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Old 06-23-2015, 06:51 AM   #501
aron
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

Unfortunately my presentational skills aren't up to the job, but I wanted to put out an idea: Look at the Psalms as a kind of spiritualization of the historical narrative, which spiritualization was picked up and amplified by the NT writers. A classic example is of Melchizedek. A historical character, briefly inserted into the narrative of events. Then the psalmist gives it a kind of mystical spin: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." The NT writer says, "Hey! This is Christ!" and then amplifies it.

We don't know how much of David's original work remains, and how much of it was redacted by later generations. But the psalms as spiritual commentaries were clearly accepted and used by the NT writers, and by Jesus Himself. For example, "You are gods" from Psalm 82, quoted by Jesus to the Jewish antagonists. They were gods, to whom the word of God came (John 10:35), but they died like men, because they disobeyed and corrupted the commands (82:7). They fell like every other corrupt ruler. Jesus' use of scripture turned the charge back against the Jews: they'd claimed Jesus blasphemed, but He said that His works showed that He was one with the Father (John 10:25,37,38). So who were they? Corrupt, and due to fall. "You are gods" was merely a prelude to "you will die like men".

Another example that comes to mind is "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me." from Psalm 42:7. Compare this to Jonah 2:3 "You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me." Somebody appears to be copying, here. How could David the landlubber psalmist seize upon a sea-faring narrative? Because the enemy coming against him like a "flood", like "waters", is a common poetic metaphor. And this is picked up on in the NT: "Just like Jonah was in the heart of the sea, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth". To go down into the depths of the sea is a metaphor, a spiritual picture, of the descent into Hades.

Or the commonly cited "rock of my salvation" in the Psalms, "which rock was Christ" according to Paul. One could pick out many examples; I know Augustine of Hippo did in his commentaries. Let's leave it at this: there's nothing in the NT reception of the Psalms that indicates that some of them were "fallen", or "natural", or "concepts". No, rather the NT usage indicates that they were perceived as revelatory. There was an invitation here, to be filled in Spirit with the words of Christ. And needless to say, WL spurned this invitation.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:06 PM   #502
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Unfortunately my presentational skills aren't up to the job, . . .
Maybe for this task. But in general you do a right spiffy job of it.

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Originally Posted by aron
. . . but I wanted to put out an idea: Look at the Psalms as a kind of spiritualization of the historical narrative, ...
Well that makes sense. Then it makes sense that the Psalms can at one moment be soaring within those realms of spiritualization, and then be crying to God to slay my enemies, and being happy bashing babies against the rocks.

I understand why Lee couldn't accept all of the Psalms. You point out NT support of the Psalms, which is clearly true. But much of it, okay some of it -- too much of it -- in the Psalms, strikes as being anti-Christ; in that it's not like Christ found in the NT.

The way I see OT support in the NT is: what else did they have to go on? They were far worse off than we are today, with our limited materials and documentation, to go on. And we're bad off.

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which spiritualization was picked up and amplified by the NT writers. A classic example is of Melchizedek. A historical character, briefly inserted into the narrative of events. Then the psalmist gives it a kind of mystical spin: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." The NT writer says, "Hey! This is Christ!" and then amplifies it.
Interesting that Melchizedek was the Pagan King Priest of Salem -- "He was priest of God Most High." But he didn't know the right name for God. Did Abram set him straight, chide him, and condemn him to hell so to speak, for calling God El Elyon, and not Yahweh? No! "Abram gave him a tenth of everything."

We should learn by this, to be careful how we judge and treat others, even those that don't believe like us, or at all ... even pagans, or worse, Unitarian Universalists ... Abram, the father of faith, wasn't dogmatic, so maybe we shouldn't be.

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We don't know how much of David's original work remains . . .
As I was saying. We have only what we have. So we're left guessing. And we, and Lee, do and did plenty of that. A'guessing here, a'guessing there, everywhere a'guessing. Even about the Psalms.

Can we really blame Lee for his approach to the Psalms? He was guessing just like the rest of us. The most we can say about Lee, or the worst, is that he was nothing special. In the end he was just like the rest of us ... but with an extraordinary sense of grandiose about himself.

And if we wouldn't have fallen for it Lee would have been just another China man come to America -- which oddly enough he was -- running away from messing in his nest in Taiwan, leaving carnage, if not crimes, in his wake.
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:21 AM   #503
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... it makes sense that the Psalms can at one moment be soaring within those realms of spiritualization, and then be crying to God to slay my enemies, and being happy bashing babies against the rocks.

I understand why Lee couldn't accept all of the Psalms. You point out NT support of the Psalms, which is clearly true. But much of it, okay some of it -- too much of it -- in the Psalms, strikes as being anti-Christ; in that it's not like Christ found in the NT.
As far as I know, the only religious group still bashing babies against the rocks is the ISIL, or ISIS, or IS, or whatever they're known as. Most other religions have moved away from that kind of behavior. And yes, arguably a lot of OT stuff is not like the Christ found in the NT. David shouldn't have thrown that rock at Goliath, right? I mean, he should have turned the other cheek. And when the lion and the bear came to take his sheep, he should have offered them two! That was Jesus' teaching, clearly: "When they take you a mile, go with them two, when a man takes your cloak, offer him your shirt." So David could have been more generous in offering up the fruits of his flock.

But wait a minute - Jesus said that the shepherd lays down his life for the sheep, while the hireling runs away. So maybe David should have lain down in front of the bear or the lion and offered himself as a tasty snack, instead of fighting with them. That would have been the Christian thing to do, clearly.

Of course, the above is humor, or my version of it. In reality, there's this word called "discernment"... we're supposed to have some when we read the Bible. Otherwise we invent funny religions, or join people who have. And spiritualizing, or allegorizing, the OT text certainly takes discernment. If you lack a necessary measure, I suggest two options: first is to find someone who has it, and second is to read the ancients. Probably your first option, the person with discernment, is reading the ancients anyway.

Lee never bothered to read the ancients because he felt that Nee had read everything there was to read, so why bother? But if he'd read the ancients, he would have found that they followed the NT lead by using Psalms as a source of inspiration into divine and mystical realms. Instead, Lee created his "God's NT economy" template, a bowdlerized monstrosity that when superimposed upon the scriptures allowed him to determine which were "natural" and which were "revelatory". And the vast majority of the Psalms were dismissed as the former. Usually it was only where NT usage forced him that Lee admitted some revelation of Jesus Christ.
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:56 AM   #504
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... the Psalms as spiritual commentaries were clearly accepted and used by the NT writers, and by Jesus Himself. For example, "You are gods" from Psalm 82, quoted by Jesus to the Jewish antagonists. They were gods, to whom the word of God came (John 10:35), but they died like men, because they disobeyed and corrupted the commands (Psa 82:7). They fell like every other corrupt ruler. Jesus' use of scripture turned the charge back against the Jews: they'd claimed Jesus blasphemed, but He said that His works showed that He was one with the Father (John 10:25,37,38)... "You are gods" was merely a prelude to "you will die like men".
This scene in John chapter 10 is a good example: the writer of the fourth gospel was intimately acquainted with the OT scriptures, as were Jesus and His opposers. So when Jesus quoted Psalm 82, "I said, 'You are gods'", everyone was probably expected to remember the rest of the sentence, which hadn't been quoted: "...but you will die like men." But what happened over millennia, and which amplified with the Great Schism and then the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Protestant splinterings like British Brethren and Watchman Nee's Little Flock and Witness Lee's Lord's Recovery, is a tendency for the present Christian apologist to fixate upon the so-called New Testament revelation and dismiss, downplay, or ignore the extant scriptures of Jesus' time. The unbalanced RecV Bible, for instance, will have a page of footnotes devoted to a verse in Ephesians or Colossians, and almost nothing, maybe a cross-reference or two, in a page of Psalms.

And when we read a NT passage like the one in John 10 where Jesus was confronted by the religionists, we'll then gloss over His reply because it was from a psalm, which according to today's Paul (WL) was full of fallen men's concepts, and therefore we miss the whole point of the conversation! Why did Jesus' quoted reply point to multiple gods - "I said, 'You are gods'"? Well, it didn't at all: both He and His antagonists knew that there was only one God of Israel. In fact, Jesus taught that it was central to the "greatest commandment" (Matt. 22:36-40). So, then why the quote of "gods"? Perhaps because those "gods (who died like men)" were not "gods", or "God" at all, but had been servants who were disobedient to God's commandments to which they'd been entrusted, as were the Jewish judges facing Him at that very moment. And Jesus furthermore said in the same section that His works clearly showed His obedience to His Father in heaven, just as their refusal of Him showed their disobedience.

But we often missed all this because we were unfamiliar with source text, i.e. the OT. We were Christians, or in Lee's parlance, "New Testament believers", so we focused on the NT, the Christian commentary of the apostle Paul, or today's Paul (WL), the so-called minister of the age, and supposedly God's present oracle. Witness Lee effectively told us not to waste our time with the Psalms; stick with the "high peak truths", he said, and with the "heart of the divine revelation": Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians. The result is that we became shallow, ignorant, vain, and puffed up; empty sounding brass, full of teachings but with no love or good works. Just like those who were arguing with Jesus in John chapter 10. They knew neither God nor scripture.

(the above, especially the last paragraph, only pertains to my growing up Protestant and being in the LC for 6 years, and doesn't apply to many balanced and careful Christian teachers out there, and those who follow them. And Lee may have covered "...you will die like men" in his expositions of John 10 and Psalm 82. But my point still remains.)
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:46 AM   #505
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

"We know that God doesn't hear the prayers of a sinner". This comment was presented uncritically by the gospel narrator in John 9:31. So, how then does the sinner get saved? I say, because of the High Priest, who is sinless, and whose righteousness intervenes by God's mercy. Jesus is of course the true and great High Priest who's entered into heaven and who there intercedes for us. Hebrews goes into this in some detail, and even says that "He always lives to intercede for us." (7:25)

All the prayers and declarations of the pious sinners in the Psalms, which RecV footnotes typically dismiss as "natural" and "fallen", are actually opportunities for Jesus to intercede. He didn't sin, but when we the sinners confess and repent, Jesus Himself brings these declarations, prayers and words on our behalf before the Father's throne, and because of His purity, the Father hears and responds. Thus the Father can save us, even to the uttermost. And it was in this vein, I believe, that Paul repeatedly encouraged the NT saints to exercise themselves in the Psalms, even calling them "the word of Christ" (Col 3:16). Of themselves the words of the psalmist, who was admittedly a sinner, are indeed low, and natural, and vain. But because of God's mercy in Christ Jesus they become the vehicles whereby we sinners may come to God through faith and receive mercy and timely help. I therefore strongly disagree with WL's pejorative characterization of the book's contents. "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God." Amen.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:56 AM   #506
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This scene in John chapter 10 is a good example: the writer of the fourth gospel was intimately acquainted with the OT scriptures, as were Jesus and His opposers.
Well the writer for sure ... Jesus and the opposers aren't as certain. As I've stated: Of course the writers of the NT knew the OT. It's all they had. They couldn't be literate without it ... and therefore wouldn't know how to write, or read, for that matter -- like 90% back then -- like what is said of John & Peter, in Acts 4:13 (see Strong's).

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So when Jesus quoted Psalm 82, "I said, 'You are gods'", everyone was probably expected to remember the rest of the sentence, which hadn't been quoted: "...but you will die like men."
Good point. And isn't "I have said" a throw back to: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us..." in our Gen. 3:22? And speaking to the Pharisees maybe that's what Jesus meant. We don't know do we, why Jesus quoted Psalms, or if he really did? The author of John may have been quoting it ... maybe even from Isaiah 41:23. And is the Psalms even considered in the Hebrew Bible The Law? Wouldn't that be the Torah? Aren't we just surmising? For fun perhaps? Or for digging at the truth? If we're still doing that.

The real question is: Are we really "gods?" Is that what Jesus meant? Considering the subjective awareness reading (and writing) these words is, the center of our universe, we can certainly see ourselves as a god. Jesus, or the author of John, and Psalms, and Genesis, could have been unto something. Maybe. That even they didn't realize; with their limited view of the universe back then, in the iron age.

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But what happened over millennia, and which amplified with the Great Schism and then the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Protestant splinterings like British Brethren and Watchman Nee's Little Flock and Witness Lee's Lord's Recovery, is a tendency for the present Christian apologist to fixate upon the so-called New Testament revelation and dismiss, downplay, or ignore the extant scriptures of Jesus' time.
Well it is the OLD Testament. I mean it's old, old, old. And given God's disposition in the OLD Testament the NEW Testament, except for Revelations, is so much better.

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Originally Posted by aron
The unbalanced RecV Bible, for instance, will have a page of footnotes devoted to a verse in Ephesians or Colossians, and almost nothing, maybe a cross-reference or two, in a page of Psalms.
Lee took "Ye are gods" very seriously ... like he could write scripture in his footnotes. But if it's true, that, we are gods, any of us could write footnotes as scripture ... even, maybe, UntoHim ... who is little 'g' god out here.

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And when we read a NT passage like the one in John 10 where Jesus was confronted by the religionists, we'll then gloss over His reply because it was from a psalm, which according to today's Paul (WL) was full of fallen men's concepts,
All of the Bible, old and new, are written by fallen men. And Lee too was a fallen man. We've more than learned that on these local church forums.

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and therefore we miss the whole point of the conversation! Why did Jesus' quoted reply point to multiple gods - "I said, 'You are gods'"? Well, it didn't at all: both He and His antagonists knew that there was only one God of Israel. In fact, Jesus taught that it was central to the "greatest commandment" (Matt. 22:36-40). So, then why the quote of "gods"? Perhaps because those "gods (who died like men)" were not "gods", or "God" at all, but had been servants who were disobedient to God's commandments to which they'd been entrusted, as were the Jewish judges facing Him at that very moment. And Jesus furthermore said in the same section that His works clearly showed His obedience to His Father in heaven, just as their refusal of Him showed their disobedience.
So "gods" in the Genesis since?

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Originally Posted by aron
But we often missed all this because we were unfamiliar with source text, i.e. the OT. We were Christians, or in Lee's parlance, "New Testament believers", so we focused on the NT, the Christian commentary of the apostle Paul, or today's Paul (WL), the so-called minister of the age, and supposedly God's present oracle. Witness Lee effectively told us not to waste our time with the Psalms; stick with the "high peak truths", he said, and with the "heart of the divine revelation": Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians. The result is that we became shallow, ignorant, vain, and puffed up; empty sounding brass, full of teachings but with no love or good works. Just like those who were arguing with Jesus in John chapter 10. They knew neither God nor scripture.
You're not suggesting that the OT can keep us from becoming "shallow, ignorant, vain, and puffed up; empty sounding brass, full of teachings but with no love or good works" are you?

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(the above, especially the last paragraph, only pertains to my growing up Protestant and being in the LC for 6 years, and doesn't apply to many balanced and careful Christian teachers out there, and those who follow them. And Lee may have covered "...you will die like men" in his expositions of John 10 and Psalm 82. But my point still remains.)
Yeah your point is for us to go back to The Law, and a grumpy old God.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:47 AM   #507
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You're not suggesting that the OT can keep us from becoming "shallow, ignorant, vain, and puffed up; empty sounding brass, full of teachings but with no love or good works" are you?
Not at all. I'm suggesting that without understanding the source (OT) of the conversation we're reading (NT), we don't understand it. If we ignorantly presume understanding, then we become shallow and puffed up.

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Yeah your point is for us to go back to The Law, and a grumpy old God.
Negative. The grumpy people in John 10 were those who opposed Jesus. They thought they knew the answers. As do we, far too often. My point is that the God Jesus presented wasn't a different God, a "new and improved" God of grace. Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets, and opened the way for the rest of us by believing into Him. Unlike Jesus, WL held the Psalms texts to be vain, natural concepts of fallen men, which can be profitably ignored.

But if we ignore it, we don't even understand what Jesus was talking about, do we? His quotes don't make any sense to us. And how can we then follow? Even, I would ask, how can we imitate Paul, who imitated Jesus? I repeat what was written initially on this thread: the concepts I see here aren't in scripture; rather they're those of the Bible expositor. Natural and fallen.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:27 AM   #508
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This scene in John chapter 10 is a good example: the writer of the fourth gospel was intimately acquainted with the OT scriptures, as were Jesus and His opposers.
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Originally Posted by awareness
Well the writer for sure ... Jesus and the opposers aren't as certain. As I've stated: Of course the writers of the NT knew the OT. It's all they had. They couldn't be literate without it ... and therefore wouldn't know how to write, or read, for that matter -- like 90% back then -- like what is said of John & Peter, in Acts 4:13 (see Strong's).
Actually Jesus and the opposers were more intimately acquainted with the OT scriptures than even the gospel writers. Jesus was...well for reasons even too obvious for even Harold to deny. And let's not forget the “opposers” were the Pharisees and scribes...these were people who were the most intimately acquainted with the OT scriptures....it was practically their full-time job to memorize “the Law and the Prophets” (along with the rest of the OT of course) Just because they did a pretty lousy job of living those scriptures out does not negate the fact that they were the most intimately acquainted with said OT scriptures.

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The unbalanced RecV Bible, for instance, will have a page of footnotes devoted to a verse in Ephesians or Colossians, and almost nothing, maybe a cross-reference or two, in a page of Psalms.
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Lee took "Ye are gods" very seriously ... like he could write scripture in his footnotes. But if it's true, that, we are gods, any of us could write footnotes as scripture ... even, maybe, UntoHim ... who is little 'g' god out here.
Ah, Harold, you flatter me again my man! Look, if I was any kind of a god, even “a little g god”, I would have vaporized you by now, or at least shut you up like Gabriel did to Zechariah.
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:25 AM   #509
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Not at all. I'm suggesting that without understanding the source (OT) of the conversation we're reading (NT), we don't understand it. If we ignorantly presume understanding, then we become shallow and puffed up.

Negative. The grumpy people in John 10 were those who opposed Jesus. They thought they knew the answers. As do we, far too often. My point is that the God Jesus presented wasn't a different God, a "new and improved" God of grace. Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets, and opened the way for the rest of us by believing into Him. Unlike Jesus, WL held the Psalms texts to be vain, natural concepts of fallen men, which can be profitably ignored.

But if we ignore it, we don't even understand what Jesus was talking about, do we? His quotes don't make any sense to us. And how can we then follow? Even, I would ask, how can we imitate Paul, who imitated Jesus? I repeat what was written initially on this thread: the concepts I see here aren't in scripture; rather they're those of the Bible expositor. Natural and fallen.
Good response. Thanks ...

It is sad that we're natural and fallen ... including Nee and Lee.
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Old 06-27-2015, 07:52 AM   #510
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It is sad that we're natural and fallen ... including Nee and Lee.
The gospel arguably has two parts. First is that we're fallen and mortal. And yes it is sad. Death impinges upon our every turn. The second part is the good part - God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, in whom we might be restored to life and our Father's presence.

So the first part, while unpleasant, is merely prelude to the second. But we must be clear about the second part. God loved us so much that He sent His Son, and this is not "the normal church" or "the proper ground" or "the ministry of the age". The Son is Jesus Christ, and no other.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:54 PM   #511
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The gospel arguably has two parts. First is that we're fallen and mortal. And yes it is sad. Death impinges upon our every turn. The second part is the good part - God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, in whom we might be restored to life and our Father's presence.

So the first part, while unpleasant, is merely prelude to the second. But we must be clear about the second part. God loved us so much that He sent His Son, and this is not "the normal church" or "the proper ground" or "the ministry of the age". The Son is Jesus Christ, and no other.
It still sad that we're stuck with the first part even tho we have the second part.
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:02 PM   #512
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It still sad that we're stuck with the first part even tho we have the second part.
I remember reading Matthew 20, when the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, worshipping Him and asking for a favor; WL said that "she was worshipping with a motive". Uh, ok... and he wasn't "ministering with a motive"? We all function at least somewhat impinged by motives; we're all at least partly in impurity. Even the apostle Paul, even the apostle Peter, even dear Miss Sainted Margaret Barber and Seer of the Age Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, God's Humble Bondslave. We're all impure. Only Jesus is pure. I believe that's intrinsic to the gospel message itself. "Forgive and you'll be forgiven..." if you were already perfected, being forgiven wouldn't be necessary, now would it? "Show mercy and you'll receive mercy..." if you were fully apart from the touch of fallen humanity you wouldn't need mercy, would you?

When they came to Him, saying, "Good Master..." Jesus refused the title. Only God is good. While we're here in the flesh of sin we should never presume pride of place. Only after the Bema do we find hope of reward, or glory; not here on earth. I think WL got lured by the scent of earthly glory, which happily tied in with a monopolistic merchandizing of his ministry to the Local Churches of the Lord's Recovery. So he could diss the writers of scripture as being "low" and "fallen", point out the foibles of every character in the Bible, yet anyone somehow exposing his own failures (or his family's) was in rebellion against God.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:02 AM   #513
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Originally Posted by aron View Post
I remember reading Matthew 20, when the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, worshipping Him and asking for a favor; WL said that "she was worshipping with a motive". Uh, ok... and he wasn't "ministering with a motive"? We all function at least somewhat impinged by motives; we're all at least partly in impurity. Even the apostle Paul, even the apostle Peter, even dear Miss Sainted Margaret Barber and Seer of the Age Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, God's Humble Bondslave. We're all impure. Only Jesus is pure. I believe that's intrinsic to the gospel message itself. "Forgive and you'll be forgiven..." if you were already perfected, being forgiven wouldn't be necessary, now would it? "Show mercy and you'll receive mercy..." if you were fully apart from the touch of fallen humanity you wouldn't need mercy, would you?

When they came to Him, saying, "Good Master..." Jesus refused the title. Only God is good. While we're here in the flesh of sin we should never presume pride of place. Only after the Bema do we find hope of reward, or glory; not here on earth. I think WL got lured by the scent of earthly glory, which happily tied in with a monopolistic merchandizing of his ministry to the Local Churches of the Lord's Recovery. So he could diss the writers of scripture as being "low" and "fallen", point out the foibles of every character in the Bible, yet anyone somehow exposing his own failures (or his family's) was in rebellion against God.
Obviously Lee was projecting, on others and scripture. I forgive the old coot. Just as I forgive my unapologetic racist father. Both were foolish old coots. I forgive but don't follow either of them.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:13 PM   #514
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It still sad that we're stuck with the first part even tho we have the second part.
One reason I find much of CCM to be essentially maudlin treacle is that it's stuck in the first part. According to the CCM songwriter, Jesus is high up in heaven, and we're down here on earth, either waving our arms ecstatically in "worship" music, or we're confessing how poor and miserable and needy we are. The recent song posted on this site, with lyrics by Jeremy Camp, was exemplary of the genre.

Quote:
Looks like a boy's in trouble again
Living much too close to the edge of sin
Now he finds himself where he should not have been
Oh God why is Your peace so hard to find
And the answer to the questions that haunt my mind

Oh Lord, Your ways are not like mine

Chorus:
And it pounds like thunder within in my breast
All the anger of my humanness
And though I call You "Lord" I must confess
I'm a stranger to Your holiness, a stranger to Your holiness

Can we really be what we were meant to be
Jesus' people, living by the Spirit and living free
My heart longs to serve, but wanders so aimlessly
Oh Lord You deserve every part of me

CHORUS

Hear my cry of desperation as I see the wickedness of my ways
You alone are my salvation, and Lord I've learned this one thing to be true
Is that the closer I get to You, I see I'm a stranger (to Your holiness)
Don't wanna be no stranger, and it burns like a fire.
The whole point of the gospel is not to fixate upon "the wickedness of our ways", but to see Jesus. Let me go back to the text of the Psalms: "in the midst of the 'ekklesia' (church, assembly, meeting) I will sing hymns of praise to You." This quote from Psalm 22 was shown in the epistle to the Hebrews as: "In the midst of the assembly, I Jesus will sing hymns of praise to You, Father." It is not "In the midst of the assembly I Jeremy Camp will sing hymns of praise to You Jesus".

