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Old 09-03-2016, 07:56 PM   #1
ZNPaaneah
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Introduction

The context of James is the early church. James emphasizes this context in his book when he says that we should not “have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons”. The record in Acts and Galatians reveals a key human failing, we are prone to have the faith of Jesus “with respect of persons”. Imagine you are a new one, you are not sure what to believe. But, you know you can trust James, after all, he is the brother of Jesus and the son of the virgin Mary. In Acts and Galatians James had a big influence on the early church and what was recorded was not a positive one. James’ experience is as much a part of the context as Paul’s experience of persecuting Christians or Peter’s experience of denying the Lord. James experience of the early church respecting him according to who he was in the flesh is relevant for him to expose false prophets, to shut their mouths, and to help those who have wandered from the truth return to the normal church life. We might think that showing partiality is extremely rare. What is the teaching of slavery if not “having the faith of our Lord Jesus with respect of persons”? When John Adams was working on the declaration of Independence his wife mentioned the fact that women were not treated as equals. The Civil Rights movement and Women’s suffrage are both based on “having the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons”. Some justified slavery saying the slaves were descendants of Ham, the son of Noah that was cursed. That is, by definition, to be a “respecter of persons”. Arguments against women’s suffrage were that women were weaker, that they were too occupied with domestic duties, and that they were too stupid to bear the responsibilities of voting. Once again, this by definition, is to “hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons”. What about Nazi Germany where Jews were required to wear the star of David, were housed in Ghettos and then exterminated in camps. This is the logical extreme of what it is to be a “respecter of persons” and what it is to show partiality.

Paul told us that “their mouths must be stopped” regarding the false prophets. How do you accomplish that? James tells us that no man can “tame the tongue”. “Taming the tongue” or “shutting the mouths” is a work of faith. It is the book of James, as much as any other New Testament book that will equip you to stand against a false prophet by “taming their tongue”.

Why are Christians deceived by false prophets? Like any disease you need to know what the risk factors are, what steps do you need to take to protect yourself and what are the symptoms of those who are being led astray. How do you diagnose if you have been deceived? What is the number one safeguard against false prophets? How do you speak to someone who is deceived, how do you reach them? These are some of the issues addressed in the book of James. Many tempations can be examined: investment schemes (Bernie Madoff), national security (Benedict Arnold), elections (Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump) using the book of James. And the book is balanced, not only does it focus on false prophets but also on genuine faith. Orville and Wilbur Wright, Douglas Macarthur and Harry S. Truman are examples of people who were vilified as being false during their lifetime. These men reveal how difficult discerning the truth can be. James gives us a promise that if we lack wisdom we can ask God and He will give us this wisdom without upbraiding us. The book of James is the “perfect gift of God”. The New Covenant is about giving us a new heart, a heart of flesh. The book of James is about this new heart given to the genuine believers of Christ.

False prophets are “bullies”. Cults are characterized by bullying. How do you respond in a way that triumphs over bullies? This is an issue in schools and in the world, not just in the church. FDR and Marshall exemplified the way mentioned by James in their dealing with MacArthur, likewise Gandhi in his dealing with the British, and Mandela in his actions as President. Christians are destined to rule and reign with Jesus Christ and the book of James equips us to triumph over bullies.

What are the indicators that a man is genuine or false? James gives us a seven point checklist to discern. He also reveals the actions that should set off an alarm. How can a man who knows Jesus and ministers the word of God be a false prophet? James explains this and makes clear the matter of grace with three simple words. James also gives us the one thing, above all, that a believer should not do. Again, this can apply to a church, it can also apply to Germans living under Adolf Hitler, or investors considering an investment scheme from Bernie Madoff.

Finally, James explains how to return when you have wandered from the truth. The book is written to “the twelve tribes in the dispersion”. He identifies what led them astray, why they followed this false leader, and what is the path that leads back to a normal church life. It applies to traitors and scam artists of all kinds. James focus is on judging why you were deceived. This is not for us to judge others, but rather that we can remove the beam from our own eye.

2 Pet 2:15 Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing.

What is the path back to God? James gives us that path. The word “dispersion” refers to the pattern of distribution of individuals within a habitat. The kingdom of heaven is like a field where the Lord has distributed believers across this earth under His sovereignty. If these believers can root out the stony heart and take a heart of flesh, then there is no place left for God’s enemy. The Lord has prayed that we would all be one and overcome the world, and He has given us the book of James to help us according to His love and His purpose.

The truth is powerful whether or not you believe it. It did not matter that no one believed Wilbur and Orville Wright had built an airplane that could fly. They did not waste time arguing or debating. Instead Wilbur spent months rebuilding the plane damaged by the customs office and then in a demonstration lasting less than 5 minutes took off, circled the field and landed. Likewise, it didn’t matter that the British did not believe Gandhi when he said that they would pack up and leave on their own. It was the truth and it was what they did. However, for a false prophet his power is based on you “believing” his word. If you reject his word then he is powerless. For example, the followers of Hitler claimed that he “struck a chord with us, he uttered what was in the consciousness of all of us”. Charisma exists as an interaction between a speaker and an audience. Hitler told them what they wanted to hear. It is like a virus that needs a host to infect, without a host there is no life and no power. When we deal with our heart we will deal with the virus. As a rule James makes it clear we are not to judge our brother, however he also points out that teachers are subject to a “stricter judgement”. It is foolish to argue that the New Testament forbids us from judging teachings, that is akin to forbidding discernment, prudence or wisdom. Jesus tells the church in Thyatira that He has this against them, that they tolerate that woman Jezebel who teaches His believers to commit spiritual fornication. This book teaches us to discern the teachings and teachers, it doesn’t teach us to judge our brother.

2Pet 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

I will reference my personal experience with the Local Church through some of the discussion on the book of James. This group was founded by Witness Lee, a coworker of Watchman Nee. Since some may not know this relatively small and obscure Christian group it is important to give you a little background of key issues, doctrines, events and people.

Watchman Nee

When Mao took over China Watchman Nee remained and sent Witness Lee to take “the recovery” to Taiwan. Watchman Nee died in prison after Richard Nixon asked about him. One incident that is critical to this book is understanding who Watchman Nee is (author of Sit, Walk, Stand and other books on the Bible). In China Watchman Nee established a new sect of Christianity based on his doctrine “The Ground of the Church”. This is a highly contentious doctrine and it is the foundation of his sect. This doctrine is based on the Old Testament typology of the Temple which was built on a specific ground. The place where Abraham offered up Isaac. Since James uses this as “the” example of being “saved by works of faith” it is really a cornerstone to understanding both the book of James and the sect of Watchman Nee. This is also the same ground where King David offered a burnt offering to stop the plague brought on by pride. This “plague brought on by pride” is also a critical component of both James and the issues I raise with Witness Lee. The doctrine of “The Minister of the Age” exemplifies the extent of this “plague brought on by pride”. As a result it is important to introduce these two doctrines. The other incident that is crucial is Watchman Nee’s being disciplined by the elders in Shanghai for having a mistress. Witness Lee taught (in speaking, but not in writing) that Watchman Nee was disciplined for living with a woman, but that the woman was his mother. This lie was critical in preserving Watchman Nee’s legacy as a man of God, and by extension Witness Lee’s legacy as his closest coworker.

Ground of the church

According to the “Ground of the Church” doctrine you cannot just build the church anywhere, it has to be built on the “proper” ground (just like the Temple in the Old Testament). The verses in the Old Testament are clear, specific, and difficult to ignore. However, for a doctrine as important and central as this (according to Witness Lee you cannot have the real oneness of the Body unless you are on the proper ground) the New Testament references used by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee are obscure and vague. It is based on these two New Testament verses:

Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge;

And

Acts 14:23 And when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.

According to Nee and Lee, “appointing elders in every church” = “appointing elders in every city”. You could reasonably deduce that the boundaries for each missionary was geographic, perhaps they were given cities to work in. But these two verses become the basis to say that the proper ground of the church is the geographic boundary of a city. This inference is then supported by Nee and Lee by showing that anywhere in the New Testament when the word “church” is used it is associated with a single city, and when “churches” are used it is associated with a larger geographic region (church in Ephesus, churches of Galatia). Like any good lie it is based on the truth. It is true that the Old Testament Temple is a type of the church. It is also true that the ground that the church is built on is specific and important. This ground was purchased by Christ with his blood on the cross. To try and equate this ground with the boundaries of geographic cities is an insult to Jesus. This different gospel that they preach becomes very ugly when you look at the application. Based on this doctrine all Christian gatherings are divisive because they do not claim to be the church in that city. Any other name other than “church in _________” is an abomination. Only the elders of this group are legitimate, any other Christian leader that does not submit to their authority is wrong. Also, what do you do when the church in a city has tens of thousands of members? In Taipei they have 23 meeting halls, each with elders in that hall. So the issue isn’t with different meeting halls, each with their own elders, the issue is with all of the elders reporting to Witness Lee. Only the “apostle” has the authority to appoint elders (or remove them) and they are all under his authority. So then, Watchman Nee teaches that “authority is local, each local church answers to the Lord” yet in practice every local church answers to Witness Lee and they are not “legitimate” unless he sanctions them. There are several requirements put on a local church. Each one must have a standing order with the Living Stream Ministry, receiving monthly shipments of books that they don’t want. They must participate in yearly trainings, sending people and paying fees for these. And they must contribute on a monthly basis to the Legal Defense Fund, paying for the legal team of lawyers that the Living Stream Ministry controls. This legal team is used for lawsuits against others. The teaching is used to judge others and to bring the believers into bondage. Then worst of all, they are told that if they leave the “proper ground” of Witness Lee’s churches then they cannot go on with the Lord.

