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Old 07-08-2008, 05:44 AM   #1
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Default Minister of the Age

Here is an article that I wrote regarding the minister of the age teaching. I think that this teaching is one of the most dangerous teachings in the LC. I remember when I discussed the events of 80's with a brother who is in the current LC leadership, he told me that Philip Lee was not a main issue. The main issue, according to this brother, was the matter of the minister of the age. So the main "sin" of those who had left then was that they did not recognize Witness Lee as the minister of the age.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:33 PM   #2
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So the main "sin" of those who had left then was that they did not recognize Witness Lee as the minister of the age.
KSA, so the improprieties of PL, the manner LSM operated in the 1980's, and the points John, Godfred, and Al laid out on August 28, 1988 were considered minor issues?
As to the point you lay out, recognizing Witness Lee as the minister of the age I would consider a serious error. Of course many of us who met under the ministry of Witness Lee's work respected his speaking. However we should never give a brother or sister a free pass. There was only one worthy of a free pass and that is Jesus Christ.
I will need to continue my thought later....

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Old 07-08-2008, 11:12 PM   #3
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Actually these improprieties were considered, according to that brother, "a smokescreen for real issues" which issue is the minister of the age. I somewhat agree with this brother. The real issue was indeed the development of "ministry theology". Only this "ministry of the age" mindset allowed to overlook serious problems that exested then. This "ministry theology" underwent a certain development. First it was oneness with "the Office", then oneness with the "minister of the age", and now the oneness with the "ministry of the age" embodied in Blended Brothers and One Publication.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:35 AM   #4
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Here is an article that I wrote regarding the minister of the age teaching. I think that this teaching is one of the most dangerous teachings in the LC. I remember when I discussed the events of 80's with a brother who is in the current LC leadership, he told me that Philip Lee was not a main issue. The main issue, according to this brother, was the matter of the minister of the age. So the main "sin" of those who had left then was that they did not recognize Witness Lee as the minister of the age.
I believe that in the local church there was no mention of the "minister of the age" as you have posted. Your argument is blurred with the wrong terminilogy.

However, with regards to the "ministry of the age" a message was given by Brother Watchman Nee as follows:

Quote:
CONCERNING FOLLOWING THE MINISTRY OF THE AGE

Question: How should Jonathan in the Old Testament (Saul's son—1 Sam. 14:1-46) choose his way?

Seeing the Ministry of the Age

Brother Nee answered: In the Old Testament, both Solomon and David represented the Lord. The two persons represented the one ministry in two separate ways. In the Old Testament, there were many ministries. After Moses, the judges were raised up. After that, there was Solomon, the kings, and the prophets. After the Israelites were taken into captivity, the vessels for the recovery were raised up. The Old Testament is filled with different kinds of ministries. In every age, there is the ministry of that age. These ministries of the ages are different from the local ministers. Luther was a minister of his age. Darby was also a minister of his age. In every age, the Lord has special things that He wants to accomplish. He has His own recoveries and His own works to do. The particular recovery and work that He is doing in one age is the ministry of that age.

Forsaking the Past Ministries

Jonathan stood between Saul and David. He was one man standing between two ministries. What he should have done was to follow the second ministry. However, because Jonathan's relationship with the first ministry was too deep, he could not disentangle himself from it. In order to catch up with the ministry of the age, there is the need for us to see the vision. Michal was married to David, yet she did not see anything. She only saw David's condition before God, and she could not tolerate it. As a result, she was left behind (2 Sam. 6:16, 20-23).

All Being a Matter of God's Mercy

It is God's mercy that a person can see and come into contact with the ministry of that age. Yet, it is altogether a different thing for a man to take up the courage to forsake the past ministry. It is a precious thing to see, and it is a blessed thing to come into contact with something. Yet whether or not one can set aside his past ministry is entirely up to God's mercy.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:43 AM   #5
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There was! it is indeed strange that you would deny it. When I was mentioning it to brothers, they did not deny it, they tried to defend it.

BTW, I disagree completly with what Watchman Nee wrote about the ministry of the age. There is no such a teaching in the New Testament. There is only one ministry - new covenant ministry, and it is not limited by "one age". We all have part in this ministry.

One more thing: have you noticed that brothers never refuted my article. Had I misrepresented their position, they would have jumped on me right away. The thing is they cannot defend their teaching from the Bible. For them this teaching is probably part of the "traditions in the Lord's recovery" (Benson's expression). In my article I purposely did not include any "ministry" quotes, but stuck exclusively to the Bible.

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Old 07-30-2008, 02:20 AM   #6
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There was! it is indeed strange that you would deny it. When I was mentioning it to brothers, they did not deny it, they tried to defend it.

BTW, I disagree completly with what Watchman Nee wrote about the ministry of the age. There is no such a teaching in the New Testament. There is only one ministry - new covenant ministry, and it is not limited by "one age". We all have part in this ministry.

One more thing: have you noticed that brothers never refuted my article. Had I misrepresented their position, they would have jumped on me right away. The thing is they cannot defend their teaching from the Bible. For them this teaching is probably part of the "traditions in the Lord's recovery" (Benson's expression). In my article I purposely did not include any "ministry" quotes, but stuck exclusively to the Bible.
If you do not believe in the "ministry of the age" that's fine with me. We are all entitled to our own opinion. However, please consider the following scriptures that there was a time that "the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God."

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Ephesians 3:8-10
8Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
Again, there was no such "minister of the age" in the local church, and perhaps, that is the very reason there was no reaction from them. I believe, they must have adhered to the following Word:

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2 Timothy 2:23
Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:25 AM   #7
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The apostled are the foundations of the church with Christ being the cornerstone. They released the New Testament teaching which is also the apostles' teaching. Now we are to abide in this teaching. There are no additional "ministers of the age" who would give us "new light", "up-to-date Lord's speaking" or "the high peaks of truth (I should call them "picks"). The apostles teaching is embodied in the New Testament. Of course, there are teachers in the Body who are gifted to teach, but there are no special "teachers" who are one per age with some "special revelation".
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:35 AM   #8
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The apostled are the foundations of the church with Christ being the cornerstone. They released the New Testament teaching which is also the apostles' teaching. Now we are to abide in this teaching. There are no additional "ministers of the age" who would give us "new light", "up-to-date Lord's speaking" or "the high peaks of truth (I should call them "picks"). The apostles teaching is embodied in the New Testament. Of course, there are teachers in the Body who are gifted to teach, but there are no special "teachers" who are one per age with some "special revelation".
Again, there is no "minister of the age" in the local church, but a "ministry of the age". There is much difference between the two. You are claiming something from the local church which is not in existence.

From the message of Brother Watchman Nee, "What Are We?", your arguments above is fully covered. Please bear with me to read a portion of his message:

Quote:
ESTABLISHED IN THE PRESENT TRUTH

Second Peter 1:12 mentions the words “established in the present truth.” The “present truth” can also be rendered the “up-to-date truth.” What is the up-to-date truth? Actually, all the truths are in the Bible; there is not one truth that is not in the Bible. Although they are all in the Bible, through man’s foolishness, unfaithfulness, negligence, and disobedience many of the truths were lost and hidden from man. The truths were there, but man did not see them or touch them. Not until the fullness of time did God release certain truths during particular periods of time and cause them to be revealed once more.

These freshly revealed truths are not God’s new inventions. Rather, they are man’s new discoveries. There is no need for invention, but there is the need for discovery. In past generations God revealed different truths. During certain periods of time, He caused men to discover these specific truths. We can see this clearly from the history of the church.

Take, for example, the raising up of Martin Luther in the sixteenth century. God opened his eyes to see the matter of justification by faith. He was a vessel raised up by God to unveil the truth of justification by faith. This does not mean that before Luther there was no such thing as justification by faith. The fact already existed before Luther’s time. Luther was merely the one who realized this truth in a stronger way; he was particularly outstanding in this truth. For this reason, this truth became the “present truth” in that age.