Or course we do praise and bless the Lord Jesus. But we do so because the Lord Jesus leads us back to the Father. The focus of the church meeting is Jesus Christ, in our midst, leading us home to the Father. The focus is not we the miserable sinners (Jeremy Camp) or we the spotless Bride (Witness Lee). The focus of the meeting is on Jesus Christ bringing us home to our Father. It seems to me that Witness Lee typically ignored the first part, of our sinfulness, and is therefore stuck there. It was if, for him, the idea of sin to the "NT believer" was passe, or irrelevant. Jeremy Camp's song seems to be just stuck there. "Miserable me!!" But I believe that the focus should be that Jesus Christ came to the first part (sinful humanity) to bring them to the second part (the Father's house).
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:42 PM   #515
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Originally Posted by aron View Post
One reason I find much of CCM to be essentially maudlin treacle is that it's stuck in the first part. According to the CCM songwriter, Jesus is high up in heaven, and we're down here on earth, either waving our arms ecstatically in "worship" music, or we're confessing how poor and miserable and needy we are. The recent song posted on this site, with lyrics by Jeremy Camp, was exemplary of the genre.
While I generally agree with this statement, I would say CCM has made some very positive strides over the past 10-15 years. I was at the original Calvary Chapel in Orange County CA back in the early-mid 70s and witnessed the very beginnings of contemporary Christian music. Some of it was among the most shallow stuff I've ever heard. Of course today's CCM includes everything from remakes of the old hymns all the way to Christian Hip-Hop! There are quite a number of younger song writers/singers/musicians who are writing some very "theologically profound" lyrics. I happen to fellowship a church with the average age of early 30s, and the worship music could be considered as "contemporary". They sing a wide variety, with a pretty healthy mix of the older hymns (mostly remade with more of a contemporary melody/sound) and a lot of the newer things written by some of the newer artists. Sometimes the band gets a little loud for this old dude, but I have discovered quite a number of newer Christian artists through our worship service. I have posted a number of them on the "Listen Up" module on the home page.

As for this particular song, "Stranger to your holiness", by STEVE Camp (**Correction from JEREMY Camp, who is also a CCM artist, who coincidentally was born in 1978, the very year of STEVE Camp's first release of a CCM song. Steve and Jeremy are not related)...as for this particular song, Stranger to your holiness, Steve Camp wrote this song very early on in his career, over 30 years ago when he was only still in his 20s, so I think we can give him a pass for this one not being very theologically sound or complete.

Actually I posted this particular song in reaction to hearing the news about Tullian Tchividjian - yet another South Florida megachurch pastor to be caught in adultery and lose his church and substantial national ministry. Tchividjian is a grandson of Billy Graham, and is a self-confessed, highly tattooed former bad boy. His parents actually kicked him out of the house when he was only 16. Anyway, this was part of his testimony over the years. I forgot how I ran into Steve Camp's "Stranger to your holiness", but the opening line of "Look's like the boy's in trouble again" just struck me as incredibly relevant and timely to the situation with Tchividjian.

By the way, the teaching pastors/elders of my church just started a series on the Psalms. I think it's going to last at least 6 months. I try to keep you appraised on this tread.
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:51 AM   #516
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While I generally agree with this statement, I would say CCM has made some very positive strides over the past 10-15 years. I was at the original Calvary Chapel in Orange County CA back in the early-mid 70s and witnessed the very beginnings of contemporary Christian music. Some of it was among the most shallow stuff I've ever heard. Of course today's CCM includes everything from remakes of the old hymns all the way to Christian Hip-Hop! There are quite a number of younger song writers/singers/musicians who are writing some very "theologically profound" lyrics.
For every person that dislikes a song, there may be someone who says, "I was in despair, and I heard this song and gave my life to Christ" or some such. Therefore one has to be careful not to be a despiser. And there is a lot of GREAT music out there. But still, the point was that a song, a testimony, a teaching, or a meeting should direct the focus towards Jesus Christ and not away from Him. When the focus of the song is on the song-writer (or his/her hypothetical protagonist) instead of Jesus Christ, then I'm not interested. Been there, done that. That was what was meant by "maudlin treacle" - we'll wallow in the fall of humanity, instead of putting it behind us and focusing, unyielding, on our Lord, Guiding Shepherd and High Priest.

Likewise, the focus of WL was too often on "the rich ministry" or "God's economy" or "The Glorious Church" (Question: if the Glorious Church was so glorious, why did Luther leave the RCC, or WN leave the Protestants?) or some other vision of his. In the LC the focus was always on so many things, added on to the gospel, which supposedly uplifted it but just ultimately distracted the hearer. For example, "Eating Jesus is the way!!" -- see how easily, yet another activity crowds in to our attention? Various flows, moves, and ways, and the storms that follow. All of them took our focus and attention away from our Savior.
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As for this particular song, "Stranger to your holiness", by STEVE Camp (**Correction from JEREMY Camp, who is also a CCM artist, who coincidentally was born in 1978, the very year of STEVE Camp's first release of a CCM song. Steve and Jeremy are not related)...as for this particular song, Stranger to your holiness, Steve Camp wrote this song very early on in his career, over 30 years ago when he was only still in his 20s, so I think we can give him a pass for this one not being very theologically sound or complete.
Whatever things I've been called over the years, a meticulous scholar wasn't one of them. I apologize for mixing them up. And as noted, perhaps many have been helped by their music. But I offered a subjective assessment of what a particular song was doing for me, which was nothing. And I tried to make it into a larger point, but probably painted too broadly.

Back to an earlier statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by aron
The gospel arguably has two parts. First is that we're fallen and mortal. And yes it is sad. Death impinges upon our every turn. The second part is the good part - God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son, in whom we might be restored to life and our Father's presence.
Remember where the Samaritan woman went around and declared to all that Jesus was the Christ? It was based on His accurate assessment of her true condition ("He told me everything that I have done") and His offer of an alternative. The people came to Jesus based on her testimony, but after, they believed because of the experience of meeting Jesus Himself. Her testimony was only valid to draw others to Jesus, not to distract them. Suppose after 3 days they had said, to paraphrase John 4:42, "We no longer believe because what you have said, but now we have seen and believe that Jesus is Lord and you're the seer of the age" (or, "we now have seen the ground of the church", or "we have seen God's economy", etc). Our testimony should ultimately cause people to forget us and our testimony, and turn completely and unequivocally to Jesus.

So I'd modify the statement: The gospel consists of two parts. First included our failure, and how Jesus came to meet us where we were. Second, that our testimony opens the door to the voice of the Shepherd Himself that ultimately meets the hearer, and our testimony then becomes superfluous. We're here to introduce people to Jesus Christ, and then we should be wise, like John the Baptist, and recede.

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Actually I posted this particular song in reaction to hearing the news about Tullian Tchividjian - yet another South Florida megachurch pastor to be caught in adultery and lose his church and substantial national ministry. Tchividjian is a grandson of Billy Graham, and is a self-confessed, highly tattooed former bad boy....I forgot how I ran into Steve Camp's "Stranger to your holiness", but the opening line of "Look's like the boy's in trouble again" just struck me as incredibly relevant and timely to the situation with Tchividjian.
I'm vaguely aware of the name. I'm sad that calamity has come, to him or to anyone. All of us are children of calamity, pelted by the failures of the world. In Jesus Christ alone there is hope. I do desire that our testimonies, our meetings, and our ministries, would all fade away at the brightness of His appearing.

And He is there in the word. The word testifies concerning Him; even He Himself is called "the Word of God." And His testimony is true: He is quite capable of leading us home. Everything He said to us came from the Father of lights.
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:45 PM   #517
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"All of them took our focus and attention away from our Savior."

That dear bro Aron is the chief sin of the current blindeds running the LSM-LC franchise movement.

He is after all Jesus our Savior or Jesus our Lord. He's not Jesus the creator of gods economy, or Jesus the coordinator of the one new man, or Jesus of the lords recovery, or Jesus of the local churches.

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Old 06-30-2015, 05:14 PM   #518
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Over many years, there has been some look-back to my upbringing in the Assemblies of God (Pentecostal and Arminian), noting what seemed to be an unusually large number of preachers who had to step down over moral issues. I know there have been a number of large non-AOG situations in recent years. But the AOG is a fairly small denomination, so not many mega-churches to look at. And the number still is somewhat large proportionately.

We always blamed it on a combination of the erroneous thought that having been “filled with the Holy Ghost” with all the typical Pentecostal baggage that entailed made you somehow immune to temptation, coupled with the idea that since you can lose your salvation anyway and just get it back, might as well “go with the sin” for a bit then repent.

Now other evangelical groups seem to be having the same problems. And it is more noticeable to the outside world because of the size of some of the particular churches involved, and the public profiles of the particular persons. And while the analysis is somewhat different, to me it is still almost the same. Just different in terminology.

Since we as evangelicals claim (rightly) that we are under grace, I believe that our tendency is to rely on that grace to cover our sins (which it does) rather than practice (exercise) ourselves to godliness (righteousness) and other steps which actually engage in the life that Jesus taught rather than just preach about the loving grace of God (which is true) that saves you even though you remain fallen and broken (which you do). So at some level, we come to believe that trying to do the “works” of being righteous, and of other kinds of works, like caring for the widow and orphan, to name a couple, we just assume that we will somehow become better because we read a lot of scripture and pray a lot, but don’t take any action to live like we do either of those things.

I know. Someone is going to say “There goes OBW again talking about obedience.” And they are right. If you can’t obey, why do we think that anyone should listen to our words that claim a Christ that changes lives. He is not changing ours. Well, may be our attitude toward spiritual things. But not our living. Maybe we don’t rob convenience stores. But are we noteworthy in our lives? Or are we still “just as I am” (or rather were since that was supposed to be at our salvation)?

Yes. David was a failure. But he also repented and took the consequences and at least mostly kept pursuing God. And if you think this is just about reading more scrolls and praying a lot, then I don’t think you understand David very well. He took action. And he actually repented for his failures. He didn’t just say that God would forgive him because of his lovingkindness. He asked for that lovingkindness to forgive him. He repented in sackcloth and ashes. And he wrote a couple of Psalms about it. Made an example of himself.

This is off-topic — at least sort of. But it is so prominent in the various public failings of the past few years. Yes, they step down from their ministries (well most of them do). But when I look at the people I know, both inside the LCM and outside in other parts of Christianity, the tendency of the “it’s just grace” crowd to take few steps to actually live righteously — at least in the areas they don’t consider imperatives. There is something seriously wrong with that theology. And a theology that assumes that once you pray some particular prayer you are simply saved forever seems to give us all a lot of opportunity to indulge the flesh because, as Paul admitted, where there is sin, grace abounds. But he noted that they should not sin just so that grace would abound. Why do we have to still be in that same place? Maybe we aren’t having inappropriate relationships. But what acts of unrighteousness do we allow ourselves? Disdain for others rather than loving them as ourselves? Driving like a bat out of hell and thinking that it is everyone else that are the jerks? (guilty at times)

Yes. The Samaritan woman could tell what she heard and get people to move. But if she is still living with the man who is not her husband in a few months, who is going to listen? How often do we presume that what we say is more important that what we do?

I continue to think there are good reasons for this forum to be here standing up to the nonsense that is the LCM. But I don’t think that my task is to continue that fight here. Might still do it elsewhere, especially if the opportunity for real, meaningful, live interaction with certain persons comes up. But my main concerns are moving elsewhere. I will probably peek in on occasion. And even post when it seems appropriate or worthwhile. No one has caused or asked me to “move on.” Just getting to a different place. After about 10 years on these forums, I think my lines have been read. My character is moving off the island. It might resurface on occasion. But it has moved away.

Enjoy.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:57 PM   #519
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But my main concerns are moving elsewhere. I will probably peek in on occasion. And even post when it seems appropriate or worthwhile. No one has caused or asked me to “move on.” Just getting to a different place. After about 10 years on these forums, I think my lines have been read. My character is moving off the island. It might resurface on occasion. But it has moved away.

Enjoy.
You will be missed bro Mike.

And as I see it the Christian life isn't suppose to be going to Bible study after Bible study. Where's the Bible living studies?
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:38 PM   #520
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Hi OBW, I don't really know you much, but I wish you all the best and thanks for your comments and prayers.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:23 AM   #521
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Over many years, there has been some look-back to my upbringing in the Assemblies of God (Pentecostal and Arminian), noting what seemed to be an unusually large number of preachers who had to step down over moral issues... We always blamed it on a combination of the erroneous thought that having been “filled with the Holy Ghost” with all the typical Pentecostal baggage that entailed made you somehow immune to temptation, coupled with the idea that since you can lose your salvation anyway and just get it back, might as well “go with the sin” for a bit then repent.

Now other evangelical groups seem to be having the same problems. And it is more noticeable to the outside world because of the size of some of the particular churches involved, and the public profiles of the particular persons. And while the analysis is somewhat different, to me it is still almost the same. Just different in terminology.

Since we as evangelicals claim (rightly) that we are under grace, I believe that our tendency is to rely on that grace to cover our sins (which it does) rather than practice (exercise) ourselves to godliness (righteousness) and other steps which actually engage in the life that Jesus taught rather than just preach about the loving grace of God (which is true) that saves you even though you remain fallen and broken (which you do). So at some level, we come to believe that trying to do the “works” of being righteous, and of other kinds of works, like caring for the widow and orphan, to name a couple, we just assume that we will somehow become better because we read a lot of scripture and pray a lot, but don’t take any action to live like we do either of those things.
A challenge for the new Christian believer is that things are not always what they seem to be, even in church. We hear of a God who hides Himself (Isa 45:15), and may come dressed in rags, to see how we'll behave; like the tv show "Undercover Bosses". "When I was sick you visited Me..." On the other hand, the enemy of God, Satan, will occasionally disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14), and insinuate into the fellowship. Thus, the new believer may reject the world, confess the Lord Jesus, come into the church, and be met with liars & thieves disguised as leaders, while God is sitting very quietly over in the corner. Not easy to navigate, but there it is. And here the Charismatic experience, while not invalid, contains danger, with its stress on sensory experience over hard truth. Just shout and yell and wave your arms and righteousness, among other problems, has been magically solved. Wrong - sorry Charlie. For one example, look at the Corinthians, whose "church life" full of charismatic experiences but also full of sin.

And some of that I see in the LC experience, looking back. Consider the scenario that WL found: after a half-century of war (WWI and WWII), people were exhausted with "progress". We had televisions but also nuclear war, and with the Korean conflict barely fading and the Vietnamese conflict emerging, with civil rights and women's rights and the environmental issues swirling, it was so easy to reject "old religion" and just "exercise your spirit on the local ground". So easy and simple. Just be one. Yell Bible verses and spiritual phrases at each other. Righteousness was either irrelevant, or solved by overwhelming grace, we thought; the newbie was vulnerable to this, being trusting that whatever "leaders" do in church is of God.

Lee could create his shibboleth "religion" and pretend that he was offering a new and shiny alternative. But the fact that he kept adding things to his "Jesus", and kept trying to fleece the parishioners with money-making schemes, and that as regards to righteousness he wasn't even qualified to be a church elder, gives flight to the myth that we were all "feasting on such a rich store".

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David was a failure. But he also repented and took the consequences and at least mostly kept pursuing God. And if you think this is just about reading more scrolls and praying a lot, then I don’t think you understand David very well. He took action. And he actually repented for his failures. He didn’t just say that God would forgive him because of his lovingkindness. He asked for that lovingkindness to forgive him. He repented in sackcloth and ashes. And he wrote a couple of Psalms about it. Made an example of himself.
The Psalms of repentance have a Great High Priest standing by to intervene. So they are not vain. Christ is here, waiting for our confession and acknowledgment. He is always living to intercede for us. So we don't have to pretend to be something we're not.

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After about 10 years on these forums, I think my lines have been read.
One of the worst internet forum sins, after being impolite, and thinking everyone else to be hopelessly wrong, is the habit of repeating oneself over and over. When the writer finally gets tired of writing the same things repeatedly, perhaps the reader is getting tired, too, or has been for a while. So I understand, and typically hide my repetitions in new phraseology, but the repetition is unfortunately still there.

So for the sake of a recently arrived reader, assuming there are any, my point in starting this thread was that the psalmist speaking of righteousness probably wasn't vain, natural, or fallen. Rather the psalmist was speaking of the irrevocable demands of the holy God, whose demands of righteousness were met for us by Jesus Christ. This is our faith, our hope, and our life; and yes this is our righteousness. Any minister who tries to dismiss the word of God as "low" or "fallen" and therefore irrelevant, probably went astray somewhere.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:53 PM   #522
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Ah, Harold, you flatter me again my man! Look, if I was any kind of a god, even “a little g god”, I would have vaporized you by now, or at least shut you up like Gabriel did to Zechariah.
I'm maybe late on the uptake here.

Dismissing the part of vaporizing me and at the risk of, perchance, undo flattery again, I'd like to make a contrast. I'd like to point out an admirable attitude of a 'normal Christian,' in UntoHim's rejection of even that he's a little g god, with Lee's shameful attitude of an 'abnormal Christian' of being the oracle of God.

Which brings me to:

Really, I have to ask, I mean really, just how could Lee think that he could speak for God in proclaiming what is, and what is not, Gods' speaking in the Bible.

How could he ever have any credibility after doing and claiming that, as any kind of a man of the Bible? Who did he think he was? How could we buy it at all? How could any one in their right mind follow him after claiming and doing that?
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:36 PM   #523
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Really, I have to ask, I mean really, just how could Lee think that he could speak for God in proclaiming what is, and what is not, Gods' speaking in the Bible.

How could he ever have any credibility after doing and claiming that, as any kind of a man of the Bible? Who did he think he was? How could we buy it at all? How could any one in their right mind follow him after claiming and doing that?
Just wondering who out there really believed that WL was the minister of the age, or the oracle of God? While I was in the LC I don't think I ever believed that WL was the MOTA, but I did view him as being someone special whose reputation God would protect from slander.
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:55 PM   #524
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Just wondering who out there really believed that WL was the minister of the age, or the oracle of God? While I was in the LC I don't think I ever believed that WL was the MOTA, but I did view him as being someone special whose reputation God would protect from slander.
I never bought into all the talk about Lee being the MOTA. I attended the trainings in the mid-2000's when the blinded brothers started talking about Lee being the MOTA. Little did I realize then, it was mostly talk directed at those in the GLA who weren't using Lee's ministry.

I will say that I felt that Lee had a special reputation before God. I think it was something along the lines of him having more importance than other Christian teachers. That is probably how most LC saints viewed him up to a certain point in time. Probably once Lee started claiming to be God's oracle in the 80's, people started to feel that he was something more than just a Christian teacher that they greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:30 PM   #525
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Just wondering who out there really believed that WL was the minister of the age, or the oracle of God? While I was in the LC I don't think I ever believed that WL was the MOTA, but I did view him as being someone special whose reputation God would protect from slander.
I thought he was something like an apostle back in the late 70's. By the time I learned he was a MOTA and the acting God, there were too many in the GLA starting to back away from such claims.
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Old 07-03-2015, 08:15 PM   #526
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I'm thinking that it is easier to leave the LC and ignore the blindeds if you're a Lee MOTA agnostic. When you realize that Lee was just a natural mortal man who discovered a successful business model, then you can dump the MOTA legend and move on to a more normal Christian life in a healthier group.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:07 AM   #527
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... concerning the fall in Genesis.. the real issue ... was that it was not that man got something added to him, or that he gained knowledge. Instead, it is more meaningful to state that we changed our allegiance from God to self. We changed our source of right and wrong from what God said to what we reasoned was right or wrong.

The fall was the result of disobedience, not fruit or snakes.

Knowledge is not the problem. Knowledge from our own counsel is.

Right and wrong is not a problem. In fact, right and wrong remain an important thing from the very beginning to the very end. But right and wrong decided by our flawed minds without the counsel of God is very much a problem.
The above quote is from the thread, "Good vs. Lee's Trees", because it touches on what I've been looking at in the text of the Psalms. The declarations of fealty and obedience aren't vain in the Psalms; rather they presage the restorative activities of the coming Christ. "I delight to do Your will", e.g. Psa 40:8, is truly a picture of the Obedient Lamb of God. Jesus said that David was in spirit and writing about Him, and Peter said that David was a prophet who looked to the promised Seed. But WL was blinkered by the "economy of God" as he presented it.

The obedience of Christ directly addresses the issue of the fall, or properly the falls. In the text we see three separate falls: Satan in Isaiah 14, humans in Genesis 3, and angels in Genesis 6. Note that each fall depended on the preceding. Satan tempted the human with fruit that was pleasing to the eye (3:6), and the daughters of Adam also were pleasing to the eyes of the angels (6:2). In both cases the trespass was made not on the act but on the turn from God's command, to begin to consider the alternative to God's will. The "seed" was already in the eyes, and the considerations of the heart, before the "fruit" was in the hand and then the stomach.

The fall of the angels is especially instructive, as the NT commentary doesn't say anything about them getting injected with sinful nature. No, the commentary (see e.g. Jude 1:6, also 2 Peter) says that the angels disobeyed, and left their divinely allotted places, just as Adam and Eve before them, and Lucifer, and as can any servant of God, who receives the commands and instructions of the Divine will.

It's not about being injected with the satanic nature. It's about obedience. The aspiration of the psalmist is good, as are the expressions, which give framework for the coming Messiah, who is Jesus the Christ, God blessed forever.

If it were about the satanic nature, then how is the Christ obedient? He was also born of a woman, born under the law (Gal 4:4). If satanic nature was the bugaboo here, Christ would be stumbled like the rest. But He believed, and obeyed, and through His obedience He was perfected (Heb 5:8,9). And now, just as He obeyed, we are to obey His commands, and be perfected as well - see the extended discourse in John 15. I wouldn't be so quick to wave off the claims of obedience in the Psalms. "I will not delay to obey Your commands." (Psa 119:60) Let's not look away so quickly from the word of God. It's there to instruct us, and guide us to the Christ, who fulfilled the law to the proverbial jot and tittle. Paul called these writings "the word of Christ", and it might behoove us to pause for a moment and consider why.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:20 AM   #528
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If it were about the satanic nature, then how is the Christ obedient? He was also born of a woman, born under the law (Gal 4:4). If satanic nature was the bugaboo here, Christ would be stumbled like the rest. But He believed, and obeyed, and through His obedience He was perfected (Heb 5:8,9)...
The other interesting thing about Christ's obedience, as contrasted to the disobedient angels in what I call "the third fall" (Genesis 6:1-6; for NT ref. see also Jude 1:6, Rev. 12:4) is that this act of continual and steadfast obedience caused Him to be the vector of God's rule on earth, and this could be seen in apposition, and opposition, to the disobedient "unclean spirits" that He met again and again in the gospel records. Christ had pure dominion, because He was a "man under authority" (Matt 8:9) and as such all the forces of darkness had to fall back before Him.

For those who may be puzzled by the link between the fall of the angels in Genesis 6, and the unclean spirits which Jesus continually rebuked and cast out, there was a sizable "intertestamental" literature, exemplified but not limited to the Enochic corpus. For example, jesus probably referenced this in saying, "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it flies through waterless places seeking rest...etc". This kind of speaking would not be uncommon to the Second Temple or Intertestamental period, most of the literature of which didn't make it into the canonical status but nonetheless informed the understanding of the day. Jude and 2 Peter probably also reference this intertestamental body of work.

In the NT gospel record you see someone who has faith, who lives by faith, who obeys the commands of God without hesitation, and whose obedience makes Him a beacon to those seeking light, as well as a terror to the forces of darkness who continually press in from all sides.

