming and you keep ignoring it yourself. So in that sense you are a great imitator of Lee.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:58 PM   #42
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,869
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Is Andy Anderson the same "XXXX Anderson" that Matt Anderson also spoke of?
Probably so, since this Andy Anderson fellow is in the DC/Virginia area (where Matt is).
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:01 PM   #43
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I just think the Lee/Nee work on this subject is very rudimentary. Number one, they don't list their sources. They have the Bible, their logic and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. You get vague references to teachers past, but without any detail. Their sources are minimal to the extreme. Number two, they treat every other possible viewpoint with almost no respect whatever. Number three, they brook no possibility of any weakness in their own interpretation.

It is like having a conversation with a petulant four-year-old, trembling lower lip and all. I find it very unsatisfying
I know what you mean. Dealing with Cassidy is about as intellectually satisfying as trying to get a square peg into a round hole. It always starts out promising, but always comes back to statements like "I don't agree with the teaching of Purgatory so that can't be true."

And you're like, Dude, I can't believe you said something that prevaricating.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:03 PM   #44
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I met a brother in the local churches who told me of his "back-slidden" daughter. She had received the Lord, then in college went back to the world. He told me this bad news, then brightened and said, "Well, at least she isn't going into the lake of fire!!"

I found this kind of thinking to be dis-heartening. This guy, the last I knew, was an elder in a local church. Drinking right from "the ministry" fountain. Wonderful guy -- would give you the shirt off his back. I just don't like his teaching.

The children in the LCs got "reward" and "outer darkness", and that's it. All of it very vague & arbitrary. There is some line somewhere, completely ill-defined, that if you cross you'll be blessed and if not you'll be whacked for a thousand years. If I was a teen-ager, sitting in this teaching month after conference after year, I'd probably take my chances on the world as well. At least I might have some enjoyment for a while.

I saw this in the Baptist church too. Assured of eternal salvation many I knew lived like the Devil. I wasn't regenerated at the time but knew that something was not right about that. After regeneration I gravitated to the Arminian persuasion where one could lose their eternal salvation if they lived liked the Devil. Depends on what condition they were in at the moment they died (i.e. did they die in an automobile because they were drunk at the wheel). But that seemed to oppose scripture which assured salvation based on faith and belief. Whenever I sinned my belief in Jesus did not change, so that did not feel right either.

When I first heard the teaching on the kingdom I started realizing the synchronization of the scriptures for the first time based on these two views having lived in both camps. I had an epiphany at some point when everything fell in place and I could see both viewpoints had part of the truth but not enough to explain the other side. The epiphany was a flash of light and I knew that the kingdom was not just a doctrine, that reconciled these major viewpoints, but a reality to be lived out.

Youth is wasted on the young so they say. I wish I had the revelation of the kingdom as a teen but I might not have the appreciation for it that I do now if I had heard about it all my life.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #45
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Based on Eph. 4.8-10?
Hmm, maybe the "fill all things" part?

I don't know for sure. I'll have to think about it.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:12 PM   #46
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
Youth is wasted on the young so they say. I wish I had the revelation of the kingdom as a teen but I might not have the appreciation for it that I do now if I had heard about it all my life.
This is such old news. You haven't been in evangelical Christianity for decades, obviously. The idea of the need to be faithful and being answerable to the Lord is everywhere. And you don't need Lee's convoluted kingdom narrative to get the point across.

Lee didn't invent the idea of accountability and he certainly didn't popularize it. No church I know of teaches "free ticket to heaven, live as you please." It's a red herring. And it's dishonest or at least ignorant to continue to act like Christianity sanctions such an idea.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #47
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Right. But the point is he doesn't tie up the loose ends. He just ignores them.

I mean, I've been trying to get you to address this matter of growth as overcoming and you keep ignoring it yourself. So in that sense you are a great imitator of Lee.
I did not ignore it. I agree that Witness Lee taught the need for the growth in life. I think the testimony of scripture is clear on this. However, as to overcoming I am not so sure that it is only growth in life. I gave the example of Blandina. Surely she was an overcomer though she was just a youth with little opportunity. She loved the Lord Jesus to such an extent that she gave her life for it.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:21 PM   #48
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
I did not ignore it. I agree that Witness Lee taught the need for the growth in life. I think the testimony of scripture is clear on this. However, as to overcoming I am not so sure that it is only growth in life. I gave the example of Blandina. Surely she was an overcomer though she was just a youth with little opportunity. She loved the Lord Jesus to such an extent that she gave her life for it.
Lee equated growth with rapture and rapture with overcoming and overcoming with reward. He said you wouldn't be raptured until you were mature. His justification of this is that the rapture was a "harvest."

I'm saying that although a faithful person will eventually grow, nowhere does the Bible say that full growth, or any growth is needed for being considered faithful. As I said, someone could become a Christian, be faithful for six months and get hit by a bus. Growth is nowhere on the radar screen as far a judgment goes for such a person, and it's really kind of dumb to think it would be.

This is the loose end Lee just ignored.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:22 PM   #49
Cassidy
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 280
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
This is such old news. You haven't been in evangelical Christianity for decades, obviously. The idea of the need to be faithful and being answerable to the Lord is everywhere. And you don't need Lee's convoluted kingdom narrative to get the point across.

Lee didn't invent the idea of accountability and he certainly didn't popularize it. No church I know of teaches "free ticket to heaven, live as you please." It's a red herring. And it's dishonest or at least ignorant to continue to act like Christianity sanctions such an idea.
No church teaches it but people live it and I have heard them say it. A preacher in fact who fit that description of living like the Devil.

I have attempted an answer to your every objection and to provide you the scriptural and experiential basis for my beliefs. In response, you have merely rejected them without providing a scriptural basis and presentation of your own. I can go along with that for a time yet, now you are casting dispersions on my truthfulness and intelligence and once we enter that phase there is nothing I can say that will satisfy you.

So thanks for the dialogue.
__________________
Cassidy
Cassidy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:38 PM   #50
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
Hmm, maybe the "fill all things" part?

I don't know for sure. I'll have to think about it.
Rather the "Having ascended to the height, He led captive those taken captive." Years ago Phil Comfort shared with me that "the weight of Christian scholarship" felt this section of scripture referred to those in Paradise under the earth (mainly O.T. believers looking forward to the Messiah) being taken into heaven. This was a fulfillment of Psalms 68.18.

This was contrary to Lee's teachings, but Comfort at that time was on his way out the door.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:40 PM   #51
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Probably so, since this Andy Anderson fellow is in the DC/Virginia area (where Matt is).
Then he was an elder who left the LC. IIRC both Anderson's were meeting with an open Brethren congregation near WashDC that was quite good.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:40 PM   #52
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
I have attempted and answer to your every objection and to provide you the scriptural and experiential basis for my beliefs. In response, you have merely rejected them without providing a scriptural basis and presentation of your own. I can go along with that for a time yet, now you are casting dispersions on my truthfulness and intelligence and once we enter that phase there is nothing I can say that will satisfy you.

So thanks for the dialogue.
Your problem plain and simple, Cassidy, is that you can't accept the possibility that you might be wrong. So when someone challenges your beliefs too effectively you go into a shell and either say you answered the challenges (you haven't), or that the person didn't refer to scripture (I have), or that they called you names, like "prevaricating" (be honest and upfront and that won't happen).

The thing is you don't realize how deceived you are. You don't see it. But your fruit manifests it. Everyone here sees it. But you ignore their feedback. Because you can't and won't deal with the possibility that the problem is you and the way you think.

The Bible calls that a "stronghold."
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:41 PM   #53
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Phil Comfort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Rather the "Having ascended to the height, He led captive those taken captive." Years ago Phil Comfort shared with me that "the weight of Christian scholarship" felt this section of scripture referred to those in Paradise under the earth (mainly O.T. believers looking forward to the Messiah) being taken into heaven. This was a fulfillment of Psalms 68.18.

This was contrary to Lee's teachings, but Comfort at that time was on his way out the door.
Ohio, could you please say more about what happened to Phil Comfort? You've referred to him several times. Now he seems to be a respected accepted Greek scholar. Why did he leave? What does he now think of the local church?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:55 PM   #54
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Here's my challenge to you, Cassidy. Spend 10 minutes a day for the next 60 days praying sincerely and openly to the Lord that he would make you clear about Lee and his teachings and your relationship to them. I'm talking about sincere and desperate prayer. Put everything on the table. Ask about all the doctrines. Ask the Lord to correct you where you need correction in your thinking and outlook. Ask him to break down strongholds.

You know, I asked an LCer one time to do that and you know what he said? He said, "I don't need to pray."

How about you? Check back with me in 60 days. You've been challenged.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 02:44 PM   #55
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,514
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Here's my challenge to you, Cassidy. Spend 10 minutes a day for the next 60 days praying sincerely and openly to the Lord that he would make you clear about Lee and his teachings and your relationship to them. I'm talking about sincere and desperate prayer. Put everything on the table. Ask about all the doctrines. Ask the Lord to correct you where you need correction in your thinking and outlook. Ask him to break down strongholds.

You know, I asked an LCer one time to do that and you know what he said? He said, "I don't need to pray."

How about you? Check back with me in 60 days. You've been challenged.
Cassidy, free your mind, become a critical thinker on your own. Don't let others do your thinking for you, especially Witness Lee and the Blendeds.

That's where the prayer will lead you anyway.
__________________
Cults: My brain will always be there for you. Thinking. So you don't have to.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 03:20 PM   #56
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: Phil Comfort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Ohio, could you please say more about what happened to Phil Comfort? You've referred to him several times. Now he seems to be a respected accepted Greek scholar. Why did he leave? What does he now think of the local church?
Phil came to the LC in Akron early 70's, moved to Willoughby when it started, and then migrated to Columbus in August '77 during Lee's move to the campuses. He was a school teacher and elder when Titus Chu demanded that he serve full-time. In ~'81-'82 TC forced Phil and family (either during or after the 10 month labor) to move to Cleveland. In Cleveland, TC was just brutal on Phil, challenging him, criticizing him regularly, and shaming him in front of the other brothers.

Phil moved back to Columbus late '82- early '83 and he was definitely not the same. All those close to Phil wanted to hear from him what had happened, apart from TC's spin, and gathered with Phil on occasion. Everyone of those brothers, from that point on, had no more respect for TC. Phil decided, perhaps in concert with his family, to transition back into "life" by enrolling at OSU for a Masters degree in English. He was no more in the eldership, but did meet with the saints and testified and prayed in our meetings. Tensions later grew and exploded at times between the remaining leaders and TC. TC was never interested in making "friends" in the church, but he sure was good at making enemies. All the brothers in Cleveland and beyond, however, sided with TC.

Phil's love for the Bible in the original language of Greek was always with him. After the Masters program, he eventually landed at Wheaton College near Chicago, where he thrived at Wheaton teaching and writing. I remember sitting in an leaders' meeting years ago and TC confronted Bill Orsborn of Buffalo, who was then is Hanover Park, for not being able to bring Phil back to the churchlife. How typical of TC to place these demands on others, when he himself was the source of the offense.

I understand he has traveled extensively. Here is a bio link. Here's a pic.

Several years ago another poster, who was then an elder and GLA co-worker, made comment to the effect, "some in the churches regret that our hearts were not big enough to receive Phil and his portion." I immediately challenged his statement, with the counter, "let me suggest that it was Titus Chu himself whose heart was not big enough to receive Phil and his portion." Phil and his wife G. loved the church and the church loved them. They were a definite blessing to the church in Columbus where I got to know them. The problem was simple. Titus was threatened by other gifted members. He abused them to keep them in line. Phil is now just one more brother in a long list of precious brothers who found out the hard way how brutal TC treats his people, and has moved on.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #57
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Cassidy, free your mind, become a critical thinker on your own. Don't let others do your thinking for you, especially Witness Lee and the Blendeds.

That's where the prayer will lead you anyway.
That's right. Prayer leads you to your own unique knowing of the Lord. And that's how you get the "new name, which no one knows but him who receives it." (Rev 2:17).

Being a Lee clone doesn't lead to a name which only you know. It leads to your name being Lee, and everyone knowing it
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 05:25 PM   #58
MacDuff
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 88
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Ohio

If this is the same Phil Comfort I'm thinking of, he's written some great books on the original text of the New Testament. His loss would be a great loss to the Recovery. But then, from what I've been reading, his loss would be power for the course. He has written Bible commentaries, but I haven't read them. With his background they should be interesting.

MacDuff
MacDuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 06:47 PM   #59
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDuff View Post
Ohio

If this is the same Phil Comfort I'm thinking of, he's written some great books on the original text of the New Testament. His loss would be a great loss to the Recovery. But then, from what I've been reading, his loss would be power for the course. He has written Bible commentaries, but I haven't read them. With his background they should be interesting.

MacDuff
Comfort has been gone now for 30 years. He is just one of many who have been mistreated and then departed. Back in 1985 I was very upset about the way TC treated people like Phil, but eventually time passed and anger subsides. Then in 2003 about the time I had suffered abuses locally, I learned more dear brothers were hurt by TC, and on top of that I learned how abusive Lee was towards brothers like Al Knoch who simply tried to protect his saints in Anaheim from the likes of the Lee Family.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 04:45 AM   #60
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
I saw this in the Baptist church too. Assured of eternal salvation many I knew lived like the Devil. I wasn't regenerated at the time but knew that something was not right about that..
I remember going to a Baptist meeting and the sermon was on "The wages of sin is death", and I had the realization that they preached some variation of this sermon every Sunday. Although as an evangelical Protestant fundamentalist the message seemed right and true to me, it also seemed static. But they had to keep coming back to it, week after week, to keep the faithful from "living like the Devil", as you put it. Every week you are fixated on Square One. The gospel consists of "Repent and be saved". The rest of the journey isn't shown very well, if at all. No wonder the children leave! The world and the flesh are calling, and the mind only has "See Spot run" to work with, and the heart is bored. So they leave.

Quote:
After regeneration I gravitated to the Arminian persuasion where one could lose their eternal salvation if they lived liked the Devil. Depends on what condition they were in at the moment they died (i.e. did they die in an automobile because they were drunk at the wheel). But that seemed to oppose scripture which assured salvation based on faith and belief. Whenever I sinned my belief in Jesus did not change, so that did not feel right either...
The assurance comes from God's work, not from ours. I also recognized the uncertainty of the Arminian position. But I could not deny that the level of "the living testimony", on the whole, was better than most everywhere else. It seems that fear is a good motivator. "Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom."

Quote:
When I first heard the teaching on the kingdom I started realizing the synchronization of the scriptures for the first time based on these two views having lived in both camps. I had an epiphany at some point when everything fell in place and I could see both viewpoints had part of the truth but not enough to explain the other side... I knew that the kingdom was not just a doctrine, that reconciled these major viewpoints, but a reality to be lived out...
Yes; for that I am grateful for that attempt at reconciliation, and harmonization. My complaint(s) for the LSM's version of "the kingdom" is that it is so insufficient. The idea is important; the Epistle to the Hebrews' lengthy reference to Exodus makes that clear.

Quote:
Youth is wasted on the young so they say. I wish I had the revelation of the kingdom as a teen but I might not have the appreciation for it that I do now if I had heard about it all my life.
My sample size is small, since I only visited one local church; therefore my observations may not have broad applicability. But while there I was struck by the dearth of all the children whom I'd known ten years earlier. Where were all the young adults? And I have also noted this trend elsewhere in the Protestant fold. The young people get a message that may have had some resonance in the 19th century or even into the 1960s, but its drawing power, and importantly it's holding power, has diminished exponentially over time. They get an antiquated, static, museum-style message which can't overcome the barrage of stimuli from the world they live in.

In order to "overcome" they try what the Catholics did, which was become priests and monks and nuns. Only today they call them "campus workers" and "serving ones" and "full-timers". By an abundance of work you might cross some invisible line, be pleasing to God, and be an "overcomer".

Of course they won't say this: they'll say that you need a relationship with Jesus Christ, etc etc. But when I don't see any young people there, only hear of a few who are "serving the ministry" abroad, it makes me feel that this message of the kingdom is not working at all.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 05:09 AM   #61
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy View Post
"So we have the kingdom, we have Paradise, we have the Wedding Feast, and so forth. None of it presented clearly by Mssrs. Nee & Lee."

To my observation, aron, Mssrs Witness Lee and Watchman Nee spent a great deal of their teaching devoted to the teaching on the kingdom. Witness Lee more so but a significant amount of material from the Life-studies of Matthew, Hebrews, and Revelation. Probably some in the Life-study of Exodus and Deuteronomy and perhaps Kings. There might be several hundred messages on on the Kingdom and not to mention the book "The Kingdom" which covers this matter in significant detail.

Well, since I am not critiqueing it their teaching in depth perhaps we just need to leave my few points stated yesterday: lack of breadth of analysis (few sources), no respect given to other possible views, and a brittle certainty which reveals its true source if it's challenged.

Everything presented as if it were baldly self-evident, which it is not. Verses plucked out of context and presented as proof-texts for some crucial component of the Nee/Lee narrative.

Let me give an interesting contrast. Some years ago, I was in a surly mood while perusing the local bookstore. There on the shelf was Darwin's On the Origen of Species, which from my background was thought to be written by the Devil himself. I'd never read it. So said, "Okay, Charles: let's see what ya got", and plunked down 12 dollars for the Penguin Classic Paperback, and off we went. I loved it. Obviously Darwin didn't have many textual sources, mostly just his observations and thoughts. But he very carefully laid out his thinking. He very thoroughly pointed out where it rested on only conjecture, not facts. He pursued all the objections and counter-arguments as far as he could take them, treating them as worthy adversaries. He was thorough, he was respectful, he was not overbearing. I thought, "Man, if this guy was a prosecuting attorney, and you're the defendant, you are toast."

