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Old 07-29-2017, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default Today's Jerusalem for Christians

What is “Jerusalem” for today’s Christians?- Part 1
This discussion is for those already familiar with “The Lords Recovery” and Witness Lee’s (and “the Blended Brothers”) preaching and teaching that todays’ Christian equivalent of the Jews’ “Jerusalem”, and of “Mount Zion with the Temple of God” in particular, the God-ordained place that Christians should gather and worship God, and Lee’s view that it is in “the local churches”. This is “Part 1” because to keep it short, I’d like to reference each New Testament reference for an equivalent of Jerusalem for Christians one verse at a time. The first such reference is Jesus’ discussion with the Samaritan “woman at the well” in John 4:19-24 which reads in the New American Standard version as follows:
The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

From this we see that Jesus said today’s Jerusalem is “worshipping the Father in spirit and truth”.

I note there is no particular reference to “local churches, or “the ground of oneness” in this simple discussion. I also note that during this discussion the Lord Jesus reveals himself as the living water who abides and springs up to eternal life in those who drink Him. I also note the woman admitted her sinful condition, and went and testified to her city that Jesus is the promised Messiah. So, it seems that she got the message.

So, for our discussion then:

Can we use John 4 to support Lee’s claims?
Can we use John 4 to refute Lee’s claims?
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Old 07-29-2017, 03:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

Not really. It comes down to how we define worship in truth. Catholics might say it's the truth that they are the true church founded by Peter.
No particular mention of denominations..altar rails..music bands..either.
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Old 07-29-2017, 04:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

My thoughts about this are that Jesus' wonderful and simple words give some invioble principles for our gathering to worship that have been violated in today's TLR:

Worship in spirit: our regenerated human spirits are filled with God who is Spirit, and was manifested in Jesus Christ the living one for our drinking and overflowing. Now the Lord is The Spirit (not "The Leading Brothers", who Lord it over the saints). And, where the Spirit is, there is liberty (not a hundred spoken and unspoken rules).

Truth, thruthfullness, reality: Real transparent, open leadership that is from and checked against the Holy Bible. This site chronicles how that is not the case with TLR.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

As far as I know , Lee was the only one to associate worshipping in spirit with the use of one's spirit and the truth of being filled with God. Perhaps his was the closest to the true intent of Christ's words as compared to denominations. Catholics associate worshipping in truth with the Mass, Presbyterians have their own reformed traditions, Pentecostals associate it with speaking in tongues. Some would say ancient liturgies are not in spirit and truth, and others would say the opposite. No one denomination seems to have a clear understanding of what worshiping in spirit and truth actually means. Neither does Scripture well-define it enough to rule out any particular style of worship as not being "in spirit and truth".
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

Thanks for your thoughts, EV.
I give credit to Lee for promoting the first part of what you said. That's certainly where I learned it. But, this is a matter of fairly straight forward truth from the Bible that doesn't take "rocket science" to get. And, even Lee admitted to learning it from "inner life" Christians who preceded him: Jesse Penn-Lewis, Andrew Murray, Mary E. McDonough, Nee, and a number of others championed this before and during Lee's ministry (like Austin Sparks and Steven Kaung).

I don't defend the Catholic Church or denominations. This thread is about Lee and the churches who follow him, and whether or not their teaching and practice regarding interpretting "Jerusalem" to themselves is correct or not. I'm interested in others' thoughts on this, now that we have yours EV.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

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Not really. It comes down to how we define worship in truth. Catholics might say it's the truth that they are the true church founded by Peter.
No particular mention of denominations..altar rails..music bands..either.
You are so quick to judge the entire body of Christ, but you ... Evangelical ... never mention how LSM peddles and adulterates the word of God for profit. (II Cor. 2.17, 4.2; Titus 1.11; I Peter 5.2)

Which is far, far more serious than contemporary Christian music. Have you forgotten that renowned songwriter Fanny Crosby herself was condemned in her day for her own "worldly" Christian music.
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:47 PM   #7
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You are so quick to judge the entire body of Christ, but you ... Evangelical ... never mention how LSM peddles and adulterates the word of God for profit. (II Cor. 2.17, 4.2; Titus 1.11; I Peter 5.2)

Which is far, far more serious than contemporary Christian music. Have you forgotten that renowned songwriter Fanny Crosby herself was condemned in her day for her own "worldly" Christian music.
Let's not hijack JJ's thread. I won't respond here. i think the topic is novel as it brings in the topic of Jerusalem.

If you wish, please create another thread on the matter of God's Word for profit and I will reply there. I think perhaps one is already existing.

I am interested to see how you argue that charging church members the measly sum of $50 a year for rather well printed devotional books is "peddling God's Word". As compared to say, Joel Olsteen's $50 M empire or Billy Graham's $25 M, or Rick Warren $30 M.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:09 PM   #8
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As far as I know , Lee was the only one to associate worshipping in spirit with the use of one's spirit and the truth of being filled with God. Perhaps his was the closest to the true intent of Christ's words as compared to denominations. Catholics associate worshipping in truth with the Mass, Presbyterians have their own reformed traditions, Pentecostals associate it with speaking in tongues. Some would say ancient liturgies are not in spirit and truth, and others would say the opposite. No one denomination seems to have a clear understanding of what worshiping in spirit and truth actually means. Neither does Scripture well-define it enough to rule out any particular style of worship as not being "in spirit and truth".
Lee failed because he thought he could judge by himself what is worship in spirit and came up with behavioral practices to help "turn to the spirit".

Things like "calling on the name of the Lord" became criteria to assess whether someone is in the spirit. Come to think of it, it is not different from the other rituals in the denominations that you mentioned.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:47 PM   #9
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Lee failed because he thought he could judge by himself what is worship in spirit and came up with behavioral practices to help "turn to the spirit".