"May those who fear You rejoice when they see Me". - Psa 119:74

"Ah! What have we to do with You, Jesus, Nazarene? Have You come to destroy us before our time?" - Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34

And in the Psalms you also continually see the forces of light in opposition to the forces of darkness. WL mistakenly believed that the author(s) of the Palms were natural, and fallen, unable to extricate themselves from the effect of the fall. However, I believe that they genuinely aspired to the light, and those aspirations set the stage for the One who followed - He that followed was the True Light who came into the world, and who came after them because He was before them. They rejoiced to see Him. "Truly I say to you, your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day". As did David, Lemuel, and Asaph. And many, many more.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:56 AM   #529
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For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed--a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
I believe that Paul was quoting Habakkuk 2:14 "See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright-- but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness --"

The faith that Habakkuk was writing about was a continual action. Being faithful. This is Jesus Christ. We Christians, we disciples of this Jesus, believe, and attempt to follow. We hold that the faithful actions of Jesus were not vain (God furnished proof of this by raising Him from the dead), nor were the declarations of faithful action by the psalmist. The power in those declarations is that they pointed to the coming Messiah. Today through those words we can see the Faithful One, re-orient ourselves to the Father's House via Him, and begin our journey home. The Word of God in this process is key: it reveals Christ to us who becomes our Way home. To disparage the word of scripture as darkened, low, or merely of fallen men's concepts is to miss the point, and fall into grave error.
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:58 AM   #530
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I wanted to copy a quote from another thread, and respond here, because it matches a theme I've been exploring on this thread: obedience.
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Terry was speaking of individualism and anti-individual ... and communism and democracy are examples of the two extremes. A Theocracy on the other hand is even more anti-individual ... .
(The following isn't presented as 'truth' per se, but some current thoughts).

The paradox of "He who loses his soul-life will gain it" is relevant in the discussion of individualism, and I'd use a quote from the Psalms to shed light. The psalmist wrote, "I run in the pathways of Your command/For You have set my heart free." There's a juxtaposition here, of complete obedience and complete freedom. The writer is a slave to God's every command, but in being obedient has found his true "self", his real being.

We once were slaves to sin, now we present ourselves as slaves to righteousness. The paragon of this latter aspect is of course Jesus Christ Himself, who was completely subsumed by the Father's will, and in so doing became the complete and real human being, i.e. the only true Individual. Hebrews 5:8,9 says that Jesus alone was "made perfect in obedience"; the rest of us, tainted by the fall, became automatons, driven by the flesh and the fallen soul. Jesus alone was completely dependent upon God's command, and thus completely independent of the fallen human sphere.

WL completely misunderstood obedience in the context of the psalmists' writings. He passed it off with, "Nobody is obedient. All are sinners", and held up David's many sins as an example. But he ignored the coming Messiah. Again and again the NT writings point to this, that the OT declarations of piety, obedience, and salvific rescue were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. WL said, "No; David rescued himself", and unwittingly repeated the same charge the scoffers made at the cross: "He trusted in God, let Him save Him (Jesus) now". Hey Jesus, You did so many miracles - Let's see You climb down from that cross! Nyah-nyah-nyah!

No, we know this isn't the case. Jesus obeyed the Father, and the Father delighted in His Son, rescued Him from the grips of death, and gave Him glory.

True individualism is thus to find the Christ who's there before us in the Word. Not the Christ that Lee's theology presents, one shorn of historical context, but the real and true Man who walked in the reality that was set before Him by God's commands. That those commands were previously written in scripture, by fallen men like Moses and David, is not irrelevant, not at all.

In one sense I'm like WL, captured by an idea. But in another sense my idea is different, in that it requires nobody to line up behind me or anyone else. True freedom is to obey God. Only Jesus found this freedom, and only through faith in Jesus Christ will I find it, as well. Only in Jesus can I run in the pathways of His commands; only in Jesus is my heart set free.

"If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." For me, this is the only true individualism. All other attempts are crushed by hard reality.
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:12 AM   #531
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True individualism is thus to find the Christ who's there before us in the Word. Not the Christ that Lee's theology presents, one shorn of historical context, but the real and true Man who by faith walked in what was set before Him by God's commands. That those commands were previously written in scripture, by fallen men like Moses and David, is not irrelevant, not at all.
"He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God." Matthew 27:43

"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him." Psalm 22:7,8

WL had something that he called the "heart of the divine revelation", contained in Paul's epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, Galatians, and Philippians. I think of, for instance, the phrase, "until Christ is formed in you" in Galatians 4:19. Now, I'm no scholar and surely some could argue differently (or present the same argument differently), but I'd like to show how the conceptual Christ formed by WL deviated from that which was being presented in Paul's epistles.

Remember that at the time Paul was writing, they didn't have a New Testament (NT) corpus. The written gospels probably weren't in wide circulation either, at least in present form. What the Christian assemblies had was the extant scripture, which today we call the Old Testament (OT). So when Paul said for the word of Christ to dwell in you richly, was he talking about his epistles? Were the saints really supposed to pray-read his letters?

No, he was talking about the OT. And while the Psalms weren't exclusively Paul's 'word of Christ', they were heavily cited in the NT and clearly had prominence: Paul specifically mentioned them as revelatory sources twice, in Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5. Along with singing psalms, were various songs which the believers used, parts of which are probably quoted in the text of NT epistles. But I'll make my case with the Psalms, though by no means were they alone understood as being the 'word of Christ'. But they're convenient for us to access today because they have widespread NT precedence (i.e. usage) and line up well with Jesus the Nazarene (probably why NT authors cited them so frequently).

What kind of Christ did Paul's epistles envision being formed in the Christian believer? First, he said that the word of Christ would dwell in them richly, meaning it's living and operative (cf Heb. 4:12). The living oracles (the OT prophetic words of Christ) function within the fallen but redeemed and regenerated human being to turn their thoughts (focus, attention, volition) back to the Father. Originally the prophetic word provided a framework, then Christ came and inhabited this word to the letter (see e.g. the quotes above: Psa. 22 transposed to Matt. 27). Next, the textual equivalent, or parallel, of the word of Christ indwelling us richly is the idea of being filled with the Spirit. So the Spirit that comes when we declare, "Lord Jesus!!" fills us when we access the word of Christ by singing. This is the Spirit that gives life, the same life-giving Spirit that raised Jesus from on the third day. It is indeed a word of Spirit and life.

With me so far? Okay, I hold that this is nothing less than "Christ making His home in our hearts", which gradually leads to "not I but Christ in me", and to "Christ being formed in us". Similar to WL's scheme, except in this case, Christ isn't shorn of historical context. This Christ is the one who lived and walked and breathed in Galilee and Judea, who died and went into the earth, only to rise to glory on the third day. But the Christ formed within their oeuvre is a Christ from WL's hymns, footnotes, teachings and outlines, a Christ controlling access to the word and even excluding the word, if necessary. A generic Christ who can be anything that they need him to be for the LC church life, a Christ removed from the word of scriptures, which scriptures WL called "low", "natural", and "fallen men's concepts" and the like. The choice is clear: I think WL and crew made it easy for us.

I'll repeat what was written at the start: that one could use the same verses and phrases above and argue differently, or could argue similarly using different verses or phrases. I'm not a systematic scholar, and randomly picked a few verses that seemed useful to my case. And I go by memory, so one could also claim, and maybe even show, that WL spoke or wrote differently.

But for me, the Christ that WL's adherents claim is indwelling them richly, and organically and metabolically assimilating into their beings to make them the same as God in life and nature, is a Christ removed from the word of God. It's a Christ of convenience, and of show, a Christ of a Bible expositor's imagination, and that being a Bible expositor who prized his own imagination more than the biblical text. So when they wave their phrases and platitudes it can be hard to say, "amen". I'd love to, but it's hard. Because frankly I don't know what Christ they're talking about.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:26 AM   #532
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"He trusted in God; let him deliver him now; if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God." Matthew 27:43

"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him." Psalm 22:7,8

WL had something that he called the "heart of the divine revelation", contained in Paul's epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, Galatians, and Philippians. I think of, for instance, the phrase, "until Christ is formed in you" in Galatians 4:19. Now, I'm no scholar and surely some could argue differently (or present the same argument differently), but I'd like to show how the conceptual Christ formed by WL deviated from that which was being presented in Paul's epistles.

Remember that at the time Paul was writing, they didn't have a New Testament (NT) corpus. The written gospels probably weren't in wide circulation either, at least in present form. What the Christian assemblies had was the extant scripture, which today we call the Old Testament (OT). So when Paul said for the word of Christ to dwell in you richly, was he talking about his epistles? Were the saints really supposed to pray-read his letters?

No, he was talking about the OT. And while the Psalms weren't exclusively Paul's 'word of Christ', they were heavily cited in the NT and clearly had prominence: Paul specifically mentioned them as revelatory sources twice, in Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5. Along with singing psalms, were various songs which the believers used, parts of which are probably quoted in the text of NT epistles. But I'll make my case with the Psalms, though by no means were they alone understood as being the 'word of Christ'. But they're convenient for us to access today because they have widespread NT precedence (i.e. usage) and line up well with Jesus the Nazarene (probably why NT authors cited them so frequently).

What kind of Christ did Paul's epistles envision being formed in the Christian believer? First, he said that the word of Christ would dwell in them richly, meaning it's living and operative (cf Heb. 4:12). The living oracles (the OT prophetic words of Christ) function within the fallen but redeemed and regenerated human being to turn their thoughts (focus, attention, volition) back to the Father. Originally the prophetic word provided a framework, then Christ came and inhabited this word to the letter (see e.g. the quotes above: Psa. 22 transposed to Matt. 27). Next, the textual equivalent, or parallel, of the word of Christ indwelling us richly is the idea of being filled with the Spirit. So the Spirit that comes when we declare, "Lord Jesus!!" fills us when we access the word of Christ by singing. This is the Spirit that gives life, the same life-giving Spirit that raised Jesus from on the third day. It is indeed a word of Spirit and life.

With me so far? Okay, I hold that this is nothing less than "Christ making His home in our hearts", which gradually leads to "not I but Christ in me", and to "Christ being formed in us". Similar to WL's scheme, except in this case, Christ isn't shorn of historical context. This Christ is the one who lived and walked and breathed in Galilee and Judea, who died and went into the earth, only to rise to glory on the third day. But the Christ formed within their oeuvre is a Christ from WL's hymns, footnotes, teachings and outlines, a Christ controlling access to the word and even excluding the word, if necessary. A generic Christ who can be anything that they need him to be for the LC church life, a Christ removed from the word of scriptures, which scriptures WL called "low", "natural", and "fallen men's concepts" and the like. The choice is clear: I think WL and crew made it easy for us.

I'll repeat what was written at the start: that one could use the same verses and phrases above and argue differently, or could argue similarly using different verses or phrases. I'm not a systematic scholar, and randomly picked a few verses that seemed useful to my case. And I go by memory, so one could also claim, and maybe even show, that WL spoke or wrote differently.

But for me, the Christ that WL's adherents claim is indwelling them richly, and organically and metabolically assimilating into their beings to make them the same as God in life and nature, is a Christ removed from the word of God. It's a Christ of convenience, and of show, a Christ of a Bible expositor's imagination, and that being a Bible expositor who prized his own imagination more than the biblical text. So when they wave their phrases and platitudes it can be hard to say, "amen". I'd love to, but it's hard. Because frankly I don't know what Christ they're talking about.
Thanks much Aron. This goes to the heart of something that has been of concern to me for some time. Is the WL-LSM-LC "Christ" really the resurrected and glorified God-man Jesus of Nazareth or perhaps a cleverly disguised demon? If this is too much I apologize, but I have thought at times that the "Christ" some of the brothers proclaim is not the same Christ I claim to know. Maybe I'm the one deceived.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:56 AM   #533
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Is the WL-LSM-LC "Christ" really the resurrected and glorified God-man Jesus of Nazareth or perhaps a cleverly disguised demon?
I'd reply that we're all purveyors of mixture. So strictly speaking that could apply to us all, and at least partly to the Christ which we preach. Christ is of course pure, but the Christ I present to the world isn't always perfect. The safety valve here is in the flock - where one goes astray someone else can speak a restraining or adjusting or cautionary word and vice versa. In the WL-LC-LSM variant, no restraining word is possible, so it can get pretty convoluted, and pretty contaminated.

At first the hermeneutic package seemed well-constructed: some verses from Paul's epistles, combined with the gospel message, seeming to form a coherent message; then that message, whether "God's economy" or whatever label, was overlaid upon scripture. But look critically and we see that verses taken out of context, shoehorned into saying things the NT author never intended; many, many verses are ignored, and even dismissed as "fallen" and "natural", and if you bring it up any of this you're rejected outright. Because, they say, "the oracle has spoken". So the LSM oeuvre is pretty thoroughly contaminated at this point, all the references to Christ this and Christ that notwithstanding.

In the NT, like the OT, the characters were held to be imperfect. Yet for all of that, God was pleased to reveal himself to us. Peter made many mistakes. John and James also. The disciples were often confused, ignorant, frightened, and consistently misinterpreted what was happening. Somehow we got duped by WL & Co into thinking that Paul avoided any error, and then church leadership from thenceforth was, what's the word .. ex cathedra? Unable to err. WL certainly fell into this mold. So he could dismiss the scriptures as unprofitable, and create a Christ which substantially moved away from the traditional understanding, and we had to say, "hurrah". The creation of a novel Christ, formed without any feedback from the ekklesia, should make us all wary. It is hard to imagine WL giving some of those messages in front of thousands of otherwise intelligent people, and none of them could point out the glaring errors of thought parading in front of them. In that sense, yes indeed there is a deceiving spirit at work. No doubt in my mind.

But again, we're all at best only partly sighted here on this earthly coil. So if I tried to keep away from those in deception and error I'd be locked in a box, with my own errors, and none to correct me.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:45 PM   #534
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I'd reply that we're all purveyors of mixture. So strictly speaking that could apply to us all, and at least partly to the Christ which we preach. Christ is of course pure, but the Christ I present to the world isn't always perfect. The safety valve here is in the flock - where one goes astray someone else can speak a restraining or adjusting or cautionary word and vice versa. In the WL-LC-LSM variant, no restraining word is possible, so it can get pretty convoluted, and pretty contaminated.

At first the hermeneutic package seemed well-constructed: some verses from Paul's epistles, combined with the gospel message, seeming to form a coherent message; then that message, whether "God's economy" or whatever label, was overlaid upon scripture. But look critically and we see that verses taken out of context, shoehorned into saying things the NT author never intended; many, many verses are ignored, and even dismissed as "fallen" and "natural", and if you bring it up any of this you're rejected outright. Because, they say, "the oracle has spoken". So the LSM oeuvre is pretty thoroughly contaminated at this point, all the references to Christ this and Christ that notwithstanding.

In the NT, like the OT, the characters were held to be imperfect. Yet for all of that, God was pleased to reveal himself to us. Peter made many mistakes. John and James also. The disciples were often confused, ignorant, frightened, and consistently misinterpreted what was happening. Somehow we got duped by WL & Co into thinking that Paul avoided any error, and then church leadership from thenceforth was, what's the word .. ex cathedra? Unable to err. WL certainly fell into this mold. So he could dismiss the scriptures as unprofitable, and create a Christ which substantially moved away from the traditional understanding, and we had to say, "hurrah". The creation of a novel Christ, formed without any feedback from the ekklesia, should make us all wary. It is hard to imagine WL giving some of those messages in front of thousands of otherwise intelligent people, and none of them could point out the glaring errors of thought parading in front of them. In that sense, yes indeed there is a deceiving spirit at work. No doubt in my mind.

But again, we're all at best only partly sighted here on this earthly coil. So if I tried to keep away from those in deception and error I'd be locked in a box, with my own errors, and none to correct me.
Aron, I think your response was cogent, healthy and fair. Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:22 PM   #535
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It is hard to imagine WL giving some of those messages in front of thousands of otherwise intelligent people, and none of them could point out the glaring errors of thought parading in front of them. In that sense, yes indeed there is a deceiving spirit at work. No doubt in my mind.
Hell, I'm a HERn and I listened to it all and chose to ignore the red flags because I thought the way they conducted the meetings where all could prophesy proved they were the legitimate heirs of new testament Christianity. It turns out it's a Chinese-flavored sect of Christianity where controlling and WL-adoring-brothers rule the roost and where exclusivity is considered a virtue. I'm glad to be done with them.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:55 AM   #536
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I ...chose to ignore the red flags because I thought the way they conducted the meetings where all could prophesy proved they were the legitimate heirs of new testament Christianity.
Ditto. It seemed legitimate. It seemed that we'd found a place where the oneness of the Christian faith was already accomplished and all we had to do was receive one another in the name of Jesus Christ. Simple.

But it turned out that maintaining said "oneness" was predicated upon closely following the ministry of the age, which had a definite earthly component, with real estate, bank accounts, CEO, etc. The old bait-and-switch tactic, favored by used car dealers and grocery stores. It's effective: get their attention, let them think you have what they want, then give them what you want to give them.

Back to "the heart of the divine revelation": just for fun I googled "Christ centrality Witness Lee" and found a long excerpt from his ministry, telling how Christianity had erred, by placing forms, traditions, teachings and so forth in the place of Christ. No, said WL, Christ should be the center and the focus, the all in all. A few Bible verses were sprinkled in for good measure.

But what Christ, I ask? This same message could have been given by the Mormon church: they'd love that the Christ who appeared to the South American natives in 656 AD (or whatever) and told them that they were the 12 lost tribes of Israel, whose Angel Moroni spoke to Prophet Joseph Smith in Elmira NY in 1832 (or whatever) became the centrality and prime focus of the church. In the essay WL went on about Christ, Christ, Christ; but what Christ? The Christ revealed in the Bible or in his imagination? Just like the "Jesus Christ" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: a fake one. No discernible basis in reality.

I don't like repeating stories but it reminds me of my friend at work, who was always going on about how Jesus watched over him, and his house, and family, and took care of their every need. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus... Hey that's great, I thought. Then one day he invited me to come over and see his Jesus - it was a crushed velvet, black light poster like the ones you can get for $40 rural gas stations. Turns out he wasn't very interested in the Bible. He already had his Jesus, and that was enough... well okay, I guess. Fine. But forgive me if I continue my search elsewhere. And if you persist in your own journey of willful ignorance, and especially if you start a religion based on it, don't be shocked if your untethered imagination eventually takes you and your followers to weird places. That's just how it works.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:14 AM   #537
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Here's an example of how the Christ presented in the LC differs from the Christ of the NT: in the NT you have repeated admonitions to "remember the poor", and to take care of those who lack. But the Christ in the LC ignores all that, constantly imploring them for more of the good building material for the building of the body to consummate the New Jerusalem and end the age.

Scripture reveals that God's love for us was personified in the person of His Son, who loved us and died for us. The LC acknowledges that, sometimes even prominently, like on Sunday morning at the Lord's Table meeting. But practically speaking, they pooh-pooh love for one another, likening it to "honey" that rots the pure unleavened bread. So the love which Paul wrote about in some detail 1 Corinthians 13, which was personified in Jesus Christ, isn't pursued; rather the building of the body which supports the ministry. That's the LC love: if you support the ministry you'll get love (usually - even then I've seen it occasionally withdrawn); but if you can't "line up" with the ministry you get no love at all. Jesus taught to show love toward those who can't repay you but the LC Christ seems completely disinterested.

Lastly, where did Jesus ever tell his followers to ignore the scripture, that it was fallen, and vain? Where did Paul write to sing a few of the psalms, those that were received by the NT, but ignore the rest, as mere mis-aimings of natural men? Even in the NT, Peter's quotation of the psalms got panned by WL as "low" and "natural" - where's the precedent for receiving and treating NT and OT writings thus? But in the LC, Christ was like this: only interested in "high peak" theology, showing the processed and consummated Triune God, making us God in life and nature but not in the Godhead, and looking for more converts to sign on and consecrate themselves to the rich ministry of his humble bondslave WL.

This Christ is the obsessive and unyielding centralilty and focus in and of the LC. But to me it doesn't look like the Christ revealed in scripture, so I'm wary of it.
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:33 AM   #538
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WL had something that he called the "heart of the divine revelation", contained in Paul's epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, Galatians, and Philippians. I think of, for instance, the phrase, "until Christ is formed in you" in Galatians 4:19. Now, I'm no scholar and surely some could argue differently (or present the same argument differently), but I'd like to show how the conceptual Christ formed by WL deviated from that which was being presented in Paul's epistles.

Remember that at the time Paul was writing, they didn't have a New Testament (NT) corpus. The written gospels probably weren't in wide circulation either, at least in present form. What the Christian assemblies had was the extant scripture, which today we call the Old Testament (OT). So when Paul said for the word of Christ to dwell in you richly, was he talking about his epistles? Were the saints really supposed to pray-read his letters?
WL presented his idea of the economy of God, which was (as I remember) God creating man in His image and likeness, then dispensing Himself into Jesus, then as the Life-Giving Spirit dispensing this Jesus into us to transform us fully back into His intended image. The "economy" part was based on Paul telling Timothy to "pay heed to God's economy, which is in faith" (I Tim 1:4) and the Ephesians "You have heard of the stewardship (oikonomia) of God's grace given to me for you" (3:2). But where did Paul suggest that this was to be carried out by praying over his (Paul's) writings?

We might respond that Peter told us that Paul's writings were equivalent to "other scripture" (2 Peter 3:16) and Paul said to "unceasingly pray" (1 Thess 5:17), so we should pray over Paul's writings, as with other scripture. And since Paul's writings are the heart of the divine revelation of God's plan for humanity in Christ Jesus, we should pay special attention to them. This can be seen in the RecV Bible, where you can get a page of small-print footnotes from a verse in Ephesians.

They're effectively held to be magical words, which can be incanted (chanted, declared, shouted, prayed over, recited) into existence. So we're counseled to bypass our mind, don't think, just shout repeatedly the magical words that Paul wrote and the LSM translated. Get that word into you and it will metabolically assimilate into your being and transform you.

But where did Paul suggest this methodology? I don't see it. It seems as if Paul didn't even know what he was writing, or at least withheld the critical details, and only WL saw it. WL's economy of God is for us to incant, imbibe, masticate, shout, the NT and especially Paul's writings to make us the total reproduction of Jesus the God-man. Again, where does Paul actual writing suggest this activity leading to this result? I don't see it.

What I do see is Paul repeatedly telling the saints, among other things, to sing the Psalms, that this will bring the infilling of the Spirit (Eph 5:18) and cause Christ to dwell in them richly (Col 3:16). But WL ignored this recommendation because... why? Because Paul didn't know any better? Was Paul being too modest, recommending the Psalms as a source of spiritual nourishment and transformation, rather than his own writings? The Psalms prominently contained the idea of obedience to the law, and recompense therefrom, which Paul had clearly shown in the epistles to the Romans and Galatians that it couldn' save anybody... so if the law profited nothing, then why did Paul encourage singing psalms, which stress obedience, righteousness, and reward? Perhaps, in the LC, Paul's teachings had now been superseded by those of WL? Was Paul that confused, awkwardly contradicting himself, that WL needed to rescue us from Paul's advice, and turn us fully back to the NT revelation - a revelation not based on the OT scriptures prophetically showing us God's Christ, but rather on dismissing those OT writings and understandings because they were now passe, irrelevant in the newly found grace of God's New Testament economy?

"Just masticate Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and you'll become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead." Um, sorry but I don't see Ephesians, Colossians, or Philippians saying that. I only see WL saying that.

