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Old 12-28-2014, 08:54 PM   #1
immuno_oncology
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Hi All, I just joined today and this is the first thread that I came across. I will go through the introduction threads too.
Briefly about myself: I got saved 3 years ago and entered the "church life" here in Southern California 9 months ago with my wife, who was born and raised in the "denominations." I started to seek help and answers from the internet (despite being told not to) when my marriage started to suffer, because I had 4-5 meetings per week while I left my wife at home (she attended a different church) and things reached a climax when I attended the winter training this week after my wife seriously voiced her concerns about my negligence. It's encouraging to see you all share your experiences of the LC and even offer advice and hope to those who are on their way out. I told my wife that I probably need to have a long fellowship with the Lord before joining any "churches," because even though I've only been in the LC for 9 months, I received an intense dose of it as a new and zealous young believer. I was so drawn to the ministry at first because they seemingly had a higher truth and teachings that no other churches had. I would like to list a few of them here and ask you all for advice on what to throw out.

1. Should I throw out the recovery version (with footnotes) of the OT and NT? What version of the bible did you use before the recovery version was introduced? What do you use now?

2. I have to admit that I was so drawn to the footnotes/interpretations of the pictures in the Bible, such as Adam and Eve (Adam being Christ and Eve being the church), Noah's ark being the Body of Christ so that all believers are saved, being perfected and becoming overcomers in the millennial kingdom while non-perfected Christians will be in outer darkness, etcetc. Do you all still see the truth in this?

3. The concept of "God's eternal economy is for the building of his dwelling place which will consummate in the New Jerusalem" has been wrought into my soul. For the past few months, all I think about everyday is Christ and His Body and nothing else. Are you still under the rulership of this particular heavenly vision of God's economy?

4. Tripartite man - I was taught that understanding the spirit is the key to everything. Do you guys still "turn to your spirits" and reject the self in order to express Christ, Christ and Christ only? As an example, I was frequently taught that human improvements don't matter because only Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality, so all we need to do is "call on the name of the Lord and turn to our spirits!" I was also told that before we were saved, the soul is our person and the spirit is an organ. But after we're saved, the spirit is our person and the soul is our organ, for the purpose of expressing the spirit (Christ).

4. How do you guys pray after leaving the LC? Do you pray to the Lord Jesus or the Father in Heaven? Do you amen after every phrase when someone else is praying?

As you can see from my questions, all of the above is still so fresh and vivid in my mind (soul?). In my experience, I met some of the most devoted Christians in my life in the past few months in the LC. They were so serious about the Bible, so welcoming and loving to my wife and me and certainly took care of us. The brothers and sisters that I've encountered absolutely love the Lord and have a strong grasp of biblical knowledge and of course, LSM knowledge. As my marriage started to suffer in recent months, I finally begin to see that there is a powerful and organized system behind the LC and it is the system that I'm against. In a prayer with the Lord 3 nights ago, He somehow gave me the intuition to google the following: "Witness Lee's son." By the Lord's grace and mercy, I was taken to this forum as well as others. Unlike many of you, I haven't been exposed to the dirt of the higher ups in the LSM/LC system so I can't speak about that (I have been reading a lot to catch up; the Daystar tragedy and the 1978 transcript that was posted on Youtube was interesting). I sincerely look forward to having more fellowship with you all.


-Immuno_oncology
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:22 AM   #2
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Hi All, I just joined today and this is the first thread that I came across. I will go through the introduction threads too...
Dear Immuno_oncology,

Welcome. I was both sad and encouraged while reading your post. Sad that your marriage has suffered, but happy and encouraged that you have the courage and presence of mind to be asking these questions after less than a year in the Recovery*.

There's so much I could say, I could write a term paper (or two). I will try to keep this relatively concise. I write from my own experience.

I grew up in "the Lord's Recovery" and left while in my twenties. My family was simply ripped apart. And when I say this, I don't just mean that there were differences of opinion that came between us. (If only it were that simple!) What I mean to say is that there were some active and direct manipulations, for many years, in ways too personal to share on an internet forum. Suffice it to say that in an environment where things such as authority, submission, people feeling somehow "trapped," and a code of silence are as important as these things are in the Lord's Recovery...there is room for all kinds of funny business. And there is plenty of funny business there.

I'm a little bold to say these things, not only because I've seen similar dynamics play out in other families within my own locality, but also because I'm aware of similar things in other parts of the US as well. (Can't speak to anything outside the US.) I'm aware of at least a couple of "church kids" who have struggled with serious, prolonged mental health "issues," including schizophrenia. Even this, I'm a little bold to say because other posters have testified of similar things, here on the forum over the last few months. One poster recently recalled hearing that there is an "epidemic of mental illness" in the Lord's recovery (post here). And an announcement has been made publicly at a biannual training that saints with psychological problems should not apply to the FTTA (see related post here). While that announcement is probably wise, I feel that it probably would not have been made unless there had been more than a few such cases, already.

I will stop here. You are absolutely correct that there are so many genuine people in the Recovery. And I've seen some of the most genuine people in the world leave the group in a state of confusion. Sometimes people cycle in and out of the group for years. So many stories.

Best regards,
rayliotta

*I capitalize the word "Recovery" because this is how they often write it. Sometimes, of course, it's in a title where most words are capitalized. But they frequently capitalize it in conference announcements, as well. (Google the words, "international chinese speaking conference lord's recovery" for an example.) I feel it's worth noting, given how much they criticize "the denominations" for "taking a name." If a letter written -- "To: All the churches in the Lord's Recovery" -- is not written to a specific organization, or denomination, called "the Lord's Recovery" -- then what, really, do those words mean?
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:37 AM   #3
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I would like to list a few of them here and ask you all for advice on what to throw out.
Welcome immuno_oncology!

Now I've seen quite a few monikers in my day, but you have just won the award for most unique!

What to throw out? Good question!

The Lord Jesus told the disciples one day, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees." They, of course, thought He was talking about bad bread. Instead He gave them good advice "on what to throw out." Many who have left the Recovery have thrown everything out, sadly, including even their faith in the Lord himself. Please don't do that. In the medical profession, perhaps you?, they encourage the patient to get a second opinion. Good idea!

I Thess 5.21 says to "test everything or prove all things, and keep or hold on to what is good." I have used this scriptural advice to weigh the teachings and practices of LSM. In other words, test for "leaven" and discard it. For example, since I am very familiar with my well worn Recovery versions, I would never throw them away. I refer to many footnotes which provide helpful information, but when these footnotes start looking like excerpts from some WL message, then I avoid them. When I visit with other Christians, however, I will normally use a different version to avoid controversies. I actually believe that the use of multiple versions (only the good ones, of course) is beneficial for us to know God's word.

The Recovery obsesses with their doctrinal knowledge. But how much do we need? I love to discover underlying riches in the word, but passing on second-hand trivia offers little personal excitement. It can be a little "fresher" in the beginning, but over time staleness gripped all of us. I faced the question regularly, "what do I do with this stuff?" There was only like 5 or 10 minutes a week where I could speak this stuff in the meeting. I had become thoroughly versed in the recondites, yet lacking in the very basics of Christian communication.

Do I "call on the Lord?" Yes I do, but not for show, and not without a believing heart. Do I "deny myself?" Yes, of course, what husband does not. Do I endorse the "three parts of man theory?" Not really, because that teaching has so many holes in it. (to be continued ...)
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:04 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by immuno_oncology View Post
1. Should I throw out the recovery version (with footnotes) of the OT and NT? What version of the bible did you use before the recovery version was introduced? What do you use now?
Personally, I would toss it. Mostly because of the footnotes. There are many good ones. But too much leaven mixed in.

They used to use the NASB (mid 70s and up to the RecV). I don't know before 1973. I now use the NIV mostly, with references to others at times, including very different translations just to break away from the same words that cause me to quit thinking.

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2. I have to admit that I was so drawn to the footnotes/interpretations of the pictures in the Bible, such as Adam and Eve (Adam being Christ and Eve being the church), Noah's ark being the Body of Christ so that all believers are saved, being perfected and becoming overcomers in the millennial kingdom while non-perfected Christians will be in outer darkness, etcetc. Do you all still see the truth in this?
There are pictures in the Bible. But everything is not a picture. And many of the pictures that are do not align with Lee's version of what they are.

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3. The concept of "God's eternal economy is for the building of his dwelling place which will consummate in the New Jerusalem" has been wrought into my soul. For the past few months, all I think about everyday is Christ and His Body and nothing else. Are you still under the rulership of this particular heavenly vision of God's economy?
This concept is a mixture of the truth of the term and an overlay devised to rule other scripture. We have seen from reviewing past messages by Lee that he brought up "God's economy" as the basis for dismissing portions of the Bible. Most notably James and much of the Psalms. But even Lee declares that certain commands of Jesus are null and void because of "God's economy." That should have sent Lee packing long before he made it to MOTA.

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4. Tripartite man - I was taught that understanding the spirit is the key to everything. Do you guys still "turn to your spirits" and reject the self in order to express Christ, Christ and Christ only? As an example, I was frequently taught that human improvements don't matter because only Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality, so all we need to do is "call on the name of the Lord and turn to our spirits!" I was also told that before we were saved, the soul is our person and the spirit is an organ. But after we're saved, the spirit is our person and the soul is our organ, for the purpose of expressing the spirit (Christ).
Man has a body, soul and spirit. But it is not so well divided as Nee and Lee taught. Even Nee's verses supporting his definitions of what is the human spirit point so strongly at the soul (mind, emotion, and will) as to make the spirit more like an aspect of the soul than some separate "organ."

I need to move on now, but will return to this later.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:24 AM   #5
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2. I have to admit that I was so drawn to the footnotes/interpretations of the pictures in the Bible, such as Adam and Eve (Adam being Christ and Eve being the church), Noah's ark being the Body of Christ so that all believers are saved, being perfected and becoming overcomers in the millennial kingdom while non-perfected Christians will be in outer darkness, etcetc. Do you all still see the truth in this?

3. The concept of "God's eternal economy is for the building of his dwelling place which will consummate in the New Jerusalem" has been wrought into my soul. For the past few months, all I think about everyday is Christ and His Body and nothing else. Are you still under the rulership of this particular heavenly vision of God's economy?
There is of course a lot to say. Forgive me for being brief. My own experience of #2 is that it is something added to the understanding of the Bible which makes it especially alluring to the believers. What initially gets us is that if we believe into Jesus Christ, then our sins are forgiven, we get eternal life, we get the promise of future glory, intimacy with the Father in heaven through His Holy Spirit.

Then, the Local Church adds "The Body of Christ". You now are in a special group, and identification with this group makes you special, even more special than "mere Christianity". Christianity is divided, fallen, hopeless, but now this super special group of Christians has been raised up which fully expresses and represents Jesus Christ on Earth. So it is like a blessing upon the initial blessing of salvation.

But your attention will be turned to this "second blessing", to the detriment of the first. You will attempt to be "one with the brothers" and "one with the ministry" even if your conscience is somewhat repressed. Remember that the voice from the podium is loud, and the crowd around you yells "Amen!!", and the still, small voice within is easily overlooked. If your wife is suffering, the wife God gave you, what is God telling you? To ignore her and focus on "The Body"?

#3 Again see "Christ and His Body" instead of Christ. The Assembly (Gk: "ekklesia") arguably is about Jesus Christ the sent One, bringing us back to our Father in Heaven. But if you go to the LSM meetings the focus turns to "The Body". See how they get you to shift your focus?

The irony for me, is that if "The Body" was really what God was after, why did these reformers leave the parent church in the first place, to start their own? Shouldn't they have toughed it out in "Degraded Christianity" if God was really after one expression? Why start a "New and Pure" move? Arguably John the Apostle on Patmos had an excuse to do that. The Asian Churches were a mess. Probably Jerusalem and Rome weren't much better if at all. But John "toughed it out". He stuck with the believers God gave him.

