Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Apologetic discussions

Apologetic discussions Apologetic Discussions Regarding the Teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-07-2018, 12:55 PM   #1
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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

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

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

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

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

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

18Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it [l]shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2018, 03:46 PM   #2
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
[COLOR="Blue"]1. Jesus is Lord. The Lord’s word concerning being killed didn’t not align with Peter’s vision and Peter “rebukes” the Lord. Jesus rebukes this in the strongest terms. The first boundary concerning the church that cannot be crossed is that Jesus is Lord. We are not His counselor. When Witness Lee rebukes Micah because he doesn’t have the vision, or James because he is not clear on the vision, or the Psalmists because they are writing according to their natural concepts. We are to be one with all Christians who recognize Jesus is Lord, and we need to reject all those who don’t, even the Apostle Peter in this case is rebuked.
No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:20-21).


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

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


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

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


Witness Lee teaches that the books of Micah, James, Psalms, and other sections are the "word of men". No different than Peter telling Jesus "this shall not befall you". Jesus is the incarnated word.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2018, 07:44 PM   #3
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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

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

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

I noticed this, when as a member I'd "go off message" and see something that Lee didn't promote. Of course I was excited to see something, and would share. Silence. And God forbid that you treated his work critically, as he'd treated other Christian ministries! LSM got to 'Affirm and Critique' others, but you'd better only 'Affirm' Lee! Otherwise the 'oneness' is broken. If you critique, you've gone off the Lee reservation, and have broken the boundaries of the Local Church.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2018, 08:17 PM   #4
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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

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

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

Making his teachings the boundary was a way to “save his life”, it was a way “to profit”. This is what happens when you pedal the word of God. Peter saw himself as the right hand man to Jesus who was about to set up His kingdom on Earth. When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 03:35 AM   #5
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Witness Lee teaches that some scripture did come about by the prophet's own imagination.
He does this: characterizing it as "mixed human sentiment" and "fallen" and "natural concepts". In this he departs from the pattern of scripture reception given us by the NT apostles, who were following the pattern given by Jesus' use of scripture.

Therefore Lee's ideological template was the basis of church fellowship. If you chose scripture over the template you were outside the boundary of the Local Church.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 06:04 AM   #6
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
He does this: characterizing it as "mixed human sentiment" and "fallen" and "natural concepts". In this he departs from the pattern of scripture reception given us by the NT apostles, who were following the pattern given by Jesus' use of scripture.

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

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

When you compare this with Peter's rebuke of the Lord and the Lord's subsequent rebuke of Peter you realize this is something that we cannot tolerate. Witness Lee has crossed a crucial boundary.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 08:43 AM   #7
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
2. Jesus only. After this Jesus takes several apostles up to the mountain where they talk about making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Moses and Elijah are Ministers of the Age. This is undeniable, even the Bible presents them both as Ministers of the Age. This is the second boundary. The church is not a tabernacle to a man. Lutherans and Calvinists are clearly in error here. But other groups like the Brethren also fall into this trap. They know not to have any other name, but the cause of their divisions is different ministers and those that follow the different ministries. This is what identifies a cult, following a man. Even if the man is endorsed by the Bible like Moses and Elijah, the church should only hear Jesus. I believe this is the second boundary concerning the church that the LRC has crossed by setting up WN and WL as “MOTA’s”.
Throughout church history church gatherings have been dominated by individuals. Martin Luther -- hence "Lutherans". Calvin -- Calvinists. Brethren knew this was wrong yet were dominated by various ones like JN Darby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me: 6 but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 11:02 AM   #8
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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

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

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

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

2. The fact that Lee as MOTA was farce was corroborated by what we heard on his death. "The age of spiritual giants is over; it is the age of small potatoes". That is what was solemnly intoned in my 'locality'. No scripture was given. We were so enthralled by the person that when he died we couldn't imagine anyone rising to his stature, and replacing his speaking. So Witness Lee could change the scripture's status from "Holy Word" to "fallen words" and yet when he died, none was qualified to speak forth anything new. His word was final. The "final Moses." As Ed Marks told us, "It is time to eat leftovers". (He said this defiantly).
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 11:46 AM   #9
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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

2. Jesus only. After this Jesus takes several apostles up to the mountain where they talk about making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. Moses and Elijah are Ministers of the Age. This is undeniable, even the Bible presents them both as Ministers of the Age. This is the second boundary. The church is not a tabernacle to a man. Lutherans and Calvinists are clearly in error here. But other groups like the Brethren also fall into this trap. They know not to have any other name, but the cause of their divisions is different ministers and those that follow the different ministries. This is what identifies a cult, following a man. Even if the man is endorsed by the Bible like Moses and Elijah, the church should only hear Jesus. I believe this is the second boundary concerning the church that the LRC has crossed by setting up WN and WL as “MOTA’s”.
Great commentary here. This is to "rightly divide" the word of God, something sorely needed in the LC's.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 12:08 PM   #10
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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

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

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

Paul's warning with tears to the elders in Ephesus, which may have been his last words on earth as far as he knew, confirmed that the church belongs to only Him who shed His own blood. Even the best of church leaders were only to serve as overseers placed by the Holy Spirit. Those who rejected that "demeaning" role of shepherding were either fierce devouring wolves or self-exalting men, speaking perverted things. (Acts 20.18-38)
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 01:00 PM   #11
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

I find it very interesting that we have multiple verse references in Matthew, Acts, and 1Corinthians directly rebuking the concept of "MOTA". What is the basis that Drake, Evangelical and WL give? Human logic -- isn't it reasonable. There is no Biblical basis at all, simply the imagination of men who also imagine that they can discern which parts of the Bible are not up to standard.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 06:59 PM   #12
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
3. Faith. When they come down from the mountain we see the father of an epileptic asking Jesus to heal his son because the disciples “could not cure him”. A third error we make is in thinking the church, more powerful than Hades, able to bind and loose anyone on earth, is filled with great men of faith. God loves mercy. What pleases God is to see a sinner saved, repent, and lifted up. The church is composed of those with little faith. Philadelphia only had “a little strength”. This is a boundary that cannot be crossed but that Witness Lee crossed frequently when he claimed that there was no one in Christianity with anything of value. His reference to “poor, poor Christianity” is an example of his insulting behavior to those with little faith.
2 And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

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

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

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

6 but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2018, 11:52 PM   #13
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2018, 04:13 AM   #14
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.
Have you ever used Google Earth? Look up Corinth sometime. There it still is, same as when Paul wrote the Local Church there. Same physical boundaries. So why isn't the current Christian fellowship there one of your hypothetical local churches? Because it's not affiliated with the ministry of the age, and not subject to God's humble bondslave? Because they don't have a standing order with LSM? When did the Local Church in Corinth stop being local? They've always had the Faith, and the city boundaries.

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

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

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

B: "Yep. Same one."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

B: "Yes, that's easy to remember."
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2018, 06:47 AM   #15
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What promises are given to those that name themselves "the church in _____?" Nothing. What promises are given in Matthew 16-18 -- several great promises.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2018, 07:55 PM   #16
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Matthew 18 continues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is completely contrary to the world. In the world we sacrifice a few "little children" for "the greater good". RG and BP can justify what they did for "the sake of the vision", etc. But here, in the kingdom, it is the opposite. If you are calculating the "profitability" it is more profitable for one who would stumble one of these little ones to have mill stone around their neck and be cast into the sea instead.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2018, 09:19 PM   #17
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

If you own property you probably know where your property starts and ends, but you can't figure out where the start and end of a local church is?
LSM has been in so many lawsuits over property and property lines, that they think the church must have definite boundary lines too.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 01:46 AM   #18
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This is not the age for Christians to be "stumbling" others, which would have happened if Peter told them that Jesus doesn't pay the tribute. This is the time for us to be trained in cutting off the occasion of stumbling. This is the church that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against.

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

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

This is completely contrary to the world. In the world we sacrifice a few "little children" for "the greater good". RG and BP can justify what they did for "the sake of the vision", etc. But here, in the kingdom, it is the opposite. If you are calculating the "profitability" it is more profitable for one who would stumble one of these little ones to have mill stone around their neck and be cast into the sea instead.
I think this is a good, cautionary word. Surely we needed such warnings, way back when! And we still need them, today.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 05:59 AM   #19
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Corinth was a local church.
Ephesus was a local church.
Where did one stop and one end? If you answer that, you answer the question about what is the boundary.

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

In theory it works in practice, but in practice it doesn't. Many of the saints who met in "the Church in Houston" lived in Deer Park. Many of the saints who met in the Church in Odessa lived in Midland. Many of the saints in the church in NYC lived in cities in Long Island. In practice the boundary of any local church includes all those who subscribe to Witness Lee's teachings and are close enough to come and meet regularly, regardless of city boundaries.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 07:46 AM   #20
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.”

ZNP,

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

Drake
Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 08:20 AM   #21
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.”

ZNP,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In contrast to this 1 Peter begins:

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

According to the human concept when Jesus died, Peter's hope died with it. But when Jesus was resurrected, we were born again to a living hope. Our inheritance is incorruptible, whereas the human thought is that it would die with Jesus. Death did not defile it, nor did it fade away. I see this as a man who let the Lord's words sink deep into him, and his epistle is a response to the Lord's speaking to him throughout his entire life, not just during the gospels.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 04:35 PM   #22
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

If a person doesn't understand local church boundaries how can they know the difference between the books of the bible? They might think the book of Corinthians was written to the Romans and the book of Acts was written to the Egyptians.

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

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

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

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

While it is true that a letter must have a stamp, it is not very practical to put any address you like on the letter and think you can just because it is a letter with a stamp.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 04:48 PM   #23
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
What promises are given to those that name themselves "the church in _____?" Nothing. What promises are given in Matthew 16-18 -- several great promises.
Nothing?

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

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


If boundaries are not localities.. why does each locality have an angel, and why does each one have a lampstand?
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 05:51 PM   #24
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If boundaries are not localities.. why does each locality have an angel, and why does each one have a lampstand?
Time and space is a boundary for creation. The church in Sardis represents the believers who are limited by both time and space. In that time and in that space they had the circumstances described and needed the word from the Lord that was given.

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

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

So then why do they have a messenger?

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

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

What about the lamp stands?

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

compare this with Matt 18

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

Now compare this with the full context of Revelation 1

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

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

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

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

Correct me if I am wrong, but is Revelation 2-3 the next portion, after Matthew 18, where Jesus talks about the church? Should we consider it a continuation of Matthew 16-18?
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 07:05 AM   #25
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, he that walketh in the midst of the seven golden [a]candlesticks:

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

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

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

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

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

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

And this is how Matt 18 concludes:

21*Then came Peter and said to him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? 22*Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until [m]seventy times seven. 23*Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, who would make a reckoning with his [n]servants. 24*And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, that owed him ten thousand This talent was probably worth about £200, or $1000.talents. 25*But forasmuch as he had not wherewith to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26*The [p]servant therefore fell down and [q]worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27*And the lord of that [r]servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the [s]debt. 28*But that [t]servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, who owed him a hundred [u]shillings: and he laid hold on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay what thou owest. 29*So his fellow-servant fell down and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee. 30*And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay that which was due. 31*So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were exceeding sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32*Then his lord called him unto him, and saith to him, Thou wicked [v]servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou besoughtest me: 33*shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow-servant, even as I had mercy on thee? 34*And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due. 35*So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 07:57 AM   #26
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”You are correct that this is an interpretation. It is based on these verses:

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

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


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

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

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

Drake
Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 08:16 AM   #27
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”You are correct that this is an interpretation. It is based on these verses:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In my interpretation I don't have any non sequitur problems, all the verses follow and build on this. Most of the disciples probably didn't understand the reason for the severe rebuke, hence the explanation. In my interpretation the Lord's explanation explains the rebuke. The only problem you have with my interpretation is that Peter exhibits a lack of faith in the Lord's word concerning resurrection, which also supports the Lord's rebuke of Peter. I also don't add any bizarre teachings about "get out of your mind" (see the next post with WL's private interpretation) or your bizarre teaching that human love is satanic.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 08:32 AM   #28
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP, I think you are reading into the scripture a private interpretation.
Here is something that WL said based on these verses:

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


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

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

In chapter 17 Peter says that his master pays the tribute. That was an opinion. Jesus didn't say "Get behind me Satan". Instead He reasoned with Peter, simple little logical question to identify his error and then sent him off to make good on his error.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 12:12 PM   #29
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”My interpretation is that Peter was concerned about losing his soulish life.”

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

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

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

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

Drake
Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 12:36 PM   #30
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”My interpretation is that Peter was concerned about losing his soulish life.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

However, in my interpretation "gaining the whole world" is equated to "minding the things of men" and it is Satanic since the world belongs to Satan.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 01:39 PM   #31
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

-1

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

Post #4
Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 01:54 PM   #32
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>”In my interpretation I do not have anything other than what is already clearly taught in the Bible.”

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

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

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

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

Drake
Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 02:01 PM   #33
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”In my interpretation I do not have anything other than what is already clearly taught in the Bible.”

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

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>”You on the other hand have a bizarre teaching that human love and relationships are a hinderance to the Lord's work and even worse are "Satanic".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This has nothing to do with Peter.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 04:16 PM   #34
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP>"Where is the post that you keep referencing about "pathetic attempt to save his life"."

I gave that to you.. see Post #31.
Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 04:23 PM   #35
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP>"Where is the post that you keep referencing about "pathetic attempt to save his life"."

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

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

I define Peter losing his life as "losing his dreams, his profit" it is a referral to "losing his soul life".
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 04:25 PM   #36
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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

This has nothing to do with Peter."

Come on now, brother.

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

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

Drake
Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 04:34 PM   #37
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I believe your private interpretation about Peter’s self serving motives grossly mischaracterize the more obvious and straightforward meaning of this passage. The Lord’s response was that even Peter’s love for the Lord, his soul life, must be subjected to the cross so that it does not become a hinderance to carrying out the things of God.
So let's go back to your explanation.

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

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

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

Seems remarkably harsh.

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

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

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

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

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

Once again, what does this have to do with anything? What profit? Who was trying to "gain the whole world"?
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 04:34 PM   #38
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Peter saw himself as the right hand man to Jesus who was about to set up His kingdom on Earth. When Jesus said He was going to be killed, that meant Peter was also going to lose his life, his dreams, his profit. Telling the Lord He would not go to the cross was not a true interpretation of scripture but a pathetic attempt to save his life.

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

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

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

Drake
Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 04:37 PM   #39
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Okay... you are entitled to change your mind.

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

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

Now if you would be so kind as to do the same and make it clear what you are teaching.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 04:48 PM   #40
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Now if you would be so kind as to do the same and make it clear what you are teaching.
ZNP,

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

Thanks
Drake
Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 05:07 PM   #41
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
ZNP,

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

Thanks
Drake
Matthew 16:24-26 does not seem to have anything to do with your interpretation, yet it begins with "Then" as though it is related to the context.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 07:46 PM   #42
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Very good. We have heard what Drake has to say, and what WL has to say.

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

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


I find it fascinating that the very first mention of the church includes this temptation from Satan, to be able to establish your kingdom without taking the way of the cross. How often in church history have we seen this attempted.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 06:49 AM   #43
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

I think this is without a doubt the most significant boundary of the church that is presented to us in Matthew 16-18.

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

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

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

In this interpretation it is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus that draws all men. We are kept because "He has the words of life" and He is the one we love.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 05:43 PM   #44
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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

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

Is a very strong confirmation of your position and ironically my position. This post, if you missed it, provides a list of family members of officers at LSM who get salaries and / or rent paid by LSM.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2018, 05:15 AM   #45
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

8 Again, the devil taketh him unto an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 and he said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


I would note that Satan is only referred to by Satan when it comes to the temptation about giving Jesus the world, and this is tied to the fact that Satan is the ruler of the world. If we connect this section with the other place in Matthew where Jesus says "get behind me Satan" then there is a very nice correlation between what WL teaches here and how I interpret Peter's temptation from Satan.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2018, 12:21 PM   #46
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

The topic of "the boundary of the local church" is an important one, and it is one that the LRC and the ministry of WL stresses. But like anything else there is the "camel" and the "gnat".

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

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

Straining out the gnat is fine, but swallowing the camel, that is the thing that is completely intolerable.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2018, 04:57 PM   #47
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

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

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

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

In Matthew 16 Jesus makes it very clear you have to first experience the brass altar with the brass laver before you can enter into the church He is building.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2018, 07:08 PM   #48
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: Satan and the boundary of the church

This section Matthew 16-18 is the first mention of the church in the Bible, in the NT, and by the Lord Jesus. It gives us the key principles.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Just like the type of the tabernacle. the boundary is being faithful unto death, not the name of the building you meet in. The name of the building is a phony, blasphemous "boundary" of the church created by Satan in order to avoid the cross of Christ.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2018, 07:13 PM   #49
HERn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 716
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
God’s building must have a definite boundary line. Within that line everything belongs to His building; outside of that line everything belongs either to Babel, Sodom, or the treasure cities. Today’s fallen Christianity does not have the proper, necessary boundary line. Such a boundary has never been built up; it has never been drawn. The people are still participating in idols, sins, and treasures of worldly enjoyment. They have never experienced the brass altar and the brass laver. They have never been judged and been put to death on the altar or cleansed and purged by the laver. If we would practice the church life and share in the building of God, we must first experience the brass altar with the brass laver. Then we will have the brass sockets laid as the foundation of the boundary line. It is by such experiences that the boundary line of God’s building is drawn. (Witness Lee, The Vision of God’s Building, Chapter 5, Section 4)

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

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

In Matthew 16 Jesus makes it very clear you have to first experience the brass altar with the brass laver before you can enter into the church He is building.
Maybe I'm too simple, but the Lords testimony that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered into His name there He is in our midst works for me as to minimum a church can be. I'm pretty sure receiving LSM materials is not required.
__________________
Christ cares for all His sheep in whatever group.
HERn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2018, 08:10 PM   #50
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
Maybe I'm too simple, but the Lords testimony that wherever 2 or 3 are gathered into His name there He is in our midst works for me as to minimum a church can be. I'm pretty sure receiving LSM materials is not required.
Well the discussion hit a little speed bump when Drake argued that Jesus rebuke of Peter "Satan get behind me" was due to his human affection for the Lord. This is a strange teaching that some have, including WL.

