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Old 01-07-2018, 12:55 PM   #1
ZNPaaneah
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Default What is the boundary of the Local Church?

18And I also say unto thee, that thou art [k]Peter, and upon this [l]rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

1. Jesus is Lord. The Lord’s word concerning being killed didn’t not align with Peter’s vision and Peter “rebukes” the Lord. Jesus rebukes this in the strongest terms. The first boundary concerning the church that cannot be crossed is that Jesus is Lord. We are not His counselor. When Witness Lee rebukes Micah because he doesn’t have the vision, or James because he is not clear on the vision, or the Psalmists because they are writing according to their natural concepts. We are to be one with all Christians who recognize Jesus is Lord, and we need to reject all those who don’t, even the Apostle Peter in this case is rebuked.

2. Jesus only. After this Jesus takes several apostles up to the mountain where they talk about making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Moses and Elijah are Ministers of the Age. This is undeniable, even the Bible presents them both as Ministers of the Age. This is the second boundary. The church is not a tabernacle to a man. Lutherans and Calvinists are clearly in error here. But other groups like the Brethren also fall into this trap. They know not to have any other name, but the cause of their divisions is different ministers and those that follow the different ministries. This is what identifies a cult, following a man. Even if the man is endorsed by the Bible like Moses and Elijah, the church should only hear Jesus. I believe this is the second boundary concerning the church that the LRC has crossed by setting up WN and WL as “MOTA’s”.

3. Faith. When they come down from the mountain we see the father of an epileptic asking Jesus to heal his son because the disciples “could not cure him”. A third error we make is in thinking the church, more powerful than Hades, able to bind and loose anyone on earth, is filled with great men of faith. God loves mercy. What pleases God is to see a sinner saved, repent, and lifted up. The church is composed of those with little faith. Philadelphia only had “a little strength”. This is a boundary that cannot be crossed but that Witness Lee crossed frequently when he claimed that there was no one in Christianity with anything of value. His reference to “poor, poor Christianity” is an example of his insulting behavior to those with little faith.

4. Kings destined to rule. Finally, the chapter ends with Peter being rebuked again for saying that Jesus pays tribute to the leaders. We see this frequently, people presenting the church as a group for political activism. Jesus rebuked Peter for saying that He pays the tribute because that wasn’t according to the truth. This can be absolutely true and scriptural, however you are missing a simple point. The church is here to win souls from sin and death (Hades). We don’t reign in this age, we evangelize. Preaching that we are exempt from the world’s authority would stumble some. Therefore we do pay the tribute, not because we need to, but because we choose to do this so as not to stumble others. Since money is vanity and in light of eternity of no value why not give it?

This brings us to Matthew 18. The disciples are confused, they were told that the church would be more powerful than Hades and that they would be above all on Earth able to bind and loose all. Since all of their assumptions about what that would be like were wrong they ask the Lord what that means. He explains in chapter 18 what that is and concludes with these verses:

18Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it [l]shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:46 PM   #2
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[COLOR="Blue"]1. Jesus is Lord. The Lord’s word concerning being killed didn’t not align with Peter’s vision and Peter “rebukes” the Lord. Jesus rebukes this in the strongest terms. The first boundary concerning the church that cannot be crossed is that Jesus is Lord. We are not His counselor. When Witness Lee rebukes Micah because he doesn’t have the vision, or James because he is not clear on the vision, or the Psalmists because they are writing according to their natural concepts. We are to be one with all Christians who recognize Jesus is Lord, and we need to reject all those who don’t, even the Apostle Peter in this case is rebuked.
No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:20-21).


Witness Lee teaches that some scripture did come about by the prophet's own imagination.

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:17-19)


The fact that the Bible has authority is not imagination, it is not an inferential teaching or a cleverly devised myth like Witness Lee's "Ground of the church" doctrine which elevates the worldly boundaries of a worldly city at giving the boundaries of the church. The NT states clearly that the ground that the church is built on is a rock, it is the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. But this myth denies the Lord who redeemed us and replaces Him with some arbitrary boundary that changes with the whims of men.

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. (1Thess 2:13)


Witness Lee teaches that the books of Micah, James, Psalms, and other sections are the "word of men". No different than Peter telling Jesus "this shall not befall you". Jesus is the incarnated word.
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:44 PM   #3
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Witness Lee teaches that the books of Micah, James, Psalms, and other sections are the "word of men". No different than Peter telling Jesus "this shall not befall you".
One way to see the seriousness of what Lee did is to see it in context. In the 4 gospels, the OT clearly was used as the basis of promoting Jesus as Messiah. "The scripture must be fulfilled" was the mantra. The OT had promised the Messiah, and now here he was - Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus never promoted his own agenda, but was strictly controlled by the word of scripture. "What I see my Father doing, that is what I do"

Paul developed that further, and added layers of abstraction. But - key - Paul never added anything that changed the gospel message in Acts: that the promised Messiah, foretold by the prophets in the inspiration of God's Spirit, was now fulfilled. The birth, the deeds, the suffering, the death, the glories that followed. Again, all of this was portrayed in the Jewish scripture, the OT.

Now, here's where I see the problem. Lee added a further layer of abstraction, one which needed to survive by dismissing portions of scripture as "fallen" and "natural". Lee went beyond anything Paul had done. He made his own teachings the boundary of the Local Church. Instead of Jesus, we focused on "processed", and "consummated" and "High Peak"

I noticed this, when as a member I'd "go off message" and see something that Lee didn't promote. Of course I was excited to see something, and would share. Silence. And God forbid that you treated his work critically, as he'd treated other Christian ministries! LSM got to 'Affirm and Critique' others, but you'd better only 'Affirm' Lee! Otherwise the 'oneness' is broken. If you critique, you've gone off the Lee reservation, and have broken the boundaries of the Local Church.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:17 PM   #4
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Now, here's where I see the problem. Lee added a further layer of abstraction, one which needed to survive by dismissing portions of scripture as "fallen" and "natural". Lee went beyond anything Paul had done. He made his own teachings the boundary of the Local Church. Instead of Jesus, we focused on "processed", and "consummated" and "High Peak"

I noticed this, when as a member I'd "go off message" and see something that Lee didn't promote. Of course I was excited to see something, and would share. Silence. And God forbid that you treated his work critically, as he'd treated other Christian ministries! LSM got to 'Affirm and Critique' others, but you'd better only 'Affirm' Lee! Otherwise the 'oneness' is broken. If you critique, you've gone off the Lee reservation, and have broken the boundaries of the Local Church.
Consider what the Lord told Peter:

23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men. 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

Making his teachings the boundary was a way to “save his life”, it was a way “to profit”. This is what happens when you pedal the word of God. Peter saw himself as the right hand man to Jesus who was about to set up His kingdom on Earth. When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:35 AM   #5
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Witness Lee teaches that some scripture did come about by the prophet's own imagination.
He does this: characterizing it as "mixed human sentiment" and "fallen" and "natural concepts". In this he departs from the pattern of scripture reception given us by the NT apostles, who were following the pattern given by Jesus' use of scripture.

Therefore Lee's ideological template was the basis of church fellowship. If you chose scripture over the template you were outside the boundary of the Local Church.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:04 AM   #6
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He does this: characterizing it as "mixed human sentiment" and "fallen" and "natural concepts". In this he departs from the pattern of scripture reception given us by the NT apostles, who were following the pattern given by Jesus' use of scripture.

Therefore Lee's ideological template was the basis of church fellowship. If you chose scripture over the template you were outside the boundary of the Local Church.
What I think is most important is that all those who come in contact with this group understand this. When I first met them I asked saints questions about the Bible and they made it absolutely clear that the Bible is the only standard, the only authority and that they believe that every word of the Bible is the word of God. Only later do you see this teaching by Witness Lee that he decides which portions are "human imagination" and which are truly up to the standard of his vision.

To me this is like some kid who took apart an engine and then put it together again. When he is done he has a few spare parts. Instead of realizing he must have made a mistake he decides that these parts "are not necessary".

When you compare this with Peter's rebuke of the Lord and the Lord's subsequent rebuke of Peter you realize this is something that we cannot tolerate. Witness Lee has crossed a crucial boundary.
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Old 01-08-2018, 08:43 AM   #7
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2. Jesus only. After this Jesus takes several apostles up to the mountain where they talk about making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Moses and Elijah are Ministers of the Age. This is undeniable, even the Bible presents them both as Ministers of the Age. This is the second boundary. The church is not a tabernacle to a man. Lutherans and Calvinists are clearly in error here. But other groups like the Brethren also fall into this trap. They know not to have any other name, but the cause of their divisions is different ministers and those that follow the different ministries. This is what identifies a cult, following a man. Even if the man is endorsed by the Bible like Moses and Elijah, the church should only hear Jesus. I believe this is the second boundary concerning the church that the LRC has crossed by setting up WN and WL as “MOTA’s”.
Throughout church history church gatherings have been dominated by individuals. Martin Luther -- hence "Lutherans". Calvin -- Calvinists. Brethren knew this was wrong yet were dominated by various ones like JN Darby.