Yet people like Nee couldn't do that. But Nee's followers want us to stick with them, even when our families suffer. Why? For "the Body"? Where did that come from? Did "the Body" not exist prior to mainland China, circa 1923? It seems so, to hear them.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:16 AM   #6
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Before I pick back up on my previous thoughts, let me interject something in concert with what aron wrote.

The body of Christ is a very real thing. It is the church — all of if. But the body of Christ was something smaller than the whole church in Lee's theology. He may get every Christian into it by the time of the new Jerusalem. But he preached an exclusive, less-than-all body prior to that point in time (actually when time is no more). This is one of the clearer manipulations of the meaning of the various terms found in scripture. It is so clear that all who call Jesus their Lord are members of the body, yet Lee excluded the vast majority of the body because they did not follow him and send their donations to his coffers and buy his, and only his books.

And further, what Lee thought of the subset of the body that he claimed was the whole is further distorted when it is insisted that it be "identical" to every way. According to his teaching, there could be no need of the differentiated gifts received from the Holy Spirit. He would never say it that way, but if they are derided for having any kind of ministry of kindness to other than the "saints" (meaning those in his group) in need, then where is the compassion? Where is the love for neighbor as self?

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3. The concept of "God's eternal economy is for the building of his dwelling place which will consummate in the New Jerusalem" has been wrought into my soul. For the past few months, all I think about everyday is Christ and His Body and nothing else. Are you still under the rulership of this particular heavenly vision of God's economy?
I return briefly to this item to state that Lee's understanding of the thing that is the vastness of "God's economy" is not a heavenly vision. It is a corruption through the exclusion of so much of what it should (and actually does) contain, and is also used as the excuse to set aside even the words of Jesus. After the resurrection, When salvation was fully accomplished, Jesus told the disciples to disciple others, baptize them, and to "teach them to obey all that I have commanded you." Yet declaring that obedience to the law was a more stringent thing that what the teachers of the law say was set aside as "fulfilled, therefore not applicable." And in Matthew 5, Jesus said that anyone who taught less than the whole law of righteousness was least in the kingdom of heaven. Yet Lee would use "God's economy" as both the reason and the way to avoid strict adherence to the righteous law.

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4. Tripartite man - I was taught that understanding the spirit is the key to everything. Do you guys still "turn to your spirits" and reject the self in order to express Christ, Christ and Christ only? As an example, I was frequently taught that human improvements don't matter because only Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality, so all we need to do is "call on the name of the Lord and turn to our spirits!" I was also told that before we were saved, the soul is our person and the spirit is an organ. But after we're saved, the spirit is our person and the soul is our organ, for the purpose of expressing the spirit (Christ).
I have discovered that the "parts of man" are not the source of anything good. Even the so-called spirit of man is not the source. It may be the connection, or at least the initial ground of entry. Buy if I spend my time thinking about my spirit rather than the one who lives in it, then I have created yet another idol. It is a little like praising and singing to the thermos for carrying the water that you need to drink to survive.

My younger son is a runner, camper, hiker, and mountain climber. He drinks lots of water. He has some rather serious water containers. Nothing that will break easily if it bangs against a rock wall. But if one breaks, he just gets another one. The thermos is for the water. He does not cherish his thermos. But he needs what it carries. His only concern is not that the thermos is there, but that it is full of water.

And this "spirit is our person" notion sounds great. It seems lofty. But where does it come from? Man, as created, was to bear the image of God. The image of God is not a genie in a bottle, but the righteousness of God lived out in our practical living. And practical living is on the street, in the office, in the home, in the marketplace. And we are commanded to live righteously in this, not to get spiritual, and get enough dispensing (Lee's basic economy — not God's).

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How do you guys pray after leaving the LC? Do you pray to the Lord Jesus or the Father in Heaven? Do you amen after every phrase when someone else is praying?
I pray. Having an amen that I cannot control is not spiritual. Just as Paul spoke about the spirit of the prophet, the same is true of the spirit of all of us. It is subject to us. And constant amen-ing is rather disruptive, creating the very three-ring circus atmosphere that Paul spoke against in 1 Cor 14.

While I have no particular problem with prayer to all three of the Godhead, Jesus defined prayer as to the Father. He spelled-out several aspects of prayer. Reverence to the Father. Prayer for the kingdom. Prayer for our needs. Prayers of repentance and of strength to forgive others. Prayers for removal of temptations. And he began his prayers with "Our Father . . . ."

Do Paul's prayers, to the extent that the opening address is given in such a manner provide a different "formula"? I really don't think so. In some cases it is clear that what he gives as a prayer does not have all the "parts" as given by Jesus. But do they provide us with a different way? Or just a way to deal with parts of the whole without all the other parts?

. . . .

In some cases, my concern with some of the things that you have listed is not that they are bad or wrong, but that they are mired in a system of error.

That man has a spirit is sound, real, and important. But once it becomes the center of our search for God — the thing that we turn to — then we do not understand the purpose of our spirit.

How we pray is not as important as some make it out to be. But the examples that we are given stand in stark contrast to the ways that prayer is pushed and practiced in the "Local Churches." And when they speak of prayer, they effectively denigrate those who actually pray according to the patterns provided in the Bible. They would much rather lift up their voice and be proud of their way than bow in humility and beat their chest over their shortcomings. And we all have shortcomings.

Last, the word of God is the word of God, not the notes of any man, whether Darby, Scofield, or Lee. If you are willing to give all writers equal standing for consideration, then I might suggest that Lee could be among them. But his own declarations and actions make anything he says or does unworthy of being in the Christian square for consideration. If you can open your mind and eyes to what others have to say, then you might see how bankrupt Lee's writings are. Given that bankruptcy, I would instead suggest that once you see some of the problems, it will be better to toss it all aside and then discover from other sources what is true and note that Lee did have some truth in there. But he is not trustworthy as a primary source of truth.
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Old 12-29-2014, 10:14 AM   #7
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4. Tripartite man - I was taught that understanding the spirit is the key to everything. Do you guys still "turn to your spirits" and reject the self in order to express Christ, Christ and Christ only? As an example, I was frequently taught that human improvements don't matter because only Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality, so all we need to do is "call on the name of the Lord and turn to our spirits!"
We now have 40-50 years of Lee's teachings and practices in order to examine their true value. Years age I was totally sold out in the program, thinking that we had designed a "better mousetrap," and all the world would soon recognize the value. (That is, after we had successfully sued all of our detractors, even taking them to the highest court in the land.)

Our record of divorce and broken homes is worse than either that of the unbelievers or the Christians. The number of second generation church kids that want nothing to do with the Lord is staggering. The decline in attendance in the LC's is worse than any of the community churches. Sure LSM can talk up a good story, but these are the statistics that they never want to consider. Ask about how many FTT grads have left the LC's.

You could not believe how many LC saints go to James Dobson for raising children or Joyce Meyer especially for the sisters. Why? Because they have a real ministry that helps people. I heard Blended Ed Marks call all these "self help" teachers as merely "chicken soup for the soul." I could go to ITERO leaders' trainings every day for the rest of my life and never learn anything about raising children or counseling couples in crisis. That's sad. And they are actually proud of it, claiming "all we need is Christ and the church," which is quite deceptive because what you really get is Lee's teachings, and possibly neither Christ nor the church.
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:18 AM   #8
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1. Should I throw out the recovery version (with footnotes) of the OT and NT? What version of the bible did you use before the recovery version was introduced? What do you use now?
I wanted to take a minute to address your question about the Recovery Version. Since I'm still in the LC, I can't give you much in the way of any solid advice, but I hope that some of this can be helpful to you, as this same issue has always been confusing and troubling to me.

First of all, I grew up in the LC. When I was younger, it was never a requirement to use solely the RcV, this is a requirement that came along later. The NT RcV has been around since the mid 80's, when the first edition was published. I believe that they even had individual NT books that were sold before that. Anyways, it wasn't until the late 90's that they published a text-only edition of both the OT and NT, then in the mid 2000's they published the entire OT and NT with footnotes. So when I was growing up, there was no such thing as an OT RcV, so we all had different versions. Essentially, once they published the text-only RcV Bible, it became frowned upon and then unacceptable to use other versions.

While growing up, I had a NIV, which I believe was somewhat unique in the LC. This version in particular, seems to be looked down upon by the LC. I know that I got this impression on numerous occasions, though no one said it directly. I think most other saints had ASV, NASB or KJV Bibles. I know the Darby version was also popular as a study Bible. Anyways, at a certain point in time, I think the LC had subconsciously convinced me NIV was inferior, and I caved in to solely using the RcV once the whole RcV Bible came out.

In regards to the RcV itself, I do have had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, the translation itself is not by any means a bad translation. I find it to be fairly readable on a verse by verse basis, however when trying to look at or understand the overall context of an entire chapter/book, the text doesn't flow too well. Also, I find that there are many instances of unusual translations where it wouldn't make sense to anyone but someone who understands Lee's theology. For the footnotes, I find some to be helpful, however, there are just as many that are simply promoting Lee's views. Lee's teaching on "God's Economy" was mentioned earlier in this thread. I know it has been mentioned already, but the footnotes are full of teachings like this, and even go as far to discredit books of the Bible such as James.

So one thing that I have had to take into consideration now when I use the RcV, is that I cannot completely trust it. Sure there are helpful translations in certain places, helpful footnotes here and there, but on the other hand there is plenty that needs to be disregarded. As someone who grew up in the LC, I'm not confident that I have a broad enough view to make that kind of determination, so as a result I have limited my use of the RcV to just LC meetings. On my own, I no longer use it, because I feel that I need a "clean slate" by which I can come to the Word. I think there is a lot of "relearning" that I need to do.

When they released the OT and NT RcV with footnotes, I remember they called it the "Gold Bar". This was in the mid 2000's. It didn't strike me as odd when I first heard this, but it certainly does now. How come they don't call any other Bible a "Gold Bar"? How come they only call their version with their footnotes a "Gold Bar"? These are just some things to think about. I don't think that they called their text-only RcV a "Gold Bar". That to me is very troubling. In all fairness, the LC is not the only group that emphasizes a certain version of the Bible. A bookstore at a well-known church near me indicates that the NKJV makes the best study Bible (and I think also they push a specific NKJV study Bible). So this type of problem might be more common that just the LC.

As to what version I am using right now, I have been trying to use several version, mainly NKJV, NIV and NASB. I have been the NKJV Bible, mainly because that is what I am comfortable with, and I also know a few outside the LC who use it. I should mention that my NKJV is a study Bible (I won't say which, because I am not here to promote anything). I am very careful not to use it in the way that the LC uses the RcV, and by that I mean, letting footnotes be a final authority on Biblical interpretation. One thing in general that can be said of most non RcV study Bibles is that they have plenty of cross references, footnotes, even essays, however they are compiled from a variety of commentators and writers, not a single person (WL). Take most any version of the Bible besides the RcV and you can find a list of translators and editors. Open the RcV and you find that it was translated by WL and the "editorial section". It's the same deal with the RcV footnotes, written and compiled by WL. Anyways, all that being said,I don't think that anyone has the right to tell anyone what is the "best" version to use. There are all kinds of people who like to tell others what the "best" version is. I have heard of "KJV only" people who will accuse people who use any other version as being "heretical". It can definitely be a sensitive issue with some people. My best advice is just to start byacquiringseveral other versions. Simply comparing what you are familiar with in the RcV to other versions can be a start.
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:35 AM   #9
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I have discovered that the "parts of man" are not the source of anything good. Even the so-called spirit of man is not the source. It may be the connection, or at least the initial ground of entry. Bu[t] if I spend my time thinking about my spirit rather than the one who lives in it, then I have created yet another idol. It is a little like praising and singing to the thermos for carrying the water that you need to drink to survive.
I really "enjoyed" this point Really. Thank you for this picture. It illustrates the problem very clearly.