Every worker of the Lord should inquire before God as to what the present truth is. We need to ask: “God, what is the present truth?” Although there are many major and crucial truths in the Bible, what we need to know is God’s present truth. Not only do we need to know the general truths, we must also be clear about God’s present truth.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:50 AM   #9
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Again, there is no "minister of the age" in the local church, but a "ministry of the age". There is much difference between the two. You are claiming something from the local church which is not in existence.
It is a lie! You misrepresent the teaching of LC. I have heard this teaching with my own ears. Ron Kangas shared that to build up God's building we have to be one with the minister of the age who is an acting God.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:57 AM   #10
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“In every age there is a particular vision. This vision is released not through many persons but through one person who is the minister of that age. There is the vision of the age, and the one who receives this vision becomes the minister of the age. All the others who are with him are led through this one, … they speak … according to the leading of the one whom the Lord has chosen to give the vision of the age.” (The Ministry, vol. 7, No. 6, Aug., 2003, p. 34).

“The Lord raised up our brother Nee in approximately the first half of the twentieth century. The vision of the age was with him. He was the minister of the age.” (The Ministry, ibid, p. 35)

“In the twentieth century the minister of the age was Watchman Nee and then Witness Lee as the continuation of Watchman Nee. These brothers were ministers of the age. There is no doubt about this.” (The Ministry, vol. 9, no. 6, June 2005, p. 114)
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:38 AM   #11
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Paul Miletus seems to a very knowledgeable brother as far as LC teaching is concerned. I wonder why would he deny that there is a teaching in LC about the minister of the age (and not just ministry of the age). Paul, are we to think that LSM guys saw the folly of their minister of the age stuff and decided to stop teaching it? If this is the case, why not openly confess, "Hey, guys, we goofed here"? Why hide the ends? And if they still hold this stuff, why would you deny it?
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:52 PM   #12
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Ok Paul,
Let's assume you truly believe there is no "minister of the age" and that you think there is only the "ministry of the age"...

In WNee's teaching you posted as well as your own "opinions" which were merely recycled LC teachings, You represented each "ministry of the age" by a "minister"...!!!!

such as Saul to David = two ages of ministries

My problem with this is that the only thing that defines a ministry in your book is a person who acts as the minister of that age. Therefore, in your own argument, you confirm that you do indeed believe in a "minister of the age"

BTW: reading an old testament narrative story and building a "recovery" theology out of it has no biblical fidelity or historical orthodoxy. The jehova's witness do the same thing with the apocalyptic literature found in daniel, ezekiel, and revelation.(not saying Lee and Nee are anywhere near the heresy found in the JW, but rather I'm trying to show how dangerous it can be to take a narrative passage from the OT and turn it into an abstraction on which to build a movement or justify a "ministry of this age")
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:15 PM   #13
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Paul,

2 peter chapter 1:12 is not referring to a new revelation of "present truth" that was a "new discovery" or that makes the "old truth" obsolete! The "new covenant" is the only new truth. You have let a man's teaching make the most simple passage into a complicated doctrine of recovery and "present truth"!

2 Peter 1:12

"So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the "truth you now have"(or present truth)

This "truth you now have" is not a "present truth" that signifies a new revelation or age of ministry, but rather it is the truth that they knew (which was the truth of Christ of the new covenant) That New Testament truth was still a new concept in the first century because the Church was still young. That's why it was "the truth you now have" or the "present truth" because it was new to them. But 2,000 years later we still know nothing but "Christ and him crucified" and we are still in the age of the New Covenant!
WN and WL are crafty when it comes to playing word games and taking parts of scripture out of context, but the bible is there to defend itself.
I would encourage you Paul, to study the bible on your own without Lee's and Nee's (or anyone's) biased doctrines!
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Last edited by KSA; 08-19-2008 at 12:49 AM. Reason: correction of scripture refference
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:38 AM   #14
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As Brother Witness Lee taught, the "present truth" --

Quote:
is the truth that is present with the believers, which they have already received and now possess. In the first section of this chapter, vv. 3-11, Peter used the provision of the divine life for the proper Christian life to inoculate against the apostasy. In the second section, vv. 12-21, he used the revelation of the divine truth, as the second antidote, to inoculate against the heresy in the apostasy, a heresy similar to today's modernism. The provision of life and the revelation of truth are the antidotes used by Peter in dealing with the apostasy.

Last edited by KSA; 08-19-2008 at 12:46 AM. Reason: if your post directly follows the one you are replying to, no need to quote the whole post
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:51 AM   #15
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Paul,

Why do you not answer my posts directly? Are you only able to pop-off LSM material? I presented the case as to why you believe in a ministry of the age and a minister of the age. Furthermore, I presented why I disagree with that philosophy based on the word of God.

the present truth is simply the New Covenant...it still is the present truth today and will be until Christ returns. Do you agree or disagree?

can you answer that without the help of Lee or Nee?
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:51 AM   #16
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though ye know them, and be established in the present truth; for those that know the most, know but in part; and may have their knowledge increased; and those that are the most established in the truths of the Gospel, may be confirmed yet more and more. This the apostle mentions as an apology for himself, and to prevent an objection that might be made, as if he had suggested that they were ignorant and unstable; or which might insinuate that there was no necessity of such frequent putting in remembrance; since they were both knowing and stable: by "the present truth" may be meant, either the whole scheme of the Gospel, which was now come by Christ, in opposition to the exhibition of it under the former dispensation, by promise and type; and it being so called, shows that it is always now, and new; that there will be no alteration in it, nor addition to it, it being like the author of it, the same yesterday, today, and for ever, and will not give place to another scheme of things; or else the particular truth of the coming of Christ, either to take vengeance on the Jewish nation, or to judge the world in righteousness, and introduce his own people into the new heavens, and new earth, 2Pe 3:1.

Taken from the commentaries of John Gill
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:52 AM   #17
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Paul,

Why do you not answer my posts directly? Are you only able to pop-off LSM material? I presented the case as to why you believe in a ministry of the age and a minister of the age. Furthermore, I presented why I disagree with that philosophy based on the word of God.

the present truth is simply the New Covenant...it still is the present truth today and will be until Christ returns. Do you agree or disagree?

can you answer that without the help of Lee or Nee?
the present truth is simply the New Covenant...it still is the present truth today and will be until Christ returns. Do you agree or disagree?

Please allow me to explain further and perhaps you would fully understand the local church teaching regarding the "ministry of the age".

There is only one ministry and that is the "New Testament ministry". This "New Testament ministry" is what the local church is referring to at all times when the "present truth" or the "up-to-date truth" is mentioned.

As an illustration, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob though they are three individuals but their spiritual experience is only one entity. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob represent three aspects of one spiritual man, and their biographies portray different aspects of the complete life of a saint. We can venture in saying that Abraham had a ministry, Isaac had a ministry, and Jacob had a ministry. However, with these three individuals it does not make sense to conclude that there are three ministries among them, but rather there is only one ministry and each one of them is a continuation of one another to fulfill this one unique ministry.

With the above illustration, there may be different number of persons who have been used by the Lord (e.g. Watchman Nee, Witness Lee) but it does not mean that these persons will have a unique ministry for each one of them. The ministry of Brother Witness Lee is just a continuation of the ministry of Brother Watchman Nee which they inherited from other saints before them. Overall, the works of these saints are summed up only to one unique ministry, which is the New Testament ministry.

Again, I would like to share my opinion that any minister of the age, if there are any, are immaterial to emphasize since all these ministers are not counted individually but fragments that support the one unique ministry, which is the New Testament ministry.

As Brother Witness Lee wrote in the "Life Study of Genesis" --

Quote:
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are three aspects of one person, somewhat like the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are the three of the Godhead. In the record of Genesis, God revealed Himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. But the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not three separate Gods; He is one Triune God. In a similar way, spiritually speaking, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not three separate persons, but three aspects of one complete person. Therefore, we have not only the Triune God, but also a complete man of three aspects.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:29 AM   #18
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Dear brother Paul,

As a fairly recent escapee from the LC, I must testify that what you are saying is not what was taught or practiced in the entire LC region that I was involved in. If things are as you say, then why is any speaking other than Lee considered "speaking differently"? Why is the HWMR book (the only basis of all the allowable speaking in the "prophecying" meetings) always 95% Lee's speaking with a small smattering of Nee occasionally included? Where are portions from other New Testament ministers not included? Why aren't there ever any excerpts from the ministries of TAS, Ian Thomas, Simon Meek, Stephen Kaung, Bakht Singh, Andrew Murray, A.W. Tozer, JN Darby, etc. in HWMR?