What I see instead is essentially a confidence trick. We're confronted with circular reasoning, but naively ignore it as we're smitten by the assurance and enthusiasm of its presenter, and we don't notice that we're going round and round the mulberry bush. WL could effectively by-pass Paul, and shunt Paul's writings somewhere they weren't intended, because WL had the revelation of the age. Only WL really knew what Paul meant with his 'oikonomia', it seems; perhaps even better than Paul himself? WL was God's oracle, after all, so if he "extracted revelation" that Paul didn't present us with, it might be a continuation of Paul (and others) extracting revelation from the OT. And how do we know WL had these special extractive giftss? Because he said so - and he has the body of work as God's oracle after all. So if God's oracle tells you that his output is God's oracle you'd better believe him, because... well, because he's got God's oracle, God's present speaking! So he can lead you by the nose wherever he wants - he can take you far away from scripture but you're still in the heart of the divine revelation. And all this is for sale, for just a few dollars. What a blessing.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:03 PM   #539
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They're effectively held to be magical words, which can be incanted (chanted, declared, shouted, prayed over, recited) into existence. So we're counseled to bypass our mind, don't think, just shout repeatedly the magical words that Paul wrote and the LSM translated. Get that word into you and it will metabolically assimilate into your being and transform you.
Actually Paul's writings are special words, just as special as the gospel of John, or Revelations, or Leviticus. God spoke to us through Paul. They're good words to consider, to read often and listen to on tape or CD, to pray over and pray with, and to speak to one another. Yes we should get constituted with them. I think the book of Romans is probably about as good a piece of writing as I've read, anywhere. Brilliant stuff. White hot fire.

But so is Psalm 34. And an unbalanced obsession with one aspect of scripture (Ephesians only, Ephesians ever) leads to an unbalanced truth and an unbalanced life. And secondly, Paul wrote in Ephesians for us to pay attention to Psalm 34, among others. So if you obsess over Ephesians as the heart of the divine revelation, why don't you pay attention to what it's actually saying, instead of what your hermeneutic wants it to say? Go where it is pointing you - go.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:53 PM   #540
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Hell, I'm a HERn and I listened to it all and chose to ignore the red flags because I thought the way they conducted the meetings where all could prophesy proved they were the legitimate heirs of new testament Christianity. It turns out it's a Chinese-flavored sect of Christianity where controlling and WL-adoring-brothers rule the roost and where exclusivity is considered a virtue. I'm glad to be done with them.
I want to say that I'm not done with the dear individual saints, just with the religious system known as the Lords recovery. I had to break off all contact in order to not poison them and to get my being free from the strongholds.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:26 AM   #541
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Default Re: The heart of the divine revelation

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I'm a HERn and I listened to it all and chose to ignore the red flags because I thought the way they conducted the meetings where all could prophesy proved they were the legitimate heirs of new testament Christianity. It turns out it's a Chinese-flavored sect of Christianity where controlling and WL-adoring-brothers rule the roost and where exclusivity is considered a virtue. I'm glad to be done with them.
Well said HERn.

A frameable quote.

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Old 12-07-2015, 06:46 AM   #542
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

I'll continue my previous thoughts here, because this thread pertains to the Word of God, and how it is received, and handled. My question has been: can our cultural concepts determine our handling Scripture, and if so, what's the effect on our spiritual walk? Here was my quote, recently posted on another thread:

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Now, however, mother Nee was saved.... she was deeply convicted by the Spirit of God that she must make an open confession to her son before she could worship publicly. To the utter surprise of the entire family she suddenly stood up, walked over to her son, wrapped her arms around Watchman, and cried out, “For the sake of the Lord Jesus, please forgive me for beating you unjustly and in anger.” This touched Watchman deeply. Never had he heard of a Chinese parent accepting such loss of face. (The Finest of the Wheat, CFP, p. 15).
The teenaged Nee had never heard of a Chinese parent accepting public loss of face like this. I want to stress how strongly ingrained such societal mores (shared values, expectations, behaviors) were. Now, fast-forward 50 years: Nee's replacement, Lee, was also unable to publicly lose face, due to similar cultural imperatives. And the viability of the whole church structure rested upon this unaccountability of its leader. Lee was the "father" figure in the LC movement, and thus was untouchable.

Now let's go back to the treatment of the Word of God. We know that "all Scripture is God-breathed"; we know that the Word of God is living and operative (Heb 4:12), and able to give life and to function within the human vessel. In Matthew 13, Jesus said that the seed sown was the Word of God, the ground was the human heart, etc. This living seed clearly gives eternal life. See also Psa 119:25 - "Give me life according to Your word". I could list another half-dozen verses: "The word that I have spoken to you is spirit and life", etc etc.

But what happens if the "father" figure in the LC movement tells us that the Word is merely the vain, fallen thinking of natural men? My question here becomes: does this Word still give life? Do only some Scriptures live and operate within, separating spirit from soul, or do they all thus give life? And if the Word does in fact live and operate "richly" (Col 3:16) within the human vessel, in separating soul from spirit, then what difference does it make if the psalmist was being natural, or operating prophetically in Spirit? The Divine Word gives divine life, yes or no? Can any present exegetical stance change this simple fact?

So I see three problems, here. First, that Lee forsook the NT pattern of receiving the Psalms. I've gone over this in detail already. There are literally dozens of NT examples holding forth the psalmic Word as a prophetic utterance pertaining to the present reality in Christ Jesus, with no commensurate warning to avoid any "natural" parts. So this dismissal, or minimizing, appears to be a Lee-manufactured addition, to square his "God's economy" notion with the text in front of him. And guess what lost: the text, not his hermeneutic. The text was rejected as "natural".

Second, does then this "natural" word lose its life-giving power? If it doesn't give life, but rather leads us astray, to vain law-keeping, this is a serious issue. I mean, either all scripture is God-breathed, or is not. But if it still gives life, and quickens people from the realm of the dead, then what difference does it make if it expressed David's concepts, as Lee said, or if rather David was in Spirit, as Peter, Paul, John, and Jesus all said, and speaking of the promises to come? It's still the Word of God; it's still clearly a word of Spirit and life.

Third, we have a culture in which "Lee is always right", and this may create cognitive dissonance when LC teachings are contrary to the plain words of Scripture in front of us, and the clear pattern of NT reception thereof.

We now have no way to redress this situation. We tacitly admit that the Word gives life, but have no chance to apply it, because it's been waved away by "God's present oracle"; large sections, he said, are actually vain, fallen, natural, and the concepts of men, not the dispensing of God. We now have no chance to explore this Word, and to find life. If we were to do this, it would challenge the Oracle. And our culture forbids that.

So we're stuck; we've painted ourselves into a corner. We can't access the lively oracles of God per the teachings of His present Deputy, and we can't admit that this Oracle of God is or was wrong, because that would cause an irredeemable social/cultural breach of face. The whole structure rests upon "Lee is always right", and if we challenge that, it might collapse. In order for our social edifice (i.e. "the church life") to remain, we must reject the Word. If Lee deemed the Word to be natural and vain, then we must also, because Lee is always right. Friends, this is human culture at work, pure and simple.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:10 PM   #543
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The whole structure rests upon "Lee is always right", and if we challenge that, it might collapse... Friends, this is human culture at work, pure and simple.
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How things changed. One of my first trainings in the Anaheim convention center WL thought he had trouble making his point and very spontaneously called at least half dozen people whom he knew could possibly contribute come forward and speak to the subject for a few minutes. Averil Hendrickson was one of them and the only sister. She did very well. To my observation she did as well as any but such an observation is not worth much from 40 years ago. You can be sure something like that would not take place today.
One could make the argument that WL was only about one thing: the acquisition, consolidation, and maintenance of human power. This, he firmly believed, was necessary for the "building of the Body" or the "Consummation of the New Jerusalem" or whatever, but nonetheless it neatly coincided with him neatly atop the social heap.

WL initially would allow himself to be displaced at the dias; he would even initially invite people up, as Lisbon relates. But eventually the "storms" convinced him that pliable and silent sheep were best for the Church. That included women along with everyone else. It's like the guy who says, "I'm not prejudiced: I hate everybody." WL repressed everyone, women included.

As I said before, if you publicly criticize Mao in China today, 40 years after his death, you will be fired from your job. I am sure the Chinese were mystified at the virtual blood-bath the Americans went into when the Executive (B. Clinton) was found in dalliance with a young female aide. So human culture in the USA isn't inherently superior to the PRC. But my point here is that if we arrange our spiritual assembly according to our human culture, it will be flawed. And if we interpret the Bible according to the desire to maintain the spiritual assembly in a state beneficial to our personal interests, that will be a flawed interpretation.

In the Psalms, WL would pan David's expressions of fealty to God, as the vain imaginations of a sinner. WL couldn't see the coming Son of David, Jesus the Christ, in spite of the NT's repeated invitations to do so. Or, WL would present the "seeking one" of the NT as typified by the psalmist. Again, wrong. The only "seeking one" who ever existed is Jesus Christ. We find our seeking in His. Any seeking of God, apart from Jesus Christ, for the Christian disciple, is vain. WL pointed either to the "fallen psalmist" under the law, or the "seeking Christian" under grace, but in either case he misaimed by turning our attention away from God's Christ. The Bible is not about David, or about us; it is about Jesus Christ. Reality is found nowhere else.
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Old 12-29-2015, 06:31 AM   #544
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In the Psalms, WL would pan David's expressions of fealty to God, as the vain imaginations of a sinner. WL couldn't see the coming Son of David, Jesus the Christ, in spite of the NT's repeated invitations to do so. ... WL pointed either to the "fallen psalmist" under the law, or the "seeking Christian" under grace, but in either case he misaimed ... The Bible is not about David, or even about us; it is about Jesus Christ...
Jesus said, "These things were written of Me" (e.g. Luk 24:44,27; Heb 10:7 &c), and WL replied, "No, they're not; they either represent the concepts of the fallen, law-keeping psalmist, or the grace given to the New Testament (NT) believer." Unless NT usage forced him, WL typically was unwilling to see Christ Himself unveiled in psalm.

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I became disillusioned with the LC, all the ranting and raving about the "richness" of WL's ministry really started to get to me... LCers talk this way because they need the constant reinforcement that these "high peak" teachings actually mean something...

The excitement of that should have died off along time ago, but it hasn't. I see all the posts on Facebook. After each of these trainings, there's talk about how the Lord has been moving and the "last revival" has been initiated to "end the age". It's actually kind of funny how this same supposed "revival" keeps happening over and over again...
I sarcastically included the idea of revival in a recent post, while paraphrasing LSM's verbiage. I suppose this makes me a scoffer; in fact I don't oppose or dismiss the idea of revival, even a 'great' and 'final' one. I'd surely love to see the knowledge of God cover the face of the earth, as waters cover the sea, per Isa 11:9 (also Hab 2:14; cf Num 14:21).

But the question here is, how to base a revival on a ministry which advances itself at the expense of the word of God? Here's a comment on the psalms of David, found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which is therefore dated at approximately the time of Jesus Christ:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSS 11QPs Psa 151 prose interlude
And he [David] wrote psalms: three thousand six hundred; and the songs to be sung before the altar over the perpetual offering of every day, for all the days of the year; three hundred sixty four; and for the Sabbath offerings; fifty-two songs; and for the offering for the beginning of the month, and for all the days of the festivals, and for the day of atonement: thirty songs. And all the songs which he composed were four hundred and forty-six. He composed them all through the spirit of prophecy which had been given to him from before the Most High....
It says, "He composed them all through the spirit of prophecy which had been given to him from before the Most High"; all NT reception of the psalms essentially agrees with this. And, equally important for evaluating WL's psalms treatment, there's no contemporary work (i.e. Second Temple Judaism, NT, or shortly after) which regards David's lyrical oeuvre as the equivalent of "fallen human concepts".

If the NT scripture doesn't treat OT source texts that way - in fact, the opposite - how then to give ourselves such license? I scoff not at great revival, but rather at the hubris of treating the word of God so cavalierly. And I summarily dismiss the idea of building any work, great or otherwise, upon such foundations.

No; there's a spirit of prophecy at work in the words before us, including Psalms, and if we do diligence to extract the life, as WL once urged us, long ago, we'll indeed be equipped to revive this land. May God have mercy on us all, and forgive me for my often adversarial tone while writing here. I simply must categorically disagree with the treatment of the word of God. Period. And I'd be willing to let go of pretty much everything "negative" written on this site, that I was simply being crabby, contentious, etc; you know, the "bitter ex-member." Perhaps that's true. But even as a bitter ex-member, I ask, How can we treat the word of God, thus? And, how can we base any work upon such treatment?

I think the Word is bigger than any of us, as is both the life and the works (power, or Gk 'dunamis') it contains. It will take all of us, LC included, to usher its fullness in. So I do apologize to them for my attitude, and for my crabby comments - most have been poorly presented. But I still ask, how can we pass by the word of God in such manner? And how can we expect anything good to follow, if we do so?

Sorry for carrying on, thus... as you see I'm rather passionate about the subject. Thanks for giving me a forum.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:34 PM   #545
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Did Paul ever indicate that his vision was high, while Peter's or James' was low?
Not exactly, but Paul did demean James and Peter and John in Galations 2.
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:46 AM   #546
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Wanted to expand on some thoughts posted elsewhere:

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... if you look at theocracy as presented in the Bible, the promoted human King, heir of Davidic line*, is fully obedient to God the Father in heaven, and as such becomes peace and salvation to all who obey Him. Please note well that Psalm 2 follows hard upon Psalm 1, and fulfills it. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. Jesus kept the law, utterly. So He's the True King, the Anointed (Gk:Christ) Son of God, glorified forever.

Now the enemy comes in and usurps this: see Psalm 3. Absalom rebels. Someone else, a sinner, disobedient, and not anointed, comes in and proclaims that he's the new King, the new Deputy God. A sinner, unauthorized, promotes himself into the position of kingship, which should be held by Jesus alone. Chaos ensues; look at all the vain efforts to maintain the so-called Authority of this usurping one, in the context of Little Flock/Local Church history. Storm after storm. Turmoil after turmoil.

*Matthew 21:9 "The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
Witness Lee said that the pious declarations of the psalmist in Psalm 1 were vain. "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked..." WL said nobody can do this. All have failed. The law can only expose - it cannot save. In Psalm 1, he ignored the obvious parallels to the "NT reality", in the tree planted by rivers, which never withers (cf Rev 22:2; Ezek 47:12) and the congregation of the righteous (cf Psa 22:22; Heb 2:12). WL said that Psalm 1 wasn't according to God's economy, but consisted of natural, fallen human concepts.

Okay, let's go to Psalm 2. Suddenly we see the installation of the king, who's designated as God's Son. I contend that this King is none other than the person who fulfills Psalm 1. The King must be obedient to God, to love God's law, to meditate on it day and night. See Deuteronomy 17.

Quote:
The King

14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” 15 be sure to appoint over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.” 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.

18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.
David, of course, was the exemplar, the man who God chose, in whom God delighted (Psa 18:19; cf Matt 3:17, 17:5), and who exulted in God as his exceeding joy (Psa 43:4).

Okay, but where's the obedience, in Psalm 2, linking it to Psalm 1? Actually this is fleshed out (pun intended) in the gospels. An excellent passage is in John 10.

Quote:
Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
Jesus' works proved that He carried out God's will, and in so doing that He was God's Son, and the coming King, blessed forever. The works unequivocally showed this; however they felt about His teachings, and His claims was irrelevant. That He did the Father's works proved that He was the Obedient Son.

And of course there is Psalm 40, quoted in the Epistle to the Hebrews:

Quote:
7 Then I said, "Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. 8 I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart." 9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, You know.…
The law-keeping King becomes the focal point and blessing of the whole land. If you serve this Son with trembling and fear, you will be blessed. (Psa 2).

Now, it's interesting that Psalm 3 comes next. Rebellion. Absalom and some nobles usurp the throne, and the True King is in a cave, writing a poem (see the superscription). In this poem he says, "I lay me down and slept/I waked, for the LORD was with me" (KJV). This parallels the NT, where Jesus said, "I have the power to lay My life down, and to raise it up again." Obedience to God gave the Anointed One a clean conscience, wherein He could lay His life down as of no regard, trusting that God, whom He unhesitatingly obeyed, would save Him.

It's interesting, also, that the structure of Psalms 1,2, and 3 also somewhat follows that of Genesis 1,2, and 3. God establishes, Man becomes the apotheosis and crowning achievement of creation (Let Him have dominion), and suddenly there's a usurpation. In neither Genesis nor the Psalms do we have a peaceful interlude following creation and establishment, but in both cases the narrative slides instantly into rebellion and war.

Amen, Lord. So be it. Come Lord Jesus.
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Old 01-12-2016, 07:31 AM   #547
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let's go to Psalm 2. Suddenly we see the installation of the king, who's designated as God's Son. I contend that this King is none other than the person who fulfills Psalm 1. The King must be obedient to God, to love God's law, to meditate on it day and night. See Deuteronomy 17..
This idea of the "Deuteronomist" arrangement of the Psalms to show the obedient King as exemplar of divine law-keeper is worked out in

http://www.amazon.com/King-As-Exempl...ng+as+exemplar

by one of those dreaded seminary scholars.

Connecting this to rebellion in Psalm 3 to further a narrative structure is my idea, as I remember; not sure anyone else has noted it. Again, this is not theology, here, folks; I'm just thinking aloud. I enjoy writing, and it may possibly be of profit and interest to others, and when I go off the rails usually someone is willing to pipe up, and wave me back toward the flock.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:34 AM   #548
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Default A kind of recap

Wanted to try and recap, or sum up, the argument thus far. On another thread a poster was ruing their situation, and my counsel was to look away from the situation and at God's Christ. I wrote, "Let your consciousness meld with His". In retrospect that's pretty weak advice, even if we point to scripture verses - you know, "Look away unto Jesus" and "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" etc.

So I'll try and make it a little more practical, and will do so by telling two stories. First is from when I was reorienting myself toward God, and happened into a Roman Catholic building. There were stained glass windows: translucent colored panels filled with what I assumed were apostles and holy men looking down. Some of the pictures seemed to reference familiar stories; I think of Elijah getting fed by a crow, for example. In the marble-tiled foyer, there was a prominent statue of whatever patron saint was presiding over this congregation (St Whoever's Church). And in the back, against the wall, was an image of a man looking sorrowfully, wistfully, up into the sky. I assumed it was supposed to be Jesus looking up to His Father in heaven.

By analogy, I realized that there was a lot of extraneous stuff that kind of pushed Jesus into the corner, in this case literally. WL said that he rescued us from this by making Jesus Christ the "centrality and universality" of the LC experience, but ultimately I realized that his "God's economy" interpretive metric was similar to the RCC iconography in that scene in my memory: a distraction and a stumbling. Jesus Christ is still there, but His presence has diminished, and even dangerously receded.

Second story: in the gospels they were in a boat. The wind blew and the boat was tipping. These were fishermen, but were struggling to control the situation, and were fearful. Suddenly they saw Jesus. Walking toward them, across the water. I love this story because it's so stark. You know the rest: Peter calls out, Jesus replies, Peter gets out, then looks away and begins to sink. This clearly indicated to me the utter necessity of looking in a resolute and fixed way upon the Person of Jesus Christ. Don't look away from Him, for anything. Don't look at your situation: look at Him.

Now, here's how I think we can look at Jesus, and how WL's "economy" metric placed the equivalent of RCC statuary in our path. And I want to use the first few chapters of Psalms.

Psalm 1: blessed is the man who keeps the law, who obeys, who walks rightly. This is Jesus Himself.

Psalm 2: the inauguration of the King, the Son of God. This also is Jesus, the Obedient Son, who is now King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Hear Him, and live ("Kiss the Son lest you perish in the way" [2:12, etc]).

Psalm 3: Rebellion. "I lay Me down and slept/I awaked, for the LORD sustained Me." The cave, the pit, the snare, the deep water enclose Him but can't contain Him; this narrative continues unabated throughout the psalms. Again, in John's gospel: "I have the power to lay My life down, and to take it up again."

Psalm 6: Judgment. "Get away from Me, you evildoers!" (v.8). See also Psa 119:115, 139:15. For fulfillment see e.g. Matt 7:23, 25:41; also Jesus' rebuke to Peter in Matt 16:23, and rejection of Satan in the wilderness temptation.

Psalm 18: Salvation. "He rescued Me because He delighted in Me" (v.19). See continual referents in NT to God's delight of Jesus (Matt 3:17, &c).

Now, WL approached the text with "God's economy" interpretive metric in hand, and rejected the "natural boasting" of the psalmist, who said God approved of him, and who claimed obedience to the law, and who said God would save him from evil and harm, even from death. WL compared this, unfavorably, to the NT "grace enjoyer" who didn't have to do anything but receive Christ. So we got two images, one of David or Asaph or some other OT (sinful) person, and one of the prototypical Christian believer. But I argue there's a hole in the middle, here: where's Jesus? WL typically only acknowledged Him where NT usage and/or strong Christian convention forced him. (With Peter's epistle, he even rejected NT citation!) Otherwise we got LSM statuary and iconography, courtesy of "God's economy".

So my advice was, and is, let your mind become saturated with the mind of Christ. Not the Christ in Lee's folk theology but the one in text of scripture.

Lastly I recommend also the initial stages of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The author cites something like 8 psalm passages, then says, "we see Jesus". The author didn't know Jesus in person, having heard about Him from others (2:3). But now in 2:9, "we see Jesus". Where? In the text of scripture, obviously. The writer of this epistle looks into scripture, some which is cited, and sees Jesus portrayed, and uses the pronoun "we"; expecting the readers of the Epistle to do likewise.

I say, accept the invitation. Look at Jesus. Never look away. Go deeper into the divine revelation, before us in scripture. Let your mind and consciousness become infused with His. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, yes even by singing psalms. Let Christ make His home in your heart. Then the love welling up within you for the Father will not be yours, but the Spirit of Christ within you, yearning to return home.

The psalmist said, "Oh how I love your law/I meditate on it all day long." (119:97). And of course the psalmist failed. As Peter said, "His grave is with us to this day." (Acts 2:29) Death claimed another pious sinner. But the love of Jesus toward His Father made Him love every single word that proceeded out of the mouth of God (cf Matt 4:4). Jesus lived in sinless perfection, and God furnished proof to all by raising Him from the dead (see e.g. Acts 17:30,31). This love, which was in Jesus' heart toward His Father, now invades our consciousness, and all our earthly loves and fears and cares vanish in the brightness of His presence (Gk: parousia).

Anyway, I'm rambling here, even dangerously so. Please forgive me for brazenly displaying my ignorant enthusiasm.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:56 AM   #549
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Default Re: A kind of recap

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WL only acknowledge Jesus where NT usage and/or strong Christian convention forced him to... otherwise we got LSM statuary and iconography, courtesy of "God's economy".
To tack on a brief post-script:

LSM's religious iconography and statuary:

1. God's economy
2. The local ground
3. God's deputy, the minister of the age
4. God's present move on the earth

etc
etc
etc.

All of this stuff invaded our consciousness, interrupted our dialog with our Father and each other in scripture, and became a snare, a trap, and stumbling. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:04 AM   #550
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I think there is some Christ to be found in more than 3 of the first 21 Psalms.
According to Lee, Psalm 2, Psalm 8, and Psalm 16 had revelation of Jesus Christ. They were words in, of, for, and to the "gospel of God... concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" which Paul referred to in his letter to the Romans. (1:1 & 1:3). This gospel was promised beforehand through the prophets in the Holy Sciptures (v2), and these promises are seen in Psalms 2, 8, and 16. The New Testament usage of these texts makes this clear.

But if the NT didn't make such use of the Psalms, Lee wasn't interested, and this constituted the bulk of the material in question. Today, if you walk up to a LSM'er and quote Psalm 14 or 114, they will stare at you blankly. It has no meaning.

My argument here, has been that this corpus had meaning, as evidenced by its widespread citation in the NT. There was a narrative unfolding on the ground, which narrative was widely if not universally recognized and understood, and thus the frequent citation by NT speakers and writers. They used shared meaning to construct new meaning: "Jesus is both Lord and Christ".

But today the narrative is gone. Awareness is minimal, at best. In extremist groups like the LC, scripture's even dismissed as passe. The "NT revelation" has supposedly superseded the Old. Yet this supposed new revelation is based on teachings like those put forth by Lee, who had little respect for the body of text, and minimal knowledge, and with no external restraint his imagination was free to fabricate interpretive matrices that could even be used to dismiss the text itself.

