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Old 07-01-2017, 02:31 AM   #1
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Default Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching

I am not trying to convince anybody, I am simply sharing my "personal testimony". In fact, Don't believe anything I say, check it out for yourselves and come to your own conclusions, this is "TOO" important to trust somebody else with your spiritual destiny.

By God's Mercy, I am a seeker and lover of the Truth (Christ, Jn 14:6) and the Bible is my hobby. I like to "study" the Bible, not just read it. For over 30 years I've been studying W. Lee's teaching or ministry (like a textbook): the "life studies", books, audio tapes, footnotes, elders' training, morning revival, outlines, crystallization messages, etc, etc.... I quit my job, went to the Full Time Training in Anaheim and migrated to Russia for many years, I zealously taught W. Lee's teaching for over 30 years thinking I had something special, unique, that others didn't know this teaching, and that W. Lee couldn't be wrong.

I finished reading all the conclusion messages and other books of W. Lee; since I needed to continue studying, I continued with the collected works of W. Nee. Interestingly, I started to see differences in between W. Nee's and W. Lee's ministry. Additionally, since we live in these "last years" or apocalyptic age, I started to study Eschatology or the study of the "end times" ( 33% of the Bible is Prophecy and I knew almost nothing!). It became even more interesting when I was studying Rev 12:1-5 about the great sign of the woman in heaven... W. Lee says that the woman is the church (which is wrong), and W. Nee says the woman is Israel (which is correct). These are two different interpretations, so I wanted to find out which interpretation was correct according to the whole Bible.

I started to research and see what other theologians had to say about this matter (interesting to see the hidden hand of the Lord guiding me in this process of reduction, supplying exactly what I needed), and as I started to educate myself I started to find out things that I had no clue about and I was ignorant about many things of the Bible. Then I realized I knew nothing of Israelology (83% of the Bible is related to Israel), I knew almost nothing of Prophecy (33% of the Bible is Prophecy) and what I knew, it was ALL wrong! Then before the Lord I asked myself, what else I do not know and what else I learned wrong? I got devastated before the Lord, "almost" my over 30 years of my Bible study meant nothing. I felt like a "steamroller" just passed over me! I had to almost start again from zero... the only good teaching left in me was "Soteriology" which is the matter of "Salvation". The other major parts of the Bible (Israelology, Eschatology and Ecclesiology) I knew almost nothing and the little I knew, it was wrong. At the same time my family and myself continued to meet with W. Lee's group. Through this experience I found that "many other" saints or believers in Christ from other christian groups, that don't belong to the W. Lee's local churches, have so much life, love, real truth (not allegories), Biblical riches, etc, etc,.... we found them because we simply started to pray and look around!!! This reminded me of Russia, the communist government prohibited their citizens to listen foreign radio stations and on TV they would show them Africa, their "huts" and their "starving children"; saying this is how it looks like the outside world of Russia. Then after communism collapsed, the citizens realized Russia was 50 years behind the rest of the world, so the Russian citizens started to leave Russia for a better life....

Eventually, I could see thanks to God's Mercy, that the Bible doesn’t mention anything about the “ground of oneness”. There is not even ONE verse in the whole Bible, unless you ALLEGORIZE like W. Lee’s teaching. The Bible mentions the ONENESS of the Spirit (Eph 4:3) which is the ONENESS of Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:4-13, especially vs.13). Also, the Bible mentions the “local churches” (Rev 2,3; 1:11), but NOT the “ground of oneness”. This realization set us free from W. Lee's local churches.

MAJOR ERRORS OF W. LEE'S TEACHING

Now I would like to point out the "Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching"

(Nothing against the “person”, simply pointing out the errors of the “teaching”)

Table of Content In Order Of Importance

· Replacement Theology

· Importance of Israelology (83% of the Bible is related to Israel)

· Wrong Eschatology (33% is Prophecy in the Bible)

· Wrong Ecclesiology (result of NOT knowing Israeology)

"Replacement Theology" - Due to the seriousness of this error, some students of the Bible call this error “teaching from the pit of hell”. Because this erroneous teaching makes God a liar. There are so many verses in the Old Testament (Jer 33; 16:14-16; 30:1-7, Ez 20:42; 34:13, Isa 14:1, 27:13, 43:5-7, 60:21; Amos 9:11-15) as well as in the New Testament (Rom 9,10,11), showing that God did not give up Israel even though Israel is in rebellion and did not recognize the day of their Messiah’s visitation (Mt 23:37-39). Also, Israel and the church are 2 totally different entities, Israel is not a type of the church. Israel is the wife of Jehovah (Isa 54:5) and the church is the virgin bride of Christ (2Cor 11:2). In Gen 3:15 we see the relationship in between the woman (Eve=Israel) and the seed (Christ), it is a relationship of “mother-Son” and NOT a relationship “Bridegroom-bride” (bride=church). Israel and the church have 2 different sources and destinies. W. Lee in his teaching makes this matter “dark grey”. At times he says God is still dealing with Israel, at MANY other times he applies what is for Israel, to the church; as if Israel doesn’t exist anymore (Ex. Jer 31:31-34, see Life Study). This vagueness is due to the lack of knowledge of Israelology, failing to differentiate Israel from the church.

"Israelology"- Without the proper understanding of Israelology, we will have “fundamental” mistakes with our understanding of the Bible, since the Bible is a Judeo-Christian book with 83% related to Israel. Jesus Himself was Jewish. We cannot ignore such a HUGE point in the Bible. If we ignore Israelology, we will mix erroneously Israel with the church, we will apply to the church what is for Israel (One of the many examples, The Great Tribulation: in Dan 9:24-27), we will apply to the church what is for Israel, we will not understand that Israel is earthly and the church is heavenly (Gen 12:3b; 22:17, Jer 33:22). Consecutively, we will not understand the Jewish cultural expressions and that lack of understanding of the Jewish cultural expressions, idioms, feasts, marriage celebration, etc., etc.,… will lead to allegorize or come up with some kind of private interpretation, so called “divine revelation”. By the way, allegorization is the license for “inventing doctrine”. Allegorization also leads to say that the Bible has some parts “more important” than others, so we don’t need to understand or pay attention to those so called “less important” parts. On the contrary Jesus Himself said in Mt 5: 17, 18 17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished”. This means we have to take God’s Word seriously and ALL the Scripture (2Tim 3:16), not just a few verses or chapters or only the New Testament but the WHOLE BIBLE (Old and New Testaments). Again, Paul the apostle is telling us ALL Scripture, the one to whom God gave directly the revelation of the mystery (Eph 3:3,4). Ps 40:7 “Then I said, Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me”. The whole Bible (meaning Old and New Testaments) speaks about Christ, and ALL the Scripture is God’s breath; meaning Old Testament and New Testament. Jesus Himself when He was on the earth taught everything from the Old Testament, because the New Testament did not exist yet. Our safeguard to avoid falling into error, is to follow what the Bible (the 66 books) is telling us LITERALLY.

"Wrong Eschatology" – Because of the lack of understanding of Israelology, the understanding of eschatology is also wrong. In addition, the hermeneutics (method of interpretation) is erroneous due to allegorization of the Bible. Many Christian groups don’t want to study “prophecy” (like this one) because it requires a deeper and more thorough study of the whole Bible. It is this kind of study that puts under the test any kind of interpretation (Rev 19:10), you need (LITERALLY) the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) and accurately handling the word of truth (2Tim 2:15); because 33% of the Bible is “Prophecy”. We cannot ignore 33% of the Bible and say: “we will just concentrate in the main parts of the Bible”, when Jesus Himself told us in Mt 5:17,18 that nothing is trivial (not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass), that we need to take the text seriously. Additionally, why is prophecy important? Because prophecy is a “blessing” (Rev 1:3) and the Lord uses prophecy to tell us the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10) and He wants to tell us ahead of time, what is coming up (Amos 3:7). In this way, we will not be “scared” of what is coming, but “prepared” because He loves us and we belong to Him. Often W. Lee says that the Bible does not mean what it says, it means something else (we need the intrinsic significance), allegorizing or spiritualizing the Bible. For example, one specific example (out of the many) of how W. Lee allegorizes the Bible: W. Lee says that the 10 commandments in Exo 20 is a “marriage contract”. It is a beautiful “allegory” made up by himself and it fits the verses, but the problem is that LITERALLY the Bible doesn’t say that. Therefore, based on that self-made allegory he builds another allegory then he ends up with something else that the Bible is NOT saying. This kind of hermeneutics (method of interpretation) is very “dangerous”, because you end up with something else, that the Bible is NOT saying. The Bible will tell you very specific if that is an allegory or not, like in Gal 4:24 “This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar”. But if we read the Bible plainly what it says, we will see that the Bible means what it says and it says what it means LITERALLY, without allegorizing or spiritualizing (Mt 5:17,18). Otherwise you come up with your private interpretations so called “divine revelation” that “nobody else knows”, because it is private.

Another big problem of allegorizing the Bible is with the matter of “the Ground of Oneness”. There is NOT a single verse in the Bible about “the Ground of Oneness”, unless you allegorize the Bible, making it fit to the verses and start applying to the church what the Bible is saying LITERALLY about Israel and Jerusalem which is Jewish and not the church. Through allegorization we can “freely” mix Israel and the church, the way we want and make a salad in between Israel and the church as a result of the lack of understanding of Israelology which is 83% of the Bible (see Israelology section above). Isreal and the church are 2 entities totally different, have different origins and different destinies; Israel is earthly and the church is heavenly (Gen 22:17). Plus the church is a hidden mystery (Eph 3:9), very different than Israel. Actually, if you read one of the many examples, Rom 11:11 says that God uses the gentiles (church) to make Israel jealous (to understand better read Rom 9, 10, 11).

"Wrong Ecclesiology" – As a result of the above (Replacement Theology, ignoring Isrelology, Wrong Eschatology); W. Lee’s ecclesiology is also wrong. There is so much emphasis on the “church” in W. Lee’s teaching, that he makes the church the center of everything in the Bible. W. Lee, due to his allegories (like the “ground of oneness”), says that those who meet in that group, ONLY they are the church because they are in the “ground of oneness”. There is NOT one single verse in the Bible proving this statement unless you allegorize the Bible. At this point it is important to be aware that “allegorization is the license for inventing doctrine”, through allegorization, anyone can say what they want by making it fit with the verses. We need to see what the Bible says LITERALY (Mt 5:17,18), paying attention to the grammar and CONTEXT (God is His own interpreter). Because ONLY the Bible is God’s Breath (2Tim 3:16). This means that ANYTHING that is men’s writing, IS NOT God’s Breath and we have to “be careful” with men’s writings or interpretations. Because of this, the Lord Jesus Himself gave us a command in Mt 24:4 “See to it that no one misleads you”. For us not to be deceived, we need the “whole counsel of God” (Act 20:27). The one who started allegorical interpretations was Origen, then Augustine continued allegorizing the Bible.

It is critical to rightly understand what the Bible says about the ONENESS of the Spirit (Eph 4:3) which is the ONENESS of Body of Christ (1Cor 12:4-13, especially vs.13), again LITERAL interpretation. According to the Bible, the ONENESS of the Body of Christ is NOT Witness Lee’s teaching or anybody else’s teaching. Therefore, the only foundation of the believers in Christ, is the Spirit and the Word of God. All the believers in Christ should have NO other requirements other than the Spirit and the Word of God and should feel perfectly comfortable with ONLY the Spirit and the Word of God. To insist with other things besides the Spirit and the Word of God, is divisive and not according to the Bible (1Cor 12:25) (Only 1 leader, 1 publication, only he knows what the Bible says, only he is right, only their practices are right and you have to follow W. Lee’s teaching and practices if you want to survive in their midst). Further, Rom 14 show us how we believers in Christ should receive one another, which is ACCORDING TO CHRIST, not according to W. Lee’s teaching or somebody else’s teaching. Rom 14:4 says: “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand”. Then Rom 15 continues with verses 4-7: “ 4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. Verse 4 says that the Scriptures are for our instruction, not man’s teaching, but God’s teaching. Verse 5 says we have to have “the same mind” which is according to Christ Jesus and not according to W. Lee’s teaching. Verse 6 says “with one accord”, our one accord “again” is our Lord Jesus Christ, not W. Lee’s teaching. These verses go in a beautiful harmony with the earlier verses of Eph 4:3, 1Cor 12:4-13, Rom 14 and Rom 15:4-7; which are related to the church, the ONENESS of the Body of Christ and the receiving of one another.

Also, the Bible doesn’t mention anything about the “ground of oneness” there is no such a verse, unless you ALLEGORIZE like W. Lee’s teaching and start applying to the church, what is for Israel, making a salad (mixing) of Israel and the church. The Bible LITERALLY mentions the ONENESS of the Spirit (Eph 4:3) which is the ONENESS of Body of Christ (1Cor 12:4-13, especially vs.13). Also the Bible mentions the “local churches” (Rev 2,3; 1:11); but not the “ground of oneness”.

THE MATTER OF TAKING A "NAME"

In Rev 1:11, 2, and 3 you see the 7 "local" churches; 1 church, 1 city. Also, Paul when he writes to the churches says: ... to the church in Corinth (1Cor 1:2), ...to all who are in Rome (Rom 1:7), ...to the saints who are in Ephesus (Eph 1:1), etc, etc,.... No specific "names" besides the church in that city. Witness Lee and the local churches, they follow this practice in the cities where they are at. But their unhealthy and disturbing attitude (not Biblical) is this: in order to be accepted (survive) in their media, you have to fully agree with Witness Lee's teaching, agree that everything he teaches is "correct" and that he cannot be wrong, also you have to follow their "practices", if you read literature of someone else, you are off, they think they are the only ones right, etc, etc, etc,.....Because they follow the biblical way: the church in "......" whichever city they are at; they look down on ALL the other Christian groups with names saying that ONLY they are the "church" in that city since they don't have a name. I agree that they follow the biblical way of not taking a name, but with their unhealthy attitude (not Biblical) that I mentioned above, they make it "worse" than the other Christian groups with names. Ironic, because W. Lee himself teaches that we can fellowship with any believer as long as they are not heretical or sinful (The Speciality, Generality and Practicality of the Church Life), I guess that is ONLY in theory, but not in practice.

On the other hand, there are Christian groups with names (which is not biblical) that accept everyone who loves Jesus and His Word (Bible), they are O.K. if you read literature of someone else, they don't claim that they are the only ones right, they don't force you in their practices, they don't look down on others, etc, etc,.... . It seems to me, these Christian groups with names (which is not biblical), over all, are "healthier" spiritually than those "without name" (which is Biblical). It seems that the medicine is worse than the disease.

Also what makes someone part of the church (which is the Body of Christ Eph 1:22,23) is their regeneration or being born of the Spirit (Jn 3:3,5); not whether they "take a name" or "not". Those believers (born again) in Christian groups with names (which is not biblical), are part of the church and members of the Body of Christ. Eph 4:3 says ... being diligent to keep the ONENESS of the SPIRIT.... . The "real" oneness of the church is when we are one with the Holy Spirit, because that ONENESS belongs to the SPIRIT; whether we "take a name" or "not". And our oneness is NOT the matter of not taking a name. This truth (Eph 4:3) overrules or is stronger than “taking a name” or “not taking a name”.

It is difficult TODAY to find the "PERFECT" situation, in fact this is what the Bible shows us in Rev 2 and 3 with the 7 local churches due to the "degradation of the church". Every church has problems and the Lord is calling the INDIVIDUAL "overcomers" in EVERY church; even in the churches that He has nothing negative to say (Smyrna and Philadelphia). If a church thinks they don’t have a problem, the Lord says: …you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Rev 3:17).

Another critical error is to consider any man’s writing or commentary as “God’s Breath”. ONLY the Bible is God’s Breath (2Tim 3:16). Verse 16 is powerful: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”. Notice this verse is talking about “GOD’S WORD” (all Scripture), and NOT about “men’s writings”. We can NOT treat men’s writings at the same level as the Bible. ONLY the Bible is inspired by God. That means: Life studies, morning revival, outlines, crystallizations, footnotes, etc, etc,… can never be treated at the same level of the Bible. We need to FOCUS and concentrate and read and study the Bible. This will solve our problem of Bible illiteracy. We read all kinds of Life studies, morning revival, outlines, crystallizations, footnotes, etc, etc and do NOT know what the Bible says. This practice leads to major deviations and wrong teachings from the Bible, like W. Lee's teaching.

CONCLUSION

If every time we have discrepancies in our understanding of the Word of God, instead of kicking people out and putting our "rules and conditions" (like W. Lee's local churches), if we would come together in prayer with the right spirit (Mk 9:38-40, Lk 9:49,50) and fellowship to try to understand "WHY" we have this discrepancy, the church on this earth would be in a totally different level of growth in Life. Just a little "dream".

The proper way to study the Bible and to avoid to be deceived by following the wrong teaching or interpretation is: First to have prayer and relationship with the Author (God) of the Bible (Jn 5:39,40), then we need to take notes as we read and study the Bible (God’s Word), lastly we can check with the commentaries of the theologians; NOT just ONE author, but 3 or 4. And try to understand why the interpretations differ. We need to do our homework and NOT blindly believe the commentaries, learn from the Berean believers (Act 17:10,11).

The Lord bless you richly with Himself.

Thank you.

A lover of Jesus and His Word.

HERE THERE ARE SOME "CULT LIKE" PRACTICES TO BE AWARE

What are some signs and practices of a cult?
by Matt Slick
There have been many serious studies on the dynamics of cults and behavior of people within those cults. Following is a representative list of characteristics common in cult groups. Not all cults hold to every item.
We have to be careful when assigning cult-like behavior to any group. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so to, cult-like behavior is subjective. Generally, it takes a trained person who can identify unhealthy patterns and teachings as compared to healthy ones and can then identify a cult. Furthermore, cult-like behavior is more commonly identified through excessive control, manipulation, and esoteric teaching of a group where the group's members are often isolated and indoctrinated into special teachings and practices.
Social aspects of cult-like behavior
For a group to be a cult in the social sense, many of the following characteristics would have to be present. For a group to be a cult in the doctrinal sense, essentials (in this case of the Christian faith) would have to be violated. Some of the characteristics are listed below.
1. Submission:
1. Complete, almost unquestioned trust in the leadership.
2. Leaders are often seen as prophets, apostles, or special individuals with unusual connections to God. This helps a person give themselves over psychologically to trusting someone else for their spiritual welfare.
3. Increased submission to the leadership is rewarded with additional responsibilities and/or roles, and/or praises, increasing the importance of the person within the group.
2. Exclusivity
1. Their group is the only true religious system, or one of the few true remnants of God's people.
3. Persecution complex
1. Us against them mentality. Therefore, when someone (inside or outside of the group) corrects the group in doctrine and/or behavior, it is interpreted as persecution, which then is interpreted as validation.
4. Control
1. Control of members' actions and thinking through repeated indoctrination and/or threats of loss of salvation, or a place to live, or receiving curses from God, etc.
5. Isolation
1. Minimizing contact of church members with those outside the group. This facilitates a further control over the thinking and practices of the members by the leadership.
6. Love Bombing
1. Showing great attention and love to a person in the group by others in the group, to help transfer emotional dependence to the group.
7. Special Knowledge
1. Instructions and/or knowledge are sometimes said to be received by a leader(s) from God. This leader then informs the members.
2. The Special Knowledge can be received through visions, dreams, or new interpretations of sacred scriptures such as the Bible.
8. Indoctrination
1. The teachings of the group are repeatedly drilled into the members, but the indoctrination usually occurs around Special Knowledge.
9. Salvation
1. Salvation from the judgment of God is maintained through association and/or submission with the group, its authority, and/or its Special Knowledge.
10. Group Think
1. The group's coherence is maintained by the observance to policies handed down from those in authority.
2. There is an internal enforcement of policies by members who reward "proper" behavior, and those who perform properly are rewarded with further inclusion and acceptance by the group.
11. Cognitive Dissonance
1. Avoidance of critical thinking and/or maintaining logically impossible beliefs and/or beliefs that are inconsistent with other beliefs held by the group.
2. Avoidance of and/or denial of any facts that might contradict the group's belief system.
12. Shunning
1. Those who do not keep in step with group policies are shunned and/or expelled.
13. Gender Roles
1. Control of gender roles and definitions.
2. Severe control of gender roles sometimes leads to sexual exploitation.
14. Appearance Standards
1. Often a common appearance is required and maintained. For instance, women might wear prairie dresses, and/or their hair in buns, and/or no makeup, and/or the men might all wear white short-sleeved shirts, and/or without beards, or all wear beards.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:55 AM   #2
countmeworthy
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

Rarely can I read through a long lengthy post such as this one but what a most fascinating and even anointed post you wrote! I commend and applaud your hard work, studies and refreshing tone on this matter.

In 2005, the Holy Spirit revealed to me we were truly now living in the last days. I had very little understanding of what it all meant. I did a lot of seeking, praying, and studying.

This forum does not lend itself to discussing eschatology and many I am sure do not know how wrong Lee's views on Israel, the church and the Lord's return are. God is not the Author of confusion but Lee sure did a good job of doing exactly what God is not. He confused the saints for sure with his insane explanations.

Thank you so much for a well written, profound post needed for all to read. I am sure you have hidden gemstones in 'your belly'.

God bless you richly and continue to use you mightily in this forum.
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

Unreg,

You keep driving the point of applying the Bible LITERALLY throughout your post.

Do you believe we should apply Matthew 5:29-30 LITERALLY?

Drake
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Unreg,

You keep driving the point of applying the Bible LITERALLY throughout your post.

Do you believe we should apply Matthew 5:29-30 LITERALLY?

Drake
For LSM leadership, I would say, Yes, and Amen.

Especially when I think of Phillip Lee.
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

Drake,
I believe the gist of his point was that Nee and Lee over-allegoricalized many portions of the Bible. But of course, you already knew that, you just wanted to stir the pot a little this morning...and at the same time totally ignore the main point(s) this person was making.

Care to actually address the heart of the matter?

-
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

-1 and in making his point he embraced an extreme position of taking the Bible literally all the time..or seems to. However, perhaps he has an explanation for it so let's give him a chance to explain before addressing many other errors in his teaching.

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Old 07-01-2017, 03:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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-1 and in making his point he embraced an extreme position of taking the Bible literally all the time..or seems to. However, perhaps he has an explanation for it so let's give him a chance to explain before addressing many other errors in his teaching.

Drake
Wouldn't Matthew 5:29-30 be considered an idiom? He references "understanding of the Jewish cultural expressions, idioms, feasts, marriage celebration, etc., etc.,…"

While I may not agree with everything unreg writes, that doesn't make me appreciate his post any less. Thank you for the thoughtful post - we know that the Lord can use your experience with the LC of Witness Lee for his glory. I hope that this message can touch some "lurkers" and bring them closer to the truth.

I think about your thought, "I got devastated before the Lord, "almost" my over 30 years of my Bible study meant nothing. I felt like a "steamroller" just passed over me! I had to almost start again from zero..." almost daily as I pass the jehovah witness meeting hall on my way home from work. I hope that God may touch their hearts and bring them to His truth and love. I feel the same for many within the LC of Witness Lee. This post does a good job outlining some of your thoughts on why it is important to read scripture and process with other belivers.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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Unreg,
You keep driving the point of applying the Bible LITERALLY throughout your post.
Do you believe we should apply Matthew 5:29-30 LITERALLY?
Drake
Drake

Answer: The reason I keep emphasizing to understand the Bible LITERALLY, is because due to my ignorance of not knowing anything about “Hermeneutics” or method of interpretation I got deceived, for many years, by the erroneous teaching of W. Lee who “allegorizes” the Bible in his interpretation. As I mentioned earlier: “allegorization is the license for inventing doctrine”, through allegorization, anyone can say what they want by making it fit with the verses.

ALLEGORICAL-------------------HERMENEUTICS-----------------LITERAL

In the chart from above (I am using a dear brother’s chart) you can see the more you go to the “right” (Literal), the better you understand what the Bible is trying to tell us. The more you go to the “left” (allegory), the more you can say whatever you want to say. Having said what is above, it is important to understand that the Bible tells us when the Bible is using “allegory” (example: Gal 4:24), or when the Bible is using “metaphors” (example: 2Cor 3:18, mirror), or when the Bible is using “similes” (example: 1Thes 5:2, “like” a thief), another simile: Mt 10:16 (“as” sheep). There are over 200 literary figures of speech in the Bible that we need to seriously pay attention to: like, as, appearance, look like, resembles, etc, etc, etc,….

Using Mt 5:29, 30. We need to understand in the “context” of the Bible, meaning according to the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). If we “literally” pluck our right eye, we will still want to watch those things that we shouldn’t be watching, because the eye is ONLY a vehicle to watch things we shouldn’t be watching. So, what is the real problem? It is not the eye, but what is in our heart, what is in our mind. The Lord Jesus Himself said: Mt 15:17-20. 17“Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20“These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” In this case, we realize that the Bible is telling us don’t pluck out your eye “literally”. But in MOST of the Bible, the meaning is LITERAL, because “the Bible says what it means and means what it says” except when the Bible tells us otherwise. This is the reason why we need to look at the Bible with magnifying glasses paying attention to ALL the details of the Bible (Mt 5:17,18) ACCORDING to the WHOLE counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

Also in Mt 23: 37. 37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. This verse doesn’t mean that the Lord Jesus is a “hen”.

I hope this explanation helps some, I don’t claim to know everything, but I try to do my homework and I ask “what does it mean?” to our dear Lord, since He is the Author of the Bible. Also, the goal is to learn from one another because “nobody” knows everything.

I would like to mention what I said at the beginning: “Don't believe anything I say, check it out for yourselves and come to your own conclusions, this is "TOO" important to trust somebody else with your spiritual destiny”.

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Old 07-01-2017, 05:56 PM   #9
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Hi unreg..

Interestingly the Recovery version is one of the most literal bible versions around. Also many doctrines of Lee are from a strict literal interpretation. For example that the Lord Jesus is the Spirit is one such doctrine. That is word for word what the verse says. But many Christians interpret that verse according to a view of the Trinity and say Jesus cannot be the Spirit even though the verse literally says that.
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:02 PM   #10
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Great post Unregistered Guest! Please consider taking a couple of minutes and registering for the Forum. Then your posts will not have to go through the moderation queue and will appear immediately, instead of that annoying delay. Just shoot an email to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com requesting registration, along with your desired UserName, and then we'll shoot you back an email with a temporary password.

Thanks for your consideration.

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Old 07-01-2017, 08:56 PM   #11
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Unreg, "Using Mt 5:29, 30. We need to understand in the “context” of the Bible, meaning according to the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). If we “literally” pluck our right eye, we will still want to watch those things that we shouldn’t be watching, because the eye is ONLY a vehicle to watch things we shouldn’t be watching."

Ok Unreg,

We agree that Matt 5:29-30 should not be taken literally. Context matters.

Do you also agree that the woman in revelation 12 is not a literal woman?

And yes, please register as UntoHim requested.

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Old 07-01-2017, 11:28 PM   #12
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Answer: If you can read carefully the explanations, it will help…. I would like to repeat again: But in MOST of the Bible, the meaning is LITERAL, because “the Bible says what it means and means what it says” EXCEPT when the Bible tells us otherwise. This is the reason why we need to look at the Bible with magnifying glasses paying attention to ALL the details of the Bible (Mt 5:17,18).

Also in Mt 23: 37. 37“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. This verse doesn’t mean that the Lord Jesus is a “hen with feathers”. Or Jn 1:29 says: “……Behold the Lamb of God…..” This verse doesn’t mean that the Lord Jesus “has 4 legs”. Please, read the first paragraph.

Related to Rev 12:1-5. Again, read the first paragraph…. If you want to talk about the book of Revelation, you have to understand that this book is the conclusion of the whole Bible and it shows the catastrophic end of this age, therefore Revelation itself tells us in Rev. 1:1: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and “signified” it by his angel unto his servant John”. Notice that this verse it says that the book of Revelation is a book of “SIGNS”, please check in the Greek. Therefore, Rev 1:1, is telling us that the woman in Rev 12, is a SIGN or SIGNIFIES the nation of Israel. This is exactly what I am mentioning in the first paragraph.

I would like to repeat myself, I am not trying to convince anybody. In fact, don't believe anything I say, check it out for yourself and come to your own conclusions, this is "TOO" important to trust somebody else with your spiritual destiny.

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Old 07-02-2017, 12:27 AM   #13
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Hi Unregistered Guest
I read through your long post. Many things were said. I'll like to read more posts from you.
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:30 AM   #14
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HI Unreg,

Thanks for your response. Your base note appeared as an extreme position on taking the Bible LITERALLY (emphasis yours). Yet, since we agree that the woman in Revelation 12 is not a literal woman but a sign and Matthew 5 29-30 is not to be taken literally but must be interpreted in context then I think you must not hold an extreme view on "LITERALLY ". Obviously, as you point out, the Lord is not literally a hen.

Which takes us to the other end of your scale: Allegory

First I will agree with you. Allegory can be misused. It may be used in such a way to convey things that are not really biblical truths. And so when allegory such as typological allegory is used it must be validated by the rest of scripture. So the Bible must interpret itself. However allegory is used extensively in the Bible. Jesus's parables are allegorical. Paul uses allegory. God uses allegory. Allegory in and of itself is neither good nor bad. It is a method to communicate deeper truths in a simple format. Not every truth is easy to understand literally or logically. God uses the means of communication that man uses and that includes allegory.

Therefore the argument about the allegory used in any Bible teaching is not whether allegory was used but whether it was properly used in the context and framework of that particular teaching in the Bible. Your argument and your scale seem to suggest that allegory should not be used unless an allegory is specifically mentioned in the Bible. But there is no prohibition in the Bible about using allegory and in fact it appears to be encouraged. I think if we were as Christians to take an extreme view of not using allegory in our understanding the Bible or in our explanation of the Bible we would be limiting the Holy Spirit's ability to unveil many deeper truths in the Bible.

For instance, John the Baptist said "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". John was specifically conveying to his audience that Jesus was not a literal lamb but the lamb of the sin offering. Having set the precedent that Jesus was the Old Testament sin offering it is reasonable to extend that revelation to Jesus as all the offerings. He is not just a sin offering, but he is also the burnt offering, the peace offering, the wave offering Etc. So we can also look throughout the Gospel of John and see the Lord presenting himself in various circumstances as all the offerings. Now if you were to look literally at the text in the Gospel of John, for instance, you would not necessarily see it say something like "behold the peace offering of God." That is where the eyes of our heart need to be enlightened by the speaking of the Holy Spirit to show us where in the scripture we may see the deeper truths below the literal text. And if that is in alignment with the rest of scripture then it is useful and proper allegory.

We can also see similar typological pictures regarding the church. The apostles used the temple in the Old Testament to describe the dwelling place of God in the church and it's building. They used the priesthood to describe the universal priesthood of the believers. Or the story of Adam and Eve are used as a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. Or concerning the coming Kingdom we see in allegory in Jude where the pseudepigrapha non-canon Book of Enoch is used to convey the deeper truths of the Lord's establishment of the physical kingdom of God on earth. Typological allegory is used throughout Scripture.

I am not advocating only allegory or allegory as a standalone method of interpretation. However I am refuting the notion that allegory has no place in interpreting deeper truths below the literal text. Allegory is color in a coloring book. Sometimes it is needed to bring out those deeper truths or to explain them. Your broadbrush approach to dismissing typological allegory is unfounded and your reason for disregarding it, though commendable, is misplaced.

