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Old 02-06-2012, 12:36 PM   #1
aron
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Default The Psalms are the word of Christ

I wanted to mention something which I wrote earlier in the "Recovery Terminology" thread, following OBW's remark about how the book of James was ostensibly only in the NT to show us something "not according to God's economy".

I mentioned that much of the Psalms seemed to be in the same state under the eyes of the Living Stream ministry "trainers". They basically followed a format that whatever lined up and buttressed the "God's economy" template got covered, and the rest got dismissed. Which happened to be the bulk of the material in question.

Here was my comment:

I tried to read the Psalms in detail in the Recovery Version, which I still own, and gave up in the 34th chapter and skimmed the rest....and my sense was that the trend continued through the whole book of Psalms. ... I estimated that they actually addressed 1/4 to 1/3 of the Psalms.

In chapter 1, verse 1 footnote, LSM introduces the Psalms as either written by "fallen man's concept", i.e. the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or by a "revelation of Christ". LSM with the "God's economy" template, naturally gets to decide which are which.

So Psalm 1 is a "natural concept of David" Psalm.

Then Psalm 2 is a revelation of Christ.

Then Psalms 3 through 7 were written according to "David's concept".

Then Psalm 8 is a "revelation of Christ" psalm.

Then Psalms 9-15 are full of the concepts of good and evil, and void of Christ. See footnotes in 9:3 and 15:1. The intervening psalms (9 through 15)pass without mention (i.e. footnotes).

Then psalm 16 is a "revelation" psalm. Footnotes ensue.

Then psalms 17-21 are "David's concept" psalms. See footnote 17:1.

Out of the first 21 chapters of the Psalms, only 3 have any value according to the 'God's economy' metric. The rest are seen merely as placeholders, or worse.

So we are supposed to believe that David was limited by his "concepts" while Mr. Lee entertained no concepts? All I see in the Psalms footnotes are concepts, and rather shallow and rudimentary ones at that.


I will mention why I think Christ possibly found in Psalms 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 in the next post. Maybe, just maybe, Lee fit the Palms into a "Procrustean bed" and cut off some of the Christ waiting to be seen there.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

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I will mention why I think Christ possibly found in Psalms 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 in the next post. Maybe, just maybe, Lee fit the Palms into a "Procrustean bed" and cut off some of the Christ waiting to be seen there.
I think there is some Christ to be found in more than 3 of the first 21 Psalms. I am not a scholar like Nigel Tomes, so please bear with my abbreviated account.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrustes

A procrustean bed is when you cut the material to fit your template. Not a good thing when you are dealing with A) your concept and B) the Bible. But the LSM "God's economy" template cuts off 18 of the first 21 Psalms.

I would like to make my case merely using a few verses from the first Psalm.

Psalm 1, vv. 1-3

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

LSM (Lee) says this is the concept of David, and since David sinned (he numbered Israel in his pride and 70,000 died; he had sex with a married woman [Bathsheba] etc) then he was not this hypothetical "righteous man" from Psalm 1. True, but my point is that this was fulfilled by Jesus the Nazarene. Remember where Peter was standing testifying in the beginning of Acts, and he said that David's declaration that God would not allow him to see corruption was fulfilled by Jesus?

Acts 2:29-32 “Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact."

David's declaration in the Psalms was not fulfilled by him, but by his descendant Jesus the Nazarene. Similarly, Psalms chapter 1 is not fulfilled by David but by Jesus the Nazarene, and only by Jesus the Nazarene. It is, in one sense, a shallow statement of a well meaning, God-fearing but ultimately fallable human being. But Psalm 1 also paints a picture of the coming Christ.

In all the declarations of the "God-fearing, law-abiding righteous man" throughout the chapters of the Psalms, we see picture after picture of Jesus. Jesus didn't overturn the law; he fulfilled it, and raised it to its true spiritual source (e.g. love, holiness, righteousness).

My second point is that Paul twice (in his epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians) calls the Psalms "the word of Christ". Was Paul just referring to Psalm 2, 8, and 16, and 22, and not to the "natural concept" Psalms 1, 3 through 7, 10 through 15, and 17 through 21?

That is the strong sense I get from the Lee/LSM interpretation, and I disagree. There are a lot of revelations of Christ in those "natural concept" Psalms. The pictures are there, and were ignored because of a natural concept: that of the interpreter.

I have not covered Psalms 2 through 150 (Nigel Tomes?). But I hope my point from Psalm 1 is made adequately, none the less, and is suggestive of further riches thus far ignored.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

One further point can be made initially, and I will continue with Psalm 1 to make it.

Psalm 1:4-6

4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

The Psalms take quite a bit of time going over the righteous vs. the wicked. Their source, their ways, and their end.

Who is the righteous one? Jesus Christ the righteous. Who are the wicked?

"Behold, we are all like sheep, gone astray, we have all gone our own way, and the LORD has laid on him [Christ] the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6

"For all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". Romans 3:23

All men have gone astray, have fallen short of God's glory, save the One. Jesus the Nazarene; in no other name can we be saved.

So we Christians don't trust our own righteousness, but are saved by believing into the Righteous One. In Psalm One, verses 1 through 3 we see Jesus of Nazareth, and verses 4 through 6 we recognize ourselves, outside God's mercy in Christ Jesus. And so on, continued in Psalms 2 through 150.

Again, this is a vast generalization, with much more explication needed (obviously Jesus the Nazarene is not the repentant protagonist portrayed in Psalm 51, for example). But if you use this "interpretive grid" you might not so quickly pass over 18 of the first 21 chapters of the Psalms as irrelevant.

And what about the compilers of the Psalms? Why did they put Psalm 1 first? To show us what not to be? Or were they as confused as David, with their natural concepts? If so, then why did God allow all these confused people to write and then compile the Psalms? I suspect that there are depths there, beyond the initial "natural concept" level, and those depths contain Christ. Just because Mr. Lee didn't see Jesus the Nazarene in all those Psalms, it doesn't mean Jesus isn't there, vividly portrayed. It just means that Mr. Lee didn't see Him.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

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Originally Posted by aron View Post
And what about the compilers of the Psalms? Why did they put Psalm 1 first? To show us what not to be? Or were they as confused as David, with their natural concepts? If so, then why did God allow all these confused people to write and then compile the Psalms? I suspect that there are depths there, beyond the initial "natural concept" level, and those depths contain Christ. Just because Mr. Lee didn't see Jesus the Nazarene in all those Psalms, it doesn't mean Jesus isn't there, vividly portrayed. It just means that Mr. Lee didn't see Him.
Great points!

Today I still marvel at the arrogance I once participated in. We were instructed to pick apart books like the Psalms, Job, or James without a second thought, yet never would we dare to examine the books and messages of Lee under the same scrutiny.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

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I ... marvel at the arrogance I once participated in. We were instructed to pick apart books like the Psalms, Job, or James without a second thought, yet never would we dare to examine the books and messages of Lee under the same scrutiny.
We did so because that's what we saw. Monkey see, monkey do. Remember that once we were infants, babes in Christ, and we would imitate whomever seemed to be before us in the race.

Just like children, who will unquestioningly mimic their parents speech, behaviors, and biases. But eventually we must grow into adults and take responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings, and actions. And for our own biblical interpretation.

What I marvel at is that it took me so long to be able to look at the Bible without "Witness Lee glasses" on. I have not been meeting with his "churches" for 15 years. Only in the last couple of years could I read the Bible without the "God's economy" template dominating my dialog with God in His word. Today I, and we, can scrutinize Lee's "natural concepts" just as Lee examined those of James, David the psalmist, and Job.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

Today there is widespread agreement that the Psalms prefigured the coming Christ. Psalm 2, Psalm 8, Psalm 16, Psalm 22, Psalm 91, Psalm 110 are heavily quoted in the New Testament, for example.

But when Paul twice (Col 3:16, Eph 5:19) urged the saints to let the word of Christ dwell in them richly as they sang psalms, singing praise to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, do you think he was thinking of limiting them to those few? I don't get any indication of that. What about all the other chapters, which Lee passed over without mention, other than that they are "natural"? Do you think Paul had the same judgment, the same caveat? I don't get that impression.

Do you think, when the Psalmist wrote "In the midst of the assembly I will sing hymns of praise to you", that this applies only when we sing Lee's "revelation of Christ" psalms? That Christ will not/cannot join us if we sing the "natural concept" psalms? Child, please.

I personally think the psalms are much deeper and more revelatory of Christ than Lee realized. It is not that the Psalms are lacking the revelation of Christ, but that Lee was lacking the revelation of Christ. Which brings the next question: why? How could a man who teased images of Christ from the badger skins and silver sockets on the ark of the covenant, and from the windows on Noah's ark, not see Christ there in so many of the Psalms?

I think it is two-fold. First, he had a bias against the "law" by Paul's expositions (see Galatians 2, Romans 7, etc). So when the psalmist expressed a love for the law, Lee recoiled instinctively. The voices of Paul the apostle and Martin Luther the expositor shouted "No!!!" within him. This prevented him from seeking, or seeing, any Christ there.

Secondly, the man clearly had control issues. When the saints actually began to take the apostle Paul at his word and sing the Psalms, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks/so panteth my soul after Thee, O God", then Lee got worried because they were enjoying the Word outside his ministry and this to him was most dangerous. Lee wanted to be the sole mediator of man's revelatory experience in the Word of God. So Lee told the fellowships in the Lord's Recovery to stop singing the Psalms, because they were too low. I have heard this verbally from several people who were there.

He didn't, of course, say "Stop singing the Psalms"; he said, "It would be better if you sang verses from Ephesians than from Psalms". Then he imitated in a mocking way the saints as they praised God using the words of the psalmist. His "shaming" actions were enough to discourage the saints.

So Witness Lee was willing to directly contravene Paul's encouragement, if Paul's encouragement led to a loss of his (Lee's) control. The Spirit was starting to move among the assemblies, and it was moving away from Lee's dominion, and this probably threatened him. Loss of control could not be tolerated. So he stopped it.

And the "spirit of wisdom and revelation" which Paul asked for in Ephesians 1:17 got frustrated. The psalms then were declared to be the "natural concepts of men", versus revelatory pictures of the persecuted, praying, believing, hoping, trusting, declaring, thirsty, hungry, stricken, suffering, fighting, struggling Jesus the Nazarene. "Oh, that's just David (or Asaph, or Lemuel, etc) trying to be good." No, that is Jesus fulfilling the destiny of humankind. That is none other than the "Savior of the world" (1 John 4:14) revealed in detail far beyond Lee's capacity to see.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:18 AM   #7
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Default Psalm 1, and "The Law"

Unfortunately I have little expertise on the theology of 'the law versus grace'. Paul's epistle to the Romans presents challenging arguments to me, as are his expositions elsewhere, such as in the book of Galatians. I give this disclaimer lest anyone think I am holding forth some "truth" which I think should apply universally. Rather, what follow are just some comments on Jesus the Nazarene as seen in Psalm 1.

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Now, as imitators of Paul, and as followers of Martin Luther, we reject the notion of being saved by the law. Salvation is by grace, by the gift of faith.

But perhaps there was One who delighted in the law of the LORD, whose heart was pure, who received God's word as it was intended: as His Spirit, truth, wisdom, light, counsel, food, encouragement, power, and life. So this One stepped fully into the reality of what the prophets and psalmists had hoped for. We the failed, the hopeless, the fallen, see this overcoming One and we live.

Now, let's look at Psalm 1, and see the One who "meditates on God's law day and night". In Matthew 22, Jesus was asked, "Which is the greatest of the commandments?". Jesus responded with Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. Those passages could be seen as just obscure "riders" in a legal document. Leviticus 19:18, I believe, is dealing with the context of a neighbor's wandering cow. But Jesus saw the reality behind the law. Jesus didn't overturn the law, He fulfilled it (Matt 5:17). Paul also says this. "The law is spiritual" (Rom 7:14) ... the problem is not the law, but our inability to keep it.

"We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin." But jesus was not unspiritual. So the law was to Him a completely different animal than to we the fallen. We should not see the Psalms as "natural concepts" of David (or Witness Lee) but as Jesus saw them. They were the framework for His dialog with the Father.

So when you see the psalmist expressing love for the law of God, think about Jesus and His Father. As I said, these are merely the ruminations of a sinner trying to follow Jesus back home to the Father. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet", and this seems to include the Psalms, much more than we were hitherto led to believe.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:49 AM   #8
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Default More on Lee and the Psalms

As I said, Witness Lee got bothered by the ministries in God's word which sprang up in the "local churches" by singing the Psalms. Several gifted musicians started doing things in the Word which the saints loved, and picked up on. This was a movement "in the churches" which hadn't been sanctioned and directed by Lee the Oracle and Apostle of the age, so it was squelched. People were passing around music cassettes which didn't have "Living Stream Ministry" on them. Lee wanted full control.

Now, what is the consequence of this attempt at man to direct the move of God on the earth? The Spirit was frustrated. The word was closed. The light was turned off.

The fruit of this was evident, a year ago, when I looked at their music catalog. When I looked at their various merchandise being sold, among music there were no psalms. They once had them for sale (i.e. the 1970s, 1980s), but now they were gone. Those gifted and anointed saints were silenced, and evidence of their ministry had disappeared. One could purchase hymns, footnotes set to music, and outlines, and some verses. But no psalms.

And the top of the page selling this stuff quoted the verse with Paul's admonition to sing psalms! Too ironic. This is what happens when the lights turn off.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

Aron,
Great thread.
I am slowly going thru the Psalms and making songs of them so I can memorize them by singing them. I get a lot from them. They are both practical and spiritual. I haven't found any word in them which is not God's word. I've done Psalms 1-28 and others non-consecutively after that.
They're at http://www.voiceinwilderness.info/psalms.htm

Brother Lee had this damaging concept of the Psalms early on and it bore ugly fruit later in his ministry. The result was that you couldn't trust the Bible, only W.Lee's expounding of it.

Here is W. Lee's expounding of 1 Peter 3 where Peter quotes Ps 34. It is good. It was published in 1986, so it was given before 1986. Following that I have quoted W. Lee's exposition of Ps 34, the same verses as in Peter, published in 1996. It speaks for itself: In his later years, W. Lee was far more arrogant than I ever remembered. He puts his ministry above the Bible. Not only does he say that Psalm 34 is unspiritual, but belittles the NT apostle Peter for quoting the Psalm. Also the interpretation he puts on David's words is low. Besides that, Paul and Jesus said the same things as Ps 34.

W. Lee's msg on 1 Peter 3 where Peter quotes Ps 34
IN COMMON LIFE
In 3:8-13 Peter speaks of the Christian life and its sufferings with respect to common life. Verse 8 says, "And finally, be all of the same mind, sympathetic, loving the brothers, tenderhearted, humble minded." This verse is filled with good terms. Paul also uses such terms, but he does not put them together the way Peter does. Verse 9 continues, "Not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, because to this you were called that you might inherit blessing." In the first part of this verse "blessing" is not a noun as the object of "rendering"; instead, it is a participle, meaning "be blessing." When others revile us, we should not revile them in return. On the contrary, we should bless them. Peter's word here corresponds to what the Lord Jesus says in Matthew 5:44 and to what Paul says in Romans 12:14. In verse 9 we are told that we have been called that we might inherit blessing. We have been called to bless others, so we, as a blessed people, should always bless others that we might inherit blessing. What we bless others with, we shall inherit ourselves (Matt. 10:13). Of course, the blessing here is not material. According to the context, the blessing refers to life, indicating that we shall inherit more
life.

In verse 10 Peter continues, "For he who is desiring to love life and see good days, let him cause his tongue to cease from evil and his lips to speak no guile." Good days are days of good, referring to good things as blessing. If we would see such good days, we should cause our tongue to cease from evil and our lips to speak no guile. Concerning this, Christ is a pattern for us to follow. In 2:22 Peter tells us that Christ "did no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth." But our lips and tongue cause much trouble. Many negative things have resulted from the improper use of our tongue and lips. In verse 11 Peter speaks of turning from evil, doing good, and seeking and pursuing peace. In verse 12 he says that the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are unto their petition, but His face is against those who do evil. Then in verse 13 Peter says, "And who will harm you if you become zealots of good?" According to this verse, we should not only be zealous of good; we should become zealots of good. The word "zealots" denotes a particular kind of person. We all should become zealots of good.


Now, here is his msg on Psalm 34.
Judge it for yourself

X. IN BLESSING AND PRAISING GOD
Psalm 34 shows us the mixed expressions of the psalmist’s sentiment in his enjoyment of God in God’s house in blessing and praising God. To bless God is to speak well about God, to talk about God in a good way. To praise God is to give the honor and the glory to God.

A. Written After David Disguised Himself as Being Insane before Abimelech It is good to bless and praise God, but we should not forget that such a wonderful psalm was written after David put on a ‘‘mask.’’ He wrote this psalm after he disguised himself as being insane before Abimelech. This story is recorded in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. There David disguised himself before this Philistine king in order to escape from being killed.

B. Because of God’s Answer and Deliverance David blessed and praised God because of God’s answer and deliverance (vv. 1-6). In verse 1 he said, ‘‘I will bless Jehovah at all times; / His praise will continually be in my mouth.’’ This is good, but we have to remember the situation in which David said this. When he disguised himself before Abimelech, he surely was not blessing God at that time. Instead, 1 Samuel 21:13 says that David scrabbled on the doors of the gate and let his spittle fall down upon his beard to make Abimelech think that he was insane. Verses 2-6 say, ‘‘My soul makes its boast in Jehovah; / The lowly hear and they rejoice. / Magnify Jehovah with me, / And let us exalt His name together. / I sought Jehovah, and He answered me; / And He delivered me from all that terrified me. / They looked to Him and were radiant; / And their faces will never be abashed. / This poor man called out, and Jehovah heard; / And He saved him out of all his troubles.’’

David said that Jehovah delivered him. But I would like to ask whether he was delivered out of the hand of Abimelech by Jehovah or whether he delivered himself. People may pray for a number of things, and then give all the credit to God when they are done. Actually, however, God did not do any one of them. Instead, they prayed according to their own desire, and they did it on their own. Sometimes they might have even done something in a way to cheat people, but God surely did not cheat people for them. We may pray for something, get what we prayed for, and then give the credit to God. This is an insult to God. In this case the credit should not go to God but to us to become a debit.

C. Advising and Teaching Others to Fear God and Take Refuge in Him Verses 7-22 show us David’s advising and teaching others to fear God and take refuge in Him. In verse 8 David said, ‘‘Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.’’ However, when David disguised himself in front of that king, he did not take refuge in Jehovah but in his ‘‘mask,’’ in his disguising himself. In verse 11 David said, ‘‘Come, children; hear me. / I will teach you the fear of Jehovah.’’ Do we want David to teach us to disguise ourselves, to put on a mask? This shows that on the one hand, we may trust in the Lord; on the other hand, we may put on a mask to deliver ourselves. Eventually, who saved us----the Lord or our mask?

1. The Goodness of Fearing God and Taking Refuge in Him In Psalm 34 David spoke of the goodness of fearing God and taking refuge in Him (vv. 7-10, 17-22). Verse 10 says, ‘‘The young lions hunger and starve, / But those who seek Jehovah will not lack any good thing.’’ People may quote these verses for their personal benefit but eventually end up lacking the material things they desire. Second Corinthians tells us that Paul passed through much suffering and deprivation, even to the extent that he was lacking food and clothing (11:27).

2. The Way to Fear God In Psalm 34 David spoke of the way to fear God (vv. 11-16; 1 Pet. 3:10-12). Verses 12-16 say, ‘‘Who is the man who desires life, / Who loves having days in order to see good? / Guard your tongue from evil, / And your lips from speaking deceit. / Turn away from evil and do good; / Seek peace and pursue it. / The eyes of Jehovah are set toward the righteous, / And His ears, toward their cry. / The face of Jehovah is against those who do evil, / To cut off the memory of them from the earth.’’ These verses were quoted by Peter in 1 Peter 3:10-12, but Paul did not quote such a word. Paul’s vision of the New Testament economy was clearer than that of all the other apostles.

When David asked, ‘‘Who is the man who desires life, / Who loves having days in order to see good?’’ he was not talking about the eternal life but about the physical life. David was a great saint in the Old Testament, and Peter was one of the great apostles in the New Testament, but I do not believe that what David said here is spiritual. Even among us, who dares ask the Lord to give him long days that he may enjoy many good things?

David said that if we love having days in order to see good, we should guard our tongue from evil and our lips from speaking deceit. But who has ever succeeded in guarding his tongue from evil? What David spoke here was according to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Verse 15 says, ‘‘The eyes of Jehovah are set toward the righteous, / And His ears, toward their cry.’’ But who is righteous on this earth? Paul said that not one is righteous (Rom. 3:10), and Isaiah said that our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). If we depend upon our righteousness to enjoy God’s eyes and ears being set toward us, we will enjoy nothing, because we have no righteousness of our own.

Concerning the righteous man, David said, ‘‘He keeps all his bones; / Not one of them is broken’’ (v. 20). This is a verse concerning Christ because David was a type of the suffering Christ. When Christ was on the cross, the soldiers did not break His legs when they saw that He had already died (John 19:33). John said, ‘‘These things happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘No bone of His shall be broken’ ’’ (v. 36).

There were times in describing his sufferings that David typified Christ. When we look at Psalm 34, we can see the mixed expressions of David’s sentiment. Verse 20 refers to Christ, but most of this psalm is not according to the tree of life. Our concept needs to be changed to the divine concept according to the tree of life. As we grow in Christ, our concept will be changed.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

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Originally Posted by aron View Post

I mentioned that much of the Psalms seemed to be in the same state under the eyes of the Living Stream ministry "trainers". They basically followed a format that whatever lined up and buttressed the "God's economy" template got covered, and the rest got dismissed. Which happened to be the bulk of the material in question.

Here was my comment:

I tried to read the Psalms in detail in the Recovery Version, which I still own, and gave up in the 34th chapter and skimmed the rest....and my sense was that the trend continued through the whole book of Psalms. ... I estimated that they actually addressed 1/4 to 1/3 of the Psalms.

In chapter 1, verse 1 footnote, LSM introduces the Psalms as either written by "fallen man's concept", i.e. the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or by a "revelation of Christ". LSM with the "God's economy" template, naturally gets to decide which are which.

So Psalm 1 is a "natural concept of David" Psalm.

Then Psalm 2 is a revelation of Christ.

Then Psalms 3 through 7 were written according to "David's concept".

Then Psalm 8 is a "revelation of Christ" psalm.

Then Psalms 9-15 are full of the concepts of good and evil, and void of Christ. See footnotes in 9:3 and 15:1. The intervening psalms (9 through 15)pass without mention (i.e. footnotes).

Then psalm 16 is a "revelation" psalm. Footnotes ensue.

Then psalms 17-21 are "David's concept" psalms. See footnote 17:1.

Out of the first 21 chapters of the Psalms, only 3 have any value according to the 'God's economy' metric. The rest are seen merely as placeholders, or worse.

So we are supposed to believe that David was limited by his "concepts" while Mr. Lee entertained no concepts? All I see in the Psalms footnotes are concepts, and rather shallow and rudimentary ones at that.

Something I read this morning in the Gospel of Luke,

Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:44

And LSM wants to cherry-pick that which is profitable for "the ministry"? I say this, because too many times there is (LSM) ministry commentary that devalues scripture. Remember the song "All scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching..."?
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:01 AM   #11
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Brother Lee had this damaging concept of the Psalms early on and it bore ugly fruit later in his ministry. The result was that you couldn't trust the Bible, only W.Lee's expounding of it..
Yes; eventually Witness Lee's interpretation overrode the plain words in front of us.

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Originally Posted by VoiceInWilderness View Post
...here is [Lee's] msg on Psalm 34.
X. IN BLESSING AND PRAISING GOD
Psalm 34 shows us the mixed expressions of the psalmist’s sentiment in his enjoyment of God in God’s house in blessing and praising God. ....
True, David was mixed. But so is Witness Lee, and so am I. Jesus, however, as the fulfillment of David's type, was not mixed, but pure. This point is not raised.