Excellent devotional books which are full of New Testament Ministry speaking drawn from the rich pool of anointed New Testament ministers of Christ down through the centuries certainly exist. Why not use one of them? For example, dear brother Nick Harrison has put together an excellent one-year devotional book entitled His Victorious Indwelling, which includes 366 daily portions drawn from the ministeries of New Testament ministers such as Oswald Chambers, A.W. Tozer, Hannah Whittal Smith, Watchman Nee, T. Austin-Sparks, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Corrie ten Boom, John Wesley, Stephen Kaung, George Mueller, Jessie Penn-Lewis, Hudson Taylor, D.L. Moody, Amy Carmichael, E.M. Bounds, etc. To see the details of this excellent devotional book at amazon.com, which I would definitely recommend all the LC's use for a full year instead of HWMR, click here.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:06 PM   #19
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Dear Brother,
Please do understand that Br. Lee's is not just another collection of spiritual books. I have spent almost fifteen solid years reading quite a large number of spiritual books written by varied authors right from second century to the end of 20th century. I can not describe the volume of the materials I have read in those years. I have been greatly benefited from those books in a tremendous way.

With all my experience though all these spiritual books (much much more than what you mentioned), I can confidently say Br.Lee's books are different. It is not just just another collection. Whether you agree or not brother, Br. Lee's is the ministry of the age. This is the fact. Fact remains fact even if the whole world oppose it.

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Old 05-31-2011, 09:52 AM   #20
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Whether you agree or not brother, Br. Lee's is the ministry of the age. This is the fact. Fact remains fact even if the whole world oppose it.
I am amused! So we gotta believe that W.Lee is the minister of the age solely on the basis of reading preferences of certain people! :justlurking:

Who can argue with such logic?
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:54 AM   #21
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1 Corinthians 12:4-13

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:05 PM   #22
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Whether you agree or not brother, Br. Lee's is the ministry of the age.
Two can play that game.

Whether you agree or not, Lee was one of the most lopsided purveyors of an incomplete gospel to manage to remain mostly within Christianity, albeit in a small corner of the whole.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:58 PM   #23
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I am amused! So we gotta believe that W.Lee is the minister of the age solely on the basis of reading preferences of certain people! Who can argue with such logic?
Not me. I was completely convinced ... for too many years.

Then I learned about too many unrighteousnesses by WL and LSM. How can WL be called the "Minister of the Age" when the kingdom of God is firstly righteousness?
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:17 PM   #24
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Brother, this argument works against your position - not for it.

Since the Lord founded His Church at Pentecost, He has never used a single man to preach a unique gospel message to anyone. This is how we KNOW the Bible is the Word of God: More than 40 authors, 1600 years apart, writing on three different continents... and there is no discrepancy in the message: because there is One author, who used different hands to record His message to us.

Lee's uniqueness demonstrates that what he preached was in fact NOT the Word of God, but something else...

Christ warned us, "I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him." John 5:23

...and there is much also that Lee taught which was not at all unique. I used to hear, from dear members of the Body, "Where else would I have heard that I have a spirit? Surely no one has ever preached this before!" But that is false - I have heard it from many dear members of the Body who have never set foot within an LSM church or read a whit of LSM literature. Truth is truth, and no man has the right to claim that truth as uniquely his own. When he does, he stops giving glory to God and tries to claim that glory for himself... and by such fruit you will know him.


In Christ,

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Dear Brother,
Please do understand that Br. Lee's is not just another collection of spiritual books. I have spent almost fifteen solid years reading quite a large number of spiritual books written by varied authors right from second century to the end of 20th century. I can not describe the volume of the materials I have read in those years. I have been greatly benefited from those books in a tremendous way.

With all my experience though all these spiritual books (much much more than what you mentioned), I can confidently say Br.Lee's books are different. It is not just just another collection. Whether you agree or not brother, Br. Lee's is the ministry of the age. This is the fact. Fact remains fact even if the whole world oppose it.

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Old 06-07-2011, 07:16 AM   #25
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Brother, this argument works against your position - not for it.

Since the Lord founded His Church at Pentecost, He has never used a single man to preach a unique gospel message to anyone. This is how we KNOW the Bible is the Word of God: More than 40 authors, 1600 years apart, writing on three different continents... and there is no discrepancy in the message: because there is One author, who used different hands to record His message to us.
NFnL,

You exposed one of those hypocritical ironies which plagues the Recovery. The Bible has one consistent message because it has only one Author.

So ... one would think that the Recovery would have "one consistent message" because it has only one author, WL, but the just the opposite is true. His earlier and later messages are riddled with contradictions, in fact, if it wasn't for "one consistent Princeton-educated editor," the blatant contractions in WL's ministry might have been obvious enough for more members to observe.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:53 AM   #26
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Dear Brother,
Please do understand that Br. Lee's is not just another collection of spiritual books.

I have spent almost fifteen solid years reading quite a large number of spiritual books written by varied authors right from second century to the end of 20th century. I can not describe the volume of the materials I have read in those years. I have been greatly benefited from those books in a tremendous way.

With all my experience though all these spiritual books (much much more than what you mentioned), I can confidently say Br.Lee's books are different. It is not just just another collection. Whether you agree or not brother, Br. Lee's is the ministry of the age.
I guess it must be true because you say so.

For us to know Lee was the minister of the age we would have to know that the idea of minister of the age is something that exists in God's universe. Since we don't, the idea is subjective and meaningless for all practical purposes.

Second, the words and examples of the New Testament are solidly in the opposite direction of what the idea of ministry of the age implies. In other words, it is not only non-biblical, it is anti-biblical.

Third, what is to be gained for God by making people believe Lee was something the Bible doesn't tell us to identify?

"Ministry of the age" is an artificial construct. Placing such importance on it is a pathology, regardless of if you believe it to be true. In other words, you're off the mark.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:26 PM   #27
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I guess it must be true because you say so.

For us to know Lee was the minister of the age we would have to know that the idea of minister of the age is something that exists in God's universe. Since we don't, the idea is subjective and meaningless for all practical purposes.

Second, the words and examples of the New Testament are solidly in the opposite direction of what the idea of ministry of the age implies. In other words, it is not only non-biblical, it is anti-biblical.

Third, what is to be gained for God by making people believe Lee was something the Bible doesn't tell us to identify?

"Ministry of the age" is an artificial construct. Placing such importance on it is a pathology, regardless of if you believe it to be true. In other words, you're off the mark.
If I recall correctly the foundation of this teaching is based on the theory that Paul was "the minister of the Age". This in turn was based on the teaching that Jesus had the earthly ministry of Christ, and Paul represented the heavenly ministry of the ascended Christ. But to say that Peter or John were in some way not as significant in their ministries is truly absurd. For that matter all of the writers of the NT were clearly significant, so the concept of "the" minister of the age is certainly not supported by the New Testament. On the contrary the NT demonstrates time and again how significant brothers and sisters who might otherwise be completely ignored were.
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:30 PM   #28
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I guess it must be true because you say so.

For us to know Lee was the minister of the age we would have to know that the idea of minister of the age is something that exists in God's universe. Since we don't, the idea is subjective and meaningless for all practical purposes.

Second, the words and examples of the New Testament are solidly in the opposite direction of what the idea of ministry of the age implies. In other words, it is not only non-biblical, it is anti-biblical.

Third, what is to be gained for God by making people believe Lee was something the Bible doesn't tell us to identify?

"Ministry of the age" is an artificial construct. Placing such importance on it is a pathology, regardless of if you believe it to be true. In other words, you're off the mark.
A hearty Amen! To that!
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:01 PM   #29
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I would like to take some time to expose the true fallacy of the "Minister of the Age" doctrine, and let me start here - where Lee first raises his demand that there ought only be 'one' for the sake of 'oneness'....

Christ prays to our Father for His Church, in John 17, let us consider what He prays:

"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."


It has been rightly noted here, and elsewhere, that our Lord Jesus Christ prays for our "Oneness"... and this is has been expounded from the Catholic (Universal) church to the movement of the Plymouth Brethren to the Home church movement of Nee's Little Flock in China, and beyond. But this is not the only thing our Lord prays for in this prayer, for He asks:

1) That all that have been given to Him be given eternal life.

2) That this prayer is not for the World, but ONLY for those given to Him (His Church).

3) That He be glorified in them.

4) That we be One, even as He and the Father are One.

5) That we might have His joy fulfilled in ourselves.

6) That we should not be taken out of the world, but should be kept from evil.