Things like "calling on the name of the Lord" became criteria to assess whether someone is in the spirit. Come to think of it, it is not different from the other rituals in the denominations that you mentioned.
Calling on the name of the Lord to determine whether someone is in the spirit has sound biblical basis:

1 Cor 12:3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Paul tells us how to determine what is by the Spirit or not in that verse.

Every denomination has their own criteria, e.g. attending the mass, ability to speak in tongues, or ability to pray the sinners prayer and confess Jesus is Lord in front of the church. But I have to say none of these have as much biblical basis as the direct application of 1 Cor 12:3 - test whether someone can say Jesus is Lord or not, (and mean it, of course).

The word Lord is important. Only the genuine can say Lord Jesus. Demons do not confess Jesus is their Lord.
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

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Calling on the name of the Lord to determine whether someone is in the spirit has sound biblical basis:

1 Cor 12:3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Paul tells us how to determine what is by the Spirit or not in that verse.

The word Lord is important. Only the genuine can say Lord Jesus. Demons do not confess Jesus is their Lord.
It is actually an example of how the Bible is twisted to support man's theory.
  1. The verse is about saying/confessing "Jesus is Lord". Not about calling "O Lord Jesus" n times as if He is not answering you.
  2. It talks about what happens if someone is "speaking by the Spirit of God". The speaker is already "in the spirit" and not trying to turn to the spirit. When Lee said calling on the name of the Lord can help you to turn to the spirit, he was actually denying this very verse.
  3. "Can say" doesn't mean "have to say". A person not calling "O Lord Jesus" during worship does not necessarily mean he is not in the spirit.
And back to John 4. the problem of LC is that other man-made boundaries were set to confine what is "true" worship.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:28 PM   #11
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It is actually an example of how the Bible is twisted to support man's theory.
  1. The verse is about saying/confessing "Jesus is Lord". Not about calling "O Lord Jesus" n times as if He is not answering you.
  2. It talks about what happens if someone is "speaking by the Spirit of God". The speaker is already "in the spirit" and not trying to turn to the spirit. When Lee said calling on the name of the Lord can help you to turn to the spirit, he was actually denying this very verse.
  3. "Can say" doesn't mean "have to say". A person not calling "O Lord Jesus" during worship does not necessarily mean he is not in the spirit.
And back to John 4. the problem of LC is that other man-made boundaries were set to confine what is "true" worship.
Are you saying that to be saved a person must say "Jesus is Lord" and simply calling "Lord Jesus" is not enough? To me they are saying the same thing.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:42 PM   #12
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Are you saying that to be saved a person must say "Jesus is Lord" and simply calling "Lord Jesus" is not enough? To me they are saying the same thing.
Off topic. As you said not long ago, "let's not hijack JJ's thread".
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:30 PM   #13
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Off topic. As you said not long ago, "let's not hijack JJ's thread".
I won't go further. Maybe people should stop baiting me with Lee said this and Lee said that.

Address the topic at hand people:

Can we use John 4 to support Lee’s claims?
Can we use John 4 to refute Lee’s claims?
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

Thanks for asking for input on the thread EV. Good form!

Yes, please stop with off topic stuff, and start or add to another thread on another topic if you want to discuss that.

I'll give this topic some more time. I admit John 4 alone isn't enough for a complete look at this Jerusalem topic. I'll start Part 2 if no one else wants to write on Part 1, but only after a good pregnant pause.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

OK time for Part 2 then. I'm starting another thread for "Part 2 on Today's Jerusalem for Christians" under Apologetic discussions folder.

Others may add to Part 1 if they wish.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:57 PM   #16
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Default What is Today's Jerusalem for Christians - Part 2

What is “Jerusalem” for today’s Christians?- Part 2
This discussion is for those already familiar with “The Lords Recovery” and Witness Lee’s (and “the Blended Brothers”) preaching and teaching that todays’ Christian equivalent of the Jews’ “Jerusalem”, and of “Mount Zion with the Temple of God” in particular, the God-ordained place that Christians should gather and worship God, and Lee’s view that it is in “the local churches”. This is “Part 2” because to keep it short, I’d like to reference each New Testament reference for an equivalent of Jerusalem for Christians one verse at a time. The second such reference is in Galations 4:21-31 (http://biblehub.com/context/galatians/4-1.htm) when the apostle Paul likens the earthly Jerusalem and its law keepers to Hagar (Abraham’s concubine who bore Ismael) and says the following about Jerusalem (New American Standard Bible):
“she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written,
‘Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; For more numerous are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.’
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say?
‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son,
For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.’
So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.”

From this we see that Jesus today’s Jerusalem is:
• Above
• Free
• Our mother
And we also see that the Christian brethren are:
• Like Issac
• Cause our “barren mother” to rejoice, break forth and shout, for her children are more numerous than the children of the earthly Jerusalem
• Children
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: What is Today's Jerusalem for Christians - Part 2

What is “Jerusalem” for today’s Christians?- Part 2
This discussion is for those already familiar with “The Lords Recovery” and Witness Lee’s (and “the Blended Brothers”) preaching and teaching that todays’ Christian equivalent of the Jews’ “Jerusalem”, and of “Mount Zion with the Temple of God” in particular, the God-ordained place that Christians should gather and worship God, and Lee’s view that it is in “the local churches”. This is “Part 2” because to keep it short, I’d like to reference each New Testament reference for an equivalent of Jerusalem for Christians one verse at a time. The second such reference is in Galations 4:21-31 (http://biblehub.com/context/galatians/4-1.htm) when the apostle Paul likens to the earthly Jerusalem and its law keepers to Hagar (Abraham’s concubine who bore Ismael) and says the following about Jerusalem (New American Standard Bible):
“she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written,
‘Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; For more numerous are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.’
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say?
‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son,
For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.’
So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.”