Another thing that really bothered me in was all the elders/leading brothers constantly checked in on us concerning whether my wife and me were "enjoying" the Lord. How do we enjoy the Lord? There are 3 secrets so I was told: 1. Call on the name of the Lord, 2. Singing hymns, and 3. Pray-reading. They said that no other denominations would ever use the word "enjoy." They wanted to make sure that the Lord was flowing through our spirits into the rest of our soul. The sweet flow of life. So I was trained and wired to think about how the mingled Spirit/spirit flows out of my spirit into my soul all day long. For a few weeks while at work, I became so paranoid that I wasn't "in my spirit," thankfully, a brother shared that the solution is to call on the Lord's name whenever you have free time, even at work! Just as some of you have shared, this can become a serious psychological problem for those of us who really buy into it.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:09 PM   #10
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I really "enjoyed" this point Really. Thank you for this picture. It illustrates the problem very clearly.

Another thing that really bothered me in was all the elders/leading brothers constantly checked in on us concerning whether my wife and me are "enjoying" the Lord. How do we enjoy the Lord? There are 3 secrets so I was told: 1. Call on the name of the Lord, 2. Singing hymns, and 3. Pray-reading. They said that no other denominations would ever use the word "enjoy." They wanted to make sure that the Lord was flowing through our spirits into the rest of our soul. The sweet flow of life. So I was trained and wired to think about how the mingled Spirit/spirit flows out of my spirit into my soul all day long. For a few weeks while at work, I became so paranoid that I wasn't "in my spirit," thankfully, a brother shared that the solution is to call on the Lord's name whenever you have free time, even at work! Just as some of you have shared, this can become a serious psychological problem for those of us who really buy into it.
First I would urge you to take care of your marriage. You're the one in the covenant relationship with your wife. Not the brothers and not us on the forum.
Being another one raised in the local churches, I noticed an alarming trend of married brothers meeting on Sunday morning while their wives remained at home. One in particular close to me by relation, would attend the table meeting but would leave before the prophesying meeting would begin. Why is that? I do believe sisters by nature are more intuitive and see a system being promoted at the disservice of family life.
1. Call upon the name of the Lord: A good practice but you only need to call once to get His person.
2. Singing hymns: A good practice. Personally I prefer scriptural songs and contemporary hymns.
3. Pray-reading: Another good practice. A brought this up to the pastor I had been attending.

When they say denominations, are they saying all churches apart from LSM churches are denominations? This is the message I perceived when I've visited the locality where my parents meet.
How would local church elders know what or how non-local churches practice when generally, LC elders and localities are closed to any fellowship apart from LSM?
Speaking about the sweet flow of life. To see grace expressed among brothers and sisters where there's no wall of specific ministry or specific assemblies obstructing fellowship in Christ.
Speaking about grace, had it been expressed in the late 80's towards the brothers and sisters who left, there would probably be a different forum that exists now. In my own experiences, I didn't learn grace until after I left the local churches.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:11 PM   #11
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I pray. Having an amen that I cannot control is not spiritual. Just as Paul spoke about the spirit of the prophet, the same is true of the spirit of all of us. It is subject to us. And constant amen-ing is rather disruptive, creating the very three-ring circus atmosphere that Paul spoke against in 1 Cor 14.
Amen to this. I'm astonished by how effective this method is to maintain the group dynamic. I can personally testify that I've stopped thinking and stopped using my mind altogether during meetings. Well, I would still use my mind to make sure that I am in the spirit, although this is contradicting by LRC doctrines.

I think it'll take a good while for me to get rid of the abusive use of amen. Perhaps I should call up the Bible Answer Man - Hank Hanegraaf - to fund some new research projects that the Christian Research Institute should take on concerning the LRC. Topics such as LC group dynamics, post-LC Christian life, psychological health, "Church kid" during/post-LC life, etc... From the looks of it, this forum collectively contains most of the information. I'm also half way through Jane Anderson's book.

Not trying to be religious here, but I'm just curious from your personal experiences after leaving the LC, do you revert/convert to the "common" way of closing prayers, e.g. in the name of Jesus. Amen? I suppose this is just a signal to other people around us that we have come to an end of our prayer, fyi?
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:53 PM   #12
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In my experience, I met some of the most devoted Christians in my life in the past few months in the LC. They were so serious about the Bible, so welcoming and loving to my wife and me and certainly took care of us. The brothers and sisters that I've encountered absolutely love the Lord and have a strong grasp of biblical knowledge and of course, LSM knowledge. As my marriage started to suffer in recent months, I finally begin to see that there is a powerful and organized system behind the LC and it is the system that I'm against.-Immuno_oncology
When I first read your post I decided not to reply immediately. You are in a delicate situation for which you have to look to the Lord only.

I just want to give you solemn encouragement: Don't go cold turkey! I realize you are angry and you feel cheated, especially since your marriage started to suffer. Do not just walk away and expect not to have withdrawal symptoms.

My advice is simple:

1. For now, use the Bible translation you are familiar with. If that happens to be the Recovery Version, stick with it … for now. But use the text-only version. Avoid anything with footnotes. When the time is right you can make a smooth transition to another translation.

2. Do not look for "someone" to replace Witness Lee. You are at your most vulnerable right now. There are many "well-known" people offering spiritual help and advice on TV and in Christian bookstores, but steer clear of the big names, the best-sellers, the miracle workers … for now. Although it might seem difficult, stay with reading only the Bible.

3. Pray. Call on the Lord. Pray-read. For now. Perhaps for a long time. I will pray for you; others will pray for you.

Let the Lord guide you. He will set you free.

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Old 12-29-2014, 01:17 PM   #13
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While growing up, I had a NIV, which I believe was somewhat unique in the LC. This version in particular, seems to be looked down upon by the LC.

When they released the OT and NT RcV with footnotes, I remember they called it the "Gold Bar". This was in the mid 2000's. It didn't strike me as odd when I first heard this, but it certainly does now. How come they don't call any other Bible a "Gold Bar"? How come they only call their version with their footnotes a "Gold Bar"?
Couple comments Freedom.

NIV lost some credibility when the owner Collins (secular) bought the rights from Zondervan (Christians) and attempted a "gender neutral" version, thus de-masculating God. James Dobson and a host of other Christian leaders launched a public campaign to stop it. Lots of Christians still use it, however, and it was composed to sacrifice "literalness" for readability. I have the NIV Study Bible. I like the OT notes for historical background and the like, but the NT notes are seriously wanting in spiritual content. I won't read them.

The original RecVer was translated by a team which included John Ingalls. It was published in 1985 as a collection of individual books used during all the Life Study trainings, starting in 1974. I like it much better than the re-translation by Robichaux and others, which was a clumsily worded revision of the ASV. Ingalls was axed by Phillip Lee in 1989 for exposing corruption at LSM, so, of course, they had to can his work to save face, and scrub all their publications of his blackened name.

The revised RecVer came out in 1991, published by Cambridge Press, with gold edging. The binding itself is of top quality. From that point on LSM began to refer to it as the "gold bar" based on its "gold" profile.
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Old 12-29-2014, 01:18 PM   #14
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When they released the OT and NT RcV with footnotes, I remember they called it the "Gold Bar". This was in the mid 2000's. It didn't strike me as odd when I first heard this, but it certainly does now. How come they don't call any other Bible a "Gold Bar"? How come they only call their version with their footnotes a "Gold Bar"? These are just some things to think about. I don't think that they called their text-only RcV a "Gold Bar". That to me is very troubling. In all fairness, the LC is not the only group that emphasizes a certain version of the Bible. A bookstore at a well-known church near me indicates that the NKJV makes the best study Bible (and I think also they push a specific NKJV study Bible). So this type of problem might be more common that just the LC.

Take most any version of the Bible besides the RcV and you can find a list of translators and editors. Open the RcV and you find that it was translated by WL and the "editorial section". It's the same deal with the RcV footnotes, written and compiled by WL. Anyways, all that being said, I don't think that anyone has the right to tell anyone what is the "best" version to use. There are all kinds of people who like to tell others what the "best" version is. I have heard of "KJV only" people who will accuse people who use any other version as being "heretical". It can definitely be a sensitive issue with some people. My best advice is just to start by acquiringseveral other versions. Simply comparing what you are familiar with in the RcV to other versions can be a start.
When the Recovery Version New Testament was first published as a single volume, it was called "The Gold Bar". That would have been in 1991. It was called "The Gold Bar" because it contained not only the Bible text but also large sections from the ministry of Witness Lee.

With every training there used to be a single-book translation. The first training I attended in Anaheim was the training on Galatians, Winter 1979. For that training we all received a Galatians Recovery Version, bound in bright yellow. The translators were Witness Lee, John Ingalls, Al Knoch (who died several years ago and whose grandfather/father produced the Concordant Literal Translation) and Bill Duane who had already left when turmoils came thick and fast.

For every training there was a new translated book and that is how the Recovery Version grew to be one complete Bible. All New Testament books were translated afresh but with the Old Testament they used the American Standard Version (1901) and probably the Revised Standard Version (1952) as the basis for the Recovery Version Old Testament.

I believe they avoid giving credit to Ingalls, Knoch and Duane by including them with the present editorial team, of which Kerry Robichaux is the big gun.

Finally, my feeling about study Bibles have been influenced by the most popular earlier ones, such as the Dake Annotated Bible, the Thompson Chain Reference Bible, the Scofield Reference Bible, etc. Today you find the John MacArthur Reference Bible and others. Just remember, every "study" Bible represents a theology, a teaching. There is no such thing as a "neutral" study Bible. It has nothing primarily to do with the particular translation.
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Old 12-29-2014, 01:27 PM   #15
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Not trying to be religious here, but I'm just curious from your personal experiences after leaving the LC, do you revert/convert to the "common" way of closing prayers, e.g. in the name of Jesus. Amen? I suppose this is just a signal to other people around us that we have come to an end of our prayer, fyi?
Usually we adapt our practices to whatever group we're around. It doesn't matter too much how you do it, as long as it produces the right results. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat. The LC way isn't the only way. The most mature Christians can have fellowship with any group, because they understand the essentials are the faith, not the outward practices.

You seem concerned about outward things. Don't be. Just be yourself in the Lord and don't let anyone manipulate you or push you around (except maybe your wife ). Cherish your wife and take care of your marriage (Eph 5:28-29). Take it a day at a time. Broaden your Christian friend base and read different authors. If the LCers begrudge that, take it as a warning signal, shake the dust off your feet and move along.
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Old 12-29-2014, 01:28 PM   #16
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NIV lost some credibility when the owner Collins (secular) bought the rights from Zondervan (Christians) and attempted a "gender neutral" version, thus de-masculating God.

The revised RecVer came out in 1991, published by Cambridge Press, with gold edging. The binding itself is of top quality. From that point on LSM began to refer to it as the "gold bar" based on its "gold" profile.
I believe the New Revised Standard Version was the first to go with the "gender neutral" approach for its publication in 1989. It was produced by the American Bible Society. Perhaps the NIV followed suit.

Ohio, I am not challenging your history on the "gold bar" edging but there was an earlier New Testament version, probably from the early 1980s and bound in cheap leatherette, that also had gold edging. It came with a special printed page on how to "break in" your new Recovery New Testament (with cheap leatherette binding that invariably cracked along the front cover).
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:01 PM   #17
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... be yourself in the Lord and don't let anyone manipulate you or push you around (except maybe your wife ). Cherish your wife and take care of your marriage (Eph 5:28-29). Take it a day at a time. Broaden your Christian friend base and read different authors. If the LCers begrudge that, take it as a warning signal, shake the dust off your feet and move along.
And if the LCers find out that you are populating a "negative" web site, see how quickly their love turns to dust!