And if you refer people back to the actual text, and to supporting documents, they stare at you as if you suddenly spoke Martian. The supporting commentary by the Fathers is gone, the pseudepigrapha and apocrypha are gone, cultural awareness is gone, and the actual text is even dismissed by and large. In their minds it truly doesn't exist.

You've moved from an unfolding revelation to sola scriptora to sola theologica. And if this theology is the homespun creation of an accountant from Yantai, Shandong, China, how far have you traveled away from the "gospel of God... concerning His Son, Jesus Christ who is our Lord"? If that which was written by the prophets is dismissed as "fallen concepts of men", what's your theology based on? What kind of gospel have you constructed with it? One that's qualitatively different from the one presented in the New Testament.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:30 PM   #551
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Today, if you walk up to a LSM'er and quote Psalm 14 or 114, they'll stare at you blankly. It has no meaning... if you refer people back to the actual text, and to supporting documents, they stare at you as if you suddenly spoke Martian..
If you share from the "fallen texts" this puts LSM'ers in a dilemma. Lee had panned these writings, so if you dredge out life and light and hold it forth, then this threatens the validity of Lee's dismissal. You're forcing them to choose between the ministry of the age, and the Word of God, and this choice makes them uncomfortable.

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But today the narrative is gone. Awareness is minimal, at best...
Instead of supporting a narrative, the text becomes a set of disjointed aphorisms, to be mined for today's theology. Otherwise it has no value and can be profitably ignored; it's not the 'up-to-date speaking for today'.

My counter-argument is that nowhere was this attitude displayed in the New Testament. Paul never treated the source texts thus, nor did Jesus. Quite the contrary. "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that is breathed out of the mouth of God." What ministry can obviate that?
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:40 AM   #552
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Instead of supporting a narrative, the text becomes a set of disjointed aphorisms, to be mined for today's theology.
What are today's texts were once oral narratives(1). They were stories, songs, poems. So each narrative had a theme. It wasn't a set of disjointed aphorisms. (Perhaps Proverbs or Ecclesiasticus were, but typically texts were initially narratives.) "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water": it's how we remember things. The characters, the going, the landscape (a hill), the fetching, the pail and the water are all remembered for their place in the narrative.

So I suggest that "not one of His bones were broken" and "Zeal of Thy house has eaten Me up" were originally formed as part of a narrative; actually a set of narratives which made up a larger narrative (Psalms), a meta-narrative if you will. And this was set with and looked to "the Law" and "the Prophets" as a still larger story - that of, "the scripture says".

"His disciples remembered that it was written...", and "These things were written concerning Me..." in the NT narratives were in a context which (I suspect) gradually lost meaning, and narrative thrust. A new context arose, meet for today's need of Reformation or Recovery or True Remnant Church or whatever, and a new meta-narrative came forth, and then the text was only useful to support "God's New Testament Economy" or whatever they're pitching today.

So if you review their product, and the salesman (sorry, Bible expositor) says, "natural, natural, natural - eureka! A revelation of Christ! - natural, natural, natural", as they cover the text, and you wonder how far we've gone off-course, perhaps this is an initial clue, or signpost.

But the good news is that the text is still there, preserved largely in toto, waiting to speak. The story is still there. But ignoring the text as "natural" won't bring you the story.

1. Remember that Peter and the rest were called "unlettered" in Acts 4:13. Even then, the texts were known primarily orally, by the uneducated masses. Thus the narrative structure was crucial.
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:17 PM   #553
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I propose that the Psalms are given less attention because there are powerful chapters in that book that can be used against demons and witchcraft.
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:45 PM   #554
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I propose that the Psalms are given less attention because there are powerful chapters in that book that can be used against demons and witchcraft.
Which ones are those and how does one use them. The reason I ask is that I might have a relative who is believing demonic lies.
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:58 AM   #555
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

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I propose that the Psalms are given less attention because there are powerful chapters in that book that can be used against demons and witchcraft.
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Which ones are those and how does one use them. The reason I ask is that I might have a relative who is believing demonic lies.
The Jews long believed that David was communing intimately with God, and the words of Psalmic poetry allowed them special access. So they use David's words to pray to God. And certain specific Psalms, over time, became known as poems for, say, protection, or healing, or freedom from demonic oppression

The Lubavicher Jews seem to display this tendency most prominently. Just google "psalms protection prayer" and you'll pull up a host of websites giving particulars.

The Psalms were oral texts, recited, sung and prayed, often in communal setting. As such they became the basis of social understanding of who God was, what His will was, and what were relations between Godly persons. These inspired poems were also a window into the "mystical" unseen world. The psalmist was inspired, in oracular spirit, and by this same spirit the initiate could also enter the experience. (Not too different from Lee's ideas, except Lee panned these texts as "low", "fallen" and "natural".)

What follows an idea of why the Psalms were "given less attention" under Lee, as the unregistered poster above has noted.

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Witness Lee clearly had control issues. When the saints actually began to take the apostle Paul at his word and sing the Psalms, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks/so panteth my soul after Thee, O God", then Lee got worried because they were enjoying the Word outside his ministry and this to him was most dangerous. Lee wanted to be the sole mediator of man's revelatory experience in the Word of God. So Lee told the fellowships in the Lord's Recovery to stop singing the Psalms, because they were too low. I have heard this verbally from several people who were there.

He didn't, of course, say "Stop singing the Psalms"; he said, "It would be better if you sang verses from Ephesians than from Psalms". Then he imitated in a mocking way the saints as they praised God using the words of the psalmist. His "shaming" actions were enough to discourage the saints.
I respect the Lubavitcher, and others, and hope to learn from them, as they've had great familiarity with these words and how they've been received over millennia. (The Lubavitcher are a prominent sect in Judaism today, similar to our Baptist or Anglican). But for we the Christians, these mystical texts allow us access to the heart of Christ. The reciprocal delight between Christ and His Father becomes our new reality. When Jesus said, "These things were written concerning Me" this was his explicit assent, even encouragement, to this notion. And the epistles' repeated psalmic usage confirms the gospel record.

Quote:
"Mysticism is a technical term for a cluster of religious phenomena that relates to religious practice within a specific religious system (Judaism, Christianity), that takes as its goal the experience of union or communion with a transcendent reality that is ultimately beyond intellectual comprehension and that has concrete social function within the life of a particular community"
So these often vague pronouncements - "Behold He comes, with ten thousands of saints" - aren't merely to be analyzed objectively (Coming where? From behind Mount Seir? (Deut 33). Why did Jude cite Enoch and not Moses? And before or after the secret rapture; and with 'holy ones' or 'holy angels' [MT v. LXX] or both?) but are to be entered as experiential doors. At some point our mind also finds meaning, but primarily we "enjoy" it as the LC folk say. And we enjoy because Christ enjoyed.

"He rescued Me because He delighted in Me" (cf Psa 18); God doesn't delight in me the sinner. He delights in His Beloved Son. But by faith I see the His Beloved Son, the Christ who is our Lord, and by faith and confession am transferred "into Christ", and by faith I pursue Christ in the sacred texts. This is my salvation.

And the LC saints were entering into this: for example, a Jewish believer from dreaded "Christianity" had put Psalm 51 to music, and the saints were entering into mystical union - "take not Thy Holy Spirit from me" - and this bothered Lee. Control was slipping away, and forbidden doors were being opened. Songs were spontaneously pouring forth. Salvation was not a dry term but a deepening stream of experience, an emergent, communal performance - so he shut it down.

(Please note that I don't consider Psalms as superior writings to those of, say, Isaiah or Moses; rather I'm protesting the outright rejection of inspired scripture, both explicitly in footnote, and implicitly by non-coverage [the RecV psalms have page after blank page without footnote, and few cross-references].)

The LC have what, a dozen or fifteen psalms among their 1100 hymns, often merely a line or two? What about the other hundred and thirty five? Too low to bother with? What kind of gospel are we preaching, here? And why is our hermeneutic, our "enjoyment", taking us away from the text?
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:18 AM   #556
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Default The Faith of Jesus Christ

Rom 3:22 (KJV) Even the righteousness of God with is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Gal 3:22 But the scripture hat concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Notice that it doesn't say faith 'in' Christ but faith 'of' Christ. "He trusts in God; let Him (the Father) save Him (the Son) now" (Matt 27:43; Psa 22:8) -- Jesus Christ believed and trusted in the Father. So when He came to the scripture, "I'll obey Your word" (Psalm 119) wasn't the vain imaginations of the sinner but rather the framework and vehicle for His faith, the faith of Jesus Christ, to come and redeem sinful humanity. This is explicitly confirmed by the Hebrews 10:9 citation of Psalm 40 - "I come to do Your will, Oh God" etc. The faithful obedience of the Son becomes the gateway to salvation to all who would believe.

And it is the faithful Spirit of this Son who comes into our hearts, crying "Abba, Father!" It is the faith of Christ that inflames our hearts, not our own. Remember that it's no longer we who live but the Spirit of the Son who lives in us, who's guiding us home through repentance and obedience.

Safe to say that Witness Lee looked at the Psalms and missed all this, even though NT usage gave a clear invitation to do so. He had his "God's economy" metric to protect. I argue that by distracting people from God's Christ, and discouraging them from finding the faith of Christ in its pages, Witness Lee's RecV Bible isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

Of course that's merely my view at present, and it may change over time, as my views often do. And the real truth here may be that I'm a vain, quarrelsome person, looking to pick a fight somewhere. If so, and to what extent this is true, I apologize for a wrong spirit.

You know, if Moses was a true and faithful peacemaker, when he saw the Egyptian beating the Hebrew slave, he'd have run up and embraced them both, and healed them, and they'd all sing "Kumbaya" together. Unfortunately it wasn't to be so, at that time. But the faith of Christ is coming, folks. Be embraced and love your neighbor as yourself, even the one who's currently suffering under bad ideas, and causing others to suffer. Because we all fail. "Who has sinned, and I don't burn?"

It seems fitting to leave you with a song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvhWTWpNWL0
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Old 11-09-2016, 05:59 AM   #557
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Default The NT reception of the Psalms

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Hi aron, The massive quantity of messages given by Brother Lee showing Christ as the fulfillment and reality of all the types, shadows, prophecies, etc. in the Old Testament speak to his great love, honor, labor, and devotion to the Old Testament. Your accusations to the contrary have no merit. If you didn't toss those Life Studies, which Stuttgart considered good inspired stuff up until a certain date, then dust them off, read them for yourself, and refresh your understanding about what he taught.
Then, I will be happy to discuss, engage, or debate any topic concerning what Witness Lee actually taught. It is pointless to discuss teachings he never taught! No one benefits from that no matter what side they are on.
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Christ was the fulfillment of the types of the OT. Witness Lee taught this, true. This was in accord with the NT reception of the Psalms.

My question is, where in the NT reception of the Psalms do we see them say, "Christ is the fulfillment of Psalm 2, 8, 16, and 22, but not Psalm 1,3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14 etc etc?"

Did Paul give some private fellowship to the saints that only some texts were indicative of the coming Messiah, who was now revealed to the world as Jesus the Nazarene? And this private fellowship was lost for 1,900 years until Lee by his God's Economy metric was alble to pry the truth from the text?

How do we know that the Blessed Man who meditated on the word day and night, whose leaf never withered, wasn't also the enthroned King of Psalm 2? Jesus was the Obedient Lamb of God in Psalm 1 who was thus uniquely qualified to be our Good Shepherd in Psalm 2. Then in Psalm 3 you have rebellion: "I lay me down and slept/I awaked for the LORD sustained me" is akin to "I have the power to lay My life down, and the power to take it up again", etc etc. There is possibly indication of the experience of Christ in the text.

And so forth. "The unfolding of Your Word brings life/It brings understanding to the simple."

But to my recollection Lee never considered Christ. He gave two options: either the psalmist spoke truly and was the blessed man, or the "NT believers" somehow fulfilled this. He could see neither, and dismissed the text as low, fallen, natural concepts of sinful man. Why was this not considered as a revelation of Christ, as was Psalm 8 or Psalm 22 or Psalm 110 or Psalm 69?

When in Acts 2 Peter considered the failure of the psalmist to fulfill his declarations in Psalm 16 "You will not let my flesh see corruption" he didn't say it was merely vain, fallen natural concepts of a sinner, but rather the revelatory indication of the coming Christ. Why then did Lee instead take the former tack in handling the OT text? What NT precedent did he have for this kind of reception of the psalmic text?

When one looks, one can see NT echoes in the OT text, even in the most unlikely places. The psalm of David's confession, Psalm 51, would seem unrelated to Christ. Yet in the restoration line, "Then I will teach transgressors Your ways/And sinners will turn back to You" I can hear faint echoes of Jesus saying to Peter, "I have prayed for you, and when you turn, you will strengthen the brothers."

There is life in the text. Its unfolding brings life. I don't claim revelation, but rather object strenuously to Lee dismissing the text so cavalierly, and creating a system in which if he dismissed it, nobody could find life either. "You neither enter into life, nor allow your disciples to do so."
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Old 11-09-2016, 08:38 PM   #558
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Default Re: The NT reception of the Psalms

We do not find life in the Bible. Life is only to be found in Christ. The moment we seek life in the Bible we do as the pharisees did:
John 5:39 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me.

The Bible gives us the knowledge of life. Some Bible verses give us knowledge of life, but others give us knowledge of death.
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Old 11-10-2016, 04:14 AM   #559
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Default All the words of this life

Peter was told by a heavenly messenger to continue speaking "all the words of this life" to the people. What words were they? Paul's epistles did not yet exist. The prophetic word, now made clear, was of Jesus the Nazarene. The prophesied Messiah was "this Jesus".

By contrast, where was the prophetic word called low, fallen, and vain? Nowhere is where. By its own testimony Witness Lee’s ministry was judged as fallen man's natural concepts.

Suppose you quoted Peter out of context, saying Paul's words were difficult to understand, and recommended reading only Ephesians 1 and 2, because the rest of the epistle would only bring confusion and death? What kind of a gospel are you then preaching? What kind of a Bible do you then hold?

The Bible continually stresses "every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Not just those words which are suitable for your hermeneutic. If you read the RecV Ephesians, you'll get a verse and a page of WL footnotes. Read a page of RecV Psalms, which Paul in his letter to the Ephesians recommended to the saints - "be filled in Spirit" - and you'll get nothing. Maybe a cross-reference. Maybe a footnote panning it as natural. Page after page of emptiness.
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Old 11-10-2016, 05:35 AM   #560
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Default Re: The NT reception of the Psalms

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We do not find life in the Bible. Life is only to be found in Christ. The moment we seek life in the Bible we do as the pharisees did:
John 5:39 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me.

The Bible gives us the knowledge of life. Some Bible verses give us knowledge of life, but others give us knowledge of death.
I'll protest this until my last dying breath.

You take a part of one verse aimed at the unbelieving, Jesus hating, hypocritical Pharisees and construct doctrines around it. It is the Lee way.

I told you before that I was given a Paraphrased Bible by a coworker who showed me friendship in my time of need, and just by opening that Bible in bed before I passed out from working my 14 hour days, I was dramatically and gloriously saved. My life, and even my own personality, was forever changed in those few minutes.

And you are telling me that we can't find life in the Bible?!?

I am thankful that the total number of Christians like you is extremely limited.
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:01 AM   #561
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I'll protest this until my last dying breath.

You take a part of one verse aimed at the unbelieving, Jesus hating, hypocritical Pharisees and construct doctrines around it. It is the Lee way.
And following Evangelical's lead, how do we know that the Living Stream Ministry wasn't peddling us "Death Studies" and not "Life Studies" of the Bible? We really had Lee's word for it, and little else. What assurance do we have that it wasn't an exercise in vanity, poring over selected scriptures while ignoring or dismissing the 'unhelpful' ones, thinking that it was the process of advancing eternal life? Is the God's Economy metric really able to supersede scripture?

For good or ill, the canon of scripture was established. Where does Christian doctrine, history, or tradition permit us centuries later to relegate supposedly low and natural sections to the dustbin, or to a second-tier, "fallen human concept" status? Where's the apostolic precedent for such a move?
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Old 11-10-2016, 06:26 PM   #562
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I'll protest this until my last dying breath.

You take a part of one verse aimed at the unbelieving, Jesus hating, hypocritical Pharisees and construct doctrines around it. It is the Lee way.

I told you before that I was given a Paraphrased Bible by a coworker who showed me friendship in my time of need, and just by opening that Bible in bed before I passed out from working my 14 hour days, I was dramatically and gloriously saved. My life, and even my own personality, was forever changed in those few minutes.

And you are telling me that we can't find life in the Bible?!?

I am thankful that the total number of Christians like you is extremely limited.
Are you saying you were saved just by opening your Bible and the Spirit jumped into you at that moment. Or are you saying you got saved because you opened the Bible, read it, your eyes were opened, and you prayed to God for salvation?

Because I don't think many Christians would believe or agree that one can be saved just by opening their Bible, just as one cannot be saved just by touching the statue of the Virgin Mary for example.

It just contradicts so many things taught and believed in Christianity about how a person is saved (hearing the gospel, believing, repenting , confessing etc).
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:02 AM   #563
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Peter was told by a heavenly messenger to continue speaking "all the words of this life" to the people. What words were they? Paul's epistles did not yet exist. The prophetic word, now made clear, was of Jesus the Nazarene. The prophesied Messiah was "this Jesus".

By contrast, where was the prophetic word called low, fallen, and vain? Nowhere is where. By its own testimony Witness Lee’s ministry was judged as fallen man's natural concepts.

Suppose you quoted Peter out of context, saying Paul's words were difficult to understand, and recommended reading only Ephesians 1 and 2, because the rest of the epistle would only bring confusion and death? What kind of a gospel are you then preaching? What kind of a Bible do you then hold?

The Bible continually stresses "every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Not just those words which are suitable for your hermeneutic. If you read the RecV Ephesians, you'll get a verse and a page of WL footnotes. Read a page of RecV Psalms, which Paul in his letter to the Ephesians recommended to the saints - "be filled in Spirit" - and you'll get nothing. Maybe a cross-reference. Maybe a footnote panning it as natural. Page after page of emptiness.
Answer me this. Is this verse a "word from the mouth of God"?:

Matthew 4:9 ""All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me.""

No. It is from the mouth of Satan.


Is this a word of life or a word of death?:

1 Samuel 15:3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'

Even though it is a word from God's mouth, it is clearly not a word of life. Suppose you read and pray read 1 Samuel 15:3, what sort of person would it make you? It would not do your spirit much good.

From these simple examples I have proved that
1. Not every word in the Bible is from "God's mouth", however, every word in the Bible is inspired (is there for a purpose, according to God's will).
2. Not every word in the Bible is a matter of life or can give life. Only the Spirit gives life.

Jesus said "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life.". There is actually no verse in the Bible that says all and every verse in Scripture gives life. I have given two such examples which do not give life - one the voice of Satan, the other God's judgement which brought death.

The Bible is a book of life but that does not me an we do not need to extract the words of life from the Bible, as Lee tried to do with the life studies.

We cannot extract much life from the words of Satan or the words of man, which are recorded in the Bible but are not from the "mouth of God".

I could go on with bible verses that are not from the mouth of God but from fallen man- the false prophets for example,or Job's friends, etc etc.

The bible has God's words recorded in it for sure, but it also has the words of Satan and the words of (uninspired, natural or fallen) man.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:04 AM   #564
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Are you saying you were saved just by opening your Bible and the Spirit jumped into you at that moment. Or are you saying you got saved because you opened the Bible, read it, your eyes were opened, and you prayed to God for salvation?
I opened the Bible and started reading in bed, after working overtime and then traveling to night school, where God arranged for us both to take a Circuits I class in Engineering. I crashed in bed, and literally was reading only minutes. I don't even remember where or what I was reading. I was not repenting. I was not praying. I was not confessing my many sins. I was laying down, not kneeling.

I will admit that my new friend from work also was recently saved. His Catholic wife rejected the gospel, and wanted out, thus creating a fiery trial in his heart. He also went 30 miles out of his way to give me a ride home because my car had died. He was excited about Jesus, and "faith comes by hearing." His gospel did not give me any "how to" instructions about salvation, rather it was a combination of Gospel stories about Jesus that he was reading, and end times events from Hal Lindsay's book that was popular at the time.
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Old 11-11-2016, 08:13 AM   #565
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Answer me this. Is this verse a "word from the mouth of God"?:

Matthew 4:9 ""All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me.""

No. It is from the mouth of Satan. .
Correct. From Satan. I apologize for overgeneralizing. I like generalities because it makes good copy, but "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" needs qualifier, pertaining to scripture.

But let's go deeper, shall we? Suppose Satan quotes God. Does that then make the word null? No, of course not.

Suppose a sinner utters a prophetic word, "He rescued me because He delighted in me". Lee said, "No, Jehovah didn't delight in the sinner". But my question all along has been, why didn't Lee consider Christ? Lee says, "David considered God's approval, and this is a wrong concept" (Psa 18:20 footnote), because salvation is of God's mercy and grace etc.

But Lee apparently never considered the Obedient Lamb of God. Yet the NT reception of the psalms repeatedly invited this. The psalmist declares, yet the declaration falls not to him, a sinner but on the Chosen Seed of the prophet (David, Acts 2:30), per God's promise. Why is this concept so fantastic, so amazing as to be beyond any consideration? Why do you think the crowds kept singing hosanna to the Son of David as Jesus entered Jerusalem (Matt 21:9; cf 9:27)? They knew Who was coming.

The Obedient Lamb of God is our Good Shepherd. When we see a prophetic picture of the law-keeping One it is not us the redeemed sinners, nor David (also a sinner), but God's Christ, who as a perfect Man lives by His every word (Matt 4:4). Why is this so seeming strange? Even Satan could see Christ in the psalms: "He (the Father) will set His angels around You (the Messiah, the Son) lest You (the Son) should strike Your foot against a stone". So, why couldn't Lee see Christ?

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Is this a word of life or a word of death?:

1 Samuel 15:3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'

Even though it is a word from God's mouth, it is clearly not a word of life. Suppose you read and pray read 1 Samuel 15:3, what sort of person would it make you? It would not do your spirit much good. .
Not so fast. Christ tasted death for us. Death could not contain Him. So we are not afraid of death; it is death outside of Christ that is profitless.

So I ask, is this death in, or out of Christ? Why simply assume it is fallen, natural, fleshly? Paul wrote of putting to death (Rom 8:13, Col 3:5), but it was spiritual warfare, not flesh and blood (Eph 6:12). Why not accept Paul's invitation? Why is scripture read figuratively (when convenient), but then literally (when not convenient)?

Tell me this: was David a bad boy when he threw the stone against Goliath, or a type of the coming Christ? I say the latter. There's opportunity to see spiritual types here. Why categorically dismiss it?

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From these simple examples I have proved that
1. Not every word in the Bible is from "God's mouth", however, every word in the Bible is inspired (is there for a purpose, according to God's will).
2. Not every word in the Bible is a matter of life or can give life. Only the Spirit gives life.

Jesus said "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life.". There is actually no verse in the Bible that says all and every verse in Scripture gives life. I have given two such examples which do not give life - one the voice of Satan, the other God's judgement which brought death.

The Bible is a book of life but that does not me an we do not need to extract the words of life from the Bible, as Lee tried to do with the life studies.

We cannot extract much life from the words of Satan or the words of man, which are recorded in the Bible but are not from the "mouth of God".

I could go on with bible verses that are not from the mouth of God but from fallen man- the false prophets for example,or Job's friends, etc etc.

The bible has God's words recorded in it for sure, but it also has the words of Satan and the words of (uninspired, natural or fallen) man.
Lee with his post-protestant hermeneutic said he extracted life from the Bible, but I've shown that he never considered Christ. So he failed. There is no life without Christ. And there's no life in his footnote in Psalm 18:20. Just fallen men's concepts.