Matt 18:6 but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that [a]a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.

Minister of the Age

The second doctrine is the “Minister of the Age” doctrine. According to this the Lord is working out His purpose in this age, building His church. In each “mini time period” say the time of Martin Luther or the time of Watchman Nee the Lord has a particular vision, He gives that vision to one servant to minister and that servant is the “Minister of the Age”. Martin Luther was a “Minister of the Age” and Watchman Nee was a “Minister of the Age”. The vision that Martin Luther had was “justification by faith”, the vision that Watchman Nee had was “the ground of the church”. This doctrine is supported with an extensive review of the Old Testament showing that at any given moment in time God was moving through one key man (Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Elijah, Elisha, etc.). Then in the New Testament you can see that Peter took the lead at one time, then James was clearly the leading elder at one time, then Paul when he rebuked Peter was taking the lead, etc. But then when you study church history this teaching collapses. There was never, apart from James, a “Minister of the Age” that all other ministers appear to submit to. They use a verse from Moses saying that there will be a prophet like him, but that verse is very clearly referring to Jesus. The Old Testament type of the “Minister of the Age” is a type of Jesus and the “vision of the age” is salvation by grace. This doctrine teaches that this type of Jesus is actually a type of Watchman Nee, that is equivalent to preaching another Jesus that Paul warns us of.

2 Cor 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach,

The book of James condemns the history where he was the leading elder saying that we should not have the faith of our Lord Jesus with respect of persons. He condemns boasting and pride.

Key Issues

Lawsuits


Many Christians became alarmed by this group. Books like the “God Men” and “The Mindbenders” were published accusing the church of being a cult. Witness Lee put together a legal defense team and sued these publishers. All of the churches are required to send money to Living Stream Ministry to support this legal defense team. Ultimately the publishers of those books went broke and could no longer fight the lawsuit, hence Witness Lee won. Witness Lee’s use of lawsuits to sue Christians is a major issue many have with him.

1Cor 6:6 but brother goeth to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 Nay, already it is altogether a defect in you, that ye have lawsuits one with another. Why not rather take wrong? why not rather be defrauded? 8 Nay, but ye yourselves do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren

Daystar

Witness Lee was involved in numerous investment schemes. The one I refer to is called “Daystar” it was a motor home company that was located in Taiwan. He sold stock in this company to all of the saints in the United States. His sons, Philip and Timothy ran the company. The company went bankrupt yet Philip and Timothy and Witness Lee made money. Witness Lee convinced all of the saints to not seek remuneration. Selling the stock as he did violated SEC regulations. There were a number of issues with this company that had the saints sought to get their money back would have put Witness Lee and his sons in jail.

Starting around 1972, Witness Lee expressed a concern for the financial suffering of the migrating saints and their need to be able to purchase proper meeting places. I was in a meeting of visiting elders and co-workers in which he introduced the Daystar business. He shared that his son Timothy had approached him about a business and that the business seemed to Witness Lee to be ideal for us (the local churches). The brothers and sisters could invest money, earn a nice profit of around 35%, and generate significant profit for the support of the new churches. He then spoke of manufacturing only the finest product. We could produce the product in Taiwan, which would help the believers there with employment and sell the product in the USA. He spoke at length concerning how the members of the churches should only invest their surplus and that he felt very positive that this was of the Lord. The business consisted of manufacturing and selling an expensive motor home. This was certainly a very different meeting than anything I had ever attended. I and others left with our heads spinning. I was bothered and asked James Barber what was going on. He replied that Witness Lee was God’s anointed and I should be very careful about criticizing. He declared that even if Witness Lee was wrong, God would bless the endeavor. (Taken from “History by Don Rutledge” posted on the Local Church Discussions website).


Philip Lee

After Daystar Witness Lee formed “Living Stream Ministry” and put Philip Lee, an unsaved person, in charge. Philip Lee was involved in many evil deeds including molesting sisters and having drunken parties in the office. The elders brought these to the attention of Witness Lee. All those that did were slandered, libeled and excommunicated. Max Rappaport, his wife, John Ingalls, Bill Mallon, John So, etc. There is a long list of people who became aware of the sins of Philip Lee and as a result were maligned and driven out of the Local church and everyone was told to avoid them because they were “poisoned”. These were the key spiritual leaders in the church. In addition, Philip Lee was the one who forced all the churches to get “standing orders”. This means that each month the church pays for books they don’t want. The boxes of books would build up in the closet until they have no more room. At that point they have a “yard sale” to get rid of them.

Key People

Ray Graver, Benson Phillips, Kerry Robichaux and Ed Marks were all in the church in Houston at the same time I was from 1978 to 1981. All five of us then went to form the church in Irving to build a large conference center for the Living Stream Ministry and were there until 1983. So for six years I was in a church of 200 (Houston) and 100 (Irving) with these four. Today Ray Graver and Benson Phillips run Living Stream Ministry. Ed Marks is a key elder, taking over when the elders in Anaheim resigned over Philip Lee. He is notorious for signing an apology letter to Phillip Lee apologizing for the elders that had disciplined him over his adulterous behavior with sisters (married and single) at the Living Stream office. Kerry Robichaux is the “scribe”. He graduated with a degree in linguistics. He has studied Greek and has a Phd. I went to Rice university at the same time he was there. Ray Graver and Benson Phillips are notorious for refusing to listen to John Ingalls when he came to them about Philip Lee. They argued that Philip was a “local matter”. They basically stuck the knife in the back of the elders in Anaheim and then the four of them (Ray, Benson, Ed and Kerry) replaced them.

Upon coming together we attempted amid protests to mention the matter of the misconduct in the LSM office. They steadfastly refused to hear about it, but we proceeded to speak. Ray [Ray Graver] Graver then quickly rose and exited the room. Benson [Benson Phillips] (in whose home we were meeting) also rose to register his displeasure. We felt that they had knowledge relevant to the matter and wanted to confer with them about it. Benson admitted that the same sister from the LSM office (mentioned previously) had come to him in Taipei to disclose a related event, but he strongly protested our bringing this matter before them. They argued that this affair was exclusively under the jurisdiction of the church in Anaheim, and they had no business being involved. We felt, as we mentioned earlier, that it was more than local, and that since that they were leaders in the LSM operation, they could be consulted. (Taken from Speaking the Truth in Love, by John Ingalls)

For those interested in reading the full 61 page document here is the PDF
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:09 AM   #2
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ZNP,

I'd like to continue our conversation here concerning James. You have provided an extensive base of thought to springboard off of. I will try to keep my observations related strictly to James.

Before, I get into more detail here is one wording correction I suggest in your opening paragraph. I don't think you meant it the way it reads but could be misunderstood by some:

" But, you know you can trust James, after all, he is the brother of Jesus and the son of the virgin Mary."... would be better stated "and the son of Joseph and Mary (the Lord's mother)"

Mary was not a virgin in perpetuity and assumed the duties and obligations of a family after Jesus' birth including having children with her husband Joseph. If there is any special trust that can be attributed to James it would only be that he and the Lord Jesus had the same physical mother and maybe she shared some things with him after he believed like the virgin birth. His siblings did not even believe in Him growing up... not until after His resurrection. And though He met with James after His resurrection, we have no information about what was said. We may make some assumptions about that but it would be speculative.

I think you'll agree with the above but I just to make sure we start off with the same assumptions so we don't have to backtrack later.

Agree? If not, let's discuss.

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Old 11-21-2018, 11:36 AM   #3
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Thanks. Just trying to emphasize that this woman was part of the heritage of faith in her own right.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:14 PM   #4
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Yep. I figured.

More later.

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Old 11-29-2018, 01:32 PM   #5
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Default The mystery of God's will

The question recently is why would it be God's will for us to have experienced the ministry of Witness Lee? Many of us including myself believe that the "Ground of Oneness" doctrine is an error, that the MOTA doctrine is an error, that the deification doctrine is an error, and that the one publication edict is an error.