From this we see that today’s Jerusalem is:
• Above
• Free
• Our mother
And we also see that the Christian brethren are:
• Like Issac
• Cause our “barren mother” to rejoice, break forth and shout, for her children are more numerous than the children of the earthly Jerusalem
• Children of promise
• Born according to the Spirit
• Persecuted by those born according to the flesh (law keepers)
• Charged to cast out the earthly Jerusalem and “her son” (earthly Jerusalem and its law keepers)
• Heirs with the son of the free woman (Heirs with Christ, my interpretation)
• Children of the free woman (Children of the Jerusalem which is above)

As with Part 1 of this discussion, I note there is no particular reference to “local churches, or “the ground of oneness”. I also note that per the bullet points this Jerusalem is above (not on earth) and is a given thing to all born again Christians with no conditions other than a charge to cast out the earthly Jerusalem and its law keepers.
So, for our discussion then:
Can we use Galations 4 to support Lee’s claims?
Can we use Galations 4 to refute Lee’s claims?
My notes make evident where I stand (refutes Lee’s claims). But, I want to hear from you. Maybe I’m missing something here.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

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Can we use John 4 to support Lee’s claims?
Can we use John 4 to refute Lee’s claims?
I would say that these verses in John 4 cannot define what is "in spirit and in truth," therefore they cannot support Lee's position. They are insufficient for the purpose of defining what is the meaning of the terms. That does not make the terms undefined or uncertain. But these verses provide no insight into what they mean.

But they also do not provide a proof against Lee. They indicate that a particular place is not where worship will happen. That at least hints at the idea that worship is not bound by a place. That would make it difficult to argue that within any reasonable segment of physical space in the 2-deminsional bounds of the surface of the earth, nothing precludes anywhere as being a place where worship may be occurring. If you take this to the extreme, then it means that even if you think there are other parameters that define the bounds of worship, it cannot be bound by space, therefore others meeting with the same reasonable amount of physical space are not precluded simply because they are not in another place within that space.

I know, too undefined.

And I realize that even the LRC does not define their meeting in terms of the place, but in terms of another alternate criteria — the manner of naming. If you name it wrong, it is presumed to not be in spirit whereas if you name it right, it is presumed to be in spirit. But if it was that simple, then Jesus was pulling our leg to say it was about something as poorly defined as "in spirit." I know that we all think we have a good handle on what the term means. And when Jesus said it, while it may not have been immediately understood by the woman, it probably was not that poorly defined.

But I would suggest that it is not simply one simple definition. It does not simply mean that we are using some mentioned but undefined "organ" of our person called the human spirit. That was a popular way of speaking of it in the LRC. But even parsing through Nee's verses on the "tripartite man" should help us become clear that the so-called separation of soul and spirit that ne spoke of is not really there. Most of the characteristics applied to the spirit are the same as those applied to the soul. It would appear that the spirit is more like an enhanced soul than a separate thing.

And when Paul and others (like Jesus did in John 4) make reference to being "in spirit" (as opposed to being "in the Spirit"), it would seem that a more common meaning of "spirit" is actually in use. The word is not so much about engaging some organ of the body, but in having your whole being — mind, emotion, will, and even body — focused and engaged in the thing that is being spoken of. Of course, that is very "spiritual." But it is not an organ that does not include our mind, emotion, and will. It seems evident to me that when Paul said "spirit of sonship" he was saying to be fully engaged as a son rather than a non-son playing the part. It is not some thing that falls on us. It is a fact that we can engage with. We may be adopted (in one sense) yet have full rights as a son, therefore have the right to act like it in all ways.

But if we presume that a group of Christians meeting as they engage their full being in focus on the worship of God is not "in spirit" just because they are not in the same meeting as some who have named their assembly in a better way, then there is a problem with the definition of "in spirit." That kind of definition adds something to the meaning of "in spirit" that is never even hinted at in any passage.

So while do not think that John 4 can defeat Lee's teachings, it can be a part of the full discussion that does just that.

And in some cases, it may be that there is nothing that specifically refutes certain of Lee's teachings that we do not think of a healthy. But without also finding evidence that the teaching is actually true, it is also safe to say that the scripture does not support it either. Therefore Lee's teaching could not rise above that of "opinion not supported by fact." Neither refuted nor supported.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:05 PM   #19
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

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Calling on the name of the Lord to determine whether someone is in the spirit has sound biblical basis:

1 Cor 12:3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
It is true that no one can say "Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit." But are you sure you know what he meant when he said "say"? Did he mean, no one can speak the words except by the Holy Spirit? Or did he mean that no one can make the honest claim that Jesus is their Lord except where there is the actual indwelling of the Holy Spirit? We are used to the idea that people say things that are not true, yet here we somehow believe that no one is capable of saying those three words unless they are telling the truth and the Hoy Spirit is in them.

I suggest that this is an error in understanding. Paul was not saying there is a sure-fire way to prove that Jesus is someone's Lord by getting them to say three words. I cannot accept such a trite understanding of the passage. By it there has been evidence of serious unrighteousness undertaken by those who stopped periodically to say three words. If you are right, then the activities that were being undertaken could never have happened because the Spirit could not have been involved. Therefore they were not, at the time, under the Lordship of Jesus. Yet they said the words.

Out of the same fountain cannot come filth and purity.

And, like ground, where it suits the MOTAs, oversimplify beyond credulity.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:15 PM   #20
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I suggest that this is an error in understanding. Paul was not saying there is a sure-fire way to prove that Jesus is someone's Lord by getting them to say three words. I cannot accept such a trite understanding of the passage. By it there has been evidence of serious unrighteousness undertaken by those who stopped periodically to say three words. If you are right, then the activities that were being undertaken could never have happened because the Spirit could not have been involved. Therefore they were not, at the time, under the Lordship of Jesus. Yet they said the words.
This glaring "error in understanding" comes from being indoctrinated into the Church of Witness Lee. One could even call it deception.