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Originally Posted by VoiceInWilderness View Post
A. Written After David Disguised Himself as Being Insane before Abimelech
It is good to bless and praise God, but we should not forget that such a wonderful psalm was written after David put on a ‘‘mask.’’ He wrote this psalm after he disguised himself as being insane before Abimelech. This story is recorded in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. There David disguised himself before this Philistine king in order to escape from being killed.....
If you read Psalm 34, it says that the righteous cry out and that God delivers them from all their trouble. David was praying, and crying out to God, there as he scratched the wall in front of Abilimilech. And God delivered him. Just as the whale spit out Jonah after he began to praise God in its belly, just as Paul and Silas got freed by an earthquake when they praised God in the jail in Philippi, just as Jesus prayed to the Father in the heart of the earth after 3 days and was raised, so did David call on the Lord in his time of trouble, and the Lord delivered him. David says this plainly in verses 15 and 17.

This point seems to have escaped Witness Lee's cognizance.

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B. Because of God’s Answer and Deliverance
David blessed and praised God because of God’s answer and deliverance (vv. 1-6). In verse 1 he said, ‘‘I will bless Jehovah at all times; / His praise will continually be in my mouth.’’ This is good, but we have to remember the situation in which David said this. When he disguised himself before Abimelech, he surely was not blessing God at that time......
The reason Mr. Lee says this is because he didn't sing Psalm 34. He merely analyzed it as if it were an insect pinned to a cork board. How do you know David wasn't blessing God while he was there facing the wall? He was a type of Christ, wasn't he? I believe David was saying something like, "God, I will praise You. If I die here, I will die praising You."

And Abimilech said, "Get this madman out of here". Just like when David was mocked by his wife for dancing in front of the ark, just like Festus said "You are insane, Paul", for enjoying Christ while in chains, so was David doing his final death dance before the God of his life. Why, because David was righteous? No, because David was a type of the coming victorious Christ.

All of these pictures of Christ in Psalm 34 escaped Mr. Lee's notice. He only acknowledged verse 20.

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Verses 2-6 say, ‘‘My soul makes its boast in Jehovah; / The lowly hear and they rejoice. / Magnify Jehovah with me, / And let us exalt His name together. / I sought Jehovah, and He answered me; / And He delivered me from all that terrified me. / They looked to Him and were radiant; / And their faces will never be abashed. / This poor man called out, and Jehovah heard; / And He saved him out of all his troubles.’’ David said that Jehovah delivered him. But I would like to ask whether he was delivered out of the hand of Abimelech by Jehovah or whether he delivered himself. ......
Again, the assumption here is that David did the delivering, even though he plainly says that he sought God, who then saved him. Strange. Did David deliver Israel from Goliath's threats, or did God? Did David escape from Saul, or did God deliver him?

I will skip the intermediate verses, and come to this part:


Quote:
Originally Posted by VoiceInWilderness View Post
2. The Way to Fear God In Psalm 34 David spoke of the way to fear God (vv. 11-16; 1 Pet. 3:10-12). Verses 12-16 say, ‘‘Who is the man who desires life, / Who loves having days in order to see good? / Guard your tongue from evil, / And your lips from speaking deceit. / Turn away from evil and do good; / Seek peace and pursue it. / The eyes of Jehovah are set toward the righteous, / And His ears, toward their cry. / The face of Jehovah is against those who do evil, / To cut off the memory of them from the earth.’’ These verses were quoted by Peter in 1 Peter 3:10-12, but Paul did not quote such a word. Paul’s vision of the New Testament economy was clearer than that of all the other apostles.

When David asked, ‘‘Who is the man who desires life, / Who loves having days in order to see good?’’ he was not talking about the eternal life but about the physical life. David was a great saint in the Old Testament, and Peter was one of the great apostles in the New Testament, but I do not believe that what David said here is spiritual. Even among us, who dares ask the Lord to give him long days that he may enjoy many good things?

David said that if we love having days in order to see good, we should guard our tongue from evil and our lips from speaking deceit. But who has ever succeeded in guarding his tongue from evil? What David spoke here was according to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Verse 15 says, ‘‘The eyes of Jehovah are set toward the righteous, / And His ears, toward their cry.’’ But who is righteous on this earth? Paul said that not one is righteous (Rom. 3:10), and Isaiah said that our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). If we depend upon our righteousness to enjoy God’s eyes and ears being set toward us, we will enjoy nothing, because we have no righteousness of our own.

Concerning the righteous man, David said, ‘‘He keeps all his bones; / Not one of them is broken’’ (v. 20). This is a verse concerning Christ because David was a type of the suffering Christ. When Christ was on the cross, the soldiers did not break His legs when they saw that He had already died (John 19:33). John said, ‘‘These things happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘No bone of His shall be broken’ ’’ (v. 36).

There were times in describing his sufferings that David typified Christ. When we look at Psalm 34, we can see the mixed expressions of David’s sentiment. Verse 20 refers to Christ, but most of this psalm is not according to the tree of life. Our concept needs to be changed to the divine concept according to the tree of life. As we grow in Christ, our concept will be changed.
This really is strange to me. The previous verses, of loving life, seeing many good days, keeping one's tongue from evil, seeking peace, are called vain by Mr. Lee. He asks, "But who has ever succeeded in guarding his tongue from evil?" What a strange question for a minister of Christ Jesus to ask. The answer is that Christ Himself guarded His tongue from evil. Christ sought peace, Christ was righteous, and God heard the cry of Christ and delivered Him.

Then, suddenly, Mr. Lee sees Christ in Psalm 34. In verse 20. "None of his bones shall be broken." If this hadn't been quoted in the New Testament, I doubt he would have seen Christ here, either.

I surmise that the "young men were having visions" by the pouring out of the Spirit as they sang the Psalms (see Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17), and since this ministry wasn't from "the throne of the Oracle" (Mr. Lee) then it was stopped. Lee wouldn't sing the Psalms because a) someone got there before him and he didn't want to follow, and b) because it would "decentralize the revelation" and this would undermine his ministry/merchandising business.

So you get the plain words of Christ in the Psalms being ignored (vv. 1-19), and acknowledged only when absolutely necessary (v. 20).
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:22 AM   #12
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Something I read this morning in the Gospel of Luke,

Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:44
Here is another one from Luke chapter 4:

16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,

19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him,

21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

The proclaiming, the release, the preaching, the recovery, which was accomplished by the anointed Isaiah as a figure, was ultimately fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Isaiah was a type, a figure. Jesus was the fulfillment.

In the Psalms you see David struggling against a host of foes on all sides, calling on the LORD (Jehovah, God, Jah, Yahweh), and being saved. David had a unique attribute that when the going got tough and his soul quaked, he called on the God he loved. Again, and again, God delivered him from the jaws of death.

I believe that Jesus fulfilled this type in much more detail than Mr. Lee and the Maximum Brothers of LSM ever realized. They had their "God's economy" metric and held it firm, even when it necessitated cutting off vast chunks of scripture as void of revelation. As I have said, I think the void in revelation was not in the scripture, but in the expositors.

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And LSM wants to cherry-pick that which is profitable for "the ministry"? I say this, because too many times there is (LSM) ministry commentary that devalues scripture. Remember the song "All scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching..."?
This is my thought, as well. There is way too much scripture being devalued here.

Think back to that point where Mr. Lee mocked the saints for singing psalms of praise and blessing to the Father. I imagine that the heavens shut themselves and turned to brass, if they had not already done so.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

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Brother Lee had this damaging concept of the Psalms early on and it bore ugly fruit later in his ministry. The result was that you couldn't trust the Bible, only W.Lee's expounding of it. In his later years, W. Lee was far more arrogant than I ever remembered. He puts his ministry above the Bible. Not only does he say that Psalm 34 is unspiritual, but belittles the NT apostle Peter for quoting the Psalm.
Brother Steve, Very true.

For many years I was deluded into thinking that the ministry of W. Lee was higher and richer than all others before him with the possible exception of the Apostle Paul. One would think that since WL actually critiqued the validity of various books of the Bible, that some how, some way, he had "surpassed" their authors, even the original "Twelve." We were actively taught that the ministry of WL subsumed all those before him, standing on their shoulders, and learning from their shortcomings.

This was accentuated by the fact that WL regularly highlighted the faults and failures of both Biblical authors and ministers throughout church history. At one point, I came to the stark realization that, besides the Lord Jesus Himself, only WL was without shortcomings and failures. Was he not the consummate God-man, the acting God, raised up by the Lord to close out the age of grace, and prepare the bride of Christ? I may sound facetious here, but I and many others really believed that stuff. It ordered our lives.

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Old 02-15-2012, 06:00 AM   #14
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...when Paul twice (Col 3:16, Eph 5:19) urged the saints to let the word of Christ dwell in them richly as they sang psalms, singing praise to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, do you think he was thinking of limiting them to those few? I don't get any indication of that.

Mr. Lee did not say "Stop singing the Psalms"; he said, "It would be better if you sang verses from Ephesians than from Psalms". Then he imitated in a mocking way the saints as they praised God using the words of the psalmist. His "shaming" actions were enough to discourage the saints.
If Mr. Lee wanted us to sing verses from Ephesians, which we dutifully began to do, telling us that they were so much fuller and higher and more revelatory than the Psalms, then what are we to make of the fact that the book of Ephesians itself encourages us to sing the Psalms, equating this to being filled with the Spirit (5:18,19)?

Was Paul merely using his fallen "natural concept" when telling us that we could be filled with the Spirit by singing the Psalms?

And if this was some kind of "slip" in Paul's revelatory ministry, some kind of momentary regression, why did Paul repeat this encouragement in Colossians chapter 3? Two is the number of witness. Writing it twice, in separate epistles, rather reduces the probability that this had been a momentary lapse on Paul's part.

And this brings me to back to Ohio's earlier question: how could we have unprotestingly swallowed these teachings? How could thousands of otherwise mostly bright and capable people have sat there in a conference and listened to a lengthy and sometimes tortuous exposition on how much the Psalms lacked revelation of Christ, without someone, anyone, going, "Um.... Mr. Lee... it says here..."?

My feeling of Lee and the Psalms is that he neither entered in, nor did he allow his disciples to enter in, as it says in Matthew 23:13: "...You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

It took 15 years out of my immersive mental bath of Living Stream Ministry teachings, before the scales came off and I began to see Jesus Christ, as He is so vividly depicted in the Psalms. And I began to "see" Jesus in the Psalms, believe it or not, by singing them. The apostle Paul was right. Funny how that goes.

"You foolish people! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed..." See Galatians 3:1
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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...how could we have dutifully swallowed these teachings? How could thousands of bright and capable people have sat there in a conference and listened to a lengthy and sometimes tortuous exposition on how much the Psalms lacked revelation of Christ, without someone, anyone, going, "Um.... Mr. Lee... it says here..."?

My feeling of Lee and the Psalms is that he neither entered in, nor did he allow his disciples to enter in...
I may not have been clear on the text which was the source of my discussion, because in writing I was thinking specifically of the quotes from Mr. Lee's Life-Study of Psalms 34 which VoiceInWilderness posted earlier:

"Verse 15 says, ‘‘The eyes of Jehovah are set toward the righteous, / And His ears, toward their cry.’’ But who is righteous on this earth?"

and

"David said that if we love having days in order to see good, we should guard our tongue from evil and our lips from speaking deceit. But who has ever succeeded in guarding his tongue from evil?"

The answer to these is obviously the coming Christ, Jesus the Nazarene (and should, in our NT experience, extend to those believers "in Christ"). It is understandable why Lee, who had an emotional (and financial) investment in his "God's economy" template, would avoid Jesus the Nazarene as the answer to both of these questions. But, in retrospect, it is stunning to think that from an audience numbering in the thousands, and of Christians no less, not one person could produce come up with this answer. Could this be true?

That is why I quoted Matthew 23:13 and Galatians 3:1. One hardly knows what else to make of such a lack of response, from so many listeners.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:53 AM   #16
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Yes, both Colossians and Ephesians clearly recommends psalms — the first as a source of wisdom and the second as kind of evidence of the filling of the Spirit in the context of fellowship among believers. I believe both verses make reference to speaking and/or singing psalms "to one another."

I do find psalms, along with most of the instruction, wisdom and prophecy in the OT to reveal God, who is further revealed in Christ, therefore quite "revelatory." Yet neither of these passages really makes that statement. (I do not diminish the revelation of God in the history, but it often comes in observations of larger portions of narrative than in the pointed references in these other portions.)

An observation about all that has gone on here so far. We have shown (and are continuing to show) how Christ is revealed in the psalms. And how the psalms are pointed to as a source of wisdom, and as something that arises from the filling of the Spirit. But while I understand the idea that Christ is God, therefore all speaking of God can be argued as being speaking of Christ, at some level, I think that even naming this thread "The Psalms are the Word of Christ" takes this a little further than the revelation suggests. We can accurately say that it all points to Christ. But the scripture itself does not say that it is all the speaking of Christ or the Word of Christ. It says it is the Word of God. And then in Hebrews, it says that God spoke in the past in various ways through the prophets, but is now speaking through the Son.

I believe that, rather than always redefining things, we should remain faithful to the way that scripture describes itself and the way that it says what it says. While it may be possible to build a linkage of terms and arrive at the conclusion that Christ spoke it all, that is not the way scripture describes it. Why are we compelled to do it now, 2,000 years later?

On the other hand, it is clear that scripture of all kinds from all parts of the OT were used to tell us about God, and much of it tells us about Christ. So there clearly is revelation concerning Christ. And a lot of it is in the psalms.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:26 AM   #17
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... I understand the idea that Christ is God, therefore all speaking of God can be argued as being speaking of Christ, at some level, I think that even naming this thread "The Psalms are the Word of Christ" takes this a little further than the revelation suggests. We can accurately say that it all points to Christ. But the scripture itself does not say that it is all the speaking of Christ or the Word of Christ...
Yes; in my efforts to counterbalance Mr. Lee, I went further than Paul's phraseology in Ephesians and Colossians might allow. So my title should not be taken literally, as in "...all the words in the Psalms are words of Christ".

As I have said before, I have the penchant for dramatic effect, and often overstate my point to make it. My take on LSM's version of Psalms was that they felt that only a little of it was "The word of David", a man who was "natural", i.e. fallen. Those "natural concept" sections are either ignored, or dismissed summarily, even perjoratively.

Then there are what they call the "revelation of (i.e. about) Christ".

See 1 Peter 1:10-12:

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

LSM teaches that there are revelatory words of the "Spirit of Christ" interspersed with the "natural" words of David and the other psalmists. My point is this: that according to Mssrs Lee et al there are few revelations of Christ to be found in the Psalms, and a lot of "natural" speaking. See my post regarding the footnotes of Psalms 1 through 21, and also VoiceInWilderness' excerpt from the Life-Study of Psalm 34 as representative samples. As I noted, only 3 of the first 21 Psalms are "of Christ" according to Lee & Co, and only verse 20 from the whole of Psalm 34. The rest is "natural", or "shallow".

In my rebuttal of this notion, I may have left the door open to an interpretation which is equally unbalanced. And thank you OBW for closing that.

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

Another reason why the Psalms deserve closer scrutiny than they have been given, at least by Mssrs Lee, Kangas, Marks et al, is that the notion of "voice" in the Psalms is quite muddled. Sometimes the voice is first person: "The zeal of thy house has eaten me up" in Psalms 69 -- the "Me" here, according to the quotation in John chapter 2, would seem to be of Christ Himself. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" from Psalm 22 also is the example of the "word of (from) Christ" Himself.

But sometimes the psalmist is speaking to Christ: "they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." from Psalm 91, as an example.

Sometimes the psalmist is speaking to another about Christ: "Kiss the Son unless He become angry..." in Psalm 2.

And so forth. You also might have God speaking through the psalmist about Christ; you might have God speaking through the psalmist about the "wicked" who reject Christ, you may have the psalmist in his "natural concept" saying things about himself, etc etc. Many voices. Not easy to sort out. And resistant to the template put forth by Lee.

The problem is confounded by the fact that sometimes the "voice" may be seen to be the psalmist, but upon further reflection a deep revelation of "the mystery of Christ" awaits. My analogy is that a college physics book might show an image of "an orange ball" in its pages. A second grader would not be incorrect to identify it as such. But a more sophisticated reader (i.e. a college student) might identify it is a representational of an atom's electron shell. Neither answer is incorrect; one merely goes deeper into the heart of the matter.

My question is: how could so many people who were otherwise possessed of critical faculties be so oblivious to a teaching which is very shallow and inadequate? And, especially, when it is void of the very Christ whom they profess to seek?

Currently, my answer tends toward John 7:13: "But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews", and John 12:42: "Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him... but... they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue..."

Ironically, the ministry which is supposed to free people from the bondage of the clergy/laity system put them into the silence of fear: don't mention that the emperor's teachings have no clothes. Don't be "negative", or "critical".

I suspect that within the Lee crowd there were/are some who believe that there is "more Christ" in the text than what has been officially pronounced. They believe this, but because of trepidation they won't speak it.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

Let me put it to you this way: do you get any sense from Paul's writings that Psalms 2, 8, 16 alone are "revelation" Psalms, while all the rest (1 through 21)are "natural concept" Psalms? And so on, through the rest of the book?

Or some other writer or expositor besides Paul, for that matter; New Testament or otherwise. If the Psalms were full of "stubble", don't you think someone would have pointed this out?
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:33 PM   #19
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Default Hebrews 5:7

Hebrews 5:7

"During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." (NIV)

Where in the gospels do we see loud cries and tears and prayers and petitions to the One who could save Jesus from death?

In the Psalms we see it again, and again. We see "reverent submission"; We see tears and petitions and fasting and groaning.

Psalm 30:8 To you, LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me;
LORD, be my help.”

Again and again through the Psalms David is crying out for help, declaring with faith, and praising the One who can save him.

I met some LSM-affiliated believers a couple of months ago. They were waxing poetic about the Psalms. Evidently there has been a "training" on them recently. They said that Psalm 102 shows "Christ in His resurrection and ascension". They showed me an outline by the LSM regarding this. Lots of NT verses regarding resurrection, acension, enthronement.

You know what? They started Psalm 102 at verse 12! I showed them the first 11 verses:

1 Hear my prayer, LORD;
let my cry for help come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.

3 For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn like glowing embers.
4 My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food.
5 In my distress I groan aloud
and am reduced to skin and bones.
6 I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a roof.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me;
those who rail against me use my name as a curse.
9 For I eat ashes as my food
and mingle my drink with tears
10 because of your great wrath,
for you have taken me up and thrown me aside.
11 My days are like the evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.

I guess the first 11 verses was just David in his natural concepts, trying to do good. Just ignore the tears and cries, and go right to the revelation of Christ in ascension. Anyway, when I showed them the first 11 verses, they just stared at me blankly. No "Amens". It wasn't covered in the training.

Okaaaaaaaay.....
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:50 PM   #20
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Let me put it to you this way: do you get any sense from Paul's writings that Psalms 2, 8, 16 alone are "revelation" Psalms, while all the rest (1 through 21)are "natural concept" Psalms? And so on, through the rest of the book?

Or some other writer or expositor besides Paul, for that matter; New Testament or otherwise. If the Psalms were full of "stubble", don't you think someone would have pointed this out?
I would say that there is little doubt that Paul thought very highly of all of the psalms. It is clear that different psalms reveal different things about God. That is because some are written more from the perspective of man in his fallen state looking for God's help (among other perspectives). (I can hear Lee complaining about those by mocking "His mercy endureth forever, and ever, and ever, and ever. . . ."

And the blatant fact is that his mercy absolutely does endure forever, and ever, and ever. And we need to hear it more. Not less.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:01 AM   #21
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It is clear that different psalms reveal different things about God. That is because some are written more from the perspective of man in his fallen state looking for God's help (among other perspectives).
True. And my point was that even though some psalms are written from the perspective of man in his fallen state looking for God's help, or trying to be righteous and thus secure God's promised blessing, in these pictures is the framework for God's chosen and anointed Christ to come in to our aid.

God arranged for His Son to temporarily become the "Son of David". This Son of Man suffered and was even cut off, taking the sinner's place. So the fallen man looking for help was redeemed by the "paraclete" in human form, Jesus the Nazarene. This One came alongside and opened His mouth and said, "Yes, Father, save us from our sins", and the Father heard Him. Through the Father hearing and saving Jesus from the pangs of death, we all vicariously may partake in God's victory over sin and death.

Without Jesus coming alongside and breathing life into these psalms, they would indeed have been vain. But with Jesus they become the framework for God's salvation of all humankind. The word is now living, and operating.

When Jesus inhabited the types, the forms, the pictures, so vividly portrayed in the Psalms (among other scriptures, such as "the law" and "the prophets", of course), then these writings became much more than a fallen man declaring vain things in his natural concepts. They became the Word made flesh, and tabernacling among us, full of grace and reality.

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I can hear Lee complaining about those by mocking "His mercy endureth forever, and ever, and ever, and ever. . . ."
Yes, this (perhaps among others) was the incident I was referring to. I'm pretty sure I saw it on video tape, as well as had it relayed to me by several others. An enthusiasm for singing the Psalms was moving through the local churches, and Lee shut it down.

Even if they had been approaching God's word in a shallow way, chanting "His mercy endureth forever" ad nauseum, the Holy Spirit could still come alongside and take them somewhere deep. While Mr. Lee may have thought he was shepherding them to the deep end of the pool, by diverting their attention to Ephesians and Colossians, I strongly sense that he merely quenched the Spirit (notwithstanding that Ephesians and Colossians recommend singing the Psalms).

The Spirit can take you deeper than you ever imagined, and you'd be surprised what route it may take, if you let go of your concepts.

And the blatant fact is that his mercy absolutely does endure forever, and ever, and ever. And we need to hear it more. Not less.[/QUOTE]

Yes. My burden in this thread was to say that the blatant facts of the Bible were over-ridden by the "natural concepts" of Lee. The more we push into these plain words, in the light of the New Testament revelation, the more we will in fact "see Jesus", as Hebrews 2:9 states. Jesus is right there in front of us, in plain words, crying, struggling, calling on the Father, praying, praising, singing, hoping, waiting on the Lord, full of faith, undaunted by sin and death crowding around Him and constantly threatening Him, declaring His Father's victory over the wicked spirits, freeing the prisoners, shining into the valley of the shadow of death.

Should not we come alongside Him, He who has come alongside us, and say "amen" to His speaking? To dismiss these writings as the merely the fallen concepts of a natural man dependent upon his own strength, enthusiasm, and righteousness is to sell ourselves far short of our birthright.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:04 AM   #22
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Let me put it to you this way: do you get any sense from Paul's writings that Psalms 2, 8, 16 alone are "revelation" Psalms, while all the rest (1 through 21)are "natural concept" Psalms? And so on, through the rest of the book?

Or some other writer or expositor besides Paul, for that matter; New Testament or otherwise. If the Psalms were full of "stubble", don't you think someone would have pointed this out?
The N.T. only speaks highly of the Psalms. Whether Jesus or the apostles, never once are any of the Psalms disparaged. Jesus promised all things will be fulfilled which have been written in the Psalms. Who could possibly know the limits and extent of all that has been written about the coming Savior?

Not only that, the Psalms seem to be intertwined with the lives of the early believers. When they gathered together, each one had a Psalm, and they were encouraged to speak to one another in Psalms. When alone, they were singing and psalming with their hearts to the Lord. When the apostles were with the Lord, He taught them to worship the Father in the Psalms, and the apostles passed on this rich heritage as part of the good news. When Paul visited a city without a synagogue, he would go down by the river to find those who worshiped God in Psalm.

Paul took it a step further. He spoke about the peace of Christ and the word of Christ dwelling in us and teaching others via the psalms sung with grace in our hearts. The apostle would say that there will never be one body in peace and love, unless we are continually being filled with the joy and grace in the psalms. The Psalms were a uniting bond between Jewish and Greek believers.

Then why would WL and his minions actively remove the Psalms from the spiritual diet of the saints? Why would WL in his "high peak" years teach the LRC to cut off verses and whole psalms, like cutting off gristle from a delmonico steak? Is this what happens when a minister gets elevated to MOTA status, he now is "qualified" to decide which scripture are really scripture?
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:56 AM   #23
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Then why would WL and his minions actively remove the Psalms from the spiritual diet of the saints? Why would WL in his "high peak" years teach the LRC to cut off verses and whole psalms, like cutting off gristle from a delmonico steak?
Saints can write, sing, record and share songs based on the Psalms without LSM having any control or claim. However, if they wrote songs inspired by the ministry of WL then LSM still owns the copyright. How do you discourage turning Psalms into songs? Argue that many of the psalms are man's natural concept, therefore the saints are afraid to turn them into songs lest they are exposed as not being able to discern between natural concept and psalms worthy of the NT Economy. So, sure his teaching was designed to keep LSM relevant, but look at how many wonderful songs were written inspired by the ministry of WL.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:21 AM   #24
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While Mr. Lee may have thought he was shepherding them to the deep end of the pool, by diverting their attention to Ephesians and Colossians, I strongly sense that he merely quenched the Spirit
I like the way you put these two thoughts together. We liked to speak of drinking of or from the Spirit, yet the Spirit is more often likened to something burning. How fitting that the LRC is being lead to the deep end of a pool when the goal is the burning Spirit.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:24 AM   #25
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Is this what happens when a minister gets elevated to MOTA status, he now is "qualified" to decide which scripture are really scripture?
I think that is exactly what happens. And there's lots of fruit to demonstrate it.