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Old 07-02-2017, 08:32 AM   #15
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"Replacement Theology" - Due to the seriousness of this error, some students of the Bible call this error “teaching from the pit of hell”. Because this erroneous teaching makes God a liar. There are so many verses in the Old Testament (Jer 33; 16:14-16; 30:1-7, Ez 20:42; 34:13, Isa 14:1, 27:13, 43:5-7, 60:21; Amos 9:11-15) as well as in the New Testament (Rom 9,10,11), showing that God did not give up Israel even though Israel is in rebellion and did not recognize the day of their Messiah’s visitation (Mt 23:37-39). Also, Israel and the church are 2 totally different entities, Israel is not a type of the church. Israel is the wife of Jehovah (Isa 54:5) and the church is the virgin bride of Christ (2Cor 11:2). In Gen 3:15 we see the relationship in between the woman (Eve=Israel) and the seed (Christ), it is a relationship of “mother-Son” and NOT a relationship “Bridegroom-bride” (bride=church). Israel and the church have 2 different sources and destinies. W. Lee in his teaching makes this matter “dark grey”. At times he says God is still dealing with Israel, at MANY other times he applies what is for Israel, to the church; as if Israel doesn’t exist anymore (Ex. Jer 31:31-34, see Life Study). This vagueness is due to the lack of knowledge of Israelology, failing to differentiate Israel from the church.
Does the book of Ephesians refer to the church as the temple of God as WL taught or is that an error?

Also, is Israel the Army of God or does Ephesians refer to the church as God's warrior?

Do you agree with WL that Adam and Eve are a type of Christ and the church?
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:21 PM   #16
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I believe many Christians and even many popular pastors, and I realized this while I was still in denominations, take a narrow approach to scripture. They interpret snippets of passages without realizing the context of verses or paragraphs before. Some of this can be attributed to the flawed chapter and verse numbering system which no modern bible versioners to my knowledge have bothered to correct. It can also be attributed to a mistaken belief that every verse in the bible is standalone, and then individual verses take on a life of their own, and diverge from the author's and God's intended meaning. "Words or verses for today" and such have not helped in this respect, only contributing to this mistaken , but popular view. In part, it is due to the modern idea of convenience - fast food, fast internet, fast scripture. Just give me a "word for today" and I have fed my soul with God's Word. I know people who are great at remembering facts and details of scripture, but are completely lost on the spiritual meaning and broader perspective.

Most Christians are bad at interpreting the bible because there is a view that on becoming a Christian, the Spirit will teach everything and every person is qualified to interpret the bible correctly because they have the Spirit. But even Christ had to study and learn the scriptures, which as a young boy he did. It is something Christians do not receive training in unless they have undertaken biblical studies of some kind themselves. It is something that many churches do not offer. I suspect that biblically trained members in a church would threaten the denominational systems that rely upon specially trained and qualified pastors or priests. If everyone could interpret the bible well, there would be less need for a theologically trained pastor or priest.

To appeal to popularity, the sermons of many pastors/priests in denominations are merely copied from the internet anyway, with a few funny pictures inserted for humor and "life lessons", rather than solid training in biblical exegesis. People may feel they are receiving some benefit, but they do not improve their ability to understand the bible for themselves.

A classic example which has popped up on this forum, is the idea that gathering of two or three people is a church based upon an isolated reading of Matthew 18:20. Examination of the surrounding passages, particularly verses 16 and 17, reveal that the statement by Christ is about telling ones grievances to the church, and telling two or three people is the next step after telling the person you have issue with. This is according to the principle of two or three witnesses. Context reveals it is not about defining a church as two or three people, at all.

The context is set by verse 16 and 17:

16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

It is saying to tell the person you have issue with, if they don't listen, then take along two or three, and then if the two or three don't convince them, make it public in the church. It is not saying that any gathering of two or three Christians are a church. Why would verse 16 say take along two or three, and then verse 17 say tell it to the church of two or three? Doesn't make sense. So the church must be something larger than just two or three.

Another example is the prosperity gospel which is built upon a few verses that when read in isolation seem to appear that God wants us to be financially rich. Many churches believe in this idea and the congregation accepts it because all they have to do is literally read the verse that says God wants us to prosper, and then take that to its logical conclusion that God wants us to be rich.

But Lee does not take individual verses and try to explain them in isolation. Instead, Lee employs the principle of first mention. The dominant meaning comes from the first mention of the theme and carries through the rest of the bible. This is why sometimes we compare Lee's footnote with the verse and find it does not match so well if read in isolation. The reason is that he has connected it with the first mention.

Lee often talks of "lines" in the bible. A line of this and a line of that. They are dominant themes that weave from Genesis through to Revelation. Reading the bible in this way has provided great insight and simplification of the bible as a whole, leading to greater understanding. It based upon the idea that the bible is not merely a collection of daily verses, but a complete message, a story which God wants to reveal to humanity. We can think of the bible as a tree with branches rather than as a collection of standalone verses.

To my knowledge the principle of first mention is a sound approach for biblical interpretation. Catholics would disagree of course, stating that the principle of reading scripture is by way of "sacred tradition". But in Protestant circles, the principle of first mention is solid.

Therefore Christians who take what shall I say, a naive approach, to reading the bible - reading each verse in isolation, and trying to squeeze as much meaning out of it as possible, even by taking it to its literal extreme, may find it confusing when the stated meaning of the passage by Lee, differs from the isolated, strict and literal interpretation they expect.
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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Hi Unregistered Guest
I read through your long post. Many things were said. I'll like to read more posts from you.
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Amen.

Two things touched me in particular. First is the peril, and loss, of ignoring the Jewish background of the texts, both OT and NT. For example, a Jewish Christian once showed me that Jesus' brother was not named James! Can you believe that!? If you look in the interlinear, his name was Iacov. Jacob. I was absolutely astounded, and appalled.

None of this changes the salvation of Christ, and the contents of our faith. But over time I began to truly sense our collective ignorance ( I speak as a card-carrying Baptist pew-sitter). We know so little, and contentedly imagine that we know so much.

Secondly, the remedy was alluded to by the poster. There are pockets of supply out there, in some of the unlikeliest of places. All we need to do is humble ourselves, and turn.
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:21 AM   #18
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MAJOR ERRORS OF W. LEE'S TEACHING
Table of Content In Order Of Importance
· Replacement Theology
· Importance of Israelology (83% of the Bible is related to Israel)
· Wrong Eschatology (33% is Prophecy in the Bible)
· Wrong Ecclesiology (result of NOT knowing Israeology)
I've read your original post several times and I would also like to hear more from you. I think this is the best deconstruct of WL's ministry that I've heard. What makes it valuable is that these same points can be applied to the speaking of any Christian teacher, preacher, minister, or poster on a forum such as this.

This forum is named Local Church Discussions, so of course, much has been said about the "ground of the church." It seems that many of the topics, regardless of the subject, somehow find their way back to "the ground of the church."

You make the point:
Quote:
"Wrong Ecclesiology" – As a result of the above (Replacement Theology, ignoring Israelology, Wrong Eschatology); W. Lee’s ecclesiology is also wrong. There is so much emphasis on the “church” in W. Lee’s teaching, that he makes the church the center of everything in the Bible. Emphasis added.
The first questions new forum members often ask is what church, what kind of church, they should be attending. Because we have been pounded over and over by Lee's "church" teaching, we lose sight of the fact that the church is not the "center of everything in the Bible." It's most important that we have a walk with the Lord and as Paul said "That I may know him...". As we follow him, he will lead us to other believers who are following the Lamb also. It's not up to us to "find a church". It's up to us to follow the Lamb.

This is an excellent point:
Quote:
I agree that they follow the biblical way of not taking a name, but with their unhealthy attitude (not Biblical) that I mentioned above, they make it "worse" than the other Christian groups with names.
I appreciate it too that you are not trying to cram anything down our throats.
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I am not trying to convince anybody, I am simply sharing my "personal testimony". In fact, Don't believe anything I say, check it out for yourselves and come to your own conclusions, this is "TOO" important to trust somebody else with your spiritual destiny.
I think a good moniker for you would be "Berean".

Blessings to you--
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:19 PM   #19
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Does the book of Ephesians refer to the church as the temple of God as WL taught or is that an error?

Also, is Israel the Army of God or does Ephesians refer to the church as God's warrior?

Do you agree with WL that Adam and Eve are a type of Christ and the church?

Question: Does the book of Ephesians refer to the church as the temple of God as WL taught or is that an error?

Also, is Israel the Army of God or does Ephesians refer to the church as God's warrior?

Do you agree with WL that Adam and Eve are a type of Christ and the church?

Answer: Eph 2:21, 22. 21in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

These 2 verses of Eph 2, show that the church is the temple of God. There are more verses that show this point, but not from Ephesians, from: 1Cor 3:16; 6:19
Looking throughout the Old Testament (a few examples: Josh5:13-15, 1Sam17:26, 2Chron 25:7) we see that Israel is God’s army, but notice that Israel’s situation changes a lot. Sometimes Jehovah is fighting for Israel other times Israel is fighting by themselves…. And looking at the big picture, even though Israel is in a rebellious situation, God did not give them up (Rom 9,10,11), God will deal with Israel through the Great Tribulation (Dan 9:24-27).

Reading Eph 6:12-18. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God .
18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
The book of Ephesians is about the church, and the verses from above show that the church also is God’s army.

It is important to notice, when the Bible speaks about Israel, it is related to “physical and earthly” things, even during the Millennium Jesus will reign the whole earth through Israel or the house of Jacob (Lk 1:32,33 ) and when the Bible speaks about the church, it is related to “spiritual and heavenly” things (Eph 1:3, 20; 2:6; 6:12).

Related to Adam and Eve, Rom 5:14 says: 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. This verse shows that Adam is a type of Christ. Then Paul in Eph 5:31,32. 31FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Here in vs. 31, Paul is quoting from Gen 2:24, showing that Eve is a type of the church. This is the great mystery.

At the same time, we need to realize what is happening in Gen 3:15. 15And I will put enmity Between you (Satan, see vs.14) and the woman (Eve, here Eve is Israel) , And between your seed (Satan’s seed, which is the Dragon) and her (Eve, who is Israel, Rev 12:2,5) seed (Jesus); He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” In this verse, Eve is a type of Israel because this is a relationship between the woman (Eve) and the seed (Jesus), which is a “mother-Son” relationship and NOT a “Bridegroom-bride” relationship. Israel gave birth to Jesus.

Throughout the Old Testament, Israel is the “WIFE of Jehovah” (Isa 54:5, 1; 62:4, Jer 31:32). While in the New Testament, the church is the “VIRGIN bride of Christ” (2Cor 11:2; Mt 25:1-10)

In Gen 3:15. 15And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

The term “her seed” violates the “biological” law because women don’t have seed, but men. This prophecy of Gen 3:15, was fulfilled in Lk 1:31, 34,35. 31“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:26 PM   #20
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Hi unreg..

Interestingly the Recovery version is one of the most literal bible versions around. Also many doctrines of Lee are from a strict literal interpretation. For example that the Lord Jesus is the Spirit is one such doctrine. That is word for word what the verse says. But many Christians interpret that verse according to a view of the Trinity and say Jesus cannot be the Spirit even though the verse literally says that.
I noticed that you are mixing W. Lee’s “interpretation” with the Biblical Text of the Recovery Version. I don’t have complaints against the Biblical Text of the Recovery Version. My complaint is against many of the “outlines” and “footnotes” being wrong because they go along with W. Lee’s major errors in his teaching. Also, I don’t have a problem with W. Lee’s teaching of Soteriology or Salvation.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:38 PM   #21
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I noticed that you are mixing W. Lee’s “interpretation” with the Biblical Text of the Recovery Version. I don’t have complaints against the Biblical Text of the Recovery Version. My complaint is against many of the “outlines” and “footnotes” being wrong because they go along with W. Lee’s major errors in his teaching. Also, I don’t have a problem with W. Lee’s teaching of Soteriology or Salvation.

Another example of Lee's literal interpretation is this one:

Isaiah 9:6 And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father

Lee says Jesus is the Father. Many Christians deny that Jesus is the Father. Lee can't be more literal than that.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:47 PM   #22
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We need to do our homework and NOT blindly believe the commentaries, learn from the Berean believers (Act 17:10,11).
The thing is every person with a bible can claim to be a Berean yet each have different interpretations. How can this be if everyone supposedly has the one Spirit who teaches all things?
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:55 PM   #23
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At the same time, we need to realize what is happening in Gen 3:15. 15And I will put enmity Between you (Satan, see vs.14) and the woman (Eve, here Eve is Israel) , And between your seed (Satan’s seed, which is the Dragon) and her (Eve, who is Israel, Rev 12:2,5) seed (Jesus); He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” In this verse, Eve is a type of Israel because this is a relationship between the woman (Eve) and the seed (Jesus), which is a “mother-Son” relationship and NOT a “Bridegroom-bride” relationship. Israel gave birth to Jesus.
Two comments (related to that in bold).

Satan's seed, is the Dragon, which is Satan. The Dragon is Satan.

Eve is a type for the church. See Eph. 5:23-26 which describes the husband-wife relationship.

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

Rev 12:2,5 speaks of the man-child, or the stronger part of the church.

That the seed of the woman is Christ and the church, or God's people

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
But the fact that this child is Christ must not cause us to limit the meaning of the vision to the efforts of the evil one to destroy the infant Jesus; for it is also the Christ in the Church which the wicked one hates: and wherever Christ dwells in any heart by faith, and wherever the preachers of the gospel in earnest travail for their Master, seek to lift up Christ, there will the foe be found, like the fowls of the air, ready to carry away the good seed.

Barne's notes on the bible:
And she brought forth a man child - Representing, according to the view above taken, the church in its increase and prosperity - as if a child were born that was to rule over all nations. See the notes on Revelation 12:2.
Who was to rule all nations - That is, according to this view, the church thus represented was destined to reign in all the earth, or all the earth was to become subject to its laws. Compare the notes on Daniel 7:13-14.


Your view is not considering that the purpose of Revelation is to encourage the persecuted Church. For this reason, we should consider that the Church is destined to rule and reign with Christ, and this is the most likely meaning of the prophesy. If we restrict the interpretation only to Jesus and not to the church, the body of Christ, we miss out on the intended view. Thus ,Satan attempting to kill the man-child is not merely Satan trying to kill the infant Jesus, but trying to destroy the church worldwide. If we restrict the interpretation only to Jesus or Israel we miss out on the intended meaning.

The Prophet John was not having a vision of old testament Israel and the 12 tribes ruling over the nations, but of the Church, or the sum total of all God's believers, past and present.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:13 AM   #24
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Amen.

Two things touched me in particular. First is the peril, and loss, of ignoring the Jewish background of the texts, both OT and NT. For example, a Jewish Christian once showed me that Jesus' brother was not named James! Can you believe that!? If you look in the interlinear, his name was Iacov. Jacob. I was absolutely astounded, and appalled.

None of this changes the salvation of Christ, and the contents of our faith. But over time I began to truly sense our collective ignorance ( I speak as a card-carrying Baptist pew-sitter). We know so little, and contentedly imagine that we know so much.

Secondly, the remedy was alluded to by the poster. There are pockets of supply out there, in some of the unlikeliest of places. All we need to do is humble ourselves, and turn.
Its even more appalling when we consider that the deliberate translation to James was because of anti semeticism in medieval England. Yet imagine the uproar if bible versioners were to correct this. Especially KJV only advocates.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:15 AM   #25
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But Lee does not take individual verses and try to explain them in isolation. Instead, Lee employs the principle of first mention. The dominant meaning comes from the first mention of the theme and carries through the rest of the bible. This is why sometimes we compare Lee's footnote with the verse and find it does not match so well if read in isolation. The reason is that he has connected it with the first mention.

Lee often talks of "lines" in the bible. A line of this and a line of that. They are dominant themes that weave from Genesis through to Revelation. Reading the bible in this way has provided great insight and simplification of the bible as a whole, leading to greater understanding. It based upon the idea that the bible is not merely a collection of daily verses, but a complete message, a story which God wants to reveal to humanity. We can think of the bible as a tree with branches rather than as a collection of standalone verses.

To my knowledge the principle of first mention is a sound approach for biblical interpretation. Catholics would disagree of course, stating that the principle of reading scripture is by way of "sacred tradition". But in Protestant circles, the principle of first mention is solid.

Therefore Christians who take what shall I say, a naive approach, to reading the bible - reading each verse in isolation, and trying to squeeze as much meaning out of it as possible, even by taking it to its literal extreme, may find it confusing when the stated meaning of the passage by Lee, differs from the isolated, strict and literal interpretation they expect.
Answer: I agree that some or many Christian groups have problems with interpreting the Bible properly, prosperity gospel, etc., etc., etc.,…. But we need to be careful not to “generalize” by looking down on everybody and saying “poor Christianity” because not everyone is like that. This problem of looking down to everybody is typical of those who meet with W. Lee’s local church groups due to their ignorance, wrong teaching (already mentioned at first in more detail) and wrong practices (cult-like).
As I mentioned in my original post, W. Lee’s teaching has MAJOR errors:
• Replacement Theology
• Importance of Israelology (83% of the Bible is related to Israel)
• Wrong Eschatology (33% is Prophecy in the Bible)
• Wrong Ecclesiology (result of NOT knowing Israeology)

With all these major problems (see my original post for more details), it is impossible to have a correct interpretation of the Bible.

I would like to point out a few wrong allegories that W. Lee makes in his teaching:

1) Boiling a young goat in the mother’s milk (Exo 23:19; 34:26; Deut 14:21) 19“You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God. “You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother”.
W. Lee’s explanation in his Life Study is: “Now we come to the last condition, a condition that may seem very strange: “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” (v. 26b). You may be surprised at the significance of the requirement not to boil a kid in its mother’s milk. This requirement indicates or typifies that we should not seethe young believers with the milk of the word; that is, we should not “boil” them with the word of life that is for nourishment (1 Pet. 2:2).
In ancient times some people probably did have the practice of boiling a kid in its mother’s milk. This may have been regarded as a delicious dish. As we have indicated, we should not use the milk of the word to seethe young believers. This is to use the milk of the word, which is for life- nourishment, to kill the young ones. The point here is that the milk of the Word of God is for nourishment”(1Pet 2:2; Heb 5:12, 13; 1Cor 3:2).

W. Lee in his explanation above gives his “free allegory” made up by himself, additionally he gives references (1Pet 2:2; Heb 5:12, 13; 1Cor 3:2) that have NOTHING to do with the subject verses (Exo 23:19; 34:26; Deut 14:21), except ALL these verses have the word “milk” in common.

The “correct” Biblical way to understand “Boiling a young goat in the mother’s milk” is that it refers to the superstitious custom of the Canaanites at harvest time in which a young goat was boiled in its mother’s milk as a charm to increase the fruitfulness of their crops.
God didn’t want His people copying the pagan fertility rituals instead of trusting Him to bless their harvest. This commandment is the basis for the present Jewish custom of not mixing milk products with meat.

This is according to Israelology, Jewish culture, because the Bible is a Judeo-Christian book and 83% of the Bible, is related to Israel. Also Jesus Himself is Jew.

2) Eating poisonous gourds (2King 4:38-41)
38When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” 39Then one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, for they did not know what they were. 40So they poured it out for the men to eat. And as they were eating of the stew, they cried out and said, “O man of God, there is death in the pot.” And they were unable to eat. 41But he said, “Now bring meal.” He threw it into the pot and said, “Pour it out for the people that they may eat.” Then there was no harm in the pot.

Do you think this portion of the word says that many of today's Christian writings are "poisonous gourds"?

The following is what Witness Lee says in his Life Study about this:
Many of the teachings in today's Christianity are "poisonous gourds." Some Christian books are good, but many are not pure. We have recommended certain writings by Andrew Murray, Madame Guyon, Brother Lawrence, and others. We have especially recommended Andrew Murray's masterpiece The Spirit of Christ, as well as God's Plan of Redemption by Mary E. McDonough and Life on the Highest Plane by Ruth Paxton. Among us we also have the ministry of Brother Nee. Brother Nee's ministry was rejected by the Western missionaries in his youth, but today his ministry is known by seeking Christians throughout the world. By the Lord's mercy and grace, in the last seventy years nearly all the crucial, important revelations of the Bible have been covered in Watchman Nee's ministry and my ministry. I would urge you to pay attention to these pure and healthy things and not waste your time collecting "poisonous gourds".

Again, W. Lee in his explanation above gives his “free allegory” made up by himself, and he recommends himself by saying that “in the last seventy years nearly ALL the crucial, important revelations of the Bible have been covered in Watchman Nee's ministry and my ministry”.

The “correct” Biblical way to understand this section (2King 4:38-41), is to realize that the Bible says what it means and means what it says. Always, we should check with the commentaries of the theologians; NOT just ONE author, but 3 or 4. And try to understand why the interpretations differ. We need to do our homework and NOT blindly believe the commentaries, learn from the Berean believers (Act 17:10,11). By the way, “nobody” knows everything in the Bible. Even the Apostle Paul who wrote 14 epistles in the New Testament, he did not conclude the Bible, the Apostle John did it. This is because every believer, is simply a “member” of the Body of Christ.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:01 AM   #26
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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The thing is every person with a bible can claim to be a Berean yet each have different interpretations. How can this be if everyone supposedly has the one Spirit who teaches all things?
It's real simple.

A Berean compares everything with actual scripture.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:37 AM   #27
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It's real simple.

A Berean compares everything with actual scripture.
Well I'd like to question that thinking because it seems to me to be an untested theory that Bereans are those who compare everything with scripture. So I'd like to appeal to the title of being "noble" by doing some searching and testing of my own and asking "is it really so?"

Firstly, if we look into history, Bereans were Jews that held no concept of "sola scriptura". It's a matter of fact that Jews in general don't use "sola scriptura" so the idea that a Berean is one who searches scripture and scripture alone for their doctrine as per stock standard American evangelical protestantism is looking unlikely.

Concerning the use of Scripture, in Acts 17 both the Thessalonian Jews and the Berean Jews discussed or debated the Scripture with Paul. So actually searching and comparing to scripture is not the reason Bereans were called noble. Any serious Jew would have done that. If the Bereans were noble just because they used Scripture, then the Thessalonians would be called noble as well!

The key difference between the Bereans from the Thessalonians was their attitude towards the extra-biblical revelation that Paul brought. They were called noble because the Bereans accepted the extra-biblical revelation that Paul brought whereas the Thessalonians rejected the extra-biblical revelation that Paul brought. What differentiated the two groups was their attitude and reception of Paul's rather revolutionary message.

Remember that Paul would not have been recognized as a source of divine inspiration and the scripture that they had would have been their Old Testament, not the New Testament.

So actually to be a noble Berean is to accept the new extra-biblical revelation that comes from God. It was to accept Paul's message such that salvation comes through Christ, and that circumcision is no longer necessary. If the Bereans had stuck to their literal interpretation of scripture, they would have pointed to their Law and everlasting covenant regarding circumcision etc and rejected Paul outright. They might have said "Paul, the Scripture says circumcision is an everlasting covenant, therefore the message you bring must be from Satan". This is what the Thessalonians did, and what many Jews do today. This is how the Pharisees treated Christ - being firmly rooted to their literal interpretation of their Old Testament. Not being open to new revelation is the main reason the Thessalonian Jews rejected Paul, just as the Pharisees had rejected Christ. Not because the Thessalonian Jews did not use Scripture and the Bereans did.

In summary, the idea that Bereans are those who use scripture alone as their authority is inaccurate, given that the Bereans were Jews who did not believe in the absolute and sole authority of Scripture (they held to oral traditions etc). It was their willingness to accept new revelation from God via Paul that made them truly noble Bereans.

So those who say they are Bereans because they hold to a literal interpretation of scripture are possibly more like the Thessalonian Jews than the true Bereans who listened to the extra-biblical revelation that Paul brought to them.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:03 PM   #28
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So actually to be a noble Berean is to accept the new extra-biblical revelation that comes from God. It was to accept Paul's message such that salvation comes through Christ, and that circumcision is no longer necessary. If the Bereans had stuck to their literal interpretation of scripture, they would have pointed to their Law and everlasting covenant regarding circumcision etc and rejected Paul outright. They might have said "Paul, the Scripture says circumcision is an everlasting covenant, therefore the message you bring must be from Satan". This is what the Thessalonians did, and what many Jews do today. This is how the Pharisees treated Christ - being firmly rooted to their literal interpretation of their Old Testament. Not being open to new revelation is the main reason the Thessalonian Jews rejected Paul, just as the Pharisees had rejected Christ. Not because the Thessalonian Jews did not use Scripture and the Bereans did.

In summary, the idea that Bereans are those who use scripture alone as their authority is inaccurate, given that the Bereans were Jews who did not believe in the absolute and sole authority of Scripture (they held to oral traditions etc). It was their willingness to accept new revelation from God via Paul that made them truly noble Bereans.

So those who say they are Bereans because they hold to a literal interpretation of scripture are possibly more like the Thessalonian Jews than the true Bereans who listened to the extra-biblical revelation that Paul brought to them.[/QUOTE]


Answer: Acts 17:10, 11. 10The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

If you read these verses, they are self explanatory. Verse 11, says : these (the Bereans) were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for (explains WHY) they received the word with great eagerness, EXAMINING the Scriptures daily TO SEE WHETHER THESE THINGS WERE SO.

At this point I would like to share with you a “golden rule of interpretation” a dear brother said: “When plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense, lest you end up in nonsense”.

To be Bereans, is what the verse says and it means. Meaning examining the Scriptures (read verses). For the Bereans was to examine the Old Testament because the New Testament didn’t exist. If you study the Old Testament appropriately, you will see that Jesus was the Messiah that the Old Testament was talking about. There are over 1800 prophesies that LITERALLY were fulfilled with Jesus. Jesus Himself told this point to the two on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:27). 27Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. Jesus Himself was a Berean in the sense of explaining the Scriptures about Himself!!!

Few examples of over 1800 prophesies fulfilled LITERALLY:

Born of a virgin: Gen 3:15; Isa 7:14. Jesus to be of David’s family: 2Sam7:12. Born on Bethlehem: Micha 5:2. Sojourn in Egypt: Hose 11:1. Would live in Galilee: Isa 9:1,2. Announced by a herald: Isa 40:3-5, Mal 3:1; 4:5. Massacre of Bethlehem’s children: Gen 35:19,20; Jer 31:15. Would include the gentiles: Isa 42:1-4. Healing ministry: Isa 53:4. Teach through parables: Isa 6:9,10; Psa 78:2. Rejected by rulers: Psa 69:4; 118:22; Isa 6:10; 29:13. Entry into Jerusalem: Zech 9:9, Psa 118:26; etc.,etc., etc.,………

I pointed this matter in my original post. Again, I would like to repeat for you: By the way, allegorization is the license for “inventing doctrine”. Allegorization also leads to say that the Bible has some parts “more important” than others, so we don’t need to understand or pay attention to those so called “less important” parts. On the contrary Jesus Himself said in Mt 5: 17, 18 17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished”. This means we have to take God’s Word seriously and ALL the Scripture (2Tim 3:16), not just a few verses or chapters or only the New Testament but the WHOLE BIBLE (Old and New Testaments). Again, Paul the apostle is telling us ALL Scripture, the one to whom God gave directly the revelation of the mystery (Eph 3:3,4). Ps 40:7 “Then I said, Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me”. The whole Bible (meaning Old and New Testaments) speaks about Christ, and ALL the Scripture is God’s breath; meaning Old Testament and New Testament. Jesus Himself when He was on the earth taught everything from the Old Testament, because the New Testament did not exist yet. Our safeguard to avoid falling into error, is to follow what the Bible (the 66 books) is telling us LITERALLY.

One specific example (out of the many) of how W. Lee allegorizes the Bible: W. Lee says that the 10 commandments in Exo 20 is a “marriage contract”. It is a beautiful “allegory” made up by himself and it fits the verses, but the problem is that LITERALLY the Bible doesn’t say that. Therefore, based on that self-made allegory he builds another allegory then he ends up with something else that the Bible is NOT saying. This kind of hermeneutics (method of interpretation) is very “dangerous”, because you end up with something else, that the Bible is NOT saying. The Bible will tell you very specific if that is an allegory or not, like in Gal 4:24 “This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar”. But if we read the Bible plainly what it says, we will see that the Bible means what it says and says what it means LITERALLY except when the Bible tells us otherwise, without allegorizing or spiritualizing (Mt 5:17,18). Otherwise you come up with your private interpretations so called “divine revelation” that “nobody else knows”, because it is private.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:18 PM   #29
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Two comments (related to that in bold).
Satan's seed, is the Dragon, which is Satan. The Dragon is Satan.
Eve is a type for the church. See Eph. 5:23-26 which describes the husband-wife relationship.
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
Rev 12:2,5 speaks of the man-child, or the stronger part of the church.
That the seed of the woman is Christ and the church, or God's people
Answer: Satan’s seed is the Red Dragon, the coming world leader and the false prophet in Rev 12:3,…

In Rev 12:1-5. 1A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 4And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. 5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

The woman in Rev 12:1-5, is Israel. If you say that this woman is the church, you have a BIG problem, because the church is a VIRGIN BRIDE (2Cor 11:2) and this woman in Rev. is “pregnant”. Rev 12, is a “summary of Israel” that started in Gen 3:15, where we see the term: “her seed” or “seed of the woman”, meaning the woman has seed or gives birth. A “mother-Son” relationship and NOT a “Bridegroom-bride” relationship, because Israel gives birth to the child who is Jesus which is confirmed in Rev 12: 2,5 (read verses). The male child in verse 5, is Jesus and NOT “the stronger part of the church” which is W. Lee’s wrong interpretation.

Why is W. Lee’s interpretation wrong? Because as I explained in detail in my original post, W. Lee’s teaching does NOT have Israelology in his teaching (83% of the Bible is related to Israel), as a result of that, his Eschatology (33% is Prophecy in the Bible) is wrong and as a result of that, his Ecclesiology (result of NOT knowing Israeology) is also wrong. When you lack understanding or completely ignore, Israelology you will do exactly what W. Lee did in his teaching: it does NOT differentiate Israel from the church, it applies what is for Israel to the church (read his Life Studies, ex.Jer 31:31), making a big salad with Israel and the church. Additionally, he starts to “freely” allegorize the Scriptures as he wishes coming up with self- made doctrine that “ONLY” he knows, because it is his private interpretation. One example of the many, of his self-made doctrines; is “the ground of oneness” (there is not even ONE verse in the Bible showing this point), or Boiling a young goat in the mother’s milk (Exo 23:19; 34:26; Deut 14:21), or eating poisonous gourds (2King 4:38-41) and I can go on and on and on…. With all the allegories made up by himself without paying attention to the “fundamental points” that I mentioned already at the very beginning of my post.

If you can NOT see or understand what I am explaining to you about the “Major errors of W. Lee’s teaching: Replacement Theology, absence of Israelology (83% of the Bible is related to Israel), wrong Eschatology (33% is Prophecy in the Bible), Wrong Ecclesiology (result of NOT knowing Israeology); I can NOT do anything else for you, except to pray for you, that the Lord would open your right understanding of the Scriptures. I know, it is not easy, but also it is possible with the Lord (Mt 19:26). I don’t want to convince anybody, everyone should do their homework and come to their own conclusions.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:22 AM   #30
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I would say the chief major error in his teaching was the "the processed triune God". Through bits and pieces of verses, he created a god of the local church, which was not the God of our Lord Jesus. One would think, if the truth was "the processed triune God", that Jesus and the apostles, and writers of the NT would have been preaching and teaching this, and using the same vocabulary as WL to convey this marvelous wonder to the Jews, Gentiles, and the Church. WL's ability to create messages through the use of verse fragments was amazing, and created a dazzling creed that captured many (and sold a lot of material)- what was wrong with us, that no one stood up and said " this is not what I read in my Bible"?
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:12 AM   #31
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

In 2005, the Holy Spirit Who is the Person of the Godhead WHO reveals JESUS, THE TRUTH and reveals the FATHER revealed to me we were truly now living in the last days.

I began doing my homework and searching the scriptures prayerfully for understanding. I did not know the difference between the rapture and the second coming of Christ and neither could I find clarity in the RcV that I had!!!