On a lighter note:
While at a "training" in Anaheim I saw a H2 hummer with a sticker on the rear windshield that read "Call: (ohh) LORD-JESUS". I thought it was hilarious and took a pic - still have it on my phone. It seems like "trite" is a perfect way to describe it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:07 PM   #21
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It is true that no one can say "Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit." But are you sure you know what he meant when he said "say"? Did he mean, no one can speak the words except by the Holy Spirit? Or did he mean that no one can make the honest claim that Jesus is their Lord except where there is the actual indwelling of the Holy Spirit? We are used to the idea that people say things that are not true, yet here we somehow believe that no one is capable of saying those three words unless they are telling the truth and the Hoy Spirit is in them.

I suggest that this is an error in understanding. Paul was not saying there is a sure-fire way to prove that Jesus is someone's Lord by getting them to say three words. I cannot accept such a trite understanding of the passage. By it there has been evidence of serious unrighteousness undertaken by those who stopped periodically to say three words. If you are right, then the activities that were being undertaken could never have happened because the Spirit could not have been involved. Therefore they were not, at the time, under the Lordship of Jesus. Yet they said the words.

Out of the same fountain cannot come filth and purity.

And, like ground, where it suits the MOTAs, oversimplify beyond credulity.

Evangelical Christians might ask someone "is Jesus your Lord?" to discern whether they are saved or not. Some might ask "are you saved?" but this normally elicits insufficient responses. I once knew a man who asked almost everyone he came across "is Jesus your Lord and Savior?". I don't really see what is the difference here.

It would be easier for someone to fake by answering "yes" to a posed question than to demonstrate an active calling on the Lord's name. To ask someone "is Jesus your Lord" is like asking someone "can you drive a car?". But to call on the Lord's name is an actual demonstration that one can do it.

It's a spiritual reality that no demon possessed person can say that Jesus is Lord. It's as impossible for them as it is for an atheist to say "God is real", for in that moment they become an unbeliever to a believer.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:39 PM   #22
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Default Re: What is Today's Jerusalem for Christians - Part 2

I think it can be used to support Lee's claims by the following analysis.

If we understand "ground of the church" to be against the concept of denominationalism, then let us consider, is the conglomeration of denominations known as Christianity more like the earthly Jerusalem or the heavenly one?

I think Christianity is more like the earthly Jerusalem for one simple reason - Catholic and Protestant alike murdered true Christians over past centuries, just as earthly Jerusalem persecuted and still persecutes today, God's prophets and genuine believers.

Given the persecution of true Christians but the Catholics and then the Protestants in past centuries, we must conclude that Christendom is represented, in a prophetic sense, by earthly Jerusalem.

Then the heavenly Jerusalem is represented by the local churches. I think anyone would have difficulty in proving that the denominations are someone representing the Heavenly Jerusalem.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:00 PM   #23
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It is true that no one can say "Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit." But are you sure you know what he meant when he said "say"? Did he mean, no one can speak the words except by the Holy Spirit? Or did he mean that no one can make the honest claim that Jesus is their Lord except where there is the actual indwelling of the Holy Spirit? We are used to the idea that people say things that are not true, yet here we somehow believe that no one is capable of saying those three words unless they are telling the truth and the Hoy Spirit is in them.

I suggest that this is an error in understanding. Paul was not saying there is a sure-fire way to prove that Jesus is someone's Lord by getting them to say three words. I cannot accept such a trite understanding of the passage. By it there has been evidence of serious unrighteousness undertaken by those who stopped periodically to say three words. If you are right, then the activities that were being undertaken could never have happened because the Spirit could not have been involved. Therefore they were not, at the time, under the Lordship of Jesus. Yet they said the words.

Out of the same fountain cannot come filth and purity.
The context of 1 Cor 12 is "concerning spiritual gifts" (v 1), not a matter of salvation. Paul gives a simple test for discerning the spiritual source of a person excercising their spiritual gift of prophecy. The statement "Jesus is accursed" surely does not come from The Spirit, while the statement "Jesus is Lord" comes from The Spirit. Again, not a "salvation test".

Neither is 1 Cor 12:3 "The Test" for "worship in spirit and truth" according to its context. The word "worship" is not used here.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:01 PM   #24
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The context of 1 Cor 12 is "concerning spiritual gifts" (v 1), not a matter of salvation. Paul gives a simple test for discerning the spiritual source of a person excercising their spiritual gift of prophecy. The statement "Jesus is accursed" surely does not come from The Spirit, while the statement "Jesus is Lord" comes from The Spirit. Again, not a "salvation test".

Neither is 1 Cor 12:3 "The Test" for "worship in spirit and truth" according to its context. The word "worship" is not used here.
That may be the immediate context, but why would the test work for spiritual gifts but not for salvation, the greatest spiritual gift of all?

How is it possible for someone to pass the spiritual gift test yet fail the salvation test if it is all the same Spirit?
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:53 AM   #25
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1

Romans 10 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage...0&version=NASB) is a better series of verses for a test of salvation. And, calling on the Lord is part, but not all of it. Salvation involves hearing the word of the truth of God's righteousness from a gospel preacher (the word of faith the apostles preached, as Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans), confessing with your mouth "Jesus Lord" and believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.

I learned the hard way once that getting an unbeliever to say "Oh Lord Jesus" alone isn't enough. I coaxed (coerced is a better word ) an atheist to say the words "Oh Lord Jesus", and contrary to my local church training, he didn't get saved!!! I realized later that was because he said it, but didn't believe it. And, my presentation of the gospel was deficient as well.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:38 AM   #26
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I think it can be used to support Lee's claims by the following analysis.