Or as Dr Phil would say, "How's that workin' for ya?"
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:45 AM   #26
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Who could possibly know the limits and extent of all that has been written about the coming Savior?
Evidently the "God's economy" and "processed and consummated Triune God" metrics allow one to do just that. One holds up scripture to the theory, and whatever scripture doesn't support it gets set aside as unprofitable.

And look what gets set aside. In Psalm 34, all the discourse on the ways of the righteous man is discarded as irrelevant. Who is righteous? asks Lee. Nobody. Then, suddenly, in verse 20, there is a righteous man! One whose bones are not broken. Can't be discarded because it's quoted in the N.T. So that is a revelation of Jesus. The impression one gets is of chopping up the scriptures up to fit the template, instead of vice versa.

Arguably, the burden of the Gospel of God is to tell us all about the One Righteous Man; and Jesus the Nazarene is clearly that Man. We are all the wicked, but because of one righteous act the door has been opened for salvation for us all, through believing into this One. Now we must put our money where our proverbial mouth is and obey the Righteous One just as He obeyed the Father ("As the Father has sent Me, so also I send you", etc).

All of this seems rather wide open to me, in the Psalms, and it gets shut up just to satisfy the "God's economy" metric.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:50 AM   #27
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Evidently the "God's economy" and "processed and consummated Triune God" metrics allow one to do just that. One holds up scripture to the theory, and whatever scripture doesn't support it gets set aside as unprofitable.
aron, unfortunately, this is all too common with some Christian teachers in their attempts to package the expanse of scripture within their own limited hearts. When I left the LC, I hooked up with a local community church with a pentecostal accent. I quickly noticed that every mention of being "in the Spirit" was interpreted as praying in tongues. The scripture never said as much, but the translation "metric" took over to interpret scripture according to tongues. Subsequently, as you noted, many other scripture gets set aside as unprofitable because they don't fit their limited paradigm.

This observation helped me to understand the LRC in hindsight. I was thoroughly convinced that "God's Economy" was the consummate view of scripture, whereas it was really just one of many "peep holes" through which teachers have viewed the whole. It seems every congregation and denomination has latched on to a few of these "peep holes." Otherwise how could congregations be so different, when they all start from the same Bible? The real tragedy is that all these different views become sources of conflict instead of complimentary insights into the whole of God's word.

I used to think that WL's Life Study was a "verse-by-verse study of the Bible in the way of Christian experience," but so much has been discarded by WL as irrelevant. For example, WL has a hundred messages about proper Christian service, yet he has totally missed the matter of "good works." So much of his ministry was skewed in the direction of self-serving interests, especially in his later years, and specifically when his own sons were involved.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:43 AM   #28
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...this is all too common with some Christian teachers in their attempts to package the expanse of scripture within their own limited hearts.
With the Lee/Nee ministry we were supposedly exempt from this limitation because Nee read so many books. We were told of his vast library, from which he extracted the wheat and discarded the chaff.

So the limitations of Nee were perhaps not as egregious as those of others. Remember how we heard the word "balanced"? How Nee had a "balanced ministry"?

The problem with Nee, and later by extension Lee, wasn't that they were limited. It is that was that we got taken by the pretense that they were not limited, that they had "all-inclusive" ministries. One-stop shopping. Just read Lee and you will get your complete, Recommended Daily Allowance of divinity.

So then the shortcomings, the limitations, the defects and errors snowball without correction. You get one ministry which is beyond the correcting forces of the ekklesia's multiple witnesses, and which attempts to subsume the whole witness of the ekklesia.

I think "God's economy" has something to recommend for it. After all, Paul wrote the phrase in his epistles. But look what happens when you try to measure the whole Bible by your understanding of one phrase.

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...I was thoroughly convinced that "God's Economy" was the consummate view of scripture, whereas it was really just one of many "peep holes" through which teachers have viewed the whole. It seems every congregation and denomination has latched on to a few of these "peep holes"...The real tragedy is that all these different views become sources of conflict instead of complimentary insights into the whole of God's word.
Right. This is essentially what I was saying above. The ekklesia has the real balanced, complementary view. And Jesus gathers His ekklesia together, not via one man's ministry, or one theological viewpoint, but via 'the Body building itself together'... without pruning and limitation you get something analogous to a cancerous cell taking over (dominating) its host body, when only Jesus should be the "all in all". None of us is qualified to infiltrate the entire Body. None of us should presume that our peephole into the revelations of God's Christ should dominate the entire conversation.

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...I used to think that WL's Life Study was a "verse-by-verse study of the Bible in the way of Christian experience," but so much has been discarded by WL as irrelevant. For example, WL has a hundred messages about proper Christian service, yet he has totally missed the matter of "good works." So much of his ministry was skewed in the direction of self-serving interests...
Faith instead of good works.

Dispensing instead of obedience.

Paul's oikonomia instead of Jesus' oikonomia.

Note that the first items listed are not wrong. But when they dominate the conversation it weakens and loses its reflection of God. It loses balance; it loses the natural tension of allowing different "voices" in the conversation. And that is how you end up with a study of the Psalms in which the vast majority of the text is simply set aside as "natural", i.e. of no value. It is not studied; it is rather dismissed without study. The "verse-by-verse study of the Bible" becomes a study of only those Bible verses which match the viewpoint at hand.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:00 AM   #29
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Saints can write, sing, record and share songs based on the Psalms without LSM having any control or claim.
When you get into writing of Psalms and other spiritual songs, in the past it has been discouraged. I do not know about the present. Sisters and brothers who are musically gifted in this manner would be suggested in no uncertain terms to suppress their gift and be directed more towards the ministry. To get involved in extensive song writing based on Psalms would be viewed as rivalry with the ministry.
Isn't that what happened with the late Howard Higashi? A vastly gifted brother in music who at one time did write many scripturally based songs. At least 66 if not more. As the New Way began his songwriting appeared to cease. None of Howards's ministry through music was made available thorugh Living Stream until after he died.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:10 AM   #30
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Actually by the time the mid-70s rolled around many of Psalms were set to music and sung in meetings, especially in young peoples meetings. This was a very positive thing, and somewhat counteracted, or at least mitigated, all the "down with Christianity" themed stuff. Nevertheless, it seems that for every "how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity" there were two or three "down with Babylon"s.

Alas, the Word of God turns out to be not good enough for the followers of Witness Lee. The words they sing must contain "the higher gospel" and "high peak truths"....no sir...apparently the Bible is not living, active or sharp enough for these people. May God have mercy.


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Old 02-18-2012, 11:12 AM   #31
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When you get into writing of Psalms and other spiritual songs, in the past it has been discouraged....To get involved in extensive song writing based on Psalms would be viewed as rivalry with the ministry.
There were at least 2 "Psalms music tapes" marketed by LSM 30 years ago. Unfortunately these songs were released before the "received text": the Recovery Version of the Bible. Later, LSM couldn't sanction any other translation besides the Recovery Version. So LSM has these songs which they can't merchandise. I imagine that chafes them at least somewhat, especially since they had Paul's NT encouragement to the saints to 'sing the Psalms' displayed prominently on the top of their web page selling music.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:16 AM   #32
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Actually by the time the mid-70s rolled around many of Psalms were set to music and sung in meetings, especially in young peoples meetings.
Yes! This was my experience in the early 1980's in the Young People's meetings. I remember many a Saturday night all we needed was a KJV Bible and hopefully a sister or brother with an accoustic guitar.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:23 AM   #33
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UntoHim: Actually by the time the mid-70s rolled around many of Psalms were set to music and sung in meetings, especially in young peoples meetings.
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Yes! This was my experience in the early 1980's in the Young People's meetings. I remember many a Saturday night all we needed was a KJV Bible and hopefully a sister or brother with an accoustic guitar.
One of my favorite lines in the New Testament is in the beginning of Hebrews, where the author says, "God spoke in the past to our forefathers through the prophets in many forms and many ways, but now in these final days He has spoken to us by His Son..."

This is a safeguard, a caution, against relying too much on someone's "interpreted word". We should get the speaking right from the Son, not from some mediatorial office (oracles, trainers, full-timers, co-workers, etc). When we praise the Father, the Son of God Himself should come and inhabit our praises.

Witness Lee used to speak about "poor christianity, nullifying the function of all the members of the body". But by setting himself as the sole interpreter of the word, and thus mediating the speaking of God's Son, Lee did just that: he nullified all the brothers and sisters with their guitars and KJV and NIV bibles, who were opening themselves to the Spirit of God's Son who was singing praises to the Father in the midst of the assembly. This activity Lee declared to be independent and thus unauthorized, and so it got pushed "outside the camp". And you ended up with a very weird Bible; an interpreted Bible, said interpretation necessitating the cutting off of large portions of scripture as "natural" and "fallen" in order to preserve itself.

So you got a "ministry" and an "interpretation", and you lost the scripture, the functioning of the saints, and the speaking of the Son. Hmph. Forgive me if I'm not eager to sign on.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:18 AM   #34
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So you got a "ministry" and an "interpretation", and you lost the scripture, the functioning of the saints, and the speaking of the Son.
Put it another way: Jesus said, "These things were written concerning Me." Witness Lee said, "No they were not. These things were written by fallen men, according to their natural concepts; they are devoid of the revelation of Christ."

Jesus said, "Man shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Lee said, "My 'economy of God metric' tells us what words are from the mouth of God and what words are from fallen man".

Gee, lucky for us! Witness Lee did all the hard work for us! The only revelation we need is to see that Lee is God's oracle; if he can't see any Christ there, then Jesus' words don't apply. Nor do Paul's repeated admonitions to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly by singing the Psalms. Thank God Lee vetted the Bible for us; otherwise we might waste our time singing "fallen" and "natural" songs. Nobody, including Paul, apparently got this revelation until God raised up Witness Lee to be the apostle of the age, and complete God's speaking.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:25 AM   #35
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Evidently the "God's economy"... metric allows one to... hold up scripture to the theory, and whatever scripture doesn't support it gets set aside as unprofitable.

And look what gets set aside. In Psalm 34, all the discourse on the ways of the righteous man is discarded as irrelevant. Who is righteous? asks Lee. Nobody. Then, suddenly, in verse 20, there is a righteous man! One whose bones are not broken. Can't be discarded because it's quoted in the N.T. So that is a revelation of Jesus.
Lee was in a conundrum, it seems. He thinks "the things which were written" are beneath his "high peak" standard. Yet they were held by the writers of the NT as indicative of the coming Christ. So he allows the bare minimum, that which is cited by NT authors (and even some of that is discarded, as in Peter & James' citation of "all flesh is like grass that withers and passes away").

So you get the obligatory citations, with all due reverence. And anything else is waved off. Do you suppose that ONLY those Psalms cited in the gospels and epistles, with the accompanying "as the scripture had said", were fulfilled by Jesus? Do you see any composer of the NT, or their near contemporaries, limiting scripture thus? No. Then along comes Lee with his supposedly divine measuring stick and slams the door shut. If his metric says something is "low" or "fallen", so it is, says Lee. But I am increasingly convinced that his metric is what is low, natural, and fallen.

When John wrote "To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (John 2:16,17), do you think that only that verse reveals Jesus? Had John been doing an exhaustive, systematic survey of the OT and had told us expressly "do not go beyond this" I would have to at least consider it from the Lord. But John did not, nor did any other (that I am aware of), and I would even argue that John's brief citation here, early in the account of Jesus' life and work, would suggest a rather open-ended approach to dealing with the OT and Jesus.

And Lee did, actually: finding "types and figures" right and left. But when it came to the Psalms, the skies turned to brass. The heavens closed. No revelations beyond what was necessitated by the NT. And even some of that didn't make it past Lee's measure.
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:13 PM   #36
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And Lee did, actually: finding "types and figures" right and left. But when it came to the Psalms, the skies turned to brass. The heavens closed. No revelations beyond what was necessitated by the NT. And even some of that didn't make it past Lee's measure.
Of course, in retrospect I over-spoke, and over-generalized... I have that habit because it makes (to me) good copy.

In truth, I met some old LSM freinds about 8 months ago who were reviewing the Psalms, and they spoke glowingly about Psalm 45 where the Sons of Korah wrote a "wedding song" which they (the LSM "trainees") claimed was rich in typology. I had never noticed Psalm 45 before, nor was I aware of any NT citation of this, so this was new to me, and it was delivered to me via the LSM folk. So I cannot say that they only acknowledge what they are forced to by the NT corpus. But still, for the most part that is my impression.

Secondly, the "tone of my posts" is probably too sarcastic, and I apologize. Sarcasm is such an easy road, and I doubt Christ takes it as often as I do (I always think as I write, But Paul did it!! Paul effectively employed sarcasm!! It's in the Bible!!).

Third, the danger of an "open-ended" typological situation vis-a-vis the poetic books is that anyone is free to say "this means that". So if I see Jesus speaking in Psalm 3: "I lay me down and slept/I awaked for the LORD sustains me" equalling "I have the power to lay My life down, and the power to raise it up again", or if I see Christ revealed in Psalm 27, or in Psalm 34 beyond merely the NT citation (verse 20 is referenced), or in Psalm 69 beyond the referenced verse 9, then that is, of course, merely my personal interpretation.

I cannot claim that my interpretations ("this equals that") have any more weight than Lee's "God's New Testament Economy" template. I am no more "right" or "wrong" than Lee when it comes to examining such OT passages. But my sense is that the gospel writers continually based the validity/importance of their accounts on the fulfillment of what we now call the OT, and what they called the scriptures. Look at how many times they say "...as the scripture said" or "that the scripture might be fulfilled". And this is important: nowhere do I see them saying "Don't allegorize further than we have here." The writer of Hebrews actually says there are types that he/she doesn't have the where-withal to get into.

So why should Lee's audience let him so pre-emptively and presumptuously dismiss the vast body of the Psalms? To me, it really is a case of the emperor wearing no clothes. Can't any of them see this? Or are they just too embarrassed to have an opinion?

As usual, I have gone on far too long and have so thoroughly beaten my "dead horse" that most of my readers are groaning, or have given up. To those of you who've stuck with me: thanks, and peace.
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:10 PM   #37
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So why should Lee's audience let him so pre-emptively and presumptuously dismiss the vast body of the Psalms?
Because it occurred gradually over a long period of time.

Also, there is an interesting phenomenon I would like to mention. As a Catholic I tried to read the scriptures, yet never could "connect." It was like reading ancient history in a foreign language. Then a friend, newly saved, talked about the Lord and gave me a paraphrased version of the N.T.. I was gloriously saved in my bedroom. Immediately I was joined to my friend in Spirit.

Likewise, many of us entered the Recovery with little personal contact with the Lord. We may have been already believers, as I was, but for the first time we were really filled with the Lord in the Spirit. What a connection we immediately had with the saints and the ministers there. It was a bond not easily severed.

This is why I have spoken up in protest about how LC leaders have violated the normal trust which naturally takes place between young believers and LC leaders. I personally believe that this bond is God-given and part of our spiritual birth and heritage. It is akin to the bond that exists between a mother and her new-born. Initially all the responsibility lies with the parent, or the Christian leader.

It is not the newborn's responsibility to discern the quality of the mother's milk, nor is it the newborn believer's responsibility to discern the quality of the leader's care. This is why the Lord places a higher responsibility on leaders, accompanied by serious rewards and disciplines for stumbling the little ones. Eventually the children do have to grow up and make their own decisions, but until then they are generally relieved of responsibility for serious decisions in their lives.

Lee's interpretation of Psalms was like this. Slowly over time he twisted their importance to the congregation to the point that many of the Psalms were discarded as unnecessary for the divine record. The same was true of James. Think about how the importance of Lee's writings rises if the value of certain scripture actually diminishes. Who is this minister who can even tell us which part of scripture is God-breathed and which is not!
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:21 PM   #38
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... there is an interesting phenomenon I would like to mention. As a Catholic I tried to read the scriptures, yet never could "connect." It was like reading ancient history in a foreign language. Then a friend, newly saved, talked about the Lord and gave me a paraphrased version of the N.T.. I was gloriously saved in my bedroom. Immediately I was joined to my friend in Spirit.

Likewise, many of us entered the Recovery with little personal contact with the Lord. We may have been already believers, as I was, but for the first time we were really filled with the Lord in the Spirit. What a connection we immediately had with the saints and the ministers there. It was a bond not easily severed.
I relate to this. For years I couldn't read the Psalms because they were dry as dust. Absolutely nothing there for me. So if I was in an environment which didn't open them up, why should I pay any attention to them? If the LC saints were going on about "masticating God" or "Thy words were found and I did eat them", then I guess that's what I would focus on. Not on something like, "...these things were written concerning Me."

One day, something like scales fell off from my eyes, and quite literally I felt that I could "hear" the voice of God's Son in the Psalms. God was talking to me! The voice of His Son was there! It's like what Hebrews said: "God ... has now spoken to us in His Son". I could hear the Son, in the midst of the assembly, singing hymns of praise to the Father. It wasn't "us" singing, it was "God's Son in us" singing. And He was singing the Psalms! Aside from being "born again", it was the most amazing thing that happened to me in my spiritual journey. Instead of hearing an interpreter or some expositor telling me what to think, I could "feel the heart of God" touching the writer, and coming to me through the text as we sang it. Now if that ain't "God's economy", what is?

Anyway, the local churches were part of my journey, so I shouldn't be too hard on them. I guess I should just say that I strongly disagree with their perfunctory handling of the Psalms and leave it at that. God is good.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:30 AM   #39
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Default A perfunctory tour of the Psalms

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As usual, I have gone on far too long and have so thoroughly beaten my "dead horse" that most of my readers are groaning, or have given up.
Oh, and one more point (Ha-ha).

Perfunctory: routine, mechanical, superficial, lacking enthusiasm (Mirriam-Webster).

My sense that the LSM/Lee Psalms exposition was perfunctory (not careful, or thoughtful, but hurried through) was based on a number of things. I will list 3 examples. I believe I could list dozens.

1. In Psalm 1, in which we see the distinctions between the righteous and the wicked, Lee says "There is no righteous person", so the whole psalm is "natural" and therefore dismissed. In Psalm 1, verse 5, the "assembly of the righteous" is simply ignored without comment. But in Psalm 22, we see the victorious One praising the Jehovah in the midst of the assembly! What is the difference between the assemblies in Psalm 1 and Psalm 22? Well, the assembly in Psalm 1 is not referenced in the NT and the assembly in Psalm 22 is referenced. So in Psalm one there is nothing, and in Psalm 22 Lee sees "the church". This seems a little schizophrenic (contradictory or antagonistic attitudes -- MirriamWebster). To Lee, the "assembly" seems to either exist or not depending on whether he is forced to acknowledge it.

2. Similarly, here is a quote (in red) from the Life-Study of Psalm 34:

Concerning the righteous man, David said, ‘‘He keeps all his bones; / Not one of them is broken’’ (v. 20). This is a verse concerning Christ because David was a type of the suffering Christ. When Christ was on the cross, the soldiers did not break His legs when they saw that He had already died (John 19:33). John said, ‘‘These things happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘No bone of His shall be broken’ ’’ (v. 36).

Before this Lee says there is no righteous person. Verses 1 through 19 are called "natural". Suddenly in verse 20 Lee is confronted with a referenced verse. He can't ignore it. So he says that we have 19 verses with no righteous person, then suddenly, with no context, one verse with the righteous suffering Christ, then back to "no Christ" again. That is what I mean by szichophrenic. It is a contradictory exposition. You have no reality, then reality, then no reality again.

There were times in describing his sufferings that David typified Christ. When we look at Psalm 34, we can see the mixed expressions of David’s sentiment. Verse 20 refers to Christ, but most of this psalm is not according to the tree of life. Our concept needs to be changed to the divine concept according to the tree of life. As we grow in Christ, our concept will be changed.

I find this to be a wholly unsatisfactory exposition of the Psalms. This is quite perfunctory. If verse 20 had not been cited in John chapter 19, Lee probably would have ignored the whole of Psalm 34 altogether.

3. In Psalm 23, the famous "The LORD is my shepherd" psalm, we find an interesting approach. To me, there we have 3 possible readings.

First, Jehovah shepherds (guides, leads, cares for) the righteous man, personified in this case by David, the now-grown shepherd boy.
Second, Jehovah shepherds the Son of David, the human, righteous Messiah, who we Christians believe was Jesus the Nazarene. In His human life, led always by His Father in heaven, Jesus fulfilled and fully completed David's type in the Psalms.
Third, Jesus is Jehovah (John 8:24) shepherding the christian flock (John 10:11).

Lee presented us with the third interpretation. Surely that is not incorrect. But Lee ignored the second reading (please note that these interpretations are not mutually exclusive -- seeing one doesn't preclude another). Somehow in Psalm 23 Lee simply could not see Jesus the righteous Son of David, the fully obedient Son of God. He could only see Jesus/Jehovah shepherding Lee. My point is that you don't get to experience the third without the second. The incarnation is fully expressed in Psalm 23.

In spite of Lee's talk of "the humanity of Jesus" I cannot find the humanity of Jesus in his review of Psalm 23. Is that because the previous chapter, Psalm 22, vividly depicted the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of the Christ? If this logic holds, then why are there (many) more psalms after Psalm 22 which depict the psalmists' human pain and suffering?

I think that we have been given a very superficial and perfunctory reading of the Psalms. The Christian assembly deserves a deeper and more thorough look. It is as if someone has been giving us milk mixed with water while saying, "Isn't this steak delicious?" Um, sorry; no. What you are giving us here is not steak. It is barely milk.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:58 AM   #40
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Witness Lee took the extremely narrow view of "finding Christ" in the O.T. based on the old Brethren way of types and figures. If he could not "find Christ," then he often considered these verses of lesser value. It seemed to most of us, that "finding Christ" was to study the Bible on a higher plane, and it's hard to rebut this manner of study, that is, until the results are examined in the light of day. Your study of Psalms, aron, exposes some of these shortcomings. If WL had only said that his intention was to take a new look at scripture, then I would say that is fine. But he did not do just that. He reproached all the other studies, and elevated his own above that of scripture, at least in the ears of his adherents.

Paul said these things are written for our admonition. (I Cor 10.11) Thus there are many stories in the Bible in which we do not particularly "find Christ," but are excellent examples of just the kinds of things that we confront in our christian walk. Recently I mentioned the story of old Eli the high priest in I Samuel. Apparently there was no "Christ" to be found there, but if WL would have heeded the lessons in the story about his own children, then perhaps our LC history would have been different, just as Israel's might have been.

This highlights the inherent dangers with receiving from only one teacher as the LC's are want to do. You may get some very good teachings, but what you don't get might be far more necessary to meet your current situation.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:10 AM   #41
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Witness Lee took the extremely narrow view of "finding Christ" in the O.T. based on the old Brethren way of types and figures. If he could not "find Christ," then he often considered these verses of lesser value. ... If WL had only said that his intention was to take a new look at scripture, then I would say that is fine. But he did not do just that. He reproached all the other studies, and elevated his own above that of scripture, at least in the ears of his adherents.
I agree, especially with the bolded part. Lee's study the Psalms is adequate of itself, as an introductory Christian look at the Psalms, and as a very small part the larger Christian conversation. He did better than some, my treatments here -- his approach was systematic, while mine has been just to touch on a few representative samples. But as a "definitive" account of Christ in the Psalms, I find his "life study" to be very superficial and incomplete. It treats maybe 10 to 20% of the text, and I think that is mostly because the New Testament writers got there before he did. And when he downplays the whole body of the psalm text as irrelevant and suddenly sees a revelation of Christ in the one verse cited in the NT, it really looks schizophrenic, unless you've been steeped in the LSM "Lee speaks alone" culture.