But at the same time Igzy and Friedel give good advice: don't be rash. The adversary of the believers always walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to provoke us into some hasty and ill-conceived action. Do nothing. Sit before God, however you like to sit before God, and let Him move you. He gave you a wonderful wife, He gave you the faith in His Son, His Holy Spirit is surely upon you (and yes, within you). So don't dash about madly like some scared mouse looking for the exit. "Wait upon the LORD/Be of good courage/Wait, I say, upon the LORD"

A danger of web sites like this is that it is very easy to become "negative", and see only the faults, the failures, the shortcomings. I like to occasionally re-affirm how grateful I am for my journey, which includes both going into and out of the LSM-affiliated local churches. Some of the theology and practices I still reference. A lot of it has fallen away as either extraneous or even worse. But it is still my history. If I am bitter and angry then my problem is with God, not those around me. And if I'm frightened or discouraged then I have been distracted from my faith.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:19 PM   #18
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4. Tripartite man - I was taught that understanding the spirit is the key to everything. Do you guys still "turn to your spirits" and reject the self in order to express Christ, Christ and Christ only? As an example, I was frequently taught that human improvements don't matter because only Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality, so all we need to do is "call on the name of the Lord and turn to our spirits!" I was also told that before we were saved, the soul is our person and the spirit is an organ. But after we're saved, the spirit is our person and the soul is our organ, for the purpose of expressing the spirit (Christ).
"Understanding the spirit is the key to everything". Well yes and no. It is the key to everything but I daresay Lee didn't give us the definitive word. So anyone who says they are teaching you the latest and greatest about the world of the spirit, either human or divine, is talking through their hat. I went out of the LCs with an attitude that I knew more than Pastor Bob and Reverend Joe, whom I now re-acquainted myself with in "Christianity". Turns out my knowledge was superficial, and partial. Years passed, and now that I have learned a little more, about the only thing I can say for sure is that I know almost nothing, and I'm suspicious (to put it mildly) of people who've reduced God and His realm to a series of axioms. "God in a box" doesn't interest me anymore.

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5. How do you guys pray after leaving the LC? Do you pray to the Lord Jesus or the Father in Heaven? Do you amen after every phrase when someone else is praying?
I have found that praying with other Christians means that they have their methodologies and I have mine. I don't see a unique and single formula. So be sensitive to hear and respond not only to them but to God through them.

When praying alone, I always imagine Jesus the High Priest standing at the right hand of the Father. I see Jesus as the unique and ultimate mediator between God and man. So if you pray to God the Father "in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" or if you pray to Jesus the Son of David, Son of God, Savior of the World to intercede for you with the Father, or whatever your imagery, that is really how you feel led.

One final note about the Holy Spirit. I had the "call upon the name of the Lord" formula and still use it. Blind Bartimaeus used it by the side of the road, and Jesus stopped the crowd and allowed Bart an audience. Therefore loud, repeated, impertinent cries (however you word them) are probably not vain.

But, but, but... I have found that "the road to the Spirit" is not axiomatic or formulaic. I myself spend hours and hours in the word, quietly, turning it over and over and over. Obsessive, compulsive, fixated... At some point I may rush out on the street like the Samaritan woman, shouting and exclaiming that I have found the Christ, there in the Word. But really, who can tell? Am I now approved? Do I now have the latest and greatest formula? No: I don't control the Spirit. I can't summon the Spirit like some sorcerer. The spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet, yes. But the Holy Spirit is subject to God alone. At the end, all we can do is wait upon the Lord. He promised His Holy Spirit. Trust God's promise, and let yourself be surprised by His visitation (Gk: "parousia"). God will resist your systematic theology. Don't try to understand, just try to submit. God will come; He'll come. "Amen; come Lord Jesus".
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:21 PM   #19
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I can relate to your questions because it used to reflect a value system I used to also have after leaving the LCs.

In the LCs we judged others and ourselves based on how "spiritual" we were which equated to how faithful we were to the ministry in terms of meeting attendance, reading life studies and other such works. Also of utmost priority was special revelation, high truths and good teaching. The bible was this huge puzzle that needed to be decoded and uncovering all its hidden secrets was of utmost importance. That we had this special access to God and his truth separated us from the rest of fallen Christianity.

[Also did you know The name of the Pharisees actually means "set apart"? They thought they had a special connection to God that separated them from everyone else based on their misdirected zeal]

Now to me, these things may be good, but now I realize my need to prioritize trying to love Jesus by obeying him because Jesus says if you love me you will obey my commands (John 14:15). After reading a list of Jesus' commandments (see here: http://www.verserain.com/verseset/sh...7ab0162d7cbd89) it's hard not to admit how hard they are to obey and perhaps it's then we realize it's because doing so requires a real relationship with Jesus.

Obeying Witness Lee or any other man does not require a relationship with Mr Lee, Jesus or anyone else but obeying Jesus does require a relationship with our Saviour.

I realized I could actually go through all the religious activities in the LCs without actually knowing Jesus intimately, person to person, but simply follow the hive mind and be rewarded for it too. But when I tried to obey Jesus by forgiving *everyone*, blessing my enemies, loving everyone as Jesus loved, denying my own needs to help the poor and bearing criticism from others for foolishly doing so, etc. I realized how short I really was and it was impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit and I desperately needed Jesus.

When I try to carry out Jesus' commandments, Jesus no longer became optional but absolutely necessary in my daily life which involved really knowing Jesus personally through answered prayer and communion and not just intellectually knowing facts about Him. It's still a struggle for me but I sometimes find that where I realize my weakness, God uses it as an opportunity to reveal his glory and love and it in turns makes it easier to love him back tangibly.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:14 PM   #20
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1. Should I throw out the recovery version (with footnotes) of the OT and NT? What version of the bible did you use before the recovery version was introduced? What do you use now?
Burn it! No, just kidding. I still have one but I seldom refer to it.

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2. I have to admit that I was so drawn to the footnotes/interpretations of the pictures in the Bible, such as Adam and Eve (Adam being Christ and Eve being the church), Noah's ark being the Body of Christ so that all believers are saved, being perfected and becoming overcomers in the millennial kingdom while non-perfected Christians will be in outer darkness, etcetc. Do you all still see the truth in this?
Some of it. Everybody has to sort it out for themselves.

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3. The concept of "God's eternal economy is for the building of his dwelling place which will consummate in the New Jerusalem" has been wrought into my soul. For the past few months, all I think about everyday is Christ and His Body and nothing else. Are you still under the rulership of this particular heavenly vision of God's economy?
Sounds as if you may be obsessing on it. Indoctrination can have that effect on people. Most folks here agree that whatever the merits of Witness Lee's ministry, it was the dominance of it to the exclusion of other voices that ruined the Local Churches for us. I recommend you read other perspectives and watch other thinkers online.

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4. Tripartite man - I was taught that understanding the spirit is the key to everything. Do you guys still "turn to your spirits" and reject the self in order to express Christ, Christ and Christ only? As an example, I was frequently taught that human improvements don't matter because only Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality, so all we need to do is "call on the name of the Lord and turn to our spirits!" I was also told that before we were saved, the soul is our person and the spirit is an organ. But after we're saved, the spirit is our person and the soul is our organ, for the purpose of expressing the spirit (Christ).
That sounds pretty mechanical. As a human being you still have to make choices to live morally ethically. Calling on the Lord can become meaningless noise making. There's no easy way to be responsible. Forming good habits helps.

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4. How do you guys pray after leaving the LC? Do you pray to the Lord Jesus or the Father in Heaven? Do you amen after every phrase when someone else is praying?
I don't pray in public. That tends to be play acting.

Welcome to this site. May God bless you on your spiritual journey. I mostly post in "Alternative Views". If you want to join in the discussion there, ask UntoHim for the password.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:21 PM   #21
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Anyways, at a certain point in time, I think the LC had subconsciously convinced me NIV was inferior,
Funny, since both the NIV and RcV New Testaments are based upon the Nestle-Aland. Maybe LSM just didn't like the competition.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:52 PM   #22
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Sounds as if you may be obsessing on it. Indoctrination can have that effect on people. Most folks here agree that whatever the merits of Witness Lee's ministry, it was the dominance of it to the exclusion of other voices that ruined the Local Churches for us. I recommend you read other perspectives and watch other thinkers online.
There is a specific "affect" that impacts many people's lives and not unlike that of other cult like religions such as the Mormons or JWs. You might feel that is an extreme comparison but it is why leaving is so difficult as well as the problems those who leave encounter. It is not only the repetition that is encouraged but the reading of their very own books and version of the Bible as well as their specific practices. It all affects individuals in ways they really don't realize until they decide, "this is not working for me". It is also why those who continue to stay, stay...because "where do we go and what do we do?"

I remember reading "The All-Inclusive Christ" or the "Economy of God" and thinking, "wow, I am receiving this revelatory information that other Christians are missing out on". The problem is that believing this does something to our psyche. Plus, later on there was guilt that I was never doing enough (e.g. I was never releasing my spirit enough---maybe 10,000 Oh Lord Jesus' would do it) and this intensified after the Revelation conference with WL where he spoke about the overcomers.

I had little exposure to the Recovery Version because after 8 years I left in 1978 and I don't think much of it had come out yet. In 1978 I decided I was done with the LC but it took some time (years) to really get out from under its influence and it is a subtle influence. I still believed that the teachings were the best and the deepest in Christianity but eventually I was able to extricate myself from that belief.
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:12 PM   #23
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The concept of "God's eternal economy is for the building of his dwelling place which will consummate in the New Jerusalem" has been wrought into my soul.
I remember when I was young this idealism was very appealing to me. I recently brought up the idea they we are living stones to build the New Jerusalem. That hit the funny bone of some exLCers. It is one of the high peak teachings of Witness Lee, that can't be found in mainstream Christianity. But it is so idealistic it's worthless. It's too heavenly minded to be any earthly good. And the New Jerusalem, in Revelation, is not mentioned to be coming down from heaven in such a way. It's another gospel, invented by Nee and Lee.

Same with Lee's theosis, or the idea that we are transformed into the image of Christ. Neither Lee, nor Nee, ever was transformed in such a way, in their entire lives. It's a high peak pipe dream. But idealism does have it's appeal ... perhaps tho, a bewitching (Gal 3:1) appeal.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:19 PM   #24
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I remember when I was young this idealism was very appealing to me. I recently brought up the idea they we are living stones to build the New Jerusalem. That hit the funny bone of some exLCers. It is one of the high peak teachings of Witness Lee, that can't be found in mainstream Christianity. But it is so idealistic it's worthless. It's too heavenly minded to be any earthly good. And the New Jerusalem, in Revelation, is not mentioned to be coming down from heaven in such a way. It's another gospel, invented by Nee and Lee.

Same with Lee's theosis, or the idea that we are transformed into the image of Christ. Neither Lee, nor Nee, ever was transformed in such a way, in their entire lives. It's a high peak pipe dream. But idealism does have it's appeal ... perhaps tho, a bewitching (Gal 3:1) appeal.
yeah... the idea of the building up of the church and being transformed was definitely a pipe dream that peaked my interest. I was so lost and had no direction in my life when I got saved, that theosis gave me hope.

And while God's Word has changed my heart, I am not what anyone would consider 'transformed'. I certainly am God focused. And I look forward to the day I get my glorified body with the Mind of Christ being manifested, but I certainly am not there. Maybe I am not where I used to be but have a long ways to go before I achieve my goal of total transformation.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:22 PM   #25
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.... after 8 years I left in 1978 and I don't think much of it had come out yet. In 1978 I decided I was done with the LC but it took some time (years) to really get out from under its influence and it is a subtle influence. I still believed that the teachings were the best and the deepest in Christianity but eventually I was able to extricate myself from that belief.
Ditto. It has taken me years as well. As they say, if you go 20 miles into the woods it's 20 miles to get back out again. I spent several years, effectively 24/7, immersed in the local church way. So exticating myself, spirit soul and body wasn't an overnight proposition.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:39 PM   #26
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There is a specific "affect" that impacts many people's lives and not unlike that of other cult like religions such as the Mormons or JWs. You might feel that is an extreme comparison but it is why leaving is so difficult as well as the problems those who leave encounter. It is not only the repetition that is encouraged but the reading of their very own books and version of the Bible as well as their specific practices. It all affects individuals in ways they really don't realize until they decide, "this is not working for me". It is also why those who continue to stay, stay...because "where do we go and what do we do?"