Little by little I learned that even though Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are considered NT and the Jews do not read the gospels, those books are mainly written TO THE JEWS. Jesus came for the JEWS FIRST.

The NT does not truly begin until the death of Jesus and it is stated quite clearly in Hebrews 9.
For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a Testament is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. 18 Therefore even the first testament was not inaugurated without blood.

But most of the time, we believers think that everything in the gospel applies to us. Grant it, in some ways it does but when Jesus is talking to His disciples about His return, He is not referring to the Bride. The church is not really born until the Holy Spirit descended upon the 120 in the upper room on Pentecost, known as the Feast of Weeks or Shavout in Exodus 23, Leviticus 23 and Numbers 28.

The Bride is caught up before Jesus reveals Himself to the Jews as their Messiah at the Great Tribulation and the battle of Armageddon. Matthew 24 refers to the Tribulation that Israel and the non believers will undergo AFTER the Bride is caught up in the clouds to meet Jesus in the air in the twinkling of an eye.

I totally concur Revelation 12 is Israel and the Manchild is Jesus, their Messiah. The church is never MALE. The church is always female. Therefore the manchild cannot be the stronger part of the church! God never refers to any part of the church as male!

And btw.. there is going to be a great sign in the heavens in the constellation of Virgo on Sept 23rd. Look it up. It is a sign for Israel.

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Answer: Satan’s seed is the Red Dragon, the coming world leader and the false prophet in Rev 12:3,…
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:35 AM   #32
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Unreg "The woman in Rev 12:1-5, is Israel. If you say that this woman is the church, you have a BIG problem, because the church is a VIRGIN BRIDE (2Cor 11:2) and this woman in Rev. is “pregnant”. Rev 12, is a “summary of Israel” that started in Gen 3:15, where we see the term: “her seed” or “seed of the woman”, meaning the woman has seed or gives birth. A “mother-Son” relationship and NOT a “Bridegroom-bride” relationship, because Israel gives birth to the child who is Jesus which is confirmed in Rev 12: 2,5 (read verses). The male child in verse 5, is Jesus and NOT “the stronger part of the church” which is W. Lee’s wrong interpretation.

Your argument here about the VIRGIN BRIDE giving birth is not a problem unless you also think Mary being a virgin and giving birth to Jesus is a problem. Your argument is a moral one not a biblically based one.

Unreg "Why is W. Lee’s interpretation wrong? Because as I explained in detail in my original post, W. Lee’s teaching does NOT have Israelology in his teaching (83% of the Bible is related to Israel), as a result of that, his Eschatology (33% is Prophecy in the Bible) is wrong and as a result of that, his Ecclesiology (result of NOT knowing Israeology) is also wrong. When you lack understanding or completely ignore, Israelology you will do exactly what W. Lee did in his teaching: "

When you put on the "83% of the Bible is related to Israel" glasses they become filters in your understanding and hermeneutics. Your starting point will then lead you into other misunderstandings and errors. For instance, if you believe that the woman of Revelation 12 is Israel and only Israel then you will have to conclude that the man child is Jesus and only Jesus. However, in so doing you will also have great difficulty with the timeline. To start off with Revelation 1:1 says clearly that the signs show the things that must take place. Revelation 12:1 shows the woman is a great sign, therefore it is a future event based from the time of the writing in the latter half of the first century, not before Christ was born as you assert. This is an error on your part because you have donned Israelology glasses that filter the complete biblical revelation.

If the man child is only Jesus then then you will also have trouble reconciling the Dragon being cast to the earth to devour the baby Jesus in the manger, the reason for the Dragon and one third of the angels being cast to earth, and why it takes Satan and one third of his angels to engage in infanticide in a failed attempt to wipe out Jesus. Also, you would have to violate the timeline of the future war in heaven v7-9 while leaving the obvious future event of the woman fleeing to the wilderness in v6 in place unless you want to bring that forward too prior to the birth of Jesus in which case you will have to explain where in history Israel fled into the wilderness and was nourished by God for a thousand two hundred and sixty days.

A third example of the trouble you will have reconciling the woman as Israel only and the man child as Jesus only is found in verse 5. To maintain the position you hold will require you to ignore the meaning of the word used for "caught up" which roots are based in selection and to pluck. Jesus resurrection and ascension do not use this word.

Unreg "it does NOT differentiate Israel from the church, it applies what is for Israel to the church (read his Life Studies, ex.Jer 31:31), making a big salad with Israel and the church."

I am not aware of anywhere where Brother Lee teaches replacement theology. However, in reference to Jerusalem 31:31 speaking of the new covenant of course the church is living in the new covenant. That was for Israel too but they obviously are not living in it unless they become believers like any other christian in this age of grace. As a nation, they will live in the new covenant in the coming Kingdom once the Lord returns and establishes it in the future and the nation repents and receives Him as the Messiah on that glorious day (Revelation 1:7).

In summary Unreg. First, let me say I appreciate your posts. They are focused on the teachings and you challenge them forcefully. That is commendable and a welcome addition to this forum.

Having said that your teachings on Revelation 12 are lacking. Just saying the woman is Israel because 83% of the Bible is related to Israel......even if that were proven valid perhaps this is part of the 17% that includes something more. The timeline in Revelation 12 (the birth of the manchild, the Dragon and one third of the angels cast to earth, the war in heaven, the plucking up of the man child, the wilderness experience of the woman, etc.) simply falls apart with your interpretation and the meaning of actual words must be ignored such as "caught up" when referring to the manchild.

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Old 07-05-2017, 09:37 AM   #33
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I would say the chief major error in his teaching was the "the processed triune God". Through bits and pieces of verses, he created a god of the local church, which was not the God of our Lord Jesus. One would think, if the truth was "the processed triune God", that Jesus and the apostles, and writers of the NT would have been preaching and teaching this, and using the same vocabulary as WL to convey this marvelous wonder to the Jews, Gentiles, and the Church. WL's ability to create messages through the use of verse fragments was amazing, and created a dazzling creed that captured many (and sold a lot of material)- what was wrong with us, that no one stood up and said " this is not what I read in my Bible"?
This is probably the clearest, most concise short form description of the "major error of Witness Lee's teaching" ever posted on our forum. If there's one better, please bring it to my attention and you will receive the grand prize of.......my eternal gratitude.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:50 AM   #34
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Does the book of Ephesians refer to the church as the temple of God as WL taught or is that an error?
Actually, Ephesians refers to the body of Christ as "growing into" the temple of God.

So "yes and no." It does — not as a final product, but as a work in progress. It is not simply a "done deal."

And I don't really care what Lee taught about it.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:51 AM   #35
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The key difference between the Bereans from the Thessalonians was their attitude towards the extra-biblical revelation that Paul brought. They were called noble because the Bereans accepted the extra-biblical revelation that Paul brought whereas the Thessalonians rejected the extra-biblical revelation that Paul brought. What differentiated the two groups was their attitude and reception of Paul's rather revolutionary message.
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At this point I would like to share with you a “golden rule of interpretation” a dear brother said: “When plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense, lest you end up in nonsense”.
Well said, Unregistered. So well said.

Evangelical never ceases to amaze me how he can convince himself that basically up is down and down is up.

What caused the unbelieving Thessalonians, i.e. Jews at the Synagogue who heard Paul on three successive Sabbaths, to reject the Gospel was not their attitude towards "extra-biblical revelation," but as Luke, the eye-witness writer of the Acts tells us, "they were jealous," (Acts 17.1-9) they rejected the Messiah Jesus Christ, and claimed allegiance to Caesar. They behaved exactly as those who crucified Jesus years prior in Jerusalem. Are you also claiming then, that the Pharisees and scribes rejected the "extra-biblical revelation" package that Jesus also brought to the nation of Israel?

Did someone say something about "nonsense?"

The Bereans, on the other hand, did not receive "extra-biblical revelation" from Apostle Paul. They heard the same message as those in Thessalonica who believed, i.e. Paul showed them from their own scriptures that the "Christ (the promised Messiah) must suffer and rise from among the dead." (Acts 17.2-3, 10-13)
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:11 PM   #36
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Well said, Unregistered. So well said.

Evangelical never ceases to amaze me how he can convince himself that basically up is down and down is up.

What caused the unbelieving Thessalonians, i.e. Jews at the Synagogue who heard Paul on three successive Sabbaths, to reject the Gospel was not their attitude towards "extra-biblical revelation," but as Luke, the eye-witness writer of the Acts tells us' "they were jealous," (Acts 17.1-9) they rejected the Messiah Jesus Christ, and claimed allegiance to Caesar. They behaved exactly as those who crucified Jesus years prior in Jerusalem. Are you also claiming then, that the Pharisees and scribes rejected the "extra-biblical revelation" package that Jesus also brought to the nation of Israel?

Did someone say something about "nonsense?"

The Bereans, on the other hand, did not receive "extra-biblical revelation" from Apostle Paul. They heard the same message as those in Thessalonica who believed, i.e. Paul showed them from their own scriptures that the "Christ (the promised Messiah) must suffer and rise from among the dead." (Acts 17.2-3, 10-13)
The interpretation Paul presented would have been extra biblical for them.

The example of the Bereans is used by those who believe in sola scriptura. Implying that those who did not receive the message did not search the scriptures.

This is flawed for two basic reasons:
One is the Bereans, being Jews, were not sola scriptura believers.

The second is that those who did not receive the message would have used the Scripture also. Even if their rejection was due to jealousy or some other reason, it doesn't negate the fact that they too searched the Scriptures, like the Bereans.

The Bereans are not an example of those who searched the scripture alone versus those who didn't. That is not the point of the story. The point is they received the message because they were more noble. The point is not that they were more noble because they believed in sola scriptura.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:02 PM   #37
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The interpretation Paul presented would have been extra biblical for them.

The example of the Bereans is used by those who believe in sola scriptura. Implying that those who did not receive the message did not search the scriptures.

This is flawed for two basic reasons:
One is the Bereans, being Jews, were not sola scriptura believers.

The second is that those who did not receive the message would have used the Scripture also. Even if their rejection was due to jealousy or some other reason, it doesn't negate the fact that they too searched the Scriptures, like the Bereans.

The Bereans are not an example of those who searched the scripture alone versus those who didn't. That is not the point of the story. The point is they received the message because they were more noble. The point is not that they were more noble because they believed in sola scriptura.
The only thing "extra-Biblical" about the Bereans was their faith. Read the stories again.

Some Jews in Thessalonica, however, were jealous, hardened, unbelieving, stubborn, and evil. Hence they acted identically as the Pharisees did to Jesus. They stirred up loafers in the market, gathered a rowdy crowd, set the city in an uproar, acted violently knowing the Romans would take notice, claimed that these men wanted another king contrary to Caesar. Standard Judaizer modus operandi.

This is not that complicated bro.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:03 PM   #38
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The interpretation Paul presented would have been extra biblical for them.
This is incorrect. In fact, this very portion of Acts in which the Bereans appear, flat out contradicts your "extra biblical" nonsense:
And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ".(Acts 17:2,3)

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This is flawed for two basic reasons:
One is the Bereans, being Jews, were not sola scriptura believers.
Why do you keep saying that ALL Jews were not sola scriptura? You could not possibly know this. Are you like Witness Lee, who claimed to be all places at all times, and knew what was taught by every Christian teacher who ever lived? (well, at least since 1945) Really? Are you that far off the deep end? You need to get out more, my friend. Read some Church history from different sources. Make some new mature, knowledgeable Christian friends that can set you straight on some of these crazy notions of yours. And most important and urgent for you - read the Bible without the filter of Local Church/Lee dogma. If you want to spout off so much about the Bereans you need to be a Berean. Why do you think they were called noble? One reason is that they were apparently good listeners. They didn't suppose that they already knew it all.

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The second is that those who did not receive the message would have used the Scripture also. Even if their rejection was due to jealousy or some other reason, it doesn't negate the fact that they too searched the Scriptures, like the Bereans.
Not everybody who "uses the Scripture" uses it correctly. Not everyone who searches the Scriptures searches correctly. Some come to the Scriptures, but they "refuse to come to Jesus Christ that they may have life." (see John 5:40). Let's let the Bible tell us about who used the Scriptures correctly and who did not, and refrain from making wild speculations. You are confusing the issue because you are confused about Lee's errors. Hang in there kid...keep swinging....eventually you'll land a punch.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:17 PM   #39
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Why do you keep saying that ALL Jews were not sola scriptura? You could not possibly know this. Are you like Witness Lee, who claimed to be all places at all times, and knew what was taught by every Christian teacher who ever lived? (well, at least since 1945) Really? Are you that far off the deep end? You need to get out more, my friend. Read some Church history from different sources. Make some new mature, knowledgeable Christian friends that can set you straight on some of these crazy notions of yours. And most important and urgent for you - read the Bible without the filter of Local Church/Lee dogma. If you want to spout off so much about the Bereans you need to be a Berean. Why do you think they were called noble? One reason is that they were apparently good listeners. They didn't suppose that they already knew it all.
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Hi UntoHim,

I see no one here bothering to prove that Bereans were sola scriptura. That would be a remarkable thing for a Jew given most are not sola scripture. Remember to be a Berean is to "see if these things are so". Those who google and search things out like I do are more like the Bereans than those who respond with their opinions alone.

I would say the ones who used the Scripture correctly are the ones who received Paul's "footnotes" and those who didn't use it correctly were those who accepted nothing else but their own literal interpretation. The Bereans would have read and studied Paul's footnotes. Yes Paul used the Scripture but his interpretation is not readily found in the Old Testament.

What I stated about Jews and sola scriptura is a true and factual statement that can be easily Googled.

There were three main parties of Jews:
Pharisees
Sadducees
Essenes

Of these three groups, only the Sadducees regarded the Torah alone as authoritative. This did not prevent them from crucifying Christ however. It is a true and factual statement that most Jews were not sola scriptura. Jews in general accept the oral Torah as equally authoritative to the written.

But all that really matters is what kind of Jew the Bereans were. The Bereans were Greek-speaking Jews who used the Septuagint which includes a number of books not accepted as Canonical by Protestantism.
The Bereans also accepted oral teaching and traditions as equal to Scripture, they were not Sadducees.

So the situation is that the Berean Jews were not sola scriptura believers and the scripture that they used was not the same as our Old Testament - it had books which have been rejected in Protestantism as Apocrypha.

For these reasons the Berean Jews are a poor example to use
Unfortunately the myth of the "sola scriptura Bereans" has been propagated throughout protestant Christianity and accepted as unquestioned fact when historical facts reveal otherwise.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:38 PM   #40
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The only thing "extra-Biblical" about the Bereans was their faith. Read the stories again.

Some Jews in Thessalonica, however, were jealous, hardened, unbelieving, stubborn, and evil. Hence they acted identically as the Pharisees did to Jesus. They stirred up loafers in the market, gathered a rowdy crowd, set the city in an uproar, acted violently knowing the Romans would take notice, claimed that these men wanted another king contrary to Caesar. Standard Judaizer modus operandi.

This is not that complicated bro.
This is tending to what I believe. The difference between the Bereans and the others was not because they held to their own literal interpretation of scripture (sola scriptura) but because they had a God-seeking heart, or otherwise, that caused them to receive Paul's message.

There is an unwritten, false assumption in Christianity that if you give someone a bible without footnotes, without any extra help, they will come to the proper understanding.

Then such people declare themselves to be "Bereans" just because they come up with an interpretation of their own accord, be it literal or allegorical.

But this is not what Sola Scriptura means. We need teachers, and footnotes, to come to a proper understanding.

It is called Sola Scriptura, not SOLO Scriptura.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:55 PM   #41
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Unreg "The woman in Rev 12:1-5, is Israel. If you say that this woman is the church, you have a BIG problem, because the church is a VIRGIN BRIDE (2Cor 11:2) and this woman in Rev. is “pregnant”. Rev 12, is a “summary of Israel” that started in Gen 3:15, where we see the term: “her seed” or “seed of the woman”, meaning the woman has seed or gives birth. A “mother-Son” relationship and NOT a “Bridegroom-bride” relationship, because Israel gives birth to the child who is Jesus which is confirmed in Rev 12: 2,5 (read verses). The male child in verse 5, is Jesus and NOT “the stronger part of the church” which is W. Lee’s wrong interpretation.

Your argument here about the VIRGIN BRIDE giving birth is not a problem unless you also think Mary being a virgin and giving birth to Jesus is a problem. Your argument is a moral one not a biblically based one.

Unreg "Why is W. Lee’s interpretation wrong? Because as I explained in detail in my original post, W. Lee’s teaching does NOT have Israelology in his teaching (83% of the Bible is related to Israel), as a result of that, his Eschatology (33% is Prophecy in the Bible) is wrong and as a result of that, his Ecclesiology (result of NOT knowing Israeology) is also wrong. When you lack understanding or completely ignore, Israelology you will do exactly what W. Lee did in his teaching: "

When you put on the "83% of the Bible is related to Israel" glasses they become filters in your understanding and hermeneutics. Your starting point will then lead you into other misunderstandings and errors. For instance, if you believe that the woman of Revelation 12 is Israel and only Israel then you will have to conclude that the man child is Jesus and only Jesus. However, in so doing you will also have great difficulty with the timeline. To start off with Revelation 1:1 says clearly that the signs show the things that must take place. Revelation 12:1 shows the woman is a great sign, therefore it is a future event based from the time of the writing in the latter half of the first century, not before Christ was born as you assert. This is an error on your part because you have donned Israelology glasses that filter the complete biblical revelation.

If the man child is only Jesus then then you will also have trouble reconciling the Dragon being cast to the earth to devour the baby Jesus in the manger, the reason for the Dragon and one third of the angels being cast to earth, and why it takes Satan and one third of his angels to engage in infanticide in a failed attempt to wipe out Jesus. Also, you would have to violate the timeline of the future war in heaven v7-9 while leaving the obvious future event of the woman fleeing to the wilderness in v6 in place unless you want to bring that forward too prior to the birth of Jesus in which case you will have to explain where in history Israel fled into the wilderness and was nourished by God for a thousand two hundred and sixty days.

A third example of the trouble you will have reconciling the woman as Israel only and the man child as Jesus only is found in verse 5. To maintain the position you hold will require you to ignore the meaning of the word used for "caught up" which roots are based in selection and to pluck. Jesus resurrection and ascension do not use this word.

Unreg "it does NOT differentiate Israel from the church, it applies what is for Israel to the church (read his Life Studies, ex.Jer 31:31), making a big salad with Israel and the church."

I am not aware of anywhere where Brother Lee teaches replacement theology. However, in reference to Jerusalem 31:31 speaking of the new covenant of course the church is living in the new covenant. That was for Israel too but they obviously are not living in it unless they become believers like any other christian in this age of grace. As a nation, they will live in the new covenant in the coming Kingdom once the Lord returns and establishes it in the future and the nation repents and receives Him as the Messiah on that glorious day (Revelation 1:7).

In summary Unreg. First, let me say I appreciate your posts. They are focused on the teachings and you challenge them forcefully. That is commendable and a welcome addition to this forum.

Having said that your teachings on Revelation 12 are lacking. Just saying the woman is Israel because 83% of the Bible is related to Israel......even if that were proven valid perhaps this is part of the 17% that includes something more. The timeline in Revelation 12 (the birth of the manchild, the Dragon and one third of the angels cast to earth, the war in heaven, the plucking up of the man child, the wilderness experience of the woman, etc.) simply falls apart with your interpretation and the meaning of actual words must be ignored such as "caught up" when referring to the manchild.

Thanks
Drake


Answer: I can see that you are not understanding why I mention Israelology? It is because Israelology plays a big role (83%) in the Bible, since the Bible is a Judeo-Christian Book. Not because everything is Israel, just to be aware of that BIG point that we should consider when studying the Bible. Otherwise you come up with “free” allegories that you find in the Life Studies of W. Lee.

Another point you are misunderstanding is that the book of Revelation itself gives you an outline of the whole book in Rev 1:19. 19“Therefore write the things which you have seen (past, about Christ, chp 1), and the things which are (present, chp 2,3, the 7 churches), and the things which will take place (future, chp 4-22) after these things. Notice that the book of Revelation is the conclusion of the whole Bible plus is a prophetic book, meaning telling us things that will happen in the FUTURE, but still tells us things from the PAST and PRESENT (read verse Rev 1:19). You mention the conflict with the “time line”, this verse answers your question. Verse 19 is a general outline of Revelation with MANY INSERTIONS. (For further explanation see the paragraph about heptadic structure of Revelation below).

Also, you mention the confusion in Rev 12:5. By the way that verse is very controversial even among very good scholars. 5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

The Son is Christ. The second half of verse 5, says “caught up” which is the same Greek word for “rapture” as in 1Thes 4:17. G.H. Pember is the first one that brought up that the “child” could ALSO INCLUDE the Body of Christ. Remember that we are talking already about Eschatology, the conclusion of Israel and the conclusion of the whole Bible. Additionally, please notice in order to understand properly the book of Revelation, you have to study the book of Daniel (these 2 books go together) because in this particular case, in between verses 5 and 6 of Rev 12, there is a gap or interval of time; which is the same gap in between verses 25 and 27 of Dan 9. This gap is verse 26. Putting these pieces together you can see the complete picture for this section. It is helpful to keep in mind that the church appeared miraculously in Acts 2 and will disappear (VERY SOON!!) also miraculously through the rapture (1Thes 4:16, 17; 1Cor 15:52), this is why Paul in 1Thes 4:18 says: “comfort one another with these words”, these are good news for the church!! In these Eschatological topics, you have to increase the resolution of your magnifying glass, otherwise you will miss what the Bible is showing us. This is the reason why the Lord Jesus Himself said Mt 5:17,18. W. Lee in his Life Studies teaches to focus on “main points only”, but Mt 5:17,18 says exactly the opposite.

Going back to Rev 12:1-5, verse 1 is explained for us by Jacob in Gen 37:9-11, confirming again that the woman is Israel. Further confirmation that the woman is Israel and NOT the church: Micah 4:9; 5:2; Isa 9:6; Gal 3:16; Jer 31:31; Gen 3:15 (the beginning). Please read carefully each one of the references.

Another helpful thing to be aware when studying the book of Revelation, is to realize the “heptadic structure” For the 7 seals, in between the 6th and the 7th seal there is an insertion which is chp 7. For the 7 trumpets, in between the 6th and the 7th trumpets there is an insertion which are chps 10-14. For the 7 bowls, in between the 6th and the 7th bowls there is an insertion which is chp 16. That means that Rev 12 is an insertion in the sequence of events happening in the book of Revelation (related to timeline).

Finally, a little historical background. The confusion of trying to make the woman, the church in Rev 12; comes from Origen: he started with allegorical interpretations. Then Augustine: he developed Amillennial Eschatology. Then the Medieval church with the quest for power, this led to the Holocaust in Germany and it will happen again in the Great Tribulation.

Interesting, several years ago, Rev 12 is what triggered my search for the Truth including several theologians in addition to the teachings of W. Nee and W. Lee; since both teachings were contradicting each other. Here is the portion of my testimony: I finished reading all the conclusion messages and other books of W. Lee; since I needed to continue studying, I continued with the collected works of W. Nee. Interestingly, I started to see differences in between W. Nee's and W. Lee's ministry. Additionally, since we live in these "last years" or apocalyptic age, I started to study Eschatology or the study of the "end times" ( 33% of the Bible is Prophecy and I knew almost nothing!). It became even more interesting when I was studying Rev 12:1-5 about the great sign of the woman in heaven... W. Lee says that the woman is the church (which is wrong), and W. Nee says the woman is Israel (which is correct). These are two different interpretations, so I wanted to find out which interpretation was correct, according to the whole Bible. (for the rest of my testimony you can see my original post).

I hope this explanation helps some. The proper way to study the Bible and to avoid to be deceived by following the wrong teaching or interpretation is: First to have prayer and relationship with the Author (God) of the Bible (Jn 5:39,40), then we need to take notes as we read and study the Bible (God’s Word), lastly we can check with the commentaries of the theologians; NOT just ONE author, but 3 or 4. And try to understand why the interpretations differ. We need to do our homework and NOT to blindly believe the commentaries, learn from the Berean believers (Act 17:10,11).
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:34 PM   #42
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But this is not what Sola Scriptura means. We need teachers, and footnotes, to come to a proper understanding.
It is called Sola Scriptura, not SOLO Scriptura.
You are absolutely right about needing teachers and footnotes to come to a proper understanding. Notice the BOLD S? Of course, this was a "Freudian slip" of sorts on your part. In the Local Church of Witness Lee only ONE TEACHER counts, and ONE SET OF FOOTNOTES counts. You know that, but you tried to be politically correct. Nice try.

In the Local Church of Witness Lee it is "search the Scriptures ALONG WITH "THE INTERPRETED WORD" (AKA The words of Witness Lee) This is the heart of the matter that you and some others on this board don't want to address. This thread is titled "Major Errors of Witness Lee's Teaching". The biggest error - the error that leads to the acceptance and imbibing of the multitude of all Lee's errors in teaching and practice - is the error that Witness Lee was "the one minister with the one ministry for the age". If this error is accepted, it opens the floodgate for all the other errors of teaching and practice in the movement.

So, when all the dust settles, the main problem - again, one which you and some others refuse to admit, much less address - is that members in the Local Church are forced to be "Sola Lee". Those who question or feel uncomfortable with this dynamic are forced to leave, or suffer in silence (for example if they are not as "absolute" as their spouse, siblings or other LC members).

Nice try on your "google" info on the Bereans. You are nearly clueless bro. If google is your source for Church/Christian/biblical history you are nearly clueless. You're grasping at straws and coming up short. I noticed that you didn't address the verse I cited that totally shoots down your garbage that "The interpretation Paul presented would have been extra biblical for them". You artfully sidestepped this one, my man. Nice try.

I guess I can't really blame you that much. Your source for biblical interpretation is Witness Lee. Your source for Church history (such as it is) is Witness Lee. Your source for everything is Witness Lee. Everything else you post is just stuff a trained monkey could post from google. Go out there, find out what Christians scholars, authors and students have been studying and writing about for hundreds of years....then get back to us.

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Old 07-05-2017, 07:17 PM   #43
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You are absolutely right about needing teachers and footnotes to come to a proper understanding. Notice the BOLD S? Of course, this was a "Freudian slip" of sorts on your part. In the Local Church of Witness Lee only ONE TEACHER counts, and ONE SET OF FOOTNOTES counts. You know that, but you tried to be politically correct. Nice try.
If my source is Witness Lee why am I posting from Don Stewart and Prof Daniel Wallace etc? The stuff I post is not "from Google", that is just a search engine to find the sources and I stay away from the nutters like Jesus-is-savior .com and other KJV-only and conspiracy sites.

The verse you posted says that Paul reasoned from the Scriptures. That is already well established that the Scripture was used. But for Paul to explain about Christ crucified - they did not have the New Testament nor would the Jews have considered it or Paul to be authoritative. This is the extra-biblical revelation Paul was presenting to them.

He would have said something like "There was this man who died a few weeks (months?) ago and he rose from the dead. He is the Messiah that is foretold in the Scripture". Some may have said, "really? But he was a sinner, I saw him eat and drink with tax collectors". Others may have said "he was just a criminal like the rest". So Paul did have to convince them that this guy called Jesus was in fact the Messiah.

There was nothing in their Old Testament that explained everything. They still had to take a leap of faith based upon Paul's words, and could not rely solely upon what the Old Testament said. Unless they were witnesses to the resurrection themselves, they'd have to believe Paul that Christ actually rose from the dead and was not hidden away by his disciples.

An error of the OP is the view that himself and his overly literal interpretation will give him more accuracy than consulting biblical footnote, commentaries etc.

For example his view that in Revelation the woman is Israel and not the Church is already diverging from mainstream protestant, Catholic and Orthodox belief.

In any case, unless you have some kind of proof that the Bereans believed in sola-scriptura and that was the reason they were "more noble", the Bereans were just oral and written -tradition Jews like everyone else.

I note that you are not trying to refute this position, not even using Google. It seems your word alone is authoritative without providing any sources. All you can do is say how I interpret everything according to Lee and saying I am clueless.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:57 PM   #44
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Evangelical "In any case, unless you have some kind of proof that the Bereans believed in sola-scriptura, the Bereans were just oral and written -tradition Jews like everyone else. "

That is a historical fact also.

The believers in the early church had a world view that was framed by the Old Testament and the Second Temple Period Jewish literature. We know this because Jude and Peter both reference some of that literature (book of Enoch). This alone is sufficient proof that the New Testament believers were not just using the Old Testament. Also, Paul charged the believers in Colossae and Laodicea to exchange the letters he sent to them (Colossians 4:16).

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Old 07-05-2017, 08:09 PM   #45
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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Evangelical "In any case, unless you have some kind of proof that the Bereans believed in sola-scriptura, the Bereans were just oral and written -tradition Jews like everyone else. "

That is a historical fact also.

The believers in the early church had a world view that was framed by the Old Testament and the Second Temple Period Jewish literature. We know this because Jude and Peter both reference some of that literature (book of Enoch). This alone is sufficient proof that the New Testament believers were not just using the Old Testament. Also, Paul charged the believers in Colossae and Laodicea to exchange the letters he sent to them (Colossians 4:16).

Drake
Good point. And their old testament was different to ours - theirs contained the "Apocrypha". I can just imagine Paul proving from the book of Enoch to the Berean's that Jesus is the Messiah.

Anyway, I am not arguing against sola scriptura by any means. I am arguing against SOLO scriptura and a somewhat common misconception about the Bereans. "Eph 4:11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,".

Whether we take a literal or allegorical approach or have a footnote free or footnote full bible, it is not the methods and literalness of the scripture which matters but the heart of the person reading it, plus God's Spirit.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:15 PM   #46
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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In any case, unless you have some kind of proof that the Bereans believed in sola-scriptura and that was the reason they were "more noble", the Bereans were just oral and written -tradition Jews like everyone else.

I note that you are not trying to refute this position, not even using Google. It seems your word alone is authoritative without providing any sources. All you can do is say how I interpret everything according to Lee and saying I am clueless.
Just like with the Noah/Ham/Canaan curse, you seem obsessed with arguing points for which the scriptures are entirely silent. The Gospel which Apostle Paul brought to the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and Corinth was entirely based upon all the promises of God concerning the long-awaited Messiah. The entire Old Testament focuses on these promises. The Book of Acts makes this abundantly clear. Read all the gospel messages recorded in this book! Not just Paul's but Peter's also. They all center on the Christ of God.

Who cares whether the Bereans would classify themselves as "sola scriptura?" Who cares whether or not we now have adequate proof concerning classifying the noble Bereans "sola scriptura" or oral- and written-tradition Jews like everyone else?

Isn't this what LSM has long taught us? The plain story of scripture is never enough. We must "recover" the hidden story, that which every other Christian has missed for two millennia. Then once we find this long lost hidden meaning beyond the printed page, we can then proceed to condemn all of poor, poor Christianity for being fallen, degraded, shallow, and blind "moo cows."
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:26 PM   #47
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

Ok, our new friend, "Unregistered Guest" has made a comprehensive reply to Drake. Since he/she is the thread starter, let's give the floor back to him/her for the time being. Drake, when you get a chance, you are welcome to respond. The rest of us, let's hold off.

To Unregistered Guest:
Could you please take a minute and shoot an email requesting registration over to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com? Please include your desired UserName.
This will allow your posts to appear immediately instead of having to go through the delay of the moderation queue. Plus, what could be more prestigious than being a member of our little popcorn stand? It's a win-win deal for everybody!

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Old 07-05-2017, 08:45 PM   #48
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Just like with the Noah/Ham/Canaan curse, you seem obsessed with arguing points for which the scriptures are entirely silent. The Gospel which Apostle Paul brought to the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and Corinth was entirely based upon all the promises of God concerning the long-awaited Messiah. The entire Old Testament focuses on these promises. The Book of Acts makes this abundantly clear. Read all the gospel messages recorded in this book! Not just Paul's but Peter's also. They all center on the Christ of God.