The excommunications, public ridicule, and lasciviousness of the leaders of LSM are contrary to the word, yet the word also says "all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to purpose". It also says "give thanks for all things". It is hard to "give thanks" unless we understand how this works out for good, and that part of God's will may be a mystery to us. Hence, "the mystery of God's will".

There are a couple of verses concerning God's will that are plain and clear:
1. God desires all men to be saved and come to the full knowledge of the truth
2. It is God's will that we give thanks in all things
3. It is God's will that we are sanctified.
4. It is God's will that we silence ignorant talk by doing good.

But, in my opinion, no verse reveals the mystery of God's will more than Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.
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Old 11-29-2018, 03:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: The mystery of God's will

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Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The question recently is why would it be God's will for us to have experienced the ministry of Witness Lee? Many of us including myself believe that the "Ground of Oneness" doctrine is an error, that the MOTA doctrine is an error, that the deification doctrine is an error, and that the one publication edict is an error.

The excommunications, public ridicule, and lasciviousness of the leaders of LSM are contrary to the word, yet the word also says "all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to purpose". It also says "give thanks for all things". It is hard to "give thanks" unless we understand how this works out for good, and that part of God's will may be a mystery to us. Hence, "the mystery of God's will".

There are a couple of verses concerning God's will that are plain and clear:
1. God desires all men to be saved and come to the full knowledge of the truth
2. It is God's will that we give thanks in all things
3. It is God's will that we are sanctified.
4. It is God's will that we silence ignorant talk by doing good.

But, in my opinion, no verse reveals the mystery of God's will more than Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.
I think each person needs to go to the Holy Spirit if they are troubled as to why they were in the LC/LSM. Did God lead them in? Were they coerced and fell into a trap?

Another means of clarity (hopefully) would be dividing on paper the pros/cons of what they experienced while in its' confines.

I was raised as a Catholic and while I am so thankful I am not in its' clutches, I am thankful I went to Catholic school for 12 yrs. Why? Firstly, there were some truths that kept me steadfast in my faith. That I was taught there are 3 Persons in One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That Jesus was born of a virgin, died for our sins, resurrected is TRUTH and kept me from getting confused.

2ndly, God has used me to reach out to Catholics as the Holy Spirit leads. Because of my upbringing, I can relate and many Catholics have trusted me.

Interestingly enough, as I was beginning to seek the LORD as a young adult, I recall telling God I wanted to be in the 'one true church'. The RCC taught me it was the one true churc but I knew in my heart it was not. Soon after, He led me to the LC in 1975. I actually believed for a time the LC was 'the one true church'. Operating word: WAS

As most of you know, my experience in the LC as short lived as it was 4- 5 yrs was for the most part a positive one. I did not even hear of Witness Lee until my 4th month in the LC ! Up until then, I was reading, studying, pray reading, fellowshipping which was centered around JESUS.

Just as THE LORD led me in, He led me out.

Good topic for discussion!
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Old 11-29-2018, 06:50 PM   #7
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I think each person needs to go to the Holy Spirit if they are troubled as to why they were in the LC/LSM. Did God lead them in? Were they coerced and fell into a trap?
Could it be both?

God's will: 14 in order that we may be no longer babes, tossed and carried about by every wind of teaching [which is] in the sleight of men, in unprincipled cunning with a view to systematized error;

How do you mature to the point that you are no longer babes? How do you get passed being someone naive enough to fall for the sleight of men?
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:38 PM   #8
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I was raised as a Catholic and while I am so thankful I am not in its' clutches, I am thankful I went to Catholic school for 12 yrs. Why? Firstly, there were some truths that kept me steadfast in my faith. That I was taught there are 3 Persons in One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That Jesus was born of a virgin, died for our sins, resurrected is TRUTH and kept me from getting confused.
Me too. My parochial education was a great preservation to me, like the LAW was a custodian to the Jews. We constantly were challenged with the "faith vs. science" debate, which served to prepare us for the university.

As I entered University, I left all the Catholic tradition, yet still kept my faith in Jesus and the Bible. Later these two bedrocks helped me to be dynamically saved. Then I desired to tell all my Catholic family and friends about Jesus, but the LC filled me with hatred towards Catholicism from the Revelations training.

Today I view idols as nothing, and I can fellowship freely with my Catholic neighbors. That was not always the case for this iconoclast! There are spme real believers and lovers of Jesus in the RCC. It is God's will that our life experiences be used to help and shepherd God's other children.
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: The mystery of God's will

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Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The question recently is why would it be God's will for us to have experienced the ministry of Witness Lee? Many of us including myself believe that the "Ground of Oneness" doctrine is an error, that the MOTA doctrine is an error, that the deification doctrine is an error, and that the one publication edict is an error.

The excommunications, public ridicule, and lasciviousness of the leaders of LSM are contrary to the word, yet the word also says "all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to purpose". It also says "give thanks for all things". It is hard to "give thanks" unless we understand how this works out for good, and that part of God's will may be a mystery to us. Hence, "the mystery of God's will".

There are a couple of verses concerning God's will that are plain and clear:
1. God desires all men to be saved and come to the full knowledge of the truth
2. It is God's will that we give thanks in all things
3. It is God's will that we are sanctified.
4. It is God's will that we silence ignorant talk by doing good.

But, in my opinion, no verse reveals the mystery of God's will more than Ephesians 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.
Great thread start ZNP.

Item 1 helps explain my LC experience for sure.

I was saved and came to know many partial truths in the LC (mostly because I spent a lot of time reading the Bible, and learned an appreciation for the Holy Spirit’s guidance) but needed to leave to continue on the path to full knowledge of the truth.
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Old 11-30-2018, 03:37 AM   #10
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God's will: in order that we may be no longer babes, tossed and carried about by every wind of teaching [which is] in the sleight of men, in unprincipled cunning with a view to systematized error;

How do you mature to the point that you are no longer babes? How do you get past being someone naive enough to fall for the sleight of men?
I get the point - we have to get THROUGH getting tossed about. We start out babes, and any Christian teacher with a persuasive message grabs us. It actually was by design that CMW didn't hear of Witness Lee for the first 4-5 months. They were prepping her, by "enjoyment". Eventually you see the real "Lord" of the LC. Not Jesus.

We are to remain NO LONGER as babes. So we go through the "getting tossed and carried about" part. Not fun, rather unpleasant actually, but there it is. The LSM and LC is, in my view, a good example of systematized error. There are, unfortunately, many others. So we learn from our experiences, and go on. And we publish our experiences here, in conversation.

Every August and September, from what I understand, several tens (hundreds?) of thousands of LSM-originated flyers get mailed out to incoming Freshmen at Colleges and Universities across the USA. Most of these students are young, with little experience, and little external guidance. God have mercy.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:16 AM   #11
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Me too. My parochial education was a great preservation to me, like the LAW was a custodian to the Jews. We constantly were challenged with the "faith vs. science" debate, which served to prepare us for the university.

As I entered University, I left all the Catholic tradition, yet still kept my faith in Jesus and the Bible. Later these two bedrocks helped me to be dynamically saved. Then I desired to tell all my Catholic family and friends about Jesus, but the LC filled me with hatred towards Catholicism from the Revelations training.

Today I view idols as nothing, and I can fellowship freely with my Catholic neighbors. That was not always the case for this iconoclast! There are spme real believers and lovers of Jesus in the RCC. It is God's will that our life experiences be used to help and shepherd God's other children.
That is how I understand these verses:

7 But to each one of us has been given grace according to the measure of the gift of the Christ.
8 Wherefore he says, Having ascended up on high, he has led captivity captive, and has given gifts to men.
9 But that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same who has also ascended up above all the heavens, that he might fill all things;


If the Lord has led you out from "the lower parts of the earth" your experience of His grace will help you in leading others out. Hence, your gift is activated and you can be given as a gift to the Body to help perfect other saints.

11 and has given some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers,
12 for the perfecting of the saints; with a view to [the] work of [the] ministry, with a view to the edifying of the body of Christ;
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:19 AM   #12
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Great thread start ZNP.

Item 1 helps explain my LC experience for sure.

I was saved and came to know many partial truths in the LC (mostly because I spent a lot of time reading the Bible, and learned an appreciation for the Holy Spirit’s guidance) but needed to leave to continue on the path to full knowledge of the truth.
In Genesis we are told “in you all the nations of the Earth will be blessed”. We were blessed in Abraham and Abraham received 7 blessings. Galatians 3:9 says those of faith were blessed with Abraham. Ephesians reveals these 7 blessings. Ephesians reveals the first 6 books of the Bible are organized based on God accomplishing these 7 blessings. From the time God made this promise to Abraham until Solomon dedicated the temple, that entire portion of the Bible is the working out and accomplishment of these 7 blessings. Therefore, these seven blessings reveal “God’s will”, they are a more complete picture of what it is to be saved and understanding this is to come to “the full knowledge of the truth”. It is also clear that these blessings result in our being sanctified which is God’s will. I feel that this phrase “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us” reveals the mystery of God’s will. But to understand that you have to know these seven blessings and how they are revealed in the first six books of the Bible and how this is brought out in Ephesians.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:37 AM   #13
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A friend of mine has stage 4 cancer, they can't operate, so I have prayed for him to be healed. So the question is this: "is it God's will to heal him"? That question, to me, is the "mystery of God's will".