I remember reading "The All-Inclusive Christ" or the "Economy of God" and thinking, "wow, I am receiving this revelatory information that other Christians are missing out on". The problem is that believing this does something to our psyche. Plus, later on there was guilt that I was never doing enough (e.g. I was never releasing my spirit enough---maybe 10,000 Oh Lord Jesus' would do it) and this intensified after the Revelation conference with WL where he spoke about the overcomers.

I had little exposure to the Recovery Version because after 8 years I left in 1978 and I don't think much of it had come out yet. In 1978 I decided I was done with the LC but it took some time (years) to really get out from under its influence and it is a subtle influence. I still believed that the teachings were the best and the deepest in Christianity but eventually I was able to extricate myself from that belief.
Hey Dave,
I left in 1978 too ! Was in San Diego from 1975-1978. Getting the entire LC out of my system certainly was challenging. There is still some residue in me but I hope it is the GOOD and GODLY part of the LC. After all, it was not ALL bad! At least I got rooted and grounded in the Lord. And I had some good times there. Everything has a season. It was my season just as it is recorded in Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven


So it was for me a season to be there...and I left when my season was up.
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:52 PM   #27
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Ditto. It has taken me years as well. As they say, if you go 20 miles into the woods it's 20 miles to get back out again. I spent several years, effectively 24/7, immersed in the local church way. So exticating myself, spirit soul and body wasn't an overnight proposition.
See!! There was / is an underlying STRONGHOLD! We all left at different time frames. We here were in different localities. But for the longest time, if I read something in the bible I did not understand, I would look for the meaning in the Nee/Lee books I had. I finally through them all away and relied on God's Holy Spirit to help me understand what I didn't understand.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:40 PM   #28
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There is a specific "affect" that impacts many people's lives and not unlike that of other cult like religions such as the Mormons or JWs. You might feel that is an extreme comparison but it is why leaving is so difficult as well as the problems those who leave encounter. It is not only the repetition that is encouraged but the reading of their very own books and version of the Bible as well as their specific practices. It all affects individuals in ways they really don't realize until they decide, "this is not working for me". It is also why those who continue to stay, stay...because "where do we go and what do we do?"

I remember reading "The All-Inclusive Christ" or the "Economy of God" and thinking, "wow, I am receiving this revelatory information that other Christians are missing out on". The problem is that believing this does something to our psyche. Plus, later on there was guilt that I was never doing enough (e.g. I was never releasing my spirit enough---maybe 10,000 Oh Lord Jesus' would do it) and this intensified after the Revelation conference with WL where he spoke about the overcomers.

I had little exposure to the Recovery Version because after 8 years I left in 1978 and I don't think much of it had come out yet. In 1978 I decided I was done with the LC but it took some time (years) to really get out from under its influence and it is a subtle influence. I still believed that the teachings were the best and the deepest in Christianity but eventually I was able to extricate myself from that belief.
Right. And you never knew if it is the ministry that is wrong or maybe you were just looking at it wrong or not doing something right. Everybody has to sort it out for themselves when they leave. Maybe the biggest problem was that we weren't allowed to do that while we were in it. By being sheep in the church we avoided being responsible. There's always going to be some guilt when you think for yourself and live accordingly.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:43 PM   #29
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See!! There was / is an underlying STRONGHOLD! We all left at different time frames. We here were in different localities. But for the longest time, if I read something in the bible I did not understand, I would look for the meaning in the Nee/Lee books I had.
For years I had the "yeah, buts": every time I read something I'd think, "Yeah, but" and then insert an LC teaching. I was incapable of receiving spiritual education without filtering it through Lee. Yes it was a strong hold. Very strong.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:55 PM   #30
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See!! There was / is an underlying STRONGHOLD! We all left at different time frames. We here were in different localities. But for the longest time, if I read something in the bible I did not understand, I would look for the meaning in the Nee/Lee books I had. I finally through them all away and relied on God's Holy Spirit to help me understand what I didn't understand.
Admittedly, this was also one of the appeals of the WL ministry for me - the desire to get everything in the Bible answered instantly by going through the footnotes/life studies.


Thank you all dearly for your candid inputs. Grace and mercy - How marvelous! I am so grateful that the Lord put my wife and me through this experience. I look forward to developing a genuine relationship with the Lord out side of the LC system.

I will pray about what to say to the saints in my locality about our departure. Any personal experience or advice on this matter from you all is greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-29-2014, 07:21 PM   #31
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Admittedly, this was also one of the appeals of the WL ministry for me - the desire to get everything in the Bible answered instantly by going through the footnotes/life studies.
This has been appealing for many in the LC. Actually, most LC "Bible studies" that I have attended involve using footnotes as direct and final answers to any questions. So, strickly speaking, it's not really a Bible study, thus the quotation marks. All that being said, I have become addicted to wanting answers right away when studying the Bible. I would even say that I like being spoon-fed answers. Most in the LC do, this is why the RcV has been such a hit.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:06 PM   #32
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When I first read your post I decided not to reply immediately. You are in a delicate situation for which you have to look to the Lord only.

I just want to give you solemn encouragement: Don't go cold turkey! I realize you are angry and you feel cheated, especially since your marriage started to suffer. Do not just walk away and expect not to have withdrawal symptoms.

My advice is simple:

1. For now, use the Bible translation you are familiar with. If that happens to be the Recovery Version, stick with it … for now. But use the text-only version. Avoid anything with footnotes. When the time is right you can make a smooth transition to another translation.

2. Do not look for "someone" to replace Witness Lee. You are at your most vulnerable right now. There are many "well-known" people offering spiritual help and advice on TV and in Christian bookstores, but steer clear of the big names, the best-sellers, the miracle workers … for now. Although it might seem difficult, stay with reading only the Bible.

3. Pray. Call on the Lord. Pray-read. For now. Perhaps for a long time. I will pray for you; others will pray for you.

Let the Lord guide you. He will set you free.
Excellent guidance!
Just so you know IMMU, I was raised Catholic. I got saved through the LC saints at age 21. After I left, I visited several non denomination churches..some pentecostals where the emphasis was on speaking in tongues. I did not like being pressured. I did not like them telling me to 'get baptized in the Holy Spirit' when I already knew I was baptized in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and ALL of GOD was living in me and they knew it! But I did not pray/speak in tongues. (I do a little now because IF it's from GOD, I want that gift!)

I don't go to 'church' anymore. But God has blessed me with some real friends in Christ. Some I knew before I got saved and led to the Lord. Others just came my way via His Spirit.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:10 PM   #33
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This has been appealing for many in the LC. Actually, most LC "Bible studies" that I have attended involve using footnotes as direct and final answers to any questions. So, strickly speaking, it's not really a Bible study, thus the quotation marks. All that being said, I have become addicted to wanting answers right away when studying the Bible. I would even say that I like being spoon-fed answers. Most in the LC do, this is why the RcV has been such a hit.
Freedom and all, I love how God has used the internet to His Glory. You can search any biblical topic and find an answer. The Holy Spirit will let you know if it's from HIM, Holy or not.

I also use Biblegateway.com a Lot to read the bible. There are dozens of translations. And I use them all.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:23 PM   #34
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[QUOTE=immuno_oncology;37806]


Quote:
Thank you all dearly for your candid inputs. Grace and mercy - How marvelous! I am so grateful that the Lord put my wife and me through this experience. I look forward to developing a genuine relationship with the Lord out side of the LC system.


Quote:
I will pray about what to say to the saints in my locality about our departure. Any personal experience or advice on this matter from you all is greatly appreciated.
Yes... do pray about what to say... but most of our experiences has been just to 'sneak out'... just to leave quietly. In other words, many of us decreased our meeting attendance until we just disappeared. If you were to tell them the Lord is leading you to another fellowship group, or that the LC is not for you, you are going to get a 'lashing' of sorts. "There's nothing better than this". 'You've been poisoned'. Stuff like that..

But do PRAY and be led by the the Spirit of God as to how to handle it. He might just tell you to tell them. Or He might have you leave quietly through the 'back door'.

God bless you and your wife abundantly.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:24 AM   #35
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I will pray about what to say to the saints in my locality about our departure. Any personal experience or advice on this matter from you all is greatly appreciated.
We left during the early quarantine battles between Anaheim and Cleveland. We basically were forced to decide whether we were "of Lee" or we were "of titus chu." There were other high-profile saints leaving about the same time for similar reasons. When I was eventually asked by the saints about missing meetings, i simply told them that i was endeavoring to follow the Lord. What could they say?

After my departure, i used to return to visit every month or so just to see my old friends. I would worship the Lord with them during the Table meeting, but often during the "prophesying" time, i would use the rest room and then slip away.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:29 AM   #36
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I will pray about what to say to the saints in my locality about our departure. Any personal experience or advice on this matter from you all is greatly appreciated.
I will speak from personal experience but also from what I have heard and read.

You should first try and find the testimony of Mario Sandoval on this forum originally posted by Indiana. Reading it should prepare you for what to expect since their experience is quite recent.

Your friends might be sorry and could well indicate that they will continue to be friends. However, the powers over them will never allow it.

You will be shunned. That is a given. They will slander you. People will be warned against you.

People were warned against me since I had been suffering from a "contagious spiritual disease". Exact quote. Expect something similar.

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Old 12-30-2014, 05:33 AM   #37
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I will pray about what to say to the saints in my locality about our departure. Any personal experience or advice on this matter from you all is greatly appreciated.
We left during the early quarantine battles between Anaheim and Cleveland. We basically were forced to decide whether we were "of Lee" or we were "of titus chu." There were other high-profile saints leaving about the same time for similar reasons. When I was eventually asked by the saints about missing meetings, i simply told them that i was endeavoring to follow the Lord. What could they say?

After my departure, i used to return to visit every month or so just to see my old friends. I would worship the Lord with them during the Table meeting, but often during the "prophesying" time, i would use the rest room and then slip away.

Just because those in the Recovery are constantly condemning the "denominations," it doesn't make them bad or the LC's good. Firstly, the LC's, with their dominating headquarters in Anaheim, are every bit a denomination as those they condemn. Secondly, most active community churches are independent and non-denominational, something LSM refuses to admit.
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:44 AM   #38
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Couple comments Freedom.

NIV lost some credibility when the owner Collins (secular) bought the rights from Zondervan (Christians) and attempted a "gender neutral" version, thus de-masculating God. James Dobson and a host of other Christian leaders launched a public campaign to stop it. Lots of Christians still use it, however, and it was composed to sacrifice "literalness" for readability. I have the NIV Study Bible. I like the OT notes for historical background and the like, but the NT notes are seriously wanting in spiritual content. I won't read them.

The original RecVer was translated by a team which included John Ingalls. It was published in 1985 as a collection of individual books used during all the Life Study trainings, starting in 1974. I like it much better than the re-translation by Robichaux and others, which was a clumsily worded revision of the ASV. Ingalls was axed by Phillip Lee in 1989 for exposing corruption at LSM, so, of course, they had to can his work to save face, and scrub all their publications of his blackened name.

The revised RecVer came out in 1991, published by Cambridge Press, with gold edging. The binding itself is of top quality. From that point on LSM began to refer to it as the "gold bar" based on its "gold" profile.
I understand the complaints against the gender neutralization, but for me, the only problem with it is that it makes the reading so bulked-up to gain nothing other than caring for the sensibilities of people who probably don't really care anyway.

We like God as simply masculine. But the attributes of God (even as taught by Lee) include what we would call the feminine. The all-sufficient God with an udder comes to mind. That goes way back in the OT. So at some level, God is gender neutral. Most of the gender-oriented things that we really seem to grasp onto are the things that cause the most ardent Christians to tend toward excessive male domination and provide excuses for the actions of men toward their wives and other women. I do not subscribe to the notion that men and women are identical except for plumbing, but what makes us alike is seriously more than what separates us.