Who cares whether the Bereans would classify themselves as "sola scriptura?" Who cares whether or not we now have adequate proof concerning classifying the noble Bereans "sola scriptura" or oral- and written-tradition Jews like everyone else?

Isn't this what LSM has long taught us? The plain story of scripture is never enough. We must "recover" the hidden story, that which every other Christian has missed for two millennia. Then once we find this long lost hidden meaning beyond the printed page, we can then proceed to condemn all of poor, poor Christianity for being fallen, degraded, shallow, and blind "moo cows."
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Just like with the Noah/Ham/Canaan curse, you seem obsessed with arguing points for which the scriptures are entirely silent. The Gospel which Apostle Paul brought to the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and Corinth was entirely based upon all the promises of God concerning the long-awaited Messiah. The entire Old Testament focuses on these promises. The Book of Acts makes this abundantly clear. Read all the gospel messages recorded in this book! Not just Paul's but Peter's also. They all center on the Christ of God.
I can show an example from scripture where extra-biblical information was required, ie. Scripture alone was not enough.

Read carefully what the eunuch said to Philip in Acts 8:34-35

34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?

In other words the eunuch did not have a clue who the scripture is speaking of.

Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.

Notice how it says Philip began with Scripture, and then told him about Jesus.

There is no way that Ethiopian would know that Jesus was the Messiah based upon the Scripture alone.

Scripture was used, but Philip had to provide extra-biblical information and revelation so that the Eunuch would know that Jesus was the Messiah, and not someone else.

That is all true what you say about the Old Testament. But Paul reasoned with many people from the Scriptures, some listened, some didn't. Why?
Not because their bible's had footnotes and his didn't.

The difference is not how and they used the scripture, literal or otherwise, but whether God's Spirit opened their hearts and minds to receive it, and whether they themselves had open hearts and minds, which is why the Bereans were called "more noble". It was not as if the Bereans chose to throw away their "footnotes" (oral traditions etc) and use Scripture alone.


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Who cares whether the Bereans would classify themselves as "sola scriptura?" Who cares whether or not we now have adequate proof concerning classifying the noble Bereans "sola scriptura" or oral- and written-tradition Jews like everyone else?

Isn't this what LSM has long taught us? The plain story of scripture is never enough. We must "recover" the hidden story, that which every other Christian has missed for two millennia. Then once we find this long lost hidden meaning beyond the printed page, we can then proceed to condemn all of poor, poor Christianity for being fallen, degraded, shallow, and blind "moo cows."
In this instance it's not about recovering lost or hidden meaning. This is about establishing the context.

Just like Philip had to explain to the Eunuch that Jesus was the Messiah (and not someone else) and that Jesus had in fact come (and was not yet to come, as so many Jews believed)... Paul had to explain to the Bereans who Jesus was, and used the Scriptures to do so. There's nothing actually obvious or literal in the Old Testament that specifies that the Messiah would be named Jesus and arrive in the year 0 AD (or whatever their calendar was at the time). Any further information Paul provided them would be classed as extra-biblical interpretation/revelation.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:43 PM   #49
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Why do you keep saying that ALL Jews were not sola scriptura? You could not possibly know this. Are you like Witness Lee, who claimed to be all places at all times, and knew what was taught by every Christian teacher who ever lived? (well, at least since 1945) Really? Are you that far off the deep end? You need to get out more, my friend. Read some Church history from different sources. Make some new mature, knowledgeable Christian friends that can set you straight on some of these crazy notions of yours. And most important and urgent for you - read the Bible without the filter of Local Church/Lee dogma. If you want to spout off so much about the Bereans you need to be a Berean. Why do you think they were called noble? One reason is that they were apparently good listeners. They didn't suppose that they already knew it all.
UntoHim:

I think this is an honest, healthy and great advice that so many brothers and sisters in Christ need to hear, especially those saints that are under a “controlling system” that imparts fear like W. Lee’s local church group or similar groups. Even W. Nee said: “Blessed is the man that considers that he could be wrong”. Also, this good advice from UntoHim, reminded me of Russia, the communist government prohibited their citizens to listen to foreign radio stations and on TV they would show them Africa, their "huts" and their "starving children"; saying this is how it looks like the outside world of Russia. Then after communism collapsed, the citizens realized Russia was 50 years behind the rest of the world, so the Russian citizens started to leave Russia for a better life. Very similar to W. Lee’s group’s practice, they like to say “poor Christianity” showing only the bad examples. May the Lord shine and expose the man-made system that doesn’t belong to Him.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:56 AM   #50
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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I can show an example from scripture where extra-biblical information was required, ie. Scripture alone was not enough.
How then can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those whog bring good news!”
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:56 AM   #51
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Answer: I can see that you are not understanding why I mention Israelology? It is because Israelology plays a big role (83%) in the Bible, since the Bible is a Judeo-Christian Book. Not because everything is Israel, just to be aware of that BIG point that we should consider when studying the Bible. Otherwise you come up with “free” allegories that you find in the Life Studies of W. Lee......

....I hope this explanation helps some. The proper way to study the Bible and to avoid to be deceived by following the wrong teaching or interpretation is: First to have prayer and relationship with the Author (God) of the Bible (Jn 5:39,40), then we need to take notes as we read and study the Bible (God’s Word), lastly we can check with the commentaries of the theologians; NOT just ONE author, but 3 or 4. And try to understand why the interpretations differ. We need to do our homework and NOT to blindly believe the commentaries, learn from the Berean believers (Act 17:10,11).

Unreg,

Thanks for your post. I'm going to respond in three parts. Otherwise a single post to cover different lines of thought will become too unwieldy. The three parts will be Israelology, interpretation of Revelation 12, and what Witness Lee actually taught concerning Israel. A fourth part concerning "allegory" has already been addressed in post #14. If you care to respond to that then please do so otherwise it stands as is.

Israelology: you have made the point several times that "83% of the Bible is related to Israel". At first I thought this was just a statistic you found interesting but since you are repeating it and placing so much value on it I see that it is central to your belief system. Let's have a closer look at that.

No matter how you calculate the 83% the way that you use it is a fallacy in argumentation. It is an Argumentum Ad Numerum and like the Tiny Percentage Fallacy that states "an action that is quite significant in and of itself somehow becomes insignificant simply because it's a tiny percentage of something much larger." Your argument is a Large Percentage Fallacy. By frequently referring to "83% of the Bible is about Israel" you are inflating it's significance based on statistics. For example, the word "law" is mentioned over twice as many times as the word "grace" in the Bible. What does that tell you? Nothing of significance because an argument needs to pivot on something that is relevant not on statistics or numbers.

Secondly, the church was the mystery hid from ages. Colossians 1:26 says "the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations but now has been manifested to His saints". There would be less references in the Bible about the church for that reason alone. Is the church any less significant to God or to us if it were mentioned only 17% of the time in the Bible? Of course not.

I agree on the points you made on how to approach the Bible through prayer study and multiple references. Yet, I think you miss something that is also extremely important. We should not come to the Bible with filters on our glasses. When you approach the Bible thinking that "83% of the Bible is about Israel" you will be looking for confirmation in all that you read. That will cause a bias in your understanding. I believe that you are reading into the scriptures references to Israel any and every chance you get. By taking that approach you will get to 83% whether it is really there or not because your mind directs you to confirm it.

If you believe Israel is the dominant topic in the thought of God, and therefore should be in ours, you should justify this based on the scripture not on statistics and numbers.

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Old 07-06-2017, 07:10 AM   #52
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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Also, this good advice from UntoHim, reminded me of Russia, the communist government prohibited their citizens to listen to foreign radio stations and on TV they would show them Africa, their "huts" and their "starving children"; saying this is how it looks like the outside world of Russia. Then after communism collapsed, the citizens realized Russia was 50 years behind the rest of the world, so the Russian citizens started to leave Russia for a better life. Very similar to W. Lee’s group’s practice, they like to say “poor Christianity” showing only the bad examples. May the Lord shine and expose the man-made system that doesn’t belong to Him.
As someone once said, "Tear down this wall" of fear, and then watch which way the people go.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:30 PM   #53
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I am not the unregistered who began this thread above. I am a newcomer. I read with interest his interpretation of the woman in Revelation. Of course it is not his and I do not do mean to imply that it is only his but just that he is writing it here. Many years ago when I first encountered the church they shared with me that the woman was the church and that the child that she brought forth was the stronger part of her. This stronger part was supposed to be the group of Overcomers in the church.

As a woman, let me say that I found this to be odd. The children that we bear are never a part of us. They are in us but they are not a part of us. I don't know a single woman who has ever said when she gave birth to a son that she gave birth to the stronger part of her. Each child has its own spirit and soul and of course its own body and its own blood supply. Two separate lives are living inside of a woman with child. Again, a baby in the womb is not a part of the woman and so she cannot say that it is the stronger part of her. This is basic biology. So saying that the church gives birth to the stronger part of her struck me as being absurd.

In the denomination that I grew up in, which was very Bible centered, we believed that the woman was interpreted for us by Joseph's dream and Jacob's following interpretation. We always believed that this woman was Israel and that the child that she gave birth to was Christ but because prophecy is pattern, this pattern would also unfold for the church at the predetermined time when the church age was over. But it would be the entire church. The weak and the strong both would go.

We believed that the dragon then turned to destroy the remnant of the Jews because his last hope is to be able to destroy the remnant before they cry out to Jesus Christ acknowledging him as Messiah thereby causing Christ to return to the Earth to deal with the Antichrist.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:15 PM   #54
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Great post. Welcome!

I really hope you and the other unregistered could register on the forun with your own username. It would help the discussion.

I would like to hear more from you, since this is a difficult subject to understand.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:14 PM   #55
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Thank you, this is very clear. WL seemed too focused on the "stronger" ones. What bothers me about this is that the "stronger" Christians are the "meek", they are the ones who humble themselves as a child. So it is not helpful to describe them as "the stronger ones". This description seems contrary to so much of the Bible.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:50 PM   #56
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Unreg,

Thanks for your post. I'm going to respond in three parts. Otherwise a single post to cover different lines of thought will become too unwieldy. The three parts will be Israelology, interpretation of Revelation 12, and what Witness Lee actually taught concerning Israel. A fourth part concerning "allegory" has already been addressed in post #14. If you care to respond to that then please do so otherwise it stands as is.

Israelology: you have made the point several times that "83% of the Bible is related to Israel". At first I thought this was just a statistic you found interesting but since you are repeating it and placing so much value on it I see that it is central to your belief system. Let's have a closer look at that.

No matter how you calculate the 83% the way that you use it is a fallacy in argumentation. It is an Argumentum Ad Numerum and like the Tiny Percentage Fallacy that states "an action that is quite significant in and of itself somehow becomes insignificant simply because it's a tiny percentage of something much larger." Your argument is a Large Percentage Fallacy. By frequently referring to "83% of the Bible is about Israel" you are inflating it's significance based on statistics. For example, the word "law" is mentioned over twice as many times as the word "grace" in the Bible. What does that tell you? Nothing of significance because an argument needs to pivot on something that is relevant not on statistics or numbers.

Secondly, the church was the mystery hid from ages. Colossians 1:26 says "the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations but now has been manifested to His saints". There would be less references in the Bible about the church for that reason alone. Is the church any less significant to God or to us if it were mentioned only 17% of the time in the Bible? Of course not.

I agree on the points you made on how to approach the Bible through prayer study and multiple references. Yet, I think you miss something that is also extremely important. We should not come to the Bible with filters on our glasses. When you approach the Bible thinking that "83% of the Bible is about Israel" you will be looking for confirmation in all that you read. That will cause a bias in your understanding. I believe that you are reading into the scriptures references to Israel any and every chance you get. By taking that approach you will get to 83% whether it is really there or not because your mind directs you to confirm it.

If you believe Israel is the dominant topic in the thought of God, and therefore should be in ours, you should justify this based on the scripture not on statistics and numbers.

Drake

Answer:

I keep repeating Israelology because you keep asking and I think you are not understanding. Remember the title of my post and the development of the points.

Here I am repeating myself again, because you asked. Israelology: Making very simple math (there are more sophisticated detailed calculations, you should check them out).

OT books 39: 59 %
NT books 27: 41 %
Total books 66: 100 %

Since the NT has 27 books (41 % of the Bible)
But, 58 % of the NT is from the OT.

If you put together the 59 % of the OT and the 58 % of the OT that is in the NT (or the 58 % of the 41 %), you get approximately 83 %.

You can see in every book of the NT, how many quotations are from the OT. After doing this exercise, we will realize why we need to be clear about the customs, habits, culture, practices, etc, etc, …. of Israel, so we can understand correctly the OT and with that correct understanding of the OT, we can understand correctly the NT. If we “ignore Israelology” our understanding of the Scriptures will be wrong. The whole Bible is deliberately engineered and perfectly designed by God as a UNIT. Remember the 66 books constitute the Bible.

The point here is that we should be AWARE of the big role that Israel plays (Rom 9:4; Eph 2:11, 12) in the Bible, why? Because, this very point (absence of Israelology), is one of the reasons why W. Lee’s teachings have errors. W. Lee, applies to the church what is for Israel and also freely allegorizes the Scriptures. It is not a matter to try to say who is more important? Israel or the church? Similarly, Eschatology is 33 % of the Bible. Under W. Lee’s teaching I barely knew Eschatology because he did not teach much, and the little that I knew, all of it was wrong. Then the Bible also has Ecclesiology, and W. Lee’s Ecclesiology also is wrong, because he ignores Israelology and his Eschatology is wrong. All we have to do is to “honor and follow” what the Bible is showing to us. For this, we need to get very familiar with the text, context, structure, where different topics or words are mentioned, recognize what is a parable, a type, an allegory, a pun, a figure of speech (there are over 200 in the Bible), a simile, a metaphor, an analogy, an idiom (which there are many in the Jewish culture used in the Bible), a hypocatastasis, etc., etc., etc., …. There are over 200 in the Bible. If you read Rom 9, 10, 11; you will see how Israel and the church are related. By the way, the one (Paul, THE expert of Ecclesiology) who wrote about the church (Eph 3:3,4); is the same one who wrote 3 chapters (9-11) about Israel in Romans. Israel and the church have different roles in God’s plan (please read Rom 9, 10, 11). It is not a matter to try to say who is more important. But to understand what the Bible is telling us according to the whole counsel of God (Rev 1:1; 19:10; Jn 5:39; Ps 40:7; Mt 5:17, 18; Rom 15:4; Acts 20:27). By the way, Israel and the church belong to God, but please understand, their roles are different. It will be very helpful for yourself, if you check with some “respected” theologians this matter of “Israelology”. I did not come up on my own about this topic. I was ignorant in this respect (because I was studying ONLY W. Lee’s teachings), but thanks to God’s Mercy and Compassion I got to learn some and I am still learning.

The proper way to study the Bible and to avoid to be deceived by following the wrong teaching or interpretation is: First to have prayer and relationship with the Author (God) of the Bible (Jn 5:39,40), then we need to take notes as we read and study the Bible (God’s Word), lastly we can check with the commentaries of the theologians; NOT just ONE author, but 3 or 4. And try to understand why the interpretations differ. We need to do our homework and NOT to blindly believe the commentaries, learn from the Berean believers (Act 17:10,11).

You agree with the above paragraph about being the proper way to study, but in W. Lee’s group most of them when reading or studying the Bible, the first thing they do, is to look at what the footnotes are saying and even many of their leading ones, if there is a verse without a footnote, they say: “I cannot comment on this verse because there is no footnote”.

Again, I am not trying to convince you. All I want to do is to point out some things and show “why” I am saying what I am saying according to the Scriptures. Now everyone should do their homework and come to their own conclusions. Otherwise we will fall “again” in the same deception of W. Lee’s teaching and practices, where only one person knows everything and everyone follows blindly, and only they know everything, and only they are correct. This is all I can do for you at this point, again I am not trying to convince you, I am not claiming I know everything, you don’t have to believe what I say. You make your own conclusions.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:02 PM   #57
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Unregistered said "is critical to rightly understand what the Bible says about the ONENESS of the Spirit (Eph 4:3) which is the ONENESS of Body of Christ (1Cor 12:4-13, especially vs.13), again LITERAL interpretation. According to the Bible, the ONENESS of the Body of Christ is NOT Witness Lee’s teaching or anybody else’s teaching. Therefore, the only foundation of the believers in Christ, is the Spirit and the Word of God. All the believers in Christ should have NO other requirements other than the Spirit and the Word of God and should feel perfectly comfortable with ONLY the Spirit and the Word of God. To insist with other things besides the Spirit and the Word of God, is divisive and not according to the Bible"

Hi Unregistered, read your initial post with great interest, and took a while of consideration before I responded. This is not the time of Israel, but it is the time of the church. If I did the math correctly, 30 years of WL would put you at about 1985. Many of us, I suspect, who were "in the church" in years prior to 1985, have a longing for the "church life" that existed then. Meeting together as believers without taking another name, not under a pastoral system, praying, singing, speaking to one another, eating together at each other's houses, hearing messages from some who labored in the word, gospel meeting, love feasts, sharing verses, experiences, etc. We were meeting as the church and were glad of it. Slowly, Living Stream began heavily influencing every aspect. A good indicator was, at least where I was meeting, the book store used to carry many authors, then it went to W Née and WL, then WL only. At some point, the church in my locality, and probable everywhere had to declare "oneness with LSM", and every aspect of the "church life" was sold out to LSM. If you began in '85 or so, thing were in full speed LSM, and the sweetness of meeting simply as the church was gone.
I suspect many of us who experienced this have a hard time getting involved with Christian groups that exist today- have a hard time committing to such groups, because in the back of our minds, we remember the times when we met, the best we knew how, according to the scripture. The idea of the local church is not WL, the way of fellowship we had then was not WL's. BUT, WL's ministers was a big part of it, that ended up consuming and corrupting the simplicity and sweetness we had. Is is as if the church was robbed from us, similar to, the the carrying away of Israel to Babylon (little allegory there). How can we sing the Lords songs in a strange land?
I suspect, that if those who have control of the "local churches" were to declare tomorrow that they see the error of their ways, and go back to building the walls of Jerusalem---I mean return to a common bible, drop the LSM, let the saints, the word and the Spirit have free course, that most of us would return rejoicing.
Will that happen? Probably not, so in the mean time, the church (all the Christians, and the blessing of oneness) suffers due to lack of vision and practice.

Concerning oneness, there is more to it in what Paul wrote the saints in Ephesus- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father, than just the word and the Spirit. I think you short change the church and the Word and the major importance of the Church in this age by dismissing the church as degraded. The proper local church is not a WL thing but God's habitation.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:10 PM   #58
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Unreg,

Thanks for your post. I'm going to respond in three parts. Otherwise a single post to cover different lines of thought will become too unwieldy. The three parts will be Israelology, interpretation of Revelation 12, and what Witness Lee actually taught concerning Israel. A fourth part concerning "allegory" has already been addressed in post #14. If you care to respond to that then please do so otherwise it stands as is.

Israelology: you have made the point several times that "83% of the Bible is related to Israel". At first I thought this was just a statistic you found interesting but since you are repeating it and placing so much value on it I see that it is central to your belief system. Let's have a closer look at that.

No matter how you calculate the 83% the way that you use it is a fallacy in argumentation. It is an Argumentum Ad Numerum and like the Tiny Percentage Fallacy that states "an action that is quite significant in and of itself somehow becomes insignificant simply because it's a tiny percentage of something much larger." Your argument is a Large Percentage Fallacy. By frequently referring to "83% of the Bible is about Israel" you are inflating it's significance based on statistics. For example, the word "law" is mentioned over twice as many times as the word "grace" in the Bible. What does that tell you? Nothing of significance because an argument needs to pivot on something that is relevant not on statistics or numbers.

Secondly, the church was the mystery hid from ages. Colossians 1:26 says "the mystery which has been hidden from the ages and from the generations but now has been manifested to His saints". There would be less references in the Bible about the church for that reason alone. Is the church any less significant to God or to us if it were mentioned only 17% of the time in the Bible? Of course not.

I agree on the points you made on how to approach the Bible through prayer study and multiple references. Yet, I think you miss something that is also extremely important. We should not come to the Bible with filters on our glasses. When you approach the Bible thinking that "83% of the Bible is about Israel" you will be looking for confirmation in all that you read. That will cause a bias in your understanding. I believe that you are reading into the scriptures references to Israel any and every chance you get. By taking that approach you will get to 83% whether it is really there or not because your mind directs you to confirm it.

If you believe Israel is the dominant topic in the thought of God, and therefore should be in ours, you should justify this based on the scripture not on statistics and numbers.

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Answer:
I keep repeating Israelology because you keep asking and I think you are not understanding. Remember the title of my post and the development of the points.

Here I am repeating myself again, because you asked. Israelology: Making very simple math (there are more sophisticated detailed calculations, you should check them out).
OT books 39: 59 %
NT books 27: 41 %
Total books 66: 100 %
[COLOR=black]Since the NT has 27 books (41 % of the Bible) [COLOR]

But, 58 % of the NT is from the OT.

If you put together the 59 % of the OT and the 58 % of the OT that is in the NT (or the 58 % of the 41 %), you get approximately 83 %.

You can see in every book of the NT, how many quotations are from the OT. After doing this exercise, we will realize why we need to be clear about the customs, habits, culture, practices, etc, etc, …. of Israel, so we can understand correctly the OT and with that correct understanding of the OT, we can understand correctly the NT. If we “ignore Israelology” our understanding of the Scriptures will be wrong. The whole Bible is deliberately engineered and perfectly designed by God as a UNIT. Remember the 66 books constitute the Bible.

The point here is that we should be AWARE of the big role that Israel plays (Rom 9:4; Eph 2:11, 12) in the Bible, why? Because, this very point (absence of Israelology), is one of the reasons why W. Lee’s teachings have errors. W. Lee, applies to the church what is for Israel and also freely allegorizes the Scriptures. It is not a matter to try to say who is more important? Israel or the church? Similarly, Eschatology is 33 % of the Bible. Under W. Lee’s teaching I barely knew Eschatology because he did not teach much, and the little that I knew, all of it was wrong. Then the Bible also has Ecclesiology, and W. Lee’s Ecclesiology also is wrong, because he ignores Israelology and his Eschatology is wrong. All we have to do is to “honor and follow” what the Bible is showing to us. For this, we need to get very familiar with the text, context, structure, where different topics or words are mentioned, recognize what is a parable, a type, an allegory, a pun, a figure of speech (there are over 200 in the Bible), a simile, a metaphor, an analogy, an idiom (which there are many in the Jewish culture used in the Bible), a hypocatastasis, etc., etc., etc., …. There are over 200 in the Bible. If you read Rom 9, 10, 11; you will see how Israel and the church are related. By the way, the one (Paul, THE expert of Ecclesiology) who wrote about the church (Eph 3:3,4); is the same one who wrote 3 chapters (9-11) about Israel in Romans. Israel and the church have different roles in God’s plan (please read Rom 9, 10, 11). It is not a matter to try to say who is more important. But to understand what the Bible is telling us according to the whole counsel of God (Rev 1:1; 19:10; Jn 5:39; Ps 40:7; Mt 5:17, 18; Rom 15:4; Acts 20:27). By the way, Israel and the church belong to God, but please understand, their roles are different. It will be very helpful for yourself, if you check with some “respected” theologians this matter of “Israelology”. I did not come up on my own about this topic. I was ignorant in this respect (because I was studying ONLY W. Lee’s teachings), but thanks to God’s Mercy and Compassion I got to learn some and I am still learning.

The proper way to study the Bible and to avoid to be deceived by following the wrong teaching or interpretation is: First to have prayer and relationship with the Author (God) of the Bible (Jn 5:39,40), then we need to take notes as we read and study the Bible (God’s Word), lastly we can check with the commentaries of the theologians; NOT just ONE author, but 3 or 4. And try to understand why the interpretations differ. We need to do our homework and NOT to blindly believe the commentaries, learn from the Berean believers (Act 17:10,11).

You agree with the above paragraph about being the proper way to study, but in W. Lee’s group most of them when reading or studying the Bible, the first thing they do, is to look at what the footnotes are saying and even many of their leading ones, if there is a verse without a footnote, they say: “I cannot comment on this verse because there is no footnote”.
Again, I am not trying to convince you. All I want to do is to point out some things and show “why” I am saying what I am saying according to the Scriptures. Now everyone should do their homework and come to their own conclusions. Otherwise we will fall “again” in the same deception of W. Lee’s teaching and practices, where only one person knows everything and everyone follows blindly, and only they know everything, and only they are correct. This is all I can do for you at this point, again I am not trying to convince you, I am not claiming I know everything, you don’t have to believe what I say. You make your own conclusions.
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:55 AM   #59
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.. in W. Lee’s group most of them when reading or studying the Bible, the first thing they do, is to look at what the footnotes are saying and even many of their leading ones, if there is a verse without a footnote, they say: “I cannot comment on this verse because there is no footnote”.
Some years ago I was in discussion of the Christian experience with an LC elder and a rank-and-file LC brother. I mentioned something that had touched me deeply from a set of verses, which had no RecV footnote or commentary. The elder simply looked straight ahead, mouth closed. The LC brother also froze because the elder didn't give him an opening. We sat there, quiet and motionless, for some time.

They couldn't deny that the point I had made was from the "clear words" in front of us, as Witness Lee used to say. But Lee hadn't made my point, so they couldn't receive it. But they couldn't argue against it, either. So they sat there.

Eventually one of us spoke on something else, and the conversation continued. But it was rather subdued after that. The "mutuality" had been damaged. I was apparently an independent thinker, and not a program zealot.

What was strange to me, was that my point wasn't on something obscure, but was directly related to the very person of Christ and His journey on earth, and His heart of love, and subsequent return in triumph and glory to the Father's house. But Lee hadn't commented, so neither could we. It could hardly have been any more wonderful, but to them it couldn't exist. (Even though they couldn't say that it didn't exist).
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:08 AM   #60
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Jesus Lover "Finally I took the time to register. My user name is : JesusLover. Hopefully this will make things easier."

It should. Thanks.

Concerning Israel = 83%.... this is totally irrelevant. It is a fallacy argument. You have not established that doing a word or subject count as a valid method of interpretation of the Bible.It is however an Argumentum Ad Numerum or a Large Percentage Fallacy and neither are valid. There are twice as many references to law in the Bible than there is to grace. And that means nothing either. The church was hid from ages so of course there is going to be less material on that topic in the Bible. Is Israel an important topic in the Bible? Yes of course! But you are trying to convince the reader that Israel is the dominant topic in the Bible because it is mentioned more frequently according to your math.

JesusLover " You can see in every book of the NT, how many quotations are from the OT. After doing this exercise, we will realize why we need to be clear about the customs, habits, culture, practices, etc, etc, …. of Israel, so we can understand correctly the OT and with that correct understanding of the OT, we can understand correctly the NT. If we “ignore Israelology” our understanding of the Scriptures will be wrong. The whole Bible is deliberately engineered and perfectly designed by God as a UNIT. Remember the 66 books constitute the Bible.

Thanks for the reminder that there are 66 books in the Bible.

I probably agree with most of what you are saying in the above. I will leave it to you to explain to the group which customs, habits, culture, practices of Israel we need to understand to correctly understand the New Testament at the appropriate moments. However, I and certainly Witness Lee never ignored Israel. It's one thing to ignore Israel in the Bible it's quite another to place it as the most important topic of the Bible. You apparently are doing the latter.


JesusLover "The point here is that we should be AWARE of the big role that Israel plays (Rom 9:4; Eph 2:11, 12) in the Bible, why? Because, this very point (absence of Israelology), is one of the reasons why W. Lee’s teachings have errors. W. Lee, applies to the church what is for Israel..."

Ok, we are AWARE. Please be more specific about the absence of Israel in Witness Lee's teachings that have errors. I looked at the verses you cited above in Romans and Ephesians and Witness Lee addresses the points about Israel in their proper context. When you say that Witness Lee applies to the church what is for Israel what exactly are you referring to? Chapter and verse please.

JesusLover " By the way, Israel and the church belong to God, but please understand, their roles are different. It will be very helpful for yourself, if you check with some “respected” theologians this matter of “Israelology”. I did not come up on my own about this topic"

Yes, the "roles" of the Church and Israel are different and their times are apportioned by God. The times apportioned for Israel are articulated in the framework of Daniels 70 weeks. This is all covered in Witness Lee's teachings . If you think he left something out or misapplied something to the church that exclusively belongs to Israel then you will need to point that out specifically instead of just using generalizations . And yes I have read some of Fruchtenbaum's material and listened to him speak.

JesusLover "Again, I am not trying to convince you. All I want to do is to point out some things and show “why” I am saying what I am saying according to the Scriptures"

You have not yet shown specific examples from the Scriptures showing the errors in the writings of Witness Lee concerning Israel. If you have specific examples where Witness Lee appropriated things that were just for Israel and applied them to the church then feel free to list them here now. What are they?

Drake
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:53 AM   #61
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Here I am repeating myself again, because you asked. Israelology: Making very simple math (there are more sophisticated detailed calculations, you should check them out).
OT books 39: 59 %
NT books 27: 41 %
Total books 66: 100 %
[COLOR=black]Since the NT has 27 books (41 % of the Bible) [COLOR]

But, 58 % of the NT is from the OT.

If you put together the 59 % of the OT and the 58 % of the OT that is in the NT (or the 58 % of the 41 %), you get approximately 83 %.
Yes, I understand your math and it is fatally flawed. What is this 58% of the OT that is in the NT? Is it the genealogy of Jesus showing us that Jesus is the Messiah, the one we should listen to, the one that the OT was pointing to? That doesn't weight the Bible towards the OT, it tilts it toward the NT.

Or is it all the verses where the Pharisees quoted OT laws about stoning sinners only to be rebuffed by Jesus. Once again, this does not tilt the NT towards an OT understanding, rather it tilts the Bible to seeing the OT through the eyes of Jesus.

Or is it the reference to Jesus as the lamb of God. All of the verses that demonstrate that Jesus is the fulfillment of the OT promises. Once again, this doesn't tilt the Bible towards Israelogy, rather it shows the NT was a type and shadow of the coming Jesus and the Church.

Your % of verses may be correct, but your interpretation of this tilting the understanding of the Bible to Israelogy and the OT is fatally flawed.
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:32 PM   #62
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Hi JesusLover,
You say "The proper way to study the Bible and to avoid to be deceived by following the wrong teaching or interpretation is: First to have prayer and relationship with the Author (God) of the Bible (Jn 5:39,40), then we need to take notes as we read and study the Bible (God’s Word), lastly we can check with the commentaries of the theologians; NOT just ONE author, but 3 or 4. And try to understand why the interpretations differ. We need to do our homework and NOT to blindly believe the commentaries, learn from the Berean believers (Act 17:10,11)."

In reading Ephesians 3, it seems the major thing on God's and the apostle Paul's heart, is not Israel, but the church. There is a lot I can find fault with in WL's ministry, but his tenacity to speak about the church was not one of them. Granted, the content he may have filled the church container with grew increasingly off key, but I would be hard pressed to find any commentator or preacher who cared as much about bringing out the scriptural grandness of the church, with a desire to see it in its fruition. Your studiousness is to be commended, but I don't see Israelology, nor eschatology as the primary Christian focus, but the church-we need the same heart as the apostle Paul! I would think
You seem to dismiss the weightiness of the church in this age with its degradation. I, for one, don't want to relegate my Christian life to sitting in pews or chairs, being entertained, shaking a few hands, and talking about football scores, just because all churches have problems. The modern American "church" is pathetic. WL brought out so much concerning the church that most commentators pass over; we shouldn't throw it out just because he ended up corrupting the very thing he worked to build.
I would think a clear understanding and practice of the church is needed before one can understand Israelology, not the other way around. If after 2000 years, we are left with the kind of church practice we see predominate in the US, I would say at the least, the average theologian and bible commentaries have failed miserably.
When the local church morphed into LSM affiliates, may of us left, and left as well the whole concept of the church and the church practice in the hand of the charlatans. I think it's time for the "recovery" of the church!
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:23 PM   #63
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Hi UntoHim,

I see no one here bothering to prove that Bereans were sola scriptura.
To be honest, I never heard anyone say that they were.