I feel that the image, of leaving the Egyptian soil but not arriving to the Canaanite, is an important one. Through the Epistle of the Hebrews I can feel it color Jesus' parables on stewardship ("oikonomia" in Greek), done both well and poorly, on the idea of "many are called but few chosen", and so forth. But my memory of the Nee/Lee exposition is that the text continually was shoehorned into a few rudimentary themes. The same catch-phrases kept coming back, again and again (perhaps some readers are saying, "Yeah, aron, we know all about that! ).
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 05:33 AM   #62
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default On the Positive Side

On the positive side, I think that maybe the overcomers don't pay much attention to the idea of overcoming. They are too busy paying attention to Jesus Christ. They see Him standing before the Father. They hear the Father's voice: "This is my Son, the Beloved. In Him I find My delight." They see His faithfulness (Heb 3:6) in stewardship of the Father's house. They have an overwhelming image of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. They can see the tears streaming down that face, they can hear the loud cries; they become aware of the piety of a mortal Man here on the earth, whose reverent submission saved Him from the clutches of death (Heb 5:7).

The Lord's tears become their tears. Their small, weak cries begin to rise in echo to His. They feel His saving love for the sinners, not condemnation. They have the realization that the feeling in their heart "...is no longer I, but Christ in me." The Father, through His Son, is reaching out to His lost children. Even a whiff of this experience sets their soul on fire. Whether their works are great or small is irrelevant -- they remember that "It was only what we were supposed to do." (Luke 17). If anything is worth enduring reward, they know that it is only from the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, which now enlivens their mortal bodies. In this context they seek in the Word eagerly, in order to be equipped to serve the Master. They continually consider the hard questions, many of them perhaps unanswerable in this age. They don't consider themselves to have understood or to have laid hold of anything.

The point, for me, is to go forward. Where you are in relation to some benchmark of "approval and reward" is up to God. E.g. John 21: "What is that to you? You follow Me."
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 06:06 AM   #63
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: On the Positive Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The point, for me, is to go forward. Where you are in relation to some benchmark of "approval and reward" is up to God. E.g. John 21: "What is that to you? You follow Me."
^^^^^ ^^^^^
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 07:49 AM   #64
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: On the Positive Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The point, for me, is to go forward. Where you are in relation to some benchmark of "approval and reward" is up to God. E.g. John 21: "What is that to you? You follow Me."
This exortation: "just go forward" is not vague and generic to me but it came from the Bible, specifically the teachings of Jesus. The unrighteous steward in Luke 16 was praised for acting prudently. What was prudent? He went forward: he made the best of a bad situation. When it was all said and done he was improved in position. In economics this would be called "acting on the margin", and we do it all the time. If we can get a car for $1,200 dollars less by going to another dealership we'll do so, and congratulate ourselves that 3 hours work (going elsewhere else and bargaining) saved us that amount. In other words, we still owe, but we don't owe as much, and that, my friends, matters.

But the Nee/Lee version of "Purgatory" (sorry, "promise and warning") that I heard just gave a vague presentation of an "overcomer" which I guess is tantamount to being "mature" according to Cassidy. Of course maturity is important, but remember that only God has the scale in His hand. Only God can say, "Approved" or "Disapproved". The same goes for "mature". Nobody can say, "Now I am mature; ripe and ready for harvest". Anyone who thinks they have arrived, in this body of flesh, is most deceived. All we can do is go forward.

The young believers seeing this vague and probably distant "overcomer" being dangled in front of them often just give up. They don't know where it is nor how to get there. So if they slip up, they give up. They are still nominal believers, i.e. they still pay lip service to the Lord Jesus as God's Christ, but they have resigned themselves to "outer darkness". The darkness becomes comfortable and the Promised Land just seems so far away.

But the message of the Gospels is "turn and repent". It doesn't matter if you are the thief on the cross, it doesn't matter if you are Peter who's denied the Lord, it doesn't matter if you are the unrighteous steward or the creditors who owe a hundred measures of wheat or a hundred measures of oil. If you are going backward, turn around and go forward. If you feel that you are making some progress (e.g. Romans 2:15 says that our conscience either "accuses" or "excuses" us), then keep going forward. Just keep going. Let God worry about the "big picture" of whether or not you have crossed the "overcomer" line. Just go forward.

To some extent one may argue that "a miss is as good as a mile", as they say. If you look at the image of being shut out of the wedding feast, when the door closes you are outside. Ten feet from Noah's ark and ten miles away both got flooded. But I note that Moses got to Mount Pisgah and that seemed to matter. "Many stripes" versus "few stripes" seemed to matter to Jesus (Luke 12:47-8). If the judge sentenced you to 2 years instead of 5 years you wouldn't say, "Well, jail is jail. 2 years or 22 years doesn't matter." No, you'd appreciate the fact that 3 years got shaved off your sentence.

Now, I am NOT saying that "This is the way it is." I am a believer trying to make sense of the teachings of Jesus Christ. And it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that a person with interest in these matters might look at these teachings and draw at least somewhat similar conclusions. Typically, however, we look at this in the post-Luther world and shrink back: "No!!! Purgatory!!! Aughhhh!!!" and we flee from the room. But they arguably didn't flee the room in the first century because they didn't have the RCC distortions (yet) to repel them thusly.

My concern is for the young people. I don't think they are being helped much by the LSM gospel, at least as I remember it. I don't know what the the "serving ones" and "laboring ones" are telling the college students on the campuses (campii?) these days but I imagine it's the same old Nee/Lee song and dance, which I deem insufficient. They will lose a great many of them, over time. This gospel may attract them for a while, but I doubt it has the power to keep many.

We shall see. As I said already, the sample size of my observation (one local church after 10 years away) may be too small. But I remember during my time there, of speeches bemoaning the great "exodus" (pun intended) of the youth. I remember Gene Gruhler's "pipeline". And I believe that no pipeline is going to cover, ultimately, for an inadequate gospel message. And because Lee was supposedly the "minister of the age" and "God's present oracle" who delivered the "high peaks", I doubt they have the capacity or inclination to address the shortcomings. The words "shortcoming" and "Lee" probably never make it into the same sentence.

I don't know what my word count is, but it's probably over some arbitrary line.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 10:02 AM   #65
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Well, since I am not critiqueing it their teaching in depth perhaps we just need to leave my few points stated yesterday: lack of breadth of analysis (few sources), no respect given to other possible views, and a brittle certainty which reveals its true source if it's challenged.
Which Christian group are you referring to?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 10:04 AM   #66
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default A final thought

One final thought (I hope) on the subject. After a while, I imagine my readers get bored & I try to shut it down. But usually I like to write because I simply enjoy writing, and also because sometimes I think there are things that need to be said, or in this case written.

So I wanted to add a perhaps necessary or useful thought, regarding my previous post of "acting on the margin", or "going on". I think the Bible calls it "continuing steadfastly" (Acts 2:42). Like, "blessed is he whom, when the Master returns, he finds him so doing" (Matt 24:26, Luke 12:43). I remember a local church song, probably composed after some "rebellion", in which we all sang, "Go on, go on/Go on in the Lord/Be strenghened, go on in the Lord".

Well, I argue that this "going on" is about people, specifically your neighbor. How you treat the person next to you is how you treat God, and how you treat others is how God will treat you. And while it's to some degree measured by what we might call "the body of work", i.e. the totality of your actions, it's more importantly determined by how you are treating people right now, at this moment. This determines whether you are, in fact, "going forward" or "going backward". You are either moving toward or away from the proverbial "finish line" or "promised rest" or what-have-you depending on your relations with others.

And I also argue that this got subverted in the LSM churches. Instead of your neighbor, your orientation point, or measuring stick, on becoming an "overcomer" in the LSM teaching and practice was your relationship with "the ministry", or "the church", or "the body". Your neighbor be damned. And with that I vehemently disagree.

This is why to me the "full-timers" and "serving ones" and "campus laborers" are today's equivalent of the medieval RCC monks and nuns. They think that if they simply do enough good stuff to build up the system, the scales will tip in their favor, and they'll have a reward. But one telling part for me is that the LSM system of teachings and practices ignore the poor; even though that suffering one may be their "neighbor", the poor can't be used to "build the system", so they are ignored, sometimes even avoided. Another telling example is that if your LSM-system neighbor runs afoul of the system, like they witness "Noah getting drunk in his tent", you have to jettison your neighbor, not the system. That is what I meant by "your neighbor be damned" -- after the obligatory lip service, when push comes to shove it's about your relationship with the system.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 10:05 AM   #67
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Which Christian group are you referring to?
The LSM-promulgated version of "the kingdom", and more specifically "the overcomers".
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 10:09 AM   #68
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: On the Positive Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
But the Nee/Lee version of "Purgatory" (sorry, "promise and warning") that I heard just gave a vague presentation of an "overcomer" which I guess is tantamount to being "mature" according to Cassidy. Of course maturity is important, but remember that only God has the scale in His hand. Only God can say, "Approved" or "Disapproved". The same goes for "mature". Nobody can say, "Now I am mature; ripe and ready for harvest". Anyone who thinks they have arrived, in this body of flesh, is most deceived. All we can do is go forward.
The greek word for "Tribulation" refers to the sickle that is used in a harvest. The book of revelation refers to several "harvests". The Lord refers to the harvest being ready, thrust in your sickle and reap. Jesus used many parables referring to seeds being planted and growing up to maturity. God is a farmer and his business is Jesus Christ, the vine tree. There are way too many references to seeds growing up to bring forth a harvest and that the harvest takes place when the fruit is ripe (i.e. mature). Some believers are referred to as "the first fruit".

The fact that I cannot judge if I or another is ripe is not a valid reason to not teach this. A thermometer doesn't measure air pressure, doesn't mean it isn't a valid instrument.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 10:15 AM   #69
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The LSM-promulgated version of "the kingdom", and more specifically "the overcomers".
My point was that those three points refer to a multitude of of Christian groups. In every case you can argue they lack breadth, they have a pet theory, and their attitude is brittle.

I meet with a very good non denominational group in NYC after leaving the LRC. My kids went to catechism class where they were taught that when Christians die they go to heaven, among other things. I asked the woman running the classes to show me the verse reference for this. When she saw that no verse actually says that she became very "brittle" in her attitude. Does this make her a "false teacher" or merely misinformed?

Nit picking on LRC teachings does not lead anywhere. False teachers/false prophets are not determined by those that teach wrong or superficial doctrines. Acts 19:1-6 gives an example of how Apollos was teaching wrong or superficial teachings that Paul had to correct. Apollos is not likened to a false teacher, Balaam is the example given to us, and nowhere does the Bible condemn Balaam for teaching things that are false.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 10:16 AM   #70
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: On the Positive Side

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The fact that I cannot judge if I or another is ripe is not a valid reason to not teach this. A thermometer doesn't measure air pressure, doesn't mean it isn't a valid instrument.
It is entirely possible that I mixed up being "mature", or "ripe", and being an "overcomer". I am not always the most careful reader: I rush through the text with my conceptions (confusions?) at hand, and either cherry-pick or later mis-remember. Cassidy may have been talking about two different things and I thought (s)he was referring to them as synonymous, and muddied the discussion by bringing it in.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 10:21 AM   #71
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Nit picking on LRC teachings does not lead anywhere.
Perhaps. And I am arguably as brittle (note my incessant nit picking), and mis-informed (note my lack of citations). But I appreciated having a place to vent.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 04:52 AM   #72
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: A final thought

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Well, I argue that this "going on" is about people, specifically your neighbor. How you treat the person next to you is how you treat God, and how you treat others is how God will treat you. And while it's to some degree measured by what we might call "the body of work", i.e. the totality of your actions, it's more importantly determined by how you are treating people right now, at this moment. This determines whether you are, in fact, "going forward" or "going backward". You are either moving toward or away from the proverbial "finish line" or "promised rest" or what-have-you depending on your relations with others.
I just got around to reading this post of aron's, and I'd recommend everyone read it. It's short, to the point and readable (); and in its own way it sums up what's wrong with the LRC system--that is that the LRC system is not about people, it's about the system.

A while back it dawned on me that everything in God's reality is about relationships--either our relationship with God or others or ourselves. That's all there is. Everything is about God and people and how we feel and think about them and treat them.

I recall a few years back bringing up this matter of relationship, arguing that Lee's view of the Trinity almost totally misses that the principle of relationship is built into the Triune God. One borderline LCer (SC) got indignant and more or less scoffed at the idea of relationship, considering it shallow, touchy-feely and marginal.

That's the Lee effect. Minimizing relationship. But when you minimize relationship, you minimize people. When you minimize people, they becomes means to an end. They become fodder for the cause. That not only misses the point of everything, it stands in opposition to it. It shows you have no clue what God is about and what is truly important to him.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 06:05 AM   #73
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: A final thought

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
... and in its own way it sums up what's wrong with the LRC system--that is that the LRC system is not about people, it's about the system.

That's the Lee effect. Minimizing relationship. But when you minimize relationship, you minimize people. When you minimize people, they becomes means to an end. They become fodder for the cause. That not only misses the point of everything, it stands in opposition to it. It shows you have no clue what God is about and what is truly important to him.
And I would just add that it's not just "all about the system," but it's all about the ones in charge of the system. It's all about how is your relationship with them. The system, whether referred to as "the church, or the body, or God's move, or His purpose, or the Recovery, or God's New Testament Economy," or any of a whole host of "smokescreens" to hide their real intentions, simply builds edifices to the one on top.

I witnessed both WL and TC doing this. They demanded the utmost loyalty and zealotry to their system which was actually to themselves. Both used the churches and the saints to build their empires. Workers and elders only served at their pleasure. Those who attempted to follow the Lord directly, serving His people, were beat into submission, because the highest priority was not your relationship with Him, but with him. The biggest threat to their empires was not sin or worldliness, but a certain required independence by church leaders in following their Lord directly. Thus the LC's became "of Lee" or "of Titus."

This is why both of these brothers became so abusive towards other brothers. They could never share "their glory." The saints' relationships with their elders, or their church, or the one next to them, were also bonds which needed to be broken in order to maintain the ultimate relationship of all, codenamed "one with the ministry." One would never know this by their teachings, however. Kind of like my maxim about politicians: pay little attention to what they say, rather to what they do.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #74
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I meet with a very good non denominational group in NYC after leaving the LRC. My kids went to catechism class where they were taught that when Christians die they go to heaven, among other things. I asked the woman running the classes to show me the verse reference for this. When she saw that no verse actually says that she became very "brittle" in her attitude. Does this make her a "false teacher" or merely misinformed?
The answer to that last question is neither.

Long time lurker here. I couldn't resist writing about this, one of my many pet peeves about the LC.

Yes, Christians can over-emphasize "going to heaven," but the LC went way overboard in rejecting heaven. Before I left, I remember RK boasting that an upcoming issue of Affirmation and Critique was going to expose "the leaven of heaven!" When he made that announcement, there were shouts of zealous joy (this was during an Anaheim training). It was the usual "we're so much better than those shallow Christians in poor blind Christianity."

Well, Jesus said to pray, "Our Father, who art in heaven..." When Stephen was martyred, he saw the Son of Man standing in heaven. There are way too many examples to list here. So heaven is a real place (not just a "realm" but an actual place). The Bible says so. God the Father dwells there. Jesus the Son dwells there. The Holy Spirit was poured out from there. Why mock heaven and use it to condemn other Christians?

And in the end, there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and we (believers) will all dwell in the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. Regardless of whether you consider the end of Revelation to be a physical or metaphorical description, it's a real place. What's wrong with calling it "heaven"? Maybe Christians should be more specific, it's a heavenly city, but so what? Is it wrong to say that after they die, they'll be with Jesus in heaven, and they'll see their loved ones again in heaven?

I guess I'm just reacting to Z's post, because for so long the topic of heaven was used by the LC to look down on other Christians. The same way they actually belittled the death of Christ as "merely" judicial redemption, but not as "deep" as organic salvation. (Mocking Christians for focusing on the death of Christ???)

Yes, being a Christian is much more than "going to heaven when you die." But being with God and with Christ in the heavenly city for eternity is kind of a big deal.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 04:36 PM   #75
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,869
Default Thanks to long time lurker!

Thanks to long time lurker for that great post! Thanks for coming out of the shadows and taking a chance in posting! Please consider registering when you get a chance...the more the merrier!

Yes, unfortunately the Local Church view and understanding of orthodox/evangelical Christianity is kind of stuck in early 20th century Mainland China. Rather bizarre if you think about it. These people actually think that nothing has changed since what the missionaries taught in the 20s and 30s.

Regarding the teaching of heaven in the Local Church, you are so right. Yet Witness Lee's teachings regarding what heaven is and what it is not are very easy to debunk...you just need to do what you did....USE THE BIBLE! The Bible is actually quite clear regarding heaven. From Genesis to Revelation, God has unfolded what heaven is, and what it is not. He has even told us what heaven will be for eternity. And we know from the Bible that heaven is not going to be what Witness Lee taught - "the ultimate mingling of God and man". We know this because the new heaven and the new earth are described in a fair amount of detail in Revelation and it doesn't match up with what Lee taught...actually not even close. Heaven will be a place where we will see our God's face...we will serve and worship Him...NOT BECOME HIM. Thank God we have the REAL divine revelation in our hands! Thank you Lord!
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 04:20 AM   #76
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The answer to that last question is neither...
Great, if you could give me the verse reference on that it would be very much appreciated.

When I asked the sister for the verse reference she gave me Luke 23:43 which I felt was a reasonable interpretation (as long as there is no NT verse that refutes this). So I asked her to give my kids the verse reference (I don't like my kids being taught Bible truths that don't include the Bible) and I asked if she would use the word "paradise" instead of "heaven". She asked why? I said that I agreed with her that by comparison, where believers go when they die could be considered "heaven" to the other alternative, but since that could be confused with the heaven where God dwells I didn't want my kids confused. She said they were the same place, the paradise where the thief went when he was crucified is the same as heaven where God our Father is. I asked "how is that possible? Jesus said to the thief "this day" you will be with me in paradise the day He was crucified, but then on the third day when he rose from the dead He told the disciples He hadn't ascended yet to the Father. How can they be the same place?"
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 04:43 AM   #77
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: A final thought

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
And I would just add that it's not just "all about the system," but it's all about the ones in charge of the system. It's all about how is your relationship with them. The system, whether referred to as "the church, or the body, or God's move, or His purpose, or the Recovery, or God's New Testament Economy," or any of a whole host of "smokescreens" to hide their real intentions, simply builds edifices to the one on top.I witnessed both WL and TC doing this. They demanded the utmost loyalty and zealotry to their system which was actually to themselves.
But when the principals have left the scene, the "system" remains. I believe that behind people like WL & TC, who seem to be manipulating the system, variously called "The church, the body, God's move, His purpose, the ministry, the recovery, the local churches", are spiritual forces which need to be unmasked, identified. Jesus asked, "Who are you?", and they didn't want to say. "Oh, there's a bunch of us in here."