If we understand "ground of the church" to be against the concept of denominationalism, then let us consider, is the conglomeration of denominations known as Christianity more like the earthly Jerusalem or the heavenly one?

I think Christianity is more like the earthly Jerusalem for one simple reason - Catholic and Protestant alike murdered true Christians over past centuries, just as earthly Jerusalem persecuted and still persecutes today, God's prophets and genuine believers.

Given the persecution of true Christians but the Catholics and then the Protestants in past centuries, we must conclude that Christendom is represented, in a prophetic sense, by earthly Jerusalem.


Then the heavenly Jerusalem is represented by the local churches. I think anyone would have difficulty in proving that the denominations are someone representing the Heavenly Jerusalem.
EV,

When I read the bullet points of my starting post and ask myself "are these all true of just the Christians in TLR, and not other Christians?", I have to say No. And, even Witness Lee would not have made that claim in his earlier days.

And, I don't recall you answering why "The Local Churches" denominated themselves by insisting on allegiance to The Living Stream Ministry, nor why those who stood up to challenge that are persecuted by the leaders of The Lords Recovery.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:47 AM   #27
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I think it can be used to support Lee's claims by the following analysis.

If we understand "ground of the church" to be against the concept of denominationalism, then let us consider, is the conglomeration of denominations known as Christianity more like the earthly Jerusalem or the heavenly one?

I think Christianity is more like the earthly Jerusalem for one simple reason - Catholic and Protestant alike murdered true Christians over past centuries, just as earthly Jerusalem persecuted and still persecutes today, God's prophets and genuine believers.

Given the persecution of true Christians but the Catholics and then the Protestants in past centuries, we must conclude that Christendom is represented, in a prophetic sense, by earthly Jerusalem.

Then the heavenly Jerusalem is represented by the local churches. I think anyone would have difficulty in proving that the denominations are someone representing the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Bro EvanG I've heard similar logic before. Comparing analogies between things of the spiritual realm with things of the physical realm, and tagging yours to the spiritual realm, is just a pitch for your preferred denomination.

I've heard similar pitches before, from saints wanting me to come back to the local church. I've told about them before. Five years later and they get nailed, for pretty much the same reasons as for why I got nailed.

One particular brother comes to mind, Stan. He was a good brother. I liked him. I ran into him at a gas pump. We greeted. He was friendly and nice. We shook hands.

Then he proceeded to tell me that the local church had changed. That it wasn't the same as it was when I was in. And he knew. He was one of the elders present in a private meeting with me, when the lead elder told me, "If you want to go on the the local church you have to take my personality as yours, and if you want to blow your nose you have to ask me which side first." So Stan knew up close and personal how bad it was when I was in.

Years later Stan called me about a computer. We spent time talking in his living room. There he apologized to me for his part in what the lead elder said and did. He's the only elder that ever apologized to me.

I like him, he's a good brother. Still, I didn't buy his local church pitch. And nothing personal -- I like you too -- but I don't buy yours either.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:01 AM   #28
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One particular brother comes to mind, Stan. He was a good brother. I liked him. I ran into him at a gas pump. We greeted. He was friendly and nice. We shook hands.

Then he proceeded to tell me that the local church had changed. That it wasn't the same as it was when I was in. And he knew. He was one of the elders present in a private meeting with me, when the lead elder told me, "If you want to go on the the local church you have to take my personality as yours, and if you want to blow your nose you have to ask me which side first." So Stan knew up close and personal how bad it was when I was in.

Years later Stan called me about a computer. We spent time talking in his living room. There he apologized to me for his part in what the lead elder said and did. He's the only elder that ever apologized to me.

I like him, he's a good brother. Still, I didn't buy his local church pitch. And nothing personal -- I like you too -- but I don't buy yours either.
I know Stan too. And this story of Stan and Mel P. highlights for me what the LC was all about.

Like many others I knew, the brothers and sisters were heavenly Jerusalem, born of promise like Isaac, sons of God thru faith in Christ Jesus. They were looking for a better country like father Abraham. They lived in freedom, they loved the Lord, His word, and His family.

There was also another spirit in the Recovery, a spirit of bondage, an evil spirit which infected mostly the leadership. These ones were earthly Jerusalem, born of Hagar the maidservant, living according to the law, leading the LC's into legalism, and persecuting those under grace. These ones exalted man, and dishonored God. They are no different than the fleshly Judaizers who hated Paul, who rightly called them dogs and evil workers.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:21 AM   #29
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I know Stan too. And this story of Stan and Mel P. highlights for me what the LC was all about.

Like many others I knew, the brothers and sisters were heavenly Jerusalem, born of promise like Isaac, sons of God thru faith in Christ Jesus. They were looking for a better country like father Abraham. They lived in freedom, they loved the Lord, His word, and His family.

There was also another spirit in the Recovery, a spirit of bondage, an evil spirit which infected mostly the leadership. These ones were earthly Jerusalem, born of Hagar the maidservant, living according to the law, leading the LC's into legalism, and persecuting those under grace. These ones exalted man, and dishonored God. They are no different than the fleshly Judaizers who hated Paul, who rightly called them dogs and evil workers.
Amen brother Ohio.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:15 PM   #30
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I think it can be used to support Lee's claims by the following analysis.

If we understand "ground of the church" to be against the concept of denominationalism, then let us consider, is the conglomeration of denominations known as Christianity more like the earthly Jerusalem or the heavenly one?
Did you just say that if you understand that red is blue, then the conglomeration of peanut butter with jelly is more like the earthly Jerusalem?

You think that is silly?