Ephesians says we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies. Surely this includes the promises that God will hear our prayer. Just like we see with Joseph at the end of the book of Genesis.

So let's look at this a little closer. Our covenant is a contract, a contract is not simply "I will bless you". It has been put into writing, the contract involves blessings to both parties, it is not simply one sided, and then it must be signed legally.

So in Ephesians it says "In Him we obtain an inheritance" or it could also be translated "In Him we are made a heritage". This is the two sided nature of the covenant. Ruth is a very good example. She was a moabitess, but her faith was that "your people will be my people and your God will be my God". Therefore, in her heart she wasn't a moabitess, but rather the widow of an Israelite. God answers her prayer, she does obtain an inheritance, but in so doing she also is made a heritage. That is the mystery of God's will.

Sardonyx is an excellent illustration of this. Sardonyx is the 4th stone in the New Jerusalem and stands next to Emerald which is considered by many to be the most precious of precious stones. Sardonyx is opaque, and looks like a sandwich with a white filling between two dark brown to black layers. You might find it interesting if you picked it up on the beach, but how can this stone stand next to an emerald? The Lord can make it stand. A craftsman comes in and carves through the top layer, creating a border like a frame. Then in the white layer they carve a scene, say a king on his throne with his court around him. Then beneath this white layer, there might be some sinister characters hiding in the shadows. The result is a masterpiece. To change this funny looking stone into a priceless masterpiece is a blessing. Ruth obtains an inheritance, is made a great nation, is blessed, her name is made great, etc. Why? Because in so doing God also obtains a priceless work of art as His heritage. That is the mystery of God's will. Ruth was twice cursed being both a moabitess and a widow, but now she can stand between Joseph and King David.

Finally, the covenant has to be sealed. The seal is done so that there is no doubt who signed the covenant. For example, with Gideon God had to winnow down his army from 30,000 men to 300 men so that no one would claim that Israel had defeated the Midianites by their own hand. Once again, this is the mystery of God's will. He can heal my friend, but in a way that no one can vaunt themselves against God saying it was by their hand.
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:40 AM   #14
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Any more?
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:15 AM   #15
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Any more?
Hi ZNP,

I read it but as a whole it’s conclusions have little to do with James or his epistle and that which does would require too much effort on my part.

I believe people should just read your article and draw theiir own conclusions based on its own merits.

However, if you have a specific question about James I’ll do my best to answer.

Thx
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:27 AM   #16
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Actually I have to agree with Drake. This thread really belongs over on the Blogosphere sub-forum.
And, as a matter of fact, that's where it's going right now.

ZNP, please continue with this line of postings over here. Thanks.

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Old 12-02-2018, 01:11 PM   #17
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Hi ZNP,

if you have a specific question about James I’ll do my best to answer.

Thx
Drake


1. In “The Bible — the Word of God, Chapter 20, section 1 Witness Lee said “Many words recorded in the Scriptures are the words of Satan, evil men, God's opposers, and even the nonsensical talk of godly men. Furthermore, all the words of the Scriptures were breathed out by God and recorded for a particular purpose. In Genesis 3 the purpose is to expose the subtlety of the enemy. In Acts 21 and in the book of James the purpose is to show us the possibility that a godly person may lack the clear, heavenly view of God's New Testament economy.”

Do you agree that the purpose of the book of James is to show us the possibility that a godly person may lack the clear, heavenly view of God’s New Testament economy?

2. Here we see that James charges the believers to keep the perfect law of freedom in relation to three things: bridling the tongue, visiting orphans and widows, and keeping oneself unspotted from the world. None of these is a crucial item in God’s New Testament economy. By this we see that James does not tell us to keep the perfect law of freedom in the New Testament practice. Rather, by charging us to bridle our tongue, visit orphans and widows, and keep ourselves unspotted from the world, he is speaking of Old Testament practices. (Witness Lee, Life Study of James, Chapter 13, Sect 3)

would you agree that the Lord’s new commandment to us in John 13:34 is a crucial item of God’s New Testament Economy?

Would you agree that presenting our members as servants of righteousness unto sanctification is a crucial item of God’s New Testament economy? Romans 6:19

Would you agree that our baptism by which we are separated from the world is a crucial item of God’s New Testament economy?

3. “For example in 2:9 and 10 he says, “But if you respect persons, you commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law, yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” This word indicates that James still practiced the keeping of the Old Testament law.” (Witness Lee, Life Study of James, Chapter 13, sect 3)

Do you think that the Lord’s command to do unto others as you would have them do unto you is the Old Testament law?
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:57 AM   #18
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Do you agree that the purpose of the book of James is to show us the possibility that a godly person may lack the clear, heavenly view of God’s New Testament economy?

would you agree that the Lord’s new commandment to us in John 13:34 is a crucial item of God’s New Testament Economy?

Would you agree that presenting our members as servants of righteousness unto sanctification is a crucial item of God’s New Testament economy? Romans 6:19

Would you agree that our baptism by which we are separated from the world is a crucial item of God’s New Testament economy?

Do you think that the Lord’s command to do unto others as you would have them do unto you is the Old Testament law?

Items 1-4 = Yes

Item 5 = No

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Old 12-03-2018, 06:10 PM   #19
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Items 1-4 = Yes

Item 5 = No

Drake
Then I guess we both sort of agree. Only difference is I am not sure that WL was a godly person, not for me to judge, but his exposition on James does demonstrate that he didn't have a clear, heavenly view of God's economy. So in that sense the book of James did expose that.
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Old 12-03-2018, 06:55 PM   #20
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Then I guess we both sort of agree. Only difference is I am not sure that WL was a godly person, not for me to judge, but his exposition on James does demonstrate that he didn't have a clear, heavenly view of God's economy. So in that sense the book of James did expose that.
One could visit orphans and widows 24x7 and not build up the Body of Christ. There are many secular and religious groups that do just that, and its commendable... but if that is all they do then they have missed Gods purpose.

https://muslimfostercare.org/

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Old 12-04-2018, 05:02 AM   #21
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One could visit orphans and widows 24x7 and not build up the Body of Christ. There are many secular and religious groups that do just that, and its commendable... but if that is all they do then they have missed Gods purpose.

https://muslimfostercare.org/

Drake
When you bring a canary into a coal mine it is not to help you mine the coal. The canary protects you from a pernicious killer creeping in by warning you. These false prophets that we have been warned about will prey on the most vulnerable, the widows and orphans. As long as you are caring for them it is like bug repellant to those that would make merchandise of the saints. James says "pure and undefiled religion". If you are not taking care of widows and orphans it indicates you are not pure, you are not undefiled, but instead you are "spotted by the world".

Instead I would argue that being a hearer only and not a doer of the word, that is the far more common pitfall of Christians and they have missed God's purpose.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:38 AM   #22
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When you bring a canary into a coal mine it is not to help you mine the coal. The canary protects you from a pernicious killer creeping in by warning you. These false prophets that we have been warned about will prey on the most vulnerable, the widows and orphans. As long as you are caring for them it is like bug repellant to those that would make merchandise of the saints. James says "pure and undefiled religion". If you are not taking care of widows and orphans it indicates you are not pure, you are not undefiled, but instead you are "spotted by the world".

Instead I would argue that being a hearer only and not a doer of the word, that is the far more common pitfall of Christians and they have missed God's purpose.
Great post!

Once again the extremes of LSM have been exposed. When LSM threw Titus Chu under the bus and excommunicated the GLA, they also voiced their extreme displeasure that Midwest young people gatherings included "good works," such as visiting the sick, wrongfully condemning them as "dead works."
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:49 AM   #23
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Great post!

Once again the extremes of LSM have been exposed. When LSM threw Titus Chu under the bus and excommunicated the GLA, they also voiced their extreme displeasure that Midwest young people gatherings included "good works," such as visiting the sick, wrongfully condemning them as "dead works."
The charge to "keep the perfect law of freedom" -- the Lord's commandment to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, is not an OT commandment, it is not the result of a blurry vision of God's NT economy, it is to keep the Lord's word. This is a very clear error in WL's ministry.

James takes this word and also the word to "love one another" and makes it practical. WL was very, very big on his disciples being "hearers of the word" and would gladly expound on these verses ad infinitum, but taught against being a doer of the word just like Drake said -- if you do that "you aren't building the kingdom" or "those are the works of dead religion", etc.