7) That we might be sanctified (set apart, Holy unto God) through the Truth (His Word is Truth).

8) That as Christ is in the Father, and the Father in the Son, that we might be in Him and so be perfected into One for the World to see the Truth.

9) That we may be with Him, where He is.

10) That His love might be in us.

...There is a lot more to this prayer than a simple call to our being One, and the Oneness spoken of here is not a simple thing, as there is a qualifier given along with it: "one, as We are."

How are Christ and the Father one? This goes to the heart of the doctrine of the Trinity, which I do not suppose any man can adequately explain without being labelled by one faction or another as a heretic; the trinity is a truth beyond our ability to grasp or handle with words - although we can take it by faith.

Isaiah 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

So while we may argue how to adequately define how Christ and the Father are One, we are more likely to agree how Christ and Father are NOT One.

- Christ and the Father are not together under a supreme authority (and by this, we may say someone who brands themselves a "Minister of the Age" would represent a Supreme Authority as much as a Pope would). No, They ARE the Supreme Authority (John 3:35 "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand." - and so we may rightly declare that Jesus Christ is LORD.)

- Christ and the Father are not together in a hierarchical organization. Again, Colossians 3:11b "Christ is All and in All."

....And so if we agree upon these points, then we must agree that whatever Oneness He prayed for on our behalf, it did not include either the Oneness organized under a supreme authority (beyond His own - for as we read in Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body", nor the oneness of an organization under a hierarchy; for we "are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light;" 1 Peter 2:9

So what kind of Oneness did He mean, and how can we accomplish it?

First off, we can't accomplish anything; did not Christ say "I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18b

There have been a thousand arguments launched against the first part of that verse, but I have read none that touch upon this second part. Christ will build His Church, and of that you can be certain.

So if Christ is to build it, then we must look to see how He began it... let us read what came to pass after these things... John 21

Here, in this last chapter of John which seems so oddly out of place at the end of this book, we read of Christ's third appearance to the disciples after His resurrection - when they returned to Galilee to fish. Here He meets them on the shore, and there prepares a meal for them on the beach to speak with them what is on His heart. Read that chapter, and consider: When Peter is called by Christ to follow Him, Peters' response is to turn and see 'the disciple whom Jesus loved', John, following too. "Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me." John 21:21-22

Christ did not call the group to continue on as one to follow Him - He called an individual (in this case, Peter) and asked, "What is that to you? You follow Me." Here we see the Church begun, and it is begun in a way we would never expect; a way in which not Peter nor any other apostle is made the head of all things - but we are called as individual disciples to follow Him.

What became of the other disciples? They were not cast aside and disregarded by Christ; nor did they bow to the authority of Peter. They were each individually used; some we know of through Scripture, and some only tradition can tell us of {read Hippolytus of Rome (236 AD), or Eusebius (260-341)}; regardless, He lead each out to do His work and to spread the good news of His Kingdom.

So what happened to the other disciples? Consider what the evidence tells us (both from the perspective of the historical accounts we have and the evidence of the spread of gospel).

1) Andrew
  • According to Hippolytus:
    • Andrew preached to the Scythians [modern day Georgia] and Thracians [modern day Bulgaria], and was crucified, suspended on an olive tree, at Patrae, a town of Achaia [Greece]; and there too he was buried.
2) Bartholomew
  • According to Hippolytus, Bartholomew preached in India:
    • Bartholomew, again, preached to the Indians, to whom he also gave the Gospel according to Matthew, and was crucified with his head downward, and was buried in Allanum, a town of the great Armenia [modern day southern Georgia].
  • Eusebius, in his Church History, confirms the ministry of Bartholomew in India, and adds an eye witness account:
    • "About that time, Pantaenus, a man highly distinguished for his learning, had charge of the school of the faithful in Alexandria... Pantaenus...is said to have gone to India. It is reported that among persons there who knew of Christ, he found the Gospel according to Matthew, which had anticipated his own arrival. For Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached to them, and left with them the writing of Matthew in the Hebrew language, which they had preserved till that time." ---- (Book 5, Chapter 10)
3) James, Son of Alphaeus
  • Hippolytus identifies that James was stoned to death in Jerusalem:
    • And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem, was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there beside the temple.
4) James, Son of Zebedee

James was the brother of John, the disciple "that Jesus loved".
  • According to the Book of Acts in the New Testament, James was killed by Herod:
    • Act 12:1 And at that time Herod the king threw on his hands to oppress some of those of the church.
      Act 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
  • This is confirmed by Hippolytus:
    • James, his brother, when preaching in Judea, was cut off with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and was buried there.
  • Eusebius descibed more precisely what was cut off of James:
    • First Stephen was stoned to death by them, and after him James, the son of Zebedee and the brother of John, was beheaded... (Book 3, Chapter 5)
5) John, brother of James and son of Zebedee

John was one of the few disciples that did not die a cruel death, but of "old age".
  • Eusebius discusses the reason that John wrote his Gospel:
    • "Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity...And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John, who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry." (Book 3, Chapter 24)
  • According to Hippolytus, John was banished by Domitian to the Isle of Patmos, and later died in Ephesus:
    • John, again, in Asia, was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he wrote his Gospel and saw the apocalyptic vision; and in Trajan's time he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found.
6) Matthew/Levi
  • Eusebius referenced to Bishop Papias of Hierapolis, as early as c. 110 A.D., bearing witness to Matthew's authorship of his gospel:
    • ....Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could." (Eusebius, Book 3, Chapter 39)
  • According to Hippolytus:
    • Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia.\224 [Parthia is near modern day Tehran]
7) Simon/Peter
  • Eusebius, quoting Papias of Hierapolis (c. 110 A.D.), records a tradition that the Gospel of Mark preserved the Gospel as preached by Peter:
    • "Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered.... he accompanied Peter..." ---- (Book 3, Chapter 39)
  • Irenaeus (c. 180 A.D.) records a similar tradition, and mentions that Peter and Paul founded the Church in Rome:
    • "Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter..." ---- (Irenaeus, "Against Heresies", Book 3, Chapter 1)
  • Eusebius records that Peter was put to death under Nero in Rome:
    • It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day. ---- (Book 2, Chapter 25)
    (Paul was a Roman citizen can cannot be crucified but got an "easier" death sentence)
  • Hippolytus confirmed the fact that Peter was crucified by Nero in Rome:
    • Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia, and was afterwards crucified by Nero in Rome with his head downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that manner.
8) Philip
  • According to Hippolytus, Philip preached and was executed in what today is eastern Turkey:
    • Philip preached in Phrygia, and was crucified in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of Domitian, and was buried there.
9) Simon the Zealot
  • According to Hippolytus, Simon the Zealot was the second Bishop of Jerusalem:
    • Simon the Zealot, the son of Clopas, who is also called Jude, became bishop of Jerusalem after James the Just, and fell asleep and was buried there at the age of 120 years.
10) Thaddaeus/Judas son of James

According to Mat 10:3 (KJV): Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus.... Thaddaeus is also known as Lebbaeus.
  • Hippolytus records:
    • Jude, who is also called Lebbaeus, preached to the people of Edessa, and to all Mesopotamia, and fell asleep at Berytus, and was buried there.
11) Thomas
  • Hippolytus records that Thomas was an active missionary, and that he met his fate in India:
    • And Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians, and was thrust through in the four members of his body with a pine spear at Calamene, the city of India, and was buried there.
the above provided courtesy of http://www.ichthus.info/Disciples/intro.html

These 11 were lead, each independently, to follow our Lord - not eachother. None was under the authority of another; only Christ was their Head. They fellowshipped, they worked together on a common purpose and a Great Commission, and this, my brothers and sisters, this is Oneness. The Oneness of Purpose.