These forces don't like to come to the light. They would love for us to vilify the vessel whom they have captured for their ends, and ignore them. Then they can continue their work. But Paul said, "We do not fight against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces in the heavenlies" which are opposed to God's rule.

Quote:
Both used the churches and the saints to build their empires. the highest priority was not your relationship with [the Lord]... The biggest threat to their empires was not sin or worldliness, but a certain required independence by church leaders in following their Lord directly. Thus the LC's became "of Lee" or "of Titus."
Again, note that once the principals have left the scene, the empire remains. Seemingly in other hands, but still under the control of arguably the same spiritual forces. So they seemed to be "of Lee" or "of Titus", but really Lee and Titus were "of" something else, which needs to be unmasked.

Quote:
The saints' relationships with their elders, or their church, or the one next to them, were also bonds which needed to be broken in order to maintain the ultimate relationship of all, codenamed "one with the ministry." One would never know this by their teachings, however. Kind of like my maxim about politicians: pay little attention to what they say, rather to what they do.
Every election cycle, politicians suddenly become concerned for "America". The rest of the time, however, they are primarily concerned with themselves. So every two or four years they roll up their shirtsleeves and stand in front of a giant American Flag, point toward the crowd and earnestly read from a teleprompter, and it means nothing except that they want to attract voters. But behind this election cycle is the continued acquisition of power and money, which goes on unabated. The actors pace the stage, one by one, and then leave, but the stage, i.e. the system, remains. The system seems to be manipulated by people, because it does indeed reward them (temporarily) with wealth and power and influence. But really the people don't manipulate the system, but system manipulates the people. It sucks them dry and discards them.

The only one who made it through alive was/is Jesus. The rest: "The work, the ministry, the move of God, the churches, the body" are, as Ohio said, a smokescreen for this system of human manipulation and control. And all the subsidiaries, variously named "Christians on Campus", Bibles for America", "Affirmation and Critique", "Full-Time Training", "Defense and Confirmation Project", and so on, are further smokescreens to disguise the system.

To me it is simple: God wants "the freedom of the sons of God" to be restored (Rom. 8:21; see also Matt. 17:26; Gal. 5:1). Satan doesn't want that, because it spells his end. So he disguises himself as an angel of light, and distracts the elect with systems of control, and reward/punishment. As I have said earlier, I understand "this is the way the world works". But I don't think this is the way the kingdom of God works. Instead of a "top-down" system, Jesus declared a "bottom-up" system.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 04:50 AM   #78
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
She said they were the same place, the paradise where the thief went when he was crucified is the same as heaven where God our Father is. I asked "how is that possible? Jesus said to the thief "this day" you will be with me in paradise the day He was crucified, but then on the third day when he rose from the dead He told the disciples He hadn't ascended yet to the Father. How can they be the same place?"
ZNP,

You say that you don't want your kids confused. I understand. But my sense is that your certainty will ultimately lead to further confusion. At least it does for me. And since I am older than your kids, and have read the Bible, and am not stupid, at least intellectually, the certainty with which you & Lee operate is somewhat off-putting.

I prefer a conversation in which both you and I admit to being at least partly in the dark, here on this earthly coil, and we together explore the light in God's word. Then the Lord Himself comes alongside and helps us in our weakness. He declares the things concerning Himself. In His light we begin to see the light.

Your declarations of certitude push me away from this process of exploration. Like all of Lee's bullet points, they become barriers to the light.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 04:51 AM   #79
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: heaven

ZNP,

Technically you have a point. But here's the thing. Most Christians don't care about those kinds of detailed distinctions for two reasons:
  • They are hard to confirm.
  • They don't affect their lives, anyway.

Whether the thief went to heaven or some place other than heaven, what differences does it make in the essential meaning and how you are to live your life? The point was the thief went to the place Jesus was going. The point of going to heaven is it is the place Jesus will be. Wherever that is has absolutely no effect on how you are to live, what type of faith you are to manifest or anything else practical.

Do you really think your kids are going to live a better manifestation of Christian lives if they know they distinction between heaven and paradise? I seriously doubt it. It's a detail.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 05:04 AM   #80
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Do you really think your kids are going to live a better manifestation of Christian lives if they know they distinction between heaven and paradise? I seriously doubt it. It's a detail.
I have a somewhat different take. I think these distinctions are important. I think they were important to the writers and hearers (the NT was largely orally disseminated, at first. Few actually had access to written texts). If they were not important, they wouldn't be there in the record, as such.

But today, after 2,000 years, it is hard (for me) to recreate all of this with the certitude which I see displayed elsewhere. What I think important for our children is that they see us earnestly pursuing the reality of these words together in a spirit of gentleness and peace, and not crossing swords over distinctions. If we tell our kids, "this is how it is", then they will either become mindless robots who repeat what we say as if it were the truth ("Bruther Lee says"), or they will find inadequacies in our arguments and reject it whole cloth.

Better, I feel, that we pursue, and invite others to join us in the pursuit. "The kingdom", "Heaven", "paradise", and the role of "the overcomers" are distinctions worthy of our careful attention. But 1) it bugs me when people oversimplify things and treat it as if "it were so", and 2) I am aware that I do the same, and must allow the Lord to come in our conversation, with His gentle rebuke: "O foolish and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!"
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 05:12 AM   #81
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
ZNP,

Technically you have a point. But here's the thing. Most Christians don't care about those kinds of detailed distinctions for two reasons:
  • They are hard to confirm.
  • They don't affect their lives, anyway.

Whether the thief went to heaven or some place other than heaven, what differences does it make in the essential meaning and how you are to live your life? The point was the thief went to the place Jesus was going. The point of going to heaven is it is the place Jesus will be. Wherever that is has absolutely no effect on how you are to live, what type of faith you are to manifest or anything else practical.

Do you really think your kids are going to live a better manifestation of Christian lives if they know they distinction between heaven and paradise? I seriously doubt it. It's a detail.
Well the reason I questioned this was because I wanted my kids to be taught Bible lessons based on the Bible. I was not involved in designing the curriculum. I don't care if they teach this or not, just so long as when they say the Bible says something they actually use the Bible. I think that is an important principle for the Christian life.

Second, I think that the gospel is important for how we live our Christian life. I think you have made this point repeatedly as an error of WL's teachings. This teaching leads some to equate Jn 14:2 with "going to heaven when we die". I think that is a serious error that leads Christians to erroneously believe that once you have received Christ that is it, and that definitely does not promote Christians living a better manifestation of Christ.

Third, I had already taught my kids that "we don't go to heaven when we die". So naturally this was the one thing they were excited to bring home from Catechism. I think being careless with the word has a very negative effect.

For example, they also taught that "if you don't receive Christ you will go to hell". This is based on the verse that says whoever receives Christ will not receive this judgment. To me this is a prime example of being careless with the word. To say that if you have received Christ you will not go to hell is not equivalent to saying "everyone who has not received Christ will go to hell".
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 07:39 AM   #82
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: heaven

ZNP and aron,

I understand the need to "rightly divide the word of truth." What I think really happens in the Church at large is that there is so much potential and realized disagreement on the details of end times and the specifics of reward of punishment, etc. that most practical teachers try to stay focused on the essentials, to avoid the bog of those peripheral controversies.

And we all know there is the danger of worrying too much about the details to the point of shoving out the essentials, and becoming like the scribes and Pharisees who "tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness." (Matt 23:23)

I think in the grand scheme, heaven versus paradise are dill and cumin.

At the same time, Jesus continued on to say, "these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others," so there are arguments both ways, as long as you see the overall priorities of things, which was His main point.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 07:51 AM   #83
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Well the reason I questioned this was because I wanted my kids to be taught Bible lessons based on the Bible.
At some level, the reference to "heaven" is correct. If you have a general understanding of "heaven" and "paradise" that is more likely the same or at least one a part of the other rather than some nit-picking specificity on something that cannot be considered that important.

If we erroneously describe what Jesus called "paradise" as "heaven," then the complaint cannot be about where you go, but rather what you call it. And that is just a waste of breath. Needing to proof-text whether heaven is the proper term to use turns the focus of teaching from what is important to what is not. When you die, your spirit/soul will go wherever it is that it goes. If we get it wrong in our minds while alive, it does not change what actually happens.

And it does not make anything about our current life need to be lived differently. Unless it is coupled with an erroneous teaching that we can just take our "salvation by faith" card to the bank and walk straight through the "pearly gates" and walk on "streets of gold," etc. I don't buy either the Catholic or LRC version of purgatory. But I don't think that there is no consequence for failure to at least be in the process of transformation in this life. There is something to the idea, but it is not given much more than vague imagery and metaphors.

But if I intend to be pursuing the Christian life, then I have no qualms with terminology about what comes after this life. We only see it darkly. Those who seek certainty are wasting their current life in pursuit of the one to come. And if there is anything to rewards (with or without punishment) the rewards come from what we do rightly here in this life, not how "right" we get our mental theology about the life to come.

But as to the idea of "going to heaven," if I accept that the term "paradise" is somewhat equivalent to "heaven," then the verse that makes it so would be where Jesus said "today you will be with me in paradise." Arguing against saying that is "heaven" is not arguing a substantive theological problem, but an exercise in muddled terminology of limited importance.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 08:15 AM   #84
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
We only see it darkly. Those who seek certainty are wasting their current life in pursuit of the one to come. And if there is anything to rewards (with or without punishment) the rewards come from what we do rightly here in this life, not how "right" we get our mental theology about the life to come.
Very well stated, OBW. And in only 378 words! I am indeed impressed.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #85
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
ZNP and aron,

I understand the need to "rightly divide the word of truth." What I think really happens in the Church at large is that there is so much potential and realized disagreement on the details of end times and the specifics of reward of punishment, etc. that most practical teachers try to stay focused on the essentials, to avoid the bog of those peripheral controversies.

And we all know there is the danger of worrying too much about the details to the point of shoving out the essentials, and becoming like the scribes and Pharisees who "tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness." (Matt 23:23)

I think in the grand scheme, heaven versus paradise are dill and cumin.

At the same time, Jesus continued on to say, "these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others," so there are arguments both ways, as long as you see the overall priorities of things, which was His main point.
I understand the distinction ZNP is speaking of here, having discussed this on numerous occasions. But now, I am no longer certain that paradise has not been taken into heaven. (Eph 4)
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 09:33 AM   #86
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I understand the distinction ZNP is speaking of here, having discussed this on numerous occasions. But now, I am no longer certain that paradise has not been taken into heaven. (Eph 4)
And Paul seems to equate paradise and heaven here in 2 Corinthians 12.
I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago, (whether in the body I know not, or out of the body I know not, God knows) such a one caught up to the third heaven (ouranos). And I know such a man, (whether in the body or out of the body I know not, God knows) that he was caught up into paradise (paradeisos), and heard unspeakable things said which it is not allowed to man to utter. (2 Cor 12:2-4 Darby)
And Revelation 2:7 says the tree of life is in the paradise (paradeisos) of God. So that seems to suggest the paradise of God is somewhere other than "the pleasant part of Hades," or at least a broader concept.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 10:45 AM   #87
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
When you die, your spirit/soul will go wherever it is that it goes. If we get it wrong in our minds while alive, it does not change what actually happens.
This, I think this touches to the parable of Sheep and the Goats, from Matt 25: "They will say to Me, Where did we see You and help You like that?" and conversely "Where did we see You and reject You thus?"

The receivers of the Master's blessing, and His condemnation, both have "wrong theological concepts", i.e. they don't get cognitively what is transpiring. But they are not being judged on their theology, but their behavior.

Quote:
And it does not make anything about our current life need to be lived differently. Unless it is coupled with an erroneous teaching that we can just take our "salvation by faith" card to the bank and walk straight through the "pearly gates" and walk on "streets of gold," etc.
My beef with the teaching of the LRC is that it gives what is to me a vague and arbitrary "overcomer" status, then manipulates people based on this teaching. How you are in relationship to "the ministry" determines whether you are "going on". Thus the fogginess of the teaching I don't like, because it leaves gray area for human manipulation.

"If you don't do what I say, the Boogie Man will get you" gets revised to "Nobody who leaves the LRC can go on with the Lord in a positive way." I.E if you don't toe the line with the LSM and the Blendeds its a thousand years of outer darkness for you. The vagarity of their teaching leaves it open for abuse. No different for me than "When the coin in the offering box rings, the soul to heaven springs".

Bad teaching leads to bad theology leads to bad behavior, unchallenged.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 10:52 AM   #88
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
And in only 378 words! I am indeed impressed.
It's not going to work. I will write as I write. Sometimes in fewer words than in others. Words happen!
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 10:59 AM   #89
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,869
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The receivers of the Master's blessing, and His condemnation, both have "wrong theological concepts", i.e. they don't get cognitively what is transpiring. But they are not being judged on their theology, but their behavior....

Bad teaching leads to bad theology leads to bad behavior, unchallenged.
Yet another "bottom line" statement by aron.

This is one of the reasons why some people like to separate teachings from behavior....it seemingly gets them off the hook...but God's Word does NOT separate teachings from behavior. Instead, they are inextricably linked, both by the Lord Jesus and the authors of the New Testament, including that guy who was supposedly "devoid of the divine revelation"....But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.(James 1:22)
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 11:06 AM   #90
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
It's not going to work. I will write as I write. Sometimes in fewer words than in others. Words happen!
Suit yourself. But if you want to actually be read, write shorter. Trust me on that one. I know what I'm talking about.

Last edited by Cal; 11-05-2012 at 04:54 PM.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 11:19 AM   #91
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I understand the distinction ZNP is speaking of here, having discussed this on numerous occasions. But now, I am no longer certain that paradise has not been taken into heaven. (Eph 4)
There is also Paul's quote where he says he was "caught up into Paradise" so I also don't think it is clear. I think our unregistered guest has a clear word on that based on the earlier post so hopefully they will clear this all up.

Also, I personally never liked using the thief on the cross for this teaching because he obviously predated the Lord's ascension followed by the outpouring of the Spirit. So just as other verses suggest that things may have changed with regards to paradise I don't think it is all sound to base a teaching on what happens with believers in this age with his story.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 11:24 AM   #92
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

(First, there are over 600 words in this one. Oh well.)

I know that heaven is not the topic of the thread, but at some level, the whole idea of being an overcomer in the context of Lee's theology is put up against the more trite aspects of popular theology.

I recall a song really just a chorus, don't know if there was anything but these four lines:
Heaven is a wonderful place
Filled with glory and grace
Oh I want to see his face
Heaven is a wonderful place
Now it is clear that there is something a little misplaced for most of us when we sing these kinds of songs. Or think in these ways.

Or is there?

Paul acknowledged that just dying and being with Christ was personally preferable. No matter whether you like the simple terminology, that is "going to heaven."

And let's consider the chorus. It is not about streets of gold and mansions. (Yes, there are songs that cover those things. "Mansion Over the Hilltop" has both.) It is about seeing the face of Jesus. It is about the glory and grace that fills it.

But it is not weighty. It is "shallow" theology, so we diss it. (And it is my first reaction as well. Not pointing fingers.)

But even if shallow, it is not simply wrong. There are no verses that directly support the words provided to sing. But it is not just a fairy tale that doesn't contradict other verses. It has a base in truth that can be found in scripture. Tying everything up in a serious theology that needs a verse reference after every statement is overkill.

And Lee tried to do that. He provided verses all over the place. In fact he provided so many that when he finally said the ridiculous thing that was coming, there had been so many verses provided that we too often missed that the most important things were not actually supported.

That is another topic for another thread. But here, there is something to be said for (or really against) parsing through scripture to find nit-picky things like whether heaven is the right word to use for where we go after death but before the rapture, while dismissing the real, practical commands of God through Jesus about this life as we ignore the part where Jesus said "teaching them to obey all that I have commanded."

This is not about any particular posting in this thread. It is about the mentality of "what matters" in the LRC v the rest of Christianity. I may agree (somewhat) that many in Christianity are a little too focused on "heaven," but I would suggest that the LRC simply renamed it and made it virtually the only focus.

But I'm not sure that they understand what little we think we see about the life to come. They have distilled the substance of "overcoming" to better meetings, better teachings, and better terminology. If I presume that overcoming is about this life, then I would be more focused on the practical commands of Christ. Love God and your neighbor. Serve. Obey all that I command. I would see that obedience is precursor to knowing the truth that "sets you free." It is not the other way around. It is about getting this life right, not practicing falling on your face and shouting "Holy, Holy, Holy . . ." If we have properly prepared this life according the best teachings available (and that starts with Jesus, not Paul no disrespect to Paul, but he is commentary, not the other way around) we will be prepared for that when the time comes (assuming that is really what we will be doing I am not saying one way or the other).
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #93
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
(First, there are over 600 words in this one. Oh well.)

I know that heaven is not the topic of the thread, but at some level, the whole idea of being an overcomer in the context of Lee's theology is put up against the more trite aspects of popular theology.
I am not so sure it is trite. Yes, overused, but perhaps not of little importance. There are many people who think they understand the Christian gospel is all about believing so you can go to heaven. I think such a concept can be used to keep people from Christ and from the truth.

I would much prefer people boiling down the gospel to something like "I am forgiven". I can see that resulting in people coming to the Lord, repenting and believing. Besides "they overcame by the blood of the lamb". So even such a simple concept does contribute to people not only receiving Christ but also overcoming.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 12:06 PM   #94
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
And Paul seems to equate paradise and heaven here in 2 Corinthians 12.
I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago, (whether in the body I know not, or out of the body I know not, God knows) such a one caught up to the third heaven (ouranos). And I know such a man, (whether in the body or out of the body I know not, God knows) that he was caught up into paradise (paradeisos), and heard unspeakable things said which it is not allowed to man to utter. (2 Cor 12:2-4 Darby)
And Revelation 2:7 says the tree of life is in the paradise (paradeisos) of God. So that seems to suggest the paradise of God is somewhere other than "the pleasant part of Hades," or at least a broader concept.
I now see this matter of "going to heaven" as similar to the LC aversion to "pastor."