The NT clearly showed the Father's deep delight in the Son. But the psalmist spoke of God's delight (Psa 18:19) and Lee simply said, "Nope." What kind of exposition is this? "He (the Father) rescued Me (the Son) because He delighted in Me". Didn't Peter use this kind of word in Acts 2, to show the relationship of the Father to the Son, and to declare that our faith in this Approved, Resurrected and Glorified Son now opened the door to salvation for all? Why close the door so quickly, so summarily?
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:26 AM   #566
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I opened the Bible and started reading in bed,
Jesus said, "The Spirit will reveal Me (Jesus) to you (the disciple)." (John 16:13). At that moment the Spirit came and breathed life into you. By faith you saw Jesus, and you lived.

All this is basic Christian understanding. The Spirit conveys a revelation of Christ as life to us from the word of scripture. No one in the LC would protest this, either. What I do protest, however, is a self-styled apostle like Lee coming along, and saying which scripture you can get "life" from, and which is "vain". When you deconstruct his teaching, it all seems arbitrary, like on that particular day he was in an uncharitable mood and tough for you.

Suppose today we're going over Psalm 34, and Lee's not in the mood to see Christ, apart from what's required by NT reception ("not one of His bones is broken"), so too bad; it's all vanity, he says. Just David running around making noise, full of himself.

What nonsense.

Please understand I'm not saying that we HAVE to see Christ in Psalm 34, or elsewhere, outside explicit NT citation. I protest Lee saying we CANNOT see Christ. No. I protest. He has no right to do this. He's refusing to enter, and refusing to let anyone else enter in.

The NT invites us: "We see Jesus", says the writer (Heb 2:9), after profusely quoting the psalms. I find nothing other than perversity in Lee's categorical denial. (Obviously we're not limited to psalms; Isaiah's quite extensive, etc. But this thread was on the psalms).
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:32 PM   #567
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Correct. From Satan. I apologize for overgeneralizing. I like generalities because it makes good copy, but "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" needs qualifier, pertaining to scripture.

But let's go deeper, shall we? Suppose Satan quotes God. Does that then make the word null? No, of course not.
It's still God's word, but its' not from God's mouth, so we cannot live by it.

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Suppose a sinner utters a prophetic word, "He rescued me because He delighted in me". Lee said, "No, Jehovah didn't delight in the sinner". But my question all along has been, why didn't Lee consider Christ? Lee says, "David considered God's approval, and this is a wrong concept" (Psa 18:20 footnote), because salvation is of God's mercy and grace etc.
Only the 2nd and 49th verses of Psalm 18 are quoted in the New Testament. Maybe that is why he does not consider Christ. But I can see it could refer to Christ.


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But Lee apparently never considered the Obedient Lamb of God. Yet the NT reception of the psalms repeatedly invited this. The psalmist declares, yet the declaration falls not to him, a sinner but on the Chosen Seed of the prophet (David, Acts 2:30), per God's promise. Why is this concept so fantastic, so amazing as to be beyond any consideration? Why do you think the crowds kept singing hosanna to the Son of David as Jesus entered Jerusalem (Matt 21:9; cf 9:27)? They knew Who was coming.

The Obedient Lamb of God is our Good Shepherd. When we see a prophetic picture of the law-keeping One it is not us the redeemed sinners, nor David (also a sinner), but God's Christ, who as a perfect Man lives by His every word (Matt 4:4). Why is this so seeming strange? Even Satan could see Christ in the psalms: "He (the Father) will set His angels around You (the Messiah, the Son) lest You (the Son) should strike Your foot against a stone". So, why couldn't Lee see Christ?
Perhaps Lee was making a point in case people mistakenly thought that God rewarded them according to their own righteousness. But he could have said this refers to Christ and not us.


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Not so fast. Christ tasted death for us. Death could not contain Him. So we are not afraid of death; it is death outside of Christ that is profitless.

So I ask, is this death in, or out of Christ? Why simply assume it is fallen, natural, fleshly? Paul wrote of putting to death (Rom 8:13, Col 3:5), but it was spiritual warfare, not flesh and blood (Eph 6:12). Why not accept Paul's invitation? Why is scripture read figuratively (when convenient), but then literally (when not convenient)?

Tell me this: was David a bad boy when he threw the stone against Goliath, or a type of the coming Christ? I say the latter. There's opportunity to see spiritual types here. Why categorically dismiss it?

Lee with his post-protestant hermeneutic said he extracted life from the Bible, but I've shown that he never considered Christ. So he failed. There is no life without Christ. And there's no life in his footnote in Psalm 18:20. Just fallen men's concepts.

The NT clearly showed the Father's deep delight in the Son. But the psalmist spoke of God's delight (Psa 18:19) and Lee simply said, "Nope." What kind of exposition is this? "He (the Father) rescued Me (the Son) because He delighted in Me". Didn't Peter use this kind of word in Acts 2, to show the relationship of the Father to the Son, and to declare that our faith in this Approved, Resurrected and Glorified Son now opened the door to salvation for all? Why close the door so quickly, so summarily?
I would say the old testament footnotes are incomplete, many verses have no commentary for them or the commentary is very bland. It would be interesting to investigate why Lee did not think these verses could be attributed to Christ. I don't know if that is possible by reading his books, without asking him himself.
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:42 PM   #568
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I opened the Bible and started reading in bed, after working overtime and then traveling to night school, where God arranged for us both to take a Circuits I class in Engineering. I crashed in bed, and literally was reading only minutes. I don't even remember where or what I was reading. I was not repenting. I was not praying. I was not confessing my many sins. I was laying down, not kneeling.

I will admit that my new friend from work also was recently saved. His Catholic wife rejected the gospel, and wanted out, thus creating a fiery trial in his heart. He also went 30 miles out of his way to give me a ride home because my car had died. He was excited about Jesus, and "faith comes by hearing." His gospel did not give me any "how to" instructions about salvation, rather it was a combination of Gospel stories about Jesus that he was reading, and end times events from Hal Lindsay's book that was popular at the time.
I will believe your story and think you were saved in this way because that is how the sovereign God chose to save you. People have been saved by various unique and sometimes even strange ways, seemingly outside the "pattern" of scripture that so many Christians demand (not referring to you, God saving through reading the Bible is fairly orthodox). Many Christians might say that the simple calling on the Lord 3 times as done in the Recovery is "too easy" and not the "right way" to be saved.

Yet in this case I do not think it was the object that God used to save you that gave you life but was the instrument through which you received
life.

I think doctrinally the statement that we can find life only in Christ remains true. All other means must be ways through which we receive the life, and not the source of the life itself.

No doubt if I go to a Catholic forum and say the Virgin Mary statues cannot save anyone, I will get countless examples of how the Virgin Mary has somehow saved or healed them. I know of Christians who treat the Bible in the same way, in a superstitious way and attribute life to something which God never said or meant to contain life (not talking about yourself at all here, just making the statement).
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:11 PM   #569
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I can see it could refer to Christ.
But he could have said this refers to Christ and not us.
Thanks you for the charity of your reply. It's possible that I have been too strong in my condemnation (I get like that often). Anyway I found Lee's treatment to be perfunctory and unsatisfactory.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:21 PM   #570
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Thanks you for the charity of your reply. It's possible that I have been too strong in my condemnation (I get like that often). Anyway I found Lee's treatment to be perfunctory and unsatisfactory.
I have found that at times Lee's footnotes claim things which are not written there (hard to justify from the text), and other times denies things which clearly are.

Before joining "the Recovery" my understanding of Psalm 18 was that it did refer to Christ. That has not changed actually. The footnote by Lee did not raise alarm bells with me because I thought the statement is true - if the verse was speaking about David, or me or you, then it is correct to say we cannot appeal to our own righteousness. I never saw his footnote to be contradictory to the idea that we could "find Christ" in any Bible verse. The bible portrays Christ but the bible can also portray ourselves. Sometimes we see Christ in the Bible and other times we see ourselves.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:50 PM   #571
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Correct. From Satan. I apologize for overgeneralizing. I like generalities because it makes good copy, but "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" needs qualifier, pertaining to scripture.

But let's go deeper, shall we? Suppose Satan quotes God. Does that then make the word null? No, of course not.
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It's still God's word, but its' not from God's mouth, so we cannot live by it.
Evangelical, methinks you needa get outa your mind, and turn to your spirit!
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:15 PM   #572
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Evangelical, methinks you needa get outa your mind, and turn to your spirit!
Do you mean you can live by Satan's words?
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Old 11-12-2016, 11:00 AM   #573
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Do you mean you can live by Satan's words?
I think a better question on this forum would be, did Witness Lee mean that 90% of the Psalms were Satan's words? Look at how he categorizes them: natural, fallen, well-intentioned but ignorant human concepts.

When Peter told Jesus "Not so, Lord; this will never happen to You!!" he was speaking in his natural, ignorant human concept. This ignominy would never happen to Jesus! Right? Simon, aka "The Rock" Peter, would never allow it! "Not so, Lord!"

Peter's speaking was, correctly we believe, characterized by Jesus as "Satan's speaking". So my question becomes, are there degrees of well-intentioned but ignorant human concepts on display in the Bible, some of which are Satan insinuating himself into the conversation, and some not? If Psalms are merely ignorant good intentions but not "revelatory of Christ", then what are they?

When Job's wife advised him to "curse God and die" (2:9) after he was brutally afflicted, this was arguably a natural concept, via God's enemy Satan. Satan advises, at some point in the process you can give up with the praise and worship thingy, and get down to brass tacks, and tell God off. But no, "I will praise God with my dying breath" (Psa 146:2 NLT). And also like Peter: "Lord, I forgave my brother six times. Now can I bash him on the noggin as he so rightly deserves?" Again, lack of awareness of God's mercy leads to behaviors controlled by the fallen flesh. Satan has now usurped. Again and again in the NT the well-intentioned disciples crowded round, and displayed God's enemy.

But if Paul called Psalms the Words of Christ, where's the corollary calling them Words of Satan (Col 3:16)? How can Lee define scriptural text thus and say that he's closely following the apostles? Where's the precedent for this?

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Perhaps Lee was making a point in case people mistakenly thought that God rewarded them according to their own righteousness. But he could have said this refers to Christ and not us.
But he didn't refer to Christ at all. How can we say this RecV translation with footnotes is in any way definitive if it's so glaringly deficient?

Paul made the point that the law of itself gave nobody righteousness (Rom 3:20). But why not consider whether "I will obey Your word" in the Psalm (e.g. 119:17) might possibly reference the coming Righteous One? How many times in the gospel text does Jesus reference obedience to the Father's will? No, says Lee, that psalm is just Satan distracting and deceiving the fallen mankind. At best, at very best, I think that's a shallow and perfunctory reading of the text; to me, Lee evinced no interest whatever in finding nor unpacking "life". Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find"; I see no evidence of seeking with Lee. How did he then claim to be a teacher, much less holding God's supposedly singular oracle?
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Old 11-12-2016, 02:45 PM   #574
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Aron) "... why not consider whether "I will obey Your word" in the Psalm (e.g. 119:17) might possibly reference the coming Righteous One?"

"But he didn't refer to Christ at all. How can we say this RecV translation with footnotes is in any way definitive if it's so glaringly deficient?"



aron,

You agree with Brother Lee but you are apparently unaware of what he actually taught. Case in point:

"Psalm 119 is a Psalm of 176 verses describing Christ, who is the reality of the law, the commandments, the ordinances, the statutes, the precepts, and the judgments. "

RCV Psalm 119 footnote 1 (1).

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Old 11-12-2016, 03:59 PM   #575
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aron,

You agree with Brother Lee but you are apparently unaware of what he actually taught. Case in point:

"Psalm 119 is a Psalm of 176 verses describing Christ, who is the reality of the law, the commandments, the ordinances, the statutes, the precepts, and the judgments. "

RCV Psalm 119 footnote 1 (1).

Drake
Don't have a RecV in front of me but I'd say that Brother Lee gave us his generic "Christ is everything" answer. What does it say about obedience in verse 17; and if it actually does affirm Christs' earthly obedience to the heavenly Father's will, then why did Lee also pan obedience and righteousness elsewhere in the Psalms?

Lee: "Psalm 119 is a psalm of one hundred seventy-six verses describing Christ, who is the reality of the law, the commandments, the ordinances, the statutes, the precepts, and the judgments. In total, He is the Word of God. The words of Psalm 119 are the written words of God, but Christ is the living Word of God. The written words are the letters, but the living Word is the Spirit, who is the reality of the letters.

Now we can see not only what the law is but also who the law is. Who is the law? The law is the person of Christ, and the person of Christ is the Spirit. The Spirit is the reality of whatever God is. Hence, as the Spirit Christ is the reality of the law. Eventually, this law, this person, consummates in the way (John 14:6). When we have Him, we have not only love and light but also the way. This is Christ being the reality of the law as the testimony and the word of God."


So then why is Psalm 1 held to be vain, if there the psalmist delights in the law of the LORD? I mean, please be consistent if you are going to interpret the word like this. Lee is nearly schizophrenic. Some places is "NT enjoyment", some places "Christ", some places "vanity".

If in Psalm 119 the law is "Christ", why isn't Psalm 1 the NT believer "enjoying Christ" or some such? Why is Psalm 1 vain and natural? If Christ is the law, and Christ the law's embodiment is now the Spirit/reality, then why isn't Psalm 1, and others like it, an analog to the NT "keep the One Spirit" or something along those lines?

How about a couple of rules, here:

1. When we interpret scripture, let's do it consistently with NT reception patterns, and not go free-lancing, hm?

2. Once you pick a method of understanding scripture, keep it. Not either seeing "Christ" or "vanity" according to today's whims?
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Old 11-12-2016, 04:32 PM   #576
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How about a couple of rules, here:

1. When we interpret scripture, let's do it consistently with NT reception patterns, and not go free-lancing, hm?

2. Once you pick a method of understanding scripture, keep it. Not either seeing "Christ" or "vanity" according to today's whims?
Witness Lee: Psalm 119, Verses 17 and 18 say, "Deal bountifully with Your servant that I may live/And keep Your word./Open my eyes that I may behold/Wondrous things out of Your law." This indicates that the psalmist considered God's law to be His word. This is indicated also by what the psalmist says in verses 28 and 29: "My soul melts because of grief;/Strengthen me according to Your word./Remove from me the way of falsehood,/And graciously grant me Your law." These verses prove that the psalmist thought of God's law as His living and loving word breathed out of God's mouth.

I guess this is good, right? The psalmist has a good relationship, not vain, with the law? Now look at the discussion of Psalm 1.

Witness Lee: The first psalm is concerning the law. David did not know the real function of the law. He likened himself, as one who delighted in the law, to a tree growing beside streams of water and flourishing all the time (v. 3). But after Psalm 1, there is Psalm 2 concerning Christ. Then there is Psalm 3. The heading of Psalm 3 says, "A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son." The one who enjoyed the law as the streams of water by which he grew became a kind of exile due to the rebellion of his son. This happened to David because of his murder of Uriah and his taking of Uriah's wife (2 Sam. 12:10-12). The one who enjoyed the law so much in Psalm 1 became an intentional murderer. Does this show that the law works? The law does work, but not in David's way. The law works to expose us. The law exposed David to the uttermost as one who conspired to kill Uriah and rob Uriah of his wife. Does the law work or not? We have to say that the law works, not according to David's concept in Psalm 1, but according to the apostle Paul's teaching in the New Testament. Paul pointed out that the law was something added to the central line of the divine revelation to expose man's sinful nature and wicked deeds (Rom. 3:20b; 5:20a). We need this view of the law in order to understand the Psalms according to the divine concept in the New Testament. We are not in the Old Testament as David was, but we are in the New Testament.

So Psalm 119 delights in God's law because it is God's out-breathed word, but Psalm 1 delights in the law as vanity? How about a simple and consistent method, given clearly in the NT? How about, David declared reality per God's word (in the Psalms), which reality was not actualized fully in experience by David himself (a sinner) but by David's promised seed? You know, the guy named Jesus, "whom God has now made Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36) How is that so hard?

"But what does it say? 'The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart'-- that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." (Romans 10:8-10).

We believe into and confess Jesus as both Lord and Christ. This is our righteousness, our faith, our confession. When we consider Psalm 1's righteous man, whose leaf never withers, I can see Jesus. Why was this an unthinkable concept for Lee? Psalm 1, Psalm 19, Psalm 119, all point to Jesus Christ as the One on earth who knew God the Father in heaven fully by embracing God's word(or, law/testimony/statutes). John even calls Jesus the incarnate Word. Jesus' delight in the law of the LORD in Psalm 1 is therefore not vain. So why are Psalm 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc etc "vain concepts"? I mean, if the psalmist had said, "I delight in evil", okay. But where's the opening for Lee's gambit, here?
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Old 11-12-2016, 05:34 PM   #577
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So Psalm 119 delights in God's law because it is God's out-breathed word, but Psalm 1 delights in the law as vanity? How about a simple and consistent method, given clearly in the NT?
Aron,

You are perplexed because you have some elevated or misplaced regard for the law as compared to God's plan as revealed in the New Testament. Furthermore, the New Testament reveals how others also were perplexed by the same and it's tragic consequences.

The New Testament clarifies the purpose of the law was to come in along side fallen man to cause sin to abound (Romans 5:20). It also served as a child conductor to lead Israel to Christ. Once Christ came there is no need for a child conductor for believers now possess the way, truth, and the life with His actual presence.

Therefore, the law alongside Christ leads the children of Israel to Christ. The law in a standalone position causes sin to abound. The Old Testament writers did not have the benefit of looking back as we do so they, according to their limited view, sometimes spoke highly of the merits of the law on its own and in so doing did not realize that it condemed them. When a psalmist had God's view in mind, that is Christ, then the law functions in its right position.

When the Lord Jesus began His earthly ministry a conflict began with those who had a misplaced appreciation of the law. Ultimately those who appreciated the law broke the law when they murdered Him and His followers.

Therefore what you view as inconsistencies are merely Brother Lee drawing contrasts between those verses that misapply the law that leads to sin and death and those verses that bring the law alongside to lead people to Christ and to life.

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Old 11-12-2016, 06:06 PM   #578
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You are perplexed because you have some elevated or misplaced regard for the law as compared to God's plan as revealed in the New Testament. Furthermore, the New Testament reveals how others also were perplexed by the same and it's tragic consequences.
I don’t speak for aron, but as far as I’m concerned, he is spot on:

Matt 5:17-20
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew Henry commentary:
5:17-20 Let none suppose that Christ allows his people to trifle with any commands of God's holy law. No sinner partakes of Christ's justifying righteousness, till he repents of his evil deeds. The mercy revealed in the gospel leads the believer to still deeper self-abhorrence. The law is the Christian's rule of duty, and he delights therein. If a man, pretending to be Christ's disciple, encourages himself in any allowed disobedience to the holy law of God, or teaches others to do the same, whatever his station or reputation among men may be, he can be no true disciple. Christ's righteousness, imputed to us by faith alone, is needed by every one that enters the kingdom of grace or of glory; but the new creation of the heart to holiness, produces a thorough change in a man's temper and conduct.

WL’s basis for criticizing Psalm 1 seems to be based upon the fact that David failed. Yet Jesus taught that taught us that downplaying the law is reason to be called least in the kingdom of the heavens, so WL’s logic doesn’t check out as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:15 PM   #579
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I think a better question on this forum would be, did Witness Lee mean that 90% of the Psalms were Satan's words? Look at how he categorizes them: natural, fallen, well-intentioned but ignorant human concepts.

When Peter told Jesus "Not so, Lord; this will never happen to You!!" he was speaking in his natural, ignorant human concept. This ignominy would never happen to Jesus! Right? Simon, aka "The Rock" Peter, would never allow it! "Not so, Lord!"

Peter's speaking was, correctly we believe, characterized by Jesus as "Satan's speaking". So my question becomes, are there degrees of well-intentioned but ignorant human concepts on display in the Bible, some of which are Satan insinuating himself into the conversation, and some not? If Psalms are merely ignorant good intentions but not "revelatory of Christ", then what are they?

When Job's wife advised him to "curse God and die" (2:9) after he was brutally afflicted, this was arguably a natural concept, via God's enemy Satan. Satan advises, at some point in the process you can give up with the praise and worship thingy, and get down to brass tacks, and tell God off. But no, "I will praise God with my dying breath" (Psa 146:2 NLT). And also like Peter: "Lord, I forgave my brother six times. Now can I bash him on the noggin as he so rightly deserves?" Again, lack of awareness of God's mercy leads to behaviors controlled by the fallen flesh. Satan has now usurped. Again and again in the NT the well-intentioned disciples crowded round, and displayed God's enemy.

But if Paul called Psalms the Words of Christ, where's the corollary calling them Words of Satan (Col 3:16)? How can Lee define scriptural text thus and say that he's closely following the apostles? Where's the precedent for this?
There is a saying that says God goes to church and so does Satan, or wherever God is Satan is there too watching. The Bible says tares and wheat live and grow together. Finding the words of God and the words of Satan in the same Psalm should not surprise us. In fact when Jesus was tempted Satan was quoting the words of God to Christ. I think fallen man, or natural man, can be considered Satan in a certain sense, but not in the same sense as Satan's literal speaking as with Christ's temptation. But actually it doesn't really matter if it is Satan speaking through natural man or Satan speaking directly, it is still Satan. We have this idea that Satan is about child sacrifice and witchcraft and all these things but actually Satan is the temptation of the natural man - just as Satan used Eve's natural desires to cause her to disobey.



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But he didn't refer to Christ at all. How can we say this RecV translation with footnotes is in any way definitive if it's so glaringly deficient?

Paul made the point that the law of itself gave nobody righteousness (Rom 3:20). But why not consider whether "I will obey Your word" in the Psalm (e.g. 119:17) might possibly reference the coming Righteous One? How many times in the gospel text does Jesus reference obedience to the Father's will? No, says Lee, that psalm is just Satan distracting and deceiving the fallen mankind. At best, at very best, I think that's a shallow and perfunctory reading of the text; to me, Lee evinced no interest whatever in finding nor unpacking "life". Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find"; I see no evidence of seeking with Lee. How did he then claim to be a teacher, much less holding God's supposedly singular oracle?
There are possibly many verses Lee did not address in his footnotes where life can be unpacked. Are you aware of any of Lee's writings or teachings that might explain why he ignored Christ in this Psalm?
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:19 PM   #580
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WL’s basis for criticizing Psalm 1 seems to be based upon the fact that David failed. Yet Jesus taught that taught us that downplaying the law is reason to be called least in the kingdom of the heavens, so WL’s logic doesn’t check out as far as I'm concerned.
Psalm 119 shows us grace, as the NT believer enjoys Christ as God's law. Yet Psalm 1 shows us vanity as the psalmist tries vainly to keep God's law. But why isn't it Psalm 1 showing grace, and Psalm 119 showing vanity? Because Witness Lee said so.

What an arbitrary and disconnected mess. Tripe and rubbish.
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:29 PM   #581
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Psalm 119 shows us grace, as the NT believer enjoys Christ as God's law. Yet Psalm 1 shows us vanity as the psalmist tries vainly to keep God's law. But why isn't it Psalm 1 showing grace, and Psalm 119 showing vanity? Because Witness Lee says so.

What tripe. What rubbish.
Please quote which verses in Psalm 1 shows us grace, then.

And which verses in Psalm 119 shows us vanity.
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Old 11-13-2016, 06:49 AM   #582
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Please quote which verses in Psalm 1 shows us grace, then.

And which verses in Psalm 119 shows us vanity.
No, you mis-read me. What I meant was, Psalm 1 shows us Jesus. The tree planted by the water, whose leaf never withers, that is Jesus. See Revelation 22:2 for confirmation: the tree by the river, whose fruit bears in season ("whatever he does will prosper", Psa 1:3), whose leaves heal the nation. This Blessed Man in Psalm 1 becomes the Enthroned King in Psalm 2. For confirmation see Deuteronomy 17:14-20.

This theme continues strongly through the whole 150 chapters of Psalms. Of course we could nit-pick; Psalm 51 comes to mind, but even Psalm 51 at the end, echoes Jesus to Peter, "You will turn, and strengthen the brothers".