If it were Christ's intent that Oneness were achieved by men, in some way we envision, rather than by a means He meant, surely He would have commanded "build My Church", and not "I will build My Church". Surely He would not have broken up the disciples and sent each on their way to do a work separately, but rather would have kept them together and moving forward; leaving no question as to the succession of one over another. Surely He would have kept them close, knowing the folly to which men are prone - and the endless arguments that would be fought were they not strongly managed: perhaps He would even have left tantalizing clues as to who the next "minister of the age" would be, something like: "and in the latter days I will raise up a man from the east, who will interpret My Word anew and recover my Church from fallen Christendom"... But Christ is Lord, and He is in control. Though Satan wages a war against the Saints, it is a war he has already lost. "The gates of Hell will not prevail against it." Praise the Lord, we will break down the very gates of Hell! Christ WILL build His Church... And He did not build it from Jerusalem only, nor merely from Rome (by whose example Catholics proclaim themselves alone to be the true Church, forgetting entirely the Orthodox churches of the East likewise founded by Christ through the Spirit-inspired proclamation of the gospel by apostles contemporary to those who went to Rome). Brothers and Sisters, whomever and however Christ moved His people, we can know that "this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." Matthew 24:14

The "Minister of the Age" delusion is on that leads to extreme exclusivism and separation, not away from it. By abhoring 'denominations' or Christians who don't practice our particular brand of Christianity we must (although perhaps we do not wish to) abhor those genuine members of the body who 'belong' to one; denying that Christ placed them where He did. By insisting upon our denomination (and by denomination, I mean any group or sect that sets itself apart - be that Catholic, Orthodox, Brethren Assembly, two-by-two, Lutheran, Mennonite, Amish, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, etc. etc. etc.), we are being sectarian and cutting off all other members whom Christ Himself has died for to Save. We are to have a Oneness of Purpose, so let us each fulfill that purpose as we are lead to do, where we are lead to do it.

Consider the letters to the Seven Churches as Paul was commanded to write them from Patmos: Whether you believe that these seven letters were written as prophecy (as some contend), to represent the seven ages of the church, or as letters of warning to the seven kinds of churches that exist even today, or as letters to the persons of the Universal Church, for each of us who were called of God to Faith in Jesus Christ to consider, or even to seven historical churches that are no more - there can be no argument: These seven churches, while contemporary, were NOT One; and though Christ offered warning or reprimand to each - HE never urged them to join together as 'One'. He did not call members of one church into another, He did not condemn members of any one church completely (He offered promises to overcomers in EACH of the seven), and He told us plainly that He not only Walks among the Seven, He also Holds the stars of each in His hand.

Let us each preach Christ, wherever we are, as we are called to do brothers and sisters. Let us give Him the throne, and take every thought captive to Him. Let us fellowship as He allows; sharing and receiving that we may water and be watered and plant and be planted; and let God cause the growth. Our God is an awesome God, and His purposes will not be thwarted. He knows what He is doing, and He knows when His ends will be accomplished.

In Christ,

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Old 06-07-2011, 05:06 PM   #30
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"Und ze penalty for breaking ze Ziegfreid Oath iz Death"

-from The Producers 2005
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:18 PM   #31
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Dear Brother,
Please do understand that Br. Lee's is not just another collection of spiritual books. I have spent almost fifteen solid years reading quite a large number of spiritual books written by varied authors right from second century to the end of 20th century. I can not describe the volume of the materials I have read in those years. I have been greatly benefited from those books in a tremendous way.

With all my experience though all these spiritual books (much much more than what you mentioned), I can confidently say Br.Lee's books are different. It is not just just another collection. Whether you agree or not brother, Br. Lee's is the ministry of the age. This is the fact. Fact remains fact even if the whole world oppose it.

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With all respect for your personal views on WL, which I also espoused for nearly 3 decades, I must interject that the concept of "ministry of the age" is identical to the papacy with its papal lineage, which is the foundation of Roman Catholicism, which I grew up in.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:06 AM   #32
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How are Christ and the Father one? This goes to the heart of the doctrine of the Trinity, which I do not suppose any man can adequately explain without being labelled by one faction or another as a heretic; the trinity is a truth beyond our ability to grasp or handle with words - although we can take it by faith.
I just wish to note that this little nugget is priceless.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:23 AM   #33
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Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.
Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.
Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.
Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.
Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.........

You will eat Christ, you will obey the ministry, you will conform to Lee.
you will become the echo of Lee's ego.
......................

I wanna be a producer a great big Broadway flop titled "Springtime for Lee und His Recovery". Sometimes you have to go insane to regain sanity. That's why I say ...

"keep it mad, keep it glad , keep it something that will offend the largest majority possible"
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:53 AM   #34
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Dear Brother,
Please do understand that Br. Lee's is not just another collection of spiritual books. I have spent almost fifteen solid years reading quite a large number of spiritual books written by varied authors right from second century to the end of 20th century. I can not describe the volume of the materials I have read in those years. I have been greatly benefited from those books in a tremendous way.

With all my experience though all these spiritual books (much much more than what you mentioned), I can confidently say Br.Lee's books are different. It is not just just another collection. Whether you agree or not brother, Br. Lee's is the ministry of the age. This is the fact. Fact remains fact even if the whole world oppose it.

cpthomas
cpthomas64@rediffmail.com
1Cor
4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yes, I judge not my own self.
4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judges me is the Lord.

It is a prerequisite for anyone wanting to be considered a "minister of Christ" to be found faithful. That is in complete contrast to denying the Lord. In another thread several of us concluded that although WL professed to believe in Christ with his mouth he denied God with his works. Therefore he was not found faithful. Therefore he cannot be accounted a minister of Christ and if not a minister of Christ surely not "The Minister of the Age".
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:17 AM   #35
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Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.
This was Hitler's slogan to the masses, which translated means ...

"One People, One Empire, One Leader!"

And let me repeat what both secular and church history teaches us, that distorted oneness is one of mankind's greatest evils.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:55 AM   #36
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With all my experience though all these spiritual books (much much more than what you mentioned), I can confidently say Br.Lee's books are different. It is not just just another collection. Whether you agree or not brother, Br. Lee's is the ministry of the age. This is the fact. Fact remains fact even if the whole world oppose it. cpthomas
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:53 PM   #37
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Thanks to Awareness for this link: http://www.afaithfulword.org/article...yMinister.html
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:46 PM   #38
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I remember when I discussed the events of 80's with a brother who is in the current LC leadership, he told me that Philip Lee was not a main issue. The main issue, according to this brother, was the matter of the minister of the age. So the main "sin" of those who had left then was that they did not recognize Witness Lee as the minister of the age.
1. Where is scriptural support for minister of the age in the New Testament economy?
2. If Paul considered himself to be MOTA, would he had said 13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. (1 Cornithians 1:13-15)?
3. "There is also an implication that to be one with the wise master builder the saints today must be one with the group of brothers who call themselves “blended coworkers”. So to speak, the oneness with the blended brothers is considered as indispensable for the one accord in the churches." If I may be so frank to paraphrase brother Sergei's last sentence here to reveal what the full implications of oneness really means.

So to speak, partiality towards the blended brothers is considered as indispensable for the one accord in the churches.
4. Agreed Philip Lee was not the main issue, but he was an issue. When you say the main issue was minister of the age, the brothers in question were not some 30-something gifted, yet spiritually immature brothers, but 50-something gifted yet with more measure of spiritual maturity. Brothers who in their youth were influenced in their Christian life by other servants of the Lord. In the late 80's many of these ones who left saw the writing on the wall most other saints did not see. Watchman Nee spoke it well from page 85 of Spiritual Authority:

We should not uplift ourselves, but at the same time we should not make others despise us. We should always sanctify ourselves and should not jest lightly. We have to learn to separate ourselves in the Lord. A worker should not be arrogant, but neither should he give reason for others to despise him. Once a worker becomes too common, he is disqualified from his work.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:04 AM   #39
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1. Where is scriptural support for minister of the age in the New Testament economy?
Hebrews says that

8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

The book of Hebrews presents Jesus as the Minister of the Age of Grace.

In 1Cor Paul says that he has received this ministry, which based on chapter 3 is to pull the veil away from the glorious Jesus.

Clearly Jesus is the Minister of the Age of Grace and our part is to merely pull the veil away from Him which is blinding so many.

However, MOTA is being applied to Watchman Nee, Witness Lee and others. This is referred to by Jesus when He said "Call no man Rabbi". Clearly, if we are forbidden from calling a man Rabbi, or our spiritual leader, then surely we are forbidden from calling them the Minister of the Age and even referring to the "Age of Luther" or "the age of Lee". To do that is to replace Jesus.

Jesus is the anointed one, the Christ. All of these other flim flam men claiming to be the anointed ones are merely "false Christs" as Jesus predicted.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:53 AM   #40
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Hebrews says that

8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

The book of Hebrews presents Jesus as the Minister of the Age of Grace.