It was W. Nee who pointed out in TNCCL that there is no verse in the Bible that ever uses the phrase "Pastor So'n'so," as if this was some great light. I know brothers who got seriously agitated when anyone ever mistakenly implied them to be a "pastor," since in the LC that phrase was worse than "heretic." At least while being labeled a "heretic," one might consider himself to be persecuted for the sake of deeper truths, but being called a "pastor" meant one had degraded to the depths of Christianity. Oh my!

Both "going to heaven" and being called a "pastor" with the hallmarks of degraded Christianity. The Recovery folks can sue their brothers in the courts, swindle their money with Daystar, slander brothers who disagree, steal their real estate, coverup crimes of abuse and molestation, but ... don't call me a "pastor!" And don't say we are "going to heaven!"
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 01:59 PM   #95
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I now see this matter of "going to heaven" as similar to the LC aversion to "pastor."
I did a google search, first hit was this question "Are you going to heaven when you die?" The hits come up "Are you going to heaven or hell when you die?" Which in my mind is equal to a "different gospel" spoken of by Paul in Galatians, and according to Paul these ones should be anathema.


To me this gospel is akin to the restoration done on the Jesus fresco that was so hysterical.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 02:02 PM   #96
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I would much prefer people boiling down the gospel to something like "I am forgiven". I can see that resulting in people coming to the Lord, repenting and believing. Besides "they overcame by the blood of the lamb". So even such a simple concept does contribute to people not only receiving Christ but also overcoming.
There may have been times in which the idea of going to a better place was enticing. But in a day and age (and environment) in which so many have so much, the enticement of a better place is just not enough to turn them from such tangible, right-now things like Mercedes and condos, or even X-box and iPads.

So, in today's terms, I agree that forgiveness stands out as a much more meaningful aspect of the gospel. And, as far as the outreach side of the gospel is concerned, it should always be (and have been) the predominant part of the gospel. Too much emphasis on what you get out of it that is like "heaven" tends to attract shallow followers. Followers who are not really following, but would like to think they are. Those who recognize their frailty and unrighteousness also recognize that they need forgiveness.

The message of changed lives is the crux of the matter. I don't know about heaven. But the lame walk and the blind are seeing. The miser has opened his heart and loosened the grip on "his" pocketbook. Justice is served on a regular basis. In fact, all are serving each other and even the outsider. Balances in the marketplace are honest (honest weight, no springs). The drunk has found the way to be free of the bottle.

And on it goes.

But while I do agree at some level that so much focus on heaven is relatively trite, it is only so when it is usurping your place and part in the changing of lives, both "your" own and of others. When active participation in this life is relinquished and everything is pining for something somewhere else. There is a place for "Oh I want to see his face." But if that's all we ever do, might we find that we were busy pining about that and missed when He came to us now as an out-of-luck guy on the street and we simply told him to be warm and fed. Or worse, just acted like he wasn't there.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 02:44 PM   #97
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

It's interesting that Peter and Paul, while not emphasizing heaven, definitely emphasized the resurrection of the dead (not just of Christ, but of the believers). That is, they did speak about what will happen after we die. Their gospel included that we would have a heavenly, spiritual body.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 04:40 AM   #98
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Great, if you could give me the verse reference on that [going to heaven when we die] it would be very much appreciated.
There is a verse in Matthew 5 where Jesus says that if you will be despised in this age because of Him, then great is your reward in heaven (v.5). So I am wondering: if your reward is in heaven and you don't go to heaven when you die, how then will you get your reward? Will it come down from heaven with the New Jerusalem?

Not being facetious here. If Jesus tells you to orient your heart toward the things of heaven, wouldn't you be so inclined? And even if those things eventually "come down from heaven" to be with you on the "new earth", still shouldn't your heart be "heavenly oriented" in this age? So "where do you go when you die?" instead becomes, "Where is your heart oriented today?" The second question will be resolved from the first, I believe.

For example, Matthew 6 says, 19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Again, "store up treasures in heaven" seems antiquated compared to Lee's high-peak "dispensing" theory. But Jesus clearly told us to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Heaven is for real, as Todd Burpo has recently told us. Well, we can dismiss Todd's testimony and say that we are going to the New Jerusalem instead. But if Jesus tells us to put our heart in heaven, then we want to say, "amen", even if we don't understand what He means.

I strongly feel that this is not about terminology but about orientation. I would argue that orientation produces three effects.

1. Attention
2. Interest
3. Activity, effort.

In the interests of brevity I will pursue this on another post. (ha-ha-ha)
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 05:13 AM   #99
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
It's interesting that Peter and Paul, while not emphasizing heaven, definitely emphasized the resurrection of the dead (not just of Christ, but of the believers). That is, they did speak about what will happen after we die. Their gospel included that we would have a heavenly, spiritual body.
As I mentioned in post #98, Jesus arguably did emphasize heaven. Our Father is in heaven. The parables repeatedly portray the kingdom of heaven. Our heart should be in heaven. Our reward is in heaven. Etc.

Now I would like to shift the terminology, but hopefully not the focus, to the word "resurrection". Luke 14 12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

In the resurrection, the righteous overcomers will be repaid for giving to those who do not have the means to repay them in this age. Their orientation, I argue, is not to get a "return" on investment on earth; but rather thier investment is waiting for them in heaven. Thus thier heart is seeking a secret kingdom, one that remains (Heb 12:25-29).

As I said, I believe orientation has 3 effects (of course there may be more, but these came to me): attention, interest, and effort. So if our orientation is toward the earth, we won't waste scarce earthly resources (time, attention, effort) if we don't get an immediate payoff.

Now, I want, in this light to consider the widows, the orphans, and the poor. In Exodus, Deuteronomy, Psalms and Proverbs, in Job, Jeremiah and Isaiah (to name a few), we see repeated admonitions to care for the less fortunate ones. So Jesus' admonition in Luke 14 has a clear background in God's Word. Now, according to our selfish, immediate needs, this orientation will produce a loss. But if we are "heavenly oriented" then we will see the prudence of this investment. We will gladly "lose something" in this age in order to "win something" in the resurrection of the righteous.

Now, I would like to contrast this with what I see as an "earthly" orientation: that of the LSM teachings and practices regarding "the ministry", "the churches", and "the building up of the body", and so forth. But in the interests of brevity (ha-ha-ha) I will do so in another post.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 05:38 AM   #100
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
But while I do agree at some level that so much focus on heaven is relatively trite, it is only so when it is usurping your place and part in the changing of lives, both "your" own and of others. When active participation in this life is relinquished and everything is pining for something somewhere else. There is a place for "Oh I want to see his face." But if that's all we ever do, might we find that we were busy ... and missed when He came to us now as an out-of-luck guy on the street and we ...just acted like he wasn't there.
Continuing my discussion from posts #98,99, (ha-ha-ha) I was visiting with the Full-Time Training Anaheim (FTTA) and was in a meeting with a group of "trainees". One of the trainees was telling about how she was visiting an old lady and her grandchildren. Evidently the middle generation were dead or in jail or doing drugs or whatnot. Gone. So there was this old lady with some very young children, who gladly received her. But the trainee was bothered because this seemed to be kind of a dead-end. I remember her saying that the woman wasn't very educated, and they were too busy worrying about "practical issues" to get very much involved in "the church life". So she said, in effect: "I have a promising contact, but..."

The "trainer" was blunt. "Don't waste your time." My hair stood on end. I raised my hand, and then raised Luke 14. The trainer looked at me as if I simply were not there, said nothing in reply, and continued the meeting. "Next question?"

I don't think the trainer "went rogue" in his reply, or ignoring my objection. I think he was fully and succinctly expressing the wishes of those who trained him. The goal of the LSM is to build up the present, earthly system, variously called "the ministry", "the local churches" and "the Recovery". People be damned. If you can't help them, they are not interested in you. They simply won't invest anything in you if they can't get an immediate, physical, "practical" payout.

Like Willard "Mitt" Romney: now that the election is over he probably won't give any more speeches on "America". Now it's back to what really matters, which is Willard "Mitt" Romney. The presidency is no longer a trophy available for his grasp, so he will seek others. They said Romney flip-flopped but he was remarkably consistent in trying to build up the Kingdom of Romney.

(And believe me, I am not a huge fan of Democrats from Illinois either [hint-hint]. This morning the news told me of a certain Democratic Congressman from Chicago who's been on leave of absence, "seeking medical treatment" because of "nervous anxiety" over the various scandals plaguing him. Today I found out that he coasted to an easy re-election. As they say up there: Vote early, vote often!)

Point is: if you stick around, people eventually reveal their true orientation, of what sort it is. In retrospect, I saw something of the real LSM orientation that day, all the talk of "New Jerusalem", "paradise", and "overcomers" notwithstanding. And for that view, I am grateful. It was not as visceral as awareness' experience: GET OUT!! GET OUT!! But that vista 'behind the veil' was ultimately as instructive to me as it was to him.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 06:11 AM   #101
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The "trainer" was blunt. "Don't waste your time." My hair stood on end. I raised my hand, and then raised Luke 14. The trainer looked at me as if I simply were not there, said nothing in reply, and continued the meeting. "Next question?"
I experienced the same thing in my locality. At college I was spending a lot of time with a Christian who was struggling with an addiction and a mental disorder. He was a really sweet brother, but he just had very deep personal issues. I would visit him in his dorm, invite him over to the brother's house (where I lived), and just spend time with him. And he was improving. His life seemed to be turning around (not just because of me, but I do think I was having a positive influence on him).

I was strongly rebuked by an elder/full-timer that I was spending too much time with this brother, and I should focus whatever "serving" time I had on better material. I took that admonition seriously, and stopped making an effort to spend time with this young brother. (At the time I bought into the church's authority/submission complex. If an older brother, especially an elder, tells you something against your conscience, then you need to "take it from the Lord.")

Eventually that young brother gave into his addiction, and dropped out of school. I have no idea what became of him. But I still regret letting our friendship go, just because I wanted to make an elder happy. The Lord spent so much time with the lost and helpless and rejected. But I was made to feel guilty for spending just a little time with a brother who needed people to care.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 06:13 AM   #102
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

My understanding is that when you die you are essentially sent to a temporary holding place, could be a very nice place called "paradise" but it is temporary until we all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, which occurs after the resurrection from the dead.

Now there is no doubt that the New Jerusalem is our ultimate destination and that is a "heavenly city".

As for "orientation" I think the question "are you going to heaven or hell" is counterproductive towards the orientation of believers. I would also note, perhaps due to the similarity between orientation and orienteering, that it is very important to be precise in your orientation. A "slight" variation can equate to being lost by hundreds of miles.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 06:20 AM   #103
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
As I mentioned in post #98, Jesus arguably did emphasize heaven. Our Father is in heaven. The parables repeatedly portray the kingdom of heaven. Our heart should be in heaven. Our reward is in heaven. Etc...
"seek ye first the kingdom of heaven" is aligned with the orientation of the gospel, because it is active, it involves seeking.

"Are you going to heaven or hell" is not. It encourages passivity and pride.

"I am going to heaven when I die" is also not aligned because it is too focused on the future and not on the present.

Seek is present tense.
Seek ye first -- is all about priority.
The kingdom of heaven, heaven here is an adjective, not a noun.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 06:26 AM   #104
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Continuing my discussion from posts #98,99, (ha-ha-ha) I was visiting with the Full-Time Training Anaheim (FTTA) and was in a meeting with a group of "trainees". One of the trainees was telling about how she was visiting an old lady and her grandchildren. Evidently the middle generation were dead or in jail or doing drugs or whatnot. Gone. So there was this old lady with some very young children, who gladly received her. But the trainee was bothered because this seemed to be kind of a dead-end. I remember her saying that the woman wasn't very educated, and they were too busy worrying about "practical issues" to get very much involved in "the church life". So she said, in effect: "I have a promising contact, but..."

The "trainer" was blunt. "Don't waste your time." My hair stood on end. I raised my hand, and then raised Luke 14. The trainer looked at me as if I simply were not there, said nothing in reply, and continued the meeting. "Next question?"
This person is not qualified to preach the gospel, much less train others. I saw this a lot, many of the people who have positions of authority in the LRC have no experience in the gospel. Despicable.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 06:59 AM   #105
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Like Willard "Mitt" Romney: now that the election is over he probably won't give any more speeches on "America". Now it's back to what really matters, which is Willard "Mitt" Romney. The presidency is no longer a trophy available for his grasp, so he will seek others. They said Romney flip-flopped but he was remarkably consistent in trying to build up the Kingdom of Romney.
Was this really necessary? I woke up with a headache.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 09:13 AM   #106
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
My understanding is that when you die you are essentially sent to a temporary holding place, could be a very nice place called "paradise" but it is temporary until we all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, which occurs after the resurrection from the dead.
My understanding is that we really don't understand this very much. And no matter what we think we have come up with as "the way," it doesn't matter because if you are His, you go wherever it is that you go. It won't be different for those who thought, or taught, that it was something else.

So getting into discussions about whether it is "heaven" or "paradise" is really a distraction.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 09:43 AM   #107
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Was [the Romney diatribe] really necessary? I woke up with a headache.
No, it was probably a gratuitous swipe on my part. I've gotten so tired of the politicians' speeches that I just wanted to metaphorically whack one of them on his way out the door. Too bad we couldn't do it with all of them. "Until He returns..."

Sorry for the collateral damage.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 10:01 AM   #108
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
II was strongly rebuked by an elder/full-timer that I was spending too much time with this brother, and I should focus whatever "serving" time I had on better material.
This orientation on "better material" is a dead-giveaway, in retrospect, of the nature of this organization. All the high peak truths, however assiduously presented, cannot disguise this simple fact.

Contrast that to, besides the Luke 14 parable: Jesus' speaking to Zaccheus in Luke 19:9,10, on giving half of his wealth to the poor; Jesus' advice to the young man who wanted perfection to "Sell what you have, give to the poor, and come after Me"; and Paul's word in Galatians 2:10 on being eager to remember the poor.

We have myriad opportunities to remember "these, the least of My brothers". Every day when you leave your house you will find them. I have come to feel that more than money and an ear for their sob story, the downtrodden ones want someone to pay attention, to show them that God is paying attention to them, that they matter to Him as much as everyone else. And it's true. They do matter to God. The Bible clearly, repeatedly shows this. It is unmistakeable, to me.

'Paradise' and 'heaven' and the 'Wedding Feast' I'm still sorting out. But taking care of the fallen ones all around us is pretty clear. And I'm also pretty clear that Witness Lee never got this simple idea. Evidently he was just too busy with his theology, and the organization his theology oriented him towards. And he arguably "received his reward in full" (cf Matt. 6:2b).
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 10:15 AM   #109
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
My understanding is that when you die you are essentially sent to a temporary holding place, could be a very nice place called "paradise" but it is temporary until we all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, which occurs after the resurrection from the dead.
The accounts of those two young boys Alex Malarkey and Colton Burpo are quite compelling. Not only are their visits to heaven undeniable, but they have met real people in heaven, not just the angels. They were not in some "temporary holding place" under the earth as also I had long thought, but both of them had seen Jesus, as Apostle Paul once did. The other people they saw were recognizable and identifiable, even though their bodies had not been resurrected.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 10:36 AM   #110
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The accounts of those two young boys Alex Malarkey and Colton Burpo are quite compelling. Not only are their visits to heaven undeniable, but they have met real people in heaven, not just the angels. They were not in some "temporary holding place" under the earth as also I had long thought, but both of them had seen Jesus, as Apostle Paul once did. The other people they saw were recognizable and identifiable, even though their bodies had not been resurrected.
The stories of those who have died and been resuscitated is compelling. Still I would want to base my understanding on Bible verses. I can see that Paul's use of "Paradise" is equivalent to Jesus', but shouldn't there be some explanation of how Paradise was moved and why do other verses refer to "the dead in Christ rise first" if they are actually descending?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 10:38 AM   #111
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
My understanding is that we really don't understand this very much. And no matter what we think we have come up with as "the way," it doesn't matter because if you are His, you go wherever it is that you go. It won't be different for those who thought, or taught, that it was something else.

So getting into discussions about whether it is "heaven" or "paradise" is really a distraction.
A distraction from what? Why shouldn't we seek to understand this if it is in the Bible? Why wouldn't it be in the Bible, Jesus has both descended and ascended to every realm of the universe, Paul was caught up to Paradise. This topic is certainly covered in the NT, I see nothing "distracting" about trying to understand the word that has been given to us.

Also, it is certainly relevant to this forum since the LRC holds a very distinct view, contrary to Christianity in general, and they are very much assured in their speaking.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 10:43 AM   #112
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,514
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Point is: if you stick around, people eventually reveal their true orientation, of what sort it is. In retrospect, I saw something of the real LSM orientation that day . . .
I've been out of the LC for a long time. And over the decades I've checked in on the LC, to see if things have changed.

And yes, things have changed. Lee died, and the Blended Bros were born. Yet one thing that hasn't changed is their orientation. They might try to hide it, but it remains. Their orientation is never gonna change ... unless everyone leaves the LC. And that won't happen because some people will believe anything.
__________________
Cults: My brain will always be there for you. Thinking. So you don't have to.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 11:23 AM   #113
MacDuff
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 88
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

ZNPaaneah

Quote:
Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Lu 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Not heaven.

Quote:
Colossians 3:
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Paul explains the principle rather well.

Quote:
Revelations 21:
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Where is it, if it's coming down out of heaven but didn't land on earth? Why mention a new earth, if that wasn't it's destination?