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

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

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

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

However, my point in this thread is that this term "gathered into the Lord's name" maybe simple, but it is in the full context of Matt 16-18 which includes the Lord's word on the need to go to the cross. No doubt the "synagogue in Satan" would also claim to meet "in the Lord's name" but as He said "they are liars".
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2018, 11:38 PM   #51
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 625
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Thanks ZNP for leading us on this discussion on the Title. Very relevant and helpful for things I’ve been struggling to understand about “the practical expression of the church” (to borrow a term from Witness Lee).

One thing that is clear is that taking city as boundary has proven to be toxic in practice among the open brethren (Needed Truth branch) and TLR.
__________________
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NASB)
JJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 06:37 AM   #52
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Thanks ZNP for leading us on this discussion on the Title. Very relevant and helpful for things I’ve been struggling to understand about “the practical expression of the church” (to borrow a term from Witness Lee).

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

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

this becomes more toxic in Pergamum

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

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

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

A kingdom has a boundary. So now they don't just have a great name for their meeting hall, they now have delineated a boundary for their kingdom. We see this progression in the doctrine of the ground of the church. The name of the church (the church with no name) is key, better than all other names. Then they define the church as having authority up to the boundary of the city. This is their kingdom. This kingdom has "the prince of this world" on the throne, so it is a worldly boundary to this kingdom. We are also reminded of Matt 18 where the Lord warned about "stumbling one of these little ones". He clarifies this and brings in Balaam as the example. According to Jewish history Balaam taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, teach them to commit fornication, and as a result destroy their testimony. Friendship with the world is a type of fornication. Marrying the church to the world is a fornication. Why would Balaam do this? A strong, vibrant, prevailing testimony by Israel threatened Balak's kingdom. We saw this with Witness Lee, the "rebellions" were designed to clean house of any that might rival him while at the same time bringing others in line (teaching them to commit fornication). As we have discussed on this forum many were stumbled by WL, PL, TL, and the puppet elders. Just as Ed Marks said, he signed the apology to PL because "it made WL happy". This is how they teach them to commit fornication and how they stumble the little ones.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 07:19 AM   #53
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
One thing that is clear is that taking city as boundary has proven to be toxic in practice among the open brethren (Needed Truth branch) and TLR.
We discussed that cities like Toronto, Canada have multiple LC assemblies all claiming to be the "unique" testimony of that city.

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

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

So many questions!!

Drake, please help, can you throw us a lifeline here?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 07:47 AM   #54
Drake
Member
 
Drake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 1,911
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

-1

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

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

Drake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 03:35 PM   #55
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

The boundary, as we have seen from Typology is the "burnished brass" signifying the cross of Christ. The boundary as we have seen in Matt 16 is the cross of Christ.

If you ignore this we have the following progression

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

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

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

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

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

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

In every church you see these two groups. In Smyrna they are told to be faithful unto death. In Pergamum they are commended because they did not deny the faith. But in Thyatira he has something against them, that they tolerate this woman. Why would you tolerate Jezebel telling you she is the "Prophet of the age"? This is a very clear denial of Jesus who is our "Prophet of the Age".
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 08:37 PM   #56
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

3And to the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead. 2Be thou watchful, and establish the things that remain, which were ready to die: for I have found no works of thine perfected before my God.


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

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


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

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

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

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

That is the way this seed grows:

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

until the life is sucked dry and all you can see is either they are dead or ready to die. Their garments are all stained with stains that are decades old, no one wants to deal with that, it is old news. What are those stains? All those brothers and sisters they stumbled, the ones they blotted out. The lawsuits, excommunications, etc.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 04:07 PM   #57
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

14And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined by fire, that thou mayest become rich; and white garments, that thou mayest clothe thyself, and that the shame of thy nakedness be not made manifest; and eyesalve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I reprove and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Laodicea we see the "door". This is the boundary. The Lord is on one side and everyone in Laodicea is on the other. Jesus is the Lamp, He is the light. Laodicea is the fulfillment of the warning to Ephesus about losing their lamp stand.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2018, 06:07 AM   #58
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: The key point

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The other option is that at any time you can leave the merry go round and become part of Philadelphia. Simply take up the cross and follow the Lord. The path is described in detail in Matthew 16-18.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2018, 12:43 PM   #59
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,199
Default Re: The key point

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
In Matthew 16 -- we see that the boundary of the church is the cross of Christ.

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

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


"I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church."
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2018, 01:45 PM   #60
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: The key point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Another predictable pattern is not only dealing with sins and forgiveness, but an inability to practice the spiritual discipline of reconciliation.


"I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church."
It reminds me of the invention of indoor plumbing and sewer systems. Some people say this was the single biggest innovation that allows people to live in cities. You cannot have a city if you don't properly deal with the foul sins that take place every day. It is absolutely fundamental. This is the real "high peaks" revelation.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 08:49 AM   #61
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

7And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and none shall shut, and that shutteth and none openeth:


The church is the “testimony of Jesus”. Unlike Pergamum, this church is Holy. Unlike Smyrna this church is true. Unlike Thyatira this church has “the key of David”. Unlike Sardis this church testifies that no one shuts them out. Unlike Ephesus, they open the door for those who have sinned and repented.

8I know thy works (behold, I have set before thee a door opened, which none can shut), that thou hast a little power, and didst keep my word, and didst not deny my name.

When you get to the “merry go round” churches they pretend to have a lot of power, they can “blot your name out”. They hold the saints in fear. This church has a little power. In the merry go round they don’t keep the Lord’s word, they make up stuff. They are liars. Their doctrines are designed to protect the synagogue of Satan, to establish their own little kingdom. They use false prophets like Balaam.

9Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

So even though they only mentioned the “synagogue of Satan” with Smyrna I think it is reasonable to think that all of the churches, from Smyrna to Laodicea have the “synagogue of Satan”.

10Because thou didst keep the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Imagine how patient you have to be when after 30 years you are still being told “they don’t want to deal with that sin right now”.

11I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown.

This is the crown of life given to those who are faithful to the Lord to take up their cross and follow Him. To cross that boundary line is to be given this crown.

12He that overcometh, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go out thence no more:

All of those in Philadelphia are pillars in the temple and they are also those who “have gone out”. You cannot be an overcomer in Philadelphia if you have not overcome one of the other six church situations. Overcoming those includes “going out” just as those in Laodicea are being called to come out.

and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and mine own new name.

This is incredible. With the LRC the name was so important, the no name church where the name decides everything. However, if you overcome that then look at all the names that are written on you! Mysterious names. These are names that the synagogue of Satan does not know.

13He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

I like how this is not "let him hear what the Spirit says to the "church" or to "Philadelphia" but rather to the "churches". You need to see all seven.

You can immediately determine where a church is at by how they deal with sin.

You can immediately determine if a church is on the right path or not by whether they are following the Lord to the cross.

Liars, grandiose names, false prophets, Jezebel, stained garments, these are simply symptoms of those who do not go to the cross and who do not deal with sin.

The root cause for the abuses and corruption in the Local Church is that they did not take the way of the cross.

The key characteristic of the Local Church that should be the alarm is that they did not deal with sin.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2018, 02:47 PM   #62
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: The one unique church?

This now brings us to the most controversial topic -- the "one unique church". When you look at the seven churches in Revelation they are all in different situations, but most would agree that "Philadelphia" is the church that sets the standard.

But instead I would like to turn this topic to Matthew 18 where I believe it is addressed better and more to the point.

18 In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

I think most of us are uncomfortable with this question, but the Lord does not rebuke them for it, instead I would say that Matthew 18 is the answer to this question.

I would like to interpret this question as referring to the "one unique church". Although we might consider it fleshly to discuss which person is the greatest, it is commonly taught in the ministry of Witness Lee that there is one unique church and the rest of the gatherings of Christians are somehow deficient.

"Then all the saints here, with the one Christ, would form the one unique church in Los Angeles. Composed together and built upon Christ as their foundation, they would be standing simply upon the ground of Los Angeles, which is the local ground, the unique ground of genuine unity. That is the only proper ground for the local church in Los Angeles and the only ground which can keep all the saints in this locality in oneness." (The Ground of the Church, Chapter 1, Section 1)

It is Biblical to say that Christian churches can be in a number of different and degraded situations like Laodicea, Sardis, and Thyatira. So therefore it is not unusual that you might ask how to know if this gathering of Christians is proper, one with the Lord, even "the greatest".

In Matthew 18 we see several characteristics of "the greatest" church.

1. They entered the kingdom by becoming as little children.
2. They don't tolerate those that stumble the little believers.
3. They seek out the "lost sheep", backsliders, the ones that leave the fold.
4. They deal with sin
5. They forgive those that sin against them 7x70
6. Jesus is known to be in their midst
7. They are known by their answered prayers.
8. What they bind on earth is bound in heaven and what they loose on Earth is loosed in heaven.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 06:49 AM   #63
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church (i.e. the ground of the church

LSM accolytes will preach that the ground of the church is the determining factor, regardless of the condition. Church could be dead, sinful, the Lord does not hear their prayers, etc. As long as they have the "ground" they are the unique church.

If you look at this doctrine the point is that you have to own the land you build on. This is crucial, it is righteousness. We see this with Abraham buying a place to bury his dead and we see this with David buying the site for the Temple.

When Jesus said He was going to the cross this was His purchase of the church. When Satan tempted Him saying you don't need to do this it was the typical temptation in the world. Trying to get something for nothing. Many wealthy people have built fortunes on the abuse of others. But what is interesting is that the Lord also said that we need to follow Him to the cross. The principle in the church is you get what you paid for. Peter, Paul and John are all apostles, in part because of the price they paid.

Slapping a name on a building is not equivalent to paying the price.

Crucifying the sins with the passions and lusts, letting your worldly ambitions and all the profit you envisioned die, dealing with your flesh, your ego, and forgiveness. These are aspects of being crucified with Christ. That is how you know you are standing on "the ground of the church".
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 07:44 AM   #64
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church (i.e. the ground of the church

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Crucifying the sins with the passions and lusts, letting your worldly ambitions and all the profit you envisioned die, dealing with your flesh, your ego, and forgiveness. These are aspects of being crucified with Christ. That is how you know you are standing on "the ground of the church".
ZNP, I think you're spot-on with this and the previous post.

The gospel is: A) Jesus; and B) following Jesus. It is NOT: A) the ground; B) the church; C) God's economy; D) whatever.

Much of what we do in scripture is akin to a 4-year-old watching Dad drive off to work. We have a bit of tangential information and can somewhat relate. God is, after all, our Father. But we know so little! Our subjective imagination runs wild.

But we have the prophetic word made clear (2 Pet 1:19). It is Jesus. Peter was there, and he testified. This is not some "Low gospel". It is our goal, our aim, our hope, our joy and our strength. It is Jesus.

Now, do we live it, or get distracted by vain speculations and reasonings?
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2018, 05:14 PM   #65
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church (i.e. the ground of the church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
ZNP, I think you're spot-on with this and the previous post.

The gospel is: A) Jesus; and B) following Jesus. It is NOT: A) the ground; B) the church; C) God's economy; D) whatever.

Much of what we do in scripture is akin to a 4-year-old watching Dad drive off to work. We have a bit of tangential information and can somewhat relate. God is, after all, our Father. But we know so little! Our subjective imagination runs wild.

But we have the prophetic word made clear (2 Pet 1:19). It is Jesus. Peter was there, and he testified. This is not some "Low gospel". It is our goal, our aim, our hope, our joy and our strength. It is Jesus.

Now, do we live it, or get distracted by vain speculations and reasonings?
This is not just a cautionary tale concerning LSM and the Local Church. It applies to all of Christianity.

When you are bringing in a Balaam, a prophet for hire, to spin the word of God to someone's advantage, you are not "becoming as a little child". When you are setting up your throne in Vatican city or anywhere else, you aren't becoming as a little child. When you parade around in your fancy garments that are stained with decades of sins that have not been dealt with you are not becoming as a little child.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2018, 10:24 AM   #66
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,953
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
How many churches are there? 1 or ten thousand?
It is an exercise in semantics. And for the LRC, an exercise in equivocation.

The term "church" has many aspects and is not a singular thing. It is the body of Christ, and in that since is singular universally. But it also refers to each assembly of believers who are part of that body. Those are the extremes of meaning. But that leaves a lot of ground in between (the so-called undistributed middle).

In the middle is any subgroup of those who make up the body of Christ. It is not even necessary that they be a regular part of any assembly (though that is strongly advised against). In that middle ground, it would be correct to refer to either church (singular) or churches (plural) within any particular defined space. There is "church" in any city, state/province, country, or continent because the body of Christ is there. There are also "churches" in any of those to the extent that there are multiple assemblies to be found.

There is nothing in scripture that puts a boundary on anything. It is appropriate to refer to the church in Dallas, meaning the body of Christ (the totality of believers) that are in that city. It is also appropriate to refer to churches in Dallas, meaning the various assemblies that meet there, including the one that uses the name "Church in Dallas."

The LRC insists that there is a prescriptive boundary of an assembly and that this boundary coincides with that of the city in which it is found. But if that is prescriptively true, then there is a problem when those who live in other cities nearby travel across city boundaries to meet in the alleged city-wide church in another city. For example, those in Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Plano, Addison, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, etc., do not have an LSM-branded "local church" in their city, so they travel to Dallas. (It is possible that some of those travel to Irving. Also, I am a little behind on where there are LSM churches here so Richardson or Plano might have their own now.)

In doing so, they negate the much-heralded "unity" with respect to the much larger number of Christians in each of those cities (relative to the number that travel to Dallas) and meet outside of the boundary of their city.

But the truth is that cities have political boundaries. They change over time. Larger cities often absorb smaller cities to improve services within those smaller communities. And none of this is relevant to the makeup of the assemblies that meet to learn about and worship Christ.

I realize that I am not addressing the various points that ZNP has raised, though those are points that the LSM/LRC raises in asserting their faux superiority of position.

But there is no requirement of following anyone, even a so-called MOTA. Paul lamented that so many in Asia had "left me." And by the time of the writing of Revelation, there were some serious problems in some of the cities in Asia Minor. Yet they were still churches. Their lampstands were not removed. Christians still met to learn about and worship Christ. First Nee, then Lee, and now those from the LSM (like those from James) seek to dismiss all who do not follow their way. They tell tales of successions of MOTAs (genealogies) and insist that their faithful pay for standing orders for old materials recycled in new books, reminiscent of sending money for prayer cloths prayed over by radio evangelist (huckster) X.

If it were just about doctrines, I would not become as incensed. But it is also about the enslaving of the minds and pocketbooks of otherwise excellent Christians.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2018, 10:36 AM   #67
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is a true local church?

17 And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Binding and loosing is a matter of authority. The "boundary" of a local church is also a matter of authority. The context of "binding and loosing" is in reference to a sinning brother that you are dealing with. This "local church" has the final authority to "bind or loose" this brother. I do not imply that this verse should be limited to this one application, but rather point out this is the context in which the Lord said this. Based on that context this is referring to the authority of the local assembly.

The only way this could be fulfilled is if the Christians are one. If you have multiple assemblies all independent and this brother simply moves to another one he may not be "truly bound". So it is reasonable to infer from this that the word of this assembly will have weight with all Christians in the city. However, they would also have to have weight with Christians in other cities, otherwise the brother who is "bound" in Anaheim simply moves to San Francisco. Therefore the decision of this church, to bind on Earth and have it bound in heaven would have to apply to the entire earth, not just a single locality. This decision would have to be fully aligned with the Bible. Paul referred to this kind of binding of a brother in 1Cor.

So then, the authority from this locality is not because the elder was appointed by brother so and so, or by "the apostle". The authority is because they are "in the name of Jesus". Their authority is because they are one with the Lord Jesus. They are branches attached to the vine.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 05:20 AM   #68
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

When we complain about the quarantines in the Local church we are looking at this wrong. The question is not whether or not it is Biblical for you to quarantine, nor is the question whether or not WL should or shouldn't have done this. The question is was this person bound in Earth and Heaven?

The reality is virtually no one cares what WL and his cronies do.

Imagine Titus visiting a Christian assembly and someone tells them "he has been quarantined". Why? He was publishing Christian material.

It is absurd.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 05:30 AM   #69
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
When we complain about the quarantines in the Local church we are looking at this wrong. The question is not whether or not it is Biblical for you to quarantine, nor is the question whether or not WL should or shouldn't have done this. The question is was this person bound in Earth and Heaven?

The reality is virtually no one cares what WL and his cronies do.

Imagine Titus visiting a Christian assembly and someone tells them "he has been quarantined". Why? He was publishing Christian material.

It is absurd.
Don't forget he wanted clean sheets in Thailand!
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 10:19 AM   #70
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is a true local church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
17 And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
This is a test. Anyone can claim they are the "one true church" or that they "do church right" or that everyone else is somehow wrong. But, if you are a laughing stock and no one listens to you, who cares what you say?

The Blendeds quarantine of Titus Chu is an excellent example. No Christian outside of this very tiny camp of LSM adherents would pay any attention to that.

This forum is another example. If a person concerned about the LRC were to first check out this forum and then decide to steer clear of them, that would indicate that they have been bound by these words. If they ignore these words, then they haven't.

The error that LRC makes is to think that correlation = causation. It doesn't. They see a correlation between the reference to the church and to the city. Hence they infer a causal link between the two. For example, if you graphed the consumption of ice cream on one axis and the air temperature on the other you would see a direct correlation. People consume more ice cream when it is hot. If you then conclude that the way to make the air temperature go up is to consume more ice cream, that would be to infer a causal link between the consumption of ice cream and air temperature.

Every true church is one with all believers in a city. They flip this around and infer that declaring I am one with all believers will make me a true church. The problem is that if you aren't a true church you will soon be caught in the lie.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 02:02 PM   #71
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is a true local church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
17 And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
This is a very high standard and requirement. If you are going to "quarantine" or "discipline" or "excommunicate" a brother it must be done officially, publicly, and to this standard. Our example in this matter is the Apostle Paul in 1Corinthians.

Very often people are afraid to "convict" based on innuendo, allegations, speculation, because that would bring liability to the church. If that is the case then you don't excommunicate. The standard is that what you bind on Earth is bound in heaven. If you can't meet that standard then you have no business binding.