In 1Cor Paul says that he has received this ministry, which based on chapter 3 is to pull the veil away from the glorious Jesus.

Clearly Jesus is the Minister of the Age of Grace and our part is to merely pull the veil away from Him which is blinding so many.

However, MOTA is being applied to Watchman Nee, Witness Lee and others. This is referred to by Jesus when He said "Call no man Rabbi". Clearly, if we are forbidden from calling a man Rabbi, or our spiritual leader, then surely we are forbidden from calling them the Minister of the Age and even referring to the "Age of Luther" or "the age of Lee". To do that is to replace Jesus.

Jesus is the anointed one, the Christ. All of these other flim flam men claiming to be the anointed ones are merely "false Christs" as Jesus predicted.
Excellent post ZNP. This is a critical distinction. I submit that this was the vision we saw when we first believed...when we proclaimed "Jesus is Lord". Our conception of authority hinges on this vision. Isn't it astounding that the LSM would have us believe otherwise? They have made their extra-biblical doctrine of MOTA the basis of oneness and excommunicated those who do not accept it. How can we have two grounds of oneness? It's an absurdity. Insofar as we are Christians, our oneness is in Christ. Don't ask me to accept another as my authority. And don't hide behind obedience to authorities as a means to evade personal responsibility as WN recommends.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:34 AM   #41
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See -> http://forum.thebereans.net/showthre...l=1#post114425

And : -> http://forum.thebereans.net/showthre...l=1#post114455
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:33 PM   #42
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Excellent post ZNP. This is a critical distinction. I submit that this was the vision we saw when we first believed...when we proclaimed "Jesus is Lord". Our conception of authority hinges on this vision. Isn't it astounding that the LSM would have us believe otherwise? They have made their extra-biblical doctrine of MOTA the basis of oneness and excommunicated those who do not accept it. How can we have two grounds of oneness? It's an absurdity. Insofar as we are Christians, our oneness is in Christ. Don't ask me to accept another as my authority. And don't hide behind obedience to authorities as a means to evade personal responsibility as WN recommends.
and a great response Zeek!! Here is my additional .02 worth for the benefit of lurkers.

The LC, be it through Nee or Lee got a few things right. First and foremost, was the biblical way of sharing the gospel in the heyday of early to mid seventies. We used various gospel accounts to bring to Light the fact and Truth, without Jesus in our lives, we are empty vessels, hungry and thirsty.

So we pointed and led people to Jesus. We had our bibles with us and pointed them to the scriptures so they could read and see the Word for themselves.

While Lee may have been laying the groundwork to become the MOTA, the working class believed Jesus was/is Lord and King.

We became aware of the Sanctifying work of the Cross, the Precious Blood of the Lamb, and we read our bibles to ourselves and with each other. We encouraged one another in Christ as best we could. We made a lot of mistakes along the way, but we had good intentions..Christ was always first.

But soon the MOTA dictated what we should read and he interpreted it for us. He inadvertently or on purpose perhaps, pushed the "Life Giving Spirit" out of the church.

He made people believe The church -UNDER his leadership- was God's eternal purpose. It became our goal to bring people into the church, his church, not to bring people to Jesus. Jesus was second to the church.

Fast forward, the only bible they use is the RcV although I heard Ron Kangas sometimes refers to the Amplified.

We know the drill: if the blendeds refer to it, then it's ok for the peons to have one too. (Just as they did with TVs. The blendeds began to have TVs, the "elders" followed suit as did the members).

Why did this happen? Because people stopped reading and studying the scriptures for themselves. Their revelation and insight came from Lee's footnotes, Lee's morning revival and their adulation of Lee. So as a whole, the Presence of God is no longer there. They replaced their First Love.

They forgot Jesus is the Author and Perfector (Finisher) of our Faith. They forgot or perhaps never read Jesus is our Great High Priest, The Intercessor between God and Man. Jesus the Lord is our Shepherd. He is our Fortess and High Tower, our Strength. We put our trust in Jesus because He ALONE is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Friend, our Bridegroom, Who is, Who was and is to come, The Almighty. Those that held on the Living Spirit in our spirit stood up for the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. That ruffled up the spirit of idolotry, the spirit of deception, it really ruffled up the spirit of fear for sure! The Life giving Spirit in our spirit surely ruffled up the spirit of deception and the spirit of Sin.

Jesus IS the Living Word of God Who became flesh and dwelt among us. He was with the God the Father and God the Holy Spirit before He put on flesh. In fact before He became flesh, Jesus' "real" Name was and still is the WORD of God.

Many of us did not know we were created with a spirit, soul and body when we came into the LC because we did not read/study the Word!

I am pretty sure that while the LC boasts in this Truth, they could not tell us where these scriptures are found! (1 Thessalonians 5:23, Zechariah 12:1 and John 4:24 for starters).

If Lee would have trusted the Holy Spirit to guide us and would have kept pointing us to our Creator, our boast in Christ would have been a testimony of our Oneness in Him and thus we would have been a role model to all brethren.

We would disciple the babes in Christ, encouraged the down trodden, healed the sick by the Power and Anointing in us...and brought many, many more people into the Kingdom to the Glory, Honor and Praise of the Father, the Spirit and the Word-- Jesus.

Sorry for the long post. I needed to vent!

Blessings all,

Carol G.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:14 AM   #43
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This is a critical distinction. I submit that this was the vision we saw when we first believed...when we proclaimed "Jesus is Lord". Our conception of authority hinges on this vision.
I agree this is absolutely crucial.

Paul was obedient to the heavenly vision. That vision was the resurrected Jesus as the Christ. It was firstly who God was, and then subsequently how Paul would serve God.

Lee has transmuted "the vision" in LC doublespeak to an absolute loyalty to himself and his ministry. This is to take the heavenly vision and make it merely earthly. Would not our Heavenly Father take exception to His children sharing their affection for the Firstborn with another ... fallen man.

to be continued ...
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:38 AM   #44
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I agree this is absolutely crucial.

Paul was obedient to the heavenly vision. That vision was the resurrected Jesus as the Christ. It was firstly who God was, and then subsequently how Paul would serve God.

Lee has transmuted "the vision" in LC doublespeak to an absolute loyalty to himself and his ministry. This is to take the heavenly vision and make it merely earthly. Would not our Heavenly Father take exception to His children sharing their affection for the Firstborn with another ... fallen man.

to be continued ...
As a wise master builder Paul certainly had a "vision". Being faithful to the vision Paul had would be useful if you were a coworker of Paul and serving with him in the ministry.

However, "the vision" would refer to the architectural plans for the design of the church, this is a vision of Christ. This is not Paul's vision, this is a vision of Christ. In Galatians Paul said that God revealed His son in him, and it was this vision that he labored in without going to see those who were apostles before him. Yes, Peter and John had a vision, but Paul recognized that his vision came from God, not from the apostles. Peter was clearly the "MOTA" by LSM definition when Paul was saved, yet there is no thought in the NT that Paul needs to see Peter to be one with his vision otherwise he is a dissenter.

Ultimately Paul does go to see the apostles to lay out his vision. He doesn't accuse them of being "blind" rather he says that God gave him the gospel to the uncircumcision just as He gave Peter the gospel to the circumcision.

Based on the LSM teaching Paul was wrong to not see Peter and to become aligned with Peter's vision. However, according to the NT the vision is not from Peter or Paul, but from God, and we need to be faithful to God and to the vision he gives us.

The NT thought is that Paul can receive a word directly from God, if that word is truly from God then the other apostles will receive it and recognize that, which they did. You could argue that Paul was concerned for the "feeling of the Body", which is why he went to see the apostles, but it is clear that he labored for years before he felt it was necessary to do that. There was no oversight by the apostles as to every word that Paul spoke. Rather, when he felt it was necessary to get the approval of the other apostles he did so, but prior to that he felt it was acceptable to labor without it.

So then, you can take the teaching of "deputy authority" and apply it to the ministry. If you want to work at LSM then you need to recognize the mission of that ministry and understand that everyone at LSM is laboring with the same goal. This is not the same with the church. There is no such requirement to align yourself with WL before becoming a member of the church or after becoming a member. If you are laboring in a Christian ministry you should at some point be able to fellowship with other Christian leaders concerning your ministry and they should be able to approve of what you are doing. If all other Christian leaders do not approve of what you are doing then that should be a major red flag. If you meet with 10 or 20 Christian leaders you respect and they all reject your ministry then you should take that fellowship to heart. It doesn't mean they are blind, perhaps you are the one who is blind.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:48 AM   #45
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But soon the MOTA dictated what we should read and he interpreted it for us. He inadvertently or on purpose perhaps, pushed the "Life Giving Spirit" out of the church.