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This highlights the inherent dangers with receiving from only one teacher as the LC's are wont to do. You may get some very good teachings, but what you don't get might be far more necessary to meet your current situation.
This goes back to your statements on young christians being dependent on those before them. A new believer might find this Psalms exposition very helpful as an cursory first look. But for a mature believer to be stuck with this, years or even decades into his or her Christian journey.... I remember one "blended" declaring proudly that he would eat "Witness Lee leftovers" the rest of his life. How can any Christian deliberately limit themselves thus? What happened to the "all-inclusive Christ"?
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:41 AM   #42
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

What I find interesting is that within 4 generations the Israelite story was transformed. With David's parents' generation, they came under a King (Saul) but the "kingdom" itself was a conception and a hope more than a reality. The Philistines were a real threat. Goliath was a big dude, and he had brothers and cousins. The Israelites and Philistines had been battling for years (see Samson, etc).

With the emergence and ascension of David, victory over all foes was the theme. Then Solomon was the apogee of glory, in appearance. By the time of Solomon's sons, the kingdom was divided.

Why so short? David couldn't handle peace very well. He had "roving eyes", as they say. Solomon couldn't handle prosperity. His many wives turned his heart to foriegn idols. The tree of knowledge, indeed.

What this has to do with the Psalms, for me, is that there really is no truly "righteous man" evidenced there. No one is pure. Solomon said, "teach a youth the way to go and he will follow that path his whole life" (Proverbs 22:6). But Solomon didn't teach his own children, and the kingdom fell apart.

But, if you see these as "the words of Christ", as Paul calls them, and not the words of David or Lemuel or Asaph or Solomon, then suddenly you are not in the earthly plane but the heavenly. You get not the faltering, shadowy aspiration but the full reality. And if you engage the text by singing, shouting, declaring, praying, stamping your feet, lifting your hands, and by "meditating day and night" (Psa 1:2) and making it your own, then it will indeed be "Christ making His home in your heart", and "the word of Christ dwelling in you richly". It will indeed be "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

All of which may sound like Lee's "God's New Testament Economy". But we differ in that Lee said most of the text was simply the word of David, where I suspect that much more of the text is actually the word of Christ. I think we differ greatly in how much Christ was revealed in the text.

Secondly, and of nearly equal importance, is the fact of the stunning fall of the "house of David". It was clearly shown that the Davidic/Solomon line had its glaring flaws, and these contributed to a great schism in the Israelite flock. Similarly, in the NT, with the end of merely the first generation of disciples, you find the aged apostle John writing to the assemblies in Asia and telling them to "repent", just as John the Baptist and Jesus had initiated their ministries a half-century earlier. So to me, trying to replicate the first-century church (i.e. "the normal christian church") is a waste of time. It was as flawed as Solomon's house. Sure, there was glory there, but the flaws were there too, and the cracks were already beginning to appear.

No, the only hope is in Christ. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Peace to all who put their hope in Him.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:38 AM   #43
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

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Lee said most of the text [of the Psalms] was simply the word of David, where I suspect that much more of the text is actually the word of Christ. I think we differ greatly in how much Christ was revealed in the text.
I have already written, here and elsewhere, about how Lee dismisses David's rescue from Gath in Psalm 34 as engineered by human craftiness rather than divine intervention. The Psalm title's claim that "God rescued him" was disparaged by Lee.

I would like to continue, here, with Psalm 35. I am unwilling/unable to do a thorough systematic review of the Psalms footnotes, but hope that these few samples will make a point.

The 28 verses of Psalm 35 get one comment, in the first verse. David asks God, "Fight, O LORD, with those who fight against me." Here is the footnote:

"In the New Testament economy, a spiritual person would never ask God to fight against his enemies as David asks in this psalm."

So why did Jesus tell the parable of the unrighteous judge in Luke 18? "Avenge me of my enemies", the widow repeatedly asks the judge. Who are her adversaries? "We fight not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of darkness", writes Paul.

John wrote, "There was war in heaven, Michael and his angels against the devil and his angels". Don't you think there is some spiritual warfare going on? Why does Lee pretend it doesn't exist in the Psalms? When Jesus showed up, the demons cried out in fear. "What do you have to do with us, Jesus, Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us before our time?!?"

Jesus said, "When you go out to battle with ten thousand troops, be careful if you run into someone coming against you with twenty thousand. Better not fight with them at that point." (cf. Luke 14). Was Jesus failing Lee's New Testament economy in Luke 14? Or was Jesus referring to a spiritual struggle, using images (i.e. parables)? When faced with the type or shadow of this warfare, par excellence, of David's fight(s) in the book of Psalms, Lee pointedly ignores this option.

So my question is, how can a book so deficient in explanation be held up by anyone as the, or even a, definitive exposition of the Bible? I can only surmise, as one of the posters has previously done earlier, that Lee was so tapped out by his exhaustive work in the NT that he simply had no gas left in the tank to give the Psalms (among other works) the careful study it deserved. So he just blew off chapter after chapter with a perfunctory wave of the hand: "Not according to the NT economy". And his captive (pun quite intended) audience was forced to take the "definitive Biblical exposition" from this "rich ministry". Child, please.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:00 AM   #44
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Default Psalm 36

Continuing on to Psalm 36. The footnote to verses 8 and 9 says, "Verses 8 and 9 reveal the Divine Trinity in His divine dispensing as the enjoyment of God's people in His house."

Verses 8 and 9 talk about the fatness of God's house, drinking the river of God's pleasures, and the fountain of life, in whose light we see light.

But in the preceding footnote, on verse 5, it says, "Verses 5-10 are David's praising God for His lovingkindness, faithfulness, and righteousness mixed with the enjoyment of God in His house. However, such praising followed David's accusing the wicked (vv 1-4), showing again the mixture of human concept and the divine concept in the Psalms."

So Lee says David, in accusing the wicked, is being natural and fallen. David is neither enlightened nor revealing to us the Divine. Just God's judgment upon the wicked. I suppose David was wrong for throwing a stone at Goliath as well. David was supposed to turn the other cheek, right?

This is reminiscent of pseudo-intellectuals who judge others as unenlightened based on arbitrary and impossible criteria. Like, the founders of the U.S. Constitution were sexist pigs because they didn't give women the right to vote. Look at John Adams' letters to his wife Abigail and you'd hardly call him that.

But we can, if we want, drag in irrelevant criteria and make all sorts of unpleasant assessments of our subjects.

David and Israel were in a great struggle. It was violent, and a lot of people died. "A thousand fall at your right hand, and ten thousand at your left" wasn't too far-fetched as hyperbole. So I don't think it's relevant to judge David by "God's NT economy" standards. God's economy, at that time, was to establish Jerusalem. If David hadn't bonked Goliath, among others, there wouldn't be any Solomon building a temple and so forth. Just like propertied white males in 1781 getting to choose government representatives being the precursor of later rights given to women, ethnic minorities, etc.

Anyway, this is basically my way of re-iterating that I find the analysis of Psalms to be rather unsatisfying (if you hadn't picked that up by now).
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:41 AM   #45
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

I am so glad I never read the Psalms or much of the RcV with it's footnotes. It is bad enough I recall, observe and read the damage done to people by this man's ministry.

May our Loving, Gracious and Patient God set all the captives of the LRC FREE forevermore in the Mighty Name of JESUS!!!!

Peace and Blessings,

Carol G
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #46
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While it is a nit-picky point, I would have titled the thread "The Psalms are the Word of God" rather thant "of Christ." Just a preference for avoiding the kind of mixing up of the Three of the Trinity. I note that in Hebrews it says that God spoke in various ways, but more recently through Christ (my paraphrase).

We can take the "Christ is the Word of God" to the extreme. But the OT itself reveals God as speaking and the NT reveals that Christ spoke in later times. I also note that Christ is the Word of God, not the Word of Christ. When we speak of Psalms, we are talking about the Word of God, not the Word of Christ.

But that was not the reason for posting. I think that the point concerning Lee's virtual dismissal of the Psalms is well made. I had a lot more to say about it, but it was not much more than observations of the amount of ink given to Psalms, much of which was all but suggesting that it should not have been included in the Bible.

The real problem is not even in the amount of time and ink given, but in the attitude toward so much of it. We have now seen through footnotes that Lee really didn't think much of the Psalms.

That means he didn't think very much about God's Word.

And that kind of a person really has no business claiming to be a teacher of God's Word.

Period.

End of story.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #47
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So my question is, how can a book so deficient in explanation be held up by anyone as the, or even a, definitive exposition of the Bible? I can only surmise, as one of the posters has previously done earlier, that Lee was so tapped out by his exhaustive work in the NT that he simply had no gas left in the tank to give the Psalms (among other works) the careful study it deserved. So he just blew off chapter after chapter with a perfunctory wave of the hand: "Not according to the NT economy". And his captive (pun quite intended) audience was forced to take the "definitive Biblical exposition" from this "rich ministry". Child, please.
When it came to the OT, Lee followed the old Brethren pattern of "looking for Christ." For the most part, it had little to do with "life" study. OT scripture was evaluated based on whether Christ could be seen in type, prophecy, figure, etc. Unfortunately, after the 80's came around, Lee had little desire to learn spiritual lessons from the OT characters. Perhaps his course of action dramatically changed after he begun I Samuel. He totally missed the message concerning "old Eli and his sons," which should have struck real close to home, and instead latched on to his ridiculous notions about Samuel being the "acting God."

His commentary on Psalms was part of this fallout. If a Psalm could directly point to Christ, like Psalm 22, then it was extolled as worthwhile according to God's economy. If he could not "find Christ," then the Psalm was worthless according to God's economy, and considered to be merely human sentiment of little value. WL really believed that his method of interpretation was on the highest plane, and part of his "high peak" ministry of his final years. He truly believed that he had culminated and consummated the NT ministry, and he himself had grown to such a stage that he could now evaluate and rate all the passages of the Bible.

It seems that Lee somehow experienced delusions of grandeur, almost as a megalomaniac, where he was completely above the law, and any critic of his teachings or decisions must be attacking God's throne itself, even though the "critic" was just a little upset that his wife was molested by Philip Lee in the LSM offices.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:48 PM   #48
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I would like to continue, here, with Psalm 35. I am unwilling/unable to do a thorough systematic review of the Psalms footnotes, but hope that these few samples will make a point.

The 28 verses of Psalm 35 get one comment, in the first verse. David asks God, "Fight, O LORD, with those who fight against me." Here is the footnote:

"In the New Testament economy, a spiritual person would never ask God to fight against his enemies as David asks in this psalm."

So why did Jesus tell the parable of the unrighteous judge in Luke 18? "Avenge me of my enemies", the widow repeatedly asks the judge. Who are her adversaries? "We fight not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of darkness", writes Paul.

John wrote, "There was war in heaven, Michael and his angels against the devil and his angels". Don't you think there is some spiritual warfare going on? Why does Lee pretend it doesn't exist in the Psalms? When Jesus showed up, the demons cried out in fear. "What do you have to do with us, Jesus, Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us before our time?!?"

Jesus said, "When you go out to battle with ten thousand troops, be careful if you run into someone coming against you with twenty thousand. Better not fight with them at that point." (cf. Luke 14). Was Jesus failing Lee's New Testament economy in Luke 14? Or was Jesus referring to a spiritual struggle, using images (i.e. parables)? When faced with the type or shadow of this warfare, par excellence, of David's fight(s) in the book of Psalms, Lee pointedly ignores this option.


I think the correct term for this, though I don't want to get too technical with the jargon, is poppycock.

WL's sharing on the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, and a number of other books was a complete waste of time and money.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:51 PM   #49
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Witness Lee took the extremely narrow view of "finding Christ" in the O.T. based on the old Brethren way of types and figures. If he could not "find Christ," then he often considered these verses of lesser value. It seemed to most of us, that "finding Christ" was to study the Bible on a higher plane, and it's hard to rebut this manner of study, that is, until the results are examined in the light of day. Your study of Psalms, aron, exposes some of these shortcomings. If WL had only said that his intention was to take a new look at scripture, then I would say that is fine. But he did not do just that. He reproached all the other studies, and elevated his own above that of scripture, at least in the ears of his adherents.

Paul said these things are written for our admonition. (I Cor 10.11) Thus there are many stories in the Bible in which we do not particularly "find Christ," but are excellent examples of just the kinds of things that we confront in our christian walk. Recently I mentioned the story of old Eli the high priest in I Samuel. Apparently there was no "Christ" to be found there, but if WL would have heeded the lessons in the story about his own children, then perhaps our LC history would have been different, just as Israel's might have been.

This highlights the inherent dangers with receiving from only one teacher as the LC's are want to do. You may get some very good teachings, but what you don't get might be far more necessary to meet your current situation.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:50 PM   #50
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Continuing on to Psalm 36. The footnote to verses 8 and 9 says, "Verses 8 and 9 reveal the Divine Trinity in His divine dispensing as the enjoyment of God's people in His house."

Verses 8 and 9 talk about the fatness of God's house, drinking the river of God's pleasures, and the fountain of life, in whose light we see light.

But in the preceding footnote, on verse 5, it says, "Verses 5-10 are David's praising God for His lovingkindness, faithfulness, and righteousness mixed with the enjoyment of God in His house. However, such praising followed David's accusing the wicked (vv 1-4), showing again the mixture of human concept and the divine concept in the Psalms."
Wow, from the words of your mouth the secrets of your heart are revealed.

Accusing the wicked is "the human concept" whereas praising God for the fatness of His house is spiritual. So if you make a wonderful testimony about how rich the LRC is, that is spiritual, but if you accuse WL and Sons for their wickedness then you are a mixture of fallen human thinking.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:50 AM   #51
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When it came to the OT, Lee followed the old Brethren pattern of "looking for Christ." ... OT scripture was evaluated based on whether Christ could be seen in type, prophecy, figure, etc. Unfortunately, after the 80's came around, Lee had little desire to learn spiritual lessons from the OT characters.
It seems strange to me: if any character was ripe for allegorization it would be the OT character David. He was the great conquering king who slew the monster Goliath. There is so much detail, both in the historical books, and the "inner life" of the character revealed in the Psalms.

Even the failures have Christ nearby. When David writes in Psalm 51 that if God restores him, he'll teach other sinners, you can sense Christ restoring sinners so that they can likewise shepherd others (see Jesus' dialogs with Peter, for example). There is so much "Christ" here to be seen. No wonder the Psalms were cited so extensively by the authors of the NT!

And yet Lee seemed oblivious to all of this.

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His commentary on Psalms was part of this fallout. If a Psalm could directly point to Christ, like Psalm 22, then it was extolled as worthwhile according to God's economy. If he could not "find Christ," then the Psalm was worthless according to God's economy, and considered to be merely human sentiment of little value.
There is no indication to me from the writers of the NT that the quotes they used referencing the Christ are the ONLY places where Christ is is to be found. Look at Psalm 69, cited in John chapter 2: "Zeal of Thy house has eaten Me up". John's gospel doesn't indicate that this is the only section of Psalm 69 which reveals Christ. In fact, I would argue the opposite: the citation points the reader back toward a source text. And John's gospel acknowledges the open-ended nature of his work, and it's subject: see e.g. John 16:12, and 21:25. Lee, however, makes perfunctory acknowledgements of the NT citations, with the surrounding text often dismissed as "natural". He won't find Christ unless the NT authors compel him to.

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WL really believed that his method of interpretation was on the highest plane, and part of his "high peak" ministry of his final years. He truly believed that he had culminated and consummated the NT ministry, and he himself had grown to such a stage that he could now evaluate and rate all the passages of the Bible.
Yes; his template allowed him to parse the Bible. It really was superior to the scriptures themselves, which could be dismissed as the uninspired work of fallen man, rather than the inspired word of God. But who before Lee with his "NT Economy" template ever disparaged the scriptures thusly? Paul wrote to Timothy that "All scripture is God-breathed and profitable..."; who besides Lee cut off such extensive sections as unprofitable?
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:02 AM   #52
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It seems strange to me: if any character was ripe for allegorization it would be the OT character David. He was the great conquering king who slew the monster Goliath. There is so much detail, both in the historical books, and the "inner life" of the character revealed in the Psalms.

Even the failures have Christ nearby. When David writes in Psalm 51 that if God restores him, he'll teach other sinners, you can sense Christ restoring sinners so that they can likewise shepherd others (see Jesus' dialogs with Peter, for example). There is so much "Christ" here to be seen. No wonder the Psalms were cited so extensively by the authors of the NT!

And yet Lee seemed oblivious to all of this.
I think you will find he was willfully ignorant. Many of those verses that he tried to skip, ignore and dismiss condemned him.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:27 AM   #53
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Paul wrote to Timothy that "All scripture is God-breathed and profitable..."; who besides Lee cut off such extensive sections as unprofitable?
I've brought this verse up numerous times to people and their response was always, "yes, that's true. Those Psalms that are according to fallen man are profitable for teaching insofar as they show us how NOT to be." Then they show me the verses where Satan temps Jesus and ask, are his words "God-breathed?":c onfused: I think a lot of the problem is that people don't know how to read narratives.....
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:28 AM   #54
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I've brought this verse up numerous times to people and their response was always, "yes, that's true. Those Psalms that are according to fallen man are profitable for teaching insofar as they show us how NOT to be." Then they show me the verses where Satan temps Jesus and ask, are his words "God-breathed?":c onfused: I think a lot of the problem is that people don't know how to read narratives.....
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Once again this is as fishy an explanation as the explanation for why WN was excommunicated. Let's call a spade a spade. WL was condemned by many of those verses. If he admitted they were part of the "divine revelation" then he would literally skin himself alive during the training. That is also true for Proverbs. So instead of confessing his sins he felt it was better to just decide that certain books of the Bible were not "part of the divine revelation". Just like Animal Farm that was a major departure from the original contract in which all scripture was God breathed. Once the writing on the Barn changed his ministry was a waste of time and money.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:14 AM   #55
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I've brought this verse [from 2 Timothy] up numerous times to people and their response was always, "yes, that's true. Those Psalms that are according to fallen man are profitable for teaching insofar as they show us how NOT to be."
That is a rather subjective assessment. I could also say that Lee's footnotes show us how NOT to write footnotes.

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Then they show me the verses where Satan tempts Jesus and ask, are his words "God-breathed?"
But this is clearly shown in context not to be God's speaking, even when Satan is quoting Psalm 91: "He shall give his angels charge over Thee". But where is a similar judgment, besides that of Witness Lee, that David's writing is valueless except as a caution?

I see Witness Lee waaaay out on a limb, with his "God's economy" metric. No one is joining him there. No where in the Bible or later do I see any other writers casting such aspersions on the Word. Not the Church Fathers, not anyone after. Witness Lee is basically coming back in and re-canonizing the scriptures according to his own metric.

Number one, that's kind of megalomaniacal, as Ohio said. Number two, it just doesn't wash. There is a lot of evocative and fruitful symbolism speaking to us of, to, and from the Son of God, which Lee jettisons to preserve his "economy".
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:17 AM   #56
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Just like Animal Farm that was a major departure from the original contract in which all scripture was God breathed. Once the writing on the Barn changed his ministry was a waste of time and money.
I admit to being a novice in the Psalms. I only recently have come to see why they were quoted so extensively by the NT writers. So I don't have a lot of basis of comparison. But I can say that I have found his teachings here to be a great disappointment.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:28 AM   #57
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I've brought this verse up numerous times to people and their response was always, "yes, that's true. Those Psalms that are according to fallen man are profitable for teaching insofar as they show us how NOT to be." Then they show me the verses where Satan temps Jesus and ask, are his words "God-breathed?":c onfused: I think a lot of the problem is that people don't know how to read narratives.....
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Psalm
35:1 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

This is David's prayer. For WL to judge that David was natural, in his mind, or whatever terminology he uses is not warranted by the narrative.

35:2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
35:3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

Imagine if JI was praying this, or the saints molested by PL, or JS, or BM etc.

35:4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
35:5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
35:6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
35:7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.

Imagine the Sister's rebellion. "Without cause they have digged for my soul". That sums it up. Clearly these verses expose the sins of WL.

35:8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.

This is the final conclusion, WL set a trap. He baited it with a bogus story about WN, he made merchandise of saints with fabricated words, etc. these verses expose WL. No wonder he feels they are "natural" and not what a "spiritual" man would pray.

35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
35:10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
35:11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
35:12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.

WL is the false witness. He created charges for things that those accused knew not. It is just like the testimony that Awareness gave. It is just like the thread of Gold.

35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
35:14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
35:15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
35:16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.

Compare this to the BBs and WL. We behaved as though WL had been our friend or brother. We were like mourners while they were like hypocritical mockers in the feast. All those saints screaming in Awareness testimony, just like the description here of "they gnashed upon me with their teeth."

35:17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
35:18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
35:19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
35:20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.

Once again this is an apt description of WL who devised deceitful matters against various saints.

35:21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.

Talk about hypocrisy. They publish a book TFOTPR, that is "opening their mouth wide" yet they criticize others for posting on the internet.

35:22 This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
35:23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
35:24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
35:25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
35:26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.

Perhaps this should go into the mission statement of this forum.

35:27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
35:28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

Now according to WL only these last two verses are spiritual?
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:42 AM   #58
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, I would have titled the thread "The Psalms are the Word of God" rather than "of Christ." ... in Hebrews it says that God spoke in various ways, but more recently through Christ (my paraphrase)... When we speak of Psalms, we are talking about the Word of God, not the Word of Christ..
Your points are true, but I was riffing off Paul's comments in Colossians 3, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly..." then he encourages them to sing the Psalms. I was merging the two, which might be implied but wasn't stated directly. As usual, I was taking liberties with the text because it gave me good copy. I often write like that, and accept your correction: the title of this thread shouldn't be taken as a blanket statement. Rather, it just seemed like a catchy title at the time.

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We have now seen through footnotes that Lee really didn't think much of the Psalms.

That means he didn't think very much about God's Word.

And that kind of a person really has no business claiming to be a teacher of God's Word.
Well, I might try to say, that to some degree he was a teacher of the Word of God, as are and have been many. But he fell flat on his face when he got into the Psalms. And the system which he set up, which placed him as God's voice of this age, falls flat on its face also.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:57 AM   #59
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Psalm 35:1 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

This is David's prayer. For WL to judge that David was natural, in his mind, or whatever terminology he uses is not warranted by the narrative.
I think that I understand your point, but I would argue that the "them" which strive against us, and against whom we plead divine intervention, are not human agents but rather spiritual forces. Again, see Paul's comments in this regard. WL had control issues, which led to righteousness issues and truth issues, but the culprit was not WL but the dark spiritual forces disguised as angels of light, which captured him and used him as their pawn.

Remember that Jesus didn't rebuke Peter, but Satan: "Get behind Me". We should do the same to those forces which created the system which once controlled us and has enslaved the hearts, minds and wills of so many.

Remember that John wrote to the angel of the church in Ephesus, not to the Ephesians themselves. He was commanding the spiritual entity which was robbing the saints of their first love: "Repent". These forces cannot stand, and they will not stand. In the name of Jesus your time on earth is over.

We ourselves often are caught by dark forces. Therefore, I would argue that we cannot properly pray Psalm 35, nor could David, any more than Lee could decipher it. Rather, "But we see Jesus" (cf Heb ch. 2) praying this prayer, and we see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man (cf John ch 1). And in our prayer we say, "Amen, Lord Jesus. Come quickly"

Like Gamaliel said, "We don't want to fight against 'them', because we might find ourselves fighting against God." Rather, we see God in Christ Jesus subduing all of 'them', which unfortunately occasionally includes 'us', and we rejoice. Christ is the victor. Satan has been cast down. "Amen; even so come Lord Jesus."

Peace.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:40 AM   #60
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Remember that John wrote to the angel of the church in Ephesus, not to the Ephesians themselves. He was commanding the spiritual entity which was robbing the saints of their first love: "Repent". These forces cannot stand, and they will not stand. In the name of Jesus your time on earth is over.
Never thought about that before. Are you sure about this?
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:17 AM   #61
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There is no doubt that in some places (in the Bible and in Psalms) the "them that strive against me" could be considered, flesh, world, sin, fallen nature, etc. You also might be able to see through WL and PL and see that it is Satan that is "seeking your soul".

But to spiritualize it away and say that "without cause they have for me their net in a pit" does not refer to WL and what he did in the "Sister's rebellion" is to be so heavenly that you are of no earthly good. If you are not familiar with the sister's rebellion WL's sons were caught in sin, WL anticipating that sisters would talk and the molested sister's story would therefore spread he took preemptive action and accused a sister's fellowship of being "rebellious". These sisters were then castigated without cause and drummed out of the church merely as a smoke screen for his own sins.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:25 AM   #62
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Never thought about that [Revelations 2 & 3 being addressed "to the angel of the church in..."] before. Are you sure about this?
No, I am not sure. But that never stopped me from wildly speculating before, did it?