This has led to the teaching by WL and WN of "Minister of the Age" for which we use the acronym "MOTA". In this MOTA teaching Moses plays a very key role as he is undeniably a "Minister of the Age". One way to realize this should not apply to Witness Lee or Watchman Nee is that Moses as the MOTA was a type of Christ. But this is confirmed here where the disciples suggest building three tabernacles to these three (Jesus, Moses and Elijah). This idea is fully rejected by God. Jesus Christ as the Son is on a completely different level.

In the next chapter (Matt 18) the disciples ask "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" This word "then" is very important, it shows that this question is a response to them being repeatedly rebuked in Matt 16 and 17. Peter thought that since he got the vision he was the "greatest" (leader). Rejected. They thought Moses and Elijah -- rejected. They thought that they were chosen because of their great faith -- rejected.

The Lord's answer is startling -- 2 And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

If you put a piano in front of a child they will begin to bang on it. But at a certain age they will respond "I can't play". If you put a computer in front of a child they will begin to bang on it. But after a certain age they will respond "I don't know how it works". We know that any child can play the piano if they are trained. We know anyone can use a computer if they are trained. But it can take time. When the child was not healed they asked "why can't we do it?" The Lord's response was it takes prayer and fasting -- training by the Holy Spirit.

This is why they are looking for that "talented" leader -- Moses, Elijah, or Peter. What the Lord is showing them is that He is the talented leader and if they will pray and fast to be trained by him then they too can enter into the kingdom.

Teaching that Witness Lee is the MOTA short circuits this. Witness Lee has crossed a crucial boundary by stumbling the little brothers and sisters.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me: 6 but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:02 AM   #8
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This is why they are looking for that "talented" leader -- Moses, Elijah, or Peter. What the Lord is showing them is that He is the talented leader and if they will pray and fast to be trained by him then they too can enter into the kingdom.

Teaching that Witness Lee is the MOTA short circuits this.
Two comments:

1. I believe the NT record shows Christ as the unique MOTA. He is "the prophet like Moses." Not Paul, not Peter, not Luther, not Witness Lee or JN Darby. Christ as the embodiment of Deuteronomy 18's promise is confirmed by Peter in Acts 3:22 and by Stephen in Acts 7:37. Plus, that this was the public expectation, pre-Jesus, is seen by the crowds asking John the Baptist, "Are you the Prophet?" Notice it is "the" Prophet, not "a" prophet.

Jesus was the only one who saw God face-to-face (Exodus 33:11; cf "No one has ever seen God, but Jesus has declared Him"), and came back with the Word of the LORD (Jesus was the incarnate Word!!). None else could do this - all else could only point to the Word. Witness Lee corrupted this, by telling us the God-breathed scripture was fallen man's concepts. (and yet none could point out his fallen concepts!!)

2. The fact that Lee as MOTA was farce was corroborated by what we heard on his death. "The age of spiritual giants is over; it is the age of small potatoes". That is what was solemnly intoned in my 'locality'. No scripture was given. We were so enthralled by the person that when he died we couldn't imagine anyone rising to his stature, and replacing his speaking. So Witness Lee could change the scripture's status from "Holy Word" to "fallen words" and yet when he died, none was qualified to speak forth anything new. His word was final. The "final Moses." As Ed Marks told us, "It is time to eat leftovers". (He said this defiantly).
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:46 AM   #9
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18And I also say unto thee, that thou art [k]Peter, and upon this [l]rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

2. Jesus only. After this Jesus takes several apostles up to the mountain where they talk about making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Moses and Elijah are Ministers of the Age. This is undeniable, even the Bible presents them both as Ministers of the Age. This is the second boundary. The church is not a tabernacle to a man. Lutherans and Calvinists are clearly in error here. But other groups like the Brethren also fall into this trap. They know not to have any other name, but the cause of their divisions is different ministers and those that follow the different ministries. This is what identifies a cult, following a man. Even if the man is endorsed by the Bible like Moses and Elijah, the church should only hear Jesus. I believe this is the second boundary concerning the church that the LRC has crossed by setting up WN and WL as “MOTA’s”.
Great commentary here. This is to "rightly divide" the word of God, something sorely needed in the LC's.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:08 PM   #10
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Two comments:
1. I believe the NT record shows Christ as the unique MOTA. He is "the prophet like Moses." Not Paul, not Peter, not Luther, not Witness Lee or JN Darby. Christ as the embodiment of Deuteronomy 18's promise is confirmed by Peter in Acts 3:22 and by Stephen in Acts 7:37. Plus, that this was the public expectation, pre-Jesus, is seen by the crowds asking John the Baptist, "Are you the Prophet?" Notice it is "the" Prophet, not "a" prophet.
Great finds here aron.

The fulfillment of Moses' prophecy by the Lord Jesus and it being continually mentioned by the early church, shows us that this was common knowledge by the children of Israel. For centuries Israel looked for "THE PROHET" like unto Moses.

I believe that the lack of blessing on LSM confirms that the Father is offended that Lee would rob His own Son of His rightful place as Minister of the New Covenant age. The Apostle Paul would agree, since at the time he was wrongly uplifted in Corinth (I Cor 1.12-13), he responded "Was I, Paul, crucified for you?" That makes it crystal clear that the Minister of the Age, He who is exalted in the church, can be no one else but the One crucified for us.

Paul's warning with tears to the elders in Ephesus, which may have been his last words on earth as far as he knew, confirmed that the church belongs to only Him who shed His own blood. Even the best of church leaders were only to serve as overseers placed by the Holy Spirit. Those who rejected that "demeaning" role of shepherding were either fierce devouring wolves or self-exalting men, speaking perverted things. (Acts 20.18-38)
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:00 PM   #11
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I find it very interesting that we have multiple verse references in Matthew, Acts, and 1Corinthians directly rebuking the concept of "MOTA". What is the basis that Drake, Evangelical and WL give? Human logic -- isn't it reasonable. There is no Biblical basis at all, simply the imagination of men who also imagine that they can discern which parts of the Bible are not up to standard.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:59 PM   #12
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3. Faith. When they come down from the mountain we see the father of an epileptic asking Jesus to heal his son because the disciples “could not cure him”. A third error we make is in thinking the church, more powerful than Hades, able to bind and loose anyone on earth, is filled with great men of faith. God loves mercy. What pleases God is to see a sinner saved, repent, and lifted up. The church is composed of those with little faith. Philadelphia only had “a little strength”. This is a boundary that cannot be crossed but that Witness Lee crossed frequently when he claimed that there was no one in Christianity with anything of value. His reference to “poor, poor Christianity” is an example of his insulting behavior to those with little faith.
2 And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

I love this verse. Witness Lee would have you believe that the MOTA is “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. It is a vey natural thought. The human concept is that the church, the ones who bind on earth and it is bound in heaven, they loose on earth and it is loosed in heaven, that these ones are mighty in faith. It was a shock to the disciples when they “could not” cast out the demon from the epileptic boy. But what did Jesus say — “you need the vision from the MOTA”? No. He said you need to pray and fast, and then here He says “become as little children”. When my son was four we took him to learn to play the violin. He had no idea how tough the journey would be, he was just four. But now, ten years later, he is quite good.

Do you want to heal the sick? Do you want to cast out demons? Do you want to be in a church where what they bind on earth is bound in heaven, what they loose on earth is loosed in heaven? The church where anything they ask it will be done for them of the Father in heaven? Do you want to be in a church where Jesus is in the midst, turning poor, weak, baby Christians and transforming them into mighty men of faith? That is the church that is greatest in the kingdom.

This is the attitude that every new believer has, they want to experience the things promised in the Bible. But then someone comes and teaches a different gospel. Teach them to follow a different Christ, a dumb idol.

6 but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.
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Old 01-08-2018, 11:52 PM   #13
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Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:13 AM   #14
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Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.
Have you ever used Google Earth? Look up Corinth sometime. There it still is, same as when Paul wrote the Local Church there. Same physical boundaries. So why isn't the current Christian fellowship there one of your hypothetical local churches? Because it's not affiliated with the ministry of the age, and not subject to God's humble bondslave? Because they don't have a standing order with LSM? When did the Local Church in Corinth stop being local? They've always had the Faith, and the city boundaries.

No, if the people within the boundaries of the city of Corinth would only recognize Witness Lee as today's Paul, and today's Moses, as God's Oracle and (final) MOTA, they'd be a legitimate and genuine and proper local church.

Bob: "Hey Joe, did you hear they're taking the ground in Corinth?"

Joe: "No, incredible! A lampstand in Corinth! The same city that Paul wrote to!"

B: "Yep. Same one."

J: "Awesome. Hey, when did Corinth lose it's lampstand, anyway?"

B: "Um, I dunno. I think they got degraded somehow."

J: "Yeah, that's right. They affiliated with the Great Harlot the EOC."

B: "Yeah, the Harlot. O wait - wasn't that the RCC?"

J: "Well, nevermind. It wasn't affiliated with the LSM. That's what matters."

B: "Right. If it's not affiliated with anyone, it's the dreaded 'free group'; you know God hates them."

J: "And if it's affiliated with anyone else, then it's a denomination, or the Harlot."

B: "Right. First, one city per church. Second, proper and genuine affiliation with the ministry of the age."

J: "The simple way to remember is: when we do it, it's proper and genuine. When others do it, not so good."

B: "Yes, that's easy to remember."
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:47 AM   #15
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Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
How many churches are there? 1 or ten thousand?