He made people believe The church -UNDER his leadership- was God's eternal purpose. It became our goal to bring people into the church, his church, not to bring people to Jesus. Jesus was second to the church.
Thank you sister CMW. You have spoken a word that's been on my heart. The relationship between the ministry and the gospel. The attitude has been the work of the ministry supercedes that of the gospel. You can lead someone to receive Jesus Christ as their savior and be baptized. However, if the newly regenerated brother or sister does not have the vision of the ministry, time spent bringing someone to know the Lord is considered all for naught. That is because the recent attitude has been if time spent laboring isn't fruitful for the ministry, it's unprofitable.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:40 PM   #46
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On -> A Faithful Word, <- it says :

"It is God's mercy that a person can see and come into contact with the ministry of that age. Yet it is altogether a different thing for a man to take up the courage to forsake the past ministry."

So aren't they hanging onto Nee and Lee, which is "the past ministry." Obviously they can't let go. They are stuck in the past ministries. According to their own doctrine they're hanging onto past MOTA's, like Lutheran's hang onto Luther.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:37 PM   #47
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The concept and teaching of the MOTA has no basis at all in the NT. There was a plurality of apostles, a plurality of ministries and a plurality of writers of the NT. The latter indicates that the very structure of the NT refutes the idea of a MOTA.

If anyone today believes that there is an apostle with the same apostolic authority as Paul, Peter, John etc had in the early days of the church then my first question to them would be: Who else? Who else has the same authority as "your" apostle i.e. who is equal in status to him? And my second question would be: Are there any limitations to their authority and if so what are they? Why would I ask these questions? Because in my observation and experience the whole MOTA thing wherever it exists is all about power and who has it and who doesn't. Any church organization such as the LC system that allows one man to have such power is asking for trouble and nobody should be surprised when it shows up! It's unavoidable.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:37 PM   #48
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The concept and teaching of the MOTA has no basis at all in the NT. There was a plurality of apostles, a plurality of ministries and a plurality of writers of the NT. The latter indicates that the very structure of the NT refutes the idea of a MOTA.

If anyone today believes that there is an apostle with the same apostolic authority as Paul, Peter, John etc had in the early days of the church then my first question to them would be: Who else? Who else has the same authority as "your" apostle i.e. who is equal in status to him? And my second question would be: Are there any limitations to their authority and if so what are they? Why would I ask these questions? Because in my observation and experience the whole MOTA thing wherever it exists is all about power and who has it and who doesn't. Any church organization such as the LC system that allows one man to have such power is asking for trouble and nobody should be surprised when it shows up! It's unavoidable.
My recollection tells me Lee was compared to the apostle Paul over and over again. It got to the point I did not want to read Paul's letters!!

At the same time Lee claimed there were no apostles today. He claimed in God raised a Moses in every age. He did not "believe" in pastors, prophets, evangelists as mentioned in Ephesians. So he assigned "elders" to lead the local assemblies. They evolved into "leading brothers". And then the "blended brothers" took charge of the entire LRC.

For the record, I am not impressed with titles. I believe as the believers mature in Christ Jesus, we take our rightful position in the Body of Christ without man ordaining us into that position.

Always learning, to my knowledge, every organized church has a leader with the power you mentioned. They are called pastors, bishops, evangelists, prophets, apostles. They are called the 5 fold ministry. Some "churches" have them. Most have one or two....at least this is true in my neck of the woods. Oh
Let's not forget the "Drs." in the church. I am not referring to physicians.

Perhaps this is why Nee and Lee steered away from the titles mentioned in Ephesians..only to open up another can of worms, sad to say.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:10 AM   #49
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I agree this is absolutely crucial.

Paul was obedient to the heavenly vision. That vision was the resurrected Jesus as the Christ. It was firstly who God was, and then subsequently how Paul would serve God.

Lee has transmuted "the vision" in LC doublespeak to an absolute loyalty to himself and his ministry. This is to take the heavenly vision and make it merely earthly. Would not our Heavenly Father take exception to His children sharing their affection for the Firstborn with another ... fallen man.

to be continued ...
Witness Lee saw himself more as a latter day Moses than a Paul. He liked to believe that if anyone, including Moses' own sister Meriam, challenged his own leadership, that one would become immediately leprous. We often heard Lee's stories confirming such. Neither Jesus Himself nor the Apostle Paul ever exhibited such power and authority in the New Testament age. This explains why Lee's many quarantines over the years always referenced Levitical regulations about lepers, than they do actual New Testament heresies.

Moses was privileged to lead all the children of God. Apart from Israel at that time, we are not aware of any other of God's people on the earth. Lee assumed this same mentality. Outside of his command, Lee categorized both believer and unbeliever alike as outside of the kingdom and the blessings of God's unique testimony on earth. Often he had kinder things to say about the Gentiles than he did about "poor, poor, Christianity."

Moses also saw the heavenly vision of God's tabernacle. He was able to pass on the minutest of details, leaving nothing to the imagination of the actual builders. No one else shared in his experiences on the mountain. Moses was the earthly architect, the wise master builder, and the commander in chief of the army. Paul never enjoyed such privileges. Paul never directed any of the twelve original Apostles. We may not have the details of their work, as we have Paul's, yet each of them was directed by the Head of body, our Great high Priest, who alone should be considered the Minister of the Age.

In Lee's construct, based on some errant misunderstanding of the pattern of Moses, the movements of the Twelve Apostles, just as we learned about Barnabas and Apollos, should be considered renegade, since they did not actively submit to the "one work" under Paul. In this matter, Lee approached the Roman Catholic thought of the Vicar of Christ, considering God has placed one man on earth who alone is authorized to teach and direct the entirety of His children. Yes, God the Father has indeed done this -- but the Man on earth is His Son, and none other.

Since Moses was a type of Christ, and not a type of some New Testament minister to come along later, both Nee's and Lee's teachings about deputy authority, the one work, and the minister of the age are all seriously flawed. Flawed with a purpose. That purpose is extremely self-serving to say the least, and it has more to do with the history of Chinese dynasties than it does with the New Testament pattern.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:35 AM   #50
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As a follow-up to Moses, it was because of his disobedience Moses and Aaron were not able to enter into Canaan.

6 Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them; 7 and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

8 “Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.”

9 So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, just as He had commanded him; 10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”
Numbers 20:6-12

In terms of authority some may have made comparisons of Lee to Moses. Would they make the same comparisons in Moses' disobedience?
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:48 AM   #51
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In terms of authority some may have made comparisons of Lee to Moses. Would they make the same comparisons in Moses' disobedience?
Not the Blendeds. They are convinced that Lee died because he released the "High Peak" teachings, and the Devil attacked him.

The Blendeds have eulogized him, and even moved his remains from one cemetary to another completely dedicated to his memory.

My point in connecting Lee and Moses was not what others thought of Lee, but what he thought of himself as a deputy authority.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:08 PM   #52
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Always learning, to my knowledge, every organized church has a leader with the power you mentioned. They are called pastors, bishops, evangelists, prophets, apostles. They are called the 5 fold ministry. Some "churches" have them. Most have one or two....at least this is true in my neck of the woods. Oh
Let's not forget the "Drs." in the church. I am not referring to physicians.

Perhaps this is why Nee and Lee steered away from the titles mentioned in Ephesians..only to open up another can of worms, sad to say.
IMHO in Ephesians Paul is not discussing titles but functions based on giftedness and training. Of course some people turn this into official formal titles but I don't think that was Paul's intent.

I am most familiar with the use of the term pastor as most churches seem to have at least one but often several. The LC system pretended not to have pastors by using the term elders instead. As usual with them it was merely a language game.

Few churches I am aware of have a system wide MOTA with power over the local leadership and over the curriculum of the individual churches. And most pastors do not consider themselves as the MOTA and neither do the members of the church they pastor. Even at the local level their power is limited with checks-and-balances, accountability etc measures in place.

If we took the MOTA teachings and practices of the LC system to most let's say community churches out there and tried to apply them we would be laughed out of town. Certainly nobody I know would accept this. It's only in a tightly controlled closed system that such a thing could take hold and flourish.