And that is not a problem to me. I would argue against the most stringent versions of sola scriptura.

But at the same time, I cannot accept anything that stands in opposition to what the Bible actually says. That does not mean that the Bible has all the answers, but anyone's alleged additional answers cannot contradict what is in the Bible.

And I take it a step further. I acknowledge that many people sense "speaking" to them about certain things that are not taught within the scripture clearly one way or the other. In those cases, I do not have problems with holding to such a thing personally. But to insist upon it as true to the extent that everyone should see it and agree is different.

Given the kind of preaching that Paul was doing, since he said that he was showing in the scriptures where it was said that the Christ would have to suffer (among other things), it does not take a "sola scriptura" approach to the scripture to assess Paul's statements. Just a sound mind to look at the particular passages. He claims it is from the scripture, so you look at the scripture and check him out.

The whole effort is predicated on the assumption that the scripture is worth looking at. Paul was using it as his source, and the Bereans confirmed it to be true. They didn't have to be of a "sola scriptura" mindset to do that. Just rational enough to confirm that what Paul claimed was in scripture was, in fact, in there.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:00 AM   #64
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To be honest, I never heard anyone say that they were.

And that is not a problem to me. I would argue against the most stringent versions of sola scriptura.

But at the same time, I cannot accept anything that stands in opposition to what the Bible actually says. That does not mean that the Bible has all the answers, but anyone's alleged additional answers cannot contradict what is in the Bible.

And I take it a step further. I acknowledge that many people sense "speaking" to them about certain things that are not taught within the scripture clearly one way or the other. In those cases, I do not have problems with holding to such a thing personally. But to insist upon it as true to the extent that everyone should see it and agree is different.

Given the kind of preaching that Paul was doing, since he said that he was showing in the scriptures where it was said that the Christ would have to suffer (among other things), it does not take a "sola scriptura" approach to the scripture to assess Paul's statements. Just a sound mind to look at the particular passages. He claims it is from the scripture, so you look at the scripture and check him out.

The whole effort is predicated on the assumption that the scripture is worth looking at. Paul was using it as his source, and the Bereans confirmed it to be true. They didn't have to be of a "sola scriptura" mindset to do that. Just rational enough to confirm that what Paul claimed was in scripture was, in fact, in there.
So I gather by your post that you might accept that one can be a "noble Berean" by reading the bible + Lee's footnotes. That is, just because we use Lee's footnotes does not mean we are not noble Bereans. Just because the Bereans were not "sola scriptura" does not mean they are not noble.

We do confirm that what Lee claimed in the footnotes is there. For example, we have confirmed that what Lee says about the ground of the church is there. Overwhelmingly there is one church per city, and the word churches (plural) is never used in the context of a single city. Furthermore, denominations are non-existent.

The only defense one can come up with against this is the prescriptive vs descriptive argument that many have stated before. JesusLover seems to like sums and rational approaches. He's playing the 83% odds on Israelogy, and a descriptive one at that, but our odds are 99% on the ground of the church, and 100% concerning denominations.
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Old 07-08-2017, 04:09 AM   #65
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We do confirm that what Lee claimed in the footnotes is there. For example, we have confirmed that what Lee says about the ground of the church is there. Overwhelmingly there is one church per city, and the word churches (plural) is never used in the context of a single city. Furthermore, denominations are non-existent.

The only defense one can come up with against this is the prescriptive vs descriptive argument that many have stated before. JesusLover seems to like sums and rational approaches. He's playing the 83% odds on Israelogy, and a descriptive one at that, but our odds are 99% on the ground of the church, and 100% concerning denominations.
Obviously you haven't read any posts about the the so-called ground of the church. John's Revelation describes calling a church by the name of the town, but overwhelmingly Paul's epistles describe no such practice.

There are no denominations, perhaps, but overwhelmingly there are no LSMs, BFAs, FTTs, DCPs, ETCs in the Bible either.

Like OBW said, either you can't read, or you play stupid.
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:09 PM   #66
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Jesus Lover "Finally I took the time to register. My user name is : JesusLover. Hopefully this will make things easier."

It should. Thanks.

Concerning Israel = 83%.... this is totally irrelevant. It is a fallacy argument. You have not established that doing a word or subject count as a valid method of interpretation of the Bible.It is however an Argumentum Ad Numerum or a Large Percentage Fallacy and neither are valid. There are twice as many references to law in the Bible than there is to grace. And that means nothing either. The church was hid from ages so of course there is going to be less material on that topic in the Bible. Is Israel an important topic in the Bible? Yes of course! But you are trying to convince the reader that Israel is the dominant topic in the Bible because it is mentioned more frequently according to your math.

JesusLover " You can see in every book of the NT, how many quotations are from the OT. After doing this exercise, we will realize why we need to be clear about the customs, habits, culture, practices, etc, etc, …. of Israel, so we can understand correctly the OT and with that correct understanding of the OT, we can understand correctly the NT. If we “ignore Israelology” our understanding of the Scriptures will be wrong. The whole Bible is deliberately engineered and perfectly designed by God as a UNIT. Remember the 66 books constitute the Bible.

Thanks for the reminder that there are 66 books in the Bible.

I probably agree with most of what you are saying in the above. I will leave it to you to explain to the group which customs, habits, culture, practices of Israel we need to understand to correctly understand the New Testament at the appropriate moments. However, I and certainly Witness Lee never ignored Israel. It's one thing to ignore Israel in the Bible it's quite another to place it as the most important topic of the Bible. You apparently are doing the latter.

JesusLover "The point here is that we should be AWARE of the big role that Israel plays (Rom 9:4; Eph 2:11, 12) in the Bible, why? Because, this very point (absence of Israelology), is one of the reasons why W. Lee’s teachings have errors. W. Lee, applies to the church what is for Israel..."

Ok, we are AWARE. Please be more specific about the absence of Israel in Witness Lee's teachings that have errors. I looked at the verses you cited above in Romans and Ephesians and Witness Lee addresses the points about Israel in their proper context. When you say that Witness Lee applies to the church what is for Israel what exactly are you referring to? Chapter and verse please.

JesusLover " By the way, Israel and the church belong to God, but please understand, their roles are different. It will be very helpful for yourself, if you check with some “respected” theologians this matter of “Israelology”. I did not come up on my own about this topic"

Yes, the "roles" of the Church and Israel are different and their times are apportioned by God. The times apportioned for Israel are articulated in the framework of Daniels 70 weeks. This is all covered in Witness Lee's teachings . If you think he left something out or misapplied something to the church that exclusively belongs to Israel then you will need to point that out specifically instead of just using generalizations . And yes I have read some of Fruchtenbaum's material and listened to him speak.

JesusLover "Again, I am not trying to convince you. All I want to do is to point out some things and show “why” I am saying what I am saying according to the Scriptures"

You have not yet shown specific examples from the Scriptures showing the errors in the writings of Witness Lee concerning Israel. If you have specific examples where Witness Lee appropriated things that were just for Israel and applied them to the church then feel free to list them here now. What are they?

Drake
Answer:

I can see that you are not understanding about Israelology. The exercise of showing you the 83% is a very, very small part of the subject. You did not know where the 83% came from, so I showed you in a simple way. But that is only showing you how much (83%) of the “Biblical text” talks about Israel. Please understand that Israelology is not a “percentage”. Moving forward to the “real” subject. If you remember the “title” of my post is: “MAJOR” Errors of W. Lee’s Teaching. That means that Israelology is a “major” topic that W. Lee did not consider in his Life Studies. He spoke about Israel, but he applied to the church what is for Israel with the wrong interpretation. Pick up any Life Study of the Old Testament and you will see that he ends up sharing from the New Testament bringing the “church in”.

I already mentioned, I mention again: “All we have to do is to “honor and follow” what the Bible is showing to us. For this, we need to get very familiar with the text, context, structure, where different topics or words are mentioned, recognize what is a parable, a type, an allegory, a pun, a figure of speech (there are over 200 in the Bible), a simile, a metaphor, an analogy, an idiom (which there are many in the Jewish culture used in the Bible), a hypocatastasis, etc., etc., etc., …. There are over 200 in the Bible.”

This means if you are studying the Old Testament, you have to be very familiar with the Jewish culture, which W. Lee, was not familiar. Instead, he made up his own allegory, besides that, he put an allegory where there is no allegory. Here there are two specific examples: I already mentioned about this, I am going to mention again:

I would like to point out a few wrong allegories that W. Lee makes in his teaching:

*Boiling a young goat in the mother’s milk (Exo 23:19; 34:26; Deut 14:21) 19“You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God. “You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother”.

W. Lee’s explanation in his Life Study is: “Now we come to the last condition, a condition that may seem very strange: “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” (v. 26b). You may be surprised at the significance of the requirement not to boil a kid in its mother’s milk. This requirement indicates or typifies that we should not seethe young believers with the milk of the word; that is, we should not “boil” them with the word of life that is for nourishment (1 Pet. 2:2).

In ancient times some people probably did have the practice of boiling a kid in its mother’s milk. This may have been regarded as a delicious dish. As we have indicated, we should not use the milk of the word to seethe young believers. This is to use the milk of the word, which is for life- nourishment, to kill the young ones. The point here is that the milk of the Word of God is for nourishment”(1Pet 2:2; Heb 5:12, 13; 1Cor 3:2).

W. Lee in his explanation above gives his “free allegory” made up by himself, additionally he gives references (1Pet 2:2; Heb 5:12, 13; 1Cor 3:2) that have NOTHING to do with the subject verses (Exo 23:19; 34:26; Deut 14:21), except ALL these verses have the word “milk” in common.

The “correct” Biblical way to understand “Boiling a young goat in the mother’s milk” is that it refers to the superstitious custom of the Canaanites at harvest time in which a young goat was boiled in its mother’s milk as a charm to increase the fruitfulness of their crops.

God didn’t want His people copying the pagan fertility rituals instead of trusting Him to bless their harvest. This commandment is the basis for the present Jewish custom of not mixing milk products with meat.

This is according to Israelology, Jewish culture, because the Bible is a Judeo-Christian book.

Another example:

*Eating poisonous gourds (2King 4:38-41)

38When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” 39Then one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, for they did not know what they were. 40So they poured it out for the men to eat. And as they were eating of the stew, they cried out and said, “O man of God, there is death in the pot.” And they were unable to eat. 41But he said, “Now bring meal.” He threw it into the pot and said, “Pour it out for the people that they may eat.” Then there was no harm in the pot.

Do you think this portion of the Word says that many of today's Christian writings are "poisonous gourds"?

The following is what Witness Lee says in his Life Study about this:

Many of the teachings in today's Christianity are "poisonous gourds." Some Christian books are good, but many are not pure. We have recommended certain writings by Andrew Murray, Madame Guyon, Brother Lawrence, and others. We have especially recommended Andrew Murray's masterpiece The Spirit of Christ, as well as God's Plan of Redemption by Mary E. McDonough and Life on the Highest Plane by Ruth Paxton. Among us we also have the ministry of Brother Nee. Brother Nee's ministry was rejected by the Western missionaries in his youth, but today his ministry is known by seeking Christians throughout the world. By the Lord's mercy and grace, in the last seventy years nearly all the crucial, important revelations of the Bible have been covered in Watchman Nee's ministry and my ministry. I would urge you to pay attention to these pure and healthy things and not waste your time collecting "poisonous gourds".

Again, W. Lee in his explanation above gives his “free allegory” made up by himself, and he recommends himself by saying that “in the last seventy years nearly ALL the crucial, important revelations of the Bible have been covered in Watchman Nee's ministry and my ministry”.

The “correct” Biblical way to understand this section (2King 4:38-41), is to realize that the Bible says what it means and means what it says. At this point I would like to share with you a “golden rule of interpretation” a dear brother said: “When plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense, lest you end up in nonsense”.

Probably you don’t notice, but we are going in vicious circles, and I can understand, because the topics that we are talking about are not big topics in the Bible, but “huge”; Israelology, Eschatology and Ecclesiology. In my case after studying for several years, I realized these big topics and I compared to what I was taught by W. Lee and I could see the “Major Errors of his teaching”. Here so far, we are “trying to start” talking about Israelology. Actually, you brought up this point. You said that you read some of Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum. I would suggest to slow down and if you could take your time to read about Israelology since it is such a big topic and fundamental. Because so far, mainly what I have been doing is to point out the topics, and saying: “do your homework”. I wish I could, but I don’t have the time to write everything, already very good respected theologians have done this. Because of the absence of Israelology in W. Lee’s teaching I said: “the Bible has 66 Books”, because he emphasizes the New Testament, even his “great book” is called: “God’s New Testament Economy”. Why? Because W. Lee follows the “Dispensationalists” who mainly focus in the age or dispensation where they are at. For W. Lee, he mainly focused in the “church age”, and he made the church the main thing. Emphasizing too much in only in the church age. The Bible shows the dispensation of: the law, grace, after the church is raptured to the air (1 Thes 4:17) comes the last week of Dan 9:27 which are 7 years to deal ONLY with Israel on the earth, then comes the dispensation of the Millennium. But W. Lee makes the main thing the church age. Even there are some hyper-dispensationalist saying that we, the believers of the church age, have to read only Paul’s epistles, because only Paul’s epistles are written to the church and the rest of the Bible is for Israel. W. Lee’s teaching is not as severe as hyper-dispensationalism, but it has some tendency and he follows dispensationalism.

Probably this is the way to go, you read by yourself about Israelology, first hand, and get the whole picture. For now, I would like to show you some bits and pieces of Israelology by the author you mentioned (Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum).

ISRAELOLOGY

Part 1 of 6
by

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

INTRODUCTION

The issue of Israel is one of the major points of division in evangelical

theology today. This is true both among Arminians and

Calvinists. An evangelical theologian's view of Israel will determine

whether he is a Covenant Theologian or a Dispensationalist. It will also

determine what kind of Covenant Theologian he is: postmillennial,

amillennial, or premillennial.

The question of Israel is central for a proper Systematic Theology.

Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, which contains the first

Systematic Theology in Church history, expounds on Israel in the center

of his epistle devoting three full chapters (9-11) out of sixteen to

this topic. Yet, while there are many Systematic Theologies today that

have systematized all areas of biblical truth, none thus far has developed

an Israelology as part of their system. These articles will survey

what the concerns of an Israelology would be.1

THE PLACE OF ISRAELOLOGY

IN SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY

In every work of Systematic Theology, Israelology is found

missing as a major division. In all Systematic Theologies, what exists

of Israelology will only be partially developed. In Covenant Theology,

the development will be minimal. In Dispensationalism, Israelology is

only fully developed in its future aspect, not in its past and present aspects.

Logically, Israelology must come just before Ecclesiology [the

study the Church] and follow the same development. Both are a people

of God but, historically, Israel precedes the Church. As Ecclesiology

has been developed in its past, present, and future aspects, so must Israelology

be. Only then will Systematic Theology be truly complete.

Israel and the Tribulation

The Purposes of the Tribulation

Two of the purposes for the Tribulation relate to Israelology.

The first purpose is to bring about a worldwide preaching of the

Gospel (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7:1–17). Revelation 7:1–8

gives God’s means for accomplishing the Tribulation’s second

purpose. Verses 1–3, commands the four angels commissioned to

bring judgment on the earth to wait until a specific number of

servants are sealed. It protects them so that they cannot be harmed,

either by the judgments poured out by God or by the persecutions

of believers. They are also sealed for service, for they are the ones

who will proclaim the message of the Gospel in the Tribulation.


Verse 4 clearly identifies those sealed as 144,000 Jews.3 Their

preaching the Gospel fulfills Matthew 24:14’s prophecy:

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole

world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the

end come.4

Revelation 7:9–17 gives the results of their ministry. In verses 9–

10, John saw a multitude of Gentiles from every nationality and

language group standing before God’s throne. Verse 9 says that

the salvation of these myriads of Gentiles comes after these

things (the sealing of the 144,000 Jews). Their salvation is the



3 Revelation 7:5–8 clearly identifies the 144,000 as Jews. It lists twelve tribes

and specifies that 12,000 are chosen from each listed tribe. Such careful

delineation indicates that none are Gentiles. Despite much speculation to the

contrary, no exegetical or theological basis exists to support Covenant

Theology’s view that they symbolize the Church.

4 Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture citations are taken from the American

Standard Version (ASV), 1901.



effect of the 144,000’s ministry. After describing the worship of

the One on the throne (vv. 11–12), the text proceeds to identify

these Gentiles who are around the throne (vv. 13–14) as those

who have come out of the Great Tribulation. They are saved

Gentiles, for they have washed their robes in the blood of the

Lamb. Due to the massive persecution that these Tribulation

saints have suffered, this passage concludes with a description of

the comfort they now enjoy in the presence of God (vv. 15–17).

The Tribulation’s second purpose is to break the power or the

will of the Jewish nation. Daniel 11:36–12:4 envisions the

conditions that will face the prophet’s people (Israel) during the

Tribulation. Daniel 12:5–7 asks how long it will continue. It will

last for three-and-a-half years. This passage then states a goal of

the Tribulation: to break the power or the will of the Jewish

nation. The Tribulation will not end until God brings about a

national regeneration by breaking the will of the holy people.

Ezekiel 20:33–38 reveals (through a simile with the Exodus from

Egypt) how God will bring about regeneration. After God gathers

the Jews from around the world, He will initiate a period of

judgment (i.e., the Tribulation). This judgment will purge the

rebels from among the Jewish people; the remainder will turn to

the Messiah. Only then will He allow the whole nation, a

regenerate nation, to enter millennial Israel under King Messiah.


In Mt 24:14, says: “this gospel of the kingdom” W. Lee teaches in his footnote 14’one, “that includes the gospel of grace (Act 20:24)”. Verse 14, is NOT saying anything about the “gospel of grace”, plus he adds Act 20:24, which has nothing to do with Mt 24:14. Also in his chart in Mt 5 with the circles: “Chart showing the difference between the kingdom of the heavens and the kingdom of God”, W. Lee, makes the church, part of the kingdom of the heavens, which is wrong. The kingdom of the heavens is the Millennium or the Davidic kingdom (Lk 1:32, 33; Mt 19:28). Please read these verses because the throne of David is ONLY during the Millennium and NOT during the church age. The same situation in Mt 16:18, 19. In verse 19 says: “the kingdom of the heavens” W. Lee’s footnote says: 19’two; “kingdom of the heavens is used here interchangeably for church”, which again, is wrong. Then W. Lee connects these verses with Rom 14:7 saying: “the genuine church is the kingdom of the heavens in this age”. Rom 14:17, is NOT talking about the “kingdom of the heavens” (which by the way is the Millennium), the whole chapter Rom 14, is talking about how we should receive other believers, please read the CONTEXT.

All the confusion that W. Lee has in his teaching, is because he does NOT properly differentiate Israel from the church according to the Bible, text and context. Israelology is absent of his teaching.



You asked: which customs, habits, culture, practices of Israel we need to understand to correctly understand the New Testament at the appropriate moments? Remember, if you don’t understand the Old Testament properly, your understanding of the New Testament will be incorrect. The Bible is skillfully “designed by God” as a UNIT, meaning what comes “later” depends on what is “before”.



I’ll let the experts with ALL the verses answer that question. As I mentioned, I would like to write these things, but practically I don’t have the time to re-write all the homework I did in these last few years.



The Marriage and Marriage Supper of the Lamb Dr. Renald Showers

Introduction

Where will the Church be during the 70th week of Daniel 9 (the last seven years prior to the Second Coming of Christ, which has been popularly called the Tribulation period)? Several things presented in the Book of the Revelation indicate that the Church will be in Heaven with Christ during that time period. One of those things is the marriage and marriage supper of the Lamb.

The Reference to the Marriage and Marriage Supper of the Lamb
In Revelation 19:7 John recorded part of the loud proclamation of a great multitude in Heaven (vv. 1, 6): "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." Concerning the wife of the Lamb, John continued to write, "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb" (vv. 8-9).

A study of Revelation 5-7; 12-15; 17; 19; 21-22 clearly indicates that the Lamb is Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords who shed His blood to cleanse sinners. Romans 7:4, 2 Corinthians 11:2; and Ephesians 5:22-23 indicates that the wife of the Lamb is the Church. In light of these identifications, it is evident that Revelation 19:7-9 is referring to the marriage of Jesus Christ to the Church and the subsequent marriage supper.

Questions and Views Related to the Marriage and Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Revelation 19:7-9 prompts two major questions: When and where will the marriage and marriage supper of the Lamb take place? At least three answers to these questions have been proposed. First, the marriage will occur when the Church is raptured to meet Christ in the air at His Second Coming, and the marriage supper will take place on earth during the Millennium. Second, the marriage will occur in Heaven when the Church is raptured before the 70th week (Tribulation period), and the marriage supper will take place on earth during the Millennium. Third, the marriage will occur in Heaven when the Church is raptured before the 70th week (Tribulation period), and the marriage supper will take place in Heaven during the seven years of the 70th week.

The Relationship of Revelation 19:7-9 to Jewish Marriage Customs

There are good reasons for being convinced of the third view; but before those reasons are examined, two things should be noted. First, the terms "marriage" and "marriage supper" in Revelation 19 are related to Jewish marriage customs in Bible times.

Second, Jewish marriage customs in Bible times involved three major steps.


The first step was betrothal, the establishment of the marriage covenant that bound the man and woman together as husband and wife (Mal. 2:14; Mt. 1:18-19).

The second step was the taking of the bride or wife by the groom from her house to his father's house (Mt. 25:1-8). "The essence of the marriage ceremony or festivities was the taking of the bride from her father's house and bringing her to the house of the bridegroom or his father." This taking of the bride was usually done at night approximately one year after the betrothal. It involved the consummation of the marriage through physical union of the bride and groom on the first night at the groom's father's house. Since this second step was the essence of the marriage ceremony, it was regarded as the wedding or marriage (Mt. 22:2-13; 25:10). Thus, it is this second step that corresponds to the expression "marriage of the Lamb" in Revelation 19:7.

The third step was the marriage supper or feast to which guests had already been called and assembled. Once the marriage had been consummated by the bride and groom, the wedding guests would feast and make merry for seven days. Thus, the marriage supper lasted for one week (Gen. 29:21-23, 27-28; Jud. 14:1-2, 10-12, 17), and it corresponds to the expression "marriage supper of the Lamb" in Revelation 19:9.

In light of what has been seen, the following conclusions can be drawn concerning the relationship of the three steps of Jewish marriage customs to the marriage of Christ and the Church. First, the betrothal of Christ and the Church is taking place during the present Church age as people trust Jesus Christ to be their Savior (2 Cor. 11:2). Second, in the future Christ will take His bride, the Church, from this world to His Father's house in Heaven when He comes to rapture it (Jn. 14:2-3; 1 Th. 4:13-18). This will be the "marriage of the Lamb." Third, after the Rapture of the Church, the "marriage supper of the Lamb" will take place with the wedding guests who will have already been called and assembled.

Evidences for the Third View

Earlier it was stated that there are good reasons for believing that the marriage of the Lamb will occur in Heaven when the Church is raptured before the 70th week (Tribulation period) and that the marriage supper of the Lamb will take place in Heaven during the seven years of the 70th week. Those reasons will now be examined.

First, normally the wedding or marriage (the second step) did not take place at the home of the bride. "One must remember that the established custom was to hold the wedding in the house of the bridegroom or his parents. The bridegroom fetches the bride and brings her to his house, where the bridal table and chamber are ready. In harmony with this custom, Christ indicated that after preparing living accommodations for His bride in His Father's house in Heaven, He would come from there again and receive His bride unto Himself so that His bride could be where He is (in His Father's house in Heaven) [Jn. 14:2-3]. Christ did not say that He would come and join His bride so that He could be where she is (on the earth). This established marriage custom and Christ's teaching in harmony with it indicate that the Rapture of the Church and marriage of the Lamb will not take place at the Second Coming of Christ, because at His Second Coming Christ will not return to His Father's house in Heaven. Instead, He will come to the earth. Thus, the Rapture of the Church and marriage of the Lamb must take place sometime before the Second Coming of Christ, and the Rapture of the Church and marriage of the Lamb must be separate events from the Second Coming.

Second, in Bible times the marriage was a joyous, festive occasion. The taking of the bride by the groom was characterized by mirth and gladness (Jer. 7:34; 16:9; 25:10; 33:11). Jesus indicated the same thing when He emphasized that it is impossible to mix the joy of a wedding with the mourning of a funeral (Mt.9:15; Mk. 2:19; Lk. 5:34).

It should be noted that the mood at the Second Coming will be just the opposite of the joyous, festive mood of the marriage. The description of the Second Coming in Revelation 19 portrays Christ, not as a happy groom coming with joyful companions to take His bride to His Father's house, but as a terrifying warrior-king coming with armies from Heaven to administer judgment and death upon rebellious humanity. The marriage customs of Bible times provided a festive marriage supper for wedding guests, but the Second Coming will provide a radically different kind of supper-a funeral supper of dead flesh for the fowl of the earth (Rev. 19:17-18, 21).

Since Jesus taught that it is impossible to mix the joy of a wedding with the mourning of a funeral, and since the Second Coming will produce death for a great mass of humanity, it must be concluded that the marriage of the Lamb will not occur at the Second Coming of Christ. The Rapture of the Church and marriage of the Lamb must take place sometime before the Second Coming and must be events separate from the Second Coming.

Third, it was customary for the marriage supper to be held at the home of the groom or his parents, not at the home of the bride. One writer declares, "The bridegroom escorted the whole wedding party, now including the bride and her companions (Ps. 45:14b), to his own or his father's house for the 'marriage supper' (Rev. 19:9)....The wedding feast ...was normally given by the father of the groom." Matthew 22:1-4 indicates the same thing. Concerning the location of the marriage supper, another writer states, "The older tradition points to the house of the groom's parents as the proper place." In harmony with this custom, the marriage supper of the Lamb should take place at Christ's Father's house in Heaven, not at His bride's dwelling place on earth. This militates against an earthly marriage supper of the Lamb.

Fourth, the marriage supper began on the same night that the groom took his bride to his father's house and consummated their marriage through physical union. After the marriage was consummated, the groom announced the consummation to his friend standing outside the bridal chamber (Ps. 19:5; Jn. 3:29), and the announcement was then delivered to the wedding guests who had already assembled at the groom's father's house. Upon receiving this news, the guests began to feast and make merry. Thus, the marriage supper began very shortly after the groom brought his bride to his father's house. In harmony with this custom, the marriage supper of the Lamb must begin very shortly after Christ takes His bride, the Church, to His Father's house in Heaven at the time of the Rapture.

Since, as noted earlier, the Rapture of the Church and the marriage of the Lamb will take place sometime before the Second Coming, and since the Millennium will begin after the Second Coming (Rev. 19-20), it appears that the Millennium will not begin very shortly after Christ takes His bride, the Church, to His Father's house in Heaven at the time of the Rapture, and the marriage supper of the Lamb will not, therefore, take place during the Millennium.
Fifth, the Old Testament teaches that during the Millennium there will be another marriage supper, different from the marriage supper of the Lamb. This millennial marriage supper will be associated with the second marriage of God and the nation of Israel. At the beginning of Isaiah 25:6ff, a passage describing the blessings of the future Millennium, Isaiah declared, "And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees." The word for "feast" in verse 6 is the same as that used for the wedding feast in Judges 14:10, 12, 17. Isaiah's statement indicates that the wedding guests at this millennial marriage supper for God and Israel will be all the other people living in the world at that time. "Isaiah was speaking of a future time when (after God's worldwide judgment) His people in Israel and other nations will feast together in peace and prosperity. This is the 1,000 year reign of Christ." The background behind this millennial marriage feast is as follows: The Old Testament teaches that God betrothed Israel (bound the nation to Himself as His wife) through the Mosaic Covenant at Mount Sinai (Jer. 2:2; Ezek. 16:8), but Israel repeatedly broke the covenant through spiritual adultery (Jer. 3:1-3, 6-9, 20; Ezek. 16:32, 59; Hos. 1:2; 2:2, 5; 3:1; 4:12, 18; 5:3-4; 6:7, 10; 7:4; 8:1; 9:1). God divorced Israel, but not permanently (Isa. 50:1; 54:7-8; Jer. 3:12). He did not regard the divorce as a termination of His marriage with the nation (Jer. 3:14; cp. v. 8).

God has been judging the nation for its adultery (Ezek. 16:38). Through this judgment He will stop Israel's unfaithfulness, calm His fury, and lose His jealousy and anger (Ezek. 16:41-42). When Israel repents in the future at the Second Coming of Christ (Hos. 3:5; 5:15-6:1; Zech. 12:10-14), God will cleanse the nation (Zech. 13:1), love it freely (Hos. 14:1-4), and betroth it to Himself forever (Hos. 2:19-20) through the establishment of an everlasting covenant (Isa. 55:3; 61:8; Jer. 32:40; 50:4-5; Ezek. 16:60-62; 37:21-28). Israel will be adorned like a bride (Isa. 61:10); God will delight in and rejoice over Jerusalem as a groom rejoices over his bride; and the land of Israel will be married to God (Isa. 62:1-5). Thus, at the Second Coming God and Israel will go through betrothal and marriage a second time, and then their marriage supper will take place during the Millennium after the Second Coming.

The following quotation relates the rabbinical view of this Old Testament teaching.

But the final renewal of the covenant between God and the people, intimated by the prophet, was expected by the Rabbis in the days of the Messiah. Thus we often find the view that in these days there will take place the true marriage feast. In this connection the present age is that of engagement, the seven years of Gog will be the period immediately prior to the marriage, the marriage itself will dawn with the resurrection and the great marriage feast will be eaten in the future world.

This future marriage of God and the marriage of the Lamb have two different brides. The marriage of God has the nation of Israel as its bride. As noted earlier, the marriage of the Lamb has the Church as its bride. It appears that these marriages also have two different grooms. As noted earlier, the marriage of the Lamb has Christ (the Messiah) as its groom. By contrast, one scholar asserts, "But nowhere in the OT is the Messiah presented as a bridegroom." This means, then, that the future marriage of God to Israel presented in the Old Testament has God the Father, not the Messiah, as its groom.

Since these marriages have two different brides and grooms, it must be concluded that the future marriage of God to Israel and the marriage of the Lamb are two different marriages. Since these marriages are different, the marriage suppers associated with them must also be different, and it is very probable that these different suppers will take place at different times. Thus, since the marriage supper associated with the future marriage of God to Israel will take place during the Millennium, the marriage supper of the Lamb probably will not occur during the Millennium.

Sixth, as noted earlier, it was customary for the wedding supper of Bible times to last for one week, or seven days. It is the conviction of this writer that, in relationship to the marriage supper of the Lamb, the seven years of the 70th week of Daniel 9 will correlate to that time period. According to this view, then, the Rapture of the Church and marriage of the Lamb will occur before the 70th week (Tribulation period), and the marriage supper of the Lamb will take place in Heaven during the 70th week.

Concluding Considerations

The conclusion drawn from all that has been seen concerning the marriage and marriage supper of the Lamb is that the Church will be in Heaven with Christ, not on the earth, throughout the entire 70th week.

If the marriage and marriage supper of the Lamb are not to take place at the Second Coming and during the Millennium, why are they mentioned in Revelation 19 between the judgment of the great whore and the Second Coming of Christ? Two possible reasons are as follows: First, to draw a contrast between the great whore, with all her impure unions, and the bride of Christ, with her pure union with Christ; and second, to draw a contrast between the blessing of those called to the marriage supper of the Lamb and the judgment of rebels at the Second Coming of Christ.