Well, just starting with a bald, unsubstantiated "understanding" that "the ground of the church" actually exists in any form similar or dissimilar to what Lee taught about it is a presumption that you are unable to establish as a sound understanding other than as a possible maybe.

If you can get past that, then you have some basis to at least entertain the next step. But as of today, this has never been established as anything more than an opinion based upon selective observations of positive references (without the slightest hint of doctrinal or prescriptive meaning) and the exclusion of all negative observations.

You've got a long way to go to be able to just say "if we understand" anything about the "ground of the church" as Lee taught it.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:03 PM   #31
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Did you just say that if you understand that red is blue, then the conglomeration of peanut butter with jelly is more like the earthly Jerusalem?

You think that is silly?

Well, just starting with a bald, unsubstantiated "understanding" that "the ground of the church" actually exists in any form similar or dissimilar to what Lee taught about it is a presumption that you are unable to establish as a sound understanding other than as a possible maybe.

If you can get past that, then you have some basis to at least entertain the next step. But as of today, this has never been established as anything more than an opinion based upon selective observations of positive references (without the slightest hint of doctrinal or prescriptive meaning) and the exclusion of all negative observations.

You've got a long way to go to be able to just say "if we understand" anything about the "ground of the church" as Lee taught it.
My analysis was very simple, even logical.

The earthly Jerusalem persecuted the true church.
Catholic and Protestant denominations persecuted the true church.

Therefore they are the earthly Jerusalem. Those who stand against denominationalism are the heavenly Jerusalem.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:06 PM   #32
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EV,

When I read the bullet points of my starting post and ask myself "are these all true of just the Christians in TLR, and not other Christians?", I have to say No. And, even Witness Lee would not have made that claim in his earlier days.

And, I don't recall you answering why "The Local Churches" denominated themselves by insisting on allegiance to The Living Stream Ministry, nor why those who stood up to challenge that are persecuted by the leaders of The Lords Recovery.
If ground of the church means all genuine believers in the city, which it does.
And if the earthly Jerusalem is represented by organizations of man which persecute genuine believers.
Then I think all the genuine believers in the city are the heavenly Jerusalem.
To my knowledge only the local churches are standing for all the genuine believers in the city.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:34 PM   #33
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My analysis was very simple, even logical.

The earthly Jerusalem persecuted the true church.
Catholic and Protestant denominations persecuted the true church.

Therefore they are the earthly Jerusalem. Those who stand against denominationalism are the heavenly Jerusalem.
No, those who walk by the Spirit are the heavenly Jerusalem.

Your logic here is the same twisted Lee-logic I learned for decades.

In my lifetime I have seen more persecution coming from Anaheim than any other denomination. They file lawsuits, libel and slander the true believers, back bite and back stab for base gain and for love of filthy lucre.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:42 PM   #34
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No, those who walk by the Spirit are the heavenly Jerusalem.

Your logic here is the same twisted Lee-logic I learned for decades.

In my lifetime I have seen more persecution coming from Anaheim than any other denomination. They file lawsuits, libel and slander the true believers, back bite and back stab for base gain and for love of filthy lucre.
The LCM is only persecuted in the sense that they suffer from a persecution complex. And it really is sad and shameful they way that they treat everyone else in attempt to rationalize their movement.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:18 PM   #35
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I would say that these verses in John 4 cannot define what is "in spirit and in truth," therefore they cannot support Lee's position. They are insufficient for the purpose of defining what is the meaning of the terms. That does not make the terms undefined or uncertain. But these verses provide no insight into what they mean...
So, OBW:

You talked about "spirit", but not truth, the other aspect of today's Jerusalem for Christians.

I'm not fully satisfied with your analysis regarding "spirit" as I still subscribe mostly to Mary E McDonough, Nee, Lee (and others like Major Ian Thomas) "tripartite man" exposition, but have learned the importance of the mind and other parts of soul and heart in engaging with God, man, and other Christians.

I'm pretty sure I've seen Lee's tripartite man explanation discussed elsewhere on these boards. So, I don't want to chase that very interesting topic on this thread.

I haven't seen discussion on other things the Lord Jesus said to the woman at the well, and how she responded that may give us clues about what is and isn't in spirit and truth. Like Jesus telling her the man she was living with wasn't her husband and her 5 husbands, and her confessing that Jesus told her all the things she had done (confessing sin). Or that she confessed Jesus is the Christ to her city.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:44 PM   #36
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Did you just say that if you understand that red is blue, then the conglomeration of peanut butter with jelly is more like the earthly Jerusalem?

You think that is silly?

Well, just starting with a bald, unsubstantiated "understanding" that "the ground of the church" actually exists in any form similar or dissimilar to what Lee taught about it is a presumption that you are unable to establish as a sound understanding other than as a possible maybe.

If you can get past that, then you have some basis to at least entertain the next step. But as of today, this has never been established as anything more than an opinion based upon selective observations of positive references (without the slightest hint of doctrinal or prescriptive meaning) and the exclusion of all negative observations.

You've got a long way to go to be able to just say "if we understand" anything about the "ground of the church" as Lee taught it.
The ground of the church is this:
"We stand on the ground of the oneness of all believers in each locality"

That's how Lee taught it.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:19 AM   #37
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That's how Lee taught it.
That's not how Lee practiced it.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:28 AM   #38
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The ground of the church is this:
"We stand on the ground of the oneness of all believers in each locality"

That's how Lee taught it.
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That's not how Lee practiced it.
That's right.

We bought into many of Lee's noble and lofty teachings.

Then we learned that they were a ruse for what he really practiced.

Now we are here on this forum telling folks like Evan Gee the truth about him.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:18 PM   #39
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That's not how Lee practiced it.
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That's right.

We bought into many of Lee's noble and lofty teachings.

Then we learned that they were a ruse for what he really practiced.