When you "tell it to the church" the church is not deciding based on the fact that this is a "spiritual brother" making these claims, or "the apostle", etc. They should base it on verifiable facts. If the claims cannot be verified then you should not excommunicate. The standard of the kingdom should not be lower than the standard of the secular courts.

The excommunication of the "sister's rebellion" did not meet this standard. I observed other excommunications in Houston that also did not meet this standard. One brother, R, was excommunicated because he talked to another brother who was "quarantined" even though no one in the church was told why he was quarantined. Likewise, no one was officially told why R was quarantined (I learned of this because I was his roommate and was questioned by the elders). In both cases the church was informed not to talk to these brothers without any further explanation other than the elders were "disciplining them". That is not the standard in Matt 18. If an adult is convicted in a court it is always a matter of public record.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 06:07 PM   #72
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
It is an exercise in semantics. And for the LRC, an exercise in equivocation.

The term "church" has many aspects and is not a singular thing. It is the body of Christ, and in that since is singular universally. But it also refers to each assembly of believers who are part of that body. Those are the extremes of meaning. But that leaves a lot of ground in between (the so-called undistributed middle).

In the middle is any subgroup of those who make up the body of Christ. It is not even necessary that they be a regular part of any assembly (though that is strongly advised against). In that middle ground, it would be correct to refer to either church (singular) or churches (plural) within any particular defined space. There is "church" in any city, state/province, country, or continent because the body of Christ is there. There are also "churches" in any of those to the extent that there are multiple assemblies to be found.

There is nothing in scripture that puts a boundary on anything. It is appropriate to refer to the church in Dallas, meaning the body of Christ (the totality of believers) that are in that city. It is also appropriate to refer to churches in Dallas, meaning the various assemblies that meet there, including the one that uses the name "Church in Dallas."

The LRC insists that there is a prescriptive boundary of an assembly and that this boundary coincides with that of the city in which it is found. But if that is prescriptively true, then there is a problem when those who live in other cities nearby travel across city boundaries to meet in the alleged city-wide church in another city. For example, those in Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Plano, Addison, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, etc., do not have an LSM-branded "local church" in their city, so they travel to Dallas. (It is possible that some of those travel to Irving. Also, I am a little behind on where there are LSM churches here so Richardson or Plano might have their own now.)

In doing so, they negate the much-heralded "unity" with respect to the much larger number of Christians in each of those cities (relative to the number that travel to Dallas) and meet outside of the boundary of their city.

But the truth is that cities have political boundaries. They change over time. Larger cities often absorb smaller cities to improve services within those smaller communities. And none of this is relevant to the makeup of the assemblies that meet to learn about and worship Christ.
A boundary refers to a limit of the sphere of activity. Matthew 18 gives a very specific "limit to the sphere of activity" of the church.

18 Verily I say unto you, What things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The sphere is the Earth. Cities are "political creations", with "ephemeral boundaries". But the Earth is God's creation with boundaries that He created. I agree that with the LRC it is an exercise in equivocation, but I don't agree that it is an exercise in semantics. Matt 18 refers to the church dealing with sin as a government and as a court would do. Both governments and courts have clearly defined spheres of influence.

Our sphere on Earth is clearly submissive to the Heaven. But if we are properly under the headship of Christ then what we bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 06:56 PM   #73
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

No boundaries = lawlessness.

Whether the church was seen to be a top-down hierarchy or a plurality of elders, it should be obvious that the bible teaches structure and order in the church.

Not a rabble of groups of 2-3 believers who take it upon themselves to decide important matters.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 07:28 PM   #74
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
No boundaries = lawlessness.
This is true. God divided the light from the darkness, He divided the land from the sea. The word of God divides soul from Spirit. The cross of Christ divides nominal Christians from the genuine ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Whether the church was seen to be a top-down hierarchy or a plurality of elders, it should be obvious that the bible teaches structure and order in the church.
Don't give us this either or spineless drivel. The church is a top down hierarchy with Jesus as Lord. The structure is that every single member is attached directly to the head, just as every member of your body is attached directly to the head. Elders are simply the sheep that the shepherd has put a bell on. They are not the "chief shepherd", merely the sheep that follow the shepherd closely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Not a rabble of groups of 2-3 believers who take it upon themselves to decide important matters.
A wonderful opinion without any Biblical basis. How is it that Jesus can say that if two or three agree it will be done for them, even if it includes binding on earth and it being bound in heaven or loosing on earth and it be loosed in heaven and yet you have the audacity to say that those decisions "are not important matters"? How is it that you despise these little gatherings when Jesus is in their midst?

10 See that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2018, 08:46 PM   #75
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This is true. God divided the light from the darkness, He divided the land from the sea. The word of God divides soul from Spirit. The cross of Christ divides nominal Christians from the genuine ones.


Don't give us this either or spineless drivel. The church is a top down hierarchy with Jesus as Lord. The structure is that every single member is attached directly to the head, just as every member of your body is attached directly to the head. Elders are simply the sheep that the shepherd has put a bell on. They are not the "chief shepherd", merely the sheep that follow the shepherd closely.


A wonderful opinion without any Biblical basis. How is it that Jesus can say that if two or three agree it will be done for them, even if it includes binding on earth and it being bound in heaven or loosing on earth and it be loosed in heaven and yet you have the audacity to say that those decisions "are not important matters"? How is it that you despise these little gatherings when Jesus is in their midst?

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

I can easily show that telling important matters to "two or three" is insufficient and for this reason "two or three" are not "the church".

Matt 18:15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. [ the context here is clearly about resolution of disputes]

Matt 18:16 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.' [here is mention of two and three witnesses. Matt 18:20 is connected to this verse].

Matt 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. [here it says if the two or three will not listen, THEN tell it to THE CHURCH. Clearly, the two or three and "the church" are different entities. ]

By comparing verse 16 with verse 17 we can see that verse 16, the two or three, are not a church, and that two or three are insufficient to resolve all matters. The church is obviously the higher, final authority than two or three gathered together. For this reason, two or three gathered together are not a church.

Seems to me that the bible does not teach your idea of "two or three + Jesus" being sufficient.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 07:50 AM   #76
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I can easily show that telling important matters to "two or three" is insufficient and for this reason "two or three" are not "the church".

Matt 18:15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. [ the context here is clearly about resolution of disputes]

Matt 18:16 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.' [here is mention of two and three witnesses. Matt 18:20 is connected to this verse].

Matt 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. [here it says if the two or three will not listen, THEN tell it to THE CHURCH. Clearly, the two or three and "the church" are different entities. ]

By comparing verse 16 with verse 17 we can see that verse 16, the two or three, are not a church, and that two or three are insufficient to resolve all matters. The church is obviously the higher, final authority than two or three gathered together. For this reason, two or three gathered together are not a church.

Seems to me that the bible does not teach your idea of "two or three + Jesus" being sufficient.
Yes, I agree that the gathering of "two or three" is considered separately from the term "the church". However, it is very clear that "binding" this person via the church is not for a single city but rather for the entire Earth. So this term "church" does not refer to the "local church" with the jurisdiction of a city as defined by WL and company, but rather refers to the universal assembly of all believers on the Earth.

Second, you described this group of 2 or three as a rabble -- that was to despise them even though Jesus specifically warned against that. You have tried to avoid this in the further posts, but have not apologized.

Third, you say that they are "unable to decide important matters" yet it is very clear from Matt 18 that two or three are able to bind on the entire Earth and what they bind on Earth is also bound in Heaven. You have not provided any evidence at all to say that these are not important matters.

So, to conclude -- what you view as evidence two or three not representing the assembly in a city is not supported in Matt 18. The term church in that chapter clearly has the sphere of the entire earth, not of a single city. What you view as evidence that two or three cannot decide important matters is completely and utterly repudiated by the very chapter you are referencing. Finally, your initial post despised this group of two or three even though this chapter specifically warned you against doing just that. You have not apologized for this, instead you have tried to ignore that and cover it up.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 08:17 AM   #77
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: Excommunication

To summarize:

1. Excommunication is not "quarantine". As it has been shown in other threads this term is equivocation from WL and LSM because they fear being sued for slander. However, there is no mention of a quarantine in Matt 18 (the word refers to a short period of observation of a person not showing symptoms of disease yet who was exposed to a contagious disease. The purpose is to stop the spread of the disease. The practice of "quarantine" by LSM is simply a lie. They do not observe those who are quarantined. It is not for a short period of time. The thought is not that they have not exhibited symptoms but rather they have been judged contagious by the elders. There is no visitation or attempt to bring this sheep back into the flock.) What takes place is what Paul did in 1Cor where he stated evidence as to why the brother should be excommunicated and he was very clear as to the sin. It was public with the evidence clearly stated. Then in 2Cor there was the forgiveness and restoration of this brother.
2. Evangelical has argued that "two or three are incapable of making important decisions" yet 1Cor shows Paul making the decision to excommunicate the brother based on what he had heard from two or three. This comment by Evangelical shows that he despises these small groups even though Matt 18 specifically warns against despising them.
3. Evangelical has argued that two or three cannot be "the church" since they then must "tell it to the church". However, this "church" cannot be the "local church" as taught by WL and LSM because their authority is limited to the boundary of a city whereas the binding of this brother is over the whole earth. This forum is a very good example of "telling it to the church". All of the Christians on Earth. This forum is a gathering of Christians from dozens, maybe even hundreds of localities over this earth.
4. WL and company would have you believe that it is the boundary of a city that makes a church authentic. However, in Matthew 18 it is the binding of a brother on Earth and him being bound in Heaven that proves a church is authentic. For example, if I say "I am one with all Christians in this city" then I "quarantine" brother Titus Chu because he published Christian materials outside of LSM and no Christians in this city are one with that decision am I really one with them? Saying that you are one with them is not proof that you are. So, yes, when Paul excommunicated a brother all Christians were one with him, so his claim to be one with the Christians in the city was true. It isn't the claim that makes it true, it is the truth of the claim that makes it true.

So then let's test this out: Phillip Lee was excommunicated by the Anaheim elders due to repeated evidence of sexual molestation while acting as President of the Living Stream Ministry. As a result all of these elders were forced to resign. New puppet elders were installed by Phillip Lee's dad. These elders then wrote an apology letter to Phillip Lee. There was no public confession or repentance by Phillip Lee, nor was there any suggestion that he had been forgiven of his sins, rather it was the puppet elders who repented and asked forgiveness. Why? Ed Marks said he signed this letter "because it made Witness Lee happy". Do you think all of the Christians in Anaheim CA would be "one" with this?

These puppet elders "loosed" Phillip Lee. Do you think this decision was honored in heaven?
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 03:46 AM   #78
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
These puppet elders "loosed" Phillip Lee. Do you think this decision was honored in heaven?
Suppose two or three make a decision. Jesus said, "When two or three are in agreement, it is done." To "tell it to the church" in this context is the dissemination of the fait accompli and not an appeal to a higher level. Of course the offender can still repent, here. But that is a decision of the offender and not the church.

Suppose every time two or three wanted to bind or loose, they had to convene every believer in that city? If it were the first-century church in Antioch that may be practical. But 21st-century Detroit?

"Oh that's for the proper one-city church and proper elders, chosen by the apostle." But what happens when Today's Paul becomes Drunken Noah? When John Ingalls tried getting two or three, Witness Lee said it was a conspiracy. When John So tried to go alone, Witness Lee said, "We are too much misunderstanding here" and dismissed him.

The Living Stream Ministry/Lord's Recovery/Local Church is a guanxi network in spiritual garb. Look at the cases of Bill Mallon, Max Rappoport, Titus Chi, Dong Yu Lan, Jane Anderson: who gets reconciled or restored in this system? Once you've violated the web of the Supreme Master there is no adjudication. "Two or three" have no power against him.

Now, this actually works quite well when the Supreme Master is Jesus Christ. The two or three are in his name. They have his presence, and his spirit, and his authority. Jesus is the New Moses (Acts 3:22), the Deputy God. We are commanded to hear him. If you do not, you will be cut off from the people (Acts 3:23).
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 05:58 AM   #79
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
When John Ingalls tried getting two or three, Witness Lee said it was a conspiracy.

When John So tried to go alone, Witness Lee said, "We are too much misunderstanding here" and dismissed him.

The Living Stream Ministry/Lord's Recovery/Local Church is a guanxi network in spiritual garb.
This simply confirms how unprincipled they really are, yet shrouded with a guise of "spiritual principles" to deceive even the elect.

Kind of like how Paul's command not to sue your brothers in I Cor 6 gets distorted into "appealing to Caesar."

The plain words of scripture can never be understood by laity, and must always must be "properly interpreted" by LSM.

Funny how the nuns in Catholic school always told us the same thing.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 06:22 AM   #80
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This simply confirms how unprincipled they really are, yet shrouded with a guise of "spiritual principles" to deceive even the elect.

Kind of like how Paul's command not to sue your brothers in I Cor 6 gets distorted into "appealing to Caesar."

The plain words of scripture can never be understood by laity, and must always must be "properly interpreted" by LSM.

Funny how the nuns in Catholic school always told us the same thing.
Once again I think we need to learn from the church in Ephesus. I feel like I am leaving Laodicea, starting over, examining those who say they are apostles and lie. All of this is good work as long as we don't leave our first love which is the redeemer who redeemed us and forgave us.

Yes, they were not holy and they were not true, even though that was the pretense. But let's remember that Jesus has the key of David.

There is a reward for those that can keep the word of the Lord's patience.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 06:38 AM   #81
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Once again I think we need to learn from the church in Ephesus. I feel like I am leaving Laodicea, starting over, examining those who say they are apostles and lie. All of this is good work as long as we don't leave our first love which is the redeemer who redeemed us and forgave us.

Yes, they were not holy and they were not true, even though that was the pretense. But let's remember that Jesus has the key of David.

There is a reward for those that can keep the word of the Lord's patience.
In Ephesus they tried evil men, these false Apostles, and left their first love. (Rev 2.2-4)

Paul warned the elders in Ephesus about those who rise up, drawing the disciples away after themselves. (Acts 20.30)

The connection here is obvious. When these false apostles rise up from within, all are damaged by them. Same thing happened to us in the LC's.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 07:05 AM   #82
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In Ephesus they tried evil men, these false Apostles, and left their first love. (Rev 2.2-4)

Paul warned the elders in Ephesus about those who rise up, drawing the disciples away after themselves. (Acts 20.30)

The connection here is obvious. When these false apostles rise up from within, all are damaged by them. Same thing happened to us in the LC's.
Google John So's testimony - a brother from Stuttgart Germany, in the 1980s. It is all posted online, in detail. Or, read the testimonies of Bill Mallon, or John Ingalls. Etc..

Beware of wolves that wear sheep's clothing. The testimony of these former "insiders" make it clear what we had, here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John So, Manila 1990
Using his own term, really the fermentation started at Stuttgart in 1986. made by the coming of 5 brothers sent by Witness Lee and sent by his office, Philip Lee. Ironically, things didn’t start with us, really did not start with us. At that time Witness Lee was invited by us to come to Germany and we were all expecting brother Lee to come, really. But to our disappointment, brother Lee didn’t come. He said he was busy and instead he and his office sent 5 brothers to come to Stuttgart. I think brother Ray Graver came, brother Benson Phillips, brother Minoru Chen, Brother Ken Unger, and Brother Dan Towle. The Lord knows when we were in disappointment, we brothers had had fellowship just before the brothers came, and I told the brothers, and all the brothers could testify for me, that we should receive these brothers just as Witness Lee himself. We shouldn’t make any difference, we should not make any difference.

So the 5 brothers came. Now, of course, speaking now, you have to realize I’m speaking retrospectively—I’m looking back. At that time we thought their intention was to give a conference, even the “one accord” conference that Witness Lee had just given in the elder’s meeting in Anaheim. So we welcomed them. But to our surprise, this 5 brothers themselves proclaimed that their burden was not the conference, but in the afternoon fellowship from the leading brothers from Europe. There were at least a hundred brothers present there. And they told us that their burden—and every afternoon from 3:00 to 5:30, 6:00 we had fellowship with these 5 brothers concerning the leading of the ministry office—to be one with the ministry office. And I do have the tapes of these meetings. They were on record and since the matter is opened up, I would certainly request the brothers in Stuttgart to transcribe all these messages and make it available to the public. In all these afternoons I was there present maybe just a few times and almost at the end sometimes at the end of these meetings. In these afternoons the brothers’ burden was very strong to propagate and to promote the ministry office, and at that time, really, none of the leading brothers had any idea what the office is; at one point, somebody was very ignorantly and innocently asking, “Well, what is the office, anyway?” And everybody was just laughing, you know, we don’t really know what is the office. Of course, we found out that the office is really brother Lee’s son, Philip Lee.
See also

http://www.concernedbrothers.com/Can...edBrothers.pdf
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 08:55 AM   #83
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In Ephesus they tried evil men, these false Apostles, and left their first love. (Rev 2.2-4)
Paul warned the elders in Ephesus about those who rise up, drawing the disciples away after themselves. (Acts 20.30)
The connection here is obvious. When these false apostles rise up from within, all are damaged by them. Same thing happened to us in the LC's.
Everyone has to go through the cross of Christ if you wish to follow the Lord. However, for those who overcome the promise is to make them a pillar in the house of God.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 03:11 PM   #84
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Yes, I agree that the gathering of "two or three" is considered separately from the term "the church". However, it is very clear that "binding" this person via the church is not for a single city but rather for the entire Earth. So this term "church" does not refer to the "local church" with the jurisdiction of a city as defined by WL and company, but rather refers to the universal assembly of all believers on the Earth.

Second, you described this group of 2 or three as a rabble -- that was to despise them even though Jesus specifically warned against that. You have tried to avoid this in the further posts, but have not apologized.

Third, you say that they are "unable to decide important matters" yet it is very clear from Matt 18 that two or three are able to bind on the entire Earth and what they bind on Earth is also bound in Heaven. You have not provided any evidence at all to say that these are not important matters.

So, to conclude -- what you view as evidence two or three not representing the assembly in a city is not supported in Matt 18. The term church in that chapter clearly has the sphere of the entire earth, not of a single city. What you view as evidence that two or three cannot decide important matters is completely and utterly repudiated by the very chapter you are referencing. Finally, your initial post despised this group of two or three even though this chapter specifically warned you against doing just that. You have not apologized for this, instead you have tried to ignore that and cover it up.
Which church?

Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today.

You have propagated a lie on this forum that two or three are a church. The scripture I have posted prove this is not the case, that if two or three (not a church) cannot resolve the matter then "tell the church" (note, it does not say, "tell your favorite denomination").

It is simply logical to say that the matters which the church can resolve are greater than those that two or three can resolve. This is both logical and common sense. Note how the bible orders it by importance - resolve the dispute with the individual (try to fix it ourselves), if not, tell two or three (maybe our friends or family), if not , tell the church. This is equivalent to going to higher and higher authorities to resolve the matter. This is no different to the federal court system having different levels. The most important problems are resolved at the highest level.

For example, "important matters" such as doctrinal disputes cannot be resolved by only two or three. According to the Bible, these were resolved by the church not by two or three.

Here is an example:

Acts 15:6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

Acts 15:7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.

Acts 15:12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened

I only need one example to disprove your claims that two or three can represent the whole city, and Acts 15 provides this.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2018, 06:39 PM   #85
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: Excommunication

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Google John So's testimony - a brother from Stuttgart Germany, in the 1980s. It is all posted online, in detail. Or, read the testimonies of Bill Mallon, or John Ingalls. Etc..

Beware of wolves that wear sheep's clothing. The testimony of these former "insiders" make it clear what we had, here.

See also http://www.concernedbrothers.com/Can...edBrothers.pdf -- (letter by Don Rutledge)
I love and respect brother Don Rutledge and his views of Witness Lee.

But it is hard to believe that WL was merely fooled by those around him, especially when he concocted his story of some vast global conspiracy in order to protect his son Philip and discredit all those who cried out for his removal. I heard the same story from Titus Chu for years.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2018, 03:22 AM   #86
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which church?
The one the Lord is building. Based on the context it is built up with those who follow the Lord to the cross.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today.
That is hysterical. You cling to WL's mantra like some kind of magic formula. Everything we have discussed in these chapters is very practical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You have propagated a lie on this forum that two or three are a church. The scripture I have posted prove this is not the case, that if two or three (not a church) cannot resolve the matter then "tell the church" (note, it does not say, "tell your favorite denomination").
What an ugly, slanderous thing to say. Please refer me to the offensive post, otherwise cease with your slander. You are truly twice the son of Gehenna that WL was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It is simply logical to say that the matters which the church can resolve are greater than those that two or three can resolve. This is both logical and common sense. Note how the bible orders it by importance - resolve the dispute with the individual (try to fix it ourselves), if not, tell two or three (maybe our friends or family), if not , tell the church. This is equivalent to going to higher and higher authorities to resolve the matter. This is no different to the federal court system having different levels. The most important problems are resolved at the highest level.
Is it Biblical? If so show us your scriptural basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
For example, "important matters" such as doctrinal disputes cannot be resolved by only two or three. According to the Bible, these were resolved by the church not by two or three.

Here is an example:

Acts 15:6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

Acts 15:7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.

Acts 15:12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened

I only need one example to disprove your claims that two or three can represent the whole city, and Acts 15 provides this.
How does this contradict anything that I have said? Once again, please refer to the offensive post otherwise cease from your slander.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2018, 07:03 AM   #87
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which church?

Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today.

You have propagated a lie on this forum that two or three are a church. The scripture I have posted prove this is not the case, that if two or three (not a church) cannot resolve the matter then "tell the church" (note, it does not say, "tell your favorite denomination").
Evangelical, we all know what your favorite denomination is, and who your favorite minister is.

Since it is a "lie" to consider "two or three in the Lord's name" to be a "church," then tell us what is the minimum number? Wasn't Nee's first Lord's Table with only him and three sisters? Was that a "church?" Is four then the minimum?

What about fifty people, and none of them is in the Lord's name, but rather all are in the name of Lee? Is that a church?

How about in Crete, when Paul left Titus there to appoint elders? Were they a church before elders were appointed?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2018, 07:51 AM   #88
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which church?

Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today..
Practical? The Grand Poohbah installs admittedly "unspiritual" son as head of his publishing house, saying it's his private business an he can do what he wants. Complaints from various parties fall on deaf ears. The "two or three" are void in this system.

The Local Church is a guanxi network. It is a Christian personality cult, dominated by the oriental culture
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2018, 08:25 AM   #89
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

In Post #84 Evangelical raises a question that is fundamental to these three chapters in Matthew: "Which church?"

The implication based on the context is that he sees multiple churches, denominations, free groups, non denominational, and in his logic there can only be "one true church".

We need to examine this. When we looked at the seven churches in Revelation (this is the Lord's continuation from Matt 16-18). In every single case the Lord treats them as a "church" though Laodicea has been condemned and he is calling for those still there to leave. You might think that Ephesus sin of "leaving their first love" would condemn them, a warning was issued, but they are still a legitimate church. You might think that Balaam would disqualify one, or Jezebel, or stained robes. But in every case the Lord is speaking to them and working with them.

Imagine how arrogant it is that you think your one little gimmick with your name somehow disqualifies all other christian assemblies from having the Lord's ear. This is what it means to "despise" them. Once again, Matt 18 warns us not to despise these little brothers because they do have the ear of God the Father in heaven.

There is no verse in the NT that provides a solid basis for Evangelical's claim to the "city church with no name" being the only one that Matt 18 is talking about. What is abundantly clear and spelled out in Black and White is that Matt 18 is referring to any and all gatherings in the name of Jesus, even if it is as small as two or three. How blind do you have to be to argue that Matt 18 cannot be referring to meetings of 2 or 3 (even though the Lord makes it crystal clear that He is talking about that) because there was a meeting in Acts that had more than 3?!

This is why I tune out whenever Evangelical says "it is logical".
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2018, 08:52 AM   #90
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Practical? The Grand Poohbah installs admittedly "unspiritual" son as head of his publishing house, saying it's his private business an he can do what he wants. Complaints from various parties fall on deaf ears. The "two or three" are void in this system.

The Local Church is a guanxi network. It is a Christian personality cult, dominated by the oriental culture
Why is it they can sideswipe every spiritual requirement for those serving in His church by claiming to be a work, or a ministry, or only a publisher, etc.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2018, 09:26 AM   #91
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The implication based on the context is that he sees multiple churches, denominations, free groups, non denominational, and in his logic there can only be "one true church".

This is why I tune out whenever Evangelical says "it is logical".
Reminds me of Hodgson's classic piece "The Logical Song."

Perhaps another theme song for ex-LCers, especially those who got sent to the FTTA! Quite appropriate!
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2018, 11:23 AM   #92
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

The Local Church is a guanxi network, a Christian personality cult that reflects and expresses the culture that gave it root and nourishment. The Bible is of interest, even intense interest, inasmuch as it's useful to the maintenance & propagation of the network; otherwise it's ignored or even dismissed as "fallen" and "mixed sentiments" and "natural concepts".

The reason they don't see their own fallen natural concepts is because seeing would be detrimental to the network. "I'm proud to be an ostrich with my head stuck on the sand" is how one current leader once put it. That's how he got where he is today. If he saw, he'd be put out.

Why join such a network? Well, for one it gives the immediate impression of power. The network is sold as the great success, and all you have to do is join & that success becomes by association your own. Just ignore the man behind the curtain. And ignore the cries of the abused. And ignore those who apparently "couldn't make it". And ignore scripture that doesn't line up with the master plan. And ignore. . .

The gospel is Jesus Christ. The testimony of the church is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is our life, our focus, our aim. The rest is, at best, a distraction. At worst it becomes a stumbling, an invitation to a kind of deliberate, self-conscious myopia, where the network is all. There may be word-games, with "church" versus "ministry initiatives", but in the LC it always comes back to the network and one's relative standing therein. And the testimony of Jesus is suborned. As awareness says; I got my hat & t-shirt; paid the price for joining it.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2018, 02:59 PM   #93
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which church?

Your ideas about the church are only ideological because there is no practical local church called "the church" in which a person may go to to air their disputes in the situation of denominations today.

You have propagated a lie on this forum that two or three are a church. The scripture I have posted prove this is not the case, that if two or three (not a church) cannot resolve the matter then "tell the church" (note, it does not say, "tell your favorite denomination").
Therefore is the church likened to a certain king who would make a reckoning with his servants. Some saints were brought to him from Christianity and they owed him Ten Million dollars each. Since they had nothing with which to pay, the Lord commanded them to be sold, along with their wives and children and all they owned. But these saints fell down and worshipped the Lord, repenting for their errors made in Christianity, they asked the Lord to have patience with them and they would start afresh and build the church that would repay the Lord. So the Lord was moved with compassion and forgave those saints their debt and they went and started the Local Church in the US. But the leader of that group, Witness Lee, then went out and found some of his fellow Christians that owed him $20. He railed against them. He called them satanic and dead. Those meeting in denominations he condemned because they were incorrectly denominated. Those in non denominational churches he condemned because that is not the right way. He condemned those in free groups and small groups. He even sued them and was abusive towards many. So some who witnessed this were very sorry and they came and told the Lord all that was done. They wrote it down on the internet so that the church could see. Then the Lord called unto these saints and said to them, “thou wicked servants, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou besoughtest me: shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow servant, even as I had mercy on thee?

This is my understanding of the fundamental error. This is the church in Ephesus "leaving their first love". This path of being merciless to other Christians includes Balaam, Jezebel, stained robes, and ultimately a poor, wretched, blind condition. This is where the LRC went wrong, all the other errors could have been corrected, but once we took this path we would get further and further away from the Lord.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2018, 09:08 PM   #94
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

So, if you have followed this thread we have come to the heart of the "boundary" of the church. This boundary is the wall that keeps out false prophets like Balaam who teaches scam artists how to stumble the little brothers so that you can build your kingdom. This boundary keeps out the little perches that are built into this distorted kingdom for Jezebel to come in and abuse the saints. The boundary is mercy.

When we bought into WL's merciless attack on all Christians other than himself we opened the door for the merciless attack of Balaam and Jezebel. Mercy is the protection that you are in "the one true church" and the lack of it cannot be covered over with all kinds of distorted "ground of the church" doctrines. The ground that we stand on is the "mercy seat".
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2018, 06:23 AM   #95
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

11And their father Israel said unto them, If it be so now, do this: take of the choice fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spicery and myrrh, [b]nuts, and almonds; 12and take double money in your hand; and the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks carry again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: 13take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: 14and God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release unto you your other brother and Benjamin. And if I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

The first use of the word “mercy” in the Bible is the story of Israel sending his sons to Egypt for food. This story is extremely instructive and applicable to us.

Joseph’s brothers are jealous of him because of his dreams and his favored son status. At first the most vicious of them (Simeon) wants to kill him. Simeon is also the one most responsible for killing those in the town of the man that wanted to marry his sister. Reuben wants to preserve him alive to return to his father to put him back in the good graces with him. But that is an idiotic plan, is he going to expose his brothers? If not, what is Joseph going to say? But the plan collapses when Reuben decides to leave the group for a little recreational visit to a camel train from Egypt. Reuben’s profligacy did him in. But Judah takes charge, comes up with a plan that will save Joseph’s life without exposing the sins of his brothers. However, it involves a lie presented as the truth. They dip Joseph’s coat in blood and tell their father “we found this”. They let their father identify it as Joseph’s coat and infer the rest.

All of this works out for good according to God’s plan. There is one little problem. How can Joseph trust them? When he reveals himself to his father he will expose their sins and lies. Israel has prayed for “mercy” because he is not a fool. The story of some Egyptian ruler having dinner with his sons, identifying Simeon as the one that needs to be locked up, and discovering that there is yet another brother, Benjamin, is all very implausible.

So then, how can Joseph merge the truth of their sins with mercy? How can Joseph be merciful but also not be a fool?

It is crucial for Joseph to see his brother Benjamin, after all what happened to him might have been a play to get his inheritance, which will now go to Benjamin. Learning that Israel had sent the ten but held back Benjamin reveals to Joseph that Israel does not trust them either.

By fabricating false charges against Benjamin he forces Judah to confess and demonstrated that his brothers were not monsters and he could trust them. Also, to go from thinking that Benjamin would be imprisoned as a thief in Egypt for the rest of his life and they would have to bring this news back to their father to suddenly realizing the ruler is Joseph made it much easier to embrace the truth. Yes it exposed their past sin, but at least it saved them from a future sin that would have been even worse.

Joseph reconciling with his brothers is the first mention of mercy. Joseph was not foolish, he was well aware of the truth, of the sins, but he also laid out a path for them to confess and repent and be reconciled.

This path involved Joseph taking the cross. He could have sent for Israel as soon as he was promoted to a ruling status in Egypt. Had he done that it would have eliminated any possibility of reconciliation with his brothers. He had to trust the Lord that they would be sent and he could work this out, all the while hoping his father doesn't die in the interim.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2018, 08:12 AM   #96
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This path involved Joseph taking the cross..
Very good exposition. I for one am hungry for this kind of presentation.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2018, 08:56 AM   #97
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Very good exposition. I for one am hungry for this kind of presentation.
Agreed.

Moving beyond the tasteless drudgery of LSM's recycled ministry, I have found so much inspiration and anointing "out there" in the greater body of Christ.

Right now I am going thru a great little book by Larry Huch entitled, The Seven Places Jesus Shed His Blood.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 03:53 AM   #98
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Moving beyond the tasteless drudgery of LSM's recycled ministry, I have found so much inspiration and anointing "out there" in the greater body of Christ..
I think that "mercy" is a great topic. The LC was based on judgment: that "Christanity" had become utterly corrupt and must be abandoned. Where is the mercy? Where the considering and receiving others, "just as I am, without one plea"? Where's the bearing one another in love? Where the covering?

When Witness Lee sinned we were told to "cover drunken Noah" but Lee was signally disinterested to aid or cover in the frailties of others.

And yet the bare, unrelenting principle of the NT is that what you do to others you do to yourself. To those who show mercy, mercy is shown; those who show no mercy receive none.

"Mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other." ~Psalm 85:10 We could spend our lifetimes exploring the deep connotations of these words.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 05:44 AM   #99
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I think that "mercy" is a great topic. The LC was based on judgment: that "Christanity" had become utterly corrupt and must be abandoned. Where is the mercy? Where the considering and receiving others, "just as I am, without one plea"? Where's the bearing one another in love? Where the covering?

When Witness Lee sinned we were told to "cover drunken Noah" but Lee was signally disinterested to aid or cover in the frailties of others.

And yet the bare, unrelenting principle of the NT is that what you do to others you do to yourself. To those who show mercy, mercy is shown; those who show no mercy receive none.

"Mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other." ~Psalm 85:10 We could spend our lifetimes exploring the deep connotations of these words.
If you have "righteousness" without mercy then you will not have peace. Imagine what would have happened to Joseph's brothers if he had exposed them in a way of "righteousness and truth" but without mercy? It would have created a situation similar to Ishmael. Either the Jews become nothing more than the "Hatfields and McCoy's" or the Middle East becomes even more confusing than it already is.

Matthew 18 is a chapter on dealing with sin so that you have righteousness and truth. It is very instructive that the conclusion of this chapter is to remind us to be merciful in the same way that we have received mercy.

Why are religious leaders always vilified as hypocrites? They make a big deal over righteousness and truth, but have forgotten mercy.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 07:11 AM   #100
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I think that "mercy" is a great topic. The LC was based on judgment: that "Christanity" had become utterly corrupt and must be abandoned. Where is the mercy? Where the considering and receiving others, "just as I am, without one plea"? Where's the bearing one another in love? Where the covering?

When Witness Lee sinned we were told to "cover drunken Noah" but Lee was signally disinterested to aid or cover in the frailties of others.

And yet the bare, unrelenting principle of the NT is that what you do to others you do to yourself. To those who show mercy, mercy is shown; those who show no mercy receive none.
WL loved to compare the "best" of his ministry (e.g. some young teen giving a wonderful training review) with the "worst" of Christianity, thinking it was somehow a fair comparison. There actually are LC brothers today who are convinced the rest of the body of Christ has absolutely nothing of Christian/spiritual value -- not meetings, not books, not gospel, not shepherding, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
"Mercy and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other." ~ Psalm 85:10

We could spend our lifetimes exploring the deep connotations of these words.
These all happened at the cross of Christ!

The so-called "low gospel" of the recovery. Go figure!
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 01:27 PM   #101
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
The one the Lord is building. Based on the context it is built up with those who follow the Lord to the cross.
That is hysterical. You cling to WL's mantra like some kind of magic formula. Everything we have discussed in these chapters is very practical.
What an ugly, slanderous thing to say. Please refer me to the offensive post, otherwise cease with your slander. You are truly twice the son of Gehenna that WL was. Is it Biblical? If so show us your scriptural basis.
How does this contradict anything that I have said? Once again, please refer to the offensive post otherwise cease from your slander.
You have denied a simple fact of the bible that two or three are not "the church" as I have shown in the scripture I posted. You have been unable to explain why Jesus tells us to tell "the church" if telling two or three does not help. Clearly they are not the same thing. Not being able to see such simple facts proves to me that you are not qualified to lecture me about the church.

Your belief about Christ's presence in the midst of two or three can be taken to its illogical conclusion to say "God is with me, therefore I am a church". You have confused the matter of meeting in His name with the local church.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 02:02 PM   #102
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Matthew 18 is a chapter on dealing with sin so that you have righteousness and truth. It is very instructive that the conclusion of this chapter is to remind us to be merciful in the same way that we have received mercy.
Matthew 18 presents it starkly, doesn't it? (But then, Jesus is nothing if not clear). Verse 10 has "despising" and then verse 33 has "mercy".

And it's all about reciprocity - what you do is what you get.