So ask yourself, did giving money for the legal defense fund used to sue Christians, was that building the kingdom? How about giving money for Daystar? How about the money that went to fund Timothy Lee and Phillip Lee? Given the choice I would prefer that money had been used to care for widows and orphans.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:30 AM   #24
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When you bring a canary into a coal mine it is not to help you mine the coal. The canary protects you from a pernicious killer creeping in by warning you. These false prophets that we have been warned about will prey on the most vulnerable, the widows and orphans. As long as you are caring for them it is like bug repellant to those that would make merchandise of the saints. James says "pure and undefiled religion". If you are not taking care of widows and orphans it indicates you are not pure, you are not undefiled, but instead you are "spotted by the world".

Instead I would argue that being a hearer only and not a doer of the word, that is the far more common pitfall of Christians and they have missed God's purpose.
Of course doings and not just hearings are needed....the question here is what compels the doer and does the compelling force instigate anything else.

For instance, if I were to ask you to describe American football and you told me it consist of tens of thousands of fans screaming and yelling, eating hotdogs, popcorn, nachos, drinking beer and players trying to hurt each on the field then I would say you know something about American football but only on the surface... in reality you don’t really know the essence of football.

I wouldn’t go as far as afazio appeared to go in the main forum in finding fault with James, but she had a point that many problems in the early church could be sourced back to James and those he was shepherding because he was devoid of proper explanation (and presumably an understanding) of the essence of American football.

Thanks for the conversation... it really was civil and thought provoking rising above the usual canned speeches in the main forum.

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Old 12-04-2018, 06:59 AM   #25
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So ask yourself, did giving money for the legal defense fund used to sue Christians, was that building the kingdom? How about giving money for Daystar? How about the money that went to fund Timothy Lee and Phillip Lee? Given the choice I would prefer that money had been used to care for widows and orphans.
Ahhh, one of those "canned speeches" so dreaded by Drake. No wonder he has dismissed the book of James as relevant for the church today.

Building up the church. What does this really mean? Can loving widows and orphans because one loves the Lord also build the church? Or should that be condemned because the Muslims also have an orphanage? What about those verses on love, like love our neighbor as ourself? Is that not building? What is the real building then? Should not real building up result from all obedience to the Lord?

Lee and LSM have long convinced their adherents that "real" building is only accomplished thru them. Saints are even persuaded to leave LC's to find "real" building at LSM. (How many times did I watch that happen?) Does anyone really believe this? The only "real" building up occurs when LSM signs your paycheck? Of course, they will vehemently deny this, but when it "looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, ... "
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:47 AM   #26
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Of course doings and not just hearings are needed....the question here is what compels the doer and does the compelling force instigate anything else.

For instance, if I were to ask you to describe American football and you told me it consist of tens of thousands of fans screaming and yelling, eating hotdogs, popcorn, nachos, drinking beer and players trying to hurt each on the field then I would say you know something about American football but only on the surface... in reality you don’t really know the essence of football.

I wouldn’t go as far as afazio appeared to go in the main forum in finding fault with James, but she had a point that many problems in the early church could be sourced back to James and those he was shepherding because he was devoid of proper explanation (and presumably an understanding) of the essence of American football.

Thanks for the conversation... it really was civil and thought provoking rising above the usual canned speeches in the main forum.

Drake
I agree that the account of James in the book of Acts and inferred from Galatians is indicative of an error in the early church.

However, none of that is evidence of an error in the epistle of James. Instead the book of Acts also clearly depicts the error of Paul yet no one infers from that that his epistles are also in error. Likewise, the gospels reveal Peter's error and again no one then infers this error is in his epistles. You need to do much better than pointing out that James was involved in error in Acts to discredit his epistle.

Going to your Football analogy: one aspect of American football is its value for fans (big money maker), one aspect is the coaching of the game (strategy and tactics), one aspect is the players training and health, and one very critical aspect is the referees. You cannot ignore any one of these aspects. If James is identifying where to "throw the flag" then that also is part of the game.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:43 PM   #27
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I agree that the account of James in the book of Acts and inferred from Galatians is indicative of an error in the early church.

However, none of that is evidence of an error in the epistle of James. Instead the book of Acts also clearly depicts the error of Paul yet no one infers from that that his epistles are also in error. Likewise, the gospels reveal Peter's error and again no one then infers this error is in his epistles. You need to do much better than pointing out that James was involved in error in Acts to discredit his epistle.

Going to your Football analogy: one aspect of American football is its value for fans (big money maker), one aspect is the coaching of the game (strategy and tactics), one aspect is the players training and health, and one very critical aspect is the referees. You cannot ignore any one of these aspects. If James is identifying where to "throw the flag" then that also is part of the game.
I haven’t concluded that James was in error in his epistle...just that ..it is lacking content concerning the New Testament economy and therefore its utility in building the Body of Christ is at best limited.

But you think otherwise... that’s fine. Therefore, since visiting orphans and widows is important and indicates a proof point of James’ practical understanding of Gods NT economy then .,. How many orphans widows have you visited in 2018 thus far?

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Old 12-04-2018, 06:27 PM   #28
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I haven’t concluded that James was in error in his epistle...just that ..it is lacking content concerning the New Testament economy and therefore its utility in building the Body of Christ is at best limited.

But you think otherwise... that’s fine. Therefore, since visiting orphans and widows is important and indicates a proof point of James’ practical understanding of Gods NT economy then .,. How many orphans widows have you visited in 2018 thus far?
Paul informs us that God's dispensation, or God's "economy," is not some thing we do, but is in faith, and the goal of Paul's charge is love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and unfeigned faith. (I Tim 1.4-5)

This forum is filled with testimony about leadership at LSM which contradicts faith, violates a good conscience, and obviously points to mixed motives of the heart.

And Drake has the nerve to impugn James' epistle? Drake has the nerve to imply that his circle of associates fulfilled Paul's charge to Timothy?

Remember the words of Jesus, "Woe to you hypocrites."
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:12 AM   #29
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I haven’t concluded that James was in error in his epistle...just that ..it is lacking content concerning the New Testament economy and therefore its utility in building the Body of Christ is at best limited.
That is a very narrow view of the New Testament economy. You were the one that used the analogy of the NFL. A handbook to refs on how to officiate and the rules of the game are every bit as much a part of the game as a book from a great coach like Vince Lombardi on strategy, plays, and how to coach a team. Marketing the game is another aspect that cannot be ignored and yet totally different from these first two points. Finally, a book by a famous player on his training regimen is also part of the game.

Likewise I used the analogy of a canary in the coal mine. That canary is a critical component of the mining operation yet does not mine any coal. That is not an obscure analogy, every single building has to have fire alarm, smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm.

The New Testament economy clearly talks about false prophets. Jesus does in His ministry. Paul does in his ministry. Peter does in his ministry and James does in his ministry. The big complaint about James in Acts is that he was a false prophet, or involved in a cult, or was negatively associated with "Those of the concision". Surely a book on this is far better than the simple "you will know them by their fruit".

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But you think otherwise... that’s fine. Therefore, since visiting orphans and widows is important and indicates a proof point of James’ practical understanding of Gods NT economy then .,. How many orphans widows have you visited in 2018 thus far?

Thx
Drake
Approximately 40 of my students are homeless, and about 40 come from immigrant families, and a very large number are from single parent families. Thanks for asking. The church I meet with in Queens is very representative of the inner city population and therefore the numbers are quite similar. We have several outreaches. We no longer have a soup kitchen because we were sued and lost about 6 apartments next to the church. But we give out food every Sunday morning. Likewise we do have a number of opportunities to give when a member is about to lose their home or some other emergency.

When I first came into the church in Houston there was a brother there named Mike Collins, he was a mentor to me. I would often go to his house and virtually every night he would be fixing someone's car. Usually widows and poor members of the church. They couldn't pay him money so they would usually bring food and buy the part that he would replace. I would sit in the driveway and hand him tools.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:00 AM   #30
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Hi ZNP,

So you are living what you believe and teach concerning orphans and widows... and for that I tip my hat to you. I also observe you restrain your tongue in the forum.. also commendable. The Lord reward your faithfulness.

I look at it this way.... and what I observe by Brother Lee's kind and careful handling of JAmes' epistle I also think he thought in a similar way.... that is, if you only had the book of James then you would be missing the main and central revelation concerning God's purpose for the Church and the building of the Body of Christ. It may seem I am dismissive of James' contribution but my view is the broadest one..... also I dont consider James to have been leading an evil cult.

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Old 12-05-2018, 11:25 AM   #31
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Hi ZNP,

So you are living what you believe and teach concerning orphans and widows... and for that I tip my hat to you. I also observe you restrain your tongue in the forum.. also commendable. The Lord reward your faithfulness.

I look at it this way.... and what I observe by Brother Lee's kind and careful handling of JAmes' epistle I also think he thought in a similar way.... that is, if you only had the book of James then you would be missing the main and central revelation concerning God's purpose for the Church and the building of the Body of Christ. It may seem I am dismissive of James' contribution but my view is the broadest one..... also I dont consider James to have been leading an evil cult.