One side issue should be noted. According to Revelation 19:9, wedding guests will be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and those who are called will be blessed. Since wedding guests are not the bride, it must be concluded that the guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb will not be part of Christ's bride, the Church. But since the guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb will be blessed and will be in Heaven (since that is where the marriage supper of the Lamb will take place), they must be believers (cp. Rev. 20:6). The fact that the guests will be believers, but not part of the Church, forces one to conclude that not all believers of all ages of history belong to the Church. God has groups of believers distinct from the Church. The souls of Old Testament saints will already be assembled in Heaven when the Church arrives there at the time of the Rapture and marriage of the Lamb. Those Old Testament saints will be guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

This article first appeared in June/July 1991 Israel My Glory. Used with permission.

Dr. Showers presently is on the staff of the Church Ministries Division of the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc, and teaches in the Institute of Biblical Studies of that ministry.

You can reach him via fax: 717-464-0333 -- or you may write 111 Susan Avenue Willow Street, PA 17584


Related to Rom 9:4, you said: “I looked at the verses you cited above in Romans and Ephesians and Witness Lee addresses the points about Israel in their proper context”. I don’t know where you looked at, because W. Lee practically says nothing about the real meaning of the verse. W. Lee says: “sonship, right of inheritance. And service, instituted according to the law of Moses”. We need to understand here that Paul is saying:” who are Israelites, to whom belongs the sonship” meaning, the sonship belongs to the Israelites. Then Eph. 2:11, 12. Again W. Lee in verse 11: explains the word circumcision and in verse 12: explains the word citizenship. Without explaining why Paul is saying that? What Paul is saying in Rom 9:4 and Eph 2:11,12; is that the sonship and the citizenship belong to Israel, not to the church. Then Paul continues (I already mention the need to study Rom 9-11) in Rom 11:20, 21; saying : 20Quite right, they (Israel) were broken off for their unbelief, but you (gentiles, church) stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21for if God did not spare the natural branches (Israel), He will not spare you (gentiles, church), either. Paul is saying that everything “originally” was given to Israel as God’s chosen people, but because of Israel’s unbelief, the church is getting the benefit of God’s blessings of sonship, citizenship for NOW, etc., etc.,… (please study the whole chapter Rom 11). Here Paul is showing us the difference and connection between Israel and the church. How the church is getting the benefit that it was originally for Israel, BUT only UNTILL the fullness of the gentiles (the church) comes in. See Rom 11:25. Meaning until the church is raptured, then God will deal with Israel (not the church) for the last week of Dan 9:27, especially the last 3.5 years (great tribulation). The church has a special position and function in God’s plan, even it is called the “hidden mystery” (Eph 3:9, Rom 16:25, 26). But not because the church has a special position and function in God’s plan, you will make the church the center of everything. These verses of Rom 16:25, 26 are connected to the parenthesis or gap of Dan 9:26. Again, see God’s plan in the “whole Bible” (66 books), not only in 27 books or 14 books; but 66 books. The WHOLE Bible is God’s plan.


If you want to find out the errors of W. Lee’s teaching or anybody’s teaching, you have to compare them AGAINST OTHER’S sound teaching, otherwise you remain in the same vicious circle of comparing W. Lee’s teaching against W. Lee’s teaching. I guess this is Einstein’s quotation:” insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.



Please study Dan 9:24-27, the 70 weeks is related ONLY to Israel and Jerusalem. The church has nothing to do in those 70 weeks (please read those verses). W. Lee’s teaching says that the church goes through the great tribulation, except the overcomers. That interpretation, again, is wrong. Due to not knowing Israelology.



I think for now it is a good stopping point, and as I mentioned earlier, please read and study what the experts say about Israelology, do your homework (it is a huge topic), and come to your own conclusions. There is much more… sometimes I don’t know where to start!!; but they say you can eat an elephant, one bite at the time. The Lord bless you, and remember, the point here is to see what the Bible is telling us.
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:59 PM   #67
JesusLover
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Default Re: Israeology

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Yes, I understand your math and it is fatally flawed. What is this 58% of the OT that is in the NT? Is it the genealogy of Jesus showing us that Jesus is the Messiah, the one we should listen to, the one that the OT was pointing to? That doesn't weight the Bible towards the OT, it tilts it toward the NT.

Or is it all the verses where the Pharisees quoted OT laws about stoning sinners only to be rebuffed by Jesus. Once again, this does not tilt the NT towards an OT understanding, rather it tilts the Bible to seeing the OT through the eyes of Jesus.

Or is it the reference to Jesus as the lamb of God. All of the verses that demonstrate that Jesus is the fulfillment of the OT promises. Once again, this doesn't tilt the Bible towards Israelogy, rather it shows the NT was a type and shadow of the coming Jesus and the Church.

Your % of verses may be correct, but your interpretation of this tilting the understanding of the Bible to Israelogy and the OT is fatally flawed.

Answer:


If you do a little research (homework), you will see:


For example: IF, Mt has 1400 verses in the whole book. And IF, there are 500 verses in Mt that are quotations from the Old Testament; for Mt would be: 36 % of the OT. Then, if you do the same thing for every book of the New Testament, you will find out that 58 % of the OT is in the NT. But again, I say to you what I said to Drake: I can see that you are not understanding about Israelology. The exercise of showing the 83% is a very, very small part of the subject. That is only showing you how much (83%) of the “Biblical text” talks about Israel. Please understand that Israelology is not a “percentage”. Moving forward to the “real” subject. If you remember the “title” of my post is: “MAJOR” Errors of W. Lee’s Teaching. That means that Israelology is a “major” topic that W. Lee did not consider in his Life Studies. He spoke about Israel, but he applied to the church what is for Israel with the wrong interpretation. Pick up any Life Study of the Old Testament and you will see that he ends up sharing from the New Testament bringing the “church in”.
For you to have some idea of what Israelology is, I can show you what the experts have to say. Israelology is a huge topic in the Bible. Please read this little portion and then you can do your homework on your own and come to your own conclusions. You don’t have to believe anything I say, that is what Acts 17:11 is telling you.
ISRAELOLOGY
Part 1 of 6
by
Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
INTRODUCTION
The issue of Israel is one of the major points of division in evangelical
theology today. This is true both among Arminians and

Calvinists. An evangelical theologian's view of Israel will determine
whether he is a Covenant Theologian or a Dispensationalist. It will also
determine what kind of Covenant Theologian he is: postmillennial,
amillennial, or premillennial.
The question of Israel is central for a proper Systematic Theology.
Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, which contains the first
Systematic Theology in Church history, expounds on Israel in the center
of his epistle devoting three full chapters (9-11) out of sixteen to
this topic. Yet, while there are many Systematic Theologies today that
have systematized all areas of biblical truth, none thus far has developed
an Israelology as part of their system. These articles will survey
what the concerns of an Israelology would be.1
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Important terms are used throughout this study that should be defined
as part of the introduction.
Systematic Theology
A science which follows a humanly devised scheme or order of
doctrinal development and which purports to incorporate into its system
all the truth about God and His universe from any and every
source.
Systematic Theology may be defined as the collecting,
scientifically arranging, comparing, exhibiting, and de-
1 For a detailed systematized Israelology, see this author's work, Israelology:
The Missing Link in Systematic Theology (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries Press,

fending of all facts from any and every source concerning God and His works.2.

Israelology
This term refers to a subdivision of Systematic Theology incorporating
all theological doctrines concerning the people of Israel.
Israel
As used in this study, the term Israel is viewed theologically as
referring to all descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, also known
as the Jews, the Jewish people, Israelites, Hebrews, etc.3 The term is
not limited to the present political and national state in the Middle East,
which is merely a part of the whole; nor is it limited to those who adhere
to the religion of Judaism only.
THE PLACE OF ISRAELOLOGY
IN SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY
In every work of Systematic Theology, Israelology is found
missing as a major division. In all Systematic Theologies, what exists
of Israelology will only be partially developed. In Covenant Theology,
the development will be minimal. In Dispensationalism, Israelology is
only fully developed in its future aspect, not in its past and present aspects.
Logically, Israelology must come just before Ecclesiology [the
study the Church] and follow the same development. Both are a people
of God but, historically, Israel precedes the Church. As Ecclesiology
has been developed in its past, present, and future aspects, so must Israelology
be. Only then will Systematic Theology be truly complete.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:31 PM   #68
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As used in this study, the term Israel is viewed theologically as
referring to all descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, also known
as the Jews, the Jewish people, Israelites, Hebrews, etc.3 The term is
not limited to the present political and national state in the Middle East,
which is merely a part of the whole; nor is it limited to those who adhere
to the religion of Judaism only.

The part I have most problem with is this paragraph where Israel is defined, as possibly NOT being the present nation of Israel and NOT necessarily being Jewish.

It is a fact that by now many of the genetically related descendants of Abraham are now Muslim or part of the Muslim nations that wish to see Israel's destruction. Some would be in the Taliban and others probably would be in ISIS.

Another downside of this doctrine I see is its relationship and tendency toward Anglo-Israelism and other false doctrines, such that those who find themselves with 1% Hebrew DNA consider themselves to be "God's chosen".

I believe the teaching of the bible is not concerned with genetics but the culture and the religion. Israel must be limited to those who adhere to Judaism or the present nation state of Israel. To me it is absurd to think that a person who is genetically related to Abraham yet is a Muslim, Hindu or pagan today could ever be considered to be part of God's people today just because of their biology.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:31 AM   #69
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Obviously you haven't read any posts about the the so-called ground of the church. John's Revelation describes calling a church by the name of the town, but overwhelmingly Paul's epistles describe no such practice.

There are no denominations, perhaps, but overwhelmingly there are no LSMs, BFAs, FTTs, DCPs, ETCs in the Bible either.

Like OBW said, either you can't read, or you play stupid.
This is an example of taking the bible literally but being completely wrong. If all we had were people like you then we would not know anything. Thankfully we have Greek New Testament experts like Professor Wallace and I quote:

7The early church had but one church in each city or town. Hence, Paul's instruction to Titus is to appoint multiple elders in every church.

https://bible.org/article/who-should...urality-elders
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:53 AM   #70
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If all we had were people like you then we would not know anything.
But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. Matt 12:36
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:09 AM   #71
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This is an example of taking the bible literally but being completely wrong. If all we had were people like you then we would not know anything. Thankfully we have Greek New Testament experts like Professor Wallace and I quote:

7The early church had but one church in each city or town. Hence, Paul's instruction to Titus is to appoint multiple elders in every church.

https://bible.org/article/who-should...urality-elders
Are you saying that Paul's word in Titus proves there was one church in each city? Isn't it problematic that Paul's word in 1Cor proves that there were sects in Corinth. Yet he wrote his letter to "the church in Corinth" even though some were of Peter, Some were of Apollos, some were of Christ, etc. So doesn't Paul's word in his first letter to the Corinthians prove that the term "the church in Corinth" includes every Christian gathering and sect in the city of Corinth?

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:

Doesn't Witness Lee teach that what we see is typical of the church, therefore could also be applied to the 7 churches in Revelation?

The point here is that in a very real sense the Corinthians illustrate the usual, or typical, Christian life, church life, and Body life. Actually, the usual Christian life is just like that of the Corinthians. (Witness Lee, Life Study of 1Corinthians, chapter 1, section 1)
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:47 PM   #72
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But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. Matt 12:36
Don't make me quote all the careless words you have written.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:52 PM   #73
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Paul included all believers in the city but doubt he referred to the sects because he was against that.

I just quoted Wallace. He said that. I'm doing what UntoHim said to do in #42...quote some bible scholars.

So a major New Testament and Greek expert believes each town had only one church:

https://bible.org/article/who-should...urality-elders

7The early church had but one church in each city or town. Hence, Paul's instruction to Titus is to appoint multiple elders in every church.

14 Recall that "elder" = "bishop" and that each town had but one church.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:04 PM   #74
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Paul included all believers in the city but doubt he referred to the sects because he was against that.
You doubt it? He states plainly that the letter is written to those who are referring to themselves as "of Peter" or "of Apollos" or "of Christ" etc. This is the plain, black and white word. Yet at the same time he addresses the letter to "the church in Corinth".

3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?


and the same book

1:1Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's:
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:07 PM   #75
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He's writing to all believers in the city as they are in the one church in the city. This would include those in the sects.

He is not writing to those of the sects in a positive way "greetings to the sect of Peter, greetings to the sect of Apollos". He is against all that. He never recognizes those "denominations".

Anyhow, do you claim to know more than Wallace about this matter?
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:25 PM   #76
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My claim is that there is only one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ. All the treasures of knowledge are hidden in Jesus Christ.

Relying on Wallace or Witness Lee is no different than those who "were of Peter" or "Apollos" or "Paul".

Paul is writing to everyone in Corinth that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, all that are called to be saints, with all in every place that call upon the name of Jesus Christ.

These are the very same ones who in chapter 3 were carnal, babes in Christ. Among them was envy and strife and divisions. They walked as men. They said I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Witness Lee, and I am of Wallace.

In chapter 1 Paul makes it clear he considers all of them to be "the church in Corinth" but in Chapter 3 he also makes it clear that they divided themselves into sects based on allegiance to some doctrine, or man.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:27 PM   #77
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My claim is that there is only one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ. All the treasures of knowledge are hidden in Jesus Christ.

Relying on Wallace or Witness Lee is no different than those who "were of Peter" or "Apollos" or "Paul".

Paul is writing to everyone in Corinth that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, all that are called to be saints, with all in every place that call upon the name of Jesus Christ.

These are the very same ones who in chapter 3 were carnal, babes in Christ. Among them was envy and strife and divisions. They walked as men. They said I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Witness Lee, and I am of Wallace.

In chapter 1 Paul makes it clear he considers all of them to be "the church in Corinth" but in Chapter 3 he also makes it clear that they divided themselves into sects based on allegiance to some doctrine, or man.
I don't see much Berean-like attitude coming from you. No one is talking about giving allegiance to Wallace or following him. I am quoting him as a reliable source of scholarly knowledge, as a teacher that God gifted to the Body of Christ. When you become an expert in NT Greek like him, let me know, I may quote you. Until then, your view is no better than any other amateur theologian interpreting the bible according to SOLO scriptura.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:52 PM   #78
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I don't see much Berean-like attitude coming from you. No one is talking about giving allegiance to Wallace or following him. I am quoting him as a reliable source of scholarly knowledge, as a teacher that God gifted to the Body of Christ. When you become an expert in NT Greek like him, let me know, I may quote you. Until then, your view is no better than any other amateur theologian interpreting the bible according to SOLO scriptura.
No you aren't. You said "do you know more than Wallace". Nothing scholarly about that, no reference to NT Greek. Simply Wallace said it, so there. Very noble of you.

The persons to whom this epistle was directed were the church of God that was at Corinth, sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints. All Christians are thus far sanctified in Christ Jesus, that they are by baptism dedicated and devoted to him, they are under strict obligations to be holy, and they make profession of real sanctity. If they be not truly holy, it is their own fault and reproach. Note, It is the design of Christianity to sanctify us in Christ. (Matthew Henry, chapter 1)

Here, I. Paul blames the Corinthians for their weakness and nonproficiency. Those who are sanctified are so only in part: there is still room for growth and increase both in grace and knowledge, 2 Pet. 3:18. Those who through divine grace are renewed to a spiritual life may yet in many things be defective. The apostle tells them he could not speak to them as unto spiritual men, but as unto carnal men, as to babes in Christ, 1 Cor. 3:1. They were so far from forming their maxims and measures upon the ground of divine revelation, and entering into the spirit of the gospel, that is was but too evident they were much under the command of carnal and corrupt affections. They were still mere babes in Christ. They had received some of the first principles of Christianity, but had not grown up to maturity of understanding in them, or of faith and holiness; and yet it is plain, from several passages in this epistle, that the Corinthians were very proud of their wisdom and knowledge. Note, It is but too common for persons of very moderate knowledge and understanding to have a great measure of self-conceit. The apostle assigns their little proficiency in the knowledge of Christianity as a reason why he had communicated no more of the deep things of it to them. They could not bear such food, they needed to be fed with milk, not with meat, 1 Cor. 3:2. Note, It is the duty of a faithful minister of Christ to consult the capacities of his hearers and teach them as they can bear. And yet it is natural for babes to grow up to men; and babes in Christ should endeavour to grow in Stature, and become men in Christ. It is expected that their advances in knowledge should be in proportion to their means and opportunities, and their time of professing religion, that they may be able to bear discourses on the mysteries of our religion, and not always rest in plain things. It was a reproach to the Corinthians that they had so long sat under the ministry of Paul and had made no more improvement in Christian knowledge. Note, Christians are utterly to blame who do not endeavour to grow in grace and knowledge.
II. He blames them for their carnality, and mentions their contention and discord about their ministers as evidence of it: For you are yet carnal; for whereas there are among you envyings, and strifes, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men? 1 Cor. 3:3. They had mutual emulations, and quarrels, and factions among them, upon the account of their ministers, while one said, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos, 1 Cor. 3:4. These were proofs of their being carnal, that fleshly interests and affections too much swayed them. Note, Contentions and quarrels about religion are sad evidences of remaining carnality. True religion makes men peaceable and not contentious. Factious spirits act upon human principles, not upon principles of true religion; they are guided by their own pride and passions, and not by the rules of Christianity: Do you not walk as men? Note, It is to be lamented that many who should walk as Christians, that is, above the common rate of men, do indeed walk as men, live and act too much like other men. (Matthew Henry, chapter 3:1-4)


Please note that Matthew Henry also agrees that the ones that Paul was talking to in chapter 3 were those that he addressed the letter to as "the church in Corinth", those who are being sanctified.

I already quoted WL.

I could quote others.

Don't you find it ironic that you, with the knowledge of expert scholars are unable to refute the simple minded amateur theologian?
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:57 PM   #79
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No you aren't. You said "do you know more than Wallace". Nothing scholarly about that, no reference to NT Greek. Simply Wallace said it, so there. Very noble of you.
But Wallace is an expert so what he writes about titus 1:5 is according to his expert knowledge. If he thought there were multiple churches per city he would not have said that.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:06 PM   #80
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No you aren't. You said "do you know more than Wallace". Nothing scholarly about that, no reference to NT Greek. Simply Wallace said it, so there. Very noble of you.
Its your strawman because I never denied it was not written to all Christians in Corinth.

But these sects are condemned by Paul. He speaks of them in a negative way. He thinks of them all as one church.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:06 PM   #81
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But Wallace is an expert so what he writes is according to his expert knowledge. If he thought there were multiple churches per city he would not have said that.
Matthew Henry is a well respected theologian and I quoted him. He agrees with me that the same ones who were sectarian in chapter 3 were those who were being sanctified, that he addressed the letter to in chapter 1 as "the church in Corinth".

The point of Paul is not that the sectarian Christians need a better name. Since a better name doesn't make them the genuine church, neither does a sectarian name change the fact that they are sanctified in Christ Jesus, redeemed by His blood to be saints, with all those who call on His name.

The only thing that having a better name gets you is envy, strife, and reveals that you are babe in Christ and walking as men.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:13 PM   #82
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Its your strawman because I never denied it was not written to all Christians in Corinth.

But these sects are condemned by Paul. He speaks of them in a negative way. He thinks of them all as one church.
How can it be a "straw man" if it is a cornerstone in WL's teaching concerning the ground of the church?

1. A major pillar of this doctrine is that every letter is addressed to "the church in _____"

2. A second major pillar is 1Cor 3.

This is not a "straw man" argument, it is the root of the tree.

WL teaches that the proper name for the church is "The church in ____" and that any other name is akin to a wife taking some other man's name for her own. That is ground of the church 101.

So let's look at this carefully. WL teaches that Corinth was the "typical" church. In this typical church Paul addresses his letter to "the church in Corinth" yet that included all the believers, even those who were meeting in groups claiming to be "of Peter" or "of Paul" or "of Apollos" or "of Christ". Paul rebukes them for this saying they are fleshly, and babes in Christ.

One way to understand this is that trying to have the best, most spiritual name is fleshly, walking according to envy, strife and the ways of men.

The other way is to build your own sect by coming up with a new name, "The church in blank".

But regardless you have to agree that the book of Corinthians was written to the church in Corinth, it signified a typical church, and there were many babes in Christ, fleshly ones who were not spiritual and who were hung up on the name of their meeting hall. Yet they were all included in Paul's reference to "the church in Corinth".
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:20 PM   #83
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Matthew Henry is a well respected theologian and I quoted him. He agrees with me that the same ones who were sectarian in chapter 3 were those who were being sanctified, that he addressed the letter to in chapter 1 as "the church in Corinth".

The point of Paul is not that the sectarian Christians need a better name. Since a better name doesn't make them the genuine church, neither does a sectarian name change the fact that they are sanctified in Christ Jesus, redeemed by His blood to be saints, with all those who call on His name.

The only thing that having a better name gets you is envy, strife, and reveals that you are babe in Christ and walking as men.
Yes I like Matthew Henry that is good that you quoted him. But I don't believe what you say I believe. All believers are sanctified including all those in Corinth.

Please see the second paragraph of this website:

http://www.lsmradio.com/hearing-of-f...-recovery.html

It says exactly what you said.

Anyhow,my post was concerned with whether there was one church per city in the early church. This seems to be an established fact according to Greek NT experts like Wallace. This does not prove anything because we must answer the question of a) is it for today? and b) was Lee/Nee chosen by God to practice it?
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:24 PM   #84
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How can it be a "straw man" if it is a cornerstone in WL's teaching concerning the ground of the church?

1. A major pillar of this doctrine is that every letter is addressed to "the church in _____"

2. A second major pillar is 1Cor 3.

This is not a "straw man" argument, it is the root of the tree.

WL teaches that the proper name for the church is "The church in ____" and that any other name is akin to a wife taking some other man's name for her own. That is ground of the church 101.

So let's look at this carefully. WL teaches that Corinth was the "typical" church. In this typical church Paul addresses his letter to "the church in Corinth" yet that included all the believers, even those who were meeting in groups claiming to be "of Peter" or "of Paul" or "of Apollos" or "of Christ". Paul rebukes them for this saying they are fleshly, and babes in Christ.

One way to understand this is that trying to have the best, most spiritual name is fleshly, walking according to envy, strife and the ways of men.

The other way is to build your own sect by coming up with a new name, "The church in blank".

But regardless you have to agree that the book of Corinthians was written to the church in Corinth, it signified a typical church, and there were many babes in Christ, fleshly ones who were not spiritual and who were hung up on the name of their meeting hall. Yet they were all included in Paul's reference to "the church in Corinth".
The Recovery is not about naming the church with the proper name, but to have no name. Even to take the name of the locality can be divisive.

Why do we say "The local churches do not have a name. ". It is a straw man because we do not believe in properly naming the church as you are claiming. We believe in NOT naming the church. But to identify ourselves we refer to our locality. Obviously Paul no where rebukes anyone for saying "I am of Corinth", "I am of Ephesus".
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:33 PM   #85
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You guys are talking past each other and it's getting rather tedious and boring.

No serious student of the NT would ever deny that there was one church per one city back 2,000 years ago. They also didn't have running water or electricity or fancy sound systems or flat screen TVs to display verses and the words to the songs and hymns.

Let's discus these notions in the here and now. Many large metropolitan areas have 100,000+ Christians. The reality of the current situation is that "one church" for any particular large city is not practical. This is to say nothing of the fact that the Local Church of Witness Lee does not even practice one church in one city. Oh, they call the different churches within a city "hall 1", "hall 2" etc. It's a word game that doesn't fool anybody, and it certainly isn't fooling God.


Move on fellows.
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:43 PM   #86
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The Recovery is not about naming the church with the proper name, but to have no name. Even to take the name of the locality can be divisive.

Why do we say "The local churches do not have a name. ". It is a straw man because we do not believe in properly naming the church as you are claiming. We believe in NOT naming the church. But to identify ourselves we refer to our locality. Obviously Paul no where rebukes anyone for saying "I am of Corinth", "I am of Ephesus".
My how things have changed!

How can the so-called Recovery be about having no name, when they filed lawsuits in several cities over the rights to a church name???

Evangelical, your teachings have a serious disconnect with reality.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:07 PM   #87
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My how things have changed!

How can the so-called Recovery be about having no name, when they filed lawsuits in several cities over the rights to a church name???

Evangelical, your teachings have a serious disconnect with reality.
This doesnt sound like the Recovery I am in.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:35 PM   #88
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This doesnt sound like the Recovery I am in.
You insist you have no name, and yet you keep talking about "the Recovery."
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:00 AM   #89
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You insist you have no name, and yet you keep talking about "the Recovery."
It's not a name. It's like saying "we're in the age of Grace".
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:15 AM   #90
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It's not a name. It's like saying "we're in the age of Grace".
There's a huge difference. Saying we are in the age of grace applies to ALL believers, ALL of God's children.

Saying you are in the "Recovery" ONLY refers to those who subscribe to LSM. The word is as divisive as saying I'm in the "Pentecostal" movement.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:29 AM   #91
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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We believe in NOT naming the church. But to identify ourselves we refer to our locality. Obviously Paul no where rebukes anyone for saying "I am of Corinth", "I am of Ephesus".
Regarding not naming the church - that seems to be the lever, or engine, to pry believers from the flock, whence they are subject to the private eschatology, theology, and ecclesiology of one person, represented by a host of names. Christians on Campus, Continuing Steadfastly, emanna, The Lord's Move to Europe, Affirmation and Critique, Defense and Confirmation, Rhema Inc, and of course the mother ship Living Stream Ministry.

And if you think, "Oh well that's the ministry not the church", in 1997 when the mother ship directed all the localities to have a web presence, each (identical) web site said, "Lovers of Jesus affiliated with the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee". No difference from saying, "I am of Nee and Lee". And the Chinese don't have any such compunctions - they shout, "Nee, Lee, Chu!" over & again. Just so there's no mistaking who is "of" who.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:42 AM   #92
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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It's not a name. It's like saying "we're in the age of Grace".
Wow! The age of grace began with the Cross of Christ.

The "Recovery" began with WN's "discovery".

You elevate WN to the level of Jesus Christ.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:25 AM   #93
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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No serious student of the NT would ever deny that there was one church per one city back 2,000 years ago. They also didn't have running water or electricity or fancy sound systems or flat screen TVs to display verses and the words to the songs and hymns.
Let's discus these notions in the here and now.
Serious students of the NT weigh in:

I Corinthians 1:10: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

Ellicot —

Now I beseech you, brethren.—With these words the Apostle introduces the topic which is indeed one of the chief reasons of his writing this Epistle (see Introduction), viz., the PARTY-SPIRIT existing in the Corinthian Church.

Matthew Henry —

Paul and Apollos both were faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, and helpers of their faith and joy; but those disposed to be contentious, broke into parties. So liable are the best things to be corrupted, and the gospel and its institutions made engines of discord and contention. Satan has always endeavoured to stir up strife among Christians, as one of his chief devices against the gospel.

Matthew Henry is very much aligned to Witness Lee’s “Satan’s strategy against the church”. He sees that “Satan has always endeavored to stir up strife among Christians” — so the strife we see today is not unique or new. He saw that the church in Corinth had broken up into parties.

Barnes —

The first of which he had incidentally learned, was that which pertained to the divisions and strifes which had arisen in the church.

Gill —

The apostle having observed the many favours and blessings bestowed on this church, proceeds to take notice of the divisions and contentions which were fomented in it;
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:47 PM   #94
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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Serious students of the NT weigh in
ZNP, where do one of these writers say, or even suggest, "one church per city"? You and I can be in the same assembly and be factious and divisive. Likewise, the apostle can write the Christian polity in Rome and ask them to greet the 'ekklesia' in one person's house. A factious spirit isn't engendered by different groupings. Jesus had the thousands sit in different groups of hundreds and fifties when He fed them, yet I see no trace of rancorous party spirits arising.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:25 PM   #95
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

I don't really understand what you are asking.

My point has been that the use of Paul's address to "the church in Corinth" could have been a catch all, the Christians in Corinth could have been meeting in multiple homes and meeting halls. Or they could have been meeting together as one large meeting while dividing up into factions and parties. But no one can deny that there were parties in Corinth to the extent that they were denominating themselves as "of Paul" or "of Peter".

I don't think the situation has changed. Today there are many different meetings of Christians, many different denominations, but all of them feel that the book of Corinthians was written to them.

All of the serious Bible expositors agree that there were parties and that this was so serious that it was the primary reason for the letter.

My second point was that Corinth is put forth as a typical church, not a healthy church. Therefore it is reasonable that this situation occurred in other churches, like the 7 churches in the book of Revelation.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:48 PM   #96
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

I think ZNP has made an extremely valid point. His point here undercuts LSM's ground of locality. Apostle Paul wrote to Corinth from Ephesus, to an early church divided by ministers, yet he called all of them "the church of God which is in Corinth, sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints."

We know from Paul's writing that the church was in chaos, separated into factions, not just according to ministers, but also according to who was hungry, who was drunk, who was eating, who could not. Regardless of issues, all believers were part of the "church in Corinth."
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:07 PM   #97
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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I don't really understand what you are asking.

My point has been that the use of Paul's address to "the church in Corinth" could have been a catch all, the Christians in Corinth could have been meeting in multiple homes and meeting halls. Or they could have been meeting together as one large meeting while dividing up into factions and parties. But no one can deny that there were parties in Corinth to the extent that they were denominating themselves as "of Paul" or "of Peter".

I don't think the situation has changed. Today there are many different meetings of Christians, many different denominations, but all of them feel that the book of Corinthians was written to them.

All of the serious Bible expositors agree that there were parties and that this was so serious that it was the primary reason for the letter.

My second point was that Corinth is put forth as a typical church, not a healthy church. Therefore it is reasonable that this situation occurred in other churches, like the 7 churches in the book of Revelation.
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"those who were meeting in groups claiming to be "of Peter" or "of Paul" or "of Apollos" or "of Christ"."

The idea of these sects meeting independently in their own groups is wrong because verse 18 says:

1 Cor 11:18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.

1 Cor 11:20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat,

Clearly this is speaking of divisions within the one meeting or assembly, so your idea is unbiblical.

This is speaking of factions, parties within the one church in the city, which may mean within the one assembly (see Gill commentary below) or within multiple meetings of the one church in the city. In any case, clearly this speaks of divisions when coming together, which is a situation completely different to today's denominations.

The next logical step would be for these factions, parties to stop meeting with each other, and form the situation we know today of multiple "churches" within the one city. Paul no where proposes meeting independently as a solution to the problem. . Paul no where entertains a notion of "let us agree to disagree and go our separate ways" as is the practice in denominationalism today.


These verses should be plain enough. But let's confirm with some bible commentaries that the situation of multiple denominational meetings within the city is not well supported:

Barnes —
When ye come together in the church - When you come together in a religious assembly; when you convene for public worship. The word "church" here does not mean, as it frequently does with us, a "building." No instance of such a use of the word occurs in the New Testament; but it means when they came together as a Christian assembly; when they convened for the worship of God. These divisions took place then; and from some cause which it seems then operated to produce alienations and strifes.


Gill —
For first of all, when ye come together in the church,.... The place where the church met together to perform divine service, called "one place". 1 Corinthians 11:20 and is distinguished from their own "houses", 1 Corinthians 11:22 and the first thing he took notice of as worthy of dispraise and reproof, in their religious assemblies, were their animosities and factions:


The bible nor the commentators support your idea of the early church being multiple meetings per city, a city divided into "denominations" like the situation today. Clearly this is speaking of factions/divisions within the one church assembly (or assemblies) within the city. Furthermore, the apostle nowhere proposes separate meetings as a solution to this problem. Nowhere does Paul sanction the idea that those "of Peter" should meet independently from those "of Paul".
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:39 AM   #98
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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When I read 1Corinth 3 it seems absurd to me that the conclusion of Paul's rejection of names like "of Paul", "of Peter", and "of Christ" is to present a better name of the "church in blank".
Somehow we've gone from believing into Jesus Christ, and being saved thereby, to matters of organisation.