The ground of the Local Church isn't mercy but despising. Try to make it through one ministry message without hearing a caricature of "Christianity" presented as a foil.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 02:30 PM   #103
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You have denied a simple fact of the bible that two or three are not "the church" as I have shown in the scripture I posted. You have been unable to explain why Jesus tells us to tell "the church" if telling two or three does not help. Clearly they are not the same thing. Not being able to see such simple facts proves to me that you are not qualified to lecture me about the church.
I have responded to this repeatedly (Posts #74, 76, 77, 86, 89, and 93)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Your belief about Christ's presence in the midst of two or three can be taken to its illogical conclusion to say "God is with me, therefore I am a church". You have confused the matter of meeting in His name with the local church.
The expression "tell it to the church" has the jurisdiction of the entire Earth. We know this because Jesus tells the "two or three" that what they bind on Earth will be what has been bound in Heaven and what they loose on Earth will be what is loosed in heaven.

Therefore this term "the church" refers to the universal group of Christians on this planet. It is not limited to a single city.

Second, Aron pointed out (Post #78) that "tell it to the church" does not mean "inquire of the church". You insinuated that 2 or 3 cannot make a decision, but that is obviously false. Paul was only 2 or 3 when (Paul plus the one or two brothers that relayed the information what was going on in Corinth) when he "told it to the church". He didn't "inquire", he told them to cast that brother out. The church did not make the decision, they carried out the decision that was made.

Now you might claim that Paul "told it to the church" referring to the local church in Corinth. However, this telling was public (in his letter published for all Christians to read) and we are to understand that had that brother tried going to another city the declaration of Paul would have still applied.

You said that some council in Acts over doctrinal issues among brothers from many different localities was "proof" that two or three cannot decide doctrinal issues. That also is a claim that has no Biblical support. When Paul took Apollos apart to declare the way more clearly to him that was a doctrinal issue being decided by two or three. So we have two or three deciding an issue in Acts, we have Peter coming back from baptizing gentiles in a meeting that can be assumed to be a little larger, and we have the meeting with Paul which was larger still. We have different situations and different sized meetings but in every case they are deciding doctrinal issues. You also have the meeting where Paul decides Mark cannot go with them, how many were in that meeting? You have the meeting where Paul rebukes Peter recorded in Galatians, how many in that meeting?

If there were ten people in one meeting it doesn't prove you can't have five. If there were twenty, it doesn't prove you can't have ten. The only proof is the Lord's word that "wherever two or three are gathered He is in the midst."
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2018, 11:22 PM   #104
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I have responded to this repeatedly (Posts #74, 76, 77, 86, 89, and 93)

The expression "tell it to the church" has the jurisdiction of the entire Earth. We know this because Jesus tells the "two or three" that what they bind on Earth will be what has been bound in Heaven and what they loose on Earth will be what is loosed in heaven.

Therefore this term "the church" refers to the universal group of Christians on this planet. It is not limited to a single city.

Second, Aron pointed out (Post #78) that "tell it to the church" does not mean "inquire of the church". You insinuated that 2 or 3 cannot make a decision, but that is obviously false. Paul was only 2 or 3 when (Paul plus the one or two brothers that relayed the information what was going on in Corinth) when he "told it to the church". He didn't "inquire", he told them to cast that brother out. The church did not make the decision, they carried out the decision that was made.

Now you might claim that Paul "told it to the church" referring to the local church in Corinth. However, this telling was public (in his letter published for all Christians to read) and we are to understand that had that brother tried going to another city the declaration of Paul would have still applied.

You said that some council in Acts over doctrinal issues among brothers from many different localities was "proof" that two or three cannot decide doctrinal issues. That also is a claim that has no Biblical support. When Paul took Apollos apart to declare the way more clearly to him that was a doctrinal issue being decided by two or three. So we have two or three deciding an issue in Acts, we have Peter coming back from baptizing gentiles in a meeting that can be assumed to be a little larger, and we have the meeting with Paul which was larger still. We have different situations and different sized meetings but in every case they are deciding doctrinal issues. You also have the meeting where Paul decides Mark cannot go with them, how many were in that meeting? You have the meeting where Paul rebukes Peter recorded in Galatians, how many in that meeting?

If there were ten people in one meeting it doesn't prove you can't have five. If there were twenty, it doesn't prove you can't have ten. The only proof is the Lord's word that "wherever two or three are gathered He is in the midst."
There is a difference between correcting someone's doctrine and defining what that doctrine should be. There is no case of two or three gathering together to determine what a doctrine or practice should be. The example I provided was in regards to defining what the doctrine or practice should be concerning the Gentiles and the law of Moses.

This practice of consulting the church in the early church period continued with the development of the canon and the doctrine of the Trinity. In fact, that these important matters were not decided by "two or three" is strong proof against your argument.

I find this "entire Earth" argument to be a weak one. Jesus's statement about binding and loosing was concerning the apostolic authority given to the disciples. Practically and logically, the place to seek such authority is in the local churches where the apostles resided, and not in a "global church" which was beyond many people's reach.

Also today, it is not practical or logical to seek higher authority in a church which is not local to us. But some may due to denominationalism. This may occur in denominations (for example, a Roman Catholic person travelling to Rome to consult the Pope).
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 03:45 AM   #105
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
today, it is not practical or logical to seek higher authority in a church which is not local to us.
In practice, the Local Church franchises continually seek higher authority from HQ in Anaheim. Not to do so is deemed rebellious. In my LC group the lead elder tried to hold a regional conference based on one of WL's books. He was told, "Re-speak the most recent of the Seven Feasts". Two brothers came from Anaheim, to monitor compliance.

And it's logical to see the LC as based on the wholesale rejection and despising of every form of religious expression save what is being currently promoted by HQ.

Suppose there is an unaffiliated local expression of collective Christian testimony in San Marcos. Continual gatherings, shepherding, exhorting, outreach. Openness to all the faith, oneness with all, yet slavish to none. Various ministries functioning. But no LSM materials, as they've heard of Timothy and Philip Lee, and believe that Witness Lee has been disqualified as elder, much less apostle, by Paul's writings.

Suppose LSM-affiliated believers find such a church in that city. There's your practical expression. Do they recognize it? No, they despise it. Some pretext is found to reject it as . . . "Christianity"

To repeat, the LSM-affiliated LC is based on neither their righteousness nor God's mercy, but on the blanket condemnation of all Christian expression save their own. Which isn't a very Christian expression, if you ask me.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 03:58 AM   #106
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default The Acts 15 conference in Jerusalem

The Acts 15 conference in Jerusalem was for the seeing, agreeing upon, and dissemination of what had been established by two or three outside Jerusalem, on earth as in heaven, that gentile believers were not to be held to Jewish practices. And it wasn't established by Paul the MOTA, because as Witness Lee noted, James spoke last.

"This is the LORD'S doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes". ~Psa 22
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 06:04 AM   #107
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
There is a difference between correcting someone's doctrine and defining what that doctrine should be. There is no case of two or three gathering together to determine what a doctrine or practice should be. The example I provided was in regards to defining what the doctrine or practice should be concerning the Gentiles and the law of Moses.
You keep changing. First a group of 2 or 3 cannot make important decisions. This is clearly not true as they can bind something on Earth and heaven. Examples of Paul doing this are given in the NT. Then you changed this to a group of two or three cannot decide doctrinal issues. Again, not true as there are numerous examples in the NT of key doctrinal issues like the path to salvation and the fellowship of the church being decided between Paul and Apollos, Paul and Peter, and Paul and Mark. Now you are saying that key doctrinal issues cannot be "defined". Once again a baseless claim since all of our doctrinal issues are defined in the writings of Paul, Peter, John and the various apostles.

You are hanging your entire thesis on the fact that there was a council meeting in Acts 15. What does this have to do with the boundary of the church? What does this have to do with "proving" that a church (gathering of the called out ones) cannot be 2 or 3 but must have a certain minimum number greater than this which you have not ever provided.

The person who has never answered this question is you. Where is the Scriptural basis to say that 2 or 3 is somehow categorically different in function from a group of 100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
This practice of consulting the church in the early church period continued with the development of the canon and the doctrine of the Trinity. In fact, that these important matters were not decided by "two or three" is strong proof against your argument.
Yes, the practices of the Roman Emperors and the Roman Catholic Church were quite different from what was laid out in Matthew 18. That is not "proof against my argument" but rather proof that Christianity has deviated from the NT. Thank you for bringing that up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I find this "entire Earth" argument to be a weak one. Jesus's statement about binding and loosing was concerning the apostolic authority given to the disciples. Practically and logically, the place to seek such authority is in the local churches where the apostles resided, and not in a "global church" which was beyond many people's reach.
Wow! Wow! Wow! A great demonstration of the corrosive effect of WL's doctrine. Jesus Christ, Lord of Heaven and Earth, resides in each believer. He is the authority. He is the one we seek, not some wannabe apostle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Also today, it is not practical or logical to seek higher authority in a church which is not local to us. But some may due to denominationalism. This may occur in denominations (for example, a Roman Catholic person travelling to Rome to consult the Pope).
There is nothing, whatsoever, in Matthew 18 that supports the need to "seek higher authority" other than Jesus. You meet together in the name of Jesus. You bind and loose in that name. There is no authority in the name of Witness Lee or Watchman Nee, you have been greatly deceived. There was no authority in the name of Peter, Paul proved that.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 06:16 AM   #108
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Evangelical, we all know what your favorite denomination is, and who your favorite minister is.

Since it is a "lie" to consider "two or three in the Lord's name" to be a "church," then tell us what is the minimum number? Wasn't Nee's first Lord's Table with only him and three sisters? Was that a "church?" Is four then the minimum?

What about fifty people, and none of them is in the Lord's name, but rather all are in the name of Lee? Is that a church?

How about in Crete, when Paul left Titus there to appoint elders? Were they a church before elders were appointed?
Evangelical, these are all legitimate questions for you. Why no response?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 06:51 AM   #109
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

There is a reason I have focused on the Lord's words in Matthew. This section is the "vision" of the church, even the "blue print" of the church as given to us by Jesus.

Acts is not the blue print, it is not the vision, it is the "case law". For example many feel that the decision for Paul to go and make sacrifices to appease the Jews, a decision pushed on him by James was an error. Acts shows us the issues they faced and how they addressed them. But it is derivative of the vision in Matthew and in many cases we see the bias and religious influence on those in the early church.

The Epistles give much greater detail than you see in Matthew. So if you want to examine the details of some question it is hard to find it in Matthew, but if you want a bird's eye view, the Lord's word in Matthew is clearly the best starting point.

Finally, we should appreciate that the letters to the churches in Revelation are a direct continuation of this portion in Matthew. These are the only two places in scripture that are directly attributed to the Lord Jesus in discussing the church.

This is why I feel that using a meeting in Acts 15 to pronounce overarching doctrinal rules concerning the church that contradict Matthew 18 is a very poor approach that is either ignorant or deceptive.

Matthew 16 the Lord says "I will build my assembly". In Matthew 18 He says "wherever two or three are gathered". I think it is perfectly acceptable to interpret a meeting of two or three as the "building block" that He will use to build His assembly. By doing this He eliminates the person who wants to claim that they, praying their closet, are a building block of the church. This is also in line with Paul's word about "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together".

This is simple and straightforward.

The kink in the chain comes when you accept concepts like "seeking the authority in the church" as though it were different from the Lord Jesus. Accepting the doctrine of "Apostle's having an authority that is separate from the Lord Jesus or separate from other Christians".

Evangelical represents the LC dogma that Matthew 18 presents the authority of the church and how dealing with sin goes up the chain of command in a local church. But if you look at the chapter carefully you don't see the same thing. Two or three are sufficient to bind or loose, in context this refers to judging a brother and even excommunicating him from the fellowship as Paul did. "Telling it to the church" is informative, there is no indication that the church then rules on the case. There is no indication that these two or three need the authority of an elder or Apostle, rather they need to gather "in the name of Jesus".
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 05:25 PM   #110
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
You keep changing. First a group of 2 or 3 cannot make important decisions. This is clearly not true as they can bind something on Earth and heaven. Examples of Paul doing this are given in the NT. Then you changed this to a group of two or three cannot decide doctrinal issues. Again, not true as there are numerous examples in the NT of key doctrinal issues like the path to salvation and the fellowship of the church being decided between Paul and Apollos, Paul and Peter, and Paul and Mark. Now you are saying that key doctrinal issues cannot be "defined". Once again a baseless claim since all of our doctrinal issues are defined in the writings of Paul, Peter, John and the various apostles.

It depends who those two or three are. Paul, Peter and John, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
There is nothing, whatsoever, in Matthew 18 that supports the need to "seek higher authority" other than Jesus. You meet together in the name of Jesus. You bind and loose in that name. There is no authority in the name of Witness Lee or Watchman Nee, you have been greatly deceived. There was no authority in the name of Peter, Paul proved that.
The apostles were given authority to bind and loose. This was reflected in the early church by their practice.

Even the fact that the new testament canon and the Trinity were not decided by gatherings of two or three but those with authority in the church, disproves your doctrine.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2018, 05:38 PM   #111
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Two or three are sufficient to bind or loose, in context this refers to judging a brother and even excommunicating him from the fellowship as Paul did. "Telling it to the church" is informative, there is no indication that the church then rules on the case. There is no indication that these two or three need the authority of an elder or Apostle, rather they need to gather "in the name of Jesus".
ZNP is wrong about this, that telling the church is informative, because the verse says

"if he neglect to hear the church", indicating that the church has something to say. And if the church has something to say about it, then it is clearly not just informative.

I can easily show that ZNP is wrong on this matter by presenting some scholarly resources. ZNP stresses the importance of the two or three but then ignores the matter of the church in the next verse, saying that telling the church is merely informative.

Here, Barne's says that bringing it to the church was a kind of trial:

Barne's notes on Matt 18:17 says:
Tell it to the church - See the notes at Matthew 16:18. The church may here mean the whole assembly of believers, or it may mean those who are authorized to try such cases - the representatives of the church, or these who act for the church. In the Jewish synagogue there was a bench of elders before whom trials of this kind were brought. It was to be brought to the church in order that he might be admonished, entreated, and, if possible, reformed. This was, and is always to be, the first business in disciplining an offending brother.

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges says similar:
tell it unto the church] The word “church” (Grk. ekklesia) is found only here and ch. Matthew 16:18 in the Gospels. In the former passage the reference to the Christian Church is undoubted. Here either (1) the assembly or congregation of the Jewish synagogue, or rather, (2) the ruling body of the synagogue (collegium presbyterorum, Schleusner) is meant. This must have been the sense of the word to those who were listening to Christ. But what was spoken of the Jewish Church was naturally soon applied to the Christian Church.

Geneva Study Bible says similar:
(i) He speaks not of just any policy, but of an ecclesiastical assembly, for he speaks afterward of the power of loosing and binding, which belonged to the Church, and he has regard for the order used in those days, at which time the elders had the judgment of Church matters in their hands, Joh 9:22 12:4216:2, and used casting out of the synagogue for a punishment, as we do now by excommunication.

Even John Piper upholds the authority of the church and its ability to rule:
https://www.desiringgod.org/articles...ep-of-leniency

In ZNP's world, only two or three need to gather together in the name of Jesus and can decide about anything, even without elders. Not only was this not practiced in the early church (unless those two or three were apostles, of course), but even today it is impractical, and leads to the situation of denominationalism.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 06:20 AM   #112
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It depends who those two or three are. Paul, Peter and John, for example.
Can you please explain further? What determines if the two or three are according to the Lord's word in Matthew 18.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 06:21 AM   #113
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It depends who those two or three are. Paul, Peter and John, for example.
Did you mean to say that this promise to bind and loose is not given to all Christians but only to a select few?

If that is what you meant to say, can you illuminate us as to what decides which few this promise applies to?
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 06:29 AM   #114
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
ZNP is wrong about this, that telling the church is informative, because the verse says "if he neglect to hear the church", indicating that the church has something to say. And if the church has something to say about it, then it is clearly not just informative.
You are correct. However, Aron is also correct. The two or three pass judgement. When they tell the church then this assembly also has the authority to check into it. For example, the Blendeds passed judgement on Titus Chu and then informed the church. However, we also have the ability to investigate this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I can easily show that ZNP is wrong on this matter by presenting some scholarly resources. ZNP stresses the importance of the two or three but then ignores the matter of the church in the next verse, saying that telling the church is merely informative.
In ZNP's world, only two or three need to gather together in the name of Jesus and can decide about anything, even without elders. Not only was this not practiced in the early church (unless those two or three were apostles, of course), but even today it is impractical, and leads to the situation of denominationalism.
You can stop referring to this as "ZNP's world". I quoted Paul in 1Cor who practiced this, so you can call this Paul's world, or the NT.

I have already agreed that unlike the LC and LSM would have you believe the believers are not mindless automatons who must do whatever they are told. When the Blendeds wrote a letter excommunicating Titus Chu we all had the ability to read it and determine for ourselves the merit. Had they been in Christ according to Matthew 18 it would have stood up to all scrutiny and the what they bound on Earth would have been bound in Heaven. But as it was it was biased, unscriptural, and hypocritical. So they can tell us and we can reject it.

Just because two or three or in the case of the Blendeds sixty or seventy agree on anything it does not mean that what they bind will be bound unless they are gathering in the name (person and work) of Jesus Christ.

This forum has acted according to what you have quoted in examining the charges and deciding they lack merit. I doubt any "church" in the LC did the same.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 07:04 AM   #115
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Evangelical has raised a very important point, and a point I am very glad that he made since I will now not need to debate him on it.

On the one hand in Matt 18 Jesus says that "two or three" can bind on Earth. On the other hand in Matt 18 Jesus says they need to "tell it to the church and if" definitely proving that the church has the authority to accept, reject or modify this judgement. How do we reconcile these two statements, both given by the Lord, both in the same chapter, both in the same context?

So then we missed something. Jesus said that "what they bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven". Since he also said the church will decide whether or not to bind them this equates the church with "the kingdom of the heaven".

Witness Lee taught that in Chapter 18 it is a chapter about the Local church. But this is not true. The two or three (two or three hundred?) represent the Local church that has authority over a certain portion of the Earth. Whereas "the church" refers to the body of believers in totality.

When the Blendeds excommunicated Titus Chu they had the authority to do that. However, their goal was not that these 60+ believers would no longer have contact with Titus but that all the believers would cut him off. So they sent out the letter to the "church" so that what they had bound would be bound in the kingdom of heaven.