What got me thinking along those lines was where the 70 disciples said, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name". They were evidently commanding the demons in the name of the Lord Jesus.

As well as Paul speaking to the girl who followed him around for 3 days in Acts 16. Finally Paul said, "I command you (not the girl, but the spirit) to come out..."

And Jesus asking to the man in the Gadarenes, "What is your name?" He wasn't expecting the guy to say, "My name is Fred Johnson. Who are you?" Instead, Jesus was addressing the spiritual force(s) controlling him.

And, like I said, Jesus didn't tell Peter to get behind Him, but rather Satan, who'd usurped Peter. So I read Paul's "we fight not with flesh and blood but against spiritual powers" in that context.

To push that reading onto the epistles in Revelations 2 and 3 is not a slam-dunk by any means. But still it's worth considering why John wrote to the angel, and not the church. I also remembered some kind of "midrash" commentary on the book of Daniel, where the rabbi was saying how every geographical area has an uber-spirit (i.e. the "prince of Persia").

Leaving this subject for a minute, it also answers MacDuff's question of who gets to decide proper interpretation of the Bible. My answer is that we all get to interpret, in the ekklesia, and all the rest are free to go, "Whoa, there, Pardner! Where'd you come up with that one?" Giving one person unrestricted license to say, "This means that" is a recipe for disaster. But if (most) everyone can interpret, that is better because all can be checked by all. Sort of "democracy in action".

So I like speculating in the ekklesia. Usually someone will rein me in.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #63
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There is no doubt that in some places (in the Bible and in Psalms) the "them that strive against me" could be considered, flesh, world, sin, fallen nature, etc...

But to spiritualize it away and say that "without cause they have for me their net in a pit" does not refer to WL and what he did in the "Sister's rebellion" is to be so heavenly that you are of no earthly good. If you are not familiar with the sister's rebellion ...
I respect your point, and am not quarreling with you by any means. Maybe the best way to put it is that yes, I am being quite "heavenly" in my vantage point. Deliberately so. And perhaps the corollary is that I am not being of much earthly (i.e. practical) good.

But let me defend my stance by giving an example. There is a place where the psalmist says of the wicked ones: "I hate them with perfect hatred" (139:22). The usual Christian stance is to say, "Well, in the New Testament we don't do that." A la Witness Lee and his NT Economy.

But suddenly I saw it from a spiritual and not physical perspective. The only Person who could truly say that was the Christ. All the rest of us, without exception, have compromised at some point with the taint of evil. We all are sinners, defeated and fallen. But Jesus never compromised with sin. "The ruler of this world is coming, and in Me he has nothing."

So when Jesus said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan", Peter saw that "pure hatred". Everyone else, I posit, has a weak and insipid hatred in comparison. Like I've said, the demons cried out with fear whenever Jesus showed up. They knew that their proverbial goose was cooked.

So leaving aside WL and PL's sins for a moment (as well as yours and mine), I just find the most "practical reading" of those scriptures to be in the Person of Jesus Christ, and nowhere else. This of course I admit is my own reading, and subject to amendment. Peace & thanks for your comments.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #64
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No, I am not sure. But that never stopped me from wildly speculating before, did it?

To push that reading onto the epistles in Revelations 2 and 3 is not a slam-dunk by any means. But still it's worth considering why John wrote to the angel, and not the church. I also remembered some kind of "midrash" commentary on the book of Daniel, where the rabbi was saying how every geographical area has an uber-spirit (i.e. the "prince of Persia").

Leaving this subject for a minute, it also answers MacDuff's question of who gets to decide proper interpretation of the Bible. My answer is that we all get to interpret, in the ekklesia, and all the rest are free to go, "Whoa, there, Pardner! Where'd you come up with that one?" Giving one person unrestricted license to say, "This means that" is a recipe for disaster. But if (most) everyone can interpret, that is better because all can be checked by all. Sort of "democracy in action".

So I like speculating in the ekklesia. Usually someone will rein me in.
Speculation is a good thing!

It's actually a normal part of our learning process. One time, many moons ago, I was chatting with my elder Phil Comfort (about the time he just started getting into the Greek) about studying the word. He said he would often develop a "hunch" and then go digging in the scriptures to check it out. That process of "digging" is perhaps the most instructive form of learning. Eventually, however, Titus Chu publicly destroyed the young Phil Comfort in front of other brothers for being "too theoretical, and not at all practical." Hmmm. Is that what digging in the scripture does to us?

Years later it all came back to bite TC. One of the most "serious" accusations against him at the ITERO Whistler Kangaroo Quarantine Court, apart from demanding clean sheets in Thailand, was his method of training, so different from Anaheim's. As recently posted, LSM officially requires its members to read its own footnotes and ministry publications first, before one studies the Bible, so that their members don't "misunderstand" what God has intended to speak to us.

This is the worst way to know the Bible. You get it all second hand. You get it all with serious bias. You get it all leavened. Oh sure, you will make lots of mistakes, but that's how we really learn. Speculate and then check it out in the word!
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #65
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But let me defend my stance by giving an example. There is a place where the psalmist says of the wicked ones: "I hate them with perfect hatred" (139:22). The usual Christian stance is to say, "Well, in the New Testament we don't do that." A la Witness Lee and his NT Economy.

But suddenly I saw it from a spiritual and not physical perspective. The only Person who could truly say that was the Christ. All the rest of us, without exception, have compromised at some point with the taint of evil. We all are sinners, defeated and fallen. But Jesus never compromised with sin. "The ruler of this world is coming, and in Me he has nothing."
The question is what is a "perfect hatred"?

According to James the man that does not offend with his words but bridles his tongue in all things is "perfect".

According to Paul we can know the "perfect will of God".

According to Psalms the law of God is perfect.

Therefore, if you hate something without offending with your words, and according to the perfect will of God, and you act in accordance with the law of God then that hatred is "perfect".

So then, the question becomes can you "hate" according to the will of God?

There is no Biblical reason to say that you can't. For example: Psalm 11:5 "The LORD tries the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence his soul hates." We are made in the image and likeness of God and it is therefore reasonable that our soul would, like God's soul, hate.

Paul says "Be angry and sin not". We are admonished to "be angry" in the New Testament. There are things that should make you angry, just as the Lord was angry and made a whip.

In Psalm 139 which you quote, the psalmist follows this verse about hating them with a perfect hatred saying

Psalms
139:22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies.
139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

This Psalm presents God as being omniscient and omnipresent, and these three verses are the conclusion. He is inviting God to search him and see if there is any wicked way within him, and he begins by confessing "I hate them with a perfect hatred". As you mentioned superficial Christians will pretend that "they don't hate". That is not true, that is a lie, they do many wicked things like envy, jealousy, and gossip that reveals hatred. But this psalm represents someone who is perfected, transformed into a precious stone (in this case emerald which signifies God the Father who is omniscient and omnipresent). So this person is now honest. Does he hate, yes, but it is with a "perfect" hatred. No offense with his words, nothing contrary to the perfect will of God, and nothing contrary to God's perfect law. His soul is in the image and likeness of God, who also hates. This person's soul is completely illuminated, the omniscient God searches his heart, tries his heart, knows his thoughts, and reveals any wicked way.

The Psalms, imo, are about being transformed into a precious stone, and the conclusion of the Psalms conveys being transformed into the 12 different precious stones in the New Jerusalem. Psalm 139 is about emerald.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:58 PM   #66
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In Psalm 139 which you quote, the psalmist follows this verse about hating them with a perfect hatred saying

Psalms
139:22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies.
139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

... this psalm represents someone who is perfected, transformed into a precious stone (in this case emerald which signifies God the Father who is omniscient and omnipresent). So this person is now honest. Does he hate, yes, but it is with a "perfect" hatred.

The Psalms, imo, are about being transformed into a precious stone, and the conclusion of the Psalms conveys being transformed into the 12 different precious stones in the New Jerusalem. Psalm 139 is about emerald.
In Psalm 139 I see Jesus, and you see an emerald. Is it possible we are seeing the same thing?

My guide for seeing Jesus in the Psalms was Peter, in Acts 2. He cites a passage from the Psalm 16 - "For you will not let my soul be in hell and you will not give up your Holy One to destruction" - which could only have been fulfilled by Jesus the Nazarene. I likewise see Psalm 139, and many others, as only being fully realized in Jesus the Nazarene (or at least initially; we of course are told repeatedly to follow Him. He cut the way, and we follow).
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:08 PM   #67
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. As recently posted, LSM officially requires its members to read its own footnotes and ministry publications first, before one studies the Bible, so that their members don't "misunderstand" what God has intended to speak to us.
Wow. I got out just in time. That building is going up in flames.

Allowing only one person the exercise of interpreting God's word is boring at best, and at worst it's just plain nutty. I remember WL making a big deal about how "...christianity nullifies the functioning of all the saints." You know, the pulpit-and-pew thing. This, I strain to find the words to categorize it.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:05 PM   #68
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As recently posted, LSM officially requires its members to read its own footnotes and ministry publications first, before one studies the Bible, so that their members don't "misunderstand" what God has intended to speak to us.
This is one of the things that drives me crazy. Reading something and before even taking a minute, a literal minute, to consider what a verse or group of verses says many people just go straight to the footnotes and read them then move on as if they now understood perfectly.

God gave us a mind. AND, according to 1 Cor. 2:16 We have the mind of Christ. To go to someone else FIRST is to neglect God's provisions.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:26 AM   #69
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As recently posted, LSM officially requires its members to read its own footnotes and ministry publications first, before one studies the Bible, so that their members don't "misunderstand" what God has intended to speak to us.

This is the worst way to know the Bible. You get it all second hand. You get it all with serious bias. You get it all leavened. Oh sure, you will make lots of mistakes, but that's how we really learn. Speculate and then check it out in the word!
Matt 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

The BBs gained control by being most ardent supporters of WL and LSM. The only thing they know is the footnotes. So this requirement is to keep them relevant. They are unable to get light from the word.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:33 AM   #70
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We have now seen through footnotes that Lee really didn't think much of the Psalms.

That means he didn't think very much about God's Word.
I have been thinking about this comment. It is a logical statement, extrapolating from the part to the whole. And, as such, it is arguably correct.

But on the other hand you could argue that Lee cared a lot about God's Word. He spent his life studying it, and teaching it. I would rather say that Lee loved God's Word, but he got turned away from his first love by the meta-narrative which he constructed out of God's Word. The meta-narrative was his "merchandise" with which he caught and made merchandise of the saints.

So when the Word of God conflicted with his narrative, or interpretation if you will, then he was forced to dismiss the Word as of no value, except "to show us what NOT to be", even though the Word itself never indicated this nor have any subsequent christian writers that I am aware of, from the Church Fathers on. Lee's proprietary "economy" superseded all, even the Christ revealed there in the Word.

In that sense ZNP was right in his comments on Psalm 35. Lee really was caught by his own snare.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:08 AM   #71
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Matt 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

The BBs gained control by being most ardent supporters of WL and LSM. The only thing they know is the footnotes. So this requirement is to keep them relevant. They are unable to get light from the word.
ZNP,

There is some light in the footnotes. Occasionally there may be a lot. I still sometimes share things with my Christian friends which originally came to me via outline, footnote, and Lee aphorism. And other than my recent foray into the Psalms footnotes, I haven't read them for years. Yet some of them still resonate, at least faintly.

But I would like to contrast that to my recent experiences. Like I shared about how in Acts chapter 2 Peter "saw Christ" there in the text of Psalm 16, I began to see Christ in the experiences of these characters. I began to hear His voice. I could feel His love for His Father. I can tell you, it was spiritually, psychologically, emotionally devastating. I cannot put into words what it was like, to feel Jesus Christ. It was right there in those words in front of me: all the pain, the hope, the fear, the faith. It was an overwhelming experience. It was like Christ was suddenly real, right in front of me, and everything else just faded away. All the doctrines, all the teachings, all the footnotes, all the trainings. Compared to the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, it was all dross.

Whether or not I am now too heavenly to be any earthly good, I guess I'll find out at the Judgment Seat, if not before. But I can say this: all those intermediaries (like Lee and his footnotes) to the text can now take a back seat. And if the footnotes tell me there is no Christ here to be found, I will rather firmly disagree.

Today I have a great hunger for the Word of God, if only that I want to see that blinding light again. I want my heart to be aflame again. So I foray into the text again and again, searching.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:48 AM   #72
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Remember that John wrote to the angel of the church in Ephesus, not to the Ephesians themselves. He was commanding the spiritual entity which was robbing the saints of their first love: "Repent". These forces cannot stand, and they will not stand. In the name of Jesus your time on earth is over.
Was "angel" meant to indicate spiritual being as we think of an angel, or was it "messenger" as some translations have rendered it? Whoever it was written to would need to be in true communication with at least the living humans in leadership, if not the whole assembly. Otherwise, it is like writing a stack of letters but never actually sending them.

But it is an interesting thought. I tend to think that since the instructions were to the actual practices of the people it has to be to someone with flesh and bones in the assembly. And since it was John who was instructed to write the words and include it as part of a longer letter to instruct living people in things that were/are to take place, then assuming that it is really to no one in particular, but rather to a non-tangible being makes its purpose truly vague. Why are you telling an entirely spiritual being that they need to "overcome"? Those words are for us, whether the direct words were intended to be to leadership or to the whole assembly. Until it reaches the church, it is pointless.

And if we presume that the inclusion within the letter that we call "Revelation" is how the humans were to discover the content of the seven short letters, then I am unable to decipher the purpose of sending the "original" to a spiritual being who was not party to any of the actions in progress or the corrections needed.

Just asking. I'm pretty sure that there are no absolute answers available.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:32 PM   #73
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ZNP,

There is some light in the footnotes. Occasionally there may be a lot. I still sometimes share things with my Christian friends which originally came to me via outline, footnote, and Lee aphorism. And other than my recent foray into the Psalms footnotes, I haven't read them for years. Yet some of them still resonate, at least faintly.
John
3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

If you aspire to be a leader of God's people it is not sufficient to know various teachings and footnotes, that is merely a scribe. You must be able to commune with the Lord and get a word from Him.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:12 AM   #74
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John
3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

If you aspire to be a leader of God's people it is not sufficient to know various teachings and footnotes, that is merely a scribe. You must be able to commune with the Lord and get a word from Him.
You get this from those verses?
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:52 AM   #75
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But I would like to contrast that to my recent experiences. ...I began to see Christ in the experiences of these [frail Biblical] characters. I began to hear His voice. I could feel [Jesus'] love for His Father ... I cannot put into words what it was like, to feel [the heart of] Jesus Christ...
It cannot be overstressed that the presentation of such an experience really means nothing, in the big scheme of things. The one who comes down from the mountaintop with his or her tales of glory may be just as mean and selfish as before. "Touching Jesus" may be all that really matters, but it is in and of itself no guarantee of enduring reality.

I say this because Peter, when he came down from the mountain, still denied the Lord three times. The disciple Judas got to kiss Jesus on the cheek! The two sons of Aaron got to sit with Moses and the seventy elders in front of God's throne, and eat and drink. They saw God and lived to tell about it, but later they were burned up.

And so forth. Many people were allowed some real access to God, only to be cast off later for transgression. So I can't pretend to be anything. My offering the story of seeing Jesus in the Psalms was for this purpose: suppose in God's Word I experience something of the heart of Jesus Christ, and can feel it, as it felt to the young disciple John as he lay on Jesus' breast at supper. In God's Word I can hear "...the voice of my Beloved, saying 'Rise up and come away.' " Then in the LSM Bible I read a footnote telling me, "There is nothing to be found here. Move along." I am going to respectfully but firmly tell LSM to go jump in the lake.

John did the same thing, I think, to the gnostics with their "Jesus was only a vapor" teachings. John replied, "We handled Him with our hands". Basically someone was coming along and saying, "Who are you going to believe, our ideas or your experiences?" And John was telling them to get lost. Likewise I will tell Lee's "economy" to get lost if it tells me to ignore the Christ I have seen in scripture.

And as I've noted, this "...no Christ is here to be found" is a rather prevalent theme in Lee's psalm expositions. In the first 35 psalms, for example, we see barely 10, if that, which acknowledge some divine revelation. And usually that is simply because the NT authors got there before Lee did. So he has to pay lip service.

I am aware that I am not supposed to judge anyone's heart. What was in Witness Lee's heart the Lord knows. If there was darkness, perhaps mine is ten times darker. But I can and will say that his teachings missed the mark by a wide margin. Lee's teachings are telling me to turn away from the precious Jesus who is speaking to me there in God's Word. But I will reject Lee's teachings instead.

The author of Hebrews was right: God is speaking to us in these last days in the person of His Son. We should accept no substitutes. Nothing should ever distract us from "the voice of our Beloved".
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:02 AM   #76
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You get this from those verses?
Please read the following verses:

John
3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

My understanding of these verses is that only Jesus is the man who knows both heavenly and earthly things (and although it isn't mentioned here, also things of the various realms of hades) and that this is one requirement for a leader. Second, Jesus is the one who will be lifted up that we all must look to to be healed. According to the context of talking to Nicodemus, this also is an aspect of His leadership. Third, Jesus has come into the world to save the world. This is the third aspect of His leadership.

In every case only Jesus can fulfill these.

Therefore, if Nicodemus wants to be a "leader" of the people his only way is if he can commune and receive the fellowship that Jesus and the Apostle's are giving.

But more importantly we have to look at the question that Nicodemus "secretly" asked Jesus

John
3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3:3 Jesus answered...

If you look at Jesus answer to the "question" you have to conclude that Nicodemus is asking

"How can I be a teacher come from God?"
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:09 AM   #77
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You get this from those verses?
I think I get the point. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a "man of the Word". He was of the ruling council, so he'd surely had some success in handling the Word of God.

So he has some success in "the interpreted Word". But now he is facing the Word Himself. A whole nuther level.

So ZNP is comparing that to the scribes of LSM, whose teachings are arguably based on the Word, i.e. the Bible. He's saying, Do not pretend that your handling, however skillfully, of the interpreted Word is any substitute for dealing with the Word Himself.

And if these "wordsmiths" tell you that their interpreted Word is tantamount to the path to the Word Himself, tell them what Jesus told Nicodemus: You must be born again. In other words: Nice try. Try again. Start over. Better luck next time. See ya on the other side.

The scribes and merchandisers of God's Word are on the wrong side. Their merchandising is itself a testimony that their teaching is of the earth. Just as Nicodemus' Pharisaic activity was a testimony of its earthly nature.

Anyway, I am of course not speaking for ZNP. But that's what I got from his quote, and comment.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:11 AM   #78
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... if Nicodemus wants to be a "leader" of the people his only way is if he can commune and receive the fellowship that Jesus and the Apostle's are giving.
I posted while ZNP was giving this reply. Obviously I defer to his explanation over mine. I was just thinking aloud, in the assembly. But I think that his points and mine dovetail somewhat.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:25 AM   #79
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I think it's also important to add that when you come down from the mountain with a fresh word from the Lord, i.e. a genuine and novel experience in God's Word of God's Christ, there is always the danger that you've been led astray, or at least that you only see in part. That is where the ekklesia comes in. The fellowship will test, or try, your Word and see of what sort it is.

Lee rejected this protective oversight of the ekklesia. In his schema the Church had to listen to him, not vice versa. So he opened himself to uncorrected error, which I think also to led many astray, who likewise held him as "God's oracle."

Again, only Jesus is "God's Oracle". Only Jesus is the "Faithful and True Witness" (Rev. 1:5) whose speaking is tantamount to God's speaking on the earth today (Heb. 1:2).
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:52 AM   #80
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Was "angel" meant to indicate spiritual being as we think of an angel, or was it "messenger" as some translations have rendered it? Whoever it was written to would need to be in true communication with at least the living humans in leadership, if not the whole assembly. Otherwise, it is like writing a stack of letters but never actually sending them.
As you've said, there are probably no absolute answers available. All I can do is make available my thinking.

First, as I mentioned, there is the direct speaking to spiritual entities behind the human person in question, amply documented in the Gospels and in the Acts. Of course writing to sprititual entities is another order entirely. I admit that.

Secondly, angels are not necessarily merely to be seen as empty messengers; rather, they seem to have power to act. Consider the angel who rebuked Zecharias for his unbelief, and said that he'd be blind for a time. The angel didn't run back to God for further orders when Zecharias was noncompliant. The angel spoke, and it was done.

Thirdly, I was referencing intertestamental rabbinical commentaries on the Book of Daniel, which posited that an angel watches over each geographical area (i.e. "the prince of Persia"). There are thus perhaps not only personal angels (cf Peter's angel in Acts 12:15; Jesus' "their angels see God's face" in Matt. 18:10) but also what we might call "geographic angels" as well.

Quote:
I tend to think that since the instructions were to the actual practices of the people it has to be to someone with flesh and bones in the assembly. And since it was John who was instructed to write the words and include it as part of a longer letter to instruct living people in things that were/are to take place, then assuming that it is really to no one in particular, but rather to a non-tangible being makes its purpose truly vague. Why are you telling an entirely spiritual being that they need to "overcome"? Those words are for us, whether the direct words were intended to be to leadership or to the whole assembly. Until it reaches the church, it is pointless.
My thought is that "non-tangible beings", not people, are controlling events. For example, Witness Lee is gone, but his "controlling vision" seems to be doing fine in Anaheim, and elsewhere. And since this controlling vision is not from God, we can and should rebuke it. And given that Jesus said, "Speak to the mountain and it will be cast into the sea", maybe here John is perhaps speaking to the angel of the assembly in Ephesus.

Quote:
And if we presume that the inclusion within the letter that we call "Revelation" is how the humans were to discover the content of the seven short letters, then I am unable to decipher the purpose of sending the "original" to a spiritual being who was not party to any of the actions in progress or the corrections needed.
These letters were sent to real people, and were likely read aloud to other people, in the assemblies in question. Remember that illiteracy was large, and printing was nearly non-existant. So it was usually orally disseminated to the congregation. But who heard - only people? Or people and the forces behind them? Remember that Jesus would tell the spiritual entities to "Come out of that person" and the humans heard His voice as well. I would therefore say that in the Asian assemblies physical people were hearing "non-tangible beings" being rebuked. So both parties are being served notice: angels and humans.

Some rotten teachings had come to roost in the seven assemblies in Asia, and God, through John, was addressing them, out loud and in public: "Repent." As I was telling ZNP, the rotten teachings of Lee were due not to Lee being a rotten person but to spiritual forces which were using Lee. Lee's control issues over the local churches were indications that some dark spiritual forces had controlled him. And Lee's teachings in turn became vectors to capture even more people. Lee was a pawn of dark forces.

All of which might have little or nothing to do with the angels of the assemblies in Asia. Importantly, nowhere else in the Word do I see angels themselves being told to repent. So my position may be untenable.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:37 AM   #81
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intertestamental rabbinical commentaries on the Book of Daniel ... posited that an angel watches over each geographical area (i.e. "the prince of Persia"). There are thus perhaps not only personal angels (cf Peter's angel in Acts 12:15; Jesus' "their angels see God's face" in Matt. 18:10) but also what we might call "geographic angels" as well...
Perhaps the way to discern whether such notions influenced John in his writing "To the angel of the church in..." would be to know how widespread such ideas may have been in the intertestamental period. Certainly some of these sources influenced the NT: Jude, 2 Peter, and Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the rich man were (likely) informed by uncanonical intertestamental sources.

If we could see "geographic angels" being considered elsewhere (besides what I have cited already) it would strengthen the notion that John referenced something like that (which might also be familiar to his readers); if scant sources are extant then it would weaken the idea. One of the shortcomings of the LSM analyses were that they didn't (to my knowledge) reference any intertestamental/extra-canonical sources. It is widely done by scholars; in contrast Lee's analyses look rather crude ("but they're LIFE studies!!!").
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:14 PM   #82
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I think brother Lee was a servant of God who made some big mistakes especially later. I think his 2 biggest errors were:

1. Saying that parts of the Bible were not God's word. This started with Psalms early on. In his later ministry it went to Proverbs, Job, James and even Peter and Jeremiah.

2. In 1984 he told the church, whoever doesn't agree with "the new way" should leave like gentleman. This was contrary to everything the local churches had stood for. After 1988 when most leaders with their own scriptural-based views were expelled, we had no more English-speaking fruit in the U.S.