Now we are here on this forum telling folks like Evan Gee the truth about him.
We're trying. But I think Evan Gee is going to have to find out for his own personal self. It will happen ... we know the history, it's not changed, so it's coming for our dear brother Evan Gee. Eventually.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:52 AM   #40
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So, OBW:

You talked about "spirit", but not truth, the other aspect of today's Jerusalem for Christians.

I'm not fully satisfied with your analysis regarding "spirit" as I still subscribe mostly to Mary E McDonough, Nee, Lee (and others like Major Ian Thomas) "tripartite man" exposition, but have learned the importance of the mind and other parts of soul and heart in engaging with God, man, and other Christians.

I'm pretty sure I've seen Lee's tripartite man explanation discussed elsewhere on these boards. So, I don't want to chase that very interesting topic on this thread.

I haven't seen discussion on other things the Lord Jesus said to the woman at the well, and how she responded that may give us clues about what is and isn't in spirit and truth. Like Jesus telling her the man she was living with wasn't her husband and her 5 husbands, and her confessing that Jesus told her all the things she had done (confessing sin). Or that she confessed Jesus is the Christ to her city.
What you think about the tripartite man is not really relevant. It isn't discussed here, so has no bearing on the subject.

As for "truth," you note a few true things that were said, but that does not define truth. It doesn't even really define the nature of truth other than to note that it is true.

Within the context of the scripture, truth would generally be understood as aligning with the nature of God, the author of truth, rather than the evil one who is the author of deception and lies. While it is not defined within the context of John 4, it is not a difficult topic. It would include discreet items that are true, but mostly is to be understood as a state of being. So "truth" would be more about the nature of the worshipers as those who live lives of truth and not falsehood.

While this does not refute Lee, neither does it agree with him. It provides no basis of support for his teachings that I can find.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:02 AM   #41
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My analysis was very simple, even logical.

The earthly Jerusalem persecuted the true church.
Catholic and Protestant denominations persecuted the true church.

Therefore they are the earthly Jerusalem. Those who stand against denominationalism are the heavenly Jerusalem.
So you would make the church in Jerusalem into a metaphor for denominations. But the scripture makes no such metaphorical rendition related to Jerusalem.

If that is the case, then why did Paul come to them to ask for a decision about the issue? Why did he accept their conclusion as reasonable and to be followed?

If is more reasonable to understand Jerusalem relative to the Gentile churches much as Revelation describes the differing churches in Asia. Jerusalem was a church that was not perfect. In fact, whether at the behest of James or just using his name in vain, some went out to the Gentile churches to upset the spiritual apple-carts there. But what is not seen in the seven letters is what those churches do about their conditions. Jerusalem, a church that is just as genuine and true a church as any of the Gentile churches, took the complaint put to them to heart and made a change. But there is nothing to make them less than genuine or true as a church if they had not. Just as Thyatira was not an "untrue" church. Otherwise there would be no letter to them.

The rhetoric of exclusivity within the body of Christ that comes from the camp of those who follow the teachings of Nee and Lee is quite amazing.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:51 PM   #42
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So you would make the church in Jerusalem into a metaphor for denominations. But the scripture makes no such metaphorical rendition related to Jerusalem.

If that is the case, then why did Paul come to them to ask for a decision about the issue? Why did he accept their conclusion as reasonable and to be followed?
Not really - the church in Jerusalem would be a metaphor for the heavenly Jerusalem.

The Jews etc that Paul was part of before his conversion, would be the earthly Jerusalem that persecuted the church in Jerusalem. Remember, Saul persecuted the Christians, before converting to Paul.

Later on the Roman Catholic church became the persecutors of the church in Jerusalem with the Crusades and also the Jews, the people of God.

The church in Jerusalem was subject to Catholic invaders killing Jews, Muslims and Christians alike.

So Catholicism was functioning like earthly Jerusalem, just like Saul, a member of earthly Jerusalem, persecuted the Christians before.

Then came Lutheranism and Anglicanism which also persecuted the genuine believers and also the Jews, the genuine people of God. Then they were functioning like earthly Jerusalem. Luther once wrote that Jewish houses should be destroyed.

In short, Jews and genuine believers have been persecuted by European "Christians", identifying themselves with Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican etc since medieval times.


Persecution of England's Jews could be brutal; recorded are deadly massacres at London[9] and York[10] during the crusades in 1189 and 1190.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor..._and_expulsion
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:25 AM   #43
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What is “Jerusalem” for today’s Christians?- Part 3
This discussion is for those already familiar with “The Lords Recovery” and Witness Lee’s (and “the Blended Brothers”) preaching and teaching that todays’ Christian equivalent of the Jews’ “Jerusalem”, and of “Mount Zion with the Temple of God” in particular, the God-ordained place that Christians should gather and worship God, and Lee’s view that it is in “the local churches”. This is “Part 3” because to keep it shorter, I’m referencing each New Testament reference for an equivalent of Jerusalem for Christians one verse at a time. The third second such reference is when the writer of Hebrews in Chapter 12:18-25 (http://biblehub.com/context/hebrews/12-1.htm) says (New American Standard Bible) believers of Jesus “have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and the blast of a trumpet and the sounds of words that terrify and threaten death. But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”
The writers’ exhortations before and after these verses should also be read as they offer context and instruction regarding proper response to what the writer is saying.
From these verses we see that today’s Mount Zion and Jerusalem is:
• Not a terrifying and threatening place like the mountain on which the Old Testament law was given
• A place that we have come to
• The city of the living God
• The heavenly Jerusalem
• A place with myriads of angels
• The general assembly of the church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven
• God, the Judge of all is there
• The spirits of the righteous made perfect are there
• Jesus the mediator of a new covenant is there
• Sprinkled blood which speaks better than of Abel is three
As with Parts 1 and 2 of this discussion, I note there is no particular reference to “local churches, or “the ground of oneness”. I also note that once again this Jerusalem is above (heavenly, not on earth) and is a given thing to all of Jesus’ believers with only the exhortations that precede and follow it.
So, for our discussion then:
Can we use Hebrews 12 to support Lee’s claims?
Can we use Hebrews 12 to refute Lee’s claims?
My notes make evident where I stand (refutes Lee’s claims). But, I want to hear from you. Maybe I’m missing something here.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:40 AM   #44
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians- Part 1 & 2