MacDuff
MacDuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 12:43 PM   #114
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDuff View Post
ZNPaaneah, Not heaven. Paul explains the principle rather well. Where is it, if it's coming down out of heaven but didn't land on earth? Why mention a new earth, if that wasn't it's destination?
The quote didn't make it when I I quoted your post, but it is a very interesting point. Our life is hid in Christ. Since Christ was going to Paradise from the Cross he told the thief he would see him there. However on the third day Christ ascended to the heavens and now sits by the right hand of God. Therefore the teaching may not be that we go to Paradise when we die but rather we go to where Christ is.

That is strongly supported by Paul's word in Phillippians:

1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

According to this verse when we die we will "be with Christ". Since Christ is in the heavens then it makes sense we would be too.

However, it still leaves the verse about "the dead in Christ rising first" to be reconciled.

Perhaps the bumper sticker should be "When you die will you be with Christ?"
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 02:25 PM   #115
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The stories of those who have died and been resuscitated is compelling. Still I would want to base my understanding on Bible verses. I can see that Paul's use of "Paradise" is equivalent to Jesus', but shouldn't there be some explanation of how Paradise was moved and why do other verses refer to "the dead in Christ rise first" if they are actually descending?
Eph 4.8 indicates He took some with Him when He ascended, and "rising from the dead" may only refer to our bodies. I admit there are difficulties. Does only the body "sleep?" Does Luke 16 then refer only to O.T. saints?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 03:04 PM   #116
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Eph 4.8 indicates He took some with Him when He ascended, and "rising from the dead" may only refer to our bodies. I admit there are difficulties. Does only the body "sleep?" Does Luke 16 then refer only to O.T. saints?
Do the dead rise with their original physical bodies? What if they were cremated? I assume that if they rise with a physical body it isn't the same one they died with.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #117
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,869
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

ZNP,
As a former Local Churcher you should be intimately familiar with 1 Corinthians 15. I use the word "should" here advisedly, because the truth is that Witness Lee taught us all to have tunnel vision regarding this chapter. We all focused on verse 45"b"(the last Adam became a life giving spirit), so much so that we lost track of the context in which verse 45 should be placed in. The context - the immediate context - from verse 35 through the end of the chapter is crystal clear: "But someone will say, 'How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?' ".

To put the finest point possible on this part of the chapter, the apostle Paul is explaining to the Corinthians in the most basic and clearest way, that we have a physical "earthy" body which will be transformed "in the twinkling of an eye" into a "spiritual", "incorruptible" body. Verse 45, when taken in context of this section of chapter 15, is simply stating that Jesus Christ was the forerunner in this mysterious, glorious and wonderful transformation. If verse 45 is telling us that Jesus Christ became the Holy Spirit then we are all going to become the Holy Spirit

Anyway, from verse 35 to the end of the chapter is answering your question in vivid detail.
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 04:16 PM   #118
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Very nice, so this reconciles the term "the dead in Christ are raised". Our physical death is likened to a seed being sown, and our resurrection is likened to the seed sprouting and rising up as a spiritual body, similar to the Lord's resurrection. The Last Adam becoming a life giving spirit is the forerunner for all men. This corresponds nicely with the accounts of people who have been resuscitated since they can recognize people, just like the disciples could recognize Jesus yet His body was clearly a spiritual body.

I think this little distraction should make it very clear that just like the church in Laodicea which was so sure that they were rich and knew all mysteries and were clueless that they were in fact blind, in the same way the LRC is blind. They are quite confident that they know that Christianity is "wrong" to say that when they die they will go to heaven, yet the truth according to the NT is that when we die "we will be with Christ", and Jesus is in heaven at the right hand of God.

In addition they confuse Jesus resurrecting with a spiritual body with the different persons of the godhead, muddling up their teaching on the trinity and missing the idea that we all will be raised with a spiritual body, since we all are "Adam".

Christianity has the right idea but didn't have the verses to support it, as a result the teaching seems erroneous. Confusing Paradise with Heaven in the verse with the Thief. This is a good reason why we need to know the verses that the teachings are built on and not just the teaching.

ICor 15 also points out that "some will ask..." As Christians who have fellowship with Jesus we should be aware of the things in the heavens, not just those on the earth (Jn. 3:11-13) and if someone asks these questions we should be able to explain these things intelligently. This is further testimony that Jesus is Lord.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 07:43 PM   #119
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Do the dead rise with their original physical bodies? What if they were cremated? I assume that if they rise with a physical body it isn't the same one they died with.
In the Colton Burpo account, his older sister who was miscarried was a young girl who greeted him in heaven, yet she bore strong familial resemblance, so that he believed her story, though he had absolutely no prior knowledge that he even had a sister.

His paternal great-grandfather appeared to him younger than he did when he died and was readily recognizable by the boy in photos. Of course this only raises more questions. How can the boy, while dead and gone to heaven, recognize his own sister and his g-grandfather whom he never met? How can they have a visible form, yet have no body?

I long have condemned the paintings of the face of Jesus which I was so accustomed to see as a Catholic. I had always assumed that it was the imagination of some artist back in the dark ages. I assumed the same with angels. Now I'm not so sure. Possibly that picture could have been sketched by someone who actually died and came back from heaven. He/she was only sketching what had been seen.

Both of those two young boys Alex Malarkey and Colton Burpo claimed that Jesus held them and comforted them. They definitely knew who Jesus was and who He was not. Each "person" they met had a definite identity. Alex even learned the names of several angels who tended to him. He seemed to have no trouble identifying them once they were introduced.

Alex' father verified every story with the scripture. He was definitely skeptical, but as a parent, knew what his child had known, and knew what he had not known. Alex' story never changed from day one. Both boys knew things that were impossible to know. It was never a matter of whether they were imagining something.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 09:20 PM   #120
MacDuff
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 88
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

It could be true that when we die we go to wherever Jesus is. At this point he is in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father. And we who are in Christ and part of his body thereby, it makes sense that we would be there. But also there is also the reference to the heavenly Jerusalem, and Revelation is clear that Jesus is there. And it comes to earth in the end. And that both the Father and the Son are there. So it may be we can eventually come up with a scenario that covers most of the verses. And there seems to be quite a few verses that hint at what will be after death. I know there are a lot of books written on the subject. None of which I've read because I only have time to deal with the present.

These people who claim to have seen things on the other side before being revived, there are getting to be quite a few of these people. Haven't paid much mind to them either. Do they all become Christians? I'm thinking of that parable where Jesus said something like even if one was sent back they still wouldn't believe.

MacDuff
MacDuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 04:32 AM   #121
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In the Colton Burpo account, his older sister who was miscarried was a young girl who greeted him in heaven, yet she bore strong familial resemblance, so that he believed her story, though he had absolutely no prior knowledge that he even had a sister..
I have seen some specials on the Shroud of Turin (Discover channel, History channel, something like that) and one of the best documents to support the Shroud's history are pictures done of Jesus that bear a striking resemblance to the image on the Shroud. This is especially significant since the image on the Shroud is so distinct.

I also saw another special on the "Face of Jesus" where they reconstruct the image from the Shroud taking into account the distortion that a sheet draped over a face would make. They used 3d imaging technology from NASA, etc and the face they reconstructed was much more similar to a young Middle Eastern face, not so elongated.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 04:37 AM   #122
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDuff View Post
These people who claim to have seen things on the other side before being revived, there are getting to be quite a few of these people. Haven't paid much mind to them either. Do they all become Christians? I'm thinking of that parable where Jesus said something like even if one was sent back they still wouldn't believe.

MacDuff
I was in Taiwan teaching English and we were reading a story published in Life magazine on children that had been resuscitated and the pictures they drew of their experience. It was very interesting, regardless of where they lived or the religion of their family they all reported seeing Jesus. In that class there was a man who said he also had been resuscitated, and that he had died for about 30 seconds. I already knew from prior discussions that he was a Buddhist.

So I asked what his experience was. He said he also saw Jesus. That really confused me, so I asked if you saw Jesus why are you a Buddhist? He said that for a few weeks he tried going to Christian churches but didn't understand what they were talking about so he returned to being a Buddhist.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 05:51 AM   #123
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I was in Taiwan teaching English and we were reading a story published in Life magazine on children that had been resuscitated and the pictures they drew of their experience. It was very interesting, regardless of where they lived or the religion of their family they all reported seeing Jesus.
The universal story I hear is of being "embraced by the light", as Betty Eadie put it.

http://www.embracedbythelight.com/

And I had not considered the "Jesus" part of it so strongly, but you seem to have a point.

I remember a story of an English rock star, Robert Plant, who wrote a blues number called "In my time of dying", in which at one point he sings, "Oh my Jesus!" over and over. Years later, he was in a horrific car crash. He testified that as the vehicle tumbled down the embankment, the only thing in his mind were those words.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 05:58 AM   #124
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
... there was a man who said he also had been resuscitated, and that he had died for about 30 seconds. I already knew from prior discussions that he was a Buddhist.

So I asked what his experience was. He said he also saw Jesus. That really confused me, so I asked if you saw Jesus why are you a Buddhist? He said that for a few weeks he tried going to Christian churches but didn't understand what they were talking about so he returned to being a Buddhist.
I think that story is hilarious. I mean, I have to laugh so that I don't cry. My feeling for quite some time has been that the only thing stopping the Good News is our interpretation of it.

By this I don't argue for some universalist, watered-down version, but rather that the power, the simplicity, the purity and the visceral impact of the Spirit of the Man Jesus has been largely lost. We believers get a brief glimpse, then we typically spend the rest of our time in either empty ritual or empty doctrine. And the curious and open person visits our ekklesia and says, like your Buddhist, "I don't know what they are talking about".
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 10:49 AM   #125
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
A distraction from what? Why shouldn't we seek to understand this if it is in the Bible?
There is much in the Bible that does not require the kind of detailed understanding that you (and so many others) are wanting.

Do we need to understand everything in this detailed way because it's there (like climbing a mountain "because it's there")?

Seems that there is quite little that actually answers the question about precisely where you go when you die prior to the end times. And the terminology of what may or may not be the same or different about heaven v paradise is really not clear.

And I'm supposed to conclude that it is important to know the difference? What is that supposed to do for me?
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 11:09 AM   #126
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In the Colton Burpo account, his older sister who was miscarried was a young girl who greeted him in heaven, yet she bore strong familial resemblance, so that he believed her story, though he had absolutely no prior knowledge that he even had a sister. . . .
I recall someone in the mid 70s who told of attending a weekend training (not LRC) designed to teach about the issues surrounding demon and Satan worship. One of the "teachers" had obtained some kind of manual on the subject and was reading some descriptions from it, when they began to read off some names of demons. This guy told of having the very distinct sense that something entered the room each time one of the names was spoken, as if responding to a call. He decided that he would not return after the lunch break.

I tell that story because I know that there is something in the spiritual realm that we are not truly knowledgeable about. I know there are demons and angels. There is God and there is Satan.

But the accounts from these kids may be real, or they may be imagined. The details that they supposedly knew nothing about may not have been as unknown as was thought. Or they may have truly not known and learned something factual while on the brink of death.

But something that always keeps me guarded on these is that studies of the stories of near-death experiences show that the person almost always sees things that are consistent with the "mythology" of their culture. A Chinese Buddhist sees things from that culture. And Indian Hindu from that culture. So many aspects of the stories are culturally centered.

But I did say "most." There are some that take some explaining away. Mostly because the expectations are not met. The vision was not consistent with the culture or belief. Or there is the thought that details that could (or at least should) not have been known were revealed.

For me, I take note of them. But I realize that my faith is not based on whether someone thinks they "went to heaven" (or actually did) and lived to tell about it. It is based on the realization that Jesus is who he said he was/is. That prophecy was fulfilled. And so on.

For the child that met a great grandfather and saw them at a younger age, since the description could be verified with photographs, could the child have seen them even if they were not remembered specifically?

Not trying to debunk the stories. Just noting that faith based on these things will be as tenuous as the evidence that it is really miraculous rather than a product of a busy mind under stress.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 11:13 AM   #127
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I have seen some specials on the Shroud of Turin (Discover channel, History channel, something like that) and one of the best documents to support the Shroud's history are pictures done of Jesus that bear a striking resemblance to the image on the Shroud. This is especially significant since the image on the Shroud is so distinct.
I assume that the pictures you are referring to are not the "traditional" ones with fair skin and blue eyes.

Sorry, couldn't resist. I'm sure that they aren't.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 11:14 AM   #128
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
But something that always keeps me guarded on these is that studies of the stories of near-death experiences show that the person almost always sees things that are consistent with the "mythology" of their culture.
The little boy met his miscarried sister and his long diseased g-grandfather -- sounds -- yep, sounds to me like typical American mythology.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 11:53 AM   #129
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
There is much in the Bible that does not require the kind of detailed understanding that you (and so many others) are wanting.

Do we need to understand everything in this detailed way because it's there (like climbing a mountain "because it's there")?

Seems that there is quite little that actually answers the question about precisely where you go when you die prior to the end times. And the terminology of what may or may not be the same or different about heaven v paradise is really not clear.

And I'm supposed to conclude that it is important to know the difference? What is that supposed to do for me?
Obviously you didn't read the other posts.

1. the overriding principle is not that we go to paradise when we die but, as it says in Phil, we go to be with the Lord. This we feel is because our life is hid in the Lord. So when the Lord told the thief He would be with him this day in Paradise it wasn't because that is where we go, but because he was going to be with the Lord.

2. As for "the dead in Christ rising first" we determined, based on 1Cor 15 that when we die our body is sown as a seed and the in resurrection it is raised a spiritual body, like "the bodies" that Jesus had, or like those that the ones who are resuscitated report seeing. This is the reason it says "the dead in christ rise" because just like a seed sprouting our transfigured bodies will also "sprout" in type.

3. Therefore we also concluded that Christianity is not "off the mark" to say that we "go to heaven when we die" though the emphasis is wrong. Since Jesus is currently in heaven and we are going to be with Him.

4. Using the Lord's words to the thief on the cross though is clearly an erroneous basis for this teaching.

As to your question "Do we need to understand..." Paul himself in 1Cor 15 said that "some will ask ..." in reference to what happens when we die. Since Christ has been to every realm of the universe we should be able to fellowship this and it is Paul that explains this. So yes, you should be able to explain in a coherent way to one who asks what happens when you die.

As for this forum it is very relevant because it is a shining example of how the LRC thinks that they are rich and know all mysteries but are in fact blind.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 12:25 PM   #130
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,322
Default Re: heaven

Near-death stories about seeing heaven don't do much for me because they are unverifiable and they don't add anything to my faith. I'm going to believe in heaven whether I hear them or not.

I guess there are people who think, "Wow. I never believed in heaven before, but since that little boy told his story about going there now I believe." But I'm not one of them.

I'm much more impressed by the stories of Muslims in the Middle East who say Jesus came to them in their dreams and preached the gospel to them, and have converted because of it. Those have the ring of truth. See here.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 01:26 PM   #131
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Obviously you didn't read the other posts.

1. the overriding principle is not that we go to paradise when we die but, as it says in Phil, we go to be with the Lord. This we feel is because our life is hid in the Lord. So when the Lord told the thief He would be with him this day in Paradise it wasn't because that is where we go, but because he was going to be with the Lord.

2. As for "the dead in Christ rising first" we determined, based on 1Cor 15 that when we die our body is sown as a seed and the in resurrection it is raised a spiritual body, like "the bodies" that Jesus had, or like those that the ones who are resuscitated report seeing. This is the reason it says "the dead in christ rise" because just like a seed sprouting our transfigured bodies will also "sprout" in type.

3. Therefore we also concluded that Christianity is not "off the mark" to say that we "go to heaven when we die" though the emphasis is wrong. Since Jesus is currently in heaven and we are going to be with Him.

4. Using the Lord's words to the thief on the cross though is clearly an erroneous basis for this teaching.

As to your question "Do we need to understand..." Paul himself in 1Cor 15 said that "some will ask ..." in reference to what happens when we die. Since Christ has been to every realm of the universe we should be able to fellowship this and it is Paul that explains this. So yes, you should be able to explain in a coherent way to one who asks what happens when you die.

As for this forum it is very relevant because it is a shining example of how the LRC thinks that they are rich and know all mysteries but are in fact blind.
Three things.

First. If "Jesus is in heaven and we are going to be with Him," then either we actually do go to heaven to be with Him now, or we will eventually be with Him wherever he is after our resurrection since he may not be in heaven then. But if the latter is the case, then we do not simply "go to be with Him upon death. Getting circular. And it still does not affect this life the only part that is important to "get right." If we get that right, the rest will fall in place. If we get it wrong, then it still won't matter. But getting where we go upon death right changes nothing.

Second. On the "sowing" reference in your second point, that would seem to be a picture, not something so literal. You didn't really say one way or the other, but the way you are going on about this makes it seem as if you are certain that it is a literal thing, not just a picture.

Third. Whether you go to a place (heaven or paradise assuming a difference) or just to limbo until the resurrection, how does it change anything about this life in a meaningful way? And how does it affect what happens at the resurrection?

In other words, why do you think it is important to figure out?

And "because it's in the Bible" is not a reason that it is important. All those rabbis and priests who spent so much time trying to decide what was "work" relative to the sabbath were just trying to figure it all out. And who would have presumed that speaking would ever be considered "work"? Yet that is all Jesus did when he healed the invalid by the Sheep Gate pool. That was really important. It has been suggested that until they figured out it was Jesus who had done it, they probably didn't really think speaking could be considered work.

But it is in scripture, so I guess we have an obligation to beat that dead horse to death. It is there. Must be important. Just as important as Jesus healing the man.

I know this sounds sarcastic. And it could be taken that way. But this is my honest take on "because it's in the Bible." It seems to me to be another case for missing the important things said while turning snippets into fortune cookies for an "out of context" experience.

The Bible does not say "paradise is thus and so," and "heaven is the same as (or different than) paradise." It does not imply that there is content to the "between time" of after death but before resurrection that we need to focus on. It focuses almost entirely on now. Plus a little vague reference to resurrection and after. And I say "little focus" because even much of Revelation is about things on the earth. Even the so-called millennium is little more than a blip in the entirety of scripture. It is as if it is 99% now, 0.85% the 7-year "tribulation," and 0.15% the New J. The thousand years is infinitesimally too small to measure.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 01:35 PM   #132
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Near-death stories about seeing heaven don't do much for me because they are unverifiable and they don't add anything to my faith. I'm going to believe in heaven whether I hear them or not.