It might be profitable to step back from Paul, and go to Jesus. When Jesus taught the 12, there were factions. Each was striving for pride of place. Jesus taught, by contrast, to take the least place. So there were already "divisions" there on the ground of oneness, because the divisions came from within. Pride, envy, strivings, ignorance, prejudice, fear, anger.

My question is, if this happened right in front of Jesus, with 12 committed disciples, why wouldn't it also happen in Corinth and elsewhere? And why should some better organisational template or nomenclature cure all that, and bring us to, "Here where we're dwelling in oneness/God commands life evermore" (Hymns, 1221)? What kind of a spell did we fall under?
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Old 07-11-2017, 05:41 AM   #99
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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The idea of these sects meeting independently in their own groups is wrong because verse 18 says:
That is essentially the way every expositor has interpreted this.

They have also interpreted these parties as the root of denominations, and that includes WL.

But I have a couple of questions.

1. Suppose they didn't have a single meeting place where they all could meet. That seems like a very reasonable question since this is the case today. Would these various meetings be homogenous, or would they separate based on their parties? We already know as Ohio has brought up that their Lord's table meetings were in disarray due to the factions and parties. That is a direct reference to the fact that the divisions were visible in the way they met.

2. If people were subject to parties, factions and divisions, would that have been expressed in the home meetings? Did all those who "were of Paul" meet together in their home meetings? That seems reasonable to me based on my experience in the church and on internet forums.

3. We (every Bible expositor and myself) all agree that the major issue addressed in the epistle to Corinth was the parties and factions, yet we also all agree that the epistle was written to all of them (even those who were denominated based on their pet doctrines and favorite apostles). How is that any different from today? Every Christian, regardless of denomination or pet doctrine, feels this epistle was written to them.

4. When WL says that Corinth is a typical church, just like today, I agree that the "Church in NY" is just like Corinth, it is full of babes in Christ, Christians who are walking like men based on envy and strife. They are denominated based on doctrine, favorite apostles, and wealth. But that doesn't mean that there is a single fellowship meeting in one meeting hall like that, but rather refers to the entire situation in NY when viewed as a whole. So then, do you agree with WL that the church in Corinth is typical to the situation today in NYC in total?

Based on that I am questioning whether the term "the church in Corinth" applied to a single meeting hall address or rather was the way Paul addressed all the Christians in the city as a whole. When I read 1Corinth 3 it seems absurd to me that the conclusion of Paul's rejection of names like "of Paul", "of Peter", and "of Christ" is to present a better name of the "church in blank".
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:20 AM   #100
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

Theories of how things were in olden times only take us so far.

The question today is what to do, if anything, about the current situation.

Suppose the answer is that we all should come together. The question becomes how.

The LCM's answer is that everyone should join them, that they are the 'one place' everyone should gather at. This is unreasonable however. Who decided the LCM was the place to be, other than them?

LCM calls to oneness on "the local ground" are disingenuous. Many groups meet as the church in the city. The LCM recognizes none of them that are not subordinate to LSM. Plainly they are interested in oneness based on them, not locality.

So calls to local oneness by such as Evangelical are little more than ways to bash any group not subordinate to the LCM movement.

Read my new signature. Since no group can insist that it is THE place to be, all groups must respect the others as long as they are not blatantly sectarian, and simply having a name and meeting according to one's conscience is not sectarian. We all can lament lacks of unity, but none of us can say that the answer to that is for everyone to join our group. That being the case, continuing to harp about "denominations" is non-productive and in fact sectarian in spirit.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:28 AM   #101
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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Since no group can insist that it is THE place to be, all groups must respect the others as long as they are not blatantly sectarian, and simply having a name and meeting according to one's conscience is not sectarian. We all can lament lacks of unity, but none of us can say that the answer to that is for everyone to join our group. That being the case, continuing to harp about "denominations" is non-productive and in fact sectarian in spirit.
Jesus already came here: love your neighbor, not in word but in deed. Blessed is the servant found giving food to his neighbor, not just the fellow one-grounder or Baptist. Your neighbor may be an Arab or a Jew. Do you feed them sectarian doctrine? Is that love?
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:38 AM   #102
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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Jesus already came here: love your neighbor, not in word but in deed. Blessed is the servant found giving food to his neighbor, not just the fellow one-grounder or Baptist. Your neighbor may be an Arab or a Jew. Do you feed them sectarian doctrine? Is that love?
Evangelical's (and the LCM's) attitude is in fact judgmentalism. It is not presented in spirit of love or care, even for oneness, let alone people. I get no sense of their being heartbroken for oneness, just of cold legalism. I'm reminded of these words of Jesus:
"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." Matt 23:2-3.
Evangelical is sometimes "right" in letter. But he is almost always wrong in spirit. His grasp of oneness is superficial and according to law, not according to the actual spirit of what oneness is. True oneness can never be the fruit of such an approach.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:42 AM   #103
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Theories of how things were in olden times only take us so far.
Both of your corollaries are based on the verse "let each be fully persuaded". Shouldn't there be other corollaries based on "obey your leaders"?

1. If you are unable to obey your leaders it is a sin (rebellion to the word of God). Either on your part or on the part of the leaders.

therefore

2. If you have separated because of offense you are required to notify the offending party prior to taking the Lord's table.

3. Likewise, if you have been notified that there are those offended by your sins you are required to first be reconciled before you can take the Lord's table.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:59 AM   #104
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Both of your corollaries are based on the verse "let each be fully persuaded". Shouldn't there be other corollaries based on "obey your leaders"?
I only had one corollary, it is based on the combination of the two truths.

It's only rebellion if you focus on that one verse to the exclusion of the other. Both verses taken together can only mean that conscience trumps leadership. Obeying leaders plainly cannot be an absolute requirement.

Conscience includes God's direct leading. For example, if I feel God is leading me to move to another city and my elder says I shouldn't, I still have to follow my leading if it doesn't change and he should honor that. Outside of strong feelings of leading otherwise, we should follow leaders.

Of course, some might say, well, that gives people an "out" to claiming "leading" they don't really have. But if you are going to mistrust the integrity and inner registrations of others the church can't work in the first place. Plus it is contrary to Jeremiah 31:34/Hebrew 8:11:
"No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD.
Conscience actually trumps everything, because in order to know if anything is right, including obeying leaders, your conscience must tell you. There is no registration of right and wrong without conscience.

So when you say, obey your conscience except when it contradicts your leaders, you are really saying, obey your conscience except when your conscience tells you not to obey your conscience. Which is absurd.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:25 AM   #105
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If you accept the basic premise of "deputy authority" then the absolute is to obey Jesus Christ who is Lord. Therefore if obeying the leaders among you requires you to not obey Jesus then that would be the basis for not obeying them, but it therefore requires that the leaders have sinned and have not reconciled that offense.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:50 AM   #106
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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If you accept the basic premise of "deputy authority" then the absolute is to obey Jesus Christ who is Lord. Therefore if obeying the leaders among you requires you to not obey Jesus then that would be the basis for not obeying them, but it therefore requires that the leaders have sinned and have not reconciled that offense.
In the case of the LCM, there are plenty of sins they have not reconciled. So that point is moot.

But in general, I believe that God raises up leaders for certain flocks. If I join that flock I should respect the leaders there. But if I choose to leave that flock the leaders no longer have sway over me. Whether I leave the flock is between me and the Lord. It's not for anyone else to say whether my reasons were proper or not. Romans 12 simply requires me to be "fully persuaded in my own mind."

Why would I leave the flock? The issues might be practical or moral. For example, I may just move, or I may decided the Lord is leading me to leave for a positive reason, or I may decide that I disagree with certain practices, for example like suing other Christians.

The LCM creates false restrictions that say you must meet with the church in the city (which of course is them) and so have no good reason to leave because they are the only legitimate place to meet. I disagree with this fundamentally, in part because it forces member to compromises their consciences if they disagree with certain teachings or practices.

I think it is manifestly clear that such restrictive expectations are not the place of leaders to try to enforce (or Internet posters to try to support). But suppose I do leave a group because I, say, don't like the music. Is that legitimate? Obviously it is a pretty shallow reason. At the same time, it's still between me and the Lord. It's not for anyone else to comment on unless I start as discussion about it. Some might scream "Such an attitude will create a free-for-all!" But the only people who say that are those who (1) have an interest in controlling others and (2) who do not trust people to follow the Holy Spirit. Both attitudes are antithetical to the New Testament reality.

Even when we follow leaders it is the Lord who prompts us in real-time to do so. And if he prompts us not to, or we believe he does, we have to obey that leading, not men.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:20 AM   #107
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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I don't think the situation has changed. Today there are many different meetings of Christians, many different denominations, but all of them feel that the book of Corinthians was written to them.
My experience is that, for the most part, the denominations, while disagreeing about certain doctrines, do not have the acrimony or rancor that the "single" church in Corinth displayed. We are allowing an overlay that insists that differences of opinion cannot exist and still have relative harmony.

There are surely times when there are "blow-ups." Such as when a particular church splits. That is seldom a cordial parting of the ways. But I have even seen where a couple was asked to leave because the wife was causing problems with other women over her dislike of the way the women's ministry was being run. They were not excommunicated. They were not barred from being there at various times. My wife I and I saw the man just the other day in a restaurant. But there was a disharmony that was a problem for the church yet way short of being worthy of excommunication. They simply began to attend another church where they were able to meet without problem.

The problem that I am seeing more and more with the LRC, and with many of us who came out of it, is that we have learned to focus on the negative with respect to others and make it seem so large that it dwarfs everything else. And for those of us who have left, we look back at the LRC and fault them for all kinds of things related to their efforts to make their internal stances absolutely uniform. While I think they take it way too far (more like way, way, way too far), if the have no stance on anything, then there will be chaos. While I do not know enough about various groups to find two that are almost entirely the same except for one specific doctrinal difference, I will oversimplify for an example.

Imagine an assembly that had many who believed in Calvin's interpretations related to security in salvation, but also many who believed in the teachings of Arminius who interpreted that there was the ability to lose salvation. Seems unlikely. But in a more rural area where there are often only a couple of churches, and one of them is RCC, you could get there if a lot of people moved into the area for retirement and started attending the one non-RCC church. The leadership turns out to be primarily Calvinist, but not entirely. And some who teach, such as in Sunday School, are Arminian. Now we have a problem. The church has conflicting teachings. Neither believes that the other is non-Christian. But it starts to be a problem. Is the answer to vote on which to follow and insist that those who think otherwise simple be silent? At least on that matter? It could work in an environment where those of one belief were few in number.

But what about a growing assembly with a reasonable split in those who follow the two different beliefs? Would separate assemblies so that the environment of teaching is not suffering from various levels of acrimony not be better? Neither is suggesting that the other is not Christian or unsaved. They just seek to meet without the overlay of strife within the assembly related to this issue.

Would you insist that they just get over it and agree? Or that they just get over it and accept that they have divergence in teaching on a subject? As a practical matter, is forcing a single assembly with internal strife a bigger problem with unity than separating the assemblies and allowing them to exist together in a harmony not otherwise attainable? I note that it would be very satisfying for it to work within a single assembly. But if you already have sufficient mass to have more than one assembly, does that not better achieve unity than forcing one assembly that is not in unity?

And before you answer, do not start with the assumption that there should simply be one assembly because that is an overlay created by Lee. Paul's letters clearly reference multiple assemblies within a single place, so that is already a phenomenon that existed without negative comment. Even in Corinth, the problem wasn't that some liked a certain teacher more than others while others like a different teacher better. It was that they were fighting over it. It is tiresome to constantly read references to denominations as if they are as bad as or worse than those factions in Corinth. My observations are that they are not like the factions in Corinth. It is true that they follow certain ways, or doctrines. And that some of them even name their originator (like Luther). But while they do not agree with everything that others teach or believe, they are not generally in a state of agrimony with any of them.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:31 AM   #108
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Default Re: Major Errors of Witness Lee’s Teaching (Nothing against the “person”)

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The idea of these sects meeting independently in their own groups is wrong because verse 18 says:

1 Cor 11:18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.

1 Cor 11:20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat,

Clearly this is speaking of divisions within the one meeting or assembly, so your idea is unbiblical.

This is speaking of factions, parties within the one church in the city, which may mean within the one assembly (see Gill commentary below) or within multiple meetings of the one church in the city. In any case, clearly this speaks of divisions when coming together, which is a situation completely different to today's denominations.

The next logical step would be for these factions, parties to stop meeting with each other, and form the situation we know today of multiple "churches" within the one city. Paul no where proposes meeting independently as a solution to the problem. . Paul no where entertains a notion of "let us agree to disagree and go our separate ways" as is the practice in denominationalism today.


These verses should be plain enough. But let's confirm with some bible commentaries that the situation of multiple denominational meetings within the city is not well supported:

Barnes —
When ye come together in the church - When you come together in a religious assembly; when you convene for public worship. The word "church" here does not mean, as it frequently does with us, a "building." No instance of such a use of the word occurs in the New Testament; but it means when they came together as a Christian assembly; when they convened for the worship of God. These divisions took place then; and from some cause which it seems then operated to produce alienations and strifes.


Gill —
For first of all, when ye come together in the church,.... The place where the church met together to perform divine service, called "one place". 1 Corinthians 11:20 and is distinguished from their own "houses", 1 Corinthians 11:22 and the first thing he took notice of as worthy of dispraise and reproof, in their religious assemblies, were their animosities and factions:


The bible nor the commentators support your idea of the early church being multiple meetings per city, a city divided into "denominations" like the situation today. Clearly this is speaking of factions/divisions within the one church assembly (or assemblies) within the city. Furthermore, the apostle nowhere proposes separate meetings as a solution to this problem. Nowhere does Paul sanction the idea that those "of Peter" should meet independently from those "of Paul".
But you are starting with a presumption of what constitutes the whole church (assembly). You presume that for Corinth, or any other city, that there can be only one such assembly.

But even your commentators do not say that there cannot be multiple assemblies. They only say that when the members of a single assembly meet together that there was this problem. It is the extra-biblical teachings of the LRC that you are presuming on top of the commentators to declare that this means all the Christians in a city must be part of that one assembly. Paul was writing to deal with a problem of acrimony, not of ecclesiology. Those who meet together should not have such acrimony. Paul did not ever say that no one should have a preference of teacher. His complaint was that they were fighting about it. The current environment of assemblies, whether independent or grouped, is not general with the kind of acrimony that Paul was speaking to in Corinth. I know you can point to certain exceptions. Like the Westboro Baptist Church. And there are issues of teaching that are discussed openly. Especially related to the teachings of a prosperity gospel. But even those generally are not like what Paul was pointing to in Corinth.

If it doesn't fit . . . .
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:59 PM   #109
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But you are starting with a presumption of what constitutes the whole church (assembly). You presume that for Corinth, or any other city, that there can be only one such assembly.

But even your commentators do not say that there cannot be multiple assemblies. They only say that when the members of a single assembly meet together that there was this problem. It is the extra-biblical teachings of the LRC that you are presuming on top of the commentators to declare that this means all the Christians in a city must be part of that one assembly. Paul was writing to deal with a problem of acrimony, not of ecclesiology. Those who meet together should not have such acrimony. Paul did not ever say that no one should have a preference of teacher. His complaint was that they were fighting about it. The current environment of assemblies, whether independent or grouped, is not general with the kind of acrimony that Paul was speaking to in Corinth. I know you can point to certain exceptions. Like the Westboro Baptist Church. And there are issues of teaching that are discussed openly. Especially related to the teachings of a prosperity gospel. But even those generally are not like what Paul was pointing to in Corinth.

If it doesn't fit . . . .

It is clear from the text that the divisions arose when they assembled together.

Either this occurred when they all assembled in the one place (most likely), or they assembled in various meeting homes across the city.

Consider Gill's commentary, where he distinguishes the "one place" common assembly from their own houses, indicating that these issues were not when they were scattered into their own places of worship, but in a one common assembly.

Gill —
For first of all, when ye come together in the church,.... The place where the church met together to perform divine service, called "one place". 1 Corinthians 11:20 and is distinguished from their own "houses", 1 Corinthians 11:22 and the first thing he took notice of as worthy of dispraise and reproof, in their religious assemblies, were their animosities and factions:


An idea that they met independently based upon whom they were "of" is not supported by the text.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:14 PM   #110
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That is essentially the way every expositor has interpreted this.

They have also interpreted these parties as the root of denominations, and that includes WL.

But I have a couple of questions.

1. Suppose they didn't have a single meeting place where they all could meet. That seems like a very reasonable question since this is the case today. Would these various meetings be homogenous, or would they separate based on their parties? We already know as Ohio has brought up that their Lord's table meetings were in disarray due to the factions and parties. That is a direct reference to the fact that the divisions were visible in the way they met.
In contrast to the idea of different factions meeting separately to others, I believe this is more like an ecumenical church assembly where everyone came together to worship but everyone kept to their "corner of the room".

As Gill's commentary alludes to, if Paul said they could eat however they wanted "in their own homes" and the issues arose when they assembled together, this seems to preclude any notion that they were meeting in separate houses based upon factional preference. These issues were a problem when people of different factions came together for worship.

It is possible that they came together in the one place, as Gill believes, or they came together in multiple locations for practical reasons.

In any case, both of these scenarios seem to rule out separation based upon faction. People of different factions were meeting together and this was when the problems arose.

I would think of it as like Catholics and Protestants meeting together either in one central location in the city, or in various locations around the city. In either case, Paul's words applies.


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2. If people were subject to parties, factions and divisions, would that have been expressed in the home meetings? Did all those who "were of Paul" meet together in their home meetings? That seems reasonable to me based on my experience in the church and on internet forums.
I have been to ecumenical services before where the Catholics sit on one side and protestants (etc) on the other. I think it would have been like that. I don't believe things had gotten to the point where the different factions would meet separately, for the primary worship at least. Possibly they met together informally based upon faction, but they did not break the tradition of coming together in one place for worship.


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3. We (every Bible expositor and myself) all agree that the major issue addressed in the epistle to Corinth was the parties and factions, yet we also all agree that the epistle was written to all of them (even those who were denominated based on their pet doctrines and favorite apostles). How is that any different from today? Every Christian, regardless of denomination or pet doctrine, feels this epistle was written to them.
Paul's letter was written to all believers in the city, so I agree with that.


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4. When WL says that Corinth is a typical church, just like today, I agree that the "Church in NY" is just like Corinth, it is full of babes in Christ, Christians who are walking like men based on envy and strife. They are denominated based on doctrine, favorite apostles, and wealth. But that doesn't mean that there is a single fellowship meeting in one meeting hall like that, but rather refers to the entire situation in NY when viewed as a whole. So then, do you agree with WL that the church in Corinth is typical to the situation today in NYC in total?
To me it is similar but different. In the time of Paul I believe the factions were not worshiping independently, but becoming denominations would have been the next step. The mistake today is to assume that Paul's words applies to a single denominations/faction, because every church considers itself to be a church and not a sect as they really are, and not to every believer in the city.


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Based on that I am questioning whether the term "the church in Corinth" applied to a single meeting hall address or rather was the way Paul addressed all the Christians in the city as a whole. When I read 1Corinth 3 it seems absurd to me that the conclusion of Paul's rejection of names like "of Paul", "of Peter", and "of Christ" is to present a better name of the "church in blank".
Suppose those "of Paul" and those "of Peter" and those "of Christ" met independently of each other. Where do the people meet who are not of those factions and wish to follow Paul's instructions? Can't they refer to themselves as "the church in Corinth" ? This is not to present a "better name" but to have no name and meet as the church in the city not aligned with any faction.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:30 PM   #111
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Evangelical's (and the LCM's) attitude is in fact judgmentalism. It is not presented in spirit of love or care, even for oneness, let alone people. I get no sense of their being heartbroken for oneness, just of cold legalism. I'm reminded of these words of Jesus:
"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." Matt 23:2-3.
Evangelical is sometimes "right" in letter. But he is almost always wrong in spirit. His grasp of oneness is superficial and according to law, not according to the actual spirit of what oneness is. True oneness can never be the fruit of such an approach.
So why arent you careful to do everything we tell you?
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:39 PM   #112
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In the case of the LCM, there are plenty of sins they have not reconciled. So that point is moot.
My point is that the very clear rule concerning Christian meetings given to us by both Jesus and the apostles is that if you have an offense with another member you need to first be reconciled before you can partake of the Lord's table. Why doesn't this rule trump all others concerning meeting?

There is no rule about what you should "name" your fellowship, but there is this rule. Why make a huge deal over something that is non existent in the NT while ignoring the one rule that is spoken repeatedly in black and white?
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:13 PM   #113
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My point is that the very clear rule concerning Christian meetings given to us by both Jesus and the apostles is that if you have an offense with another member you need to first be reconciled before you can partake of the Lord's table. Why doesn't this rule trump all others concerning meeting?

There is no rule about what you should "name" your fellowship, but there is this rule. Why make a huge deal over something that is non existent in the NT while ignoring the one rule that is spoken repeatedly in black and white?
Who is ignoring this major rule which trumps all others? We certainly believe in reconciliation and forgiveness before partaking. If someone is not in right standing they are refused communion.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:34 AM   #114
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Who is ignoring this major rule which trumps all others? We certainly believe in reconciliation and forgiveness before partaking. If someone is not in right standing they are refused communion.
LC leaders have never responded to attempts at reconciliation.

What LC planet are you living on?
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:22 AM   #115
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LC leaders have never responded to attempts at reconciliation.

What LC planet are you living on?
The power of guanxi networks is that reconciliation is not possible. Once you've violated the network you're done forever. Quite effective, if you think about it.

Lee gave a few messages on reconciliation, but look at Steve Isitt's experience: the messages were merely a sop for the conscience and a fig leaf of Christian orthodoxy. When anyone actually tried to address the issues leading to rupture, they'd run into the real "principalities and powers" of the LC. Lee was a pawn of these forces, like all LC members were.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:54 AM   #116
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It is clear from the text that the divisions arose when they assembled together.

Either this occurred when they all assembled in the one place (most likely), or they assembled in various meeting homes across the city.
But even you admit that there could be multiple places of meeting. The problem that Paul was talking about was not acrimony between two different meetings, but between those in one meeting. So if they met in more than one place (something you allowed for) then there was a problem between those within each separate meeting, not between those in one meeting v those in another.

When it comes to your insistence that they were otherwise all meeting together within one city, that is a presumption created by an overlay that ignores the clear inference that in certain places there was more than one group that was referred to as "the church." Nee waved his hand and dismissed this by saying it couldn't mean that because of the on church per city rule.

Classic "begging the question." Dismiss contrary evidence to a rule by stating that there is a rule. That is the after-the-fact response to bad evidence. Up front, it is called cherry-picking your evidence. Find the things you like and make a rule from it. Then use the rule to dismiss the evidence that inconveniently disproves your rule. Or hide the fact that the contrary evidence exists and hope no one ever notices. Nee did that when he created the rule in one book, then had to address the contrary evidence in a second book, but invoked the rule to help dismiss it.

You simply restated the same commentator snippet. He never states that there is a single assembly in Corinth or that there should only be one. He just says that when an entire assembly gathers together (as opposed to meeting in smaller home or neighborhood groups like many do today — I believe even the LRC at times) . . . . You are forcing the one church per city rule onto Gil. He didn't say it. But you continue to say it as if he did.

In the sense of the whole body of Christ, there is one church in a city, just as there is one church universally. But as a matter of practice, there have been assemblies where there are assemblies. And in some cases even in the early church where there may be only a small number in an otherwise large city, there is evidence of churches meeting in houses. So much so that the recipient of at least one letter was requested to greet those who met in a particular house church. The Nee/Lee presumption that it was either somewhere else, or just the rest of the assembly that the letter's recipient's were part of doesn't work. That would make the words of the master linguist of the NT writers into one of the most obtuse statements ever found in the Bible. Speak of them as if they are in another assembly when they are not, or refer to a distant house church (somewhere outside of Rome without stating its place) as if it is down the street.

Something about swallowing camels and straining at gnats comes to mind.

You and your system are entrenched in rules that take more than the words actually in the Bible to arrive at, yet dismiss those that are simply stated. It is so backwards. I guess that you should call yourselves the sehcruhC lacoL . And declare it to be the more spiritual name.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:58 AM   #117
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Who is ignoring this major rule which trumps all others? We certainly believe in reconciliation and forgiveness before partaking. If someone is not in right standing they are refused communion.
It would seem to me that considering those who are not in the room with you as unworthy to partake of communion in any place is evidence of not rightly recognizing the body of Christ. Maybe your entire group should refrain from any more Lord's tables until they figure our how to reconcile with those they have called mooing cows and spiritual degenerates (in so many words) before they partake again.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:37 AM   #118
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My point is that the very clear rule concerning Christian meetings given to us by both Jesus and the apostles is that if you have an offense with another member you need to first be reconciled before you can partake of the Lord's table. Why doesn't this rule trump all others concerning meeting?

There is no rule about what you should "name" your fellowship, but there is this rule. Why make a huge deal over something that is non existent in the NT while ignoring the one rule that is spoken repeatedly in black and white?
I agree. The plain word of the Bible should be our priority, possible suggested ideas should be a distant second.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:51 AM   #119
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Who is ignoring this major rule which trumps all others? We certainly believe in reconciliation and forgiveness before partaking. If someone is not in right standing they are refused communion.
Right. It's always about excluding some offender, never about the leaders admitting being offenders.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:58 AM   #120
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But even you admit that there could be multiple places of meeting. The problem that Paul was talking about was not acrimony between two different meetings, but between those in one meeting. So if they met in more than one place (something you allowed for) then there was a problem between those within each separate meeting, not between those in one meeting v those in another.
I'm not sure where you got the idea that I or the local churches believe in only one meeting per city. Anyone who knows anything about the local churches knows that there are often multiple meetings per city on any given Sunday. Obviously for practical reasons we may need to meet in multiple locations. Therefore any arguments against the local church on this basis is moot. But we are still one church in the city.

Perhaps you have misunderstood some of my previous statements about the one assembly in Corinth.

I talk about the one assembly in Corinth because it is a historical fact that the Corinthian church and most churches at the time were small enough to fit into a house or a small to medium sized venue. The exception would have been Jerusalem which was very large. There is a noticeable lack of archaeological discoveries of big Christian meeting places in the early church period.

Acts 2:1 says And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

The assembly in Acts 2:1 was 120 people gathered into a single room.

This website explains that the church at Corinth was around 40 to 150 persons and possibly met together at a rented venue:

It is difficult to know the size of the Corinthian church at the time of this first letter. Scholarly estimates range from 40 to 150 persons. It is often assumed that when “the whole church” came together for worship (1Cor 14:23), it did so in a believer’s home, but Paul’s distinction between church and home in 1Cor 11:22 may suggest otherwise (compare 1Cor 11:34, 1Cor 14:34-35). The meeting place may have been a rented dining hall, a large garden, or some other venue.
https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/plac...rch-at-corinth

Given the relatively small size of the Corinthian church and Paul's distinction between their place of assembly and homes, I think ZNP's view that they met per faction scattered over the city is unlikely.

I agree with what you said about factions existing within each meeting. You are restating what I have already said in my post to ZNP about ecumenical meetings. So we seem to agree, and you seem to disagree with ZNP's view that separate meetings were divided according to faction.


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When it comes to your insistence that they were otherwise all meeting together within one city, that is a presumption created by an overlay that ignores the clear inference that in certain places there was more than one group that was referred to as "the church." Nee waved his hand and dismissed this by saying it couldn't mean that because of the on church per city rule.

Classic "begging the question." Dismiss contrary evidence to a rule by stating that there is a rule. That is the after-the-fact response to bad evidence. Up front, it is called cherry-picking your evidence. Find the things you like and make a rule from it. Then use the rule to dismiss the evidence that inconveniently disproves your rule. Or hide the fact that the contrary evidence exists and hope no one ever notices. Nee did that when he created the rule in one book, then had to address the contrary evidence in a second book, but invoked the rule to help dismiss it.
If you read my posts carefully, I quoted a big name theologian (Wallace), and I also quoted bible commentaries, also well respected theologians in their own right. My view considers the history and the views of what the scholars and theologians say.


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You simply restated the same commentator snippet. He never states that there is a single assembly in Corinth or that there should only be one. He just says that when an entire assembly gathers together (as opposed to meeting in smaller home or neighborhood groups like many do today — I believe even the LRC at times) . . . . You are forcing the one church per city rule onto Gil. He didn't say it. But you continue to say it as if he did.


1 Corinthians 11:20 proves that they met together in one place and not multiple places (KJV):

1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

So the bible alone seems to support my view. I think if you were a KJV-onlyist you might be convinced. Luckily for you, I know that other bible versions do not say "into one place" and "one place" is possibly not the meaning of the original text.

Matthew Poole admits this, yet says one place is the greater likelihood:
The Greek words do not necessarily signify into one place, they may as well be translated, for the same thing, and possibly that were the better translation of them in this place

Geneva study bible:

When ye come together therefore into one place, this is {g} not to eat the Lord's supper.


Cambridge:

20. into one place] Literally, to (or at) the same place. See Acts 1:15; Acts 2:1; Acts 3:1, and ch. 1 Corinthians 7:5 of this Epistle. It is the only phrase which we find applied to the place of the Christian assembly. See note on 1 Corinthians 11:18.

Barnes:

When ye come together therefore ... - When you are assembled as a church, compare Hebrews 10:25, and see the note on Acts 2:1. Christians were constantly in the habit of assembling for public worship. It is probable that at this early period all the Christians in Corinth were accustomed to meet in the same place. The apostle here particularly refers to their "assembling" to observe the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. At that early period it is probable that this was done on every Lord's Day.



I will restate what Gill said, and I emphasis in bold the part where Gill mentions a single meeting place (one place) for the divine service.

Gill —
For first of all, when ye come together in the church,.... The place where the church met together to perform divine service, called "one place
". 1 Corinthians 11:20 and is distinguished from their own "houses", 1 Corinthians 11:22 and the first thing he took notice of as worthy of dispraise and reproof, in their religious assemblies, were their animosities and factions:

Gill seems to be following the KJV as written. Translation issue? Perhaps, yet, no scholars deny the intended meaning of "one place". I know this forum is not shy of questioning the translation authenticity of the English bible. But if this were any other forum, particularly a KJV one, I think my use of Scripture would establish a fact.

But this verse is not really required to prove anything. We know that Paul distinguished between church assembly and their homes, as the
bibleodyssey.org website also testifies. Therefore it implies that their homes were not their main place of meeting in Corinth.

So we have general consensus among the bible scholars that it refers to meeting together in the one place of public worship.

So far we have not been discussing whether there is any "one church per city rule". For now, it is hard enough to show people that one church per city was a historical fact or that the likelihood of such is much higher than the alternative. A follow on question is whether it is a rule that applies today or not. For now I am not addressing that, but it has been discussed in other threads.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:06 AM   #121
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So why arent you careful to do everything we tell you?
Ha,ha. Jeremiah 31:34/Hebrews 8:11 is the reality today. Our dependence on Moses-like leaders is OT and obsolete. The early Apostles were a transitional thing. But once the Bible was completed such leaders were no longer part of God's economy. Witness Lee as MOTA is regressive and actually contrary to NT reality.

God obviously trusts his Spirit more than he trusts a legalistic system with absolute authority at the top. That being the case we need to trust the Spirit/conscience in others. The LCM practice of disrespecting persons and groups who don't submit to their line of authority is contrary to that.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:10 AM   #122
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Right. It's always about excluding some offender, never about the leaders admitting being offenders.
Concerning offenses between brethren, the bible never really addresses the matter of the offenses being caused by brethren in church leadership.

cf. Matt 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.

Jesus nowhere addresses the matter of "the church" being the one causing the offense. If we can't tell it to the church, who can we tell it to?