As far as whether the RecV is an acceptable translation, my understanding is that it is so much like one or more other major translations (with very few of Lee's pet substitutions included) that without the footnotes I could probably deal with it. But my fear is that the footnotes are too close by to be acceptable. For that reason, it might be better to return to the NASB, or move on to an ESV or NIV (get the older one if you want to avoid the gender stuff. That is what I use mostly). And it might be that reading it in as uncomfortable a version as possible, at least part of the time, could be better since it will not provide you with the same words that are mentally and emotionally attached to things that Lee taught. Avoid the Pavlov's dog effect (hear verse, think whatever Lee said).

(BTW, this was not a response to Ohio. It was intended as follow-on and something to consider for I-O.)
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Old 12-30-2014, 05:57 AM   #39
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Ditto. It has taken me years as well. As they say, if you go 20 miles into the woods it's 20 miles to get back out again. I spent several years, effectively 24/7, immersed in the local church way. So exticating myself, spirit soul and body wasn't an overnight proposition.
Good point. I did the 24/7 as well. It makes me reflect on the postives/negatives from being in the LC.

positives:
1. I left Bible College and started attending State Universities
2. A LC sister told me about a job that eventually led to a career
3. Met some interesting people who also eventually left and am in contact with them today

negatives (a few):
1. Burning pictures etc that later I regretted destroying
2. Distancing myself from some of my relatives (the rest of my relatives I brought into the LC)
3. Spending way too much time calling "Oh Lord Jesus", pray reading, listening to audio tapes of Lee or reading Life studies. I think just studying the Bible (not the Recovery Version) would have been way more interesting.
4. Too much angst during those years to include the exclusivity that I felt towards other Christians while I was in the LC.
5. Listening to appointed elders who really were clueless (e.g. R.Kangas is in a much better position now than trying to deal with people as an elder. His cohort he brought with him from the LC in Anaheim was worse.)
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:12 AM   #40
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Freedom and all, I love how God has used the internet to His Glory. You can search any biblical topic and find an answer. The Holy Spirit will let you know if it's from HIM, Holy or not.

I also use Biblegateway.com a Lot to read the bible. There are dozens of translations. And I use them all.
15 or 20 years ago LSM had a stranglehold on the saints' attention. Now with the internet you can get access to many other ideas, interpretations, and opinions. Witness Lee was just one opinion of many. And his understanding was usually based on a fairly limited set of resources. Today the average person with an internet connection can get Lee's sources (Alford, Darby, Wuest, et al) plus dozens more if they choose.

Of course getting a dozen opinions on a word or phrase or section doesn't immediately provide resolution to the question. But I find it much more satisfying than "Witness Lee says". For example, if you go to Google Scholar and put in the right key words, you can get some really interesting reading.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:13 AM   #41
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positives:
1. I left Bible College and started attending State Universities
2. A LC sister told me about a job that eventually led to a career
3. Met some interesting people who also eventually left and am in contact with them today
"All good things come from the Father of lights." I also have much to be thankful for.
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Old 12-30-2014, 06:22 AM   #42
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I will pray about what to say to the saints in my locality about our departure. Any personal experience or advice on this matter from you all is greatly appreciated.
I would offer two bits of advice. First, don't plan your exit in detail. Speeches are not needed. Just focus on staying connected to God. Find a simple prayer in your heart that you can bring before God. Then, focus on the message of that prayer, and trust its resolution in the Father's hands. The world is too complicated and too unknown for us to manipulate it to our own ends -- better to be simple and stay focused on the One on the throne. Let God deal with all the details. Just focus on abiding, i.e. remaining connected, through your faith, to God at all times.

Second, I would say to always remain positive, and grateful, and hopeful. This is our Christian journey. Don't think about how the local churches are "wrong" or your wife's denomination is "degraded" or how you are small and pathetic and stupid. All of these things may be true to some degree, but the only real truth worth our continued attention is God's mercy, goodness, kindness, power, and glory. His Spirit is real and available, but we have to commit ourselves to the journey. Being antagonistic toward others is a perilous addition to an already arduous journey. So be at peace with everyone, as much as possible.

May God bless your journey together.
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:01 AM   #43
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I would offer two bits of advice. First, don't plan your exit in detail...
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:00 AM   #44
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I told my wife that I probably need to have a long fellowship with the Lord before joining any "churches," because even though I've only been in the LC for 9 months, I received an intense dose of it as a new and zealous young believer. I was so drawn to the ministry at first because they seemingly had a higher truth and teachings that no other churches had.
Welcome Immuno_oncology! Congrats, you are in the running for one of the longest UserNames on the Forum, not to mention one of the most interesting! Seriously though, your first post has to be one of the most thoughtful and insightful opening posts of any new member in recent memory. And as you have probably gathered by now, this place is in pretty desperate need of some new thoughtful and insightful posters. We all mean well, but some of us are kind of like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz – we need somebody to come along every once in a while and squirt some oil on us. (I could say something here about the brainless Scare Crow at this point as well, but I think I'll just go on and address the rest of your post)

Quote:
I would like to list a few of them here and ask you all for advice on what to throw out.

1. Should I throw out the recovery version (with footnotes) of the OT and NT? What version of the bible did you use before the recovery version was introduced? What do you use now?
The actual RecVer translation is a fairly good one in my opinion. I have some 3 years of biblical Greek and have had some of my profs in the past review it and as far as they were concerned it was very similar to the NASB, which is almost universally accepted as a good translation. Of course I can't speak with strong confidence regarding the Old Testament translation, but in my comparison over the years, it seems to be mostly in alignment in some of the universally accepted translations. Now the footnotes...well that's another matter altogether. You've probably already noticed that most of the main teachings are encapsulated in many of the voluminous RecVer footenotes. Also, some of the more caustic overall religious worldviews of Witness Lee are stuffed within the pages and pages of footenotes, and the one that sticks out the most is probably the one found in Revelation: “Judaism is satanic, Catholicism is demonic and Protestantism is christless”. I'm not sure how much this audacious statement is still repeated in the LC anymore, but I highly suspect that most of the leadership and longtime members still hold to this kind of attitude towards Judaism, Catholicism and Protestantism.

For what it's worth, I use the ESV as my mainstay version, but I also use the online multi-versions such as Blue Letter Bible, Unbound https://unbound.biola.edu/), BibleGateway, Bible Hub, YouVersion (great phone app!) and many, many others.

Quote:
2. I have to admit that I was so drawn to the footnotes/interpretations of the pictures in the Bible, such as Adam and Eve (Adam being Christ and Eve being the church), Noah's ark being the Body of Christ so that all believers are saved, being perfected and becoming overcomers in the millennial kingdom while non-perfected Christians will be in outer darkness, etcetc. Do you all still see the truth in this?
Yes, I see truth in these things, however you must realize that these teachings were picked up by Watchman Nee, and later Witness Lee, from a number of Christian teachers before them, most being of the Brethren persuasion. Some of these have been picked up by a fair majority of current evangelical/orthodox teachers as well, but some, such as the “overcomers in the millennial kingdom” teaching have been strongly rejected by the same. We have gotten into some of this on the Forum, but I look forward to getting into these matters in the near future. You are welcome to join in!

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3. The concept of "God's eternal economy is for the building of his dwelling place which will consummate in the New Jerusalem" has been wrought into my soul. For the past few months, all I think about everyday is Christ and His Body and nothing else. Are you still under the rulership of this particular heavenly vision of God's economy?
Wow, it got wrought into your soul after only 9 months! The current elders in your LC must be really going double-time these days. Just razzin you io! Actually, for me, back in the mid-1970s (I know, I know, practically the dark ages for you) it was more “The Vision of The Church” that got wrought into my soul, but in reality “God's eternal economy” and “the Vision of The Church” are really so closely tied together in Witness Lee's teachings that they are virtually the same thing. Interesting term you use: “under the rulership of this particular heavenly vision” - It's very similar to the phraseology we used back in the day, and I'm wondering if they are using this exact term, or is it maybe your interpretation of what you have been hearing? No big deal ether way, I'm just a little curious if they are using the term “rulership” these days.

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4. Tripartite man - I was taught that understanding the spirit is the key to everything. Do you guys still "turn to your spirits" and reject the self in order to express Christ, Christ and Christ only? As an example, I was frequently taught that human improvements don't matter because only Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality, so all we need to do is "call on the name of the Lord and turn to our spirits!" I was also told that before we were saved, the soul is our person and the spirit is an organ. But after we're saved, the spirit is our person and the soul is our organ, for the purpose of expressing the spirit (Christ).
Some others here on the Forum (most notably OBW & Igzy) have addressed this issue much better than I can. I now tend to understand the human spirit in the same way that most orthodox/evangelical teachers have over the course of Church history – to wit – the human soul and human spirit are so intrinsically linked as to be virtually and practically indistinguishable one from the other. That being said, I have no problem with the Nee-Lee teachings about the human spirit, other than the fact that I don't believe that it is actually possible to “exercise your spirit”, at least not in the mechanical sense that they seem to imply in their teachings. Of course Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality (for He is the holy, righteous, moral Son of God in the flesh), but I don't see anywhere in the Word of God where we can obtain this holiness, righteousness or morality by verbally calling “oh Lord Jesus” or by “turning to our spirits”.

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5. How do you guys pray after leaving the LC? Do you pray to the Lord Jesus or the Father in Heaven? Do you amen after every phrase when someone else is praying?
I've heard it said that “The Bible is God talking to us and prayer is us talking to God”. (and for all the truth that is in this statement, it seems to me that there is really something to “pray-reading” after all!) I don't practice pray-reading anymore, at least not in the same way as in the Local Church. I do mix reading with praying though. I think the way pray-reading is practiced in the Local Church is best done alone, or maybe with one other person (your wife, husband or close family member). The “amen” after every verse read or prayer is just plain annoying and distracting. I don't know what else to say about it!
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:01 PM   #45
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ok... my turn IO! I have not addressed your questions as others have although I have shared some thoughts on this thread. Welcome aboard and may God, the Holy Spirit and Father God's Loving and Living Word, Jesus guide, counsel and lead you in the Path of His Righteousness as you seek what He has in store for you.

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Originally Posted by immuno_oncology View Post
Briefly about myself: I got saved 3 years ago and entered the "church life"
here in Southern California 9 months ago with my wife, who was born and raised in the "denominations." I started to seek help and answers from the internet (despite being told not to) when my marriage started to suffer, because I had 4-5 meetings per week while I left my wife at home (she attended a different church) and things reached a climax when I attended the winter training this week after my wife seriously voiced her concerns about my negligence.
Here is a big red flag that has bothered me about the LC from even back in the day. I don't know about other denominations, but for some reason, many marriages in the LC suffer from the zealousness of one spouse or family member as opposed to the way other marriages suffer. Many Christian marriages break up just as the worldly marriages break up due to infidelity, finances, drifting away from each other, etc.. but in the LC, many marriages suffer BECAUSE of the LC involvement. The LORD does not want marriages to break up because of HIM. Your marriage has not suffered because of HIM but because of the LC indoctrination. God loves you and your wife and wants you both to love HIM and love each other and love people.

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It's encouraging to see you all share your experiences of the LC and even offer advice and hope to those who are on their way out. I told my wife that I probably need to have a long fellowship with the Lord before joining any "churches," because even though I've only been in the LC for 9 months, I received an intense dose of it as a new and zealous young believer.
Takes me back to when I first got saved (through the LC saints in San Diego!) Lots of Love, fellowship, 'newness of life'. etc... nothing and no one else mattered to me but Christ and the LC for about a year or 2. You don't know how I regret pushing away my parents. I was only 21 and they both passed away when I was 23. (nothing to do with me.. they were both sick.) It's just that I know the LC did not want me to cultivate a healthy 'Christian' relationship with them. They wanted me to go to all the meetings etc.... My parents are both with the Lord and I have repented for not loving them like I should have. I look forward to meeting them in heaven.