BTW as you probably know the Brethren writer G.H. Lang wrote a book titled "The Churches of God" which Witness Lee hated because it was a polemic against having a federation of churches. Lang was against this because he saw what it did to the Closed Brethren with Darby as their MOTA. He plainly stated the advantages of independent churches at the local level who were not beholden to any extra local organization, ministry, MOTA etc. No wonder Witness Lee hated it! Imagine if such an idea was actually implemented in the LC system. The damage Witness Lee created would be limited to Anaheim and maybe Taipei at the most. His ministry and the current LSM publishers thereof would be put in their proper place as one among many that local independent churches could use or not i.e. Witness Lee and now the LSM staff would have zero influence or power over any church.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:15 PM   #53
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BTW as you probably know the Brethren writer G.H. Lang wrote a book titled "The Churches of God" which Witness Lee hated because it was a polemic against having a federation of churches. Lang was against this because he saw what it did to the Closed Brethren with Darby as their MOTA. He plainly stated the advantages of independent churches at the local level who were not beholden to any extra local organization, ministry, MOTA etc. No wonder Witness Lee hated it! Imagine if such an idea was actually implemented in the LC system. The damage Witness Lee created would be limited to Anaheim and maybe Taipei at the most. His ministry and the current LSM publishers thereof would be put in their proper place as one among many that local independent churches could use or not i.e. Witness Lee and now the LSM staff would have zero influence or power over any church.
That's why I bought the book. To see what was it about The Churches of God that caused such an emotional reaction from Witness Lee. In John Ingalls' account at the 1988 Pasadena Conference, John had this to say;

"In the first meeting of the conference, November 25th, Brother Lee was in a fighting spirit, fighting against "autonomy" and "federation." He referred to some books authored by George Henry Lang, a servant of the Lord in England during the latter part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. In one of his books, entitled The Churches of God, Lang emphasized the need for local administration in the churches. This was the book that troubled Brother Lee. (I had read this book, and being deeply impressed with its strong scriptural basis and timely application to our present need, I had recommended it to others.) Brother Lee called Lang’s book heretical and told the saints if they had them to burn them. I consider this kind of talk reckless and lawless. Brother Lee in years past had commended Lang for his insight and writing on the truth of the kingdom. His books have been recently reprinted and are available today."

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=411

Having read portions of The Churches of God, it's quite helpful and scriptural. The problem some would have is it's counterproductive to a ministry like LSM that would depend to some degree on churches as financial resources. One could assert once a church is no longer a financial resource, it needs to be "replastered" (see Leviticus 14:33-57).
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:12 PM   #54
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"The ministry is for the churches, the churches are not for the ministry" was the mantra in the Local Church of Witness Lee. The problem is that these were/are just empty words...and recorded history shows that these were ALWAYS empty words, at least here in North America. I suspect that the vast majority of former LC members in Taiwan/Asia would have the same testimony.

There are probably a scant few alive today who could give us true and accurate testimony regarding this matter as it pertains to the life and ministry of Watchman Nee. To be honest, I think the record shows that Nee actually lead the way in this unbiblical, divisive and damaging practice. We would probably get a different take on the matter from some of Nee's original followers, such as Stephen Kaung....but then again we get the same staunch defense from the followers of Witness Lee to this very day. (many of us know better about Witness and I suspect that there are some still on this earth that know better regarding Nee as well, but I fear we will never hear from them)
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:46 PM   #55
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That's why I bought the book. To see what was it about The Churches of God that caused such an emotional reaction from Witness Lee. In John Ingalls' account at the 1988 Pasadena Conference, John had this to say;

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=411

Having read portions of The Churches of God, it's quite helpful and scriptural. The problem some would have is it's counterproductive to a ministry like LSM that would depend to some degree on churches as financial resources. One could assert once a church is no longer a financial resource, it needs to be "replastered" (see Leviticus 14:33-57).
Looks like Kingsley Press has bought the rights to Lang's book The Churches of God. Last time I looked for this book, it was only available used for $50-60. Amazon has the book for $6 on Kindle.

Note that this book was written by Lang after he had witnessed the devastating effects of John Darby and centralized control on the Brethren churches.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:58 AM   #56
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The Lord lays the foundation in Matthew 5,6 & 7 as to how we should go forward in our personal lives, as well as in the church. A crucial point was, "Take no thought." From global leadership such as Witness Lee, or the Pope, all the way down to a single individual ruling a single congregation with an iron fist, it all has it's basis in a lack of faith, and a paranoid need for control. It serves as a lesson to us that we must always remember that the work is not ours. We get to touch it for a while, and then we move on. If we leave our own heavy handed imprint on it, the result will always be a monstrosity like the hideous Roman Catholic Church, or a more sanitized version - The Living Stream churches.

I got to meet this past weekend with some saints from Memphis Tenn., who have been meeting for over 40 years, without a building (they meet in homes), without a pastor, and without any desire to file for tax exempt status. They have elders, and by their own admission, they have problems. But the sweetness of Christ I experienced with them was so refreshing to my wife and me.

They do attend the conferences at Richmond Virginia with Stephen Kaung and the rest. But If you look at all the assemblies that attend those conferences, it becomes strikingly clear that there is no centralized control. Richmond is very different from Memphis, or Houston, or any of the assemblies on the West Coast. They even gratefully acknowledge past help from Gene Edwards, although they are no longer affiliated with him.

The unlocalness of the Local Churches has been studied here to exhaustion. So there is no need for me to add to that. But I was reminded that there are indeed thousands of genuinely local gathering of saints, all over the globe, who have shunned ANY form of one man control. Many of them have never heard of Watchman Nee, Witness Lee, or Stephen Kaung.

That's what I want. That's what I have been renewed to pursue here in our little gathering in my home. I told the saints here the other night, that as we pursue the Lord about this model, I have no desire to be a pastor. I don't even have to be an elder. If there are spirit led brothers who can be elders among us, I would be more than content to sit on the back row.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:05 AM   #57
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The Lord lays the foundation in Matthew 5,6 & 7 as to how we should go forward in our personal lives, as well as in the church. A crucial point was, "Take no thought."
A good word. WN & WL could both be held as overthinking the text, and reading things into it which were not plainly evident. Then, the iron fist inevitably followed, in order to purge the flock of those who couldn't "get" it.

I often have "analysis paralysis" and think too much, and my thoughts suffer from both incompleteness and irrationally. The Christian journey is more a spiritual exercise than an intellectual one, which perhaps makes me something of a spiritual dwarf. But I haven't imposed my intellectual exercises as equivalent to "the vision of the age". There's enough of that going around; -- WN & WL weren't the only ones who fell prey to this temptation.

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I got to meet this past weekend with some saints from Memphis Tenn., who have been meeting for over 40 years, without a building (they meet in homes), without a pastor, and without any desire to file for tax exempt status.
Nice that you got to see a different side from the hyper-organized, centrally-directed church group. It must have been a great encouragement.


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... I was reminded that there are indeed thousands of genuinely local gathering of saints, all over the globe, who have shunned ANY form of one man control... That's what I want. That's what I have been renewed to pursue here in our little gathering in my home. I told the saints here the other night, that as we pursue the Lord about this model, I have no desire to be a pastor. I don't even have to be an elder. If there are spirit led brothers who can be elders among us, I would be more than content to sit on the back row.
I also find it interesting that Jesus wasn't disorganized. He sent seventy disciples out, two by two, before His face (Luke 10:1). He had the great crowd sit down in groups of fifties and hundreds when he fed them (Mark 6:39,40), and used the disciples as mediators in the food distribution (v.41).

But Jesus repeatedly told them the first would be last, and vice versa, and the least of them would be greatest, and whoever would try to be elevated in this age would be cast down in the next, and whoso lowered themselves would be raised up. In my experience that gets quickly forgotten in our desire to follow Paul and determine who is to be apostle, prophet, evangelist, deacon, and so forth (see e.g. Eph 4:11, 1 Cor. 12:28).

This is the age of flux. Nothing is real here, but the Spirit. My observation is that people like to build museums to what the Spirit was doing yesterday, or last week or year. Meanwhile the Spirit has long since moved on. "Lord, it is good for us to be here; let's build a little, unassuming house for You at this location". (e.g. Matt 17:4)
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