Now it is perfectly acceptable for the "church" to read the letter, consider the letter, ask to hear verification, hear witnesses, hear from Titus, etc. This is the practice that has taken place on this forum. However, I never once saw this practiced in the Lord's Recovery Church. I saw a roommate who was excommunicated and we were simply told that the elders made this decision, if you asked questions you would be immediately viewed as negative, poisoned, and would also fall under suspicion. There was no review, no "telling it to the church". They simply told us their decision without the slightest thought that we needed to hear the evidence as well.

Likewise with Max. They had numerous messages where Witness Lee and Benson would tell the saints the decision. Accusations were made. But you could not in the slightest feel that it was a "fair trial" in which both sides were given an opportunity to speak and respond.

Sister's rebellion was the same thing.

So I thank Evangelical for pointing out the error in Witness Lee's church. This has also resolved the burning question of locality. The two or three (and that could be two or three hundred) refer to any and all possible localities whereas the "church" refers to the body of believers universally that represent "the kingdom of heaven". The oneness of the two is also indicated. If they are both one in the decision so that what is bound is also bound in the Church and what is loosed is also loosed in the universal church then this indicates the two are in oneness.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 01:05 PM   #116
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,199
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Now it is perfectly acceptable for the "church" to read the letter, consider the letter, ask to hear verification, hear witnesses, hear from Titus, etc. This is the practice that has taken place on this forum. However, I never once saw this practiced in the Lord's Recovery Church. I saw a roommate who was excommunicated and we were simply told that the elders made this decision, if you asked questions you would be immediately viewed as negative, poisoned, and would also fall under suspicion. There was no review, no "telling it to the church". They simply told us their decision without the slightest thought that we needed to hear the evidence as well.

Likewise with Max. They had numerous messages where Witness Lee and Benson would tell the saints the decision. Accusations were made. But you could not in the slightest feel that it was a "fair trial" in which both sides were given an opportunity to speak and respond.

Sister's rebellion was the same thing.

So I thank Evangelical for pointing out the error in Witness Lee's church. This has also resolved the burning question of locality. The two or three (and that could be two or three hundred) refer to any and all possible localities whereas the "church" refers to the body of believers universally that represent "the kingdom of heaven". The oneness of the two is also indicated. If they are both one in the decision so that what is bound is also bound in the Church and what is loosed is also loosed in the universal church then this indicates the two are in oneness.
There are "two sides to a coin", but in the local church culture, only one side is to be heard or to be examined. In the local churches practice is different than what Matthew 18 would say. Expectation is you or I would "honor feeling of the brothers" and submit to their decision. For most brothers and sisters this is the protocol they follow. I know. Within last 10 years I had appealed to an elder and regardless of how he might have felt inside, verbally he had to "honor feeling of the brothers".
There's no examining why a brother/sister was put out in order to confirm the decision. Certainly the leaders don't their decisions scrutinized. Those that question the leaders motives may be put out as well.
When there's instances like your former roommate where there's no review, no telling it to the church. Or even instances as what Mario Sandoval and Steve Isitt experienced, there's no telling it to the church. Decisions are made without consideration. The tone comes across more like 3 John than it does Matthew 18.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 01:10 PM   #117
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So I thank Evangelical for pointing out the error in Witness Lee's church. This has also resolved the burning question of locality. The two or three (and that could be two or three hundred) refer to any and all possible localities whereas the "church" refers to the body of believers universally that represent "the kingdom of heaven". The oneness of the two is also indicated. If they are both one in the decision so that what is bound is also bound in the Church and what is loosed is also loosed in the universal church then this indicates the two are in oneness.
This has wide-ranging applications.

Matt 18 says that whenever 2 or 3 gather together in the Lord's name they can bind and loose, and what they bind and loose on Earth will be what has been bound and loosed in Heaven.

Matt 18 also says that if this offending brother refuses to listen to the two or three they are to "tell it to the church" referring to their judgement (binding or loosing).

It also says "and if" indicating that the church is not a mindless rubber stamp to these two or three but rather can view this carefully and make their own determination. The decision of the church is also referred to as "will be bound in heaven". The church is the kingdom of the heavens.

So let's consider the case where JI came to RG and BP about PL. Ray and Benson claimed that PL's profligacy as President of LSM was "a local matter". There is no basis at all for this claim in Matt 18. JI was well represented as a group of at least 2-3 meeting in the name of the Lord. He had the right to then tell Ray and Benson (two other leaders in the recovery who were very actively involved with LSM).

This is not a blanket rule. I can definitely see a basis for brothers in the initial phase of examining the offenses of a brother to recuse themselves for various reasons. But there is no basis to claim that something like this "is a local matter". There is also no basis for the church to refuse to hear these two. The only consideration is that the offending brother might take that route. What Ray and Benson did was to make themselves one with PL's sins.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 04:18 PM   #118
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Angry Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Did you mean to say that this promise to bind and loose is not given to all Christians but only to a select few?

If that is what you meant to say, can you illuminate us as to what decides which few this promise applies to?
What determines if two or three meet in Christs name? If the pope and two cardinals meet are they not meeting in the name of catholicism?
It also depends on the matter. It is illogical to think that just any two or three can excommunicate someone for example. Unless those two or three are leaders.

Why are the three apostles you referred to included in the bible and scripture is not made up of any two or three believers? The fact that the writings of Fred and Ted are not in the bible strongly disproves the idea that any two or three believers are sufficient and that who they are does not matter.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 04:31 PM   #119
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What determines if two or three meet in Christs name? If the pope and two cardinals meet are they not meeting in the name of catholicism?
It also depends on the matter. It is illogical to think that just any two or three can excommunicate someone for example. Unless those two or three are leaders.

Why are the three apostles you referred to included in the bible and scripture is not made up of any two or three believers? The fact that the writings of Fred and Ted are not in the bible strongly disproves the idea that any two or three believers are sufficient and that who they are does not matter.
I will be happy to address questions you might have, but I would first like you to answer the question I asked.

Did you mean to say that the promise the Lord made to bind and loose is not given to any two or three believers, because that is what you did say, and these questions support the contention that this is what you meant to say?
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 06:46 PM   #120
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The fact that the writings of Fred and Ted are not in the bible strongly disproves the idea that any two or three believers are sufficient and that who they are does not matter.
So it turns out that God is a respecter of persons after all - we should have known that, with the Lee Rules.

-Submit to one another, unless you're Witness Lee, and you submit to no one.

-Out of the mouths of two or three witnesses it will be established, unless it's regarding Witness Lee or next of kin, then two or three witnesses is a conspiracy and a rebellion.

The fact of the Lee Rules strongly disproves the idea that God is not a respecter of persons. Who they are does indeed matter, it turns out.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 07:30 PM   #121
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Yes, I do think being a respecter of persons is at the root of all the evil in the LRC.

"but if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors." James 2:9
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2018, 08:10 PM   #122
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I will be happy to address questions you might have, but I would first like you to answer the question I asked.

Did you mean to say that the promise the Lord made to bind and loose is not given to any two or three believers, because that is what you did say, and these questions support the contention that this is what you meant to say?
I cannot see how it can apply to any two or three, logically. Because then me and two brothers could excommunicate you if we wanted to couldn't we, and you can't do anything about it. It doesn't matter if we are not in the same local church, and doesn't matter who we are (God is not a respecter of persons). But you probably won't be worried if it was me excommunicating you. But if I was the apostle Paul and my two brothers were James and John you might be worried.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2018, 05:39 AM   #123
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I cannot see how it can apply to any two or three, logically. Because then me and two brothers could excommunicate you if we wanted to couldn't we, and you can't do anything about it. It doesn't matter if we are not in the same local church, and doesn't matter who we are (God is not a respecter of persons). But you probably won't be worried if it was me excommunicating you. But if I was the apostle Paul and my two brothers were James and John you might be worried.
If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.

Being gathered together into the name of Jesus indicates both the person and work of Jesus, not in some empty claim, but in reality. The fact that this decision is later ratified by the "kingdom of Heaven" is a verification of the fact that they were meeting together in the name of Jesus.

At the time of Jesus resurrection Peter, James and John were "just any two or three". They were unlearned fisherman, and were despised by the ruling elites. When Luther nailed his letter to the door of the church it was really a "David vs Goliath" moment.

When Paul rebuked Peter Paul was a nobody in the church compared to Peter.

My concern about you, Peter, Paul, or anyone else "excommunicating me" is if they were speaking the truth and that truth were a valid reason for excommunication.

When Jesus says that this offending brother "might refuse to listen" this indicates arrogance and is quite typical in people who think they are better than others. Witness Lee was an example of someone who refused to listen to others. When He tells us to be careful not to despise the little brother this also is an indication that there is a temptation to stratify the church. In these two places Matt 18 hits on the clergy laity system and rebukes it. There is no place for a "clergy" class that is above the common laity. When you say you cannot see how it can apply to the "common" brothers (the laity) you are saying you can't see how the church can function without a "clergy-laity". Just one more example of the church being a mystery (an organism, not an organization).
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2018, 12:53 PM   #124
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Clergy / Laity and Matthew 18

So it is exciting to see that the "Clergy-Laity" system is also addressed in Matthew 18.

The key issues are:


1. Do not despise any saint in the church, regardless of how they may appear. (This is also covered in James). False prophets will come into the fold to stumble those that they can stumble. You need to "cut them off". Therefore the weakest saints among you are like the "canary in the coal mine". You will realize that a false prophet is among you when they are stumbled. Likewise, a true church will seek out the lost sheep. The second indication of a false prophet is a number of "lost sheep" that you are forbidden from seeking out. To prohibit saints from seeking out the lost sheep is to deny the Lord, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep.

2. Do not act arrogantly. Any person in the church can be offended by any other person. We need to listen to one another. Recently in the trial of the Gymnast doctor convicted of sexual abuse it came out that a girl aged 17 accused him of sexual abuse 14 years ago and she was dismissed. They didn't listen to her and only now 14 years later they apologized and begged her forgiveness.

3. Meet in the name of Jesus. This is the person and work of Jesus. WL's condemnation of denominational names is a valid point, but it is the flea versus the camel. The reality of "meeting in the name of Jesus" is that what you bind on Earth is bound in heaven, what you loose on Earth is loosed in heaven, your prayers are answered and the presence of Jesus is with you.

4. All local meetings must be one with the "Kingdom of Heaven", the universal church. A true meeting of the Body of Christ has the authority to bind and loose on Earth and what they bind will be bound in heaven. This indicates that the universal church of all believers on this earth will Amen what they bind and loose. This can only take place if you are meeting in the name of Jesus and not in any other name or with any other agenda or bias.

5. There is no reference at all that only Elders, leaders or "Apostles" have the right to make a charge against someone that has offended them or sinned, or to listen to the charge, or to make a judgement. Any suggestion that this is the jurisdiction of a special clergy class of saints is the "clergy - laity" system and has no basis in Matthew 18.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2018, 01:07 PM   #125
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,199
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I cannot see how it can apply to any two or three, logically. Because then me and two brothers could excommunicate you if we wanted to couldn't we, and you can't do anything about it. It doesn't matter if we are not in the same local church, and doesn't matter who we are (God is not a respecter of persons). But you probably won't be worried if it was me excommunicating you. But if I was the apostle Paul and my two brothers were James and John you might be worried.
Not any two or three brothers randomly. If you happen to be elders, you don't need input and you don't need to disclose any details to the locality. Your decision stands. If you happen to gather other fellow elders for fellowship, even if one dissents with the decision, it doesn't matter. The decision has been made.
Fellowship with the other responsible brothers is nothing more than getting a decision notarized.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2018, 07:53 PM   #126
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Not any two or three brothers randomly. If you happen to be elders, you don't need input and you don't need to disclose any details to the locality. Your decision stands. If you happen to gather other fellow elders for fellowship, even if one dissents with the decision, it doesn't matter. The decision has been made.
Fellowship with the other responsible brothers is nothing more than getting a decision notarized.

It seems you agree with me that just any two is not always sufficient.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2018, 07:56 PM   #127
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.

Being gathered together into the name of Jesus indicates both the person and work of Jesus, not in some empty claim, but in reality. The fact that this decision is later ratified by the "kingdom of Heaven" is a verification of the fact that they were meeting together in the name of Jesus.

At the time of Jesus resurrection Peter, James and John were "just any two or three". They were unlearned fisherman, and were despised by the ruling elites. When Luther nailed his letter to the door of the church it was really a "David vs Goliath" moment.

When Paul rebuked Peter Paul was a nobody in the church compared to Peter.

My concern about you, Peter, Paul, or anyone else "excommunicating me" is if they were speaking the truth and that truth were a valid reason for excommunication.

When Jesus says that this offending brother "might refuse to listen" this indicates arrogance and is quite typical in people who think they are better than others. Witness Lee was an example of someone who refused to listen to others. When He tells us to be careful not to despise the little brother this also is an indication that there is a temptation to stratify the church. In these two places Matt 18 hits on the clergy laity system and rebukes it. There is no place for a "clergy" class that is above the common laity. When you say you cannot see how it can apply to the "common" brothers (the laity) you are saying you can't see how the church can function without a "clergy-laity". Just one more example of the church being a mystery (an organism, not an organization).
Being gathered in the person and name of Jesus is what the recovery is all about..unlike the denominations. So gatherings in the name of some denomination do not count.

Conversely the problem with your view is that if any two claimed to be gathered in the name of Jesus then you could easily deny that they are. If those two or three were significant people then you might take more notice.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 03:59 AM   #128
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It seems you agree with me that just any two is not always sufficient.
Terry described the way excommunication is done in the LRC. If that is what you "agree with" then that is very different from what is prescribed in Matthew 18. Elders don't need input? They don't need to tell the church?
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 04:04 AM   #129
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Being gathered in the person and name of Jesus is what the recovery is all about..unlike the denominations. So gatherings in the name of some denomination do not count.
This is very telling -- 'The LRC is right, unlike denominations.' This is not to "humble yourself as a little child" -- and the chapter begins with this, that if you don't you can't even enter into the kingdom.

I would agree with you that the LRC is all about "we do it right and everyone else does it wrong". It is that arrogance that I have repented of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Conversely the problem with your view is that if any two claimed to be gathered in the name of Jesus then you could easily deny that they are. If those two or three were significant people then you might take more notice.
I have no idea what you are saying other than it appears to be highly offensive. What do you mean by "significant people"? In my own experience whenever I have been in a meeting with "significant people" I have not detected the presence of Jesus. Perhaps the presence of "significant people" makes it hard to detect the presence of Jesus in the same way as someone with overpowering BO makes it hard to detect anything else and you are forced to take notice of them.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 04:20 AM   #130
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This is very telling -- 'The LRC is right, unlike denominations.' This is not to "humble yourself as a little child" -- and the chapter begins with this, that if you don't you can't even enter into the kingdom.

I would agree with you that the LRC is all about "we do it right and everyone else does it wrong". It is that arrogance that I have repented of.
For your two or three meeting in Jesus name to work, it must be outside of the denominations. By definition to meet under a denomination is to not meet in the name and person of Jesus.

Clearly you don't believe in your own teaching that ANY two or three can decide about anything, as you denied that myself and two others could meet in the name of Jesus and excommunicate you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I have no idea what you are saying other than it appears to be highly offensive. What do you mean by "significant people"?
You mentioned three significant people in a previous post - Peter, James and John. Elders and apostles are also significant in the church.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 04:23 AM   #131
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You mentioned three significant people in a previous post - Peter, James and John.
And I also pointed out that they were not significant people, they were unlearned fishermen. So when the elites saw them they did not consider them to be anything.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 04:26 AM   #132
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Clearly you don't believe in your own teaching as you denied that myself and two others could meet in the name of Jesus and excommunicate you.
In what post did I deny this? Your practice of making false statements about me is a form of lying. Stop this practice.

Quote the post in which I denied that you and two others meeting in the name of Jesus could excommunicate me, if you don't, you are a liar.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 04:33 AM   #133
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
In what post did I deny this? Your practice of making false statements about me is a form of lying. Stop this practice.

Quote the post in which I denied that you and two others meeting in the name of Jesus could excommunicate me, if you don't, you are a liar.

In a recent post where you wrote:

If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.


This is a strange thing to say because two or three people would normally gather together when they wanted to for a particular purpose and this would be sufficient. My understanding of your teaching is that any two believers anywhere in the world can come together in the name of Jesus and decide about anything and it shall be done for them based on Matt 18:19 which says if two or three agree about anything it shall be done.

So I wonder why you denied this when it concerns myself and other local church members, given that we are not meeting in the name of a denomination but the name and person of Christ.

Logically it does not add up that just any two could decide about anything. Some qualifiers need to be added and you seem to have added restrictions about what meeting in the name of Jesus does or does not mean.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 04:49 AM   #134
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In a recent post where you wrote:

If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.
Like I said, I did not say that "two or three brothers gathered in the name of Jesus" could not excommunicate me. You take something I say, twist it to what you want it to mean, and then claim that this is in fact what I said. You are a liar. You need to repent.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 04:51 AM   #135
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In a recent post where you wrote:

If you and two brothers excommunicated me because "you wanted to" would indicate that you were not gathered together in the name of Jesus.


This is a strange thing to say because two or three people would normally gather together when they wanted to for a particular purpose and this would be sufficient. My understanding of your teaching is that any two believers anywhere in the world can come together in the name of Jesus and decide about anything and it shall be done for them based on Matt 18:19 which says if two or three agree about anything it shall be done.

So I wonder why you denied this when it concerns myself and other local church members, given that we are not meeting in the name of a denomination but the name and person of Christ.

Logically it does not add up that just any two could decide about anything. Some qualifiers need to be added and you seem to have added restrictions about what meeting in the name of Jesus does or does not mean.
There is nothing strange about this. To be gathered into he name of Jesus indicates you are acting one with what Jesus wants. My statement that you did this "because you wanted to" indicates that the prime mover is you, not Jesus. You are not one with the Lord, you are acting according to your own self interest and then covering the whole thing with a cloak claiming "in the name of Jesus". This is using the Lord's name in vain and is a sin.

Once again your "logic" is simply a form of you justifying your lies.

My statement that "this indicates you are not meeting in the name of Jesus" clearly proves your statement that "you denied that myself and two others could meet in the name of Jesus and excommunicate you" in post #130 is a lie. Instead of apologizing, repenting, admitting fault you continue to justify yourself.