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I was so drawn to the ministry at first because they seemingly had a higher truth and teachings that no other churches had.
This is true. I had never heard the gospel shared or the Word of God shared as it was to me. Back in the day, we had 'gospel or love feasts'. Every Saturday night we held a pot luck followed by gospel singing. After each song, people would pop up and share their testimony of salvation and sometimes their love for the LC. Each gospel message was fresh and insightful for a couple of years. I loved those meetings ! That is where my love for the Lord and the LC grew strongest. That was in 1975. They stopped around 1977/78 I think. I left somewhere in 1978-79.

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1. Should I throw out the recovery version (with footnotes) of the OT and NT? What version of the bible did you use before the recovery version was introduced? What do you use now?
I personally don't read the RcV because of the footnotes. I only have a NT version given to me by an LCr in 1995. When I came into the LC in 1975, we used the KJ and NASB. I have many scriptures embedded in my spirit and heart from those translations. We used to sing psalms from the KJ and I still sing those psalms. Not everything from the LC was bad. The Presence of the LORD was there in 1975 and 1976 for sure. I did not even know what the Presence of the Lord was but when people came for the first time, so many commented at the 'Glow' and 'Shine' we had. It WAS real because we did love God and love the church.

So often times when I speak / pray the Word back to our Father, our Creator Jesus, I speak from the NASB and KJ. I leave out the Thee's and Thou's but sometimes for fun I insert them. That's not to say I don't make up my own personal prayers. I do that too. I read from the New Living Translation, God's Word Translation, Easy to Read version. But the hard copies I have here at home are KJ, (I still have my original one from the LC days) NASB and the RcV NT. I also have a Dake's bible. And Wow...talk about footnotes!!! He outdoes Lee by a gazillion miles!!! I also use Clarence Larkin's books to study prophesy. He has some excellent commentaries imho, on Daniel and Revelation. Good stuff.

But I use the internet to help me search the meanings of different biblical topics as well...plus fellowshipping with believers is helpful. Most of all, I ask the Holy Spirit to help me understand what I don't get. He's AWESOME!! I love GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT!!!!!! PRAISE BE HIS BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS NAME.

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2. I have to admit that I was so drawn to the footnotes/interpretations of the pictures in the Bible, such as Adam and Eve (Adam being Christ and Eve being the church), Noah's ark being the Body of Christ so that all believers are saved, being perfected and becoming overcomers in the millennial kingdom while non-perfected Christians will be in outer darkness, etcetc. Do you all still see the truth in this?
Imho, I find much of it IS truthful. <---- former LCrs looking at me.

I do see Adam and Eve as Christ & the church (but not exclusively to the LC). I see the ARK being Christ rather than the body of Christ. The believers are in Christ, the ARK and we are protected from God's Wrath. Now as to the Millenial Kingdom, I have a much different point of view. I don't believe the Bride of Christ will rule and reign ON the earth during the Millenial Kingdom. From what I see in Rev 21, the Bride, the Holy City New Jerusalem that comes down from God, out of heaven never touches the earth. But I won't go into that discussion here. Maybe I'll start a blog on it. Not today though.

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3. The concept of "God's eternal economy is for the building of his dwelling place which will consummate in the New Jerusalem" has been wrought into my soul. For the past few months, all I think about everyday is Christ and His Body and nothing else. Are you still under the rulership of this particular heavenly vision of God's economy?
You are definitely a 'newbie' to the LC ! I do miss the kind of fellowship we had from home to home back in the day. To me, I often experienced the 'building up of the church' in our prayer meetings. We built upon one another's prayers. The testimonies (which they now call 'prophesies' or something, were supposed to be built upon the messages. And for a time they were. They were not always. Sometimes people got up and spoke something totally off the wall but if we had the LORD lead, He would have straightened us out. Instead, we got trapped into wanting Lee's approval. While Lee wanted us to fellowship in the homes etc, he did not want us to be real friends with each other. You are experiencing the "love bombing" right now. But once you become really integrated, you'll just be one of them and who will you turn to when you have something pressing on your heart and need a friend to confide in? Don't be surprised if you are told "Turn to your spirit brother."

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4. Tripartite man - I was taught that understanding the spirit is the key to everything. Do you guys still "turn to your spirits" and reject the self in order to express Christ, Christ and Christ only?
I don't think about 'turning to my spirit'. I think about the LORD. He is in my thoughts and in everything I do...including watching TV, hanging out with friends, cheering for the San Antonio Spurs or Dallas Cowboys. I am ready to pray at any given moment. I go to sleep thinking about Him, praying to HIM, Thanking HIM, Praising HIM, Blessing HIM, Glorfying HIM..and I wake up the same way. But believe me. I am still a work in progress.

I always and still do hate that phrase 'turn to your spirit'. It is so condescending to me. Why not just say 'Let's Pray'. And lead the prayer. That is how I see us 'turning to the SPIRIT God, Jesus Christ in our spirit'.

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As an example, I was frequently taught that human improvements don't matter because only Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality, so all we need to do is "call on the name of the Lord and turn to our spirits!"
Human improvements DO MATTER. Everything takes practice. We have to ask the Lord to help us be the best we can be. To help us in our weakness. To give us strength to do what we find difficult to do. To be patient where we are not.
Of course Christ fulfills the highest standard of Morality! He IS ALL PERFECT AND PURE Mighty GOD. But believe me, if human improvements did not matter, there would not be the military training at the FTT of keeping your drawers neat and clean followed by an INSPECTION of your drawers!


You really think if a brother or sister goes to another brother or sister, or an elder and tells them they are struggling with a particular sin that all will be fine when they are told 'Just TURN TO YOUR SPIRIT brother?"

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I was also told that before we were saved, the soul is our person and the spirit is an organ. But after we're saved, the spirit is our person and the soul is our organ, for the purpose of expressing the spirit (Christ).
Yes. I believe this because we are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 our being is comprised of spirit, soul and body. Jesus also said in John 4:24 that God is SPIRIT and they (we) that worship HIM must worship Him in spirit and in Truth. The Living Bible puts it like this: For it’s not where we worship that counts, but how we worship—is our worship spiritual and real? Do we have the Holy Spirit’s help? For God is Spirit, and we must have his help to worship as we should.

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4. How do you guys pray after leaving the LC? Do you pray to the Lord Jesus or the Father in Heaven? Do you amen after every phrase when someone else is praying?
For many years after leaving the LC, I only addressed God through the Lord Jesus. The LC impressed in me John 14:6 and Acts 7:59. Jesus says "I am the Way, the TRUTH and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father but by Me. And when Stephen was being stoned, he said "Lord Jesus. Receive my spirit'. (Stephen did not say "FATHER. Receive my spirit. And btw, this revelation of Stephen's prayer did not come to me from the LC. The revelation came to me from the Holy Spirit Himself.)
While the LC impressed on me these scriptures, so did THE HOLY SPIRIT. So I am very good with addressing my prayers to the LORD JESUS.

That said, over the last few years, I have learned to address many of my prayers to GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT. I never used to pray to God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. Only to God, the Lord Jesus. But when I began to talk to God by saying "Holy Spirit. I need Your Help in this matter." WOW. My relationship with Almighty God began to grow deeper. I am still working on my relationship with God the FATHER. I do pray to Him now. But I don't know HIM as a daughter knows and has a good relationship with her Father.
Working on it though..with The SPIRIT'S and the WORD'S Help.

Also. While I do have personal prayers, I pray the Word of God back to HIM a LOT. I don't know if the LC still pray reads with all their emphasis on the footnotes, but we used to take the scriptures and pray read them. It was a way of memorizing them as well as getting the Word really rooted and grounded in us in a meaningful way..not simply quoting them. Anyway, as an example as how I pray sometimes. I often remind the LORD this: LORD JESUS. YOU are the Way, the TRUTH AND THE LIFE. YOU CAME THAT I / we WOULD HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY. Thank You for Your Promise. (If I am super grateful for a Blessing I received, I rejoice like nobody's business. But if I am frustrated with my life at the moment, I will add: NOW.. since Your Word Father says that Jesus came that I would have Life and have it MORE abundantly, what kind of LIFE is this that I'm having??? That's how I 'turn to my S/spirit!!!"

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As you can see from my questions, all of the above is still so fresh and vivid in my mind (soul?). In my experience, I met some of the most devoted Christians in my life in the past few months in the LC. They were so serious about the Bible, so welcoming and loving to my wife and me and certainly took care of us. The brothers and sisters that I've encountered absolutely love the Lord and have a strong grasp of biblical knowledge and of course, LSM knowledge.
Great, great questions IO. Thank you for asking them! It has also been my experience that the initial love pouring found in the LC is like no other. There is a strong grasp of biblical knowledge but remember there is a difference of spouting out the biblical knowledge taught by Lee or any other ministry and the biblical knowledge imparted into us by the Spirit of God Himself. For example. I remember going over Jesus being the Bread of Life in the LC. But many months into praying and studying the bible, did I have the personal revelation that Jesus IS indeed the Bread of Life.

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As my marriage started to suffer in recent months, I finally begin to see that there is a powerful and organized system behind the LC and it is the system that I'm against.
See?? There is something not right with the LC if marriages suffer because of it. There is a controlling spirit, a stronghold behind the LC and it is not God's HOLY SPIRIT. It is a religious spirit that uses God's Word. It is the spirit of Witness Lee. The LC venerates him and to a lesser extent Watchman Nee. When I began to see this happening in 1978, I knew I had to leave. It was hard. I snuck out. But with God's help I am set free now.

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In a prayer with the Lord 3 nights ago, He somehow gave me the intuition to google the following: "Witness Lee's son." By the Lord's grace and mercy, I was taken to this forum as well as others.
Hee- hee. That was God,the HOLY SPIRIT speaking to You and sharpening your intuition!!! He's the SPIRIT in your spirit ! Oh How I love how the HOLY SPIRIT speaks to us !!!! He is SO AWESOME!!! I JUST LOVE THE HOLY SPIRIT !!!!!!!!! He is the VOICE of God the Father. Jesus Christ is the WORD of God the Father. The Father is the GLORY. Praise be to HIM always and forever!!

God Bless you, your wife and loved ones IO. And may this coming year be a year of Blessing above all expectation from our Loving FATHER GOD, HIS SPIRIT AND HIS WORD. Happy new year !

Carol
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:04 PM   #46
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Should I throw out the recovery version (with footnotes) of the OT and NT?
Being out of the local church so long I forget what it's like to be closed off, within a group that holds to tribal thinking and organization, and how it limits exposure to all the greater learning tools outside the local church. It's good to be free. A famous person said that some 2000 yrs ago.

Anyway:

For what it's worth to you, my advice bro immuno, is to download ->The Net Bible<- or reference it online, or buy a hard copy. You can also get it for eReaders or Kindle, if you have such gadgets. It's a scholarly level translation with scholarly footnotes, explaining Greek words, and manuscript differences. It's an invaluable Bible reference, providing much learning.

You know, I'm assuming, that Witness Lee was not a Bible scholar, nor were those that produced the RcV. And don't buy into the myth that Witness Lee got his Bible learning, and teachings, right from the mouth of God. It never happened. Witness Lee admits as much.

And for computer reference I downloaded ->eSword<- and all the free Bible translations available. It's packed with Strong's, and about 20 free translations, also with commentaries (even by John Darby) And you can select to compare a verse, or verses, between all the translations.

You can also search all the translations in eSword, and The Net Bible. And for use on forums you can cut and paste from them.

So enjoy, bro I_O, expanding your mind out into the very large Christian world. Why join a tribalistic group, or any group, that claims to be it, to the exclusion of everyone else? Do you really want to stunt your brain?

I know that in the local church they like to tell you to get out of your mind (and into your spirit). But then you will end up being certifiably "out of your mind." I can tell you with certitude that Witness Lee didn't get out of his mind, and certainly not Ron Kangas either. Kangas graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary. I knew him personally and can attest that he was and is a very cerebral person. The last thing bro Kangas is gonna do is get out of his mind. Should be the last thing you and you wife do to.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:50 AM   #47
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I don't think about 'turning to my spirit'. I think about the LORD.
This is a great point. The Bible says, "when the heart turns to the Lord, the veil is removed." (2 Cor 3.16) We turn our hearts towards the Lord. He is the focus of our "turning," not our spirit. I think this subtle misdirection by Lee made us vulnerable to some of his errant teachings. We were coached into believing that a little arm-pumping and decibal-rising was somehow equivalent to "exercising our spirit."