I don't intend to debate you about this in the context of the LC, this is just something I have never considered and your post brought it to mind.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:20 AM   #123
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Obviously for practical reasons we may need to meet in multiple locations. Therefore any arguments against the local church on this basis is moot. But we are still one church in the city.
How come only Witness Lee and his followers are allowed to meet in different locations for practical reasons, but when other Christians meet in different locations they are condemned as daughters of the great whore? What's with the blatant double-standard?

"But we are still one church in the city". Right, you are still the one Local Church of Witness Lee in the city, just as the 2 or 3 Baptist churches are still the Baptist church in the city....accept for the fact that the Baptist churches don't claim to be the only legitimate representative of the Body of Christ.

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Old 07-12-2017, 08:36 AM   #124
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How come only Witness Lee and his followers are allowed to meet in different locations for practical reasons, but when other Christians meet in different locations they are condemned as daughters of the great whore? What's with the blatant double-standard?

"But we are still one church in the city". Right, you are still the one Local Church of Witness Lee in the city, just as the 2 or 3 Baptist churches are still the Baptist church in the city....accept for the fact that the Baptist churches don't claim to be the only legitimate representative of the Body of Christ.

-
You make it sound as if they are "condemned" because they meet in different locations. Yet other Christians don't meet in different locations simply because of practical reasons do they? , but because they can't get along or they have particular preferences. That situation is characterized by division and confusion. Contrary to Paul's commands for unity to all believers in the city of Corinth (for example).

Interesting you say that about the Baptists. If a church does not claim to be a legitimate representative (I will use the term expression) of the Body of Christ, then what are they? An illegitimate expression?

I think that is partly the issue. No one denomination apart from Catholic/Orthodox seems to want to stand up and stake claim to be the legitimate church in the city. If they are indeed true believers then surely that is what they truly are. In a way they are admitting they are a sect if they don't see themselves as the legitimate expression in the city.

Without a legitimate expression, I can't see how anyone can follow Christ's words in Matthew 18:17: If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Suppose a Presbyterian brother sins against a Baptist brother. The Baptist brother applies Matthew 18:17 (after exhausting the other avenues described in prior verses), and tells whose church, the Presbyterian one or the Baptist one? Which church, Presbyterian or Baptist, is "the church" in this instance? Suppose he tells the Baptist church, but what can they do? The Presbyterian brother is not a member. Likewise, he could tell the Presbyterian church, but what would they do? The Baptist brother is not a member of the Presbyterian.

In fact, because there is no real avenue for the Baptist brother to have the matter dealt with by "the church", because no one really knows who "the church" actually is, the Baptist may have to resort to taking legal action against the Presbyterian brother (if the situation warranted it).
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:44 AM   #125
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Concerning offenses between brethren, the bible never really addresses the matter of the offenses being caused by brethren in church leadership.

cf. Matt 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.

Jesus nowhere addresses the matter of "the church" being the one causing the offense. If we can't tell it to the church, who can we tell it to?
This is silly. The church does not offend, rather people do, and leaders do.

Paul specifically instructed Timothy how to handle offenses and sins by church leaders:
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Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it is confirmed by two or three witnesses. Those who sin should be reprimanded in front of the whole church; this will serve as a strong warning to others. I solemnly command you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and the highest angels to obey these instructions without taking sides or showing favoritism to anyone.
Here it is obvious that leaders should be held to higher standards, and because of their public position, their sins should be made public for all to be admonished.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:50 AM   #126
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Who is ignoring this major rule which trumps all others? We certainly believe in reconciliation and forgiveness before partaking. If someone is not in right standing they are refused communion.
Ed Marks -- I went to him to talk about saints who were offended by his signing the letter and instead I was asked to leave the building.

James Chu -- Lead elder in NYC. I could not have been asked to leave without James Chu's approval.

Benjamin Chen -- this occurred shortly before is death, he also was complicit.

Dennis Cooley -- he was the one that conveyed the elders determination to me.

This is for starters but I imagine when you discuss what happened to Titus Chu, I responded to the letter signed by the Blendeds and think that also rises to the level of sin.

All those who signed the loyalty pledge to Witness Lee. According to the book of James, this is the most serious violation of a cult.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:59 AM   #127
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Who is ignoring this major rule which trumps all others? We certainly believe in reconciliation and forgiveness before partaking. If someone is not in right standing they are refused communion.
This is only a LC doctrine. Many, many saints still have outstretched hands hoping for reconciliation, and some have already passed away having never been reconciled.

Sorry Evangelical, but you are seriously short on the facts of history.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:08 AM   #128
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Concerning offenses between brethren, the bible never really addresses the matter of the offenses being caused by brethren in church leadership.
What about Galatians 2:11?

1Tim 5:19-21?

James 3:1?

Matt 18:15-17?

Eph 4:32?

Col 3:12-15?
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:20 AM   #129
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If a church does not claim to be a legitimate representative (I will use the term expression) of the Body of Christ, then what are they? An illegitimate expression?
If I didn't know you, I would think that you're being obtuse and obnoxious.

I clearly said "the only legitimate representative of the Body of Christ". Some years back Andrew Yu somehow convinced Hank Hanegrraff that a common motto of the Local Church was "We don't say that we are the only church, we say that we are only the church". The fact that the Hankster swallowed this garbage from Yu was proof positive that his "research" of the teachings, practices and history of the Local Church of Witness Lee was a joke.

This is to say nothing of the fact that when Andrew said "we are only the church" he really means, "we are only the church, and it just so happens that we are THE ONLY CHURCH that is only the church!"

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Old 07-12-2017, 10:32 AM   #130
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Without a legitimate expression, I can't see how anyone can follow Christ's words in Matthew 18:17: If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Suppose a Presbyterian brother sins against a Baptist brother. The Baptist brother applies Matthew 18:17 (after exhausting the other avenues described in prior verses), and tells whose church, the Presbyterian one or the Baptist one? Which church, Presbyterian or Baptist, is "the church" in this instance? Suppose he tells the Baptist church, but what can they do? The Presbyterian brother is not a member. Likewise, he could tell the Presbyterian church, but what would they do? The Baptist brother is not a member of the Presbyterian.
This is just nonsense.

If a Presbyterian brother seriously sins against a brother who meets with Baptists, then the offended brother should take a brother from his Baptist congregation and go to the elders of the congregation that the Presbyterian meets with.

It's not that complicated bro. It's no different than a brother in Gahanna sinning against a brother in Bexley. The Bexley brother takes a mature brother with him and goes to the elders of the church in Gahenna with his grievance. It's not like this has never happened.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:18 AM   #131
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Instead of leaving your gift at the altar, Evangelical determines who is in right standing and refuses communion if he determines they aren’t. Given the apology letter to PL I assume this is a very low bar indeed.

Andrew Yu ducks and weaves with this, instead of saying they are “the only church” they say they are “only the church”. What he neglects to mention is that he also says that all others are not “only the church”.

Evangelical for some reason thinks that elders are exempted from sinning and needing reconciliation. Apparently his version of the Bible has deleted all verses relevant to this topic.

It is so twisted that Evangelical “cannot see how anyone can follow Christ’s words in Matthew 18:17.

23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier*matters*of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.24Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

The more you listen to Evangelical this whole topic is about straining a gnat out of the NT while swallowing the camel.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:54 AM   #132
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The power of guanxi networks is that reconciliation is not possible. Once you've violated the network you're done forever..
But the good news is that Post-Protestant Guanxi Network is a description, not a name. So it's fine - unless, of course, you're a Christian needing reconciliation, before you can offer your gift at the altar.

Look at Dong Yu Lan and Titus Chu - they can't be reconciled to Anaheim without kow-towing, and the culture forbids it. Their cultural paradigm offers two choices: either abject servility or the abyss. So they and their followers are stuck in a culturally-induced limbo.

Contrasted to Paul, who even after a ministry dust-up with Barnabas and John Mark, apparently was able to maintain peace with them. See e.g., 1 Cor 9:6 and Col 4:10.

And why do you think message boards like this exist? Because there isn't mechanism in the LC to address hurts and wrongs. Do you think the Baptists and Presbyterians have to resort to anonymous forums to address what happeneds there? Again, consider Steve Isitt's experience: transparency isn't allowed. People have "no heart" for examination, reflection, acknowledgement, healing and change. Instead there are OT types of "leprosy" and "rebellion" and "replastering".

Once one sees it for what it is, the mental strong-hold loses its strong hold. (2 Cor 10:3,4)
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:45 PM   #133
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This is just nonsense.

If a Presbyterian brother seriously sins against a brother who meets with Baptists, then the offended brother should take a brother from his Baptist congregation and go to the elders of the congregation that the Presbyterian meets with.

It's not that complicated bro. It's no different than a brother in Gahanna sinning against a brother in Bexley. The Bexley brother takes a mature brother with him and goes to the elders of the church in Gahenna with his grievance. It's not like this has never happened.
So in Matthew 18:17 Jesus meant "tell it to the denomination that the sinning brother goes to" did He?
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:47 PM   #134
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This is silly. The church does not offend, rather people do, and leaders do.

Paul specifically instructed Timothy how to handle offenses and sins by church leaders:


Here it is obvious that leaders should be held to higher standards, and because of their public position, their sins should be made public for all to be admonished.
I note no sense of a plurality of churches in the scripture in such case.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:49 PM   #135
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Instead of leaving your gift at the altar, Evangelical determines who is in right standing and refuses communion if he determines they aren’t. Given the apology letter to PL I assume this is a very low bar indeed.

Andrew Yu ducks and weaves with this, instead of saying they are “the only church” they say they are “only the church”. What he neglects to mention is that he also says that all others are not “only the church”.

Evangelical for some reason thinks that elders are exempted from sinning and needing reconciliation. Apparently his version of the Bible has deleted all verses relevant to this topic.

It is so twisted that Evangelical “cannot see how anyone can follow Christ’s words in Matthew 18:17.

23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier*matters*of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.24Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

The more you listen to Evangelical this whole topic is about straining a gnat out of the NT while swallowing the camel.
I never said that elders are exempt from sinning.That is your strawman. My point is related to the multiplicity of elders and altars existing today. And the scriptural assumption that "the church" is a place that one can be confident in going to declare ones grievances and resolve disputes.

I note that Jesus never said "tell it to the church that the sinning brother atttends". Jesus implies that a multiplicity of churches would not exist, just as they did not exist at the time.

If there are 100 different churches in a city, how do you know which altar to leave your gift at? The scripture says altar, but because of denominations today it is in fact many altars. This is a situation of confusion and division.

Rather than leave the gift at the altar, the denominational solution is to create a new altar.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:05 PM   #136
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If I didn't know you, I would think that you're being obtuse and obnoxious.

I clearly said "the only legitimate representative of the Body of Christ". Some years back Andrew Yu somehow convinced Hank Hanegrraff that a common motto of the Local Church was "We don't say that we are the only church, we say that we are only the church". The fact that the Hankster swallowed this garbage from Yu was proof positive that his "research" of the teachings, practices and history of the Local Church of Witness Lee was a joke.

This is to say nothing of the fact that when Andrew said "we are only the church" he really means, "we are only the church, and it just so happens that we are THE ONLY CHURCH that is only the church!"

-

I am wondering how the early church would have referred to themselves. The only church or only the church, or both? If we asked Peter or Paul would they have said "we are not the only church"? It is only Protestants who take issue with any group calling themselves "the only church". Roman Catholic and Orthodox have operated with that belief for centuries. And it comes from the early church period where there indeed was a thing called "the only church" which was "only the church".

I will just quote Wallace again

7The early church had but one church in each city or town. Hence, Paul's instruction to Titus is to appoint multiple elders in every church.

https://bible.org/article/who-should...urality-elders

So I think they would have referred to themselves as the only church.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:47 PM   #137
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I never said that elders are exempt from sinning.That is your strawman. My point is related to the multiplicity of elders and altars existing today. And the scriptural assumption that "the church" is a place that one can be confident in going to declare ones grievances and resolve disputes.

I note that Jesus never said "tell it to the church that the sinning brother atttends". Jesus implies that a multiplicity of churches would not exist, just as they did not exist at the time.

If there are 100 different churches in a city, how do you know which altar to leave your gift at? The scripture says altar, but because of denominations today it is in fact many altars. This is a situation of confusion and division.

Rather than leave the gift at the altar, the denominational solution is to create a new altar.

The only altar today among Christians is the cross of Christ.

There is no verse in the New Testament limiting the number of elders.

But there are very clear verses that tell you not to take the Lord's table until you have reconciled with others. That is the clear command from Jesus and the apostles.

Stop creating bogus limitations "plurality of elders", "multiple altars", putting the "spin on one church" by Andrew Yu. According to you the Bible doesn't say what to do if elders sin. How low will you stoop?
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:57 PM   #138
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So in Matthew 18:17 Jesus meant "tell it to the denomination that the sinning brother goes to" did He?
What you call a denomination, God calls His church.

Evangelical, since you have determined there is no more church on earth, what do you do with all those blank space in your Bible?

Listen to what Boxjobox says about his former LC:
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So, in the city of San Diego, with a population of 1.3 million there are only 275 adults meeting after 35 years! I would say their historical perspective lacks credibility. I would also say that the low numbers is entirely due to their association with LSM. The title, or their nomer THE church in San Diego should not be assigned to them. They have taken a biblical designator and abused it. This is not a small thing, really, in the sphere of Christian practice, but is quite serious. Wasn't it WL that talked about the woman married to Smith that calls herself Mrs Jones. The " church in San Diego" in the mid-80s left her husband and now lives with Mr. LSM.

The insane part is that their history mentions nothing about LSM!
Your church is neither "the only church" nor "only the church," but Mrs. Lee, the widow of a long deceased minister.

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Old 07-12-2017, 03:59 PM   #139
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I note no sense of a plurality of churches in the scripture in such case.
It's not about some "sense of a plurality of churches," but about holding leaders accountable who happen to sin.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:43 PM   #140
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The only altar today among Christians is the cross of Christ.
Practically speaking the altar is regarded as related to the communion table in major denominations, particularly Catholic. You seemed to regard the altar similarly. In post #131 you "joined the dots" so to speak between the altar verse and communion:

Instead of leaving your gift at the altar, Evangelical determines who is in right standing and refuses communion if he determines they aren’t.

If the altar is related to the communion table then my comment about multiple altars or let's say, multiple communion tables, makes sense.

If the altar is the cross, then how does one practically apply:

Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

There is actually no biblical command that one must be reconciled before taking communion. However we apply the principle mentioned in said verse, to taking communion.

Or we could just disregard the verse altogether, and consider it part of a Jewish command that gentiles don't have to keep.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:15 PM   #141
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It's not about some "sense of a plurality of churches," but about holding leaders accountable who happen to sin.
Yes and it only works within ones own church. Because there is a plurality of churches, holding leaders accountable who sin doesn't work. It doesn't work across denominations. For example, if you have an issue with a Catholic Priest what are the Baptist going to do about it? This is a practical reason for having one church per city.

It also highlights where ecumenism doesn't work. So Catholics and Baptists may join together for a service, but if the Baptist thinks the Catholic priest committed a sin (for example, praying to an idol) but the Catholics don't, then nothing that Baptist can do. The only effective thing the baptist can do is to stick with his baptist church.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:35 PM   #142
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So in Matthew 18:17 Jesus meant "tell it to the denomination that the sinning brother goes to" did He?
And why not? It doesn't say, "Tell it to the church unless it's denominated; then don't bother", does it? There have been high profile cases recently where a brother was exposed in wrong-doing to the churches, which churches had names. Having a name didn't stop the churches from following Matthew 18:17.

Oh, but it doesn't say, "denomination" but "church" is that it? Well then if reading "strict constructionist" thusly is your forte then please do it consistently, not just where it's convenient to the concepts at hand. How come, for example, Acts 19:41 doesn't say, "And with these words he dismissed the church"? What, the ekklesia in Acts 19:41 wasn't a church? Whatever happened to consistency? Why translate a word one way in one NT passage and differently elsewhere? Jesus said, "On this rock I will build MY ekklesia", meaning perhaps there existed ekklesia which were not of Jesus? Like in Acts 19:41, for example? Do tell.

Or, what about the ekklesia of the righteous in Psalm 1:5? Not a church, in your Recovery Version? Why not? Maybe, because Lee had just finished saying there's none righteous in dismissing this psalm? Okay, then why does the psalmist write, "in the midst of the ekklesia I will sing hymns of praise to Thee" in Psalm 22 and this gets translated as church when the epistle of Hebrews (2:12) cites it? Why is the word ekklesia in Psalm 1 not translated church if the same ekklesia of Psalm 22 is the church?

All I see are fallen concepts, and mixed sentiments, not of the Bible writer but rather of the Bible expositor. Lee, like Nee before him, was a man of convenience; words could mean whatever he needed them to mean at that moment - coherence and consistency were optional. Perceptions, needs and momentary circumstances were the shifting sands upon which the RecV was brought forth.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:35 PM   #143
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You are correct it doesn't say that. But let's examine the most logical explanations and I think you are reading into it something which isn't there. That is, when you read "church", you imagine a multiplicity of different churches/denominations within the city. But scholars tell us that such was not the case.

Well, reading the text carefully, Jesus did not say:

"tell it to your church", as if He expected every person to have their own church.

How do you deal with the fact that theologians like Wallace state there was one church in each city? It somewhat puts a big dent in your argument of multiple churches per city, unless you can come up with theologians of equal weight. At the very least, even if Wallace is wrong, it shows that one church per city is a valid interpretation of the Bible.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:00 AM   #144
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Yet other Christians don't meet in different locations simply because of practical reasons do they? , but because they can't get along or they have particular preferences.
Just as the LRC does. In fact, if the majority of those in an existing LRC cease to center on the teachings of Witness Lee, those that prefer Lee will separate from the others. And if in the process they are unable to separate while still holding the right to the meeting property, they will sue for it.

There is the truth of your preferences argument. It is worse within the LRC That it is among Christians in different denominations. Christianity does not expect that those in other denominations will be forced to endure outer darkness while the "true believers" enjoy the millennial kingdom. The expect equality in the kingdom — in all parts of it. Where does that put the LRC? As one of the only groups forcing division at the highest levels.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:33 AM   #145
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Matthew 18:15-17 (NET Bible)
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother.
16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you, so that at the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established.
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector.

There is a huge bog regarding the practice of these verses on biblical conflict resolution. It's so big that biblical conflict resolution is at a virtual standstill. When believers argue about "who is the church," the whole matter goes off the rails. The goal is conflict resolution, and not getting trapped in the weeds of "who is the church." There is no shortage of members of the church. The church is the Lord's Body. We are all qualified to hear a matter of conflict among our brothers, but there is a practical answer to the question: Who do you tell?

So who do you tell? Who is the church? Verse 15 If you go to brother John Doe alone attempting to gain your brother, and he refuse to hear you, try again.

Verse 16 Take with you 2 or 3 that the matter be established, documented. If brother Doe still refuses to hear you, try again.

Verse 17 Tell it to the church. Who, specifically, practically, do you "tell"? It seems simple to me. Tell those believers who are related and in fellowship with one another. They know one another and have a common love for all parties. They may even have first hand knowledge of the offense. That could be 10 believers or 200 believers. These could live in the same city or all over the U.S. The 200 could live all over the world. Regardless of where they live, they are the church. They are related. They are in fellowship with those on both sides of the matter. They care. You don't have to be in the same room to effect conflict resolution, though you can. You don't need to involve disinterested believers, though you can. The point is to resolve the conflict, not bog down in "the process." The point is to be heard by the offending brother Doe and resolve a conflict in the church.

If brother Doe refuses to hear the church, your responsibility, as the offended party, to resolve the conflict is over. You have gone the distance, biblically. To you, brother Doe is as a Gentile or tax collector. Of course, for brother Doe to hear the church, the church needs to speak. Those believers who are involved in the process are accountable to make a determination. A judgment...one way or another. They have been brought in to help resolve a conflict in the church...among these interested, involved parties. There is no indication that brother Doe is a Gentile or tax collector to "the church" as defined. It seems that this word is to the offended party only.

I have been involved in several "tell it to the church" matters which were handled according to this pattern. The question might be, was the conflict resolved? Technically, this is not the point. The point is, obey the bible. Follow the biblical process. You can't control the outcome, but you should be willing to go the distance. The conflict was not resolved, but the offended party DID go the distance. The offending party now bears ALL the responsibility for the unresolved conflict because they refused to hear the offended party, before the witnesses AND the church.

Nell

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Old 07-13-2017, 09:49 AM   #146
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Matthew 5:23 So then, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your gift.
25 Reach agreement quickly with your accuser while on the way to court, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the warden, and you will be thrown into prison.
26 I tell you the truth, you will never get out of there until you have paid the last penny!

Again, don't get bogged down in the weeds. Is the point to define what is "the altar" or is the point to be reconciled with your brother? Since today's Christians may not physically take a gift to an altar, it could be understood that "before you pray" clear up the offenses you know about. If your brother has something against you and you know about it, go to him. Clear it up.

The point of vv. 23-24 is in verse 25 seems to be: Reach agreement quickly with your accuser, before you become involved with the civil court system.

Nell

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Old 07-13-2017, 02:09 PM   #147
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How do you deal with the fact that theologians like Wallace state there was one church in each city?
Because of the fact that the word gets translated inconsistently. Where it fits the theology of one church per city, it's translated Church. (And even there it doesn't always work, like the greetings in Romans 16). Where it doesn't fit, it's translated meeting, or assembly. How many ekklesia like the one dismissed in Acts 19:41 were there in the city at that time? Probably several. But there, the word usually gets translated as something other than Church, so as not to upset the current theological construction. And so forth - it appears to be a theology of convenience, of preference.

Where the concept doesn't fit at all, like in Psalms 1:5, the word is ignored as if it weren't even real. Whatever happened to "Christ and the Church in the Psalms"? It (the concept, or theology) apparently does not exist in Psalm 1:5, when I read the RecV footnotes. Yet the word is right there, in LXX scripture. Why are there voluminous footnotes on the church elsewhere, but nothing in Psalm 1:5? Whatever happened to the vaunted principle of first mention?

So, back to your question, what "church" is that there, in the proposed "one church in each city" template? I don't see it in clearly and consistently presented in exposition of scripture. I see human artifice, a slice-and-dice hack job of textual representation. (Not that I've done much better. But I'm not proposing a new Christian polity a la Nee and Lee)

And my point remains from Matthew 16. When Jesus spoke of "my church", it would be understood that there were ekklesia not of Jesus. The word ekklesia was in common usage long before Matthew 16. It had meaning, already. That's why it was used. Jesus didn't invent the term, whole cloth. Yet we typically treat it as such, in these kinds of "recovered church" conversations.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:41 PM   #148
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How do you deal with the fact that theologians like Wallace state there was one church in each city?
The operative word here is "WAS". There WAS one church in every city. There WAS one apostle Paul, who "did not receive the gospel from any man, nor was he taught it, but he received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ." (Gal 1:12) There WAS one group of original apostles. There WAS one "Revelation" received by the apostle John. There WAS one group of church fathers who received the wisdom and knowledge to assemble the New Testament. Getting the picture? Even if one subscribes to be a "continuationist" (believing that there are apostles today), no serious scholar or widely accepted teacher has ever claimed that we have apostles today like the original scripture writing apostles, such as Paul, Peter, John etc.

Yes, it appears that there may have been only one church in one city in the infancy of the church. But it cannot be considered as something prescriptive - something for the church for all places and all times. Only baptism and the Lord's table were such prescriptive "commandments". We know that by the time of the end of Paul's life and ministry, many false teachers had already appeared on the scene. What if one of these false teachers had started/or taken over "the one church in anytown"? Were the genuine believers in this one particular city supposed to go against God and their conscience and meet with this false teacher and his followers? I submit that were not bound to do so. In fact, the apostles strongly urged the genuine believers to avoid, and even oppose, if necessary.

This was probably the first legitimate reason for "divisions" in the church. And the situation remains so all these centuries later. But there are still genuine believers who will hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and enter his fold. Amen. May it be so Lord.

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Old 07-13-2017, 03:30 PM   #149
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There is a huge bog regarding the practice of these verses on biblical conflict resolution. It's so big that biblical conflict resolution is at a virtual standstill. When believers argue about "who is the church," the whole matter goes off the rails. The goal is conflict resolution, and not getting trapped in the weeds of "who is the church." There is no shortage of members of the church. The church is the Lord's Body. We are all qualified to hear a matter of conflict among our brothers, but there is a practical answer to the question: Who do you tell?
It seems the goal of Evangelical and so many others connected to LSM is to eliminate reconciliation and much righteousness by pretending there is no church, based upon their own false criteria for the church of God.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:42 PM   #150
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Practically speaking the altar is regarded as related to the communion table in major denominations, particularly Catholic. You seemed to regard the altar similarly. In post #131 you "joined the dots" so to speak between the altar verse and communion:

Instead of leaving your gift at the altar, Evangelical determines who is in right standing and refuses communion if he determines they aren’t.

If the altar is related to the communion table then my comment about multiple altars or let's say, multiple communion tables, makes sense.

If the altar is the cross, then how does one practically apply:

Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

There is actually no biblical command that one must be reconciled before taking communion. However we apply the principle mentioned in said verse, to taking communion.

Or we could just disregard the verse altogether, and consider it part of a Jewish command that gentiles don't have to keep.
That is an excellent point, if we equate the communion table ("this is my body and this is my blood given for you") to Jesus sacrifice on the cross which was a sin offering, peace offering, meal offering, burnt offering, etc.

Then this will answer the question of different communion tables or one communion table.

To me this test is just like the test for Ruth, was she a Moabitess or was she the widow of an Israelite? We get the answer from her heart -- your God will be my God and your people will be my people.

If we ask the believer, is this the Lord's table of a particular denomination and you need to be a member of that denomination first, before partaking of this table, then yes -- Moabite.

On the other hand if the answer is that "no, this is the "Lord's" table and you need to have received the Lord first to partake of this table, then this church is the widow of an Israelite (Jesus, who died on the cross).
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:43 PM   #151
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[COLOR="Navy"]The operative word here is "WAS". There WAS one church in every city.

Yes, it appears that there may have been only one church in one city in the infancy of the church. But it cannot be considered as something prescriptive - something for the church for all places and all times.
I read something recently about the requirement for a "city." It had to do with how far one could walk. That described a "city" in ancient days.

In this regard, the definition is very similar to today's boundaries for the Jews concerning the Sabbath. I used to live in a community filled with Jews and Synagogues. The rabbis had bordered an area within the community, which btw was already much smaller than the city, which was prescribed as a "Sabbath Day's Journey." All the serious Jews knew the borders of this area, and knew that they could not walk further than that for Sabbath service.

It is totally absurd to use the description of N.T. "cities" for today's mega-cities consisting of millions of people.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:48 PM   #152
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You are correct it doesn't say that. But let's examine the most logical explanations and I think you are reading into it something which isn't there. That is, when you read "church", you imagine a multiplicity of different churches/denominations within the city. But scholars tell us that such was not the case.

Well, reading the text carefully, Jesus did not say:

"tell it to your church", as if He expected every person to have their own church.

How do you deal with the fact that theologians like Wallace state there was one church in each city? It somewhat puts a big dent in your argument of multiple churches per city, unless you can come up with theologians of equal weight. At the very least, even if Wallace is wrong, it shows that one church per city is a valid interpretation of the Bible.
I am confused by this argument. Let us suppose that your neighbor has ignored the property line and built something that is encroaching on your property. You know that this neighbor is a Christian, you have had fellowship with them, they don't meet with the LRC, but they have confessed that Jesus is Lord and been baptized into the name of the triune God. You go to them, they ignore you. You bring one or two others and still they ignore you. You don't want a lawsuit because of Paul's word in Corinthians. So, instead you decide to "tell it to the church".

Please tell us Evangelical what you do now?

(I would approach the leadership of the fellowship where this one meets, but if that is not a valid approach please tell us what is). BTW this is not a hypothetical, a very similar situation took place at one of the places I fellowship at. They bought a meeting hall which included a book store. The owner, knowing they were Christians and wouldn't sue him, refused to pay rent or leave. Ultimately they went to the congregation where he met and after talking to the leaders there he left.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:53 PM   #153
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I read something recently about the requirement for a "city." It had to do with how far one could walk. That described a "city" in ancient days.

In this regard, the definition is very similar to today's boundaries for the Jews concerning the Sabbath. I used to live in a community filled with Jews and Synagogues. The rabbis had bordered an area within the community, which btw was already much smaller than the city, which was prescribed as a "Sabbath Day's Journey." All the serious Jews knew the borders of this area, and knew that they could not walk further than that for Sabbath service.

It is totally absurd to use the description of N.T. "cities" for today's mega-cities consisting of millions of people.
There was this bizarre wire that ran around Brooklyn, people were freaked out, what is that thing. Then they explained, that was the boundary set up by the orthodox Jews so they knew how far they could walk on the Sabbath.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:32 PM   #154
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The operative word here is "WAS". There WAS one church in every city. There WAS one apostle Paul, who "did not receive the gospel from any man, nor was he taught it, but he received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ." (Gal 1:12) There WAS one group of original apostles. There WAS one "Revelation" received by the apostle John. There WAS one group of church fathers who received the wisdom and knowledge to assemble the New Testament. Getting the picture? Even if one subscribes to be a "continuationist" (believing that there are apostles today), no serious scholar or widely accepted teacher has ever claimed that we have apostles today like the original scripture writing apostles, such as Paul, Peter, John etc.


That is correct that it was the situation only then, and it is a separate question about whether it applies today, in which case we would be discussing prescriptive versus descriptive text.

If we use the term "apostle" as meaning the original authors of scripture, I agree that there are no more apostles today who can write Scripture.

However the gift of apostleship continues, as God is still building His church. We might just know them by another name such as an evangelist or a missionary. Still, in a sense we are all apostles or messengers for Christ.



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Yes, it appears that there may have been only one church in one city in the infancy of the church. But it cannot be considered as something prescriptive - something for the church for all places and all times. Only baptism and the Lord's table were such prescriptive "commandments". We know that by the time of the end of Paul's life and ministry, many false teachers had already appeared on the scene. What if one of these false teachers had started/or taken over "the one church in anytown"? Were the genuine believers in this one particular city supposed to go against God and their conscience and meet with this false teacher and his followers? I submit that were not bound to do so. In fact, the apostles strongly urged the genuine believers to avoid, and even oppose, if necessary.

This was probably the first legitimate reason for "divisions" in the church. And the situation remains so all these centuries later. But there are still genuine believers who will hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and enter his fold. Amen. May it be so Lord.

-

We can't rule it out just because it is descriptive. Lack of a descriptive command does not mean we can meet however we like.

Many things Christians do are only descriptively found in the bible (in fact, not even that, more pagan, if Viola and Barna's book is correct). A clear example would be our 6 day working week and day off on Sunday and going to church on Sunday. Christmas and Easter is another example. Tithing 10% of one's salary is another example.

Even a definition of marriage as between a man and a woman is based upon a descriptive interpretation of Genesis. There is no actual command that says marriage must be between a man and a woman, and many people use this argument to define marriage in a way God did not intend. We define marriage as between a man and a woman because we know that is God's intention.

Therefore when coming to the descriptive passages about the church we should consider God's intent. There's a reason why God told us what the early church looked like. The intent of the early church structure was unity. A denominational church model does not satisfy that intent. If God had no intention concerning this matter, then the description of the early church would likely be one of chaos and disorder without any clear pattern.
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:27 PM   #155
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Would love to converse with Drake on his research but to get his attention this question Why did Jesus stop in middle of prophecy concerning Himself in Luke and: 18-21? Not sure if giving e mail or telephone info allowed yet will try name heartofmatter1310@gmail dot com Would like to add Ecclesiastes The Preacher 7;8 with Luke 21:22 perhaps like Drake Luke 21:34-36* has much importance personally as Heb 5:8,9