Aron, I think your enjoyment of the Psalms if very good. However, it seems to me that you try to make every exhortation to righteousness as applying to Christ and not to us. This is not how Peter quoted Psalm 34, nor how Paul quoted Ps 4 in Ephesians. The exhortations to live righteously are mainly to us. They weren't just fulfilled in Christ. They are also to be fulfilled in us by living in union with Christ, and we can fulfill them because we are born of God.

This brings up a shortcoming of brother Lee's ministry: there was near nothing on the working together of faith and works. This should not have been a big problem except that later his ministry was supposed to be all-inclusive. Brothers who had this important portion had been expelled. You didn't need and shouldn't waste your time with any other ministry. This brought a stilted understanding of the Chrisitian life.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:28 PM   #83
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In 1984 he told the church, whoever doesn't agree with "the new way" should leave like gentleman. This was contrary to everything the local churches had stood for.
My understanding being raised in the recovery was if you're Christian in _______, the local church is for you. As it is inclusive for all members of the Body. It was that way until I graduated frm high school in 1986.
Now? In recent years it has become transparent the local churches who embrace LSM as the one publication is not for everyone. Just because you are a member of the Body, the recovery may not be for you. As broad the Body of Christ is, the LSM local churches; not so much. It's not that different from the military. Just because many may serve in branches of the Armed Forces, not all can be members of the Special Forces.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:57 AM   #84
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Aron... it seems to me that you try to make every exhortation to righteousness as applying to Christ and not to us. The exhortations to live righteously... weren't just fulfilled in Christ. They are also to be fulfilled in us by living in union with Christ, and we can fulfill them because we are born of God.
I probably didn't make my argument clearly. There is one righteous man, Jesus Christ. The rest were defeated by God's enemy, Satan. Jesus is the sole fulfillment of the prophecies. There is only one name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). There is only one Christ.

Having said that, Jesus is the Savior, and there are many saved (i.e. believers) who are supposed to follow Him by faith. We are supposed to enter into His experiences in full. So we are supposed to live them just as He did.

I probably didn't present that clearly, the idea that Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets and the psalms, and not just the select passages deemed by Lee et al to be 'divinely revelatory', in that I seemed to dismiss or downplay the subsequent experiences of the believers.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:20 AM   #85
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... [My argument was] that Christ is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets and the psalms, and not just the select passages deemed by Lee et al to be 'divinely revelatory' ...
Paul called psalms the "word of Christ" in Colossians 3:16. I don't see him anywhere adding, or even alluding, that some psalms were natural and fallen, and some psalms were divinely revelatory.

The author of Hebrews quotes psalms (and other parts of the OT) and says, "...we see Jesus"(2:9). Lee said, in effect, "No you don't; you see a natural, fallen man's concepts". Where does the author of Hebrews indicate such a thing?

Jesus said, "These things were written concerning Me" in Luke 24:44... where does He or anyone indicate that some of the law, psalms, and prophets was to be dismissed as irrelevant, or only presented as cautionary exceptions "to show us what God doesn't want"...?

Who are you going to believe: the words of Jesus, Paul, and Hebrews, or the words of Lee?
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:56 AM   #86
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Aron, I think your enjoyment of the Psalms if very good. However, it seems to me that you try to make every exhortation to righteousness as applying to Christ and not to us. This is not how Peter quoted Psalm 34, nor how Paul quoted Ps 4 in Ephesians. The exhortations to live righteously are mainly to us. They weren't just fulfilled in Christ. They are also to be fulfilled in us by living in union with Christ, and we can fulfill them because we are born of God.
I would argue that the exortations to live righteously are to us, but that we fail. Lee failed just as surely as David, and as you and I. The law, ultimately, condemns us.

But, by faith we see One who lives and abides in the Father's word. We see One who expresses the Father to such an extent that when we see Him we see the Father, and through this Obedient Son we prodigals can hear our Father calling us home. We no longer have the written word, which condemns, but we the redeemed and reborn can hear and apprehend the living Word, who speaks "better things"(Heb 12:24), and who now abides a Son forever.

And, importantly, we have this Living Word abiding in us. I argue that "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" in Colossians 3, and "That Christ may make His home in your heart" in Ephesians 3 are synonymous. As is the largely parallel "Be filled in Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms" in Ephesians 5. We can exclaim, with the apostle, "Now it is no longer I but Christ who is in me", and also "the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead now gives life to our mortal bodies". The fulfillment of the law's command is found not in us, but Christ in us.

All of which is standard Christian boilerplate, and is also reminiscent of Lee's beloved "economy" interpretation. Where I differ from Lee is that he basically overturns Paul, Jesus, Hebrews et al by saying that a good chunk of God's word in the psalms is not in fact the "word of Christ" but is rather the word of fallen man. As I said, I don't have the wherewithal to do a verse-by-verse comparison of Lee and the text of all 150 psalms.

But just look at Psalm 1 as a representative and introductory sample. Lee says there is no righteous man. In doing so he ignores Christ. He also lets the "assembly of the righteous" (v.5) pass without comment. If there is no righteous man then there is also therefore no assembly of the righteous in Lee's spriritualized Bible. But what about the assembly of the righteous in Psalm 22? "I will sing praises to You in the midst of the assembly"? And so forth? The church? Hello?

I think that Lee's spiritualized/interpreted Bible is distorted, subjective, and grossly deficient. As is, of course, my subjective spiritualized/interpreted word and those of many others. But I (and most others) don't push my ministry, my speaking, as the definitive word from God, superseding even the canonized but uninterpreted Bible. However, Hebrews 1 says that God is speaking to us in the Son. Not, unfortunately, Mr. Lee; and not aron, not Luther, not David. God is speaking to us in the Son. And this Son is speaking to us, among other places, in the Psalms.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:42 AM   #87
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... by faith we see One who lives and abides in the Father's word. We see One who expresses the Father to such an extent that when we see Him we see the Father, and through this Obedient Son we prodigals can hear our Father calling us home.

...Hebrews chapter 1 says that God is speaking to us in the Son. Not, unfortunately, Mr. Lee; and not aron, not Luther, not David. God is speaking to us in the Son. And this Son is speaking to us, among other places, in the Psalms.
I was reading various "spiritualized" versions of Psalm 61 recently. "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I" is well known. Many songs are being written, and many blogs holding forth. But in this holding forth in story and song I notice a trend in one or two ways. First, the singer is singing to God. "God you are my high rock and my shelter from the enemy". So he/she is repeating the psalm verbatim and largely ignoring or bypassing Christ. Second, the interpretation will transpose Jesus Christ with the OT JHWH: "Christ is my rock and my redeemer." All well and good; we remember Paul said that "Christ was the rock" in 1 Corinthians 10, for example. And, also well known is John Chapter One's "The Word [who] was God... became flesh" means to us that Jehovah God in heaven came to us on earth in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Okay, fine; but did you ever notice in the NT (in Hebrews, or the Gospels, for example) that the Son was speaking to the Father using the words of what they called 'scriptures' and we call "The Old Testament"? Did you ever consider that the words in the Psalms are perhaps not only fallen man's words directed at or towards Jehovah and/or His Christ, but also Christ the Son's words to His Father? In other words, Paul saying "the word of Christ" is not our word about, or regarding Christ, but rather Christ's word about, or regarding His Father? That it really is the Son, in the midst of the assembly of the redeemed, speaking and singing words of praise to His Father and our Father, to His God and our God(Heb. 2:12; John 20:17)?

Jesus Christ the Man on earth spoke the words of the prophets and the psalms and the law to His Father. And He obeyed them. He lived them out. He became the reality, He became the "Word... made flesh". Even in the words of weakness, penitence and failure, such as in Psalm 51, Jesus comes alongside in both His speaking blood and His sending Paraclete.

This living Jesus is right in front of us, depicted plainly in the words of anointed and God-seeking men. If we dismiss them or ignore this testimony as "natural" or "fallen" we risk great loss. Again I ask, who are you going to pay attention to, the words of Lee, or the words of Christ? Who are you going to look to, the "interpreted word" now merchandised, or the Living Word made flesh, and now coming to us straight from the throne in heaven?

Let that word from heaven "dwell in you richly" and "sing praises to the Father" and see what happens. Don't let Witness Lee cheat you by dismissing it as merely the word of fallen man with his natural concepts. I would rather dismiss Lee as guilty of his own charge. I argue that Lee's interpretation is the fallen and natural word.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:37 AM   #88
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... did you ever notice in the NT (in Hebrews, or the Gospels, for example) that the Son was speaking to the Father using the words of what they called 'scriptures' and we call "The Old Testament"? Did you ever consider that the words in the Psalms are perhaps not only fallen man's words directed at or towards Jehovah and/or His Christ, but also Christ the Son's words to His Father? That perhaps Paul saying "the word of Christ" is not our word about, or regarding Christ, but rather Christ's word about, or regarding His Father? That it really is the Son, in the midst of the assembly of the redeemed, speaking and singing words of praise to His Father and our Father, to His God and our God(Heb. 2:12; John 20:17)?
Look at Psalm 86 for example. It gets one footnote from Lee. "David is trying to save himself. But God is after something bigger than David. God is after Christ". Lee doesn't say David's prayer is vain, but he implies it.

But just put that prayer into the mouth of the man Jesus. Who was faithful, and trusted in God (v.2)? Jesus. Who cried in distress and got answered (v.7)? Jesus. Who knew the ways of Jehovah; who had an undivided heart; who feared the Father's name (v. 11)? The man Jesus.

Enough said. I could go on, verse by verse. But the point is that arguably Jesus Christ is quite present in Psalm 86. Lee ignores the possibility.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:47 AM   #89
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Hebrews presents a remarkable window into the Psalms as an engine of revelation. The Psalms show us an intimate portrait of a Man on earth in relation to His God in heaven. The Gospels show us the miracles, the effect of the relationship. Psalms shows us the relationship. And the epistle to the Hebrews gives us a Christian view into the Psalms through its repeated use of them.

For example, look at Hebrews 5:7 "During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." Where in the Gospels do you see "fervent cries and tears" so vividly portrayed? You do see fervent prayers in the garden of Gethsemene, but little else. But try a search of the Psalms and you will see citation after citation. "I cried all night to my God"; "My pillow became wet with my tears"; "streams of tears flowed from my eyes", etc.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:17 PM   #90
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Psalm 119:115 Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God!

Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

(All quotes NIV)

Now, do you think that Psalm 119:115 at least deserves a cross reference, if not a footnote? If you go to the RecV Psalm 119 there are pages of text with no footnotes. WL at least recognizes, in a few introductory footnotes of this psalm that its writer had a seeking heart. But is there no shadow, type, or figure of the coming Christ? None?

The lack of any relations between God's Holy One and anything which was unclean or sinful is such a huge point. We may think of Jesus as such a nice guy, "a friend of sinners" and so forth. And he was (thank God). But the demons cried out in fear when he showed up: "We know who You are -- the Holy One of Israel! (Mark 1:24)" Whoever that trod the 'broad path' near Him, including the disciples, found out real quick what Psalm 119:115 sounded like 'in person'.

But there is no comment in the Recovery Version regarding Psalm 119:115, not even so much as a cross reference.
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:26 PM   #91
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Psalm 119:115 Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God!

But there is no comment in the Recovery Version regarding Psalm 119:115, not even so much as a cross reference.
By that time, LSM was in a hurry to wrap things up and get the thing published.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:08 PM   #92
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By that time, LSM was in a hurry to wrap things up and get the thing published.
I agree. Interpretation had been exhausted and merchandising was in full swing. University Press in England was ready to go.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:28 AM   #93
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I would like to make 3 more comments. I will start with another verse from Psalm 119: verse 120.

"My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws." (NIV)

This verse, like most of Psalm 119, gets no comment or cross-reference in the RecV. In no way, evidently, is this indicative of the coming Christ, who "In the days of His flesh... offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety." (Heb. 5:7 NASB)

In Psalm 119 WL saw, at best, the piety of the psalm writer. Not the piety of Christ.

Second, in spite of numerous NT references to Jesus Christ as revealed "in the flesh" in the psalms, where WL did see Christ in the text it was as "Jehovah God". As in Psalm 23: "Jehovah is my shepherd, I shall not want, etc". To Lee, this meant that Jesus/Jehovah is our shepherd. Perhaps, but what about the Father shepherding the Son, in the days of the Son's flesh (incarnation)? Evidently not considered.

If WL was not forced by existing NT exposition to read the text as showing us Christ in the flesh (incarnated, suffering, resurrecting, glorified), then he either saw the writing as indicative of the psalmist's natural (uninspired) inclinations or at best a revelation of Jehovah/Jesus. But Jesus the persecuted and suffering and faithful Nazarene was not sought for.

I would like to correct this tendency by using the hermeneutic (interpretive strategy) which Peter displayed in his speech, standing with the eleven: "Brothers, we all know that this word (by David, of being saved from corruption) could not have been fulfilled by him, as we have his grave with us to this day. It was rather fulfilled by his seed, Jesus, the Son of David, as we have all witnessed." This is my paraphrase from memory; see Acts 2 for the exact words.

I argue that the Psalms are most importantly the words of Jesus Christ our Lord, not merely words about Christ or to Christ (though both do exist) and even less the words of a well-meaning, sinful psalmist. To WL they were predominantly the latter. He really only saw Jesus Christ where he was absolutely forced to.

Third, I would like to go back to the idea of keeping the law, and being righteous. I believe this was the big stumbling for WL; he dismissed this, and therefore the bulk of the text, out of hand. I say not so fast: we do see Jesus clearly fulfilling the law, down to the proverbial 'jot and tittle', and we do see Jesus telling His disciples that "if you love me you will keep my commandments". Faithfulness and obedience are NT characteristics as well. If we believe in Jesus the righteous one we are supposed to try and follow him.

Today, our "law" is the law of the Spirit of life, and not the law of letters engraved on stone. But our law still exists. The Father speaks, and we (should) obey. "Your word, O Father, is eternal; it stand firm in the heavens" Psalm 119:89

In Psalm 1, the introductory psalm, Lee categorically states that no one can keep the law. I do understand his point but this unfortunately became his basis for effectively dismissing the whole book. His dismissal, however, couldn't make it through the text of Psalm 1, much less the next 149 chapters. To the 'righteous man' in Psalm 1, WL retorts, "There is no righteous man". Then, when the "assembly of the righteous" appears later in the same chapter, he ignores it. But the psalmists' "assembly of the righteous" is quoted by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews! It is the church!

But WL already said that "there is none righteous; no, not one" so he had to dismiss the assembly of the righteous. And so on for the next 149 chapters; in order to keep his premise WL essentially had to rid the Psalms of any meaning.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:15 AM   #94
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In Psalm 1, the introductory psalm, Lee categorically states that no one can keep the law. I do understand his point but this unfortunately became his basis for effectively dismissing the whole book. His dismissal, however, couldn't make it through the text of Psalm 1, much less the next 149 chapters. To the 'righteous man' in Psalm 1, WL retorts, "There is no righteous man". Then, when the "assembly of the righteous" appears later in the same chapter, he ignores it. But the psalmists' "assembly of the righteous" is quoted by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews! It is the church!

But WL already said that "there is none righteous; no, not one" so he had to dismiss the assembly of the righteous. And so on for the next 149 chapters; in order to keep his premise WL essentially had to rid the Psalms of any meaning.
Aron,
Isn't our righteousness in Christ and not from the law? When Paul says, "as it is written, there is none righteous, no not one" he's showing us that the law cannot save us because we can't keep it, but faith in Christ makes us righteous because He kept the law, He fulfilled it.
Abraham was accounted as righteous...how does WL address that? Solely with respect to the law no one (save Christ) can be considered righteous. With respect to faith, all those who believe in God and Christ can be considered as such. The assembly of the righteous is the church as it stands in faith and in Christ. I think you're right on target when you say that the Psalms are Christ's words just as much as they are about him. To dismiss any of them is, I think, to miss the mark entirely. Such a slight misstep leads one far far away.
This is a great thread. Thanks to everyone for helping me work through my understanding of Psalms and its place in the Bible.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:21 AM   #95
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Isn't our righteousness in Christ and not from the law? When Paul says, "as it is written, there is none righteous, no not one" he's showing us that the law cannot save us because we can't keep it, but faith in Christ makes us righteous because He kept the law, He fulfilled it.
We do believe that Christ fulfilled the law, and that He then said to us, "A new commandment I give unto you." We are discipled to follow Him. This "new law" is of course fulfilled by the faith of "the new man" in Christ alone and not our "old man" in the flesh. Nonetheless the aspiration of the seeking OT psalmist to obey God's commands is not merely a "natural" aspiration, vain and a distraction to us. On the contrary; perhaps we can see that aspiration fulfilled, even in a higher "interior" or "celestial" level as in Christ Himself.

For example, look at the epistle to the Hebrews' characterization of Jesus. The author only heard about Jesus from others (2:3), yet says "We see Jesus"... where? Among the shadows of the scriptures, penned by the ancients, the writer sees the shining light; among the OT types and figures, the fulfillment emerges. Look at the detailed picture of Jesus that comes forth in this epistle -- surely this is a challenge to us, and an invitation!

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Abraham was accounted as righteous...how does WL address that? Solely with respect to the law no one (save Christ) can be considered righteous. With respect to faith, all those who believe in God and Christ can be considered as such.
Agreed. And yet none of these basic tenets of the Christian faith, such as salvation by faith, implies that we should downplay the psalmists' devotions as 'natural' or 'fallen'. Jesus never said nor implied this, nor did Paul, nor did any of the NT writers, nor church Fathers that I am aware of. That kind of diminshment, I believe, came millenia later, mostly in reaction to the Catholic abuse of 'works'. Moreover, I am not aware of any Christian teacher of the last 500 years who so thoroughly disparages the Psalms (among other scriptures) as WL did. It was as if he trusted his "God's economy" template more than the actual words themselves.

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The assembly of the righteous is the church as it stands in faith and in Christ. I think you're right on target when you say that the Psalms are Christ's words just as much as they are about him. To dismiss any of them is, I think, to miss the mark entirely. Such a slight misstep leads one far far away.
Amen. But I don't think we need to force anyone to "see Jesus", a la Hebrews 2:9, too extensively in the words of the OT text. If I get an insight into some aspect of the 'hidden life' of Jesus from some seemingly obscure verse (and the Psalms are loaded with obscurity) that doesn't need to be a point of doctrine, and contention toward others who "don't get it". OBW mentioned earlier on this thread about the peril of reading too much into the text, and treating possibility as fact. At the same time, I believe WL sold us far short of the goal by rejecting so much scripture. He not only would not enter in, but forbade any of the rest to enter (Matt 23:13). We know how he mocked those who were singing the Psalms as being unbalanced and departing from the NT revelation.

Ironically, one could say of the Psalms, a WL said about the Trinity, "It's not for doctrine... it's for dispensing". It's for experience, foremost; Jesus is not something for merely for interpretation or understanding. When you experience Jesus Christ it changes your life. The experience changes your outlook, your thinking, and your behavior. And I believe that Christ is right there in the Psalms, waiting for us.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:55 PM   #96
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Aron,
Isn't our righteousness in Christ and not from the law? When Paul says, "as it is written, there is none righteous, no not one" he's showing us that the law cannot save us because we can't keep it, but faith in Christ makes us righteous because He kept the law, He fulfilled it.
Abraham was accounted as righteous...how does WL address that? Solely with respect to the law no one (save Christ) can be considered righteous. With respect to faith, all those who believe in God and Christ can be considered as such. The assembly of the righteous is the church as it stands in faith and in Christ. I think you're right on target when you say that the Psalms are Christ's words just as much as they are about him. To dismiss any of them is, I think, to miss the mark entirely. Such a slight misstep leads one far far away.
This is a great thread. Thanks to everyone for helping me work through my understanding of Psalms and its place in the Bible.
So then, if I understand correctly, the only way Psalm 1 can fit with the rest of the Bible is if it is specifically referring to Christ.

1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
More
1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

"The way of the righteous" would have to refer to Jesus who said "I am the way". This would have to refer to the way of the cross.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:58 PM   #97
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I would like to make 3 more comments. I will start with another verse from Psalm 119: verse 120.

"My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws." (NIV)
Based on the idea that this must refer to Christ, "standing in awe of your laws" could refer to the idea that according to the Law of God He offered up His son to die on the cross to fulfill all righteousness. A path that Jesus chose to take.

That is certainly a view that would cause my flesh to tremble in fear of God and to also stand in awe of His laws.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:31 PM   #98
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So then, if I understand correctly, the only way Psalm 1 can fit with the rest of the Bible is if it is specifically referring to Christ.

1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

"The way of the righteous" would have to refer to Jesus who said "I am the way". This would have to refer to the way of the cross.
I think you are certainly closer than WL was. Look also at "fruit"(v.3): his footnote said that this referred only to material blessings and was vain. Again, he ignores the many NT references to "fruit" (gospels, epistles, and Revelation), which are spiritually oriented. A connection seemingly never occurs to him: I think because it would upset his whole premise.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:36 PM   #99
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I think you are certainly closer than WL was.
Psalm
110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Jesus asked how Christ can be the son of David if David calls Him Lord. Likewise we should ask, what do you think of the Psalms, whose words are they? Are these the words of Christ or the words that are lightly esteemed? Witness Lee said "This shows us that Psalm 1 is good, but it was written with a wrong concept." Are these words a stone that the builder refused? Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. Or are these words the testimony of God? According to Hebrews 2:6 Psalms are the testimony of God.

Sometimes He testified with a loud voice crying "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken Me".

Other times He confided 41:9 "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." Even His dying words 31:5 "Into thine hand I commit my spirit" were His testimony recorded in Psalms.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:29 PM   #100
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are these words the testimony of God? According to Hebrews 2:6 Psalms are the testimony of God...
For years I thought the Psalms were shallow and void of revelation. Turns out I was shallow and void of revelation.

Not only in the Psalms, but also in much more, these ancient writings beckon us to explore the Good Land Himself. The heights, the depths, the breadth unknown and unknowable... our hearts yearn... The journey waits...
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:10 PM   #101
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Other times He confided 41:9 "Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me."
This verse is indelibly etched in my soul. Years ago I was horribly betrayed by someone particularly close to me. The pain inflicted upon me over the course of months and years was far more than I could hope to bear. There were many nights when I would wake up in fright, after being tormented in my sleep.

This verse was a tremendous anchor against the onslaught of my storm at sea. Jesus Himself was betrayed by His closest friend, Judas. I came to realize that Judas was His own personal valet, arranging his daily meals and accommodations, and that is why he held the "purse" of the offerings given to the Lord. At the last supper, it was John to one side and Judas to His other, eating "of My bread." It is no wonder, since Jesus and Judas were so close, that none of the other disciples even suspected that Judas could betray Him. Judas may not have been the most spiritual one, but he was no doubt the Lord's closest companion as He traveled and ministered.

Our Savior tasted the bitterest of human suffering so that He could sympathize with us in ours. He allowed Judas to betray Him with an affectionate kiss in the night as He prayed at Gethsemane. Other than to fulfill this prophecy, the Lord didn't need to be betrayed by His best friend. But He was, and He was betrayed just for me. And all the others who have endured this during their own journey.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:11 PM   #102
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So then, if I understand correctly, the only way Psalm 1 can fit with the rest of the Bible is if it is specifically referring to Christ.
...
"The way of the righteous" would have to refer to Jesus who said "I am the way". This would have to refer to the way of the cross.
I don't think it's the only way it can fit in the Bible. It fits in the Bible because it's the Word of God, and I'm not adding the caveat that it is although it's written from a man's fallen perspective or something like that.
It fits because it should, in some way, bring us to Christ, just as our study of the law should.

The Bible shows one man who did the things mentioned in the verses you quoted--Jesus Christ. Before Christ came, righteousness came through faith in God (Abraham). Before Christ came the way of the cross wasn't there to offer man anything. Now, after Christ's death, His way (obedience to the Father) is our way through believing in Him and that is our righteousness.

I just can't understand how anyone can read Psalms and say some of it is worth less, is there to teach us how NOT to be/act. Same people who dismiss James I guess.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:13 PM   #103
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This reminds me of Witness Lee's ignorant and blasphemous "treatment" of the Epistle of James. The garbage Lee spewed out here alone disqualifies him from being considered anything but a false teacher at best, and really more of a fraud who showed his ignorance and abject disdain for the living Word of God. He showed it in his "teachings" in the Psalms and he showed it even more with what he spoke about James.

http://www.ministrysamples.org/excer...CAL-ITEMS.HTML
VIII. BESIDES THE ABOVE LACKS,
THE EPISTLE OF JAMES BEING DEVOID
OF THE FIVE FOLLOWING CRITICAL ITEMS
Besides the above lacks, the Epistle of James is devoid of the five following critical items concerning the believers' spiritual experiences in life, without which the New Testament becomes only a book of doctrine and no longer a book of experience in the divine life.