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What is “Jerusalem” for today’s Christians?- Part 3
The NT has nothing desirable to say about the earthly city Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus never had a positive experience there, nor did He ever recommend the place for His disciples. Rather as they admired the temple, Jesus declared every stone would be torn down. The same could be said for the apostles. Except for Paul's desire to assist the poor saints in Jerusalem, there is not even the suggestion in the NT that we should look to Jerusalem for anything related to our salvation. Paul in Galatians likened Jerusalem to Hagar, who birthed slaves like unto Ishmael, which teachings btw did not go over very well with the Judaizers.

On the contrary, the writers of the NT continually pointed us to a heavenly Jerusalem, whose Architect and Builder is God. Jerusalem above is free, who is our mother, and is our destination as believing children of God, born of promise, like Isaac.

WN and WL used dispensational remnant theology passed down from John Darby and the Exclusives to provide their own movements with special status in the kingdom of God. Their justification was never the plain words of scripture, but OT typology, using the return from Babylon captivity as their proof text. This body of teaching in effect established two classes of believers, one in Babylon and one in Jerusalem, the so-called "proper" ground.

These teachings, wildly sold throughout exclusive circles, thus brought us back to the same earthly realm which Jesus confronted in John 4 with the Samaritan woman. The fruit of this teaching always produces Laodicea, one of arrogant pride, with her adherents thinking they are now special because of their status, i.e. where they assemble, what "truths" they espouse, or their connection with some ministry.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:23 PM   #45
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Well said, Ohio.

I had forgotten about the dependence upon OT type of captives returning to Jerusalem that underpinned TLR's teaching on this topic (and didn't know it came from Exclusive Brethren).
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:42 PM   #46
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What is “Jerusalem” for today’s Christians?- Part 4
This discussion is for those already familiar with “The Lords Recovery” and Witness Lee’s (and “the Blended Brothers”) preaching and teaching that todays’ Christian equivalent of the Jews’ “Jerusalem”, and of “Mount Zion with the Temple of God” in particular, the God-ordained place that Christians should gather and worship God, and Lee’s view that it is in “the local churches”. This is “Part 4 (only one more after this) because to keep it shorter, I’m referencing each New Testament reference for an equivalent of Jerusalem for Christians one verse at a time. The fourth such reference is when the apostle John is writing to the angel (Recovery Version says “messenger”) of the church in Philadelphia in Revelation Chapter 3:12-13 (New American Standard Version): http://biblehub.com/nasb/revelation/3.htm
“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

From these verses we see that for “he who overcomes” the Lord Jesus will:
• Make him a pillar in the temple of His God, and he will not go out from it any more
• Write on him the name of His God, and the name of the city of His God, the new Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven from His God
• Write on him His new name.

So, for our discussion then:
Can we use Revelation 3 to support Lee’s claims?
Can we use Revelation 3 to refute Lee’s claims?

I note that Lee, like several other Christian leaders taught that his group (TLR) was “the church in Philadelphia”. And, he liked to talk about how these letters were written to seven local churches in Asia. So, one should be in the local churches to properly hear what the Spirit is speaking. But, he also said some of these seven churches represent various parts of “Apostate Christianity”. So, that’s an interesting contradiction. And, aren’t these promises to individuals who overcome, versus a church group?

Finally, I note that the fifth and last New Testament verses that speak of a Jerusalem for Christians are also on the New Jerusalem (when it comes down out of heaven like a bride adorned for her husband). That will be the last installment in this series.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:35 PM   #47
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Default Re: Today's Jerusalem for Christians

Recapping Parts 1-4:

Today's Jerusalem for Christians is:
• Worshipping the Father in spirit and truth
• Above
• Free
• Our mother
• Not a terrifying and threatening place like the mountain on which the Old Testament law was given
• A place that we have come to
• The city of the living God
• The heavenly Jerusalem
• A place with myriads of angels
• The general assembly of the church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven
• God, the Judge of all is there
• The spirits of the righteous made perfect are there
• Jesus the mediator of a new covenant is there
• Sprinkled blood which speaks better than of Abel is there

And we see that the Christian brethren are:
• Like Issac
• Cause our “barren mother” to rejoice, break forth and shout, for her children are more numerous than the children of the earthly Jerusalem
• Children of promise
• Born according to the Spirit
• Persecuted by those born according to the flesh (law keepers)
• Charged to cast out the earthly Jerusalem and “her son” (earthly Jerusalem and its law keepers)
• Heirs with the son of the free woman (Heirs with Christ, my interpretation)
• Children of the free woman (Children of the Jerusalem which is above)

And we also see that for “he who overcomes” the Lord Jesus will:
• Make him a pillar in the temple of His God, and he will not go out from it any more
• Write on him the name of His God, and the name of the city of His God, the new Jerusalem which comes down out of heaven from His God
• Write on him His new name.

For me, I haven't seen enough evidence to correlate these to just TLR. Rather it appears to be a gift to all Christians through being "brothers" that we need to appreciate and enjoy in order to be "he who overcomes", regardless of our church affiliation.

The New Jerusalem coming down from heaven as a bride adorned for her husband in Revelation 21 is the topper in this series later.
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