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, but he is a liar and the father of lies. Claiming that you meet in the name of Jesus yet lying and being the father of lies simply indicates that it is the synagogue of Satan.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 04:53 AM   #136
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
And I also pointed out that they were not significant people, they were unlearned fishermen. So when the elites saw them they did not consider them to be anything.

you wrote previously:

"all of our doctrinal issues are defined in the writings of Paul, Peter, John and the various apostles."

These seem like significant people as they define all of our doctrinal issues.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 05:03 AM   #137
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
There is nothing strange about this. To be gathered into he name of Jesus indicates you are acting one with what Jesus wants. My statement that you did this "because you wanted to" indicates that the prime mover is you, not Jesus. You are not one with the Lord, you are acting according to your own self interest and then covering the whole thing with a cloak claiming "in the name of Jesus". This is using the Lord's name in vain and is a sin.

Once again your "logic" is simply a form of you justifying your lies.

My statement that "this indicates you are not meeting in the name of Jesus" clearly proves your statement that "you denied that myself and two others could meet in the name of Jesus and excommunicate you" in post #130 is a lie. Instead of apologizing, repenting, admitting fault you continue to justify yourself.

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, but he is a liar and the father of lies. Claiming that you meet in the name of Jesus yet lying and being the father of lies simply indicates that it is the synagogue of Satan.
The bible does not say "where two or three are gathered in my name and satisfy ZNP's criteria for meeting".
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 05:03 AM   #138
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
you wrote previously:

"all of our doctrinal issues are defined in the writings of Paul, Peter, John and the various apostles."

These seem like significant people as they define all of our doctrinal issues.
At the judgement seat of Christ we will know how the Lord judges us. Till then we are told not to despise the least of these brethren. This is repeated by James in his epistle. This is repeated by Peter when he baptized the gentiles. This is repeated in the experience of Paul when a small brother laid hands on him so he could get his sight.

On the other hand Peter shrinking from the Gentiles in Galatians because "brothers from James came" indicates they were "significant brothers".

Yes, Paul wrote the NT, but he was also a prisoner that those in Asia had abandoned and very few even visited in prison. His name means "small". And he said he was "less than the least of all saints". 2,000 years later you can make him appear "significant" but at the time he was despised by many, if not most.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 11:04 AM   #139
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie

We now discover, hidden in Matthew 18, the boundary between the church and the synagogue of Satan.

Satan is a liar, and the father of lies. Matt 18 forces you to either follow the Lord in Truth or to lie. You have no other option. All Christians claim that their meeting, their decisions are "in the name of Jesus Christ". It is given in benedictions, mottos, slogans, etc.

But if you are truly "in Christ" you would humble yourself as a little child. The problem is a false prophet can't do that, they have to befuddle people with the false impression that they are someone "significant", someone with a special vision, a special calling, "the Apostle", "The Prophet". A false prophet cannot allow "little brothers" and "the common laity" to question what they are doing, otherwise they would not be able to fleece the sheep. So they must lie.

There will be those who are "stumbled" once they realize that "the Apostle" has fleeced them. The False prophet cannot allow others to go seeking out the lost sheep because if you did you would discover his sins, so he must lie to prevent us from being one with "the Great Shepherd" in seeking out the lost sheep. They have to lie, claiming they are in Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, while making their disciples two times the son of Gehenna.

This is the Clergy laity system, where some people are "significant brothers" when it comes to running the church, disciplining the saints, and functioning. Others are "small brothers" who are despised. These small brothers are the boundary, the wall, the canary in the coal mine. They are too "small" to have a profit motive (the false prophet is a prophet for hire). They are the first to see that someone is being taken advantage of. If you feel you are "too small and insignificant" to speak up about something, then you can be sure you are in the synagogue of Satan, you are not in Christ. If you have to lie to defend your "faith" you are not in the church, you are in the synagogue of Satan and are taking after the father of lies.

for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 01:30 PM   #140
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,199
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It seems you agree with me that just any two is not always sufficient.
Certainly not. You would need at the minimum disclosure and transparency. Without it will lead to rumors, questions, and ultimately division.
To be told "honor the feeling of the brothers" is not good enough for me. Let's have disclosure. Let's have transparency. When I was told about Titus Chu, Nigel Tomes, etc I said okay, where's the proof? Where's the supporting evidence to support a quarantine. It's not something I can support unconditionally, but conditionally.
If a brother or sister is not welcome for fellowship, tell the entire assembly an acceptable scriptural reason why their persons is not welcome. What gross sin was committed? What heresy were they speaking?
That's why not just any two or three is always sufficient.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 02:52 PM   #141
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

If a brother is involved in some sin, two or three go to him, and he listens to them it may not be necessary to involve anyone else. But, once you decide this sinning brother is not willing to listen to them, then at that point you do need transparency. You need to present the proof to the church of a gross sin. Two or three are certainly sufficient to do that in some cases, in others you may need 10 or 20 (how many have testified on this forum?). But it must be transparent, it must provide proof, and it must be supported by scripture. This is without a doubt the failing in the LRC. I saw more people excommunicated there than anywhere else, but rarely did I get to see the proof. I would say that Titus Chu was the only time I was given the evidence, but I felt it was not supported by scripture.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2018, 10:09 PM   #142
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,199
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

The two or three I've been referring to is when excommunication/quarantine/disfellowship occurs. The cases discussed on this forum, the issue is not sin but brothers who are not lining up with headquarters.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2018, 12:08 PM   #143
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: Who is the greatest in the Kingdom?

So then this brings us back to the initial question in Matthew 18

18:1 In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

This chapter ends with a very big emphasis on Mercy which points us back to Joseph in Genesis. Joseph had dreams, but that is not what made him great. He endured being sold by his brothers, being a slave, being a prisoner, but that is not what made him great. He was a man of faith that saved many people alive. He could have condemned his brothers, "emerged victorious, vindicated" but had he done that instead of losing one son his father would have lost 10. What made Joseph great was his mercy. His ability to prove that his brothers were truly repentant and then forgiving them.

But Jesus responds first with the warning

10 See that ye despise not one of these little ones:

Recently we saw a trial of a doctor that treated gymnasts. He was guilty of sexually abusing over 100 girls. Yet 14 years earlier a 17 year old girl came forward and accused him of this. Those listening were swayed by the doctor's mumbo jumbo, and despised this girl. Today, all those girls who were abused in the last 14 years, that is on those who despised her. Many people who thought they were important, someone significant, are now forced to resign in disgrace as being a complete shame. That of course is a warning to all who would follow the lord.

But there is another man, he was a producer for 60 minutes. He had a very sensitive ear to pick up the cries of help from these "little ones". He is the one who accidentally talked to Jeffrey Wigand, realized he had something to say, gained his trust, heard his story and helped him in many ways to tell his story. He was forced to quit his job at CBS and was threatened by the lawyers, but in the end he was instrumental in the tobacco company settlement. He is an example of someone who didn't despise one of these little ones and as a result he slew a very big and nasty giant.

We can learn from this, if you want to be "great in the kingdom" you need to realize that every single member is significant, every one plays a role. The wolves in sheep's clothing will be trying to pick off the "little ones" so they are the first indication that there is a wolf in sheep's clothing among you. If you want to be "great in the kingdom" you will be extremely attentive to these little ones, just as that man at CBS was.

This is not what I witnessed in the LRC. I believe the Sister's rebellion is a shameful event for all those who were involved in accusing those sisters. I also feel that anywhere you have a false prophet like Balaam, you will have a lot of damaged brothers and sister's in his wake. I also believe that it is the fact that those who should be shepherding the sheep actually despise these little ones that allow Balaam to operate. It is this attitude which is the foundation for those who "tolerate Jezebel". You cannot tolerate Jezebel's lies and abuse without despising those she has defrauded. I also believe that despising these little ones leaves a very nasty stain on your "garments" that is difficult to remove.

So if the "boundary of the church" are these "great ones in the kingdom" we need to realize they could do nothing without hearing the "little ones" and "not despising them".
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 01:31 PM   #144
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: Tell it to the church

This word by the Lord is the first mention and is the blueprint. If the boundary of a city was part of the vision it seems it would be here. Instead Jesus makes it very clear that you need a bare minimum of two or three. These two or three can be "wherever". They also have the promise to "bind and loose" and that "anything they ask will be done" provided they are "meeting in the Lord's name". For example the Apostle Paul instructing the church to excommunicate the evil brother, Martin Luther nailing his 95 points to the door, etc.

Two or three would be all it would take to excommunicate someone from the LSM office, or to ban them from a building owned by them, etc. We can understand that as few as two or three could have authority here on Earth over something. So the Lord's word is that "what they bind on Earth". That is their authority, some part of the Earth. What they bind on Earth will be what is bound in Heaven. Jesus doesn't say they have authority to bind in heaven, only that if they are one with the Lord in this decision (meeting in His person and work) that the kingdom of heaven will be one with their decision. He also tells them that they need to "tell it to the church and if he refuses to hear the church". I believe this has to refer to the kingdom of the heaven.

If I am offended with a brother, say PL, I can sue him, I can take him to criminal court, I can get a legal judgment that prevents him from coming within a few hundred yards of my property, etc. There are many ways that two or three could "bind an evil brother here on Earth".

But, where I differ with Witness Lee is interpreting "tell it to the church" as being a local church defined by the boundary of a city. For example, suppose I tell it to the church in Houston. How exactly do I do this? There is absolutely no basis to say that "telling it to the church" should be interpreted as having a private meeting with two or three elders. So maybe, two or three of us come from Anaheim and announce in the Lord's table what took place, my efforts to reconcile, and why I am binding PL.

You may claim, as Ray and Benson did, that this is a "local matter" and should be announced in Anaheim. But why? I meet in Houston. I was sent several times from Houston to Anaheim on behalf of the LSM to deliver printed materials. A very large number of saints in Houston were serving LSM. Why does this not concern them? One of the sisters abused by PL was sent to Houston. PL was the President of LSM, why isn't this a concern to all serving LSM?

OK, so in my case, I stand up in the Lord's table, and "tell it to the church". But we all know we often had visitors from other localities. We also know that many saints who used to live in Houston have moved to other localities and this would be big news that would spread. People would get home and make phone calls. (What happened in Anaheim was heard among the entire Lord's Recovery. I heard of it when I was in Taipei.) Why doesn't that count as "tell it to the church"? Surely, if you equate "tell it to the church" with the person being bound "in the kingdom of heaven" then how could you say that this is a local matter? So I do not see any limitation at all when the Lord says "tell it to the church". You could speak to saints in Texas, New York and California. Why not? There is nothing in Matt 18 that suggests any boundary or limitation to the term "church". When Titus Chu was excommunicated the Blendeds wrote an open letter to the church. This included every one associated with the Local church, not just in a single locality.

Therefore I do not interpret "tell it to the church" as referring to a single locality defined by the boundary of that city. I do not see any reference at all to suggest "tell it to the church" equals "tell it to the elders". So I don't see any requirement for some kind of "approved elders". The only indication of a prerequisite or requirement is that they make this decision "in the Lord's name". When Titus, or Max, or the Sister's rebellion were being disciplined an explanation was given to the saints. In my opinion none of these explanations met this standard of "being in the name of the Lord". The church in Houston is not the 200 saints that meet on Windswept, but rather every believer in the city. Will every genuine believer "amen" the excommunication of PL? That is the standard? Will every genuine believer "amen" the excommunication of Titus, or Max, or the Sister's? That is the standard.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2018, 02:13 PM   #145
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,495
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

ZNP,
I think you have milked and stretched this thread as far as you can. Your last number of posts are becoming very repetitive, and you're stretching out the original subject of the thread beyond reason in my view. If you have to resort to using the producer of 60 mins to make a point, it's past the time to move on.

-
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2018, 06:43 AM   #146
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

First mention of “wall”.

Gen 49:22
Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a fountain;
His branches run over the wall.


This is the first mention of the term "wall" in the Bible. We saw with Joseph there was judgement, righteousness, there was also mercy and truth. This is the cross of Christ. This is where we can see all of these things together, this is the "wall" for the church.

Ex 14:29
And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.


Once again, this "wall" of water signifies the cross of Christ. That is our wall. That is our boundary.

Ps 51:18
Build thou the walls of Jerusalem


Those that claim there are no boundaries, this is a strong confirmation that the church, the New Jerusalem does have walls. If there were no walls then why are you complaining about PL?

Eph 2:14
For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition,


In the church there are many partitions that have been broken down. The one between Jews and Gentiles, Rich and Poor, Male and Female. All of these have been broken down by the cross of Christ. Once again we can see this in Matt 18 where every member needs to humble themselves as a small child to enter the kingdom.

Rev 21:12
having a wall great and high


If you understand that the cross of Christ is our wall, then it is certainly a "great and high" wall. If you teach that the boundary of a worldly city is the wall then what a poor excuse for a wall.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2018, 08:00 AM   #147
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations

Ps 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne: Lovingkindness and truth go before thy face.

Heb 6:1 not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

1Cor 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Eph 2:20 being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone

These four verses make it clear that the foundation must be Jesus Christ. He is our righteousness and Justice. He is the revelation of the apostles and prophets. He is the reason we repented of dead works. Our foundation is our faith in Him.

There is a very striking similarity between the description of this wall and the description of the Breastplate of Judgement in Exodus 28. It also is adorned with almost the same 12 stones. These stones are given the names of the 12 tribes whereas the stones on the foundation of this wall are given the names of the 12 apostles. The breastplate was worn on the breast of the High Priest when he was to ask judgement of God and it was used by God to speak to the High Priest. The precious stones signified how precious God’s people were in His sight. If the New Jerusalem is the Bride of Christ, then the wall is her breastplate of judgement.

The breastplate of judgement provides the counsel and judgement of God, it covers the breast and protects the priest providing security. In the same way the wall surrounds the heart of the city of Jerusalem. It is God’s judgement and counsel that protects the city and gives it security. The foundation of this judgement and counsel is the precious people of God. With the Breastplate God shines a light on different stones to speak to the priest. With the wall those stones represent the 12 apostles. God’s judgement and counsel is in His word, this is our protection, this is the wall that surrounds the city. If you leave the word you leave the city.

Now this ties into Matt 18 — if the two or three gathering together are within these walls, they are within the counsel and judgement of God, then everyone within these walls, everyone in the New Jerusalem will amen their decision. No one cares that a decision is made in Cleveland or Toledo, what they care is that the decision is made within the confines of the NT, within the fellowship of the apostles, within the counsel and judgement of God.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2018, 06:05 AM   #148
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

One major bone of contention was that two or three are not enough to make important decisions. The “proof” offered by Evangelical of this claim is that there was one meeting in Acts concerning doctrinal issues that had more than two or three (though there were other meetings that only had two or three recorded in the NT that also dealt with doctrinal matters). So the obvious question which was asked repeatedly by Ohio but never answered by Evangelical is “what is the minimum number needed?”

17And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.

This question is answered in a figure in the New Jerusalem. The wall is the boundary. Everything within the wall qualifies as “the New Jerusalem” and everything outside of it is not. This wall is 144 cubits high, 12 x 12 cubits high. And the cubit (the measure of a man) in this case is the measure of an Angel.

This is a very high standard. 60 blendeds will not measure up. Adding more people will not help you meet this standard. The only thing that meets this standard is the fellowship of the Apostles, the Word of God, Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone of the foundation. The issue isn’t two or three saints, the issue is that they are “in Christ”. Very often we see those who are standing on sinking sand will think adding the numbers will add to the legitimacy. Jesus did not think this way in Matt 18, Paul did not think this way in rebuking Peter or helping Apollos.

If you want to disqualify gatherings of Christians as not being up to the standard of the church, then the issue is not how many are meeting, but whether or not they are “in Christ”. You might think this is the function of the wall, to separate the New Jerusalem from everything else. However, the wall has 12 gates built into it. Therefore I think it is more accurate to say the function of the wall is to make sure all who enter the New Jerusalem do so by the gates. This is how you enter into Christ.

12 having a wall great and high; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

One might be confused that the names on the gates by which we enter into the New Jerusalem are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. This might seem to be Old Testament, similar to the book of James being written to the twelve tribes in the dispersion. But once again, we can make sense of this with Matthew 18. Joseph could have condemned 10 of his brothers, exposing their sin. His mercy opened the door for them to enter in. For ten of them being shown mercy was their entrance into the kingdom, for Joseph it was showing mercy that gave him an entrance. If he had not shown mercy he also would not have entered in. He would have been vindicated, gotten revenge, but his dreams would never have been realized. Mercy is likened to that pearl that covers the offending sand grain. For Benjamin he also benefited from the mercy shown. If his ten brothers had been excluded, and if Joseph had never realized his dreams, what would be left for him? Our experience in the LRC falls into these three categories. Many sinned and will need mercy. Some have to show mercy. And there will also be a few innocent bystanders, they are not in a position to show mercy, nor do they need mercy, but they will benefit all the same.

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl:

Also, please remember years later the tribe of Benjamin was almost cut off but for the mercy of the other tribes.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2018, 07:00 PM   #149
HERn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 716
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Darby Bible Translation
Again I say to you, that if two of you shall agree on the earth concerning any matter, whatsoever it may be that they shall ask, it shall come to them from my Father who is in [the] heavens.

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

I'm not saying me and my wife when we are praying are "the" church, but we are part of the the church and God answers are prayers whether we are meeting with the local church of WL or not. There is not benefit in belonging to the local church of WL.
__________________
Christ cares for all His sheep in whatever group.
HERn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2018, 06:05 AM   #150
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

25And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there): 26and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it: 27and there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they that are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

This is quite amazing. How does this gate prevent those who make a lie, or who are unclean or an abomination from entering? Balaam, the false prophet, is an example of one who makes a lie. He figures prominently in the church in Pergamum. Jezebel is an abomination, she figures prominently in the church in Thyatira. Ten of the twelve tribes were involved in making a lie about what happened to Joseph. Certainly, many of those who are in the New Jerusalem were unclean. That is the brilliance of this gate.

A sand grain is an offending, foreign particle that the mollusk covers in nacre. A pearl is not composed solely of the nacre, but also includes the foreign particle, but it has been dealt with. Likewise, being inoculated from a disease means that you have already been exposed to it, dealt with it, and now have immunity to it.