Probably 20 years ago, most likely due to numerous examples of unrighteousness at LSM, a brother in the GLA said that "exercising our spirit" should be changed to "exercising our conscience." Wasn't our conscience the leading part of our Spirit? Had not Lee and the Blendeds at LSM become like the Pharisees "exercising their spirit" to make a "really good show" in the flesh, while compromising their conscience regarding righteousness?
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:53 AM   #48
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Anyway:

For what it's worth to you, my advice bro immuno, is to download ->The Net Bible<- or reference it online, or buy a hard copy. You can also get it for eReaders or Kindle, if you have such gadgets. It's a scholarly level translation with scholarly footnotes, explaining Greek words, and manuscript differences. It's an invaluable Bible reference, providing much learning.
This is great advice for all of us who were once in the LC's. Get a fresh translation of the Bible and look at the Word of God anew.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:12 AM   #49
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This is great advice for all of us who were once in the LC's. Get a fresh translation of the Bible and look at the Word of God anew.
I've also been using for a long time: The Interlinear Scripture Analyzer 2, available at http://www.scripture4all.org/

It's only limitation is that it's based upon the Textus Receptus, like the KJV, that doesn't take into account the earlier more reliable manuscripts.

I still use it, and enjoy it. After all these Bible resources that are available, for free, I could never just use one translation, like using only the RcV. But then again I'm not boxed in or bewitched by Witness Lee's local church deputy/delegated authority movement. I could never fit back into that box. Nor do I want to.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:58 PM   #50
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Should I throw out the recovery version (with footnotes) of the OT and NT? What version of the bible did you use before the recovery version was introduced? What do you use now?
I used to also be nervous about using the correct or best bible translation.

But after understanding how to use interlinears and concordances, a lot of that nervousness went away after realizing that each Greek/Hebrew word could finally be accessibly investigated. The seemingly monopolized power Witness Lee once had to study the meaning of each Greek word could now be in anyone's hand. As others here have also shared, the internet is also another powerful equalizer.

I use the NLT for devotional/casual reading. Here's one of my favorite verses from the NLT that makes me appreciate the NLT translation.

1 Cor 4:20 NLT
"For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God's power."

For further study I use the ESV and interlinears/concordances if there is a need to drill down further.

I've also started reading the Amplified Bible because I heard good things about it. It expounds on further explanations of words and meanings from the original text within the verses to save you some trouble of looking up words in concordances everytime. From my understanding, because Greek and English are such different languages, each translated word in English often doesn't capture the full original meaning in Greek. Also Greek grammar is much more precise than English, so some verb tenses may be lost in translation.

Here's an example translation from the amplified bible for John 3:36 which expounds on the Greek word pisteuo which is translated to "believe" in English, but also has other meaning that is lost in translation.

John 3:36 AMP
And he who believes in (has faith in, clings to, relies on) the Son has (now possesses) eternal life. But whoever disobeys (is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to) the Son will never see (experience) life, but [instead] the wrath of God abides on him. [God’s displeasure remains on him; His indignation hangs over him continually.]

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage...36&version=AMP
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:30 PM   #51
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As an example, I was frequently taught that human improvements don't matter because only Christ fulfills the highest standard of morality, so all we need to do is "call on the name of the Lord and turn to our spirits!"
In 2 Peter 1:5-11 Peter suggests that our calling and election have to confirmed by an ever increasing sanctification:

"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.... Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

On the one hand we are chosen, predestinated for salvation from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), and my current understanding is that nothing can change this (John 6:39) but on the other hand our election has to be confirmed, and Peter implies that ever increasing character improvement is a sign that someone is elected for salvation.

And I still believe it's not our own works that save us, but the grace of God. If the Spirit of grace, the Holy Spirit truly dwells in us, these changes will happen as long as we stay connected to Jesus through fellowship and abiding in Him (John 15).

We often give glory to men of God when the glory should be directed to God himself. I believe God is in the business of making us look good, when he does all the work behind the scenes, like he probably did for David when he killed Goliath.

So a big revelation for me after leaving the LCs was understanding that we are saved by a grace that actively works for us and in us.

Paul captures this well in Titus 2:12. God's grace offers us salvation, but it also enables us to live holy lives.

"the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,"

And also Phil 2:12-13. We still have to exercise our will to do good by obeying God, however it's actually God in us who is doing the "willing" and working for us.

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:28 AM   #52
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You know, I'm assuming, that Witness Lee was not a Bible scholar, nor were those that produced the RcV.

And for computer reference I downloaded ->eSword<- and all the free Bible translations available. It's packed with Strong's, and about 20 free translations, also with commentaries (even by John Darby) And you can select to compare a verse, or verses, between all the translations.
Ever since the time of the "pioneers" (Ingalls, Knoch, Duane) some real scholars have joined the editorial team at LSM: Kerry Robichaux (PhD Dallas Theological Seminary), Roger Goode (PhD), etc. I suppose to not acknowledge the contributions of the "pioneers" they merely give credit to the Editorial Section.

e-Sword is by far the best resource on the internet. However, the resources on this site is limited and several items are for sale only.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:40 AM   #53
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Default Re: immuno_oncology

I give the same advice I'd give to any newbie. Read the 4 gospels until you are blue in the face. Read them until you can say the next line before Jesus says it. Only with that level of familiarity can you safely venture further afield.

As you venture further afield, and you should, make that what you do assimilate keeps quickly coming back to the redeeming love of God as manifested in the person of His Son, seen in those 4 narratives. It's easy to lose focus, and be distracted; we are unfortunately too smart for our own good, and God's enemy isn't called the 'subtle one' for nothing. So beware... be simple, and beware.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:10 PM   #54
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Default Re: immuno_oncology

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Originally Posted by aron View Post
I give the same advice I'd give to any newbie. Read the 4 gospels until you are blue in the face. Read them until you can say the next line before Jesus says it. Only with that level of familiarity can you safely venture further afield.
Bro Aron, I want to thank you for this statement. This has been my feeling, desire and practice since leaving. I've been reading a different (to me) version of the NT that is causing me to appreciate and love my Jesus in a fresh way. I stopped reading the RcV with footnotes because I had a sense that the notes were blinders (the kind put on a horse to keep him from looking away) that only focussed on WL opinions and views. To me the intent of LSM is to restrict the Spirit's speaking to only that which WL saw, but the Spirit is so rich and so wanting to exalt Christ that His work can never be restricted to the feelings and opinions of one man like WL.
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:25 AM   #55
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Default Re: immuno_oncology

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To me the intent of LSM is to restrict the Spirit's speaking to only that which WL saw, but the Spirit is so rich and so wanting to exalt Christ that His work can never be restricted to the feelings and opinions of one man like WL.
Hear, hear. To limit the speaking, effectively, to one person (i.e. "one trumpet") which person is not Jesus Christ, but a redeemed sinner like the rest, is to unduly restrict God's voice, and the Spirit's move, among the flock. Christ is much too rich for one man's ministry to encapsulate.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:24 AM   #56
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Default Re: immuno_oncology

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Originally Posted by aron View Post
Hear, hear. To limit the speaking, effectively, to one person (i.e. "one trumpet") which person is not Jesus Christ, but a redeemed sinner like the rest, is to unduly restrict God's voice, and the Spirit's move, among the flock. Christ is much too rich for one man's ministry to encapsulate.
When I was young I was taught to believe this. I was also taught that all of God's work and blessing on earth would be accomplished through this man.

Eventually the plain old facts of life are just to difficult to remain covered up, and this deception began to be seen for what it is.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:12 AM   #57
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Default Re: immuno_oncology

I was reading through an older thread and some of it reminded me of the discussion surrounding the RecV (LSM's so-called "gold bar"). While not directly on topic, I thought it was enlightening. Here are some things from posts there:
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Here is a transcript of Witness Lee in San Diego, Ca in 1989.

"When I was told that I had deviated from the recovery, I checked with myself. Where? Where could I find my deviation? I couldn’t find [anything]. So I could not have anything to repent of. I’m not proud. I’m sincere. I’m honest. I’m open. To tell you the truth, I like to repent. I have repented to the saints openly at least two or three times. Right? I didn’t deviate from the recovery; rather I got into it more deeply. Right?"

Witness Lee only knew how to check with himself. He had no peers to check him and challenge his biases. So of course he couldn't find anything to correct. And any system built up around this kind of ministry is also going to be unable to correct itself.

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Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
What strikes me about this is how it has nothing to do with anything that is real.

The recovery doesn't exist. And it certainly doesn't exist as a quantifiable standard that is objectively measurable. It's an artificial construct that only existed in the minds of those in the movement, and then probably not in the same form.

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That's a remarkably revealing quotation with respect to WL's character. Since he is the MOTA, the ultimate authority on everything pertaining to God on this planet, if he was unaware of deviation, there must not be any. As God's emissary to us, he was more than an autonomous dictator. Please give a complete citation of the source of the quote so that it can be independently verified.

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The quote is from JI's STTIL, on this website. The older and experienced brothers tried to be an independent counsel of peers, and an objective set of "eyes" and "ears" to what was happening on the ground. JI wrote that when a number of brothers from various areas including S. Cal and the Southeast presented their concerns, WL didn't have a heart to listen to anything. Then JI quoted this speaking from San Diego to verify that WL wasn't going to take any external input as a basis of his judgment.

JI also wrote that WL's take-home message from the late '80s storm was that "older brothers" couldn't handle the "new way". That was the real problem; end of discussion. The oracle had spoken.

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Well actually, Witness Lee did have peers. He had the elders in Anaheim. He had leading brothers throughout the country who had been with him a quarter century. They had a lot to say, but he would not listen. Many wrote articles delineating the deviations. You couldn't find anything? John Ingalls met with you a dozen times. Here Lee was not being at all sincere or honest.

It was said that Lee never like to hear bad news about his ministry. To carefully listen to all news, especially when it comes from long-time associates, is real honesty and sincerity. Lee, however, only surrounded himself with cheerleaders. Ed Marks quickly rose in the ranks because his belly was filled with footnotes. Other brothers, whose consciences were protesting the abuses at LSM, were quickly silenced. They were "checking" not with "themselves," but with scripture.

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Thanks for the quote, aron. But when I read it, I saw something a little different than what it seems others have.
Since Lee is the source of the teaching on recovery, he is the source of all data concerning it. Even if he were to claim to have discovered it within scripture, it is still the result of his own analysis of that scripture.

Then, if the definition of recovery is dependent upon his analysis of scripture, it would tend to follow that he would naturally find that he followed his own thinking on the subject. The analysis then becomes a classic begging of the question. Or maybe more correctly a classic case of circular reasoning.

You ask the one who defined something based on his own analysis whether he is still holding to his analysis. It will not matter whether his definition has morphed over time and you think you see that current actions are contrary to older definitions. Such a person will declare that the definition is what it currently is and that he must (by definition) be consistent with it.

And that is the way with virtually everything that is learned by reference to Lee. "Brother Lee once said that . . ." is all that is required to make something "true." It is what he says, so it is true.

And if you think he is not acting consistent with his statements, then you don't understand the statements. The fault is never with Lee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
"Brother Lee, there is concern that we have deviated from the path of recovery"

"Whose definition of recovery? Mine? We haven't deviated from it at all."

Even if we call it "The Lord's recovery", it is the Lord's recovery as defined by WL. And that definition isn't what JI thought that he bought into, at one time. It's the definition that WL held onto until the end, and never deviated from.
And when you consider that everything about the translation of the RecV, and especially everything about the footnotes was strictly from Lee, it is a closed system ripe for error. (I realize that there are many things in the footnotes that were not original with Lee, but first, he mostly did not provide attribution, thereby making seem to be his own, and second, he included only things that were consistent with the theological construct that he has built.)
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