A. The Union and Minglingof the Believers with the Triune God
The believers are united and mingled with the Triune God (Matt. 28:19; Eph. 4:4-6).

B. The Believers Being Joinedto the Lord as One Spirit

First Corinthians 6:17 says that we believers are joined to the Lord as one spirit. This means that we become Him and He becomes us. This is not merely union but also mingling.
C. The Believers' Regenerated Spirit
James is devoid of the truth concerning the believers' regenerated spirit (Rom. 8:16; 2 Tim. 4:22).

D. The Discernment of the Believers' Spirit from Their Soul

James is also devoid of the revelation concerning the discernment of the believers' spirit from their soul (1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 4:12). A sister may want to go shopping for items which are on sale out of the desire from her soul. But another part of her being tells her not to do this. This is her spirit. We need to learn to discern our spirit from our soul.
E. Living by the Spirit and Walking according to the Spirit

James also lacks the thought of living by the Spirit and walking according to the spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25; Rom. 8:4b).
All the lacks and defects in the Epistle of James mentioned above are evidences that the Christian perfection stressed by James is not one up to the standard of the high level of the genuine Christian perfection as revealed in the New Testament, but one which is inadequate in fulfilling God's New Testament economy and which is even mistaken under the vague vision concerning God's eternal economy.
The New Testament, which is of twenty-seven books, is composed of mainly nine items. If we see them, we understand the New Testament. These items are the economy of God, the all-inclusive God with His fullness, the all-inclusive Christ with His riches, the all-inclusive Spirit with His supply, the divine life which is Christ Himself as the embodiment of the Triune God, Christ's death, Christ's resurrection, and the Body of Christ. All these items consummate the New Jerusalem (the final item) as the ultimate goal of God. The economy of God is a plan to produce the Body of Christ through the Triune God (the Father, the Son, and the Spirit), through the divine life, and through Christ's death and resurrection. The building up of the Body of Christ will consummate the New Jerusalem. The entire New Testament covers these nine items. All the other things in the New Testament are like the leaves of a tree, whereas these items are the fruit.
The book of James touches only two of the above items: the begetting Father and the indwelling Spirit. But even these items are spoken of by James in an inadequate way. Thus, the book of James is devoid of the main items in the New Testament.
(Crystallization-Study of the Epistle of James, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:53 PM   #104
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This reminds me of Witness Lee's ignorant and blasphemous "treatment" of the Epistle of James. The garbage Lee spewed out here alone disqualifies him from being considered anything but a false teacher at best, and really more of a fraud who showed his ignorance and abject disdain for the living Word of God. He showed it in his "teachings" in the Psalms and he showed it even more with what he spoke about James.
Amen! Let's pray-read that post together: "Ignorant! Amen! Blasphemous! Amen! Ignorant and Blasphemous! AMEN!"

Although I don't think it was ignorant, it was exceedingly cunning. I think it didn't fit with the pyramid scheme - after all, James says to help the widows and the poor. There's no place in the "body" for charity like that.

The young ones in my group are very proud of this fact: "We are not for anything but building up of the body!" one said recently, eyes a-shining with Lee-ite rapture, criticizing my other church group for it's "Manna Ministry" which feeds poor elderly (and, I should add, has saved around 300 people in its two years of operation, as these elderly see how beautiful and full of grace are the Christian volunteers... but that's probably another issue.) I agree, church should not be a social welfare organization, but still.... the people in my group with the billion dollar property portfolios who go on about building up the body and yet shudder at the sight of a homeless man or mistrust a ex-drug addict with a tattoo, these are the products of Lee's teaching.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:37 AM   #105
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D. The Discernment of the Believers' Spirit from Their Soul

James is also devoid of the revelation concerning the discernment of the believers' spirit from their soul (1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 4:12). A sister may want to go shopping for items which are on sale out of the desire from her soul. But another part of her being tells her not to do this. This is her spirit. We need to learn to discern our spirit from our soul.
How about a better testimony, something like this ...
A brother in the lead may want to start a motor home business using the saints hard-earned money as capital out of a desire from his fallen soul. But another part of his being tells him not to do this. This was his spirit. This LC leader must learn to discern his spirit from his soul.
Because this LC leader could not discern his spirit from his soul, we must ask whether he was devoid of revelation.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:08 AM   #106
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Our Savior tasted the bitterest of human suffering so that He could sympathize with us in ours. He allowed Judas to betray Him with an affectionate kiss in the night as He prayed at Gethsemane. Other than to fulfill this prophecy, the Lord didn't need to be betrayed by His best friend. But He was, and He was betrayed just for me. And all the others who have endured this during their own journey.
Think of how David was betrayed not once, but twice: once when Saul turned against him in jealousy, and once when his son Absalom rebelled. In both cases some of David's "closest companions" suddenly left him and went over to what they thought was the "winning side". What did that feel like to be abandoned and betrayed thus?

"He who eats with me lifts up his heel against me" indeed. But what was WL's take on Psalm 3, that covers David's experiences during Absalom's rebellion?

"Natural"

David's own son rebelled against him, many of his closest allies betrayed him, but WL wasn't interested.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:07 AM   #107
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Think of how David was betrayed not once, but twice: once when Saul turned against him in jealousy, and once when his son Absalom rebelled. In both cases some of David's "closest companions" suddenly left him and went over to what they thought was the "winning side". What did that feel like to be abandoned and betrayed thus?

"He who eats with me lifts up his heel against me" indeed. But what was WL's take on Psalm 3, that covers David's experiences during Absalom's rebellion?

"Natural"

David's own son rebelled against him, many of his closest allies betrayed him, but WL wasn't interested.
When the Lord was kissed in Gethsemane, He considered that to be Judas kicking Him in the face.

And look at all the beloved brothers in the Recovery who were betrayed and thrown under the bus by Witness Lee, so that he could protect his "boys." Max Rapoport and Sandee were betrayed because Max took a stand for righteousness and confronted Philip for molesting that sister. Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver by his close friend.

Jesus says, "Blessed are those who suffer ..."
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:35 PM   #108
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The Bible shows one man who did the things mentioned in the verses you quoted--Jesus Christ. Before Christ came, righteousness came through faith in God (Abraham). Before Christ came the way of the cross wasn't there to offer man anything. Now, after Christ's death, His way (obedience to the Father) is our way through believing in Him and that is our righteousness.

I just can't understand how anyone can read Psalms and say some of it is worth less, is there to teach us how NOT to be/act. Same people who dismiss James I guess.
Yes, Abraham's faith was accounted to him as righteousness when he obeyed God and offered his son Isaac up in a figure. However, this "way of righteousness" was authored by Jesus and perfected by Jesus. Jesus said that He was the way and that "no man comes unto the Father but by Me".

So the verse that Witness Lee had trouble with in Psalm 1 was 1:6 "For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish."

This way, to my mind, must refer to Jesus and it can also be referred to as "the way of the cross". Abraham is an example of one man that took this way and it was accounted to him as righteousness.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:54 PM   #109
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When the Lord was kissed in Gethsemane, He considered that to be Judas kicking Him in the face.

And look at all the beloved brothers in the Recovery who were betrayed and thrown under the bus by Witness Lee, so that he could protect his "boys." Max Rapoport and Sandee were betrayed because Max took a stand for righteousness and confronted Philip for molesting that sister. Jesus was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver by his close friend.

Jesus says, "Blessed are those who suffer ..."

Psalm 1 refers to the "way of the righteous", which we know is the way of the cross, and says that you will be blessed, that you will be like a tree planted by the water, and that you will prosper.

Psalm 2 presents the resurrected Christ as the King on God's holy hill and the one Kings must kiss. And it says that all those that put their trust in Him are blessed.

Psalm 3-7 were written when David fled from Absalom. This was his experience of being betrayed, similar to the Lord's experience when Judas betrayed him. This takes us into the experience of someone who has put their trust in the Lord taking the way of the cross.

Witness Lee objected that the prayer that the Lord would smite his enemies is contrary to the NT verse that we are to "love" our enemies and those that persecute us. "Psalms 3—7 were composed according to David's concepts of a godly life. In these psalms David asked God to deal with his adversaries and be a shield around him, his glory and the One who lifted up his head (Psa. 3:1-3, 6-8). Does asking God to deal with his adversaries correspond with the New Testament teaching? Surely, it is against the New Testament teaching. The New Testament teaches us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35; Rom. 12:20)." (Chapter 4 section 3 of the Life Study of the Psalms).

Yet the NT also refers to Christ on the cross as defeating sin, Satan, death and the world. These are our enemies. These are they that "say of my soul, There is no help for him in God" (Ps 3:2). These are they that "turn my glory into shame", "love vanity", and "seek after lying" (Ps 4:2). Wickedness and evil (Ps. 5:4) surely refer to Satan and sin. The "foolish" and "workers of iniquity" (Ps. 5:5) surely refer to the world and those who receive the wages of sin, which is death. The "LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man" (Ps. 5:6) should refer to both Satan and the false prophet, Judas. "In death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks" (Ps 6:5) should refer to the crucifixion. "Let all mine enemies be ashamed" (Ps 6:10) should be a reference to Colossians where it says that all of Christ's enemies were put to shame on the Cross. "Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just" (Ps 7:9) should refer to the cross of Christ where the wicked came to an end and where God's established salvation by faith. "Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate." (Ps. 7:14-15). I would think this would refer to the false prophet, Judas.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:32 PM   #110
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Witness Lee objected that the prayer that the Lord would smite his enemies is contrary to the NT verse that we are to "love" our enemies and those that persecute us.

Yet the NT also refers to Christ on the cross as defeating sin, Satan, death and the world. These are our enemies.
You got it brutha. How WL never saw the "spiritual side" of the equation is pretty remarkable, given that he teased pictures of Christ out of every type and figure available. I guess his interpretive template had already pre-determined his understanding, before handling the text.

There is actually warfare in the NT, right up through the book of Revelation. Only the struggle is not against flesh and blood, nor are the enemies. They are spiritual forces. Obviously. Yet WL couldn't see any types of Christ in the struggles of David, which is amazing, when you consider Jesus surrounded by unclean spirits, religious know-it-alls, and vacillating disciples.

I consider that the only warrior greater than King David was his descendant, Jesus the Nazarene.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #111
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Witness Lee objected that the prayer that the Lord would smite his enemies is contrary to the NT verse that we are to "love" our enemies and those that persecute us. "Psalms 3—7 were composed according to David's concepts of a godly life. In these psalms David asked God to deal with his adversaries and be a shield around him, his glory and the One who lifted up his head (Psa. 3:1-3, 6-8). Does asking God to deal with his adversaries correspond with the New Testament teaching? Surely, it is against the New Testament teaching. The New Testament teaches us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35; Rom. 12:20)." (Chapter 4 section 3 of the Life Study of the Psalms).
Gotta give it to Lee here :

This isn't according to Jesus :

Psa 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Mat_19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:37 PM   #112
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Gotta give it to Lee here :

This isn't according to Jesus :

Psa 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Mat_19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
The "little ones" are not flesh and blood, but forces.

James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Those little notions, if you coddle them, can grow and kill you. Deal with them while they are small.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:42 PM   #113
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The "little ones" are not flesh and blood, but forces.

James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Those little notions, if you coddle them, can grow and kill you. Deal with them while they are small.
Strong's - "little ones":
H5768
עלל עולל
‛ôlęl ‛ôlâl
o-lale', o-lawl'
From H5763; a suckling: - babe, (young) child, infant, little one.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:49 PM   #114
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Strong's - "little ones":
H5768
עלל עולל
‛ôlęl ‛ôlâl
o-lale', o-lawl'
From H5763; a suckling: - babe, (young) child, infant, little one.
And sucklings and infants, allegorically, are what? Little one equals little what?
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:55 PM   #115
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Gotta give it to Lee here :

This isn't according to Jesus :

Psa 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Mat_19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Psalms 137.7 "Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. "Tear it down," they cried, "tear it down to its foundations!"
Psalms 137.8 "Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who pays you back what you have done to us."
Psalms 137:9 "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."

God repays the enemies of Israel for what they have done to her. With Israel God operates not spiritually but literally. It is not until Jesus comes are we commanded to love our enemies according to the higher law.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #116
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Psalms 137.7 "Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. "Tear it down," they cried, "tear it down to its foundations!"
Psalms 137.8 "Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who pays you back what you have done to us."
Psalms 137:9 "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."

God repays the enemies of Israel for what they have done to her. With Israel God operates not spiritually but literally. It is not until Jesus comes are we commanded to love our enemies according to the higher law.
Psalms seems to slip in and out on expressing Christ. One moment it's flying high, gushing praise to Jehovah, and suddenly, it dives down to killing and violent hateful vengeance. That has always puzzled me about the Psalms.

And obviously it troubled Witness Lee as well. It's hard to hold to both Jesus and bashing babies against stones. It produces cognitive dissonance ; that has to be dealt with, one way or another. One reaction is to just dismiss it as "not being the Word of God." Another is to twist it into a metaphor, that means dealing with the little rebellions, by metaphorically bashing them into stones. Witness Lee went with the former.

And it blows my mind that Lee would claim that there are sections of the Bible that aren't the word of God. Not that it rubs me the wrong way. I already know that about the Bible, from learning about its evolution in the writing process (for example, there are more variations between the more than 5000 copies we have of the New Testament books, in the different manuscripts, than there are words in the New Testament -- so the NT is not inerrant).

So I applaud Lee for being honest ... in this case only.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:29 PM   #117
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Not that it rubs me the wrong way. I already know that about the Bible, from learning about its evolution in the writing process (for example, there are more variations between the more than 5000 copies we have of the New Testament books, in the different manuscripts, than there are words in the New Testament -- so the NT is not inerrant).
Variations in tense and case and spelling, proving that the scriptures we have are authentic and without corruption.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:38 PM   #118
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Variations in tense and case and spelling, proving that the scriptures we have are authentic and without corruption.
I wouldn't call the addition of the last 12 verses in Mark a minor difference, nor the addition of what is called the Johannine Comma in 1 John 5:7-8, nor the addition of the adulterous women, of cast the first stone fame, in John 8.

These aren't tense, case, and spelling differences. And by the way, the earliest manuscripts of NT books had no punctuation or breathing marks. They lacked word spacing, so words, sentences, and paragraphs would be a continuous string of letters. So tense, case and spellings were added later, like the dividing of the books into chapters and verses, that came along in the 13th century.

But everyone is free to fantasize anything they want about the Bible. That's a popular option ... to contain and diminish cognitive dissonance.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:45 AM   #119
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Psalms seems to slip in and out on expressing Christ. It's hard to hold to both Jesus and bashing babies against stones. It produces cognitive dissonance ; that has to be dealt with, one way or another.
The OT is a violent place, for sure. But I don't see why I, even as a Christian, should be uncomfortable with that. To me that is like being uncomfortable with evolution because big, nasty dinosaurs chewed on each other with sharp teeth. It is what it is; deal with it.

The way the NT writers dealt with it, as I understand, is allegory. "Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children." In other words, we draw understanding of past events by looking at them with the spiritual lense of born-again believers, who are of course supposed to not be violent, physically. But there is a violent struggle in the New Testament: it is in the unseen and eternal realm (e.g. Matt. 11:12; 2 Cor. 10:4). So Psalm 137 may have relevance, allegorically (and obviously not physically).

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One reaction is to just dismiss it as "not being the Word of God." Another is to twist it into a metaphor, that means dealing with the little rebellions, by metaphorically bashing them into stones. Witness Lee went with the former.
I have two problems with WL dismissing the word. One is that he loved allegories: why just dismiss the word here? Why not try to see something? Given his penchant for metaphor, the question seems relevant.

Two, why does WL think God suddenly becomes physically violent again, at the end of the NT? I am referring to the book of Revelation. Suddenly God starts slaughtering people again. WL basically said, "The age of grace is over -- time for blood". I find that more uncomfortable, as a Christian, than the statement in Psalm 137:9.

I know some Christians also interpret Revelation allegorically. So when the text says "frogs" or "blood" they think it means something spiritual. But WL took it as physical, and literal, as many Christians do. I would prefer to interpret both Psalm 137:9 AND the book of Revelation metaphorically. Not saying that's right, just that it is an option, and my preference.

But the question remains: why did WL the obsessive allegorizer refuse to allegorize in the Psalms. It really seems out of character.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:48 AM   #120
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But everyone is free to fantasize anything they want about the Bible. That's a popular option ... to contain and diminish cognitive dissonance.
People fantasize about the Bible? That is a new one, to me.


That was humor






...
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:47 AM   #121
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But everyone is free to fantasize anything they want about the Bible. That's a popular option ... to contain and diminish cognitive dissonance.
Then I guess I am a cognitively diminutive Biblical dissident.

.

Thirty five years ago, the renowned Professor and Biblical Greek scholar of Textual Criticism, Dr. Philip Comfort taught me all that in his very first Greek course taught on the Ohio State campus. He taught it, however, in a way that strengthened my faith and love for the scriptures and not in a way that undermined them. Same information, different result.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:32 AM   #122
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Then I guess I am a cognitively diminutive Biblical dissident.
Good turn on words Bro Ohio.

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Thirty five years ago, the renowned Professor and Biblical Greek scholar of Textual Criticism, Dr. Philip Comfort taught me all that in his very first Greek course taught on the Ohio State campus. He taught it, however, in a way that strengthened my faith and love for the scriptures and not in a way that undermined them. Same information, different result.
Years ago, in Florida, I was reading "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture" by Bart Ehrman, and I decided to go to the First Christian Church and share it with the pastor there, who studied under professors from The Jesus Seminar.

As I was walking up to the door I bumped into the lead elder of the church. After friendly greetings I showed the book to him. He looked it over and said, "Why do you read books that destroy your faith?"

I said to him, "I need more faith than you. You stand on the Bible, and I only have faith in God to stand upon. Isn't that where the book says to place our faith?"

I got over Bible worship long ago.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:20 AM   #123
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I got over Bible worship long ago.
So then ... if I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, that makes me a Bible worshipper?

Methinks that maybe you should consider the other point I made, that some teachers can point out the flaws, and sow unbelief into our hearts. Others, like Comfort, can point out the same flaws and sow more faith in my heart.

An awful lot in life is not black-n-white facts. There is an agenda in action. This is all too evident in the news. They may all try to convince us that "these are just the facts," but their real goals are slanted in opposite directions.

I am thankful that you have not lost your faith in God, yet how can you know Him well without His word? Perhaps I am a little biased myself. I was incredibly saved all alone in my bedroom one night just by reading the paraphrased New Testament a friend had given me. Later on I learned that some "scholars" felt that paraphrased version was a "corruption" of the scriptures. Yet, that one encounter with God, via the "corrupted" translation, radically changed my life and my views about Him. No one could believe the dramatic change that occurred in me overnight, like one of those "before" and "after" photos of an extreme makeover.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:50 AM   #124
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And it blows my mind that Lee would claim that there are sections of the Bible that aren't the word of God. Not that it rubs me the wrong way. I already know that about the Bible, from learning about its evolution in the writing process (for example, there are more variations between the more than 5000 copies we have of the New Testament books, in the different manuscripts, than there are words in the New Testament -- so the NT is not inerrant).
Hi Harold. Good to see you again.

Your comment here is an example of missing the forest for the trees. The truth in the Bible is inerrant, not our modern texts. There is no piece of Christian doctrine that is brought into question by differences between manuscripts. Take out all the "mistakes" and you still have the same message.

Any intelligent person realizes that there may be mistakes in the modern texts. But any honest person--who really studies the issue and understands how ancient texts with multiple copies are verified--realizes that doesn't matter. The message is intact and unmistakable.

Trying to make the case that the Bible has mistakes in order to place the whole message or any part of it in question is a morally bankrupt position.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:09 AM   #125
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Hi Harold. Good to see you again.

Your comment here is an example of missing the forest for the trees. The truth in the Bible is inerrant, not our modern texts. There is no piece of Christian doctrine that is brought into question by differences between manuscripts. Take out all the "mistakes" and you still have the same message.

Any intelligent person realizes that there may be mistakes in the modern texts. But any honest person--who really studies the issue and understands how ancient texts with multiple copies are verified--realizes that doesn't matter. The message is intact and unmistakable.

Trying to make the case that the Bible has mistakes in order to place the whole message or any part of it in question is a morally bankrupt position.
Very good a valid points Igzy. And that's why I still love the Bible ... even tho I still have major problems with some of it.

And I must admit that, I'm very familiar with the belief that the Bible is the inerrant inspired word of God. I grew up with it. So I can easily slip into that mindset at any given moment.

I guess, actually, I'm a little bit Bible crazy ... if not more.

Some might say that I'm just plain crazy.

But so is the Psalms ...
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:09 PM   #126
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Gotta give it to Lee here :

This isn't according to Jesus :

Psa 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
I agree with you. There is nothing, at all, in the gospels that would support a God or "holy word" exhorting and encouraging people to dash little babies against the stones.

Yes, I can see how you could look at these verses as a metaphor, as Aron has suggested, but I think it is very clear that this verse is referring to an actual event in which babies were dashed against the stones. So it is very crucial to look at exactly what is being said here since the interpretation that Awareness is presenting is reprehensible and would completely undermine the credibility of the Bible. Also, Awareness is correct to say that Witness Lee also teaches this same interpretation (Life Study of Psalms, Chapter 43, Section 7).

First, I would look at Isaiah chapter 13, which is "the burden for Babylon" (v.1). In verse 16 Isaiah repeats this judgment that "Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes". However, in this chapter it is very clear that this is referring to the Day of the Lord's judgment (v.6, v.9, v.13). The Lord says "And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible." (Isaiah 13:11). According to Isaiah the Lord's judgment during the Day of the Lord is a punishment for their evil and for their iniquity. This is according to the Jesus of the gospels who said "with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Matt. 7:2). This is according to Gal 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

It was the Babylonians that took the Israelite's babies and dashed them against the rock. It is during the Day of the Lord's judgment that they will be judged for this action.

When the Psalmist says "happy is He", it is referring to the Lord. There is no basis whatsoever to say that the Bible or the OT taught the Israelites to "dash babies against the rock". There is very strong historical evidence to say this is what happened to Israel when they were conquered by the Babylonians, and that the Bible teaches they will be judged for this on the Day of the Lord, by the Lord Jesus.

Once again, I would say Witness Lee was completely wrong in his teaching of Psalms.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:47 PM   #127
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Atheists love to make hay about verses like Psalm 137:9. I even saw a t-shirt about it.

It's just shallow opportunism. God doesn't enjoy innocent babies dying. But he did set up certain laws of morality and nature, and when you violate them, you and others suffer, even children.

The Babylonians who pushed the rules to the point of invoking God's vengeance were also responsible for the innocents who died in the acting out of that vengeance. That's why Babylon gets "double."
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:49 PM   #128
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I remember in one of my last visits among the local churches that they were making a big deal about "continuing steadfastly in the teaching and fellowship of the apostles", a la Acts 2:42. I think the FTTA even put out a newsletter called Continuing Steadfastly.

So where, I wonder, did the teaching and fellowship of the apostles indicate that so much of the Psalms was unprofitable? What apostle indicated such? What early 'patristic' commentary or homily on scripture warned readers away from the "fallen" and "natural" inclinations of the psalmists?

Is this prejudice against the sacred writings a continuation of something ancient; does this antipathy really have such precedence? Or is it rather new and original? If it is indeed recent, and novel, I am not sure if I trust either this "seer" or the his "revelation". I think I would rather continue steadfastly with the apostles and prophets and church fathers of old, gazing steadily at the scriptures with an open heart and open eyes and open ears, waiting for the breath of the Father to give us light, and life.

I believe that the actual writings of precedent, going right back into the written gospels and epistles of the NT itself, indicate to us that the speaking of the Son is here, among these writings. We should not be dissuaded by more recent commentators, from our continuously gaze among them, straining our souls to hear the Master's life-giving voice.

'Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.'

It is good to hear the Son. Don't let someone else come along and attempt to dissuade you from doing so, especially from within the scriptures!
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:28 PM   #129
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Atheists love to make hay about verses like Psalm 137:9.
Ya don't have to be atheist to question Psalm 137:9. All that's required is to be a caring loving parent.