There are many who come through these gates of mercy that “made a lie”, that is not in dispute, the point is not that they never did this in the past, the point is that they do not “make” a lie in the present. The city is filled with the immunity to those that make a lie because there are those who have previously been exposed to this and they have repented of it. Likewise with an abomination. Perhaps in the past that was their case but not now in the future. This is one form of protection that you get when you give mercy. It is a fearful thing for a liar or cheat to realize there are those observing him that can see through the charade. This is why Matt 18 says it is necessary that occasions of stumbling come. We have to be exposed to these liars, abominations and unclean in order to be inoculated.

There is a second connection between this gate and Matthew 18 which is equally brilliant. Scam artists feed off of others greed. The reason others are willing to suspend their caution and disregard certain protections is that they think they are getting a special deal that might be “illegal”. This opens them to being defrauded. However, you cannot enter this city unless you have “humbled yourself as a small child”. Arrogance and pride open you up to being the victim of a scam. Why did those in the LRC accept WL? Surely the thought that they were the “elite” christians who alone were faithful to the pure word played a role. Slandering all other Christians was not a “red flag” but rather “speaking the truth”. The abusive practices were not abusive, they were simply the price one pays to be elite. Repenting of this pride is the requirement to receive mercy to enter through this gate.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 03:36 AM   #151
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

15And he that spake with me had for a measure a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal.

The wall/or boundary has another function that no one has yet to mention. A cell wall controls growth. This city has a specific measurement and the boundary is the wall. It is a large city but it is not permitted to be overreaching. The nations are still here, they bring their glory into the city, but the city does not spread into the nations and take over things that are there. We have seen evangelists and gospel work that will do anything for growth without restraint. The wall is a very clear restraint to the New Jerusalem to go this far and no further. Daystar is a good example of the church not having a wall to restrain its growth. Daniel 9:10 neither have we obeyed the voice of Jehovah our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

If we understand the wall to be the fellowship of the apostles, a kind of spiritual Breastplate of Judgement, then we can see that it does perform this function.

But if you equate the wall to the boundary of a city it does not in any way perform this function, rather it turns the church into a franchise of LSM. Ezekiel 22:28 And her prophets have daubed for them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, when Jehovah hath not spoken. Matthew Henry describes this verse as follows: They also justified what they did, to the people, nay, and magnified it as if it were all for the public good, and so saved their reputation, and kept their oppressed subjects from murmuring. The "building work" they are doing is a sham, a pretense, simply designed to "bring the saints into subjection".
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 05:31 AM   #152
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

To answer Ohio and ZNP's question about the minimum number, the biblical answer is "more than 3", based upon the verses which say if two or three won't listen then "go to the church". Obviously two or three cannot be "the church", so the church must be greater than 2 or 3. This is simple logic which no one has been able to refute (because the laws of mathematics do not lie).

"more than 3" is also based on common sense. I don't think anyone would declare a man and his wife and child (that is 3, a family" to be a local church.

It seems ZNP and OHio have left common sense behind when they imply such nonsense as 2 or 3 being a church and 2 or 3 being sufficient to define (not explain) doctrine. ZNP has also showed that he does not understand the difference between defining doctrine (as in resolving a complex/serious matter regarding whether Gentiles should follow the law of Moses) and explaining doctrine (as in explaining to someone the doctrine which is already defined).

ZNP's "two or three" emphasis is also refuted when considering the history of the church - the canon of scripture and the Trinity and other important decisions in church history were made by tens and hundreds of Christians and not only were they many in number (much greater than 3) they were also well respected and notable men in the church and not just anyone (proving my previous statements that it also depends upon who those two or three are, not just the number).
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:13 AM   #153
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
To answer Ohio and ZNP's question about the minimum number, the biblical answer is "more than 3", based upon the verses which say if two or three won't listen then "go to the church". Obviously two or three cannot be "the church", so the church must be greater than 2 or 3. This is simple logic which no one has been able to refute (because the laws of mathematics do not lie).

"more than 3" is also based on common sense. I don't think anyone would declare a man and his wife and child (that is 3, a family" to be a local church.

It seems ZNP and OHio have left common sense behind when they imply such nonsense as 2 or 3 being a church and 2 or 3 being sufficient to define (not explain) doctrine. ZNP has also showed that he does not understand the difference between defining doctrine (as in resolving a complex/serious matter regarding whether Gentiles should follow the law of Moses) and explaining doctrine (as in explaining to someone the doctrine which is already defined).

ZNP's "two or three" emphasis is also refuted when considering the history of the church - the canon of scripture and the Trinity and other important decisions in church history were made by tens and hundreds of Christians and not only were they many in number (much greater than 3) they were also well respected and notable men in the church and not just anyone (proving my previous statements that it also depends upon who those two or three are, not just the number).
OK, got it, according to Evangelical you need to have 4 people to be a church. It may be completely unscriptural conclusion, but at least to Evangelical it is a logical conclusion. This may not illuminate the word, but it does shed light on the inner workings of Evangelicals mind.

Your post has completely ignored what I have written and what my understanding is. You asked me what it meant to "meet in the name of Jesus" -- to answer that I used the picture of the New Jerusalem and pointed out that if two or three inside of the walls of the NJ were to meet they would be one with all that are within those walls. As a result what they bound on Earth would be bound in heaven as the NJ is the representative of the kingdom of Heaven.

So since we have this fantastic extra Biblical resource that can answer questions that the Bible apparently got wrong, lets use this and ask Evangelical another question.

Hudson Taylor (the Evangelist to China) goes to China and meets with two other evangelists who were sent by the board. These three are in a foreign land where there are no other Christians. Yet they come together on the Lord's day and celebrate the Lord's table together. Following this they discuss a very important doctrinal issue critical to the work. Prior to Hudson Taylor arriving Evangelists dressed in Western garb, Hudson wants to dress in Chinese garb and even keep his hair the same.

So two questions for Evangelical to focus his powers of logic on:

1. Does this meeting of three constitute a church meeting in that city?

2. Can they resolve this doctrinal issue or have they violated some secret NT rule?
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:22 AM   #154
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
OK, got it, according to Evangelical you need to have 4 people to be a church. It may be completely unscriptural conclusion, but at least to Evangelical it is a logical conclusion. This may not illuminate the word, but it does shed light on the inner workings of Evangelicals mind.

Your post has completely ignored what I have written and what my understanding is. You asked me what it meant to "meet in the name of Jesus" -- to answer that I used the picture of the New Jerusalem and pointed out that if two or three inside of the walls of the NJ were to meet they would be one with all that are within those walls. As a result what they bound on Earth would be bound in heaven as the NJ is the representative of the kingdom of Heaven.
My view is not unscriptural because I based it on the fact that Jesus said to tell the church if telling two or three was insufficient. It is rather, logic based on scripture.

Actually I did not say 4. I said more than 3. The scripturally correct number I believe is 12. This is the number of apostles Christ chose, and as the foundation stones of His Church they are the minimum number. Just as Israel would not have existed with less than 12 tribes, the church would not have existed with less than 12 apostles, so 12 must be the minimum number.

I believe you implied this when you wrote previously "If we understand the wall to be the fellowship of the apostles". Have you not considered that the fellowship of the apostles is the fellowship of 12 people and within this fellowship all of our doctrine is defined and is the "spiritual Breastplate of Judgement" as you wrote. I believe this fact destroys your "two or three" argument completely because it is the fellowship of 12 people not two or three.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:25 AM   #155
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
OK, got it, according to Evangelical you need to have 4 people to be a church. It may be completely unscriptural conclusion, but at least to Evangelical it is a logical conclusion. This may not illuminate the word, but it does shed light on the inner workings of Evangelicals mind.
ZNP, it may not be scriptural, but EvanG has one up on you -- Did not the first Lord's Table in the Recovery in China consist of WN and 3 sisters?

A church of FOUR has now been recovered!

Now all we need is second source confirmation from some obscure church "father."
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:27 AM   #156
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Actually I did not say 4. I said more than 3. The scriptural correct number I believe is 12. This is the number of apostles Christ chose, and as the foundation stones of His Church they are the minimum number. Just as Israel would not have existed with less than 12 tribes, the church would not have existed with less than 12 apostles, so 12 must be the minimum number.

I believe you implied this when you wrote previously "If we understand the wall to be the fellowship of the apostles".
So you are going to build a crucial doctrine based on a type or allegorical reference?

If you can do that then I can argue that the boundary of the city is

21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal.

Forget the whole "boundary of the city" doctrine of WL, the "true" boundary of the church is a square that is approximately 375 miles on each side. Wow! Who knew? (Also, please note the elders have jurisdiction over the air space as well)
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:27 AM   #157
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 10,441
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Actually I did not say 4. I said more than 3. The scriptural correct number I believe is 12. This is the number of apostles Christ chose, and as the foundation stones of His Church they are the minimum number. Just as Israel would not have existed with less than 12 tribes, the church would not have existed with less than 12 apostles, so 12 must be the minimum number.

I believe you implied this when you wrote previously "If we understand the wall to be the fellowship of the apostles".

The fellowship of the apostles is the fellowship of 12 people. Not 2 or 3. This fact destroys your "two or three" argument completely.
So you flip-flopped on me already. Upped the ante to 12. I'll call you.

Somebody now needs to edit Nee's books at LSM.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:29 AM   #158
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
ZNP, it may not be scriptural, but EvanG has one up on you -- Did not the first Lord's Table in the Recovery in China consist of WN and 3 sisters?

A church of FOUR has now been recovered!

Now all we need is second source confirmation from some obscure church "father."
You missed his latest, he wasn't prepared to reveal this at the previous post. The minimum number is 12, so that meeting with WN would be disqualified. Oh well.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:30 AM   #159
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
So you flip-flopped on me already. Upped the ante to 12. I'll call you.

Somebody now needs to edit Nee's books at LSM.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:36 AM   #160
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Hudson Taylor (the Evangelist to China) goes to China and meets with two other evangelists who were sent by the board. These three are in a foreign land where there are no other Christians. Yet they come together on the Lord's day and celebrate the Lord's table together. Following this they discuss a very important doctrinal issue critical to the work. Prior to Hudson Taylor arriving Evangelists dressed in Western garb, Hudson want to dress in Chinese garb and even keep his hair the same.

So two questions for Evangelical to focus his powers of logic on:

1. Does this meeting of three constitute a church meeting in that city?

2. Can they resolve this doctrinal issue or have they violated some secret NT rule?
Well this is a hypothetical which you have biased towards your view by assuming that only 3 Christians exist in the whole country. I believe that if you have a well established scriptural principle that 2 or 3 can constitute a church then you should not have to resort to such methods.

It is a church meeting in the sense that they are members of the church, but 3 people cannot claim to be a local church anymore than Peter, James and John could declare they were a church. I do not recall the other apostles ever referring to Peter James and John as a church.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:42 AM   #161
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So you are going to build a crucial doctrine based on a type or allegorical reference?

If you can do that then I can argue that the boundary of the city is

21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs: the length and the breadth and the height thereof are equal.

Forget the whole "boundary of the city" doctrine of WL, the "true" boundary of the church is a square that is approximately 375 miles on each side. Wow! Who knew? (Also, please note the elders have jurisdiction over the air space as well)
Those dimensions would be the boundary of the future church wouldn't they ?

So the scripture in Revelation gives a clear physical boundary of the church in the new age and yet you deny the physical boundaries of the church in this present age (being the dwellings of each city).

You have put forward the idea of the fellowship of the apostles but apparently you have forgotten that they (who have defined our doctrine by providing us with scripture) are comprised of a total of 12 individuals not two or three. This only reinforces my claim that two or three are insufficient to establish (important) doctrine.

I cannot see how you can continue to claim that two or three can define doctrine when all the evidence is against it - both scriptural (the 12 apostles) and historical (the councils of Nicaea etc).
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:45 AM   #162
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Well this is a hypothetical which you have biased towards your view by assuming that only 3 Christians exist in the whole country. I believe that if you have a well established scriptural principle that 2 or 3 can constitute a church then you should not have to resort to such methods.

It is a church meeting in the sense that they are members of the church, but 3 people cannot claim to be a local church anymore than Peter, James and John could declare they were a church. I do not recall the other apostles ever referring to Peter James and John as a church.
This isn't hypothetical, read Hudson Taylor's biography. Ohio has already referenced a similar story from Watchman Nee's biography. This is far more the rule.

When I went to Odessa the church had been started by a small Bible study of three brothers with two wives -- 5.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:53 AM   #163
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Those dimensions would be the boundary of the future church wouldn't they ?

So the scripture in Revelation gives a clear physical boundary of the church in the new age and yet you deny the physical boundaries of the church in this present age (being the dwellings of each city).

You have put forward the idea of the fellowship of the apostles but apparently you have forgotten that they (who have defined our doctrine by providing us with scripture) are comprised of a total of 12 individuals not two or three. This only reinforces my claim that two or three are insufficient to establish (important) doctrine.

I cannot see how you can continue to claim that two or three can define doctrine when all the evidence is against it - both scriptural (the 12 apostles) and historical (the councils of Nicaea etc).
You are using a picture of this future reality and making it the black and white rule for a current church meeting. This is a major error.

1. The doctrine must be based on the black and white word, such as that in Matthew 16-18.

2. Allegories like the NJ in Revelation can be used to add depth and clarity to a doctrine but not to create it. There is a very direct connection between the Breastplate of Judgement in the OT and the Wall in the NT. This connection has been commented on by many Bible expositors including Witness Lee.

To say that the church must be "bound" by the fellowship of the apostles is based on the black and white word of the NT. I am not using the allegory to make the doctrine, merely to make it easier to visualize the doctrine.

But when you say you must have "12" to be a church you have pulled this number out of the absurdity of your "logical mind" and then justified it with this allegory. Your method of Bible exposition is completely flawed.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:53 AM   #164
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This isn't hypothetical, read Hudson Taylor's biography. Ohio has already referenced a similar story from Watchman Nee's biography. This is far more the rule.

When I went to Odessa the church had been started by a small Bible study of three brothers with two wives -- 5.
That's nonsense because there were more than 5 or even 12 believers in China at the time of Hudson Taylor. If there is in their locality more than two or three believers other than those 5 you mentioned, then they are only part of the church.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 07:57 AM   #165
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
That's nonsense because there were more than 5 or even 12 believers in China at the time of Hudson Taylor. If there is in their locality more than two or three believers other than those 5 you mentioned, then they are only part of the church.
Well that has been my point. If you are meeting "in the name of Jesus" you are within the walls of the NJ and are one with all the other believers in the NJ regardless of whether or not they are present in your meeting.

The first meetings of Hudson Taylor after he got off the boat was literally a handful, primarily the two or three evangelists who had been sent and been unsuccessful up to that time.

I suppose WN's biography is nonsense, might want to inform LSM of this discovery.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 08:07 AM   #166
Evangelical
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,979
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
You are using a picture of this future reality and making it the black and white rule for a current church meeting. This is a major error.
I interpret you saying that the heavenly reality (as described in Revelation) should not be used as a blueprint for the church today. If the church on earth is but a shadow of its future reality why should it not try to resemble that future reality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
1. The doctrine must be based on the black and white word, such as that in Matthew 16-18.

2. Allegories like the NJ in Revelation can be used to add depth and clarity to a doctrine but not to create it. There is a very direct connection between the Breastplate of Judgement in the OT and the Wall in the NT. This connection has been commented on by many Bible expositors including Witness Lee.

To say that the church must be "bound" by the fellowship of the apostles is based on the black and white word of the NT. I am not using the allegory to make the doctrine, merely to make it easier to visualize the doctrine.

But when you say you must have "12" to be a church you have pulled this number out of the absurdity of your "logical mind" and then justified it with this allegory. Your method of Bible exposition is completely flawed.
I believe my method is sound. You have hinged your doctrine on a passage regarding "two or three" which is taken out of context (context being, resolving disputes in the church, not defining the size of a church).

To define the size of a church according to the Bible we should look to the church itself:

God chose to start the church and establish the foundation of doctrine on the word and witness of 12 people, not two or three. Many more than 12 in fact, but at least 12. The importance of 12 was also seen by the disciples filling the position of Judas Iscariot.

Just as the nation of Israel would not exist with less than 12 tribes, the church would not exist with less than 12 pillars (the apostles). In the context of the church the number 12 is more significant than the number 2 or 3.

Historically speaking, all major doctrine in the church has been decided by 12 people or more. This includes the matter of Gentiles vs Jews and extends until the time of the councils of Nicaea etc. So far you have been unable to point to any time in history when major doctrine was determined or defined by only two or three people and not a larger council or gathering.

Unfortunately you have no strong biblical or historical precedent for the importance of two or three, other than the singular verses you have pulled out of their context to arrive at a view of today's church which does not even match the future reality described in Revelation.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 01:20 PM   #167
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I interpret you saying that the heavenly reality (as described in Revelation) should not be used as a blueprint for the church today. If the church on earth is but a shadow of its future reality why should it not try to resemble that future reality?
What I said is you should not build doctrines from types and shadows and allegories. Those should be used to help you visualize the truth.

However, this is a fair question. If the NJ were a full grown, fully matured, completion of the church then surely the church in this age should carry a resemblance.

For example, if the NJ were a full grown oak tree and a local church was a sapling we should still be able to identify the two from the leaves. The leaves of both will be identical.

The works of the church in this age should match the work of the NJ. According to the picture the leaves of the tree in the NJ are for "the healing of the nations". However, if we discuss the works of the LRC versus other Christian gatherings that would leave the focus of this thread. There are other threads on this forum that have discussed the works of the LRC and whether or not "they are for the healing of the nations".

The question I would have is if there is anything that would prohibit two or three from doing that work? Watchman Nee began with 4, Hudson Taylor had less than that.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2018, 01:27 PM   #168
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,035
Default Re: Whose on First?

Abbott: Two or three cannot be a Church
Costello: How many do you need?
Abbott: More than two or three?
Costello: So then you need 4?
Abbott: No, I said "more"?
Costello: How many?
Abbott: 12. You see it is common sense. The verse in Matt 18 about two or three, the context in this portion [the only two chapters in the gospels where Jesus talks about the church] is about dealing with sin. No, it has to be 12 because there were 12 apostles.
Costello: Oh, so the context in Matt 18 concerning the church is the reason that two or three cannot be