I guess there are people who think, "Wow. I never believed in heaven before, but since that little boy told his story about going there now I believe." But I'm not one of them.

I'm much more impressed by the stories of Muslims in the Middle East who say Jesus came to them in their dreams and preached the gospel to them, and have converted because of it. Those have the ring of truth. See here.
Igzy, methinks you're being way too subjective here in protest. That's like me saying, "Muslims seeing Jesus in their dreams don't do much for me because they are unverifiable and they don't add anything to my faith. I'm going to believe in Jesus whether I hear them or not. I guess there are people who think, 'Wow. I never believed in Jesus before, but since that Moslem told his story about seeing Jesus in his dream, now I believe.' But I'm not one of them."

We who are long time believers in Jesus (and heaven) do not need others' testimonies for our faith. These wonderful testimonies may, however, inspire us on our journey. Some of His other chosen ones, however, may be drawn to Jesus for the first time!

In this regard I see the Father's love -- He is using all kinds of signs and wonders in these last days to draw men to His Son. Whether dreams, or near death experiences, or just old fashioned altar calls.

Note: 3 short paragraphs. Each one short, quick, and to the point. Not a wasted word, and less than 500 words.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 03:16 PM   #133
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
In other words, why do you think it is important to figure out?

And "because it's in the Bible" is not a reason that it is important. All those rabbis and priests who spent so much time trying to decide what was "work" relative to the sabbath were just trying to figure it all out. And who would have presumed that speaking would ever be considered "work"? Yet that is all Jesus did when he healed the invalid by the Sheep Gate pool. That was really important. It has been suggested that until they figured out it was Jesus who had done it, they probably didn't really think speaking could be considered work.
Tell that to Martin Luther when you see him. The entire protestant reformation was started over the matter of selling indulgences. Granted, that could be the straw that broke the camel's back, or it could be merely a symptom of the real disease, maybe it just made the best copy for the journalists and historians. You cannot refute this teaching if you don't know what happens when people die.

2nd, again you didn't read the posts. Jesus told Nicodemus that to be a teacher in Israel you have to know, at the very least the things of this earth, but the top standard is Jesus who also knows the things of heaven. Being able to explain these things is a testimony that Jesus is Lord and that He has ascended into heaven and descended from heaven.

3rd, Paul said 1Cor 15:35 "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" Now these are those who deny the resurrection. You cannot preach the gospel if you cannot handle these challenges. It is not just about you and your walk, it is about helping new ones with any and all concerns they have.

So let's see, this was important to Martin Luther, Jesus and Paul. But not important to OBW. Who to listen to?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 03:19 PM   #134
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Note: 3 short paragraphs. Each one short, quick, and to the point. Not a wasted word, and less than 500 words.
Except for the note.

And your response should be: (at me)
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 03:21 PM   #135
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
We who are long time believers in Jesus (and heaven) do not need others' testimonies for our faith. These wonderful testimonies may, however, inspire us on our journey. Some of His other chosen ones, however, may be drawn to Jesus for the first time!

In this regard I see the Father's love -- He is using all kinds of signs and wonders in these last days to draw men to His Son. Whether dreams, or near death experiences, or just old fashioned altar calls.
Precisely! Why does everything have to be for "my" benefit. If it helps some come to the Lord isn't that more than reason enough? Suppose some kid in a very strict Muslim family, perhaps in a country where Christian meetings are prohibited, dies and is resuscitated. You don't think that kids testimony will be powerful to his family? How can this kid grow up to to attack Christian churches after having an experience like that?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 05:14 PM   #136
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Precisely! Why does everything have to be for "my" benefit. If it helps some come to the Lord isn't that more than reason enough?
Exactly!

In I Corinthians 1, Paul noted that Greeks seek wisdom, but the Jews indeed ask for signs. Here he noted cultural differences, and how God and the apostles operated differently, based on their audience, in order to save some. In ch. 9 Paul explains how he even became all things to all men in order to reach them with good news.

Our heavenly Father has never been restricted to some "new way," or even the so-called "God-ordained way." I believe many people have been affected by these stories of near death experiences. Many people have been ministered to by angels. Some have seen God's hand in "climate change," and that has affected their hearts to believe. God has not only been "creative" in creation, but even more so in the new creation.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 05:20 PM   #137
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Except for the note.

And your response should be: (at me)
Naw! I was just teasin' the moderators.

I noticed you read my post all the way to the end. Success!
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 04:16 AM   #138
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Exactly!

In I Corinthians 1, Paul noted that Greeks seek wisdom, but the Jews indeed ask for signs. Here he noted cultural differences, and how God and the apostles operated differently, based on their audience, in order to save some. In ch. 9 Paul explains how he even became all things to all men in order to reach them with good news.

Our heavenly Father has never been restricted to some "new way," or even the so-called "God-ordained way." I believe many people have been affected by these stories of near death experiences. Many people have been ministered to by angels. Some have seen God's hand in "climate change," and that has affected their hearts to believe. God has not only been "creative" in creation, but even more so in the new creation.
Maybe that is why the New Jerusalem has 12 gates.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 04:42 AM   #139
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,079
Default How did heaven begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
The thousand years is infinitesimally too small to measure.
Thousand years is infinitesimally too small to measure.

Thousand years is infinitesimally too small to measure!?!


Did I really hear you correctly? I must not have read that post to the end the first time around.

What kind of calendar year are you on? That's like 20 adult life times!

That's an extremely long time to sit around and wait.

I had a guy freak out behind me cause I was going "too slow" for him. He was forced to "wait" like 10 extra seconds.

I tried to explain to him that "10 seconds was infinitesimally too small to measure." His jaws were aflappin' too fast to hear me.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 04:57 AM   #140
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: How did heaven begin?

I didn't have time to find OBW's quote, but I am so glad to hear this! OBW since you feel this way can you come to NY and get gas for me? The lines are about an hour long (absolutely nothing on your scale), you can't see the gas station from the back, you just line up in faith, and there might be a few fights. Anyway, let me know, I really appreciate this.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 05:30 AM   #141
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
... this was important to Martin Luther, Jesus and Paul. But not important to OBW.
Since I initiated this thread, let me try to bring it back on track in 500 words or less. OBW rightly objects to the discussion degenerating into empty speculation on realms we know nothing experientially about. ZNP says the ancients were "examining these things, to see if they were so", and so should we.

First, I thought Anderson's critique of the Nee/Lee "overcomer" school unfair. Nee & Lee don't overturn Ephesians 2's "...it is by grace that you have been saved, it is of faith, not of works. It is the gift of God". They try to point out the scriptural warnings of sloth and indolence. "Behold, I am coming, and My reward is with me according to your works." In the Epistle to Hebrews, in the epistles to the the Asian ekklesia in Revelations, and elsewhere in the NT (e.g. Galatians, Jude, and 2 Peter) we see warnings to the believers. Paul's word that "You may suffer loss; you will be saved, but through fire" also seems worthy of discussion.

But my critique was that the Nee/Lee discussion on this topic was about as satisfying as one of Rudyard Kipling's "Just So" stories. You get no references, no possible explanations. Just that Witness Lee says it is so.

So I found it to be crude, simplistic, and unsatisfactory. I said at the beginning of the thread that I don't claim to be able to thoroughly examine the issue, and also that this forum may not the venue to do so. I merely wanted to show in some of Jesus' parables a few possible nuances that are ignored in the Nee/Lee school. But I don't imagine that a few verses constitute proofs showing definitively the hidden realms. That, in fact, is my objection of Lee: that he's trying to do this.

Jesus prayed to the Father: "Your will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven". I think it is important for us to consider how things are done in heaven. That means, for example, not lording it over one another. Not being covetous for temporal gain, and being snared by deceitful things of the world. We have outward laws, but Jesus said that if you break the laws in your heart, you have broken them in the heavenly realms. Look at His teachings on adultery, for example. "If you look at a woman because of lust in your heart, you have committed adultery."

These are warnings, spoken to believers, not to unbelievers. He is speaking to His disciples. It is hard to make it into the kingdom of heaven, and we must struggle to get in. "Masticating the processed and consummated Triune God" may loom large in Witness Lee's economy, but perhaps being an overcomer depends more on endurance in righteousness, obedience, repentance, and mercy (for example).

If we oversimplify the heavenly realms, we can end up, like the LSMites, trying to "make it", i.e. to be overcomers. Because their goal is ill-formed they either get frustrated and give up, or trust that their relationship with a certain publishing house in Anaheim, California is a bellwether of their spiritual condition. Both routes, I believe, go into the ditch. Our Father is nuanced, detailed, and fine. Every hair is counted. Every thought is measured. Just go forward, carefully.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 08:38 AM   #142
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: How did heaven begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Thousand years is infinitesimally too small to measure.

Thousand years is infinitesimally too small to measure!?!

Did I really hear you correctly? I must not have read that post to the end the first time around.

What kind of calendar year are you on? That's like 20 adult life times!

That's an extremely long time to sit around and wait.

I had a guy freak out behind me cause I was going "too slow" for him. He was forced to "wait" like 10 extra seconds.

I tried to explain to him that "10 seconds was infinitesimally too small to measure." His jaws were aflappin' too fast to hear me.
And the point was missed. (Maybe I needed a few more words.)

1,000 years is not too small to measure.

The amount of ink given to the 1,000 years in scripture is, when dealing in percentages, too small to have any real meaning. The purpose was part of a comment on the primary thrust of scripture. It is not the 1,000 years. It is not the "tribulation." And despite it being the ending of everything, even the New J is not the thrust.

It is what we do with this life that is the primary agenda and topic of scripture.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 09:38 AM   #143
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Tell that to Martin Luther when you see him. The entire protestant reformation was started over the matter of selling indulgences. Granted, that could be the straw that broke the camel's back, or it could be merely a symptom of the real disease, maybe it just made the best copy for the journalists and historians. You cannot refute this teaching if you don't know what happens when people die.
That is somewhat incorrect. I believe that you could refute them by showing that no one but yourself is responsible for your destiny. It cannot be bought by anyone, including yourself. And once you are dead, it is over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
2nd, again you didn't read the posts. Jesus told Nicodemus that to be a teacher in Israel you have to know, at the very least the things of this earth, but the top standard is Jesus who also knows the things of heaven. Being able to explain these things is a testimony that Jesus is Lord and that He has ascended into heaven and descended from heaven.
This fails the context test. I think that you will find that this cannot be construed as requiring that we figure every thing out that we could possibly set our minds to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
3rd, Paul said 1Cor 15:35 "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" Now these are those who deny the resurrection. You cannot preach the gospel if you cannot handle these challenges. It is not just about you and your walk, it is about helping new ones with any and all concerns they have.
Not compelling. Since the people of Corinth did not actually see Jesus, before or after resurrection, look at the account given and tell me that you know exactly what it is that Paul has described.

But more importantly, does Paul answer because it was important to know, or to deal with funny teachings coming from others (some that you might be labeling as "false teachers" in the other thread). I read the account Paul gives and know that it is not simply physical. It is spiritual. But not simply spiritual. It was touchable.

And when Paul was done, he probably hoped that they could get back to living this life.

In any case, the fact that there is a small bit on it does not mean that we have a need to figure it out beyond what was recorded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So let's see, this was important to Martin Luther, Jesus and Paul. But not important to OBW. Who to listen to?
And the answer is that you have misrepresented what I am saying. My point is that going into deeper details than what is simply recorded in scripture does not have any impact on your present life (unless realizing that there is a future life causes you to rethink).

But the present life is the only thing that will impact your future life. And that only the realm of "in" or "out" and, if in, in the realm of "reward." The body you get is the body you get. Knowing about it in details beyond what is told fairly simply and in few words is, at best, speculative. In other words, it is not actually knowing. It is just guessing. And if you are right or wrong will not affect whether or not it is your experience at that time.

What do you achieve beyond claiming some knowledge that is, at best, tenuous? And what benefit is it with respect to the Kingdom? Worrying about my body after the resurrection is a waste of my time. It will be what it will be. And the little we are told would appear to be enough as far as God was/is concerned.

Your mocking question is not actually asked by any of those people. They do not conclude that you need to go beyond what is recorded.

Jesus did not say that we should know everything. He didn't even say that the teachers of the law should know everything. But he did suggest that the point he was making in John 3 should have been understood, or at least something on his radar to think about. At least for the teachers.

Martin Luther did not need to know where we go when we die to conclude that faith is the only thing that saves us. And that once dead, there is no more opportunity for faith. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus should have settled that.

Paul set out to deal with some claiming there is no resurrection. And going along with that was a question about what kind of body we would get assuming there is a resurrection. Paul's answer was that it is not simply a reconstituted physical body. It is also spiritual. Like the one Jesus got. And that seemed to be enough. Got them over their problems.

So which one of these needed to explain the difference in paradise and heaven? And if we "get to be with Jesus" upon death, as you mentioned in a prior post, and He is said to be in "heaven," then do we not "go to heaven"? What else do we need?

But the real question that I keep asking and you have not answered is this: If you are right/wrong, what does it do to your theology? To your salvation? To your eternal destiny? The only thing affected will be your theology. And right theology is not required. Just being right with God. That will dictate everything.

And don't you dare come back and say that just because I said getting theology right is not the important thing that I am saying that it really doesn't matter what you believe. I shouldn't have to say that, but the little question about Martin Luther, Jesus, and Paul would suggest that I need to. When I speak of theology in this post, I am referring to the many things which are not the core of the faith. Things that do not decide whether one is a believer in Christ or just in some good teachings. Many believers in Christ do not buy into dispensational theology. That does not affect their destiny. Some baptize by sprinkling. It does not reduce their salvation. There may be a right and a wrong, but getting it right is not central to the Kingdom life.

And there are a bunch of theoretical theologians somewhere that have wondered how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Deep stuff. There might be enough information in the scriptures to at least postulate an answer. But it is completely off the reservation to think about it. The question(s) about what happens after our death is(are) not totally irrelevant. But the important things are broad and are covered fairly clearly. More details than are given becomes speculative, at best. At some point, the best answer is to say "it doesn't matter. It is distracting us from what does matter." You don't "get ready" for His return by studying the difference in heaven and paradise or filling in more details on our resurrected body. ("Will be able to fly? To just be wherever we want?" Does it really matter? Is that more important that what is actually recorded in the scripture?)

You may not like it, but to me, the level to which the search for details not provided is in the "it doesn't matter" category. And it does not fly in the face of what Jesus said to Nicodemus, or Paul said to the Corinthians. How Martin Luther went about trying to argue against indulgences is really not important. Funny thing is that it was never decided. The discussion did not happen. He was simply rejected by Rome and taken under the wings of the German government. Politics was the decider. The issue was not discussed. Salvation by faith was.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 10:46 AM   #144
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You may not like it, but to me, the level to which the search for details not provided is in the "it doesn't matter" category. And it does not fly in the face of what Jesus said to Nicodemus, or Paul said to the Corinthians.
OBW,

I know you are not addressing my points, so I may be off the mark by addressing yours as if they pertain to mine. But I shall, anyway.

My quibble with the Nee/Lee school is because I like it. I like how they stressed responsibility, reward, and warning of loss to the believers. There seems to be at least some biblical ground for making those points, and saying that they fit alongside eternal life, as we understand it (I know Lee made a straw man out of "christianity" and acted as if they didn't discuss christian responsibility, when actually they do. Still, the subject remains valid).

The subject is important, even if some of it is covered scantily in the Bible and subsequent Christian writings. If I ask, "What does it mean to owe 100 measures of wheat, versus 50?", from the parable in Luke 16, I am not "off the reservation". What does "many stripes" mean versus "few stripes" mean in Luke 12? If Jesus taught on it, I am not beyond bounds at least considering it.

But our dilemma is that with this topic, you have to piece together a composite picture. Therefore I think that any treatment should be scholarly (broad, careful, reasoned) and very tentative. We should do a lot of thinking and have little confidence. Lee, on the other hand, did little scholarship and had lots of confidence. So we got taken in by his "confidence game" (pun intended). Lee said "This means that" and that was that.

I think what happens today and what happens after we die are connected. That was part of the message of Jesus, and of those who followed him. And death is a big deal, even to the unbelievers. But "what happens after we die" is at best, very vague, from our perspective. So we should be somewhat modest about making any bold assertions. Love one another, treat each other with respect, try to live properly, believe in Jesus. And carefully and humbly consider what Jesus' parables might have meant to those who listened to Him. I don't think we have exhausted the subject. And I do think it bears on our daily living.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #145
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I know you are not addressing my points, so I may be off the mark by addressing yours as if they pertain to mine. But I shall, anyway.
There is something to be said for considering what is reward and what is (or might be) punishment for those who are actually "in."

The thing is that we don't need paradise or heaven defined to deal with them.

And at the same time, we aren't even sure how to read some of them no matter when any alleged punishment might happen.

And if we want to discuss "when," I'm not sure that it is specifically defined. Maybe it actually happens after death and before the resurrection. (That would coincide with the Catholic purgatory without taking on all of their baggage.) Or maybe it is during the 1,000 years (assuming that this is actual and not metaphorical — not saying, just noting some uncertainty).

There is a reference to outer darkness and to weeping and gnashing of teeth. We like to read that parable as clearly talking about the saved (because of the word "servant"). But there were 12 disciples and one of them was taken over by Satan and betrayed Jesus. Yes, that was before salvation as we know it. . . . Or was it? Are we entirely sure that we know what it all means?

What about salvation. Grace? No works? Then what about "working out your salvation?

These are at least somewhat important. They deal with your life and your after-life. But the difference between heaven and paradise does not really deal with meaningful issues for this life. It is angels on a pin. There may be an answer. But knowing it gives no brownie points and doesn't help anyone be closer to God.

I cannot say that I buy Lee's version of some of those parables. At least not entirely. But I have never heard anyone deal with them in a way that is completely cohesive.

But, having said that, I understand what the thrust of them is. It is to be righteous, watching, etc., now in this life. I don't need to understand little dark rooms or summer school to figure that out.