The "I will obey your word" of Psalm 119:17 is Jesus to the Father. "He was obedient to the death, even the death of the slave". And so on. It's not that complicated. Brother Lee made it complicated.

Brother Lee's euphemism for the Psalms was "complex". It's not complex; it's Jesus. At His core, He was the Simple, or Pure Man. Never deviated. Always obeyed. Grace is we the disobedient goats, seeing the Obedient Lamb, and by this faith we're saved. The righteousness of Jesus is imputed to us. "By grace you have been saved, and that through faith" That's why the writer of Hebrews profusely quoted the psalms, I think 8 citations to start off, then said, "We see Jesus" in 2:9. By faith, we see Jesus, and by faith we're saved. Not complicated.

My objection was that brother Lee didn't want to see Jesus. He either saw the OT psalmist vainly trying to please God, or the NT believer enjoying grace. But there's a gaping hole in the middle of his sermon. Brother Lee going through Psalms was like a bull-dozer going through a flower garden: the goal was achieved, and he got to the other side, but it didn't look good when he was done.
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Old 11-13-2016, 07:42 AM   #583
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the writer of Hebrews profusely quoted the psalms, then said, "We see Jesus" in 2:9. By faith, we see Jesus. Not complicated..
This probably deserves an addendum. Hebrews 2:9 says, We see Jesus made a little inferior to the angels, through the suffering and death. This Suffering and Obedient Man on Earth, fully in accord with the Will of the Father in Heaven, is played out in the Psalms.

And, We see Jesus crowned with glory and honor. This also is seen, notably in Psalm 2 but referenced often in poetic text. In fact, the Obedient Son on Earth, suffering righteously on behalf of the unrighteous, is merely the earthly representation of the Eternal King. Psalm 1 and Psalm 2 show two different views, or modes. But the Person was the same. The people who said, "Isn't this Jesus?? Don't we know His mother, sisters and brothers??" didn't realize Who this was. But the demons did, and trembled. As did, notably, the angels in heaven. The Roman centurion realized this in detail, and after explaining his understanding, told Jesus, "Just speak a word and my servant will be healed." Jesus marveled at not only his faith but his understanding.

And Jesus, to validate Himself while yet on earth, said, "If you don't believe in Me, believe in the works which I do." That He was the proto-typical, prophesied Righteous Man was proved unequivocally by actions: the blind who saw, the deaf who heard, the dead who were raised. This Man was none other than the long-sought-for Messiah. His resurrection, ascension and enthronement in eternal glory merely continued the process which began with His impeccably pure behavior on earth, and the healing power which flowed therefrom. (Thus, death wasn't failure and shame, but liberation for all from the pangs of death.) When Jesus referenced "the works" that He did, it echoed Psalm 1's "Whatever He does will prosper". . . Jesus' word had power on earth because it was fully in accord with the Father's speaking in Heaven. Jesus was the (singular) man with a pure heart, who was not just a hearer but a doer of the word (i.e. He was the Incarnate Word).

"He (the Son, on earth) trusted Him (the Father, in Heaven); let Him save Him now." (Matt 27:42,43; cf Psa 22:8) The whole of the Psalms plays out this simple narrative. When you see this, "He rescued Me because He delighted in Me" of Psalm 18:9 becomes clear: we see Jesus, a little inferior temporarily to the angels, then raised (rescued) by the Father and given glory. "God has now made Him both Lord and Christ". It's thematically consistent with the repeated NT narrative, and is applicable through the OT source scriptural text (inc Psalms) without too much trouble at all.

Witness Lee noted the earthly suffering and eternal glory of Jesus in his footnote to Hebrews 2:9, but failed to connect it to the Psalms. Yet that epistle's copious citation of psalms previous to the verse could have clued him.
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Old 11-13-2016, 11:28 AM   #584
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NOTE FROM MODERATOR:

The quote attributed to aron was actually from Evangelical:

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I would say the old testament footnotes are incomplete, many verses have no commentary for them or the commentary is very bland. It would be interesting to investigate why Lee did not think these verses could be attributed to Christ. I don't know if that is possible by reading his books, without asking him himself.
No shame to our fine feathered friend Drake - when so many posts are made over such a short period of time it can be easy to attribute a post to the wrong person.
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Aron) "I would say the old testament footnotes are incomplete, many verses have no commentary for them or the commentary is very bland. It would be interesting to investigate why Lee did not think these verses could be attributed to Christ. I don't know if that is possible by reading his books, without asking him himself."

Aron,

I think it is great that you see Christ in all the Psalms. I mean it. I personally do not believe every verse of every Psalm, prophecy, or detail of the law refer to Christ specifically. Luke 24:44 indicates that the Old Testament was about Christ and some verses specifically referred to Him and He told His disciples which ones those were. Nevertheless, I am delighted when someone sees Christ where I never would have. Happens all the time.

I have a personal interest in prophecy, specifically end time. Brother Lee did not cover the books of the Prophets to the extent I would have preferred. I really value his perspective so I wanted more from him on that. Yet, it was not his main burden so I dived into them myself and over the last 10 years researched them extensively reading from many sources. What I now understand is not in the footnotes or the Life-studies though much of it is. Do I now find fault with the minister because he did not include everything I now understand about the prophecies in the RcV footnotes in the books of the Prophets?

That would be a ridiculous expectation.

If I feel strongly about it I could create and publish my own footnotes or write a book. So could you.

Brother Lee spoke thousands of messages on nearly every biblical topic and on some he went deep because it was according to his leading and burden before the Lord. He spoke hundreds about the Psalms alone. Other topics he only scratched the surface and so he asked the saints to research them (such as the significance of the minerals in the New Jerusalem).

The principle here is that every revelation given, all knowledge imparted, each experience we go through is for the building of the Body of Christ. So treat it as such and the Lord will multiply it as grace upon grace and there will we find our reward. If we do not invest wisely what He has imparted to us He may take it away when He returns and we would lose our reward.

May the Lord show you more and more and reward you at His coming.

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Old 11-13-2016, 01:53 PM   #585
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Thanks untohim.

Sorry for my error.

Note to aron still applicable based on his entries.

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Old 11-15-2016, 03:11 PM   #586
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There are possibly many verses Lee did not address in his footnotes where life can be unpacked. Are you aware of any of Lee's writings or teachings that might explain why he ignored Christ in this Psalm?
There's a reason why Lee didn't address Christ in the vast majority of the psalms.

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Today there is widespread agreement that the Psalms prefigured the coming Christ. Psalm 2, Psalm 8, Psalm 16, Psalm 22, Psalm 91, Psalm 110 are heavily quoted in the New Testament, for example.

But when Paul twice (Col 3:16, Eph 5:19) urged the saints to let the word of Christ dwell in them richly as they sang psalms, singing praise to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, do you think he was thinking of limiting them to those few? I don't get any indication of that. What about all the other chapters, which Lee passed over without mention, other than that they are "natural"? Do you think Paul had the same judgment, the same caveat? I don't get that impression.

Do you think, when the Psalmist wrote "In the midst of the assembly I will sing hymns of praise to you", that this applies only when we sing Lee's "revelation of Christ" psalms? That Christ will not/cannot join us if we sing the "natural concept" psalms? Child, please.

I personally think the psalms are much deeper and more revelatory of Christ than Lee realized. It is not that the Psalms are lacking the revelation of Christ, but that Lee was lacking the revelation of Christ. Which brings the next question: why? How could a man who teased images of Christ from the badger skins and silver sockets on the ark of the covenant, and from the windows on Noah's ark, not see Christ there in so many of the Psalms?

I think it is two-fold. First, he had a bias against the "law" by Paul's expositions (see Galatians 2, Romans 7, etc). So when the psalmist expressed a love for the law, Lee recoiled instinctively. The voices of Paul the apostle and Martin Luther the expositor shouted "No!!!" within him. This prevented him from seeking, or seeing, any Christ there.

Secondly, the man clearly had control issues. When the saints actually began to take the apostle Paul at his word and sing the Psalms, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks/so panteth my soul after Thee, O God", then Lee got worried because they were enjoying the Word outside his ministry and this to him was most dangerous. Lee wanted to be the sole mediator of man's revelatory experience in the Word of God. So Lee told the fellowships in the Lord's Recovery to stop singing the Psalms, because they were too low. I have heard this verbally from several people who were there.

He didn't, of course, say "Stop singing the Psalms"; he said, "It would be better if you sang verses from Ephesians than from Psalms". Then he imitated in a mocking way the saints as they praised God using the words of the psalmist. His "shaming" actions were enough to discourage the saints.

So Witness Lee was willing to directly contravene Paul's encouragement, if Paul's encouragement led to a loss of his (Lee's) control. The Spirit was starting to move among the assemblies, and it was moving away from Lee's dominion, and this probably threatened him. Loss of control could not be tolerated. So he stopped it.

And the "spirit of wisdom and revelation" which Paul asked for in Ephesians 1:17 got frustrated. The psalms then were declared to be the "natural concepts of men", versus revelatory pictures of the persecuted, praying, believing, hoping, trusting, declaring, thirsty, hungry, stricken, suffering, fighting, struggling Jesus the Nazarene. "Oh, that's just David (or Asaph, or Lemuel, etc) trying to be good." No, that is Jesus fulfilling the destiny of humankind. That is none other than the "Savior of the world" (1 John 4:14) revealed in detail far beyond Lee's capacity to see.
Lee didn't want to lose control. So he panned the scripture, stridently and with alacrity.
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Old 11-15-2016, 03:18 PM   #587
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I have a personal interest in prophecy, specifically end time. Brother Lee did not cover the books of the Prophets to the extent I would have preferred. I really value his perspective so I wanted more from him on that. Yet, it was not his main burden so I dived into them myself and over the last 10 years researched them extensively reading from many sources. What I now understand is not in the footnotes or the Life-studies though much of it is. Do I now find fault with the minister because he did not include everything I now understand about the prophecies in the RcV footnotes in the books of the Prophets?

That would be a ridiculous expectation.

If I feel strongly about it I could create and publish my own footnotes or write a book. So could you.

Brother Lee spoke thousands of messages on nearly every biblical topic and on some he went deep because it was according to his leading and burden before the Lord. He spoke hundreds about the Psalms alone. Other topics he only scratched the surface and so he asked the saints to research them (such as the significance of the minerals in the New Jerusalem).

The principle here is that every revelation given, all knowledge imparted, each experience we go through is for the building of the Body of Christ. So treat it as such and the Lord will multiply it as grace upon grace and there will we find our reward. If we do not invest wisely what He has imparted to us He may take it away when He returns and we would lose our reward.

May the Lord show you more and more and reward you at His coming.

Drake
Drake,

I addressed this issue in a previous post.

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Unfortunately my presentational skills aren't up to the job, but I wanted to put out an idea: Look at the Psalms as a kind of spiritualization of the historical narrative, which spiritualization was picked up and amplified by the NT writers. A classic example is of Melchizedek. A historical character, briefly inserted into the narrative of events. Then the psalmist gives it a kind of mystical spin: "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." The NT writer says, "Hey! This is Christ!" and then amplifies it.

We don't know how much of David's original work remains, and how much of it was redacted by later generations. But the psalms as spiritual commentaries were clearly accepted and used by the NT writers, and by Jesus Himself. For example, "You are gods" from Psalm 82, quoted by Jesus to the Jewish antagonists. They were gods, to whom the word of God came (John 10:35), but they died like men, because they disobeyed and corrupted the commands (82:7). They fell like every other corrupt ruler. Jesus' use of scripture turned the charge back against the Jews: they'd claimed Jesus blasphemed, but He said that His works showed that He was one with the Father (John 10:25,37,38). So who were they? Corrupt, and due to fall. "You are gods" was merely a prelude to "you will die like men".

Another example that comes to mind is "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me." from Psalm 42:7. Compare this to Jonah 2:3 "You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me." Somebody appears to be copying, here. How could David the landlubber psalmist seize upon a sea-faring narrative? Because the enemy coming against him like a "flood", like "waters", is a common poetic metaphor. And this is picked up on in the NT: "Just like Jonah was in the heart of the sea, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth". To go down into the depths of the sea is a metaphor, a spiritual picture, of the descent into Hades.

Or the commonly cited "rock of my salvation" in the Psalms, "which rock was Christ" according to Paul. One could pick out many examples; I know Augustine of Hippo did in his commentaries. Let's leave it at this: there's nothing in the NT reception of the Psalms that indicates that some of them were "fallen", or "natural", or "concepts". No, rather the NT usage indicates that they were perceived as revelatory. There was an invitation here, to be filled in Spirit with the words of Christ. And needless to say, WL spurned this invitation.
I've written several hundred posts on this thread and have only touched maybe 40 of the 150 psalms. And of many other books in the Bible I'm ignorant & thus don't presume to have the complete or last word, and don't expect Lee to have it either. What I do protest, here, is seen in the bolded part at bottom: that Lee's saying the scriptural word is "low, fallen, natural" and thus not revelatory of God's Christ. There's no NT precedent for this reception of scripture. We're not talking about one or two verses here; we're talking about the majority of 150 chapters. Yet these chapters are the most quoted section in the NT. But Lee wasn't interested. He had his "God's economy" and "processed God" to attend.
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Old 11-18-2016, 04:50 AM   #588
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Aron) "let's leave it at this: there's nothing in the NT reception of the Psalms that indicates that some of them were "fallen", or "natural", or "concepts". No, rather the NT usage indicates that they were perceived as revelatory. There was an invitation here, to be filled in Spirit with the words of Christ. And needless to say, WL spurned this invitation."

On what scriptural basis do you assert that there is nothing natural in any Psalm? You would need to include, at minimum, the same for the books of the law and the prophets. And we know that there is much low natural fallen concepts expressed there.

Low, natural, and fallen, concepts are revealed too, not just Christ. Revelation is not just about Christ.
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:27 AM   #589
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Aron) "let's leave it at this: there's nothing in the NT reception of the Psalms that indicates that some of them were "fallen", or "natural", or "concepts". No, rather the NT usage indicates that they were perceived as revelatory. There was an invitation here, to be filled in Spirit with the words of Christ. And needless to say, WL spurned this invitation."

On what scriptural basis do you assert that there is nothing natural in any Psalm? You would need to include, at minimum, the same for the books of the law and the prophets. And we know that there is much low natural fallen concepts expressed there.

Low, natural, and fallen, concepts are revealed too, not just Christ. Revelation is not just about Christ.
Does that just apply to the psalms or does this apply to every book in the Bible?

If every single book of the Bible reveals low, natural, fallen concepts then why does WL emphasize this with Psalms?

We need to see that, on the one hand, the book of Psalms was written according to the human concept, and on the other hand, it was written according to the divine concept. If we do not see this, our understanding will be natural, and the Psalms will be understood by us according to the human concept. (Witness Lee, Life Study of Psalms)

The issue is not that fallen natural concepts are revealed in the Psalms, but that according to Witness Lee some of the Psalms are about this.

Psalm 1, however, is according to the natural, human concept. David thought that the one who meditated in the law day and night would prosper in everything. (Witness Lee, Life Study of Psalms)

According to Witness Lee the writer of the Psalm (David) was natural and mistaken.

David's logic in Psalm 37 is very natural. (Witness Lee, Life Study of Psalms)

According to Witness Lee the writer of many of the Psalms (King David) was writing based on natural concepts and using natural logic.
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:39 AM   #590
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Znp, sometimes the same writer expressed human concept and sometimes divine.

Happens all the time even here.
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:11 AM   #591
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Znp, sometimes the same writer expressed human concept and sometimes divine.
Happens all the time even here.
I often overgeneralize but that's how I make sense of things. Cautious readers may prune my enthusiasms.

Here's what I see:

1. When the NT apostle held forth on the word, and had an opportunity to pan the psalmist for being low and natural, he didn't. Instead he said that the psalmist was not speaking for himself, but was speaking for the Christ.

Thus, "You will not let my flesh see corruption" was not a human concept of a sinner but was instead an indication of Jesus Christ's glories to come. I take this as the default interpretive pattern, until the NT scripture or Christian tradition (i.e. the Fathers) offers me a compelling reason to look differently.

2. I don't see the NT apostle saying, "Only these specified portions which we quote here are revelatory. Avoid other sections, which are not." Instead, the brief, scattered, but frequent (40+, I believe) references perhaps suggest that they haven't exhausted the Christ to be seen in God's word, and invite the readers or hearers to "examine the scriptures daily and see if these things are so". Cf Acts 17:11.

3. So if the psalmist says something like, "You rescued me because you delighted in me", that may perhaps speak to the Son being rescued by the Father, i.e. "He (the Son) trusted in Him (the Father); let Him save Him now."

OR, it may in fact be vain concepts of the sinner. But why did Lee pick option #2? Why didn't Lee say, "This could be speaking of the coming Messiah, but I don't think so because of reasons A), B), and C)."?

No, he just dismissed scripture with a wave of the hand: "Natural". So my response was, Who's being natural here, and burdened with fallen human concepts - the Bible expositor, or the Bible writer? Until I see compelling reasons to pick the expositor, I'm pre-disposed with the word of God, as presenting me with something potentially indicative of Christ. But Lee essentially dismissed the word of God, out of hand.

I keep coming back to NT precedent because I'm not aware of the NT apostles holding forth on the word this way: "Vain, fallen, natural". So what gave Witness Lee such license?

And I also showed why I suspect that this took place: others were getting there, before him, and "enjoying Christ" and threatening his position as sole mediator of God's revelation. So he shut it down.

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On what scriptural basis do you assert that there is nothing natural in any Psalm?
I never said there's nothing natural. I said, Let's not assume it's natural without consideration. I don't see Lee considering. He just cast a hasty judgment: "David was a sinner, so it was natural concepts expressed." That's about the extent of his analytical depth. Rubbish.

Peter never said anything like that. Paul never said anything like that. Nor John, nor Peter nor Hebrews that I remember. So where did Lee get his license? How does he treat the scriptural text thusly, en masse, and claim to be closely following the apostles?
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Old 11-18-2016, 08:00 AM   #592
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I never said there's nothing natural. I said, Let's not assume it's natural without consideration. I don't see Lee considering. He just cast a hasty judgment: "David was a sinner, so it was natural concepts expressed." That's about the extent of his analytical depth. Rubbish.
How would you know what consideration Brother Lee had before he spoke those messages on Psalms? He had a very long ministry and would have had decades of oonsideration by the time he spoke the messages on Psalms. You are basing your objection on something you have no way of knowing.

So you agree, like Brother Lee, that the book of Psalms contains both natural and divine concepts. His considerations are not apparent to you so you assume it's hasty judgment on his part. Your argument is flawed because you cannot possibly how much consideration went into his teaching on this. For all you know he thought about this since 1925 until 1993 when he spoke these messages. That would be 60+ years... well just to be safe let's assume a half century of opportunity to consider and develop his point of view.

By that measure, who is being hasty?
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:27 AM   #593
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I'll try to recap my argument first, then address Drake.

Jesus said, "David was speaking by the Spirit" (Matt 22:43). Where does Jesus indicate the opposite, that David was not speaking by the Spirit? Just speaking according to his concepts?

Peter said, "David was a prophet and knew of the promise of God, and predicted the coming Seed who'd fulfill the word" (Acts 2:30,31). Where does Peter indicate David was merely speaking vain human considerations?

I believe our default interpretive mode should follow the pattern set by the NT. Of course this doesn't mean that every word of Psalms, (or Isaiah, or Job) indicates some detail of Jesus Christ, but we should be attuned for the Holy Spirit to reveal Him to us.

"The Holy Spirit will glorify Me by disclosing Me to you" (John 16:13,14)

"I pray that the Lord would give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation". (Eph 1:17).

When we study the word and the Holy Spirit reveals "this Jesus" (Acts 2:32); we "see Jesus" (Heb 2:12), then we can go deeper into the Father's will. The Son goes before, and beckons to follow. These poetic texts reveal Jesus. The Spirit reveals Jesus, and Jesus reveals the Father.

Now, the problem with poetic texts is that one person may see one thing and another sees another. So when the psalm says three times, "Get behind me, you workers of evil" (Psa 6:8; 119:115; 139:19), and we remember that Jesus said the same thing three times in the gospel (Matt 4:10; 7:23; 16:23), are we seeing Jesus? Yes and no. Yes if the psalm helps us see Jesus the gospel portrays; but no in that we can't prove that this verse in Matthew fulfils the prophetic utterance of the psalmist.

Or, reading in Psalm 3: "I laid me down and slept/I awaked, for the LORD sustained me"; is that presaging "I have the power to lay my life down, and the power to take it up again"? Perhaps. It certainly can cause us to see in greater depth the power that raised Jesus from the grave. In Psalm 3 David was on the run, hiding in a cave - his son Absalom had rebelled, and violent men, under Absalom's captains' orders, were seeking his life. Men who had once been David's own guards. But David trusted, and slept, willing to face death, knowing that God could bring him back out of darkness. Is this not indicative of the Son of David? Is this not a faith that inspires, empowers?

Perhaps; that's of course something of a subjective, personal, 'spiritual' encounter with the text. But did Lee ever consider this? Or was David in Psalm 3 summarily dismissed as a vain sinner? A man of "complex sentiments", occasionally having a "squirrel!" moment but usually only capable of looking at himself. Where was Jesus' man who was in spirit, Peter's future-seeing prophet? Nowhere to be found. Not even considered, from what I could see.

So we're given a crazy, disjointed text. . . look at Psalm 34:20 - "Not one of His bones will be broken", quoted by John 19:36. The rest of the psalm, according to Lee, is just fallen human concepts. Sin has thoroughly addled David from seeing or recognizing God's Christ, yet in the middle of his selfish rant David has a "eureka" vison of a detail of the coming Messiah, then promptly goes back to his vain musings.

What kind of interpretation is that? It's like spiritual whiplash: vain, revelatory, vain. I think a third-grader might be impressed by such scattershot characterizations. I'm not.

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How would you know what consideration Brother Lee had before he spoke those messages on Psalms? He had a very long ministry and would have had decades of consideration by the time he spoke the messages on Psalms. You are basing your objection on something you have no way of knowing.
Lee had decades of considerations, but all he told us was that David was a sinner and therefore was disqualified in pleasing God or fulfilling His will. No mention of the possibility if David was speaking prophetically, or was in spirit. Just, He was a sinner. Not qualified.

But Peter had already addressed that issue, in Acts 2, and gone deeper, into the spirit. Lee wouldn't. Why? He wouldn't say. "David was a sinner". So what are we to assume? That Lee had years of consideration, somehow got something deep and insightful, causing him to reject this word, and moved on to revelatory texts? He didn't want to waste our time by giving us the benefit of his considerations? What are we to think?

So I tell you what I think: he had meetings to give, books to publish, and a church empire to build and run. Move along folks, move along; nothing to see here. No consideration, no musing upon the word both day and night, no insight, no life. No revelation of Jesus Christ.

Maybe Lee had too many years of consideration. His mind was made up, and wouldn't see Jesus if He reached up out of the page and waved His hand in his face.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:05 AM   #594
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Znp, sometimes the same writer expressed human concept and sometimes divine.
Happens all the time even here.
My question is does this happen in every book of the Bible? Are you saying that every writer of every book of the Bible is expressing human concepts sometimes and sometimes divine concepts?

If your answer is yes then how can you claim that the Bible is the word of God?

If your answer is no, then it goes back to your original response concerning David, WL's teaching is not typical of all writers but was specific to Psalms.
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Old 11-18-2016, 04:21 PM   #595
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Maybe Lee had too many years of consideration. His mind was made up, and wouldn't see Jesus if He reached up out of the page and waved His hand in his face.
aron, that is what meant before when I said that you do not address what Brother Lee actually taught. You are making stuff up and you do everyone a disservice no matter which side you are on. Learn the facts then have at it.