And I don't care if the baby is a Babylonian baby or not. Babies are innocent. Be honest, this verse is heartless, and does not relate in any way to the message we hear from Jesus. The Psalms doesn't not always reflect Jesus. Sorry, that's the Gods' honest truth.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:55 PM   #130
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Ya don't have to be atheist to question Psalm 137:9. All that's required is to be a caring loving parent.

And I don't care if the baby is a Babylonian baby or not. Babies are innocent. Be honest, this verse is heartless, and does not relate in any way to the message we hear from Jesus. The Psalms doesn't not always reflect Jesus. Sorry, that's the Gods' honest truth.
I know God loves children more than I ever could. Yet he lets some suffer in ways I find appalling. That doesn't "reflect Jesus" any more than this Psalm does, at least according to your standard.

What makes you seem disingenuous is that you take your frustration out on the Psalmist, because he's an easy target, rather than on God, who let the children suffer in the first place. I mean, what's worse, some creepy Psalmist singing about killing children, or a God who lets them be killed? The Psalmist is chump change. You should be taking aim on God himself. But you don't. Which is why I don't take you seriously when you go off like this. Because you don't have the courage of your own convictions.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:24 AM   #131
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Think of God as a literary genius like Shakespeare. Shakespeare created the villain Iago. That does not imply that Shakespeare agreed with Iago devising a plan to induce Othello to murder his wife. God does not necessarily agree with the Psalmist's hatred and baby bashing fantasy. God as an author is not incapable of irony. Maybe the passage is there to show us the danger of zealous prayer gone wrong. We don't always know what the purpose of including a passage in the text. James is a bigger problem. Why would God inspire an entire epistle in which he did not believe? If we have a problem with the inclusion of James in the canon, maybe we need to revise our theology.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:10 AM   #132
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I know God loves children more than I ever could. Yet he lets some suffer in ways I find appalling. That doesn't "reflect Jesus" any more than this Psalm does, at least according to your standard.

What makes you seem disingenuous is that you take your frustration about the way things are out on the Psalmist, because he's an easy target, rather that on God, who let the children suffer in the first place. I mean, what's worse, some creepy Psalmist singing about killing children, or a God who lets them be killed? The Psalmist is chump change. You should be taking aim on God himself. But you don't. Which is why I don't take you seriously when you go off like this. Because you don't have the courage of your own convictions.
Bro Igzy, for many reasons I just love you to death. You just have a way of bringing things down to the brass tacks.

Hey, I'm on egg shells on this forum. So I'm just trying to play by the rules of this sand box.

But I think you are right. The Psalmist is just a sock puppet of God, we think. If we accept this verse, and others in the Psalms, we have to accept that God does not love "the little Children," or "those neighbors." Then we're forced to ask : "What's wrong with God, that He could write "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Bro Igzy, it may appear that I'm being disingenuous, but I'm not. I've struggled in my mind with the problem of evil for a long time, and especially since the death of my son. I'm no stranger to cognitive dissonance. I'm loaded down with it, in fact. It's vexing at times.

And I see that Lee dealt with it too. He solved the problem of cognitive dissonance he found in the Psalms by, dismissing it as the work of the Psalmist, not the work of Gods' inspiration. The Psalmist must have been a very hateful scribe. Why would God use such a hateful guy? That seeks to use God to promote his personal hatefulness?

Lee didn't understand it, and neither do I. And it only introduces more dissonance, but I've only been able to come up with one answer :

Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:19 AM   #133
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John, the older cousin of Jesus, thought that Jesus did evil too.

So he sent his friends to Jesus to question Him, saying basically "we thought you were a good God, and see what have you done."

Jesus said, "look around and see all the good I have done. Are you blind?"

Then He concluded for the sake of us all, "blessed is the man who is not offended by Me.".

John's problem, and ours too, of course, is that when things don't go well for us, we would see evil in God. The tests will always come our way. Whenever disaster strikes, like in Newtown, there's always a few who scream, "how could God let this happen to children?"
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:30 AM   #134
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And it only introduces more dissonance, but I've only been able to come up with one answer :

Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Isaiah's conception of God was pre-Platonic. The New Testament is influenced by the Platonic idea that identifies God with "the Good" or ultimate goodness.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:41 AM   #135
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Isaiah's conception of God was pre-Platonic. The New Testament is influenced by the Platonic idea that identifies God with "the Good" or ultimate goodness.
I disagree that Isaiah or the New Testament authors were influenced by the arrival or departure of Plato from this world.

That's like saying the difference between WWI and WWII was the absence of mustard gas because my loving mother had been born in the interim.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:31 PM   #136
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But I think you are right. The Psalmist is just a sock puppet of God, we think. If we accept this verse, and others in the Psalms, we have to accept that God does not love "the little Children," or "those neighbors." Then we're forced to ask : "What's wrong with God, that He could write "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

Why would God use such a hateful guy? That seeks to use God to promote his personal hatefulness?
You are still avoiding the point. The problem isn't the Psalmist. The problem is God. He's the one who lets little children suffer. The Psalmist is just singing about it.

So why are you so bent out of shape about the Psalmist when you should be bent out of shape about God?

Your frustration is misdirected. You don't want to face the fact that God DOES let little children suffer. Yet, he loves them more than you ever could.

Of course, I'm being the rhetorical. The problem isn't God. The problem is, as U2's Bono so aptly put it, your "hippie" version of God and love. You want love on your terms, not as it really is.

This is the essence of the problem. Instead of trying to make God in your image, try imagining yourself in His.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:46 PM   #137
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You are still avoiding the point. The problem isn't the Psalmist. The problem is God. He's the one who lets little children suffer. The Psalmist is just singing about it.

So why are you so bent out of shape about the Psalmist when you should be bent out of shape about God?

Your frustration is misdirected. You don't want to face the fact that God DOES let little children suffer. Yet, he loves them more than you ever could.

Of course, I'm being the rhetorical. The problem isn't God. The problem is, as U2's Bono so aptly put it, your "hippie" version of God and love. You want love on your terms, not as it really is.

This is the essence of the problem. Instead of trying to make God in your image, try imagining yourself in His.
The gospel of salvation would not be a gospel if we were not under the judgment of God as sinners. Prior to Christ's death on the cross God's righteous judgment was not "good news". But after Christ's death it is. We can escape the righteous judgment, not based on our own righteousness but based on Christ's, and that includes Babylonians. That is good news. But how is "salvation" good news if there is no judgment of sin? If the wicked, abominable, sinful liars and murderers are not judged, how is that "good news"? The gospel of Matthew includes chapter 24. All four gospels include the crucifixion. The good news is that this righteous God who rewards us based on our deeds gave us His only begotten Son that we could be saved by believing on Him.

Now, if you have a wicked murderer who has slaughtered innocents and dashed babies against rocks, and this person doesn't have a conscience to repent of these evil deeds and confess that Jesus is Lord, then yes, it is good news that they are judged at the appearing of the Lord of Glory.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:52 PM   #138
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I disagree that Isaiah or the New Testament authors were influenced by the arrival or departure of Plato from this world.

That's like saying the difference between WWI and WWII was the absence of mustard gas because my loving mother had been born in the interim.
That, unfortunately, is known as the "Pre Manhattan" (not pre Ohio) view of world annihilation. Since the advent of the atomic bomb man is much more efficient at world annihilation, though unfortunately they still don't know what spirit they are of.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:58 PM   #139
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I disagree that Isaiah or the New Testament authors were influenced by the arrival or departure of Plato from this world.

That's like saying the difference between WWI and WWII was the absence of mustard gas because my loving mother had been born in the interim.
The coincidence is that before Plato one does not find a god who is all good anywhere in the world. After Plato you find many in the Alexandrian and then the Roman empires including Philo among the Jews. Why would you choose to ignore the correlation?
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:02 PM   #140
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The coincidence is that before Plato one does not find a god who is all good anywhere in the world. After Plato you find many in the Alexandrian and then the Roman empires including Philo among the Jews. Why would you choose to ignore the correlation?
I will consider the correlation when you provide evidence that the God of the OT was not "good". According to Jesus in the NT only one is good, and that was God. Clearly, based on the context He is referring to the God of Israel.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:07 PM   #141
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The coincidence is that before Plato one does not find a god who is all good anywhere in the world. After Plato you find many in the Alexandrian and then the Roman empires including Philo among the Jews. Why would you choose to ignore the correlation?
Before Plato there is the One God in Israel Who is good. After Plato there is the One God in Israel Who is good.

I didn't ignore the correlation, I only expressed the opinion that it made little sense, as if Isaiah's or the Gospel's concept of God was somehow influenced by the first coming of Plato.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:22 PM   #142
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Now, if you have a wicked murderer who has slaughtered innocents and dashed babies against rocks, and this person doesn't have a conscience to repent of these evil deeds and confess that Jesus is Lord, then yes, it is good news that they are judged at the appearing of the Lord of Glory.
Whether in this age or in the next; through salvation or judgment, every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord!
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:18 PM   #143
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Before Plato there is the One God in Israel Who is good. After Plato there is the One God in Israel Who is good.

I didn't ignore the correlation, I only expressed the opinion that it made little sense, as if Isaiah's or the Gospel's concept of God was somehow influenced by the first coming of Plato.
So then Isaiah did not write Isa 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things"?
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:21 PM   #144
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So then Isaiah did not write Isa 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things"?
I'm getting a little dizzy, so I'll have to get off this ride.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:02 PM   #145
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I'm getting a little dizzy, so I'll have to get off this ride.
Different perspectives can do that to a person especially when they're not used to them.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:16 PM   #146
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The problem of evil would exist if the Bible and the Psalms didn't exist. The problem of evil would exist if there was no religion in the world.

So it's really not a matter of arguing which parts of the Bible we think are truly reflective of God. Because the God who lets innocents suffer would exist even if we didn't have the Bible and all its vexing propositions. So blaming the problem on mean-spirited OT writers doesn't solve it. God has let more innocents suffer than the writer of Psalm 137 ever thought of cursing.

We have a proposition (God is good and loving) and a fact (innocents suffer). If you believe the first then you must believe that innocents suffering is not incompatible with love and goodness. And if you can truly accept that, then Psalm 137 is not a problem to you, because it will mean you've become able to look behind the veil a bit and realize that love is a lot more mysterious and complex than our shallow, Santa Claus, hippie version of it.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:27 PM   #147
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Different perspectives can do that to a person especially when they're not used to them.
***Moderator note***

Zeek, Ohio is not some rube who is unacquainted with differing opinions. Neither are you the paragon of cutting-edge thinking.

Let's leave the smug innuendo at the door, please. Thank you.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:15 PM   #148
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***Moderator note***

Zeek, Ohio is not some rube who is unacquainted with differing opinions. Neither are you the paragon of cutting-edge thinking.

Let's leave the smug innuendo at the door, please. Thank you.
Just hypothesizing about the etiology of Ohio's dizziness. No offense intended.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:25 PM   #149
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***Moderator note***

Zeek, Ohio is not some rube who is unacquainted with differing opinions. Neither are you the paragon of cutting-edge thinking.

Let's leave the smug innuendo at the door, please. Thank you.
Wow! where did that come from? Did I miss something? Who called bro Ohio a rube? Where was bro Zeek a paragon of anything, and smug?

How did all that get by me? Or maybe I'm just stupid.

And a warning using ad hominems seems self defeating.

But back to the Psalms :

It's pretty obvious that bro Ohio is very intelligent, informed on a wide range of subjects, and gifted with articulation. But none of us can know everything, there's too much to keep up with. And there's no shame if we're not informed on everything.

And I'm reasonably certain, from Ohio's remarks that, he's not familiar with scholars that contend parts of the Psalms have Ugaritic (6000BC - Canaanite - Pagan - Baal) sources. (Google it)

And I find it more than interesting that C.S. Lewis wrote in "Reflections On The Psalms" :

"I have therefore no difficulty accepting, say, the view of those scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were Pagan and mythical." (Reflections On The Psalms, p.110).
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:21 PM   #150
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We have a proposition (God is good and loving) and a fact (innocents suffer). If you believe the first then you must believe that innocents suffering is not incompatible with love and goodness. And if you can truly accept that, then Psalm 137 is not a problem to you, because it will mean you've become able to look behind the veil a bit and realize that love is a lot more mysterious and complex than our shallow, Santa Claus, hippie version of it.
Who it's innocent? According to whom? All have sinned. All. Adam's sin constituted everyone sinners. All share that guilt.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:34 AM   #151
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Who it's innocent? According to whom? All have sinned. All. Adam's sin constituted everyone sinners. All share that guilt.
I would like to present the shocking proposition that the Bible is primarily about Jesus Christ. Yes, it does mention sinners like you and me (and ALL the rest of us), but our temporary experience of the fall (as ABiF says, "all share that guilt")should prepare us to experience Grace. And we all believe that this grace is found in the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Now, how does that relate to WL's exposition of the Psalms? I'd like to look at the first section of Psalm 119, which strikingly models the intro in Psalm 1. Psalm 1 celebrated the righteous man who kept the law (and whom WL said didn't exist, and whom I say was actually Jesus Christ). Likewise, Psalm 119 starts off with "Blessed are those whose ways are blameless; who walk according to the law of the Lord" (NIV). See the similarity?

Similarly, WL's commentary here starts with his usual disquisition about "letter-keepers" such as Pharisees and Saul of Tarsus, versus "God-seekers" such as Paul the apostle. The man Jesus Christ is not mentioned, except for a brief note that "Christ is the reality of the law".

Now, Jesus said, "These things were written concerning me". He didn't say they were written concerning Pharisees and/or apostles. Jesus is the one whose ways were blameless. And He is now our way (or, He should be).

My purpose for this post (sorry for the length) is actually found at the end of the first section of Psalm 119: verse 8. "I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me." (NIV) Who is the obedient Son here? Jesus the Righteous. Whose soul was not left in Hades? Whose flesh didn't see corruption? The apostle Paul? No, his grave is also with us. Again, see Peter's speech in Acts chapter 2: for me it's crucial to our NT understanding of the OT text. In verses 29 and 35 Peter said that Psalm 16 and 110 were not about David, but really about one of his descendants, "this Jesus" (v.36). God recognized the obedience and faithfulness of Jesus the Nazarene, and provided proof to all by raising Him from the dead, and placing Him far above everything at His right hand. Jesus was, is, and will always remain, the fulfillment of the "God-seeking" aspirations of the psalmist.

As WL used to say, "I could give a whole conference on this point." Here, in Psalm 119:8, the idea of being "utterly forsaken" (which means all of us sinners) and being redeemed by faith in the obedient ONE is arguably worth a conference, and it doesn't even get a passing note. Somehow, our disobedience, fall, sin, and death, and Jesus' righteousness, with our faith, repentance, redemption, rebirth and obedience/transformation were not part of WL's "God's New Testament economy" yardstick here. And all of us who sat under these messages and teachings were very much poorer for it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:25 AM   #152
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And I find it more than interesting that C.S. Lewis wrote in "Reflections On The Psalms" :

"I have therefore no difficulty accepting, say, the view of those scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were Pagan and mythical." (Reflections On The Psalms, p.110).
Stop! You're making me dizzy. I'll have to take a break from this ride.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:41 AM   #153
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Now, Jesus said, "These things were written concerning me". He didn't say they were written concerning Pharisees and/or apostles. Jesus is the one whose ways were blameless. And He is now our way (or, He should be).
Exactly! The (unique/only) righteous man was Christ. And because of this, because of His obedience He was blessed as we, through believing in Him are blessed. The fact of His death and all that made it possible (His fulfilling the law, His obedience to the Father) was a blessing to Him and ultimately to all those who believe.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:51 AM   #154
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Who it's innocent? According to whom? All have sinned. All. Adam's sin constituted everyone sinners. All share that guilt.
But when was the last time you bashed a baby against the stones?
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:59 AM   #155
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Stop! You're making me dizzy. I'll have to take a break from this ride.
You calling me a rube?
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:43 AM   #156
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Who it's innocent? According to whom? All have sinned. All. Adam's sin constituted everyone sinners. All share that guilt.
When Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, children at the day care there died. Those children were the innocent victims of McVeigh's wrath. If you don't understand that then you don't understand what this discussion is about. If you want to make the case that those children deserved what McVeigh dished out then have at it and good luck, but I wouldn't want to be you in the effort.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:51 AM   #157
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You calling me a rube?
You putting words in my mouth. It was Igsy who accused me of calling you a rube. You are easily misled.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:26 AM   #158
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http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=3537

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Our mission is NOT...

1) To defame the Local Church in any way possible.

2) To provide a forum for vicious, irrational accusations.

3) To question the basic items of the Christian faith.

4) To engage in lengthy discussions of theological, political or social issues which are not directly related to the subject of the Local Church or the process of adapting to life after it.
To all (but especially our friends zeek and awareness)

You guys are interesting and very thought provoking. The problem is that there is only so much time, only so much space and only so much bandwidth. Every Internet forum must have a general theme and even some guidelines for the discussion. We all know that the general theme is here and I think the guidelines are clearly stated in the Forum Rules thread and also right here in the "Mission Statement". While I think some may appreciate your efforts to "enlighten" us with all sorts of thought provoking facts and figures, your constant effort to question the basic items of the Christian faith (and for that matter those of the entire Judeo-Christian worldview) inevitably take the thread off course.

I'm not asking you to leave, just to stay on topic. Also please refrain from provoking other members with overly sarcastic and patronizing jabs - Like
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.. You are easily misled.
and like
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But when was the last time you bashed a baby against the stones?
Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:30 AM   #159
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It's sort of like discussing football rules, guys. If several people are trying to figure out what the rules mean, it defeats the purpose if one of them keeps saying "I don't think that's a rule."

Suppose I cite the holding penalty. Several people suggest what they think it means. But one person says he doesn't think holding is or should be in the rulebook. Or worse, he doesn't think the rulebook should be the rulebook.

Whether the rulebook is the rulebook is a whole different discussion and is NOT the purview of this site. You can see how it short-circuits any legitimate discussion of what the Bible means as the word of God.

On this forum, the presumption is the whole Bible is the inspired word of God. Within that context we are free to discuss what passages in the Bible mean.

In certain cases, we can discuss whether declarations in the Bible amount to truths. For example, when David's baby died, he lamented his loss and declared, "I will go to him" (2 Sam 12:23). We can discuss whether this amounts to a truth that deceased infants go to heaven. But it's useless if someone chimes in that this verse isn't really inspired.

I hope this makes sense.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #160
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Default Problems with the Psalms as "words of Christ"

I think that problems WL (and others) have had in calling some of the Psalms "the word of Christ", per Paul's phraseology of equvalence in Colossians 3:16, is that they are so obviously the words of a sinner. How can they simultaneously be words presaging Jesus Christ when they are so contrary to everything He did and taught?

A few examples come immediately to mind. One is the recently discussed Psalm 139:8,9. Happy is the one who pays back Babylon, and who dashes her infants against the rocks. Similarly I think of Psalm 137, verse 21: "Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?"

Well, I don't know about everyone else, but as someone who sees the world in terms of "spiritual warfare" none of this is particularly out of place. A lot of this is relevant to the experiences of Jesus in the NT, and those of his followers through history. Its application is not in physical realms but in spiritual, unseen realms. I've made this point before and won't belabor it. It seems rather self-evident to me. The "enemies" here, today, are not human beings but "spiritual forces". They don't like you, they don't like God, and why should you either pretend they don't exist, or coddle them and make peace with them?

Another example of the 'word of sinners' within the psalms is a word of repentance. Psalm 51 is a classic of the genre. Obviously we don't see David as a "type" of Jesus, in having committed adultery and having plotted an honest man's murder. But look at the end. David acknowledges his abject failure, and says that if God will restore him, he "...will teach transgressors Thy ways.(v.13)" Now look at Jesus speaking to Peter: "You will fail. But when you turn and repent, you will be able to strengthen the brothers." So the experience of failure and restoration, while not a "word of Christ" per se, is still a word appropriate to the spiritual journey of the Christian.

Look at Psalm 119:67 "Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I obey your word."

It is a classic: failure, affliction, repentance, restoration, obedience. I cannot put into words how much this stuff encourages me. The fact that God allowed it to be presented to us, warts and all, is so helpful! If God had "polished out" all the rough bits I probably would give up in despair! I would think, "This surely has not been written for me".

Even in the "difficult parts" I think it is possible to "see Jesus", a la Hebrews 2:9. We see Him in ways the gospels only hinted at; surely we knew there was a 'hidden life' behind the miracles, the teachings -- here it is. But (forgive me if I am belaboring the point, but I consider it too crucial) calling these scriptures "natural" and "fallen" may put a veil on the eyes of our heart, and cause us to look elsewhere for visions of Christ. What a terrible shame, if that is the case.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:35 AM   #161
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http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=3537



To all (but especially our friends zeek and awareness)

You guys are interesting and very thought provoking. The problem is that there is only so much time, only so much space and only so much bandwidth. Every Internet forum must have a general theme and even some guidelines for the discussion. We all know that the general theme is here and I think the guidelines are clearly stated in the Forum Rules thread and also right here in the "Mission Statement". While I think some may appreciate your efforts to "enlighten" us with all sorts of thought provoking facts and figures, your constant effort to question the basic items of the Christian faith (and for that matter those of the entire Judeo-Christian worldview) inevitably take the thread off course.

I'm not asking you to leave, just to stay on topic. Also please refrain from provoking other members with overly sarcastic and patronizing jabs - Like and like

Thanks.
I didn't violate any rule you listed above. I haven't questioned the faith. I questioned people's concepts of inspiration. Doesn't the Lord say through Isaiah, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." ? Aren't you bothered that Ohio falsely accused me of calling him a rube when it was in fact Igsy? You measure with a crooked stick.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:59 AM   #162
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But when was the last time you bashed a baby against the stones?
I think a more relevant question based on the context is "how would you respond if someone bashed your baby against the stones?"

As Aron said, the Psalms record the journey that we as believers take. This person before getting saved might have decided to respond tit for tat.

However, that is not what this Psalm records. Instead this person is not taking vengeance, as the NT says, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" saith the Lord. Instead this person is praying for the Day of the Lord to come and for judgment to be given. Once again, this is still according to the Lord's word in the NT where He said "as you have measured it will be measured to you".

The attitude here may not reach the super spirituality of Awareness, but it is certainly not a basis to say that the Psalms are not the word of Christ, which is how Awareness presented this verse.

Also, as Igzy said, you are confusing "love" with "righteousness". Jesus died for us because He loved us, but His horrific death as a result of being betrayed, a kangaroo court, and then the cruel scourging on top of the crucifixion; that was righteousness.

God is a God of Love and of Righteousness.

Zeek and Awareness would have us believe that this verse somehow is at odds with this. Yet, any other option would violate God's righteousness.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #163
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Let's get back to Psalms ... and whether it was right or not for Lee to dismiss parts of the Psalms as non-inspired.

Why would a man that professes to be an exceptional man of the book make such a conclusion?

Witness Lee wouldn't even fit in on this forum.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:27 AM   #164
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It's sort of like discussing football rules, guys. If several people are trying to figure out what the rules mean, it defeats the purpose if one of them keeps saying "I don't think that's a rule."

Suppose I cite the holding penalty. Several people suggest what they think it means. But one person says he doesn't think holding is or should be in the rulebook. Or worse, he doesn't think the rulebook should be the rulebook.

Whether the rulebook is the rulebook is a whole different discussion and is NOT the purview of this site. You can see how it short-circuits any legitimate discussion of what the Bible means as the word of God.

On this forum, the presumption is the whole Bible is the inspired word of God. Within that context we are free to discuss what passages in the Bible mean.

In certain cases, we can discuss whether declarations in the Bible amount to truths. For example, when David's baby died, he lamented his loss and declared, "I will go to him" (2 Sam 12:23). We can discuss whether this amounts to a truth that deceased infants go to heaven. But it's useless if someone chimes in that this verse isn't really inspired.

I hope this makes sense.
Tell that to Witness Lee.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:46 AM   #165
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I didn't violate any rule you listed above. I haven't questioned the faith. I questioned people's concepts of inspiration. Doesn't the Lord say through Isaiah, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." ? Aren't you bothered that Ohio falsely accused me of calling him a rube when it was in fact Igsy? You measure with a crooked stick.
zeek, I'm not bothered because Ohio was joking. He was actually poking fun at me.

Also, my moniker is Igzy, not Igsy.
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