Drake
I agree that the gospels and epistles of Paul are the main portion of the NT revelation.

I disagree with WL that James was keeping OT practices, teaching OT laws, or was unclear in his vision of the NT. I disagree that sending the letter to "the twelve tribes in the dispersion" indicated James was off, rather it indicated the Jews were having a tough time with the NT revelation and James had a burden for them.

I do agree in an ironic way that the purpose of James is to reveal those that don't have a clear view of the NT economy, but don't agree with the understanding I had in the LC that the person was James. I believe he is expanding on the basic principle the Lord gave that "you will know them by their works".

I also feel that James was specially prepared for this ministry, no one better to tell us not to be a respecter of man's person.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:58 PM   #32
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14 in order that we may be no longer babes, tossed and carried about by every wind of *that* teaching [which is] in the sleight of men, in unprincipled cunning with a view to systematized error;

God's will is that we would no longer be babes who are defrauded by the sleight of men, in unprincipled cunning. When I look at many threads on this forum I think it is fair to compare PL, TL, and WL to an "unprincipled cunning with a view to a systematized error".

That is a strong accusation, but there is certainly enough evidence to bring that charge against these three, and the Lord knows if there is enough to convict.

I consider the ground of the church doctrine, and the attempt to create franchise churches that have standing orders from the ministry and pay fees every six months for various trainings, as a "systematized error" complete with the MOTA doctrine and the one publication doctrine.

So then, if I was merely hearing this in a Bible study class it would make a very small impact, but having lived through it how much more of an impact has this made? So I see this as part of the will of God, but not the "mystery of God's will". It is no mystery, simply part of the normal maturation process of a king, to no longer be so naive and simple to fall for wolves in sheep's clothing.

The mystery of God's will is that this maturation in us will result in God being praised and blessed.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:50 PM   #33
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I agree that the gospels and epistles of Paul are the main portion of the NT revelation.

I disagree with WL that James was keeping OT practices, teaching OT laws, or was unclear in his vision of the NT. I disagree that sending the letter to "the twelve tribes in the dispersion" indicated James was off, rather it indicated the Jews were having a tough time with the NT revelation and James had a burden for them.

I do agree in an ironic way that the purpose of James is to reveal those that don't have a clear view of the NT economy, but don't agree with the understanding I had in the LC that the person was James. I believe he is expanding on the basic principle the Lord gave that "you will know them by their works".

I also feel that James was specially prepared for this ministry, no one better to tell us not to be a respecter of man's person.
Ok ZNP.

We have different viewpoints and to some degree based on this dialogue I moved a little closer to your viewpoint. Appreciate the sincere and civil dialogue.

Thanks
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:26 AM   #34
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10 And David's heart smote him after he had numbered the people. And David said to Jehovah, I have sinned greatly in what I have done; and now, I beseech thee, Jehovah, put away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

One of the blessings of Abraham is that God would make of us a great nation, not David. According to Ephesians God blessed us with these blessings "to the praise of His glory". David trying to seek the glory that was due God was a great sin. David thinking that Israel becoming a great nation was due to him was also a great sin of arrogance.

This is the mystery of God's will.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:43 AM   #35
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I think some are disturbed that I use Hitler as an example of a cult. There are far too many similarities between what Hitler did in Germany and what cults do. He was clearly a cult figure, he was clearly given a special status similar to a "false Christ" or a "false prophet" or a "Minister of the Age". He focused on teenage children and this resulted in a cult like following with remarkable loyalty five or ten years later during the war.

So my point is not to compare the Local Church and Witness Lee to the Nazis and Hitler. Rather, my point is to compare the NT teaching on false prophets and false Christs to both of these groups to give two different but equally valid examples of how a false prophet can be identified and of the very real damage that they do.

Also, I think the example of Hitler demonstrates how this is a much bigger issue that can have very negative effects to everyone on earth, not just those who are hoodwinked. This is what will happen at the end of the age with the AntiChrist and False prophet, so in this respect this demonstrates how critical is this book of James to help us identify and respond to these false prophets.
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:15 PM   #36
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The mystery of God's will in Philippians is that I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

The book begins with a communion created by God. Jesus takes the form of a servant and Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus are in communion with God having the same mind as Jesus. They are tested, their faith is proven to be genuine, and we know the proof of them. So that we might know Him. So that we might also experience resurrection and the communion of Christ's sufferings.

All of that is the prerequisite for us to "lay hold of that for which we have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus".

But, to do that we need to "forget the things behind" and "press on to the High calling of God".
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Old 12-22-2018, 08:22 AM   #37
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The mystery of God's will in Philippians is that I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

The book begins with a communion created by God. Jesus takes the form of a servant and Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus are in communion with God having the same mind as Jesus. They are tested, their faith is proven to be genuine, and we know the proof of them. So that we might know Him. So that we might also experience resurrection and the communion of Christ's sufferings.

All of that is the prerequisite for us to "lay hold of that for which we have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus".

But, to do that we need to "forget the things behind" and "press on to the High calling of God".
The book of Job is a book about the testing of our faith. In that book God's response has a lot to do with "do you know about my creation". For example, when you see an emperor penguin you might think they are funny looking, but when you get to know the full story about what they have to go through in order for the next generation then you will be filled with awe and wonder at God and total respect for the penguin.
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:38 AM   #38
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Lessons about Cult leaders from James

1. They have grandiose ideas about themselves. James said that the “rich” blaspheme the excellent name which has been called upon you. For example, with WL, the teaching about MOTA (Minister of the Age) takes OT typology for Jesus Christ and applies it to himself and his ministry. That is blasphemy.
2. Preoccupied with success, power, and proof that his ministry is the only true one. James warned that a “double minded man is unstable in all his ways”. If our focus on only on the Lord then our own success, power, and accomplishments are irrelevant.
3. Demands blind, unquestioned loyalty. This is a very big one. James warned that “above all” to not make any pledge. No loyalty pledge. Do not have the faith of the Lord Jesus with respect of persons. Referring to him as “the apostle” is to have respect of persons. To say “even when he is wrong he is right” is to have respect of persons. To not read any other ministry is to have “blind, unquestioning loyalty”. He requires excessive admiration. Many times we heard WL saying “who can do this, only Lee!”
4. They are exploitive of others. According to Peter the cult leaders “make merchandise of the saints”. With WL we saw this with Daystar, with the blue chairs, and with the monopoly of the saints time and money with LSM, the standing orders, the gold bars, and the trainings.
5. They are haughty and arrogant in their behavior and attitude. We heard many haughty and arrogant statements from WL “boasting in his ministry”. James warns that “every good gift and every perfect give comes from above, from the Father of lights”. We should take the attitude of Paul that whatever we have it came from the Lord, and likewise the Lord said “freely you have received, freely give”. They habitually put down others as inferior and themselves as superior. James warned that the “tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. See how little a fire, how large a wood it kindles.”
6. They will bend and break laws. Selling an ownership stake in Daystar to the saints through the church violates SEC laws. Pushing the saints to forgive the debt indicates a lack of accountability for his actions. James said that “He that fixes his view on the perfect law of liberty, and abides in it, being not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, he shall be blessed in his doing”. The false prophet does not abide in the perfect law of liberty.
7. The wisdom from above is first pure. We saw with WL and all these other cults that first and foremost they are not pure. They may appear to be, but in truth they aren’t. With WL the two sons TL and PL were both “filthy” and “impure”.
8. The cult leaders will publicly devalue others as being inferior or not worthy. We saw this with WL in insulting every other Christian ministry as being not worthy. He also subjected members to ridicule and humiliation by publicly exposing their sins. We saw this with WL in the perfecting training. James said “do not the rich oppress you, and they drag you before tribunals?” We saw that with WL as well with all the lawsuits. He was hypersensitive to how he is seen and perceived by others.
9. They ignore the needs of others. James warned that pure religion is to visit orphans and widows in their affliction. It should be a fundamental role of the church to be concerned about the needs of others.
10. When criticized they tend to lash out at others with rage. James warned that “the wrath of man does not work God’s righteousness”. But we saw with WL and other cult leaders that anyone who criticizes him is “the enemy”. This is contrary to James who said that wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceful. Cult leaders are not peacemakers, rather everything becomes a war with enemies. How many rebellions did we see in the Local church?
11. Cults will use enforcers (sycophants) to insure compliance. We saw this with WL with RG forcing elders to sign a loyalty pledge, and we all experienced this in our respective localities. In contrast James said that “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle”. Forcing compliance out of members is not gentle but is often nasty, underhanded, and vile. Sister’s rebellion, and “The fomentation of the present rebellion” are two examples that come immediately to mind.
12. James also said that “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, full of mercy and good fruits”. The Lord Jesus said "you will know them by their fruit". He also said that their disciples are the sons of Gehenna. Is the fruit full of mercy and good works? Or after 50 years is there little or no fruit to be seen, only a violent, merciless history of attack and excommunication.
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Old 12-26-2018, 09:44 AM   #39
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In Colossians Paul is an apostle by God's will. He prays that we would be filled with the full knowledge of His will.