Sometimes a warning is just that — a warning. It needs no dissection. trying to pick your way through the minutia to arrive at the entire knowledge of it seems like trying to figure out what you can get away with and still meet the criteria. (Not saying you are doing this.) But if your goal is to follow, then it would seem that being warned is sufficient. I don't want weeping and gnashing of teeth. I prefer to leave the details of what that really means undiscovered. Forever.

That was the message. "Don't go there." "Avoid that!" "Do what the master commands." (Oddly despising works is contrary to what the master commands.) The message is not to figure out how there is some literal outer darkness where you will weep and gnash your teeth — and get all of its details correct.

So, to the extent that we take these words and heed the warning, we are wise. To the extent that we try to build a novel out of a couple of paragraphs, it won't hurt us (probably not) but neither will it help us. But it might take our eyes off of the goal of obedience that was the command to be followed.

You don't need to respond. I think we are essentially on the same page.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 04:20 AM   #146
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

In Acts 24:25 Paul was lecturing the governor Felix on righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. Felix became nervous and said, "Okay, Paul, that's enough for now!"

What a gospel that Paul preached... may we all be blessed with such hearts, lips and tongues!

What I love about the Bible is that it often gives us such bare sketches: here Paul is presenting Felix with "the judgment to come", but we get no details. Yet we see its effect on the governor. Felix was supposed to be judging Paul, yet when God though Paul's words began to judge Felix, he was clearly affected.

So I agree with the point of OBW that the details in and of themselves are not requisite. For example, we don't see them in Acts 24:25, yet we see their power. May God's Word so touch our hearts.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 10:16 AM   #147
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
That is somewhat incorrect. I believe that you could refute them by showing that no one but yourself is responsible for your destiny. It cannot be bought by anyone, including yourself. And once you are dead, it is over.
Whoa! Where did you get this? What about "reincarnation"? How can you tell people that "once you are dead, it is over" without teaching about what happens when you die? You just destroyed your entire argument.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 10:21 AM   #148
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Your mocking question...
You are mistaken. You were the one who was mocking in your post, which you referred to as sarcastic, therefore my "mocking" question is ironic and is therefore sarcastic.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 10:32 AM   #149
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Jesus did not say ...
Paul set out to deal with some claiming there is no resurrection...

You may not like it, but to me, the level to which the search for details not provided is in the "it doesn't matter" category.
Do you read the posts? The details were provided by Jesus and Paul.

1. Jesus told the thief "this day you will be with Me in paradise". That is one detail.
2. Paul said that when he died "he would be with Christ". That is another detail.
3. Paul said that "the dead in Christ rise first". That is a third detail.

Of course there are more. Jesus talked about Lazarus being in the bosom of Abraham, and a gulf that separates the two parts of Hades. Peter talks about different realms in Hades as well, mentioning Tartarus where the fallen angels are held. Then of course you can talk about the False Prophet and Anti Christ who both "went to their place until the appointed time". There is also the very thorny question of Elijah and Moses. Where did they go. If John the Baptist was Elijah who is to come, what does that mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Martin Luther did not need to know where we go when we die ...
Then how does he know we don't go to purgatory? How does he know we shouldn't pay the indulgences?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 11:07 AM   #150
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
How can you tell people that "once you are dead, it is over" without teaching about what happens when you die? You just destroyed your entire argument.
"It's over", to me, referenced a composite picture composed of numerous biblical images. You have the idea of the door shut for the wedding feast, with some unable to enter. As I said before, a miss is as good as a mile. It's over.

You had the image of the ark. Inside is safe. Outside, it's over. Also the image of Sodom and Gomorrah. Every thing is hunky-dory until one day it starts raining fire. Game over.

Esau, though he wept with many tears, was not able to reclaim the birthright. It was gone -- it had passed through his hands and wasn't coming back. The rebellious angels, kept in chains, waiting for the judgment of the last day. The rich man, unable to get a drop of water from Lazarus, who was separated by an unbridgeable chasm.

There are arguably no "details" here, just a general, but consistent and clear theme. God is patient, but once God says it's over, it's over.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 12:29 PM   #151
MacDuff
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 88
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

ZNPaaneah

The word paradise is only found three times in the New Testament. And in none of those three times is the word defined or said to be the same as something else.

Quote:
Then how does he know we don't go to purgatory? How does he know we shouldn't pay the indulgences?
How indeed? Since the Bible doesn’t say anything at all about purgatory. It’s a RCC doctrine based on other doctrines. The Bible sources that Lee used for his own version of purgatory refer to hell in the RCC. Same with indulgences, which the RCC defines today differently than in the 16th century, in that it is a Spiritual matter, not a physical one. But they still believe that the idea of indulgences is valid, which Protestants do not. Because some of the doctrines behind the idea of indulgences isn’t believed by Protestants either.

Not being a Protestant, I would say that Luther’s idea of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fides are based on personal interpretation more than on the Bible itself. But then, that’s just a personal opinion, and the opinion of the RCC, the largest of the denominations, and of Eastern Orthodoxy, which is no small denomination, though it seems so in America where it is a minority denomination.

I realize that Protestants get themselves in a quandary about the smallest matters as they try to define every detail of “the Faith” via Biblical interpretation. A natural result of thinking that the Bible is more in its own right than it really is. And many Protestant denominations are created because of disagreements about matters that aren’t very important. Whether or not to use musical instruments or a particular musical instrument in meetings, for example.

The maxim that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it is apropos here. The idea of reincarnation isn’t a Christian idea. Never has been. Nevertheless, there are Christians who believe in it today and can quote you Bible verses that substantiates the belief in their own mind. And some of them are Catholics, who you would think would know better.

The point OBW is trying to make, I think, is a concern that the next thing you may question is how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. There are many things we should be concerned about without trying to get into things that may be of no concern to us as an explicit explanation in our present life. And like OBW, I think that trying to explicitly define paradise and some of the other Biblical references to the future life may be in that realm. Better minds than those of us on this forum have tried to define such things and they disagree. Why should we think we are any better?

The RCC has defined some of these things. And even they don’t spend a whole lot of time on such matters according to their most recent Catechism, and other Catholic writings. They just say this is what the Church has thought for centuries and go on with more important things like the Mass and prayer and their importance as experiences of God today. Some Catholics may emphasize such things as appearances of Mary over the last couple centuries. The RCC itself does not. But that doesn’t bother those Catholics who emphasize such things.

A summary, for those who prefer short posts. There are important matters and not so important matters. And I think OBW is trying to steer us back to the more important matters. Such as, what does the term overcomer mean and what does it mean to us today?

MacDuff
MacDuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 02:02 PM   #152
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDuff View Post
ZNPaaneah
The point OBW is trying to make, I think, is a concern that the next thing you may question is how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. There are many things we should be concerned about without trying to get into things that may be of no concern to us as an explicit explanation in our present life.
I understand. My point is the discussion fit within the "mission" of this forum, it fits within the thread, and if OBW is not interested don't post. I am interested and am not about to have OBW or anyone else tell me what I should or shouldn't be interested in. There have been at least 3 times as many words posted saying "don't talk about this" as those that are talking about it.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 02:18 PM   #153
MacDuff
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 88
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

ZNPaaneah

I feel your pain. Igzy said the same thing about what little I was interested in on this forum. But you have to admit that, unless you believe that overcoming refers to the next life, the after life has little to do with overcoming. But then, maybe we should leave that to Aron who started this thread. And he's as much a part of this conversation on the after life as any.

Sorry. I won't mention it again. Nor be a part of this conversation, seeing as I have no personal interest in the after life. Not yet, not yet being there. Being 72 years, it won't be long I think. And I think I already said that to me, all that matters is that we're with Jesus, whether in this life or the next. Whether or not we're in Christ in this life determines where we'll be in the next. And at the moment, I have enough to concern me in this life.

Thanks for your response. It should be considered sufficient for both OBW and myself, and any others who questioned your emphasis on the matter.

MacDuff
MacDuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 09:20 PM   #154
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,284
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I experienced the same thing in my locality. At college I was spending a lot of time with a Christian who was struggling with an addiction and a mental disorder. He was a really sweet brother, but he just had very deep personal issues. I would visit him in his dorm, invite him over to the brother's house (where I lived), and just spend time with him. And he was improving. His life seemed to be turning around (not just because of me, but I do think I was having a positive influence on him).

I was strongly rebuked by an elder/full-timer that I was spending too much time with this brother, and I should focus whatever "serving" time I had on better material. I took that admonition seriously, and stopped making an effort to spend time with this young brother. (At the time I bought into the church's authority/submission complex. If an older brother, especially an elder, tells you something against your conscience, then you need to "take it from the Lord.")

Eventually that young brother gave into his addiction, and dropped out of school. I have no idea what became of him. But I still regret letting our friendship go, just because I wanted to make an elder happy. The Lord spent so much time with the lost and helpless and rejected. But I was made to feel guilty for spending just a little time with a brother who needed people to care.
Unfortunately this is the modus operandi. Focus on helping those who can contribute positively to the movement while everyone else is a waste of time.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 03:49 AM   #155
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Unfortunately this is the modus operandi. Focus on helping those who can contribute positively to the movement while everyone else is a waste of time.
This is the modus operandi of false brothers. This is why on the other thread I pointed out "you shall know them by their fruit" should also be used as evidence that WL is a false teacher.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #156
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,284
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

I hear what you're saying ZNP. While I was meeting in the local churches, it became obvious the agenda about the gospel was who is "good material" for the ministry? Meaning bringing the gospel of Jesus to the unsaved is secondary to adding membership to the local churches.
If you spoke the gospel to someone and they ended up meeting somewhere else, yuur time was wasted because it did not issue in positive results for "the ministry". However what is lost sight of is as Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 3:4-7;

"For when one says, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos, are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth."
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 03:45 PM   #157
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,284
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Unfortunately this is the modus operandi. Focus on helping those who can contribute positively to the movement while everyone else is a waste of time.
As some of you may now Indiana has been for five months residing in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. I've been following his email report regarding interactions with local Christians and Catholics. Recently a blended co-worker responded not wanting to be included in the email correspondence. You may not think anything fo it, but considering this co-worker goes to the same island twice a year for at least the last five years, it only reinforces the quoted post.
If spreading the gospel or even fellowship among believers does not come from nor directly contributes to LSM-oriented fellowship, there is no ear to hear.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 04:38 AM   #158
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Does the LRC have a mixed agenda in the gospel? Is at least one stated goal of the gospel they preach to "spread the ministry"?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:14 AM   #159
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Whoa! Where did you get this? What about "reincarnation"? How can you tell people that "once you are dead, it is over" without teaching about what happens when you die? You just destroyed your entire argument.
You don't have to have the details of what happens after death to refute reincarnation. "It is appointed unto man once to die; after that the judgment." (somewhat paraphrased) The problem is that verses do not prove anything to someone who does not believe. And if someone thinks they believe in Christ and the scripture, that one verse should set them straight if they thought otherwise. If not, I'm not sure what to say.

But, if they think they might come back to life to live here on this earth and get another crack at it all, what does that do to their salvation?

Once again, you throw out a somewhat extreme example and assert that you need to be able to teach them about what happens when they die. It seems that the only clear word is that you die, then face judgment (one way or the other). Much of any "teaching" on other things in between is sort of speculative.

The need is for belief in Christ and his gospel. It is not for theological analysis of what happens after death beyond what is clearly stated. And, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4, don't go beyond what is written. Let the words of scripture speak for themselves. They do not need embellishment or improvement to deal with those who believe in reincarnation. They just need to get to the heart and mind of the person to believe in and follow Christ.

I'm not saying that there is no value in persuading a believer that still holds to reincarnation. But the value is not "life-changing" in the ultimate sense. It probably will help them toward sanctification now since now will probably become more important.

But scavenging the little actually written about what is after death and before the New Jerusalem (or at least the rapture) to build a more robust teaching on the subject does not appear to be important. It surely did not rise to the level of a teaching for Jesus. Or even for Paul. Referring to 1 Corinthians 15 only asserts that there is a resurrection. And it gives a fleeting hint at the nature of the new body we will receive then. But it says nothing about between now and then (after death).
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:31 AM   #160
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You don't have to have the details of what happens after death to refute reincarnation. "It is appointed unto man once to die; after that the judgment." (somewhat paraphrased) The problem is that verses do not prove anything to someone who does not believe. And if someone thinks they believe in Christ and the scripture, that one verse should set them straight if they thought otherwise. If not, I'm not sure what to say.

Once again, you throw out a somewhat extreme example and assert that you need to be able to teach them about what happens when they die. It seems that the only clear word is that you die, then face judgment (one way or the other). Much of any "teaching" on other things in between is sort of speculative.
Why is 1 verse in Hebrews more clear than the verse in Phil where Paul says that when he dies he will be with Christ? Why is that one verse more clear than what the Lord says to Nicodemus that his knows about the things of earth and the heaven? Or the verses describing where Jesus went after being crucified? Or the verse where Jesus says He hasn't ascended to the father yet? Or the verses Jesus shared about Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham? Or the verse where Jesus told the thief he would be with him that day in Paradise? Of the verse that says "the dead in Christ will rise first".

Who makes you the arbiter of which verses are clear and which aren't, and which are worth being interested in and which aren't?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:33 AM   #161
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Do you read the posts? The details were provided by Jesus and Paul.

1. Jesus told the thief "this day you will be with Me in paradise". That is one detail.
2. Paul said that when he died "he would be with Christ". That is another detail.
3. Paul said that "the dead in Christ rise first". That is a third detail.

Of course there are more. Jesus talked about Lazarus being in the bosom of Abraham, and a gulf that separates the two parts of Hades. Peter talks about different realms in Hades as well, mentioning Tartarus where the fallen angels are held. Then of course you can talk about the False Prophet and Anti Christ who both "went to their place until the appointed time". There is also the very thorny question of Elijah and Moses. Where did they go. If John the Baptist was Elijah who is to come, what does that mean?
THe answer to your opening question is "yes."

What you have demonstrated is that there are several references that somewhat fit together, and somewhat confuse one another. At least as long as the thought is that these are all very literal, precise-meaning phrases intending to provide a "modern," systematic, and cohesive theology. And if that is the goal, then there is room for complaint about inconsistencies. But I believe that you will see that each of these are specific references that are not intended so much to tell us about what happens after death as to reflect upon the results of the actions and decisions of this life.

We had some disagreement some months back about the cohesiveness of a series of parables that Jesus spoke. There was the field with the weeds sown by the enemy, followed by several others some relating to growing and harvesting, some used leaven, and at least one referred to fishing. I don't remember if you had a particular thought on this, but my impression from these was that even where the same thing came up a second time, it was not necessarily for the purpose of creating a larger theology surrounding that thing, but of using some aspect of it to make a point.

Another is where Jesus speaks at least three parables in a row concerning sheep, shepherds, sheep pens, the gate, etc. In each of those, he made a specific point. Some think that the use of the common collective in the metaphorical sense was to build a complete metaphor concerning Christ. But if that is true, there is a problem. In one, Christ is the shepherd. But in another it is clear that men are shepherds. So it is not as simple as some larger whole.

And for those who just got lost in all of that, the thing that I see in these various tidbits about what happens after death are these:
  1. They are not placed together.
  2. The most important part of them (in most cases) is not what they say about what happens after death.
Since they have purpose other than the "after-death," and they are not even in the general proximity of each other, I do not find a compelling reason to begin to build a cohesive theology concerning what scripture does not say based on the nearly nothing that it does say.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:40 AM   #162
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
The need is for belief in Christ and his gospel. It is not for theological analysis of what happens after death beyond what is clearly stated. And, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4, don't go beyond what is written. Let the words of scripture speak for themselves. They do not need embellishment or improvement to deal with those who believe in reincarnation. They just need to get to the heart and mind of the person to believe in and follow Christ.
Well it is commonly taught that if you believe in Christ you will be saved and if you don't you will go to hell.

Please reconcile this word by Peter with that "common" teaching

2 Peter
2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

If everyone who knows Jesus as Lord and Savior is saved, and everyone who doesn't is going to hell then how could it be better for someone to have never known Jesus and the way of righteousness?

How does anyone preach the gospel without reconciling this?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:45 AM   #163
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

I'll respond to just this one and you might understand me better and be able to presume how I think concerning the others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Why is 1 verse in Hebrews more clear than the verse in Phil where Paul says that when he dies he will be with Christ?
Because, whether we are immediately brought into the presence of Christ, or, at another extreme, we are unaware of anything until the resurrection, our realization is that we are "with Christ." The verse does not explain.

And, even if I remain aware after death, and am actually, like the story of the rich man and Lazarus, in "Abraham's bosom" so to speak, my destiny is secure and I can say that I am with Christ because the suffering of life is over and "it is finished."

I don't really like this analogy (for obvious reasons that you will see when you read on). But if I got great tickets to a sporting event or primo concert and then later came to realize that there are now 3,000 people standing in line to get the remaining 1,000 tickets, I can say that I am "in" while many of those cannot say that. But until the concert time actually arrives and they open the doors, no one is literally "in."

What Paul says may or may not be like that. "It is decided and final. I have confidence that it is simply so."

"In any case, I'm with you."

Remember. It is language. And in some cases, the precision of language is not in every possible outcome of what that means at the moment, but what it means in context and in intent.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:47 AM   #164
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
THe answer to your opening question is "yes."

What you have demonstrated is that there are several references that somewhat fit together, and somewhat confuse one another. At least as long as the thought is that these are all very literal, precise-meaning phrases intending to provide a "modern," systematic, and cohesive theology. And if that is the goal, then there is room for complaint about inconsistencies. But I believe that you will see that each of these are specific references that are not intended so much to tell us about what happens after death as to reflect upon the results of the actions and decisions of this life.

We had some disagreement some months back about the cohesiveness of a series of parables that Jesus spoke. There was the field with the weeds sown by the enemy, followed by several others — some relating to growing and harvesting, some used leaven, and at least one referred to fishing. I don't remember if you had a particular thought on this, but my impression from these was that even where the same thing came up a second time, it was not necessarily for the purpose of creating a larger theology surrounding that thing, but of using some aspect of it to make a point.