Here is one example from one book alone that refutes your assertions that he did not see Jesus in the Psalms. The reader can decide for themselves from this concluding summary from the book Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms.

CONCERNING CHRIST

Let us consider now all the main aspects of Christ in the Psalms:
  1. His divinity—Psa. 45:6; Heb. 1:8
  2. His incarnation—Psa. 8:4; Heb. 2:6
  3. His humanity—Psa. 8:4; Heb. 2:6
  4. His human living—Psa. 16:1-8
  5. His death—Psa. 22:1-21
  6. His resurrection—Psa. 2:7; 16:10; 22:22; Heb. 2:12; Acts 2:25-32; 13:35-37
  7. His ascension—Psa. 68:18; Eph. 4:8
  8. His exaltation—Psa. 80:17; 110:1
  9. His crowning—Psa. 8:5; Heb. 2:9
  10. His enthronement—Psa. 2:6
  11. His dominion, kingship, and authority—Psa. 2:8; 8:6; 47; 72; 89; 110
  12. His priesthood—Psa. 110:4
  13. His fighting—Psa. 110:5-6; 45:3-5
  14. His victory—Psa. 110:5-6
  15. His indwelling—Psa. 22:22
  16. His shepherding—Psa. 23
  17. The stone for the building—Psa. 118:22
  18. His coming—Psa. 72; 96; 110
  19. His reigning—Psa. 93—101
The main psalms concerning Christ: Psa. 2, 8, 16, 22, 23, 24, 45, 68, 80, 91, 110, 118
These are just the main aspects; there are many details which could be filled in. It is clear that through the Psalms we can know Christ much better than through the New Testament."


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Old 11-18-2016, 05:01 PM   #596
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My question is does this happen in every book of the Bible? Are you saying that every writer of every book of the Bible is expressing human concepts sometimes and sometimes divine concepts?
If your answer is yes then how can you claim that the Bible is the word of God?
If your answer is no, then it goes back to your original response concerning David, WL's teaching is not typical of all writers but was specific to Psalms.
ZNP,

The Bible is the Word of God and the writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit and all that is documented is for our benefit.

The Bible imparts insight to many things: God and all things related to Him including the church, then the law, many characteristics of man, culture, Satan, religions, politics, prophecy, the beginning and end of the earth and the universe, etc. In most of the books of the Bible some combination of these are revealed.

For instance, what is the significance of the Lord rebuking Peter calling him Satan? Peter loved the Lord and wanted to protect Him. He sliced off a servants ear. He said he would follow the Lord all the way and yet he denied him three times before the sun rose. Isn't that instructive to us? Isn't the Bible exposing something about our human nature, even our good human nature, even our natural love for God, matters that are contrary to God's will? Why are those things recorded in the Bible if not to edify, instruct us, and alert us what to avoid. The Bible is inspired even if what is revealed is natural or about human nature, good and bad.

So, I believe that you have to weigh what you are reading, understand what the Spirit is speaking, and seek the instruction and guidance into the reality of God. I also believe the Old Testament is more prone to human concepts because the revelation of the New Testament was unclear at the time of writing. It is no less inspired but we see instances of natural concepts and they are recorded there for a reason.

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Old 11-18-2016, 07:23 PM   #597
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It is very different to say that the Bible reveals, exposes or shines a light on the natural concept. That is not what Witness Lee taught. Witness Lee taught that the writer of the Bible (in this case David) wrote according to the natural concept, the natural logic, human concept and was "very natural" (in contrast with God's holy nature, i.e. Holy Bible).

Yes, I agree with pretty much everything you say here, except when applied to Witness Lee's teachings on Psalms, which of course is the context of our discussion.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:51 AM   #598
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aron, that is what meant before when I said that you do not address what Brother Lee actually taught. You are making stuff up and you do everyone a disservice no matter which side you are on. Learn the facts then have at it.
Here is one example from one book alone that refutes your assertions that he did not see Jesus in the Psalms. The reader can decide for themselves from this concluding summary from the book
Drake, I have been reading aron's post for years, including the ones on this thread, and he has NEVER said that Witness Lee "did not see Jesus in the Psalms." You have misread his posts completely. Also, numerous authors and commentaries can provide the same list which you posted above. Lee often used others' works and did not properly reference them in his books, giving you the i pression that his writing was original.

What aron has said, and has said it repeatedly, was that Lee dismissed many Psalms as "natural or fallen concepts." I too heard this many times from Lee. He also similarly dismissed the book of James.

Perhaps this forum can help you learn "the facts."
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:52 AM   #599
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Drake, I have been reading aron's post for years, including the ones on this thread, and he has NEVER said that Witness Lee "did not see Jesus in the Psalms." You have misread his posts completely.
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His mind was made up, and wouldn't see Jesus if He reached up out of the page and waved His hand in his face.
- - - - - - - -
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:01 AM   #600
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You took his words out of context.

Read the whole post. Read his other posts.

I'll let him respond further.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:36 AM   #601
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(in contrast with God's holy nature, i.e. Holy Bible).
I don't understand why you added "i.e. Holy Bible"

Please clarify.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:54 AM   #602
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Your post comes across as a way to equate believing that the Bible is the word of God being equal to anything.

My understanding when you say that the Bible is the word of God, is that the Bible is Holy, it expresses God's holy nature.

A writer of the Bible is not expressing his natural fallen mind. The words are the expression of the revelation of God to man.
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Old 11-19-2016, 08:48 AM   #603
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Your post comes across as a way to equate believing that the Bible is the word of God being equal to anything.

My understanding when you say that the Bible is the word of God, is that the Bible is Holy, it expresses God's holy nature.

A writer of the Bible is not expressing his natural fallen mind. The words are the expression of the revelation of God to man.
Okay, I think I get what you are saying. However, in the Bible we see God's nature revealed and yet many other things are revealed also.

The natural concepts may be expressed by persons written about or by the writers themselves. In any scenario, the Bible is God's speaking to man, men writing under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, proitable for instruction, teaching, and edification.

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Old 11-19-2016, 09:52 AM   #604
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So, I believe that you have to weigh what you are reading, understand what the Spirit is speaking, and seek the instruction and guidance into the reality of God. I also believe the Old Testament is more prone to human concepts because the revelation of the New Testament was unclear at the time of writing. It is no less inspired but we see instances of natural concepts and they are recorded there for a reason.

Drake
I think it's reasonable to wonder when David asked God to crush his (David's) enemies whether David was expressing God's nature at that time and whether we should imitate David's vindictiveness. My own conclusion is to take David's requests as calls for justice and defense, rather than as expectations of payback for his sake.

But Lee took this kind of questioning beyond just whether we should indulge in David-like vindictiveness. Lee ran with this idea of "natural concepts" to the point where a natural concept was anything but his proprietary "God's economy" theology.

Like Lee, you easily throw out this term "natural concept" as if you know exactly what is and is not one. But that's the essence of the whole error that aron is trying to refute in this thread. What Lee and you think are "natural concepts" may or may not be. Further, there is no indication from the Bible that a natural concept, whatever may be one, is always a bad or even inferior one.

Lee was very self-serving in that he would smoothly use terms like "natural concept" to essentially say "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" or, worse, "Stop thinking and just agree with me."
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:31 AM   #605
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You took his words out of context.

Read the whole post. Read his other posts.

I'll let him respond further.
If you look at Lee's list of revelatory psalms, provided by Drake in post #595, they're all the ones cited in the NT, except for item 16 (Psalm 23, commonly held), and item 19. So of course he'll see Jesus there: he's required to by NT reception.

When I said that Lee wouldn't "see Jesus" in the text, this referenced psalms having similar and even identical principles; let's say, the righteous man suffering unjustly, and hoping for deliverance, or the man who obeys God's will, and hopes for reward, and so forth. Lee would usually say, "No, no one's righteous; or, No, nobody is obedient to God; or, No, salvation is not a reward but is by grace. . .we all know that David was a sinner", etc. So e.g. "He (the Father) rescued Me (the Son) because He delighted in Me" in Psalm 18 was held by Lee as natural, even though the Father's delight has clear NT parallel and reinforcement. So I wrote that he wouldn't see Jesus if He waved His hand in his face.

I believe that Lee only saw Jesus in Psalm 16 because Acts 2 and 13 said it was Jesus. Then, Lee rejected Jesus in Psalm 18 because David was a sinner. Huh? Is that a satisfactory answer? Does that sound like the fruit of 50 years of consideration? No, it sounds like rejection out of hand, to me. No careful consideration, no prayerful musings. Just rejection. Lee saw the word "law" in Psalm 1, and said, "Aha - natural! Nobody's saved by keeping the law!" Then he had carte blanche to reject the Psalms as vain words coming from fallen men's human concepts.

But I say, "Christ is the end of the law" (Rom 10:4) wasn't a contravention of law but its fulfillment - the law was not annulled but kept, and thus completed - I say, Psalm 1 was not vain, because arguably Christ fulfilled it. Yet to Lee it was vanity, merely because the psalmist was a sinner! I find this line of thinking to be completely unsatisfactory because: A) it's illogical, and it produces a strange, dichotomous "natural" versus "revelatory" Bible, and B) it apparently never considers Christ at all, but dismisses the possibility out of hand.

Notice that Lee never said Psalm 1, 3, 18, 34, 35 etc etc couldn't be prophetic utterance of Jesus Christ because of something intrinsic to the text itself; no, he says it isn't revelatory of Christ because the psalmist was a sinner! Well if that was our evaluatory criterion, then Psalm 16, "You will not let my flesh see corruption" would be disqualified also, but look how Peter in Acts 2 and Paul in Acts 13 dealt with that! But I never saw Lee try to deal with it, to puzzle it through, to think, to pray, to muse, to wrestle. All I see is cavalier dismissal. Thus my rather harsh statement that he wouldn't see Jesus if He waved His hand in his face.
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:50 AM   #606
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Default Re: The Psalms are the word of Christ

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The main psalms concerning Christ: Psa. 2, 8, 16, 22, 23, 24, 45, 68, 80, 91, 110, 118

These are just the main aspects; there are many details which could be filled in. It is clear that through the Psalms we can know Christ much better than through the New Testament."


Drake
You've got to be kidding me. "There are many details which could be filled in..." by whom? If Lee didn't fill them in, who gets permission, under "One Trumpet" and "One Publication"? You? Me? I doubt it. This type of word was merely a sop for the conscience's of the faithful, or a fig leaf to cover for the newbies. Lee was a master at talking out of both sides of his mouth, and we learned to ignore one and pay attention to the other.

Suppose Ed Marks or Kerry Robichaux, two of the current leaders, suddenly get a revelation from heaven: the Blessed Man of Psalm 1 is none other than the Man Jesus Christ! They're sitting in the study room one day, reading Deuteronomy 17:14-20 together, which talks about the king whom Jehovah chooses, who shall read and keep the law all the days of his life, and whom (btw) Lee said doesn't exist, because the king was desired by the people and was thus offensive to God, and suddenly the room is filled with great light and an angel of God is standing there and says, "Oh ye of little faith! Can't you see the Messiah, plainly depicted here!? This King is none other than the King of Israel, who is the Son of God!"

And then the light fades and they're alone again, and they look at each other in astonishment. What can they do? They can't go against Lee! So they have a dilemma; they either go with God's word and the revelation of the Holy Spirit showing them the person and righteous human living (i.e. 'works') of the Lord Jesus Christ, or they go with the teachings and doctrines of LSM and RecV footnotes. What to do?

How come the Blessed Man from Psalm 1 isn't the Enthroned King from Psalm 2? If you or I, or anyone, tries to "fill in this detail", or any other that goes against Lee's "natural concept" teaching, what would happen? You and I both know what would happen.
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Old 11-19-2016, 11:33 AM   #607
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Lee ran with this idea of "natural concepts" to the point where a natural concept was anything but his proprietary "God's economy" theology.
Everyone here agrees that not every word of the Psalms has to be a "word of Christ" per Col 3:16 or a word of "spirit and life" per John 6:63. Many psalms are shown to be revelatory of Christ by NT reception, some seem iffy at best. But given clear and repeated NT citation we'd do well to at least consider Christ, and not reject out of hand simply because the author of the psalm was a sinner. If that were our metric what would happen to the Bible!

Or that the psalm's author expresses "fighting words" or "judging words" - what of the sobering scenes in the NT of the Judgment Seat of Christ, or the clear spiritual struggles portrayed? "Then there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels struggled against...." . . should we think that here the NT author was expressing vain, pre-NT concepts, or that the angel Michael in heaven should 'turn the other cheek' and love his foe? Hardly. So, why a knee-jerk dismissal of such spiritual principles when we see physical struggle or judgment referenced in OT psalms? Why not take a moment or two and consider the unseen, eternal spiritual world(s) beyond the temporal physical one (2 Cor 4:18; cf 1 John 2:16,17)?

On a related note, coming to Igzy's quote above, it's long seemed to me that there were two "untouchables" in the Bible for Lee: one was Jesus Himself, and the second was Paul. Jesus is obviously the sinless Lamb of God, but Paul has a special place because of Lee's cultural and social yardsticks: Paul was the untouchable one, the apostle of the age, so-called, and everyone else had to "get in line" behind Paul. Paul was positionally untouchable, per Lee's oriental cultural/societal understanding. Social cohesion, shared meaning, values, and purpose - here, the church as Lee imagined it - needed a center. Thus, to Lee, Paul couldn't be seen making doctrinal error. Peter could err, and did, as James could, and as John could, but not Paul. Nor by extension could Nee (except for the early book "Spiritual Man", largely plagiarized from the unbalanced Penn-Lewis). Lee was consistent from Day One: proper church order meant one person had to step up and be Deputy God and everyone else had to arrange their spiritual, social, mental and behavioral worlds around that fixed point. I heard that concept reinforced a million times while in the LC. Everyone got it. Nobody forgot it. It was ingrained, unquestioned local church culture.

Now, how does that play out when we come to Psalms? Lee with his "Economy of God" metric could weigh psalms in the balance and find them wanting. But nobody could ever weigh or critically evaluate Lee; none put him in the same scale he put everything else in, including the Bible. Lee was positionally untouchable: he'd cavalierly dismiss the "vain concepts" and "natural thinking" of the writers of scripture, but nobody could ask if he ever suffered from the same malady.
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Old 11-19-2016, 02:10 PM   #608
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I believe that Lee only saw Jesus in Psalm 16 because Acts 2 and 13 said it was Jesus. Then, Lee rejected Jesus in Psalm 18 because David was a sinner. Huh? Is that a satisfactory answer? Does that sound like the fruit of 50 years of consideration? No, it sounds like rejection out of hand, to me. No careful consideration, no prayerful musings. Just rejection. Lee saw the word "law" in Psalm 1, and said, "Aha - natural! Nobody's saved by keeping the law!" Then he had carte blanche to reject the Psalms as vain words coming from fallen men's human concepts.
I would like to know, verse by verse, how much Lee received as revelation based on his own labor in the word, and how much he merely stole from others, primarily Nee and the Exclusive Brethren, you know, "standing on their shoulders."

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Suppose Ed Marks or Kerry Robichaux, two of the current leaders, suddenly get a revelation from heaven: the Blessed Man of Psalm 1 is none other than the Man Jesus Christ!

And then the light fades and they're alone again, and they look at each other in astonishment. What can they do? They can't go against Lee!
Here it is Nee's infamous saying which must guide them, "Whenever we have two interpretations of the scripture, someone is not holding the Head."
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:31 AM   #609
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I was reading Romans 10 the other day. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (v. 17). The reference in the RecV says Colossians 3:16. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly". Then the next verse quotes Psalm 19. "Their voice has gone out into all of the earth/their testimony to all of the world". But Witness Lee in his footnote in Psalm 19 panned the text. God doesn't care about this, said Lee, but about His eternal economy.

But again I return to the idea of the word of Christ, as presented by Paul. How many of what we call the NT texts did the Romans or Colossians have at that point? They may have had some gospel texts, sayings of Jesus. Doubtful they had an extant copy of what we'd call the Gospel of Mark, or Luke. Certainly John's gospel, no. Maybe an epistle of Paul (see e.g., Col 4:16 "read the letter to the Laodiceans").

No, the word of Christ to which Paul referred was undoubtedly the OT. The very texts cited by Paul, which Witness Lee so quickly dismissed.
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:00 AM   #610
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I was reading Romans 10 the other day. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (v. 17). The reference in the RecV says Colossians 3:16. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly". Then the next verse quotes Psalm 19. "Their voice has gone out into all of the earth/their testimony to all of the world". But Witness Lee in his footnote in Psalm 19 panned the text. God doesn't care about this, said Lee, but about His eternal economy.

But again I return to the idea of the word of Christ, as presented by Paul. How many of what we call the NT texts did the Romans or Colossians have at that point? They may have had some gospel texts, sayings of Jesus. Doubtful they had an extant copy of what we'd call the Gospel of Mark, or Luke. Certainly John's gospel, no. Maybe an epistle of Paul (see e.g., Col 4:16 "read the letter to the Laodiceans").

No, the word of Christ to which Paul referred was undoubtedly the OT. The very texts cited by Paul, which Witness Lee so quickly dismissed.
When Paul traveled to the Gentile lands bring the gospel, he always went to synagogues first. I wonder if perhaps that was partly done because the OT scriptures were there, and Paul could begin to "connect" these new believers with the prophecies of the Christ.
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Old 12-14-2016, 07:10 AM   #611
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When Paul traveled to the Gentile lands bring the gospel, he always went to synagogues first. . . perhaps that was partly done because the OT scriptures were there, and Paul could begin to "connect" these new believers with the prophecies of the Christ.
Yes I think so. And look how they used it. "The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim His handiwork. Day after day, they testify. Night after night they tell of Him. There is no speech, nor even words; nothing our ears can ever discern. But their voice goes out through all of the world. Their testimony to all of the earth." Now, how would I connect that passage of the heavens, with "the word of Christ"? Do you see that as an invitation, or a connection, to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ as Lord? Paul did. He used it in Romans 10 in his discussion of faith coming by hearing.

The NT writers took great imaginative liberties (or 'revelatory' if you prefer) with the text. They "saw Jesus", as the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews put it, temporarily made lower than angels, then crowned with glory and honor. Again and again the human Christ was seen in the experiences of the godly poet.

But when Psalm 19, used by Paul, talks of the law, Lee balked; he said it wasn't God's economy. Yet arguably, "Christ is the end of the law" in NT epistle, not because He ignored it, but because He fulfilled it. Now we Christians see, by faith, and we thus actively "hear the word of Christ" per Romans 10. And thus, and only thus, are we saved.

Today of course we do have the NT books, epistles of Paul, written gospels, and so forth. But if we ignore that which they constantly referenced, in appeals to their hearers and readers then we risk a shallow reading. Which is what I think Lee gave us.

Now LC followers might say that in certain parts he did extract revelations from the OT text. But I say that his repeated dismissal of the Psalms as natural, as in his extensive footnote in Psalm 19, not only kept people out, but discouraged them from even trying. In LC-speak, God's present oracle has spoken; therefore the scripture is natural, fallen concepts, and not looking away to Jesus but looking away from Jesus. But I say that repeated NT citation shows that those writers and speakers thought the opposite of the Bible expositor.

So Psalm 19's "Do not let sin rule over me" is not fulfilled by our keeping the law, but by our seeing Jesus. Yet who will pray, if Lee has already waved them off? "How then, can they call, without having heard?" (Rom 10:14).

Paul said salvation is by faith, and faith by hearing. Lee crippled "the word of Christ" by his characterization.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:13 PM   #612
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ZNP,

The Bible is the Word of God and the writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit and all that is documented is for our benefit.

The Bible imparts insight to many things: God and all things related to Him including the church, then the law, many characteristics of man, culture, Satan, religions, politics, prophecy, the beginning and end of the earth and the universe, etc. In most of the books of the Bible some combination of these are revealed.

For instance, what is the significance of the Lord rebuking Peter calling him Satan? Peter loved the Lord and wanted to protect Him. He sliced off a servants ear. He said he would follow the Lord all the way and yet he denied him three times before the sun rose. Isn't that instructive to us? Isn't the Bible exposing something about our human nature, even our good human nature, even our natural love for God, matters that are contrary to God's will? Why are those things recorded in the Bible if not to edify, instruct us, and alert us what to avoid. The Bible is inspired even if what is revealed is natural or about human nature, good and bad.

So, I believe that you have to weigh what you are reading, understand what the Spirit is speaking, and seek the instruction and guidance into the reality of God. I also believe the Old Testament is more prone to human concepts because the revelation of the New Testament was unclear at the time of writing. It is no less inspired but we see instances of natural concepts and they are recorded there for a reason.

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ZNP,

My view is still the same as it was when I posted this note.

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Old 01-05-2018, 03:43 AM   #613
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ZNP,

My view is still the same as it was when I posted this note.

Drake
"We see instances of natural concepts" - and yet you see no natural concepts in the ministry of Lee? I see loads. And yes in yours and mine as well. Why is it that Witness Lee got to decide which of the scriptures were revelatory and which were not, and yet we're precluded from making the same assessments of his output? What force is at work, here?
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:59 AM   #614
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ZNP,

My view is still the same as it was when I posted this note.

Drake
My view is that the writers of the Bible were not "Satan". Even Peter, though his speaking was "one with Satan" had repented and been transformed.

So the quotes of Satan speaking are similar to a Prosecuting attorney quoting a suspect. Yes it is a direct quote from Satan, but in context it is full of revelation, light and instruction.

However, the quotes I gave from Witness Lee are quite different. He says that the writers of the Psalms wrote based on their natural concept and he says that several of the Minor prophets wrote entire chapters based on their natural human concept.

When the Bible tells us that "this is a quote from Satan" then I am not being arrogant to say "this is a quote from Satan". But when I set myself up as a judge to decide which Bible verses are beneficial (the kernel) and which are the husk. Which ones are good for food and which ones aren't. That is arrogance. I think it is crucial that anyone associated or considering becoming associated with the Local Churches be aware of these quotes from Witness Lee.

When I first began to meet I asked about the Bible and I was told repeatedly with full assurance that "the Bible is the word of God", and "every single verse is the word of God" and the "Bible is the highest authority and our only authority". That is not true. Witness Lee's conclusions that certain books, chapters, and authors are writing according to their natural concept, human concept, or are not clear on the NT vision indicates that Witness Lee has set himself up as a higher authority to judge the Bible.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:00 AM   #615
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ZNP, all scripture is God breathed and profitable. Satan's thoughts and deeds are recorded there, man's words are recorded there, man's concepts about God and the things of God are recorded there. ... Satan's infiltrating man thoughts are recorded there, and God's words are there, God's speaking through psalmists, prophets, and servants is recorded there even when they sometimes do not get it right.

Consider it this way. Today men have something they did not have in the Old Testament. ., we have the Spirit Himself within to guide, inspire, and speak according to the Spirit's leading in every situation. And yet, everything a man of God says may or may not be the Lord's speaking. Even Paul said things he did know if it was Lord speaking or himself. Still, whatever he said was recorded in scripture and profitable for us. Similar with Peters words which were a personification of Satan's thought.... still recorded and still profitable... even as a warning to us. So, we have the Spirit to divide soul from spirit and it is a life long process. The OT prophets and psalmists did not. Not everything they said was spirit and not soul.

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Old 01-05-2018, 10:39 AM   #616
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So, we have the Spirit to divide soul from spirit and it is a life long process. The OT prophets and psalmists did not. Not everything they said was spirit and not soul.
How do we assume that Witness Lee was so transformed by this "life long process" that all his judgments were true? He arbitrarily picked out "revelations" from the rest which was "natural". Probably 70% of the Psalms, for example, were deemed "natural". But there was no consistency to his work.

If you look at Psalm 45, for example, one verse has "His arrows are sharp, in the heart of his enemy". This of course is violent! Not the NT grace at all! But Lee ignored it, with no comment (footnote) because he was busy showing "Christ" in Psalm 45. Yet elsewhere imprecations are held out as "natural