He then says that it was given to him to "complete the word of God, the mystery". The word of God reveals God's will. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

He then says "27*to whom God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations, which is Christ in you the hope of glory:"

Then in chapter 2 he says

2*to the end that their hearts may be encouraged, being united together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to [the] full knowledge of the mystery of God;
3*in which are hid all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge…3*praying at the same time for us also, that God may open to us a door of the word to speak the mystery of Christ, on account of which also I am bound,


In the Local church with WL's ministry we heard a lot about these mysteries: the mystery of God's will, the mystery of God, the mystery of Christ, the great mystery. Christ in you, the hope of glory was a golden verse that everyone memorized whether or not they intended to. But at the same time we wouldn't have this forum if we had truly been united together unto the full knowledge of the mystery of God. We missed something and that is why I am reexamining this question.

I have two words that to my mind focus very clearly on the mystery of God's will: delight and detest.

This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight. Matt 3:17

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, in whom my soul has found its delight. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall shew forth judgment to the nations. Matt 12:18

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying, *This* is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight: hear him. Matt 17:5

It is reasonable, though simplistic, to say that the revelation of Jesus was the revelation of the mystery of God's will which was hidden from previous generations.

What exactly does this mean?

Let them exult and rejoice that delight in my righteousness; and let them say continually, Jehovah be magnified, who delighteth in the prosperity of his servant. Ps 35:27

The person who delights in the Lord’s righteousness is referred to as “His servant”. This is a service to the Lord, delighting in Christ our righteousness, and the Lord delights in the prosperity of his servant. Think about Job in this way, Job was "delighting in the Lord's righteousness". It is easy to bless the Lord when things go well, but that is not the point of Job. And, as a service, proclaiming and demonstrating God's righteousness Job was successful.

Hallelujah! Blessed is the man that feareth Jehovah, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. Ps 112:1

Delighting greatly in His commandments follows from fearing Jehovah. These things cause us to be blessed. The blessings of Abraham are on those that keep His covenant. What is it to keep the covenant other than to “fear Him” and to delight greatly in His commandments. In other words we see that this is closely associated with the things God detests -- those that don't fear Him and those that don't keep his commandments. You can claim to fear God, to reverence God, to worship God, but the proof is if you keep His commandments. Faith without works is dead.

A false balance is an abomination to Jehovah; but a just weight is his delight. Proverbs 11:1

This is an example of fearing Jehovah and delighting in His commandments. When RG and BP claimed that PL was a "local matter" and covered their ears, that was a false balance. That is an abomination.

Lying lips are an abomination to Jehovah; but they that deal truly are his delight. Proverbs 12:22

This is an example of fearing Jehovah and delighting in His commandments. The sister's rebellion as claimed by WL was an abomination to Jehovah.

For I delight in loving-kindness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings. Hosea 6:6

Who is a God like unto thee, that forgiveth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in loving-kindness. Micah 7:18

This is an example of fearing Jehovah and delighting in His commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is why James refers to pure religion as those who are faithful to the royal commandment -- visiting orphans and widows in their affliction.

The perverse in heart are abomination to Jehovah; but they that are perfect in [their] way are his delight. Proverbs 11:20

According to James a perfect work is a patient work. Think of the patience of Job. We might not understand all the pain and suffering and long-suffering, but this results in a perfect work through patience. This perfect work is His delight.

you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest. Ps. 5:6

For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence Pr 3:32

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, the way of the wicked and the thoughts of the wicked. The lord detests the proud. The Lord detests those who acquit the guilty and also those who condemn the innocent.

If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable. Pr 28:9

This verse is very interesting because

the prayer of the upright is his delight. Proverbs 15:8

Do you want to be brought into the Lord's confidence. Do you want Him to delight in your prayers? Do you want Him to delight in your success? Do you want Him to bless you with every spiritual blessing? Then take heed to His instruction.

Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. Is 1:13

Stop parroting footnotes, stop all those worthless meetings. Stop "pray reading" the footnotes, it is detestable to God.


14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!
16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:58 PM   #40
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If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable. Pr 28:9

This verse is very interesting because

the prayer of the upright is his delight. Proverbs 15:8

Do you want to be brought into the Lord's confidence. Do you want Him to delight in your prayers? Do you want Him to delight in your success? Do you want Him to bless you with every spiritual blessing? Then take heed to His instruction.
So then we have to examine this matter of prayer more.

1st mention of Prayer:

For thou, Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee a house; therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. 2Samuel 7:27

House of God is a house of prayer from the beginning

28*Yet have respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, Jehovah, my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee this day;
29*that thine eyes may be open upon this house night and day, upon the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.
30*And hearken unto the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place, and hear thou in thy dwelling-place, in the heavens, and when thou hearest, forgive. 1Kings 8:28-30

for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all the peoples Isaiah 56:7


This verse is clearly God's will, might even be the mystery or His will. After all the prayer of the righteous is His delight and He has decreed that His house be called a house of prayer.

And he says to them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but *ye* have made it a den of robbers. Matt 21:13

Here is the intersection of God's delight with the things He detests.

And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matt 21:22

This brings us full circle to the question at the very beginning concerning the mystery of God's will.

and the prayer of faith shall heal the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he be one who has committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. James 5:15

but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; Phil 4:6

Persevere in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving; Col 4:2

Jehovah is far from the wicked; but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29

This is the mystery of righteousness. God's will is a mystery, the righteous are also a mystery. The righteous are revealed when God answers their prayer. God's counsel, the mystery of His will, is given to the righteous.

Elias was a man of like passions to us, and he prayed with prayer that it should not rain; and it did not rain upon the earth three years and six months; James 5:17

who devour the houses of widows, and as a pretext make long prayers. These shall receive a severer judgment. Mark 12:40

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Isaiah 1:15


The false prophets are also a mystery. Full of pretext, falsehood, and blood. But they are also revealed because God will not hear their prayers, He hides his eyes from them, and He has ordained severer judgement for them.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:54 PM   #41
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The Lord taught us to pray “thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven”. Ellicott sums up the paradox very well:

“The real difficulty in the prayer is, that it lands us, as before, in a mystery which we cannot solve. It assumes that even the will of God is in part dependent on our wills, that it will not be done unless we so pray. The question, “Who hath resisted this will? Does it not ever fulfill itself?” forces itself on our thoughts. And the answer is found, as before, in accepting the seeming paradox of prayer. In one sense the will of God, which is also the eternal law, must fulfil itself; but it is one thing for that law to work in subduing all things to itself, another for it to bring all created wills into harmony with itself. And in really praying for this we, as before, in part fulfill the prayer.”

The first mention of prayer was concerning the building of the house of David and building the house of God. It was to be a house of prayer. A place where the people of the world could come and lay their petition before God. But that got abused and false prophets turned the house of prayer into a den or thieves.

This is one of the cornerstones of prayer. The second is that the prayer of the upright is God’s delight. It is the mystery of God’s will that He desires us to pray for His will to be done and to do it. Just as Jesus said “all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”. This is how God glorifies Himself and how his servants prosper, something else that God delights in.

The third cornerstone is to “persevere in prayer”. As James said, patience is required for a perfect work. God delights in a perfect man. This can never happen without perseverance in prayer.

The fourth cornerstone is that God delights in loving kindness. This matter of prayer stands on faith and lovingkindness. As a consequence it reveals the faithless, and the wicked. It reveals those who devour widow’s houses, and those whose hands are full of blood. God delights in loving kindness, but this reveals those who are perverse in heart and those who have turned a deaf ear to the Lord’s instructions.

Look at the context of the Lord's instructions on prayer:

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


What did Peter say to the poor beggar -- "silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to thee"

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

This is clearly a continuation. Hypocrites make a big show of giving to the poor, and that show is their reward. Likewise, the religious hypocrites make a big show of their prayers.

Likewise, "7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

This babbling reveals faithlessness.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:46 PM   #42
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“The real difficulty in the prayer is, that it lands us, as before, in a mystery which we cannot solve. It assumes that even the will of God is in part dependent on our wills, that it will not be done unless we so pray.”
Perhaps an analogy can help visualize this mystery. Recently my car needed to be repaired. The secondary air pump, part of the catalytic converter, was not working. However, what in fact was not working was not the air pump but a switch. This switch turns the pump on when the car is cold and turns it off once the car has warmed up.