Another is where Jesus speaks at least three parables in a row concerning sheep, shepherds, sheep pens, the gate, etc. In each of those, he made a specific point. Some think that the use of the common collective in the metaphorical sense was to build a complete metaphor concerning Christ. But if that is true, there is a problem. In one, Christ is the shepherd. But in another it is clear that men are shepherds. So it is not as simple as some larger whole.

And for those who just got lost in all of that, the thing that I see in these various tidbits about what happens after death are these:
  1. They are not placed together.
  2. The most important part of them (in most cases) is not what they say about what happens after death.
Since they have purpose other than the "after-death," and they are not even in the general proximity of each other, I do not find a compelling reason to begin to build a cohesive theology concerning what scripture does not say based on the nearly nothing that it does say.
Although none of this is relevant to the current discussion it does remind me of something that is. On another forum there was a raging debate over "once saved always saved". So I asked them to define "saved" and provided about 9 or 10 different usages of this term in the New Testament.

Now this debate is central to this discussion and I would argue there is no way to reconcile the verses on "salvation" unless you determine that the word "saved" does not always refer to the same salvation. If you agree with that, which is basically your premise as I understand it in this post (just because a word is common to two different verses doesn't mean they are referring to the same truth), then you are forced to define what happens to a person after they die.

After all the word "overcome" is clearly making a fine delineation between two "saved" believers.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:55 AM   #165
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Well it is commonly taught that if you believe in Christ you will be saved and if you don't you will go to hell.
Did I somehow say something different from this?

Please tell me where I did. Anyone?

This has been my point. This is a simple statement. It is (arguably) right there in the scripture. (I say arguably because there are some that think it is not quite so clear. But so far they have not been persuasive.)

You don't need to understand where it is, precisely, that you go upon death and before the resurrection. You don't even need to understand the nature of the body you will receive upon resurrection. But if I have to say anything about it, I will stick to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15. I will not try to read more into the limited things said than what was written.

I will not comment specifically on the other "what if" kind of things you bring up.

To All:

I will provide another post in a moment that will underscore my base. Where I am coming from. And if you really can't tolerate it after that, then I realize that there is a problem here that makes my participation nearly worthless.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:56 AM   #166
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I'll respond to just this one and you might understand me better and be able to presume how I think concerning the others.
Because, whether we are immediately brought into the presence of Christ, or, at another extreme, we are unaware of anything until the resurrection, our realization is that we are "with Christ." The verse does not explain.
Then how do you explain Samuel being brought up from the dead to talk to Saul. He was aware of Saul's impending death and many other things.

How do you explain Moses and Elijah appearing with Jesus on the Mount of transfiguration?

How do you explain the verses that says Jesus preached to those in Tartarus, they were aware of what was happening.

How do you explain the rich man being tormented asking to go talk to his brothers?

Where do you make this stuff up? Why do you teach beyond what is written in the Bible.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:59 AM   #167
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Did I somehow say something different from this?

Please tell me where I did. Anyone?

This has been my point. This is a simple statement. It is (arguably) right there in the scripture. (I say arguably because there are some that think it is not quite so clear. But so far they have not been persuasive.)

You don't need to understand where it is, precisely, that you go upon death and before the resurrection. You don't even need to understand the nature of the body you will receive upon resurrection. But if I have to say anything about it, I will stick to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15. I will not try to read more into the limited things said than what was written.

I will not comment specifically on the other "what if" kind of things you bring up.

To All:

I will provide another post in a moment that will underscore my base. Where I am coming from. And if you really can't tolerate it after that, then I realize that there is a problem here that makes my participation nearly worthless.
There is no verse anywhere in scripture that says everyone who does not believe in Jesus will go to hell.

The closest verse you can get is to say that the "unbelieving" will be cast into the Lake of fire. But, as you have been so vehemently arguing you cannot assume that this must be equivalent to something spoken in another book. Especially since within the same context of the consummation of all things in Revelation it says that "the nations will bring their glory into the New Jerusalem". And in several places it says that the believers will "rule and reign" over the nations.

There are too many verses in the New Testament that would cause you to question that, for example the verse I already gave you, 2Peter 2:20-21

If every non believer is cast into the lake of fire how could it be "better" for someone to have never believed than after having believed to turn back from the right way?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 09:05 AM   #168
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
But if I have to say anything about it, I will stick to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15. I will not try to read more into the limited things said than what was written.
That will be a nice change. Can you itemize what I have spoken that was more than what was written?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 09:44 AM   #169
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

A few posts back, MacDuff probably said some of what I would say better than I would. I will not say that I agree with him on some of his positions. And I surely would not simply take the Catholic position over that of Protestantism.

Except in a few things. And those seem to be the things that are underpinning the nature of the recent arguments. I do not simply agree with the Catholics on these. But note that they are at least rational and consistent in how they approach and deal with scripture.

Sola Scriptura was developed in response to some decrees of the RCC that seemed to fly in the face of what scripture actually said. Since the RCC's position is that the church is the final arbiter of what scripture means, they think it is their prerogative.

They are wrong. But the idea that scripture simply speaks clearly is nothing short of ludicrous. If we are going to dump the church, and go to scripture alone, then it becomes me and my Bible. And we all get to say. And we simply don't agree. (And look where that has gotten us.)

While I have no desire to even consider a regular "diet" of Masses, rosaries, Hail Marys etc., the fighting among the Protestants is proof that what they think is important about in understanding scripture is mostly garbage.

And in the midst of the fighting, for many it is ending.

What I note in so many posts and positions is that we have virtually all been part of (or are still part of) a group that made such a big deal about being free from the law. But despite this, we view whatever our position is as so important that everyone else ought to agree with it. Even when we dump the LRC, we want to make rules about how leaders ought to be (and whether there should even be leaders) or we are degenerate.

We mostly don't say it that strongly, but we look down our noses at a denomination simply because it is a denomination. We despise a preacher because he is paid. We think that the fact that there is someone who is primary among leadership is problematic.

But does the record in Acts ever suggest such a problem? It is clear that Peter took the lead at a time. At another time, it was James. There is no indication in the written account that this was a problem.

I don't say that there are no problems anywhere. But the problems are the actual problems, not the ones layered on by implication of purist theology.

And this is my beef, of sorts. I have seemed to take on some pretty strong opinions on things lately. But how often have you paid attention to the position I take? How often is it like the latest one here on life-after-death? We are poised to develop a new and better theology about how to say it right (and without intention, start looking down our noses at those who don't do it that way or agree with it).

My position in this particular situation is that there is not really a position to take. We are so strong to try to figure it out a la sola scriptura and then apply our new-found theology as a yardstick to judge others.

I am not saying that there is no cause for getting things right. But the history from which we spring tends to push us to repeat the same errors that we now despise in Lee and the LRC. And that is thinking you got it right and judging everyone else for their error.

There is a place for getting it right. And that place is together. It is as the church. Not the Catholic church, or this denomination or that denomination. But as Christians willing to look beyond our petty preferences and search for truth together. I prefer immersion for baptism. Others sprinkling. I prefer believers baptism. Others take the words where whole households were baptized and do it on that basis of the household (and thus infant baptism). (BTW, do any of those groups believe, as a matter of teaching, that the infant is now saved?) But beyond these things that we differ upon, there is the core of the faith. And on this we agree. We may ultimately conclude that other positions are "right."

But we should always consider whether they are important. What does scripture actually say about it? Or is it just am implication?

And we should ask more questions than we answer. Even the scientific method of modernism finds answers by asking questions and seeking beyond what is known. Too often, our only question is where to find proof of what it is that we have already decided is true.

And when that is the exercise, then the postmodern position is far superior. Don't just tell me. Show me.

You say Jesus changes lives? Show me one. Shw me how you are changed.

You claim that Christ makes you one. demonstrate it. I will assure you that just because there are two different groups meeting in different ways across the street from each other, that alone will not be seen as disproof of oneness. The fact that they come out together to live the gospel in the community without discord is proof that they are.

I obviously love logic. And, at some level, I love theology. But I hate theology that does not have meaningful impact on people's lives today. That picks through what is wrong with other Christians and how to avoid them. I hate theology that is at the cost of loving one another. And since there will be more than one way to understand what happens between death and the resurrection, I am happy for those who have come to peace because of their version (as a result of sola scripture me and my Bible). But I hate the creation of a "this is the answer" when it has no bearing on love for one another rather puts one more bullet in the gun of discord.

I do not say this concerning the core of the person of Christ and the core of salvation. Only concerning the periphery. And of all the things mentioned in scripture in any way, shape or form, what happens between death and the resurrection is one of the more unspecified items there is. I cringe at the very act of trying to "figure it out," especially to go to such lengths to defend the need to do so.

I do not believe that the need exists. Scripture itself, in its silence, seems to agree.

Figure it out for yourself if you want. Like your conclusions. Don't think they are "right" and others are "wrong." If it comforts you to go this route, then so be it. But to rejoin with others to defend the importance of the topic is to require a specific result which is to add one more cause for lack of unity in the body. One more new Christian denomination or splinter group.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 09:51 AM   #170
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Then how do you explain Samuel being brought up from the dead to talk to Saul. He was aware of Saul's impending death and many other things.

How do you explain Moses and Elijah appearing with Jesus on the Mount of transfiguration?

How do you explain the verses that says Jesus preached to those in Tartarus, they were aware of what was happening.

How do you explain the rich man being tormented asking to go talk to his brothers?

Where do you make this stuff up? Why do you teach beyond what is written in the Bible.
Wrong question. That is the best answer to your question.

The issue with Samuel speaking to Saul was not how it came to be.

Talk about missing the point. You are majoring on the periphery. Does the scripture bother to tell you how it came to be? And precisely in what way Samuel had existed since death until that time? If not, then I suggest it was not the point of the passage. It is more of a distraction for those with ADHD.

"Squirrel!"
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 01:33 PM   #171
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Andy Anderson on the "Overcomers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
My position in this particular situation is that there is not really a position to take. We are so strong to try to figure it out — a la sola scriptura — and then apply our new-found theology as a yardstick to judge others.
I don't think anyone in this thread has really disagreed. While in the LRC we seemed sure we knew what happened, but I think the verses we have looked at have made a very strong case that at the very least the LRC position is not a strong one and, actually may be an erroneous one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I am not saying that there is no cause for getting things right. But the history from which we spring tends to push us to repeat the same errors that we now despise in Lee and the LRC. And that is thinking you got it right and judging everyone else for their error.
That is one reason why I stood firm on this discussion because I was clearly painted with that brush because I asked someone training children a question about their teaching. If you are saying the response I got was reminiscent of the LRC I wouldn't disagree. If you are saying that I am the one that is so sure I got it right it doesn't make sense, over the course of the discussion I have completely changed my understanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
There is a place for getting it right. And that place is together. It is as the church. Not the Catholic church, or this denomination or that denomination. But as Christians willing to look beyond our petty preferences and search for truth together.
Isn't that what we were doing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I prefer immersion for baptism. Others sprinkling. I prefer believers baptism. Others take the words where whole households were baptized and do it on that basis of the household (and thus infant baptism). (BTW, do any of those groups believe, as a matter of teaching, that the infant is now saved?) But beyond these things that we differ upon, there is the core of the faith. And on this we agree. We may ultimately conclude that other positions are "right."
Paul taught headcovering, he explained it, he brought in the OT and created a solid NT teaching. But he also said if anyone seems contentious we have no such doctrine. The point is he didn't prohibit or discourage the study of the word, he just understood there are priorities. No one on this thread ever made a point that this topic is an item of the faith. Overcomers are not an item of the faith. The rapture is not an item of the faith. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't study it. There is no basis to imply that anyone on here has elevated this discussion to "an item of the faith".

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
But we should always consider whether they are important. What does scripture actually say about it? Or is it just am implication?

And we should ask more questions than we answer. Even the scientific method of modernism finds answers by asking questions and seeking beyond what is known. Too often, our only question is where to find proof of what it is that we have already decided is true.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression you were objecting to us asking these questions? That was also my reading of Macduff's understanding as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And when that is the exercise, then the postmodern position is far superior. Don't just tell me. Show me.
That was the point of what Ohio was doing by bringing in the accounts and testimonies of those who have been resuscitated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You say Jesus changes lives? Show me one. Shw me how you are changed.
I did. I shared the testimony of the Buddhist that died and saw Jesus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You claim that Christ makes you one. demonstrate it. I will assure you that just because there are two different groups meeting in different ways across the street from each other, that alone will not be seen as disproof of oneness. The fact that they come out together to live the gospel in the community without discord is proof that they are.

I obviously love logic. And, at some level, I love theology. But I hate theology that does not have meaningful impact on people's lives today. That picks through what is wrong with other Christians and how to avoid them. I hate theology that is at the cost of loving one another. And since there will be more than one way to understand what happens between death and the resurrection, I am happy for those who have come to peace because of their version (as a result of sola scripture — me and my Bible). But I hate the creation of a "this is the answer" when it has no bearing on love for one another — rather puts one more bullet in the gun of discord.
Once again this doesn't make sense. If I made a big issue of this why do I meet with this group? Why do I have my children go to the Catechism class? The level to which you and others appear to have lept to ugly conclusions is extremely offensive. I said I meet with a group, my children went to a Catechism class, they taught this, and I asked the person teaching the class privately for a verse reference. From that you jump to this idea that I am condemning others for teaching things different from my understanding. That is insulting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I do not say this concerning the core of the person of Christ and the core of salvation. Only concerning the periphery. And of all the things mentioned in scripture in any way, shape or form, what happens between death and the resurrection is one of the more unspecified items there is. I cringe at the very act of trying to "figure it out," especially to go to such lengths to defend the need to do so.

I do not believe that the need exists. Scripture itself, in its silence, seems to agree.

Figure it out for yourself if you want. Like your conclusions. Don't think they are "right" and others are "wrong." If it comforts you to go this route, then so be it. But to rejoin with others to defend the importance of the topic is to require a specific result which is to add one more cause for lack of unity in the body. One more new Christian denomination or splinter group.
You misread what I said about this being evidence that the LRC is blind, like Laodicea. I wasn't basing this on the fact that they teach that Christians don't go to heaven when they die. I do this because they mock and ridicule others for teaching that Christians go to heaven. There is a very big difference. This is why I asked "do you read the posts".
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #172
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I'll respond to just this one and you might understand me better and be able to presume how I think concerning the others.
Because, whether we are immediately brought into the presence of Christ, or, at another extreme, we are unaware of anything until the resurrection, our realization is that we are "with Christ." The verse does not explain.

And, even if I remain aware after death, and am actually, like the story of the rich man and Lazarus, in "Abraham's bosom" so to speak, my destiny is secure and I can say that I am with Christ because the suffering of life is over and "it is finished."

I don't really like this analogy (for obvious reasons that you will see when you read on). But if I got great tickets to a sporting event or primo concert and then later came to realize that there are now 3,000 people standing in line to get the remaining 1,000 tickets, I can say that I am "in" while many of those cannot say that. But until the concert time actually arrives and they open the doors, no one is literally "in."

What Paul says may or may not be like that. "It is decided and final. I have confidence that it is simply so."

"In any case, I'm with you."

Remember. It is language. And in some cases, the precision of language is not in every possible outcome of what that means at the moment, but what it means in context and in intent.
Phil 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
More
1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

The context of these verses is that Paul might be martyred and this is his mindset. When he says "to die" the context is clearly a physical death. This is not allegorical. When he says he has a desire to "depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better" you cannot read that to mean that "the suffering of my life is over and his labor is finished" because in the next verse he makes it clear that it isn't finished, rather "to abide in the flesh is more needful for you".

The context and intent I think is very rich in detail. Like Stephen, if he is martyred he will be with Christ. (Perhaps he can even see Jesus standing.) He is quite excited at the prospect of being with Christ, but he knows his labor is not finished and he needs to remain for our sakes.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 02:45 PM   #173
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,170
Default Re: heaven

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Phil 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
More
1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

The context of these verses is that Paul might be martyred and this is his mindset. When he says "to die" the context is clearly a physical death. This is not allegorical. When he says he has a desire to "depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better" you cannot read that to mean that "the suffering of my life is over and his labor is finished" because in the next verse he makes it clear that it isn't finished, rather "to abide in the flesh is more needful for you".

The context and intent I think is very rich in detail. Like Stephen, if he is martyred he will be with Christ. (Perhaps he can even see Jesus standing.) He is quite excited at the prospect of being with Christ, but he knows his labor is not finished and he needs to remain for our sakes.
I don't particularly have a quibble with anyone thinking in the way that you do as laid out in your response. But you provide it as if the verses you supply answers the question and makes your answer the answer.

Just like the examples about Samuel and the others, now adding Paul's comments about the possible end of his life soon, they do not speak to the nature of the "between" life (or time) the time between death and resurrection in a way that gives any clear understanding of what that involves. And the point of the passages is something other than that interim period.

And then your point-by-point dissection of my longer post. I will provide an overview assessment in this way. You missed the point. Even the way you responded to so many items shows that you are missing the point.

For example, I created a hypothetical statement by a "postmodern" person that said
Quote:
You say Jesus changes lives? Show me one. Show me how you are changed.
You respond with
Quote:
I did. I shared the testimony of the Buddhist that died and saw Jesus.
This just demonstrates to me that you did not actually read my post. I was not challenging anyone to give a testimony about how their life was changed, or provide some testimony from someone else. It was a comment on the excessive piling on of knowledge and claims about the unstated rather than focusing on the primary thrust of the whole of scripture, which is the gospel of Christ, belief in Him, and evidence that there is belief because it is seen in the changing of lives and the will to follow the one you claim to believe. One testimony of one Buddhist does not make a study into what happens after death "according to scripture" beyond what scripture clearly teaches important.

By the way. That post was not just for you. And even if it was, finding a testimony of someone who had some kind of vision as the result of whatever it is that we call "near death experiences" does not support the need for better understanding of what happens between death and the resurrection. It just proves that our God is real. However it came to be, whether a vision given in an extreme situation (nearly dying) or the partial opening of the veil that separates what is beyond the grave from what is on this side, it is proof of God. But it is not evidence of how this "between time" exists. If it is a vision, it could very well be a vision of what will be after the resurrection. How are we to know?