If saints from Corinth and Ephesus met together at Sardis what is that? Suppose two people live in the same house. But because of one brothers job he goes to the church in Corinth and the other Ephesus so that they can make it to work on time after the meeting. What happened to city boundaries?

The real question is what makes the church the Body of Christ? It is that Jesus is in their midst. It doesn't matter what you call yourself or what the boundary lines of the city are. If Jesus is in your midst then you are the Body and if not you aren't.

What makes the church the house of God? It is that Jesus is in your midst. It doesn't matter what you call yourself or what the boundary lines of the city are. If Jesus is in your midst then you are the house of God and if not you aren't.

What makes the church the warrior of God that can bind and loose? It is that Jesus is in your midst. It doesn't matter what you call yourself or what the boundary lines of the city are. If Jesus is in your midst then you are the warrior and if not you aren't.

All of your definitions of taking the table and one eldership are contrived. There is nothing in the NT that prohibits two or three from taking the table. Also your eldership is under the authority of Jesus who is Lord. That is what gives you one leadership. If they are not under Jesus you aren't the church regardless of what self proclaimed prophet laid hands on them.

The bottom line is this -- these verses in Matthew are the first mention of the church, and in these verses the Lord lays out key principles. He does not define the church based on the name or city boundaries. He defines it as the place that can bind on earth and it will be bound in heaven, can loose on earth and it will be loosed in heaven, that whatever they ask it will be done for them by the Father. He also makes it clear that anyone who meets those criteria, even two or three, can receive these promises.

What promises are given to those that name themselves "the church in _____?" Nothing. What promises are given in Matthew 16-18 -- several great promises.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:55 PM   #16
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Matthew 18 continues:

7 Woe unto the world because of occasions of stumbling! for it must needs be that the occasions come; but woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh!

Why? Why must there be occasions of stumbling? Witness Lee was necessary. David Koresh was necessary. Why? Because we are being trained in this age to rule with Christ as kings.

8 And if thy hand or thy foot causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed or halt, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. 9 And if thine eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire.

The church is where we learn to deal with all of these negative things. This is what it means to bind and loose. All those lawyers in all those lawsuits didn't know how to bind Witness Lee. The FBI fumbled with Waco. This is not the age for Christians to be "stumbling" others, which would have happened if Peter told them that Jesus doesn't pay the tribute. This is the time for us to be trained in cutting off the occasion of stumbling. This is the church that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against.

This is a boundary that cannot be crossed. We cannot stumble others. We have to be very strict with ourselves, with our hands and feet and eyes. This is why Jesus rebuked Peter "get behind me Satan", this is why they were rebuked on the mount of transfiguration, this is why Peter was rebuked when he said his master pays tribute. The Lord's word was like antibiotic, killing the germs so quickly we hardly even realized they were germs. But after being in the LRC we see how these germs can become gangrene. If Peter can rebuke Jesus what's next? Maybe Micah? James? Proverbs? The Psalms? If you are going to build tabernacles to Moses and Elijah, what's next? Peter? Paul? An infinite number of MOTA's?

I really like what the Lord says here "if your foot caught thee to stumble". This reminds me of Adam blaming Eve who blamed the serpent. Yes, perhaps the foot "caused thee to stumble" but you still have a responsibility as well. Cut it off. No one wants to be maimed, or halt or lose an eye. But we need to be aware of when that is the best option. At some point they realized they were better off cutting off PL. I believe that when the puppet elders apologized and brought him back, they brought a curse upon the LRC. It became spreading gangrene.

This is completely contrary to the world. In the world we sacrifice a few "little children" for "the greater good". RG and BP can justify what they did for "the sake of the vision", etc. But here, in the kingdom, it is the opposite. If you are calculating the "profitability" it is more profitable for one who would stumble one of these little ones to have mill stone around their neck and be cast into the sea instead.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:19 PM   #17
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Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
LSM has been in so many lawsuits over property and property lines, that they think the church must have definite boundary lines too.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:46 AM   #18
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This is not the age for Christians to be "stumbling" others, which would have happened if Peter told them that Jesus doesn't pay the tribute. This is the time for us to be trained in cutting off the occasion of stumbling. This is the church that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against.

This is a boundary that cannot be crossed. We cannot stumble others. We have to be very strict with ourselves, with our hands and feet and eyes. This is why Jesus rebuked Peter "get behind me Satan", this is why they were rebuked on the mount of transfiguration, this is why Peter was rebuked when he said his master pays tribute. The Lord's word was like antibiotic, killing the germs so quickly we hardly even realized they were germs. But after being in the LRC we see how these germs can become gangrene. If Peter can rebuke Jesus what's next? Maybe Micah? James? Proverbs? The Psalms? If you are going to build tabernacles to Moses and Elijah, what's next? Peter? Paul? An infinite number of MOTA's?

I really like what the Lord says here "if your foot caught thee to stumble". This reminds me of Adam blaming Eve who blamed the serpent. Yes, perhaps the foot "caused thee to stumble" but you still have a responsibility as well. Cut it off. No one wants to be maimed, or halt or lose an eye. But we need to be aware of when that is the best option. At some point they realized they were better off cutting off PL. I believe that when the puppet elders apologized and brought him back, they brought a curse upon the LRC. It became spreading gangrene.

This is completely contrary to the world. In the world we sacrifice a few "little children" for "the greater good". RG and BP can justify what they did for "the sake of the vision", etc. But here, in the kingdom, it is the opposite. If you are calculating the "profitability" it is more profitable for one who would stumble one of these little ones to have mill stone around their neck and be cast into the sea instead.
I think this is a good, cautionary word. Surely we needed such warnings, way back when! And we still need them, today.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:59 AM   #19
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Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
The "property" was purchased by Jesus on the cross and is owned by Him. He can certainly identify where it begins and ends. It is an item of the faith that we are the redeemed of the Lord. Nowhere is it taught in the NT that the Lord redeemed a particular city up to the boundary of that city. If a church meets in Houston, and then due to floods is forced to move to college station we simply refer to them now as "the church in college station". The boundary of the city or the condition of the city has nothing to do with their status as a church, only with the how to write them a letter. The city lines of Houston were not some boundary that the church was not permitted to cross.

In theory it works in practice, but in practice it doesn't. Many of the saints who met in "the Church in Houston" lived in Deer Park. Many of the saints who met in the Church in Odessa lived in Midland. Many of the saints in the church in NYC lived in cities in Long Island. In practice the boundary of any local church includes all those who subscribe to Witness Lee's teachings and are close enough to come and meet regularly, regardless of city boundaries.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:46 AM   #20
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ZNP>”When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.”

ZNP,

On what scriptural basis do you make these allegations about Peter’s motives and his action?

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Old 01-10-2018, 08:20 AM   #21
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ZNP>”When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.”

ZNP,

On what scriptural basis do you make these allegations about Peter’s motives and his action?

Drake
You are correct that this is an interpretation. It is based on these verses:

21 From that time began Jesus to show unto his disciples, that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.

This is what was said that prompted Peter to rebuke Jesus.

22 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, [n]Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.

Here it is stated clearly but in vague terms that what prompted Peter is that he is minding the things of men.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

The context of "deny himself" is Peter's rebuke of Jesus due to his "minding the things of men". Therefore I am equating these two based on the term "Then said Jesus". Likewise with "save his life" and "what shall a man be profited if he shall gain the whole world".

So in my interpretation Jesus is explaining what He means by saying that Peter was "minding the things of men"

Minding the things of men = 1. Self centered 2. Save your own life 3. Personal profit and 4. Gain the whole world. Minding the things of men is not equal to be empathetic and sympathetic to Jesus suffering.

In context self centered this would refer to Peter seeing himself as the right hand man of Jesus in this kingdom He is setting up on Earth. "Save your own life" means that when Jesus dies, Peter's position dies with it. "Personal profit" refers to Peter being concerned about the losses he'll suffer when Jesus dies. "Gain the whole world" refers to Peter seeing himself on the throne alongside of Jesus. Jesus saying He is going to go and die messes that up and prompts Peter to respond.

However, if you read 1Peter you can see references to all of the gospel accounts, and you can get into his mind much more. The entire epistle to my understanding shows a man who failed in the first crucifixion and realizes he will be given a second chance and is completely focused on how to go to deny himself, take up his cross, and and follow the Lord.

In contrast to this 1 Peter begins:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

According to the human concept when Jesus died, Peter's hope died with it. But when Jesus was resurrected, we were born again to a living hope. Our inheritance is incorruptible, whereas the human thought is that it would die with Jesus. Death did not defile it, nor did it fade away. I see this as a man who let the Lord's words sink deep into him, and his epistle is a response to the Lord's speaking to him throughout his entire life, not just during the gospels.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:35 PM   #22
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If a person doesn't understand local church boundaries how can they know the difference between the books of the bible? They might think the book of Corinthians was written to the Romans and the book of Acts was written to the Egyptians.

Every time a person reads the New Testament eg read the book of Corinthians then the book of Ephesians they are using local church boundaries whether they are aware of it or not.

Without boundaries we might say that the Romans had a problem with female preachers and the Corinthians had a problem with keeping the law. What does it matter as they are all Christians, "Jesus is the boundary"?

Everyone knows when you write a letter to someone you put their proper address. You can't just put the address as anything you want and hope it gets there. To say the bible or the early church does not have practical boundaries is like saying it doesn't matter what address I put on a letter.

To say "It doesn't matter what you call yourself or what the boundary lines of the city are. If Jesus is in your midst then you are the Body and if not you aren't."
is like saying a "letter either has a stamp or it doesn't", and "every letter has a stamp, so it doesn't matter what address you put".

While it is true that a letter must have a stamp, it is not very practical to put any address you like on the letter and think you can just because it is a letter with a stamp.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:48 PM   #23
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What promises are given to those that name themselves "the church in _____?" Nothing. What promises are given in Matthew 16-18 -- several great promises.
Nothing?

What about the promises (and warnings) to various "the church in....." are given in Revelation.

e.g. "To the angel of the church in Sardis write...."


If boundaries are not localities.. why does each locality have an angel, and why does each one have a lampstand?
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:51 PM   #24
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If boundaries are not localities.. why does each locality have an angel, and why does each one have a lampstand?
Time and space is a boundary for creation. The church in Sardis represents the believers who are limited by both time and space. In that time and in that space they had the circumstances described and needed the word from the Lord that was given.

However, these letters could not be prophetic and could not represent the church through the ages if the church were limited by time and space. If the church is limited by time and space then the letter written to Sardis 2,000 years ago has nothing to do with me today. If that is true then Witness Lee's messages are false.

Most Christians, myself and Witness Lee included, do not agree with that. We see the letter to believers 2,000 years ago living in Sardis to apply to us today. I don't live in Sardis, and yet I can see the same circumstances in churches today. The truth in that letter for the church is not bound by the city boundary of Sardis. The letter to the church "in Sardis" is not limited to believers living or meeting in Sardis. Therefore Sardis cannot simply refer to the boundary of a city 2,000 years ago but rather to a circumstance that the Body of Christ must pass through.

So then why do they have a messenger?

10 See that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven

All the believers have angels. Matthew 18 makes it clear and in that chapter the promises are to two or three that meet in the name of the Lord.

What about the lamp stands?

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And having turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man,

compare this with Matt 18

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Now compare this with the full context of Revelation 1

9 I John, your brother and partaker with you in the tribulation and kingdom and patience which are in Jesus, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet 11 saying, What thou seest, write in a book and send it to the seven churches: unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamum, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And having turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 and in the midst of the candlesticks one like unto a son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle.

John is in Patmos, but He is in Spirit, and Jesus was in his midst and was in the midst of the 7 golden lamp stands. If the city boundary is a boundary and it represents Sardis, or Ephesus, etc. how could John be there? In Spirit the church is not bound by time or space.

Matthew 18 says "wherever" -- proving that the Spirit is not bound by any spacial boundary. It can be "wherever".

Revelation 2 and 3 give seven "wherevers". These are not simply locations in time and space, they also represent specific circumstances. This confirms that it is "wherever".

Correct me if I am wrong, but is Revelation 2-3 the next portion, after Matthew 18, where Jesus talks about the church? Should we consider it a continuation of Matthew 16-18?
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:05 AM   #25
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To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven golden [a]candlesticks:

Compare this with Matt 18 where the Lord says “wherever two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst”. If Jesus is walking in the midst of the seven lamp stands then the requirement to be a lamp stand is to meet in the name of Jesus. This is a concluding word to the previous three chapters. If Peter rebukes Jesus, then really Peter is the authority and you are meeting in Peter’s name. If they build tabernacles to Moses and Elijah as well as Jesus then you are meeting in all three names. If they are a “healing church” you are meeting in the name of the gifted healer. If they are paying tribute to local authorities (State church) then you are meeting in their name.

Now if you aren’t doing any of that but you are causing little ones to stumble then you are a false brother, on the surface you appear to be in the name of Jesus but inwardly you are a ravenous wolf. You will know this by the attitude towards the “lost sheep”. If the attitude is to avoid and stay away from a “Lost sheep” then you know they have institutionalized the stumbling of small brothers. If they are leaving the 99 (the meeting) to seek and find the lost sheep then you know that inwardly they are truly meeting in the name of Jesus.

You will also know this by how they reconcile offenses. If any brother or sister regardless of who they are, is treated according to Matt 18 then you know they are meeting in the name of Jesus. On the other hand, if a “brother” is found guilty of gross offenses, is dealt with according to Matt 18 and as a result the elders responsible are relieved of their duty, puppets are installed who then apologize to this offensive brother, then you know their use of the name of Jesus is vain and a deceit.

Only once those requirements have been met does the Lord give the promise concerning binding, loosing, answered prayer and His presence.

2*I know thy works, and thy toil and [b]patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false; 3*and thou hast [c]patience and didst bear for my name’s sake, and hast not grown weary. 4*But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love. 5*Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy [d]candlestick out of its place, except thou repent. 6*But this thou hast, that thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7*He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the [e]Paradise of God.

But then this letter expands on this. They did all this yet left their first love, Jesus. Our first love is the redeemer who died for us, sinners, so that we could be saved. The Final boundary given in Matt 18 is forgiveness. As the Lord forgave you, that is how you are to forgive others.

And this is how Matt 18 concludes:

21*Then came Peter and said to him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? 22*Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until [m]seventy times seven. 23*Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, who would make a reckoning with his [n]servants. 24*And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, that owed him ten thousand This talent was probably worth about £200, or $1000.talents. 25*But forasmuch as he had not wherewith to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26*The [p]servant therefore fell down and [q]worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27*And the lord of that [r]servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the [s]debt. 28*But that [t]servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, who owed him a hundred [u]shillings: and he laid hold on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay what thou owest. 29*So his fellow-servant fell down and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee. 30*And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay that which was due. 31*So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were exceeding sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32*Then his lord called him unto him, and saith to him, Thou wicked [v]servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou besoughtest me: 33*shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow-servant, even as I had mercy on thee? 34*And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due. 35*So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:57 AM   #26
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ZNP>”You are correct that this is an interpretation. It is based on these verses:

21 From that time began Jesus to show unto his disciples, that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.

This is what was said that prompted Peter to rebuke Jesus.”


Yes, but the Lord explained that He would be raised up the third day in that same instance. So, if Peters motives were all about profit, saving his own skin, and self serving interests as you claim he would have been comforted and assured by the promise of the Lord’s resurrection.

ZNP, I think you are reading into the scripture a private interpretation.

Seems from the account that Peter loved the Lord and was reacting to the thought of His, the Lord’s, suffering. Even Peter’s love for the Lord needed to be subjected to the cross. The Lord was referring to losing the soul-life (psuche) not the bios life.

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Old 01-11-2018, 08:16 AM   #27
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ZNP>”You are correct that this is an interpretation. It is based on these verses:

21 From that time began Jesus to show unto his disciples, that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.

This is what was said that prompted Peter to rebuke Jesus.”


Yes, but the Lord explained that He would be raised up the third day in that same instance. So, if Peters motives were all about profit, saving his own skin, and self serving interests as you claim he would have been comforted and assured by the promise of the Lord’s resurrection.

ZNP, I think you are reading into the scripture a private interpretation.

Seems from the account that Peter loved the Lord and was reacting to the thought of His, the Lord’s, suffering. Even Peter’s love for the Lord needed to be subjected to the cross. The Lord was referring to losing the soul-life (psuche) not the bios life.

Drake
And that also is your reading into the scripture a private interpretation.

However, this does not explain why the Lord would say "Get behind me Satan". Your interpretation makes human love and concern Satanic.

The second problem with your private interpretation is that the Lord's word that follows is now a non sequitor. None of it explains why human love and concern is Satanic.

Also your point that Jesus was referring to losing the soul life, not the physical life supports my interpretation. Your interpretation is that Peter was concerned about Jesus losing His physical life. My interpretation is that Peter was concerned about losing his soulish life.

Your point that Jesus' word includes the resurrection is a good one. Which is why I referenced Peter's opening to his epistle:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

And my "private interpretation" infers that Peter lacked faith in the word concerning the resurrection. This lack of faith in his "rebuke" to the Lord would also explain the Lord's rebuke being so harsh. That lack of faith was the fundamental error that Peter made and hence it is where he begins his epistle, with the fundamental faith he was lacking earlier.

Here is the key difference from my "private interpretation" and yours. In your private interpretation we have problems, we have verses that don't follow, we have the reference to soul life while you are talking about sympathy for human life. Also your interpretation opens the door to a wild and bizarre teaching that human love and concern is satanic. This teaching has no Biblical basis other than a bizarre interpretation.

In my interpretation I don't have any non sequitur problems, all the verses follow and build on this. Most of the disciples probably didn't understand the reason for the severe rebuke, hence the explanation. In my interpretation the Lord's explanation explains the rebuke. The only problem you have with my interpretation is that Peter exhibits a lack of faith in the Lord's word concerning resurrection, which also supports the Lord's rebuke of Peter. I also don't add any bizarre teachings about "get out of your mind" (see the next post with WL's private interpretation) or your bizarre teaching that human love is satanic.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:32 AM   #28
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ZNP, I think you are reading into the scripture a private interpretation.
Here is something that WL said based on these verses:

Have you ever realized that often your opinion has been the expression of Satan? I doubt that you have ever understood the matter in this way. It is crucial that we see that our natural opinion is the incarnation of Satan. Nothing damages your Christian life more than your opinions. The expression of the natural opinion is the product of satanic inspiration. Because your natural opinion comes from Satan's inspiration, you need to beware of it. If you use your mind excessively, the Lord Jesus will call you Satan. If you exercise your mind too much, you will be the expression of Satan, and the Lord Jesus will say to you, “Get behind Me, Satan.” (Life-Study of Matthew, Chapter 48, Section 2)


This section is a major basis for his teaching about "Get out of your mind" which is Witness Lee's reading into these verses his private interpretation.

This is one reason why I feel it is critical to examine these verses under a microscope.

In chapter 17 Peter says that his master pays the tribute. That was an opinion. Jesus didn't say "Get behind me Satan". Instead He reasoned with Peter, simple little logical question to identify his error and then sent him off to make good on his error.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:12 PM   #29
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ZNP>”My interpretation is that Peter was concerned about losing his soulish life.”

Okay, but that is not what you said. You said Peter was concerned about getting killed.

You said “Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life

I believe your private interpretation about Peter’s self serving motives grossly mischaracterize the more obvious and straightforward meaning of this passage. The Lord’s response was that even Peter’s love for the Lord, his soul life, must be subjected to the cross so that it does not become a hinderance to carrying out the things of God.

But for arguments sake, let’s say both your ascribing bad motives to Peter and my attributing his reaction to love are both private interpretations. I thought earlier in this thread you objected to private interpretations of scripture. Was that not you? You say Peter was motivated by self serving interests and you condemn Brother Lee for saying some scripture reflects the human concept point of view. Either it’s right for both or neither.

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Old 01-11-2018, 12:36 PM   #30
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ZNP>”My interpretation is that Peter was concerned about losing his soulish life.”

Okay, but that is not what you said. You said Peter was concerned about getting killed.

You said “Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life
I was unable to find what it is you are referencing, but in Post 21 I said this, which is obviously referring to Peter losing his soul life:

This is what was said that prompted Peter to rebuke Jesus.

22 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, [n]Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.

Here it is stated clearly but in vague terms that what prompted Peter is that he is minding the things of men.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

The context of "deny himself" is Peter's rebuke of Jesus due to his "minding the things of men". Therefore I am equating these two based on the term "Then said Jesus". Likewise with "save his life" and "what shall a man be profited if he shall gain the whole world".

So in my interpretation Jesus is explaining what He means by saying that Peter was "minding the things of men"

Minding the things of men = 1. Self centered 2. Save your own life 3. Personal profit and 4. Gain the whole world. Minding the things of men is not equal to be empathetic and sympathetic to Jesus suffering.

In context self centered this would refer to Peter seeing himself as the right hand man of Jesus in this kingdom He is setting up on Earth. "Save your own life" means that when Jesus dies, Peter's position dies with it. "Personal profit" refers to Peter being concerned about the losses he'll suffer when Jesus dies. "Gain the whole world" refers to Peter seeing himself on the throne alongside of Jesus. Jesus saying He is going to go and die messes that up and prompts Peter to respond.

However, if you read 1Peter you can see references to all of the gospel accounts, and you can get into his mind much more. The entire epistle to my understanding shows a man who failed in the first crucifixion and realizes he will be given a second chance and is completely focused on how to go to deny himself, take up his cross, and and follow the Lord.


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I believe your private interpretation about Peter’s self serving motives grossly mischaracterize the more obvious and straightforward meaning of this passage. The Lord’s response was that even Peter’s love for the Lord, his soul life, must be subjected to the cross so that it does not become a hinderance to carrying out the things of God.
Yes, you have made this clear in your previous post. However, this interpretation equates "Peter's love for the Lord" with "Satan". This leads to a warped teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to carrying out the Lord's move. There is no scriptural basis for this being rebuked as "Get behind me Satan". First, Peter gets married and has kids. There is no suggestion that Peter took away from this that this was some kind of hinderance, instead he refers to families and children as "multiplied grace". Second, elders "must be the husband of one wife" and they "must raise up their families well". Once again, no suggestion that these human relationships are a hinderance and certainly no basis to say they are "Satanic".

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But for arguments sake, let’s say both your ascribing bad motives to Peter and my attributing his reaction to love are both private interpretations. I thought earlier in this thread you objected to private interpretations of scripture. Was that not you? You say Peter was motivated by self serving interests and you condemn Brother Lee for saying some scripture reflects the human concept point of view. Either it’s right for both or neither.

Drake
No you misread that. What I said is you cannot make a private interpretation an item of the faith.

In my interpretation I do not have anything other than what is already clearly taught in the Bible. Usurping the Lord's headship is condemned, worshipping anyone other than the Lord is condemned, etc. I have not added or created any new teaching, only drawn a connection from the Lord's explanation to His condemnation of Peter and then tied that into Peter's epistle.

You on the other hand have a bizarre teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to the Lord's work and even worse are "Satanic".

However, in my interpretation "gaining the whole world" is equated to "minding the things of men" and it is Satanic since the world belongs to Satan.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:39 PM   #31
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-1

ZNP>”I was unable to find what it is you are referencing”

Post #4
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:54 PM   #32
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ZNP>”In my interpretation I do not have anything other than what is already clearly taught in the Bible.”

No, you are not presenting what is clearly taught in the Bible. When you say that when Peter spoke against the Lords going to the cross because he only wanted to save his own skin alive, retain profit, his dreams, and that his was “a pathetic attempt to save his life”.... that is not clearly taught in the Bible.

ZNP>”You on the other hand have a bizarre teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to the Lord's work and even worse are "Satanic".

Human love and relationships can be a hindrance to the Lords work... Matthew 10:37-38

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me...”

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Old 01-11-2018, 02:01 PM   #33
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ZNP>”In my interpretation I do not have anything other than what is already clearly taught in the Bible.”

No, you are not presenting what is clearly taught in the Bible. When you say that when Peter spoke against the Lords going to the cross because he only wanted to save his own skin alive, retain profit, His dreams, and that his was “a pathetic attempt to save his life”.... that is not clearly taught in the Bible.
Where is the post that you keep referencing about "pathetic attempt to save his life". I quoted post #21 in detail where I made it clear that the reason Peter rebuked Jesus was because "he was minding the things of men". That is what the Bible says. Nothing added. I then explain what "minding the things of men" is by quoting Jesus explanation. Minding the things of men = 1. Self centered 2. Save your own life 3. Personal profit and 4. Gain the whole world.

The only "teaching" I am giving is to equate Jesus explanation as an explanation of what "minding the things of men is". Regardless, no one can say it is my teaching to say that Peter was minding the the things of men, nor can anyone claim it is my teaching to equate "deny yourself", "take up your cross and follow me" with the four things Jesus referred to. That is why I am saying I am not adding anything. I am simply connecting the two. If you prefer to read the Bible as though they are all a bunch of non sequitors and unrelated comments, that is your prerogative.

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ZNP>”You on the other hand have a bizarre teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to the Lord's work and even worse are "Satanic".

Human love and relationships can be a hindereance to the Lords work... Matthew 10:37-38

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me...”

Drake
Many things can be a hinderance, doesn't make them Satanic.

The context of Matt 10:37-38 is this:

Matt 10:21 And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child: and children shall rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

You put a completely new spin on the term "loving someone to death".

In Matthew 10 we don't need a bizarre interpretation to conclude that your family members are trying to hinder your walk with the Lord. It is obvious. The point of the Lord's word is "don't be surprised if this happens".

This has nothing to do with Peter.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:16 PM   #34
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ZNP>"Where is the post that you keep referencing about "pathetic attempt to save his life"."

I gave that to you.. see Post #31.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:23 PM   #35
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ZNP>"Where is the post that you keep referencing about "pathetic attempt to save his life"."

I gave that to you.. see Post #31.
Peter saw himself as the right hand man to Jesus who was about to set up His kingdom on Earth. When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.

The context of "save his life" is soul life. 1. Right hand man to Jesus

I define Peter losing his life as "losing his dreams, his profit" it is a referral to "losing his soul life".
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:25 PM   #36
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ZNP>"In Matthew 10 we don't need a bizarre interpretation to conclude that your family members are trying to hinder your walk with the Lord. It is obvious. The point of the Lord's word is "don't be surprised if this happens".

This has nothing to do with Peter."

Come on now, brother.

You said "You on the other hand have a bizarre teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to the Lord's work and even worse are "Satanic".

These two examples from Matthew show that human love and relationships can hinder the Lord's work. You first said it was a" bizarre teaching" then you said "it is obvious". The Lord even used the same words as a remedy... "take up your cross".... true for our family relationships and true for Peter.

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Old 01-11-2018, 04:34 PM   #37
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I believe your private interpretation about Peter’s self serving motives grossly mischaracterize the more obvious and straightforward meaning of this passage. The Lord’s response was that even Peter’s love for the Lord, his soul life, must be subjected to the cross so that it does not become a hinderance to carrying out the things of God.
So let's go back to your explanation.

22 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee.

According to Drake this word is a result of Peter's natural love for the Lord.

23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.

Seems remarkably harsh.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Denying your love for the Lord is the requirement to take up your cross and follow the Lord? Sounds absurd.

25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Seems to have nothing to do with this. Peter, according to Drake, was trying to save the Lord's life, yet here the Lord is justifying taking up the cross because if you try to save your life you will lose it.

26 For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

Once again, what does this have to do with anything? What profit? Who was trying to "gain the whole world"?
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:34 PM   #38
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Peter saw himself as the right hand man to Jesus who was about to set up His kingdom on Earth. When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.

The context of "save his life" is soul life. 1. Right hand man to Jesus

I define Peter losing his life as "losing his dreams, his profit" it is a referral to "losing his soul life".
Okay... you are entitled to change your mind.

".. a pathetic attempt to save his life" does not convey the idea of merely losing his soul life.

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Old 01-11-2018, 04:37 PM   #39
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Okay... you are entitled to change your mind.

".. a pathetic attempt to save his life" does not convey the idea of merely losing his soul life.

Drake
It may not have been clear to you what I meant, but when you asked my later post was very clear. I have not changed my mind, I have clarified what is meant since you made it clear you didn't understand.

Now if you would be so kind as to do the same and make it clear what you are teaching.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:48 PM   #40
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Now if you would be so kind as to do the same and make it clear what you are teaching.
ZNP,

I have and you addressed it. What can I clarify that has not already been stated?

Thanks
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:07 PM   #41
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ZNP,

I have and you addressed it. What can I clarify that has not already been stated?

Thanks
Drake
Matthew 16:24-26 does not seem to have anything to do with your interpretation, yet it begins with "Then" as though it is related to the context.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:46 PM   #42
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Very good. We have heard what Drake has to say, and what WL has to say.

Here is John Gill's commentary on Peter minding the things of men:

but those that be of men:
he thought of nothing but worldly grandeur in the kingdom of the Messiah, as a temporal prince and Saviour; and of the continuance of Christ's natural life, for his own carnal and worldly advantage; which showed him to be, at this time, greatly under the influence of corrupt nature. So, though the blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and death of Christ, are savoury things, things to be savoured, minded, and regarded by believers, and accounted precious; and they do mind them, so the word signifies, ( Romans 8:5 ) when being blessed with a spiritual and experimental knowledge, and application of them to themselves, they exercise faith, hope, and love upon Christ, with respect unto them; when they remember them aright in the ordinance of the supper, the love from whence they spring, and the benefits that come hereby; and when they discern the Lord's body in it, a crucified Jesus, and the blessings of grace which come by him, and ascribe their whole salvation to his sufferings and death, and taste the sweetness there is in these things, eating his flesh and drinking his blood by faith; yet being left to themselves, they do not savour, mind, and regard these things, but carnal things, and human schemes; as when they are dilatory to profess a crucified Christ, and submit to those ordinances of his, which set forth his sufferings and death; or are negligent in their attendance on them, their place being often empty at supper time; or if they do attend, their hearts go after other things.


I find it fascinating that the very first mention of the church includes this temptation from Satan, to be able to establish your kingdom without taking the way of the cross. How often in church history have we seen this attempted.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:49 AM   #43
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I think this is without a doubt the most significant boundary of the church that is presented to us in Matthew 16-18.

Jesus saying to Peter "get behind me Satan" reminds us of the temptations after He had fasted where Satan offered him a way to get the kingdom without going through the cross, simply bow down to Satan.

I and others interpret Peter's seemingly "good hearted concern" for the Lord's well being to actually be a Satanic temptation to get the kingdom without going through the cross. What we see with Peter is that he now had a vested interest in the success of the Lord in setting up the kingdom (he was given the keys to the kingdom). There has always been a temptation that the leaders of the church would try to profit from it. This is what we saw with WL. He set up Daystar, sold chairs, mobile homes, and training fees. They established standing orders for books where you were not able to return unsold books. They vilified anyone who took offense at this setup (John So, etc). He was willing to sacrifice anyone to keep this system running (PL -- JI, etal). Anyone in the LRC saw that it moved from a wonderfully Biblical feel to much more aligned with "minding the things of men". Lawsuits, accounting practices employed in the gospel, restructuring of elders, growth projections and a plan to "gain the whole world".

It is no wonder that those who staunchly defend WL and LSM would try to dismiss this reading. In WL's doctrine it is the "boundary of the city" which is the boundary of the church. You are kept in a system out of fear.

In this interpretation it is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus that draws all men. We are kept because "He has the words of life" and He is the one we love.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:43 PM   #44
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These two examples from Matthew show that human love and relationships can hinder the Lord's work. You first said it was a" bizarre teaching" then you said "it is obvious". The Lord even used the same words as a remedy... "take up your cross".... true for our family relationships and true for Peter.

Drake
I think Post #255 by Boxjobox in the thread: How many people have heard of LSM/Lee/Recovery

Is a very strong confirmation of your position and ironically my position. This post, if you missed it, provides a list of family members of officers at LSM who get salaries and / or rent paid by LSM.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:15 AM   #45
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8 Again, the devil taketh him unto an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 and he said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

This is the first mention of "Satan" in the book of Matthew. This expression "Get thee hence, Satan" is very similar to the expression in Matthew 16 -- "Get behind me Satan".

This temptation to Jesus, is repeated with Peter. These are recorded in the NT because this is a common temptation to anyone in the church.

It is a valid concern that WL, WN, and the officers of LSM may have also been tempted with this same temptation. Daystar and other financial schemes of WL support those who have expressed concern about this. All of the children and relatives of the officers who receive rent or wages from LSM raise the concern that they have succumbed to this temptation.

Worshipping thy God only is the most significant boundary of the church.

So then, is the "Ground of the church" doctrine about worshipping thy God alone or is it about giving LSM a monopoly? Giving LSM a monopoly serves Satan. How can we discern?

1. If the purpose is to give LSM a monopoly then their would be stiff penalties to anyone who violated this. Titus Chu was excommunicated because he violated LSM's monopoly.

2. If the purpose is to give LSM a monopoly then this rule would trump the ground of the church doctrine. This is seen in multiple churches in a single city who embrace this doctrine. The one who receives LSM is the approved one, the others are vilified.

3. If they are truly worshipping and serving Satan this would trump the Bible. This is seen in the lawsuits that they conduct despite the Biblical prohibition.

This is what WL said concerning the temptation by Satan in Matthew 4:

Luke 4:6 says that the kingdoms of the world and their glory were delivered unto the Devil; hence, to whomever he wills he gives them. Before his fall,*Satan*as the archangel was appointed by God to be the ruler of the world (Ezek. 28:13-14). Thus, he is called the ruler of this world (John 12:31), holding all the kingdoms of this world and their glory in his hand. He presented all these to the newly anointed King as a temptation in order to secure worship. The heavenly King overcame this temptation, but the coming Antichrist will not (Rev. 13:2, 4).
This temptation involves the matter of ambition and promotion. Even among the saints, there is the desire to be a leader. This is the desire for worldly glory. Your eagerness to be a leader is your ambition. This is the glory of the world. Whenever you are tempted in this manner, you must realize that behind this temptation is the tempter seeking to gain your worship.*Satan*told the Lord Jesus that if He would worship him, he would give Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. Behind every ambition there is a hidden idol. If you are ambitious to have a position, a promotion, or a name, there is an idol behind that ambition. If you do not worship any idol, you will never fulfill your ambition. In order to have any part of the glory of the world, you must worship some idol. Without worshipping idols it is impossible to have a position. Whenever you are seeking a certain position, deep within you know that you are worshipping an idol. For this reason, the Apostle said that covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5). (Life-Study of Matthew,*Chapter 11, Section 5)


I would note that Satan is only referred to by Satan when it comes to the temptation about giving Jesus the world, and this is tied to the fact that Satan is the ruler of the world. If we connect this section with the other place in Matthew where Jesus says "get behind me Satan" then there is a very nice correlation between what WL teaches here and how I interpret Peter's temptation from Satan.
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:21 PM   #46
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The topic of "the boundary of the local church" is an important one, and it is one that the LRC and the ministry of WL stresses. But like anything else there is the "camel" and the "gnat".

If a church leader sees the church as an opportunity for themselves to build their kingdom, to make personal profit, to leave a financial inheritance to their kids, then this is "worshipping Satan" the "prince of this world". It is "minding the things of men" and results in them "serving Satan". That is to "swallow the camel".

On the other hand the name by which the church is listed in the phone book is a gnat.

Straining out the gnat is fine, but swallowing the camel, that is the thing that is completely intolerable.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:57 PM   #47
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God’s building must have a definite boundary line. Within that line everything belongs to His building; outside of that line everything belongs either to Babel, Sodom, or the treasure cities. Today’s fallen Christianity does not have the proper, necessary boundary line. Such a boundary has never been built up; it has never been drawn. The people are still participating in idols, sins, and treasures of worldly enjoyment. They have never experienced the brass altar and the brass laver. They have never been judged and been put to death on the altar or cleansed and purged by the laver. If we would practice the church life and share in the building of God, we must first experience the brass altar with the brass laver. Then we will have the brass sockets laid as the foundation of the boundary line. It is by such experiences that the boundary line of God’s building is drawn. (Witness Lee, The Vision of God’s Building, Chapter 5, Section 4)

This is an interpretation of the account in Exodus concerning the tabernacle, the brass sockets and brass laver.

I would say the reality is in Matthew 16 and this rebuke of Peter. Jesus drew the very clear boundary line for the church. On one side you have idols (tabernacles to Moses, Elijah, and Jesus), sins and treasures of worldly enjoyment -- Peter succumbing to the temptation of the "prince of this world" to seek out the kingdom without the cross.

In Matthew 16 Jesus makes it very clear you have to first experience the brass altar with the brass laver before you can enter into the church He is building.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:08 PM   #48
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This section Matthew 16-18 is the first mention of the church in the Bible, in the NT, and by the Lord Jesus. It gives us the key principles.

We saw a very direct correlation between where Matthew 18 ends and where the church in Ephesus leaves their first love.

Now with Smyrna we see a direct correlation between the reference to Satan in Matthew 16.

8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These things saith the first and the last, who was dead, and lived again: 9 I know thy tribulation, and thy poverty (but thou art rich), and the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life.


We have a "synagogue of Satan" -- that is the building where the Jews meet to worship and study the word. It is a two faced situation, they "say they are Jews" but they lie. And this lie is a blasphemy. It means they insult God and show contempt for God.

In addition to the continuation of Satan's attempt to create a false church we see the necessity of following the Lord to the cross, a second very strong correlation with Matthew 16.

So in this two faced blasphemous situation you have one group who says they are the chosen ones, and they have the best name for their building. The blasphemy is that they insult God, or the people of God. Also they show contempt for the work of Christ on the cross as our only foundation.

Based on the context I believe this is a common occurrence. In any city you will have the "poor" and "suffering" saints who are in fact rich, needing to be strengthened to endure the coming tribulation. You will also have the phony saints who give themselves great names that they are the chosen ones of God, yet they disrespect the Body of Christ, insulting God's redeemed, and they show contempt for the blood of Christ as our only foundation. The only thing they have is a great name for the building they meet in.

Just like the type of the tabernacle. the boundary is being faithful unto death, not the name of the building you meet in. The name of the building is a phony, blasphemous "boundary" of the church created by Satan in order to avoid the cross of Christ.
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:13 PM   #49
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God’s building must have a definite boundary line. Within that line everything belongs to His building; outside of that line everything belongs either to Babel, Sodom, or the treasure cities. Today’s fallen Christianity does not have the proper, necessary boundary line. Such a boundary has never been built up; it has never been drawn. The people are still participating in idols, sins, and treasures of worldly enjoyment. They have never experienced the brass altar and the brass laver. They have never been judged and been put to death on the altar or cleansed and purged by the laver. If we would practice the church life and share in the building of God, we must first experience the brass altar with the brass laver. Then we will have the brass sockets laid as the foundation of the boundary line. It is by such experiences that the boundary line of God’s building is drawn. (Witness Lee, The Vision of God’s Building, Chapter 5, Section 4)

This is an interpretation of the account in Exodus concerning the tabernacle, the brass sockets and brass laver.

I would say the reality is in Matthew 16 and this rebuke of Peter. Jesus drew the very clear boundary line for the church. On one side you have idols (tabernacles to Moses, Elijah, and Jesus), sins and treasures of worldly enjoyment -- Peter succumbing to the temptation of the "prince of this world" to seek out the kingdom without the cross.

In Matthew 16 Jesus makes it very clear you have to first experience the brass altar with the brass laver before you can enter into the church He is building.
Maybe I'm too simple, but the Lords testimony that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered into His name there He is in our midst works for me as to minimum a church can be. I'm pretty sure receiving LSM materials is not required.
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:10 PM   #50
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Maybe I'm too simple, but the Lords testimony that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered into His name there He is in our midst works for me as to minimum a church can be. I'm pretty sure receiving LSM materials is not required.
Well the discussion hit a little speed bump when Drake argued that Jesus rebuke of Peter "Satan get behind me" was due to his human affection for the Lord. This is a strange teaching that some have, including WL.

I quoted John Gill because Drake seemed somewhat condescending that his interpretation was the plain and logical one.

I also quoted Matt 4 to show that the same author used two very similar terms in the same book. Once when Satan tempted the Lord, and then here where Satan had returned, this time by tempting the weak link, Peter.

I quoted WL to show the strange dichotomy. The typology he shared concerning the tabernacle is very nicely aligned with Matthew 16 and the interpretation that Peter was tempted by Satan, the prince of the world, to avoid the cross. Yet when WL comes to this chapter in Matt 16 he seems to have forgotten that and instead teaches that we need to deny human love and concern.

Then when we go to the church in Pergamon there is a very clear boundary between the church and the synagogue of Satan. The boundary line is the cross of Christ. Some are on one side, seemingly poor, suffering tribulation, and being insulted by the "elites". The other side are those who pretend to be God's chosen, they aren't, they are liars, but they have a very good name for the building they meet to worship in. The only problem is that they have succumbed to the temptation from Matt 4 and are worshipping and serving Satan, the prince of this world. It might seem innocent to be "minding the things of men", it might even appear that they are "good hearted", but the reality is they are insulting God, His people, and are showing contempt for the Lord's blood as our only foundation.

However, my point in this thread is that this term "gathered into the Lord's name" maybe simple, but it is in the full context of Matt 16-18 which includes the Lord's word on the need to go to the cross. No doubt the "synagogue in Satan" would also claim to meet "in the Lord's name" but as He said "they are liars".
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:38 PM   #51
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Thanks ZNP for leading us on this discussion on the Title. Very relevant and helpful for things I’ve been struggling to understand about “the practical expression of the church” (to borrow a term from Witness Lee).

One thing that is clear is that taking city as boundary has proven to be toxic in practice among the open brethren (Needed Truth branch) and TLR.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:37 AM   #52
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Thanks ZNP for leading us on this discussion on the Title. Very relevant and helpful for things I’ve been struggling to understand about “the practical expression of the church” (to borrow a term from Witness Lee).

One thing that is clear is that taking city as boundary has proven to be toxic in practice among the open brethren (Needed Truth branch) and TLR.
Yes, and when we look at Revelation 2-3 as a continuation / case study of what the Lord spoke you see the development of the toxicity.

Smyrna -- Two groups, the liars call themselves the "chosen of God", "Jews", the so called elite christians. The name of their meeting hall is a very big issue. The synagogue of Satan indicates they violated the Lord's word concerning "minding the things of men". This also confirms the word in Matt 4 that Satan would return. Satan is the "prince of this world" and this church is "his synagogue".

this becomes more toxic in Pergamum

Pergamum -- No longer just synagogue of Satan, now it is a kingdom with the throne of Satan.

12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

These things saith he that hath the sharp two-edged sword: 13 I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s throne is; and thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny my faith, even in the days [j]of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there some that hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also some that hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans in like manner.

A kingdom has a boundary. So now they don't just have a great name for their meeting hall, they now have delineated a boundary for their kingdom. We see this progression in the doctrine of the ground of the church. The name of the church (the church with no name) is key, better than all other names. Then they define the church as having authority up to the boundary of the city. This is their kingdom. This kingdom has "the prince of this world" on the throne, so it is a worldly boundary to this kingdom. We are also reminded of Matt 18 where the Lord warned about "stumbling one of these little ones". He clarifies this and brings in Balaam as the example. According to Jewish history Balaam taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, teach them to commit fornication, and as a result destroy their testimony. Friendship with the world is a type of fornication. Marrying the church to the world is a fornication. Why would Balaam do this? A strong, vibrant, prevailing testimony by Israel threatened Balak's kingdom. We saw this with Witness Lee, the "rebellions" were designed to clean house of any that might rival him while at the same time bringing others in line (teaching them to commit fornication). As we have discussed on this forum many were stumbled by WL, PL, TL, and the puppet elders. Just as Ed Marks said, he signed the apology to PL because "it made WL happy". This is how they teach them to commit fornication and how they stumble the little ones.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:19 AM   #53
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One thing that is clear is that taking city as boundary has proven to be toxic in practice among the open brethren (Needed Truth branch) and TLR.
We discussed that cities like Toronto, Canada have multiple LC assemblies all claiming to be the "unique" testimony of that city.

If we include "Needed Truth" and all of the other Exclusive Brethren splinter sects in Toronto, one wonders how our Lord can actually decide which of the dozen or more assemblies in that city He is supposed to recognize, and bless with His presence at their Table??

Why should our Lord recognize Nee or Lee to be your MOTA, when He has the likes of Darby, Kelly, Raven, Taylor, etc. to choose from?? Should He decide based on longevity (Darby) or perhaps having the most books (Lee)??

So many questions!!

Drake, please help, can you throw us a lifeline here?
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:47 AM   #54
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-1

Ohio>”Drake, please help, can you throw us a lifeline here?”

Sure. Do you want to use “Ask the Audience”, 50-50, or “Phone-a-Friend”?

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Old 01-16-2018, 03:35 PM   #55
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The boundary, as we have seen from Typology is the "burnished brass" signifying the cross of Christ. The boundary as we have seen in Matt 16 is the cross of Christ.

If you ignore this we have the following progression

1. Ephesus -- great at judging others, not great at forgiving.

2. Smyrna -- Separated into two groups -- those that appear poor (yet are rich) and are suffering tribulation. The other group are the liars, those that say they are the chosen generation, the elite of God, they have a meeting hall with a great name. They make "the name of their meeting hall" the boundary instead of the cross.

3. Pergamum -- Grown worse, their synagogue is now a kingdom with a throne for Satan. They employ "Balaam" a false prophet, who puts stumbling blocks in front of the saints. His purpose is to eliminate any who might rival Balack's kingdom, and for those who will be puppets he teaches them to commit fornication. The faithful are being persecuted and put to death. They make the worldly boundary of Satan's kingdom their boundary instead of the cross.

4. Thyatira -- here "the Prophet" is an adulterous woman, a heathen, who appears chaste, but is notoriously evil. She proclaims that "she is a prophet". Maybe she even sets herself up as the Prophet of the Age.

18 And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like unto burnished brass: 19 I know thy works, and thy love and faith and ministry and patience, and that thy last works are more than the first. 20 But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time that she should repent; and she willeth not to repent of her fornication. 22 Behold, I cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of her works. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto each one of you according to your works.

In every church you see these two groups. In Smyrna they are told to be faithful unto death. In Pergamum they are commended because they did not deny the faith. But in Thyatira he has something against them, that they tolerate this woman. Why would you tolerate Jezebel telling you she is the "Prophet of the age"? This is a very clear denial of Jesus who is our "Prophet of the Age".
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:37 PM   #56
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3And to the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead. 2Be thou watchful, and establish the things that remain, which were ready to die: for I have found no works of thine perfected before my God.


There is a beautiful symmetry here. The synagogue of Satan in Smyrna has become an empty husk, it still has the name that it lives, but it is obviously and plainly dead. This is why Jesus rebuked Peter -- Get behind me Satan. This is where this "minding the things of men" leads. Nothing but the pretense of having a name that you live, when everyone can see you are dead. The things that are not dead yet are ready to die. No works are perfected, for all of their boasting and pomp they haven't accomplished anything.

3Remember therefore how thou hast received and didst hear; and keep it, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.


Remember Matt 16, remember the Lord's word that you have to follow Him to the cross. Remember His word about gaining the world and losing your soul.

4But thou hast a few names in Sardis that did not defile their garments: and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy. 5He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

The vast majority of those who have travelled this road. Leaving their first love with unforgiveness. Being swayed by the synagogue of Satan, those that claim to be the chosen of God, but are simply liars. Building your little kingdom with Satan's throne right in the center and all of your persecution of the faithful witnesses. All of these ones have defiled their garments. I guess that is "old news". All those stains that they have never wanted to deal with all these years.

And we even have a window into their most heinous sins. "I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life". I didn't know this was an option. I didn't know that once your name is in the book of life it could be blotted out. But then, in the LRC, I saw as time and time again different ones were "blotted out". They were "poisoned". You could not "confess their names". So it shouldn't be a surprise, we were told in the gospels that "as you have done it will be done to you".

That is the way this seed grows:

Unforgiveness -- special name for the chosen ones -- grows into a worldly kingdom with worldly boundaries -- self proclaimed prophets

until the life is sucked dry and all you can see is either they are dead or ready to die. Their garments are all stained with stains that are decades old, no one wants to deal with that, it is old news. What are those stains? All those brothers and sisters they stumbled, the ones they blotted out. The lawsuits, excommunications, etc.
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Old Yesterday, 04:07 PM   #57
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14And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined by fire, that thou mayest become rich; and white garments, that thou mayest clothe thyself, and that the shame of thy nakedness be not made manifest; and eyesalve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I reprove and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


So there is a very interesting connection between Laodicea and Ephesus.

2I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false; 3and thou hast patience and didst bear for my name’s sake, and hast not grown weary.

Imagine you were in Laodicea. You could see they claimed to be rich but were poor, blind, naked, etc. Now you get to Ephesus -- the Lord commends you because you can't bear evil men, He commends you because of your patience and that you found those in Laodicea to be false. He commends you that you have not grown weary. It is a never ending cycle.

When we came to the Local Church we had "left religion", we were not going to go back anymore, etc. We discovered that they were false. But then the cycle began all over again. The meeting hall of Satan with the better name. The kingdom of Satan with the worldly boundary, the self proclaimed prophet, the false prophet teaching the saints to commit fornication, stumbling the little brothers, etc. Where was the error? How do you get off of this merry go round?

The church in Philadelphia is the exit. Everyone in this church has exited the merry go round, which is why the Lord says "they will not need to go out anymore".

The door out is mentioned in every church. In Ephesus it is "their first love". When we came to Jesus we confessed our sins and he forgave us. You can't simply find that certain brothers and sisters are false, you have to continue all the way to forgiveness. If you don't deal with the sin until you get to forgiveness, then you simply stay on the merry go round.

In Smyrna the exit is the cross of Christ. Remember, taking up your cross and following the Lord includes forgiving your brother 70 times 7 times.

In Pergamum the exit is holding fast the Lord's name and not denying the faith. When you make a boundary line of a worldly city the foundation of the church you have denied the faith in the Lord's blood. No longer are you holding to the Lord's name but rather to Balaam's name.

In Thyatira "suffering Jezebel" is where the Lord draws the line. When you allow this adulterous, evil woman to call herself a prophetess, even "the prophet of the Age" you are on the wrong side of the line the Lord draws.

In Sardis the stained garments are the boundary. The church walks in white, not because we are sinless, but because we deal with our sins. If you refuse to deal with your sins it is evidence that you are on the wrong side of the boundary the Lord has drawn.

In Laodicea we see the "door". This is the boundary. The Lord is on one side and everyone in Laodicea is on the other. Jesus is the Lamp, He is the light. Laodicea is the fulfillment of the warning to Ephesus about losing their lamp stand.
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Old Today, 06:07 AM   #58
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In Matthew 16 -- we see that the boundary of the church is the cross of Christ.

In Matthew 18 -- we see that the cross of Christ is very much about dealing with sins and forgiveness.

In Revelation 2-3 -- we see that if you leave your first love (don't follow Him to the cross, deal with sins and forgive) then you are in danger of losing your lamp stand. And this process of losing your lamp stand follows a predictable pattern:

Pretending to be a church without the cross makes you a liar and the synagogue of Satan. We see this in the doctrine of the ground of the church where they replace the cross of Christ with the best name for the meeting hall. What is the cause of all the division in Christianity? It is that they don't have the very best name for their meeting hall, the "no name name".

In order to maintain this false kingdom you will need a false prophet like Balaam. You will then begin to see that the believers are stumbled (rebellions, cleaning house, puppet elders). Those who are faithful will be blotted out of the church, those who see and fear can be installed as puppets. We saw all of this in our experience of the LRC. This ruthless behavior proclaims the boundary to their little kingdom as equal to a worldly boundary, and the Prince of the World sits on the throne in this church. We saw this with the "doctrine of dirt" in the LRC.

Now that the toxicity level has increased you have a good environment for self proclaimed prophets like Jezebel who are all about using their position as a pretense to rob and steal others vineyards. For example what WL did with the church in NY which was not raised up by him. We had a very good example of this in WL, both of being proclaimed as the "prophet" and of seizing other vineyards that didn't belong to him and accusing those that object of rebellion.

The church will now have thirty years or more of un dealt with sins. Their garments are stained with the sins and abuses of the last 30-50 years. As a result the church is dead. However, to counter this they will come up with innumerable names that they are "living". The pure word of God is replaced with the pure spin put on the "living ministry" by the false prophets. We saw this with Ed Marks when he said that "he didn't want to deal with this [sin of apology letter to PL] today" about 30 years after the fact.

And finally, the Lord leaves the building. He is outside knocking for those who are still genuine believers to come out of this festering pit and join Him.

At this point, when you come out you have the risk of entering Ephesus all over again. This church is "patient" having endured the deadness and corruption of Sardis, or Thyatira, or Laodicea. In Ephesus they are taught to use the word to explore the errors of the "church" they were in and condemn them as "false". But the error is taking the road of self righteous judgement without forgiveness. Hence the merry go round begins all over again.

The other option is that at any time you can leave the merry go round and become part of Philadelphia. Simply take up the cross and follow the Lord. The path is described in detail in Matthew 16-18.
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Old Today, 12:43 PM   #59
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Default Re: The key point

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In Matthew 16 -- we see that the boundary of the church is the cross of Christ.

In Matthew 18 -- we see that the cross of Christ is very much about dealing with sins and forgiveness.

In Revelation 2-3 -- we see that if you leave your first love (don't follow Him to the cross, deal with sins and forgive) then you are in danger of losing your lamp stand. And this process of losing your lamp stand follows a predictable pattern:
Another predictable pattern is not only dealing with sins and forgiveness, but an inability to practice the spiritual discipline of reconciliation.


"I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church."
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Old Today, 01:45 PM   #60
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Another predictable pattern is not only dealing with sins and forgiveness, but an inability to practice the spiritual discipline of reconciliation.


"I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church."
It reminds me of the invention of indoor plumbing and sewer systems. Some people say this was the single biggest innovation that allows people to live in cities. You cannot have a city if you don't properly deal with the foul sins that take place every day. It is absolutely fundamental. This is the real "high peaks" revelation.
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