This could be our function in prayer. We pray according to God's will (that is like the switch turning on when the car is cold and turning it off when the car warms up). Our prayer is to the power source, the transmission of that power is the spirit or electricity traveling to the pump, and the pump is answer to that prayer.
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Old 01-01-2019, 04:51 PM   #43
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"Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries"

"The mystery of God's will" is a mystery. If God does not reveal it, then so be it. However, God is "the revealer of mysteries". We learned this in Daniel.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:45 AM   #44
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I think that many of us when we pray would like the Lord to hear us. To hear us when we call.

In the same way the Lord tells Saul that to obey is better than sacrifice. The Lord also wants us to hear Him when He calls.

We are probably familiar with these preachers who hawk God's word and say "you can't out give God". So I would ask, can you out listen God? That would be a good experiment. Let's see if you can be more attentive to God's speaking than God is to yours?

James says the "effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much". Interesting criteria. What is "effectual fervent" prayer? Well, when you are praying to be saved, that is my best example of fervent prayer. Perhaps you are drowning, perhaps you are about to be evicted, and yes, perhaps you are on death row. Now a person in that situation generally has a very specific prayer, something that can be done, something that is effectual.

But James also puts in the criteria "of a righteous man". There are many instances in the Bible where God admits that the unrighteous are crying fervently to Him, but that He will not hear them because they did not listen to Him. You cannot ignore God and be righteous. You cannot ignore the nagging conscience and be righteous. You cannot disobey God's word and be righteous.

So then, we know that God desires all men to be saved, that is His will. We also know that the "effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much". Put that together and the first step is to listen to God, to obey His word. Step 2 is to realize when you need God's intervention, and step 3 is that effectual fervent prayer. If you ignore step 1 then obviously your prayer may not avail very much.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:40 PM   #45
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..But on the other hand you are right, no one "openly" demanded that I only read WL books. It was up to me to figure out what the "two strikes" were that they were talking about.
Did you ever find out what those 2 strikes were?

How long after being on the verge of being on the excommunication list did you leave? Or were you excommunicated ?

The only people who should be excommunicated from a Christian assembly are those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit (which are unsaved people anyway), who reject the Precious Blood of Jesus and and the Word of God. But then these people should know better than to be in the Light because LIGHT CASTS OUT DARKNESS.

I am so glad I do not go to the man made church. I do not forsake assemblying myself and fellowshipping with saints but the organized man made church is not biblical. Thank GOD!
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:46 PM   #46
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Did you ever find out what those 2 strikes were?
This occurred in 1978 or 1979 at the latest. After 40 years of consideration I feel confident it had to do with my attitude towards WL. I had been warned to stay away from "the Lord's recovery" because they thought they were better than everyone else. I didn't realize the Local Church was also called the Lord's recovery until I was in the Ephesians training and almost bolted in the middle of a message when I realized this. The second strike would have been this offhand remark that I had not gotten anything from a WL book I had read.

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How long after being on the verge of being on the excommunication list did you leave? Or were you excommunicated ?
Funny. After that conference in the elders room there were further attacks. I have shared them in my testimony, but in brief they targeted me for an innuendo attack during a Friday night meeting. However, the Lord used that to train me, I went home, prayed, was touched by the verses in Galatians that "I did not give place to them for five minutes" and was the first one to pop up Sunday morning. The brother sitting next to me was shocked and initially tried to hold me down.

After that during one training they had me stay with the two Salassi brothers (elders in Houston) and an Elder during one of the Anaheim trainings. Whenever I tried to speak in fellowship one of the Salassi brothers would tell me to shut up. It was a miserable ten days and I felt like an idiot paying both in money and time for this experience. But again, the Lord used that because I learned a valuable lesson that I used later and was a great comfort to me. After that I went to Irving when they went to build the meeting hall and was full time for 18 months. After that I moved to Odessa to help raise up the church there, GW was sent out to deal with me, but after the training I had received I knew how to stand up to him and he felt the Lord's wrath. After that I was in the Full time training in Taipei and stayed in Taipei from 1987 to 1995 and was training trainees that went to Russia. After that I returned to NY. So no, I was not excommunicated and it was 20 years after that that I left.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:34 PM   #47
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Funny. After that conference in the elders room there were further attacks. I have shared them in my testimony, but in brief they targeted me for an innuendo attack during a Friday night meeting. However, the Lord used that to train me, I went home, prayed, was touched by the verses in Galatians that "I did not give place to them for five minutes" and was the first one to pop up Sunday morning. The brother sitting next to me was shocked and initially tried to hold me down.

After that during one training they had me stay with the two Salassi brothers (elders in Houston) and an Elder during one of the Anaheim trainings. Whenever I tried to speak in fellowship one of the Salassi brothers would tell me to shut up. It was a miserable ten days and I felt like an idiot paying both in money and time for this experience. But again, the Lord used that because I learned a valuable lesson that I used later and was a great comfort to me. After that I went to Irving when they went to build the meeting hall and was full time for 18 months. After that I moved to Odessa to help raise up the church there, GW was sent out to deal with me, but after the training I had received I knew how to stand up to him and he felt the Lord's wrath. After that I was in the Full time training in Taipei and stayed in Taipei from 1987 to 1995 and was training trainees that went to Russia. After that I returned to NY. So no, I was not excommunicated and it was 20 years after that that I left.
After all you have done for them, working selflessly for two decades, receiving only backstabbing in return, normal folks might think that they would put your name on an appreciative wall plaque or give you a lifetime gift certificate to McDonald's.

Instead, they ran out of places where they could send you.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:57 PM   #48
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After all you have done for them, working selflessly for two decades, receiving only backstabbing in return, normal folks might think that they would put your name on an appreciative wall plaque or give you a lifetime gift certificate to McDonald's.

Instead, they ran out of places where they could send you.
All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to purpose.

I don't think any of the trials I experienced are strange, rather these are the things we need to experience to be matured.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:02 PM   #49
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All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to purpose.

I don't think any of the trials I experienced are strange, rather these are the things we need to experience to be matured.
Well said brother ZNPaaneah! Well said!!
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:11 PM   #50
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This occurred in 1978 or 1979 at the latest. After 40 years of consideration I feel confident it had to do with my attitude towards WL. I had been warned to stay away from "the Lord's recovery" because they thought they were better than everyone else. I didn't realize the Local Church was also called the Lord's recovery until I was in the Ephesians training and almost bolted in the middle of a message when I realized this. The second strike would have been this offhand remark that I had not gotten anything from a WL book I had read.

Funny. After that conference in the elders room there were further attacks. I have shared them in my testimony, but in brief they targeted me for an innuendo attack during a Friday night meeting. However, the Lord used that to train me, I went home, prayed, was touched by the verses in Galatians that "I did not give place to them for five minutes" and was the first one to pop up Sunday morning. The brother sitting next to me was shocked and initially tried to hold me down.

After that during one training they had me stay with the two Salassi brothers (elders in Houston) and an Elder during one of the Anaheim trainings. Whenever I tried to speak in fellowship one of the Salassi brothers would tell me to shut up. It was a miserable ten days and I felt like an idiot paying both in money and time for this experience. But again, the Lord used that because I learned a valuable lesson that I used later and was a great comfort to me. After that I went to Irving when they went to build the meeting hall and was full time for 18 months. After that I moved to Odessa to help raise up the church there, GW was sent out to deal with me, but after the training I had received I knew how to stand up to him and he felt the Lord's wrath. After that I was in the Full time training in Taipei and stayed in Taipei from 1987 to 1995 and was training trainees that went to Russia. After that I returned to NY. So no, I was not excommunicated and it was 20 years after that that I left.
Thank you for sharing and repeating your experience/testimony. It may have been worth repeating for the sake of newbies on this forum.

As for me, I confess I have not read every thread and post. Even if I had, my memory while still pretty sharp for being 64 yrs young, does not retain everything I read.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:02 AM   #51
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The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Prayer reveals whether or not you are a righteous person. This is why unforgiveness will hinder our prayers. There is nothing righteous about having all your sins forgiven but then trying to extract the last farthing from someone else.

It is like those old westerns where they would test the gold coin by biting it. We might be afraid or intimidated by this. But Jesus Christ is our righteousness. Why are you fearful of having the righteousness of Jesus tested?
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:11 AM   #52
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“Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

Compare this verse with James 5:16

Jesus name is "the righteous person" the faith that comes through him is the faith that operated in Peter to be one with the Lord.

17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

Peter has forgiven them because "they acted in ignorance". They didn't repent, instead he is now calling them to repent so that their sins may be wiped out. Peter forgave them prior to them repenting and their sins being wiped out.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:43 AM   #53
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So then, since the prayer of a righteous person avails much what is the fervent, effectual prayer of the Lord Jesus?

1. That they all may be one as you Father are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us. that the world may believe that You sent Me.

2. That the scripture might be fulfilled.


When you pray be one with the Lord -- that the world may believe God sent Jesus, pray that the Lord's word would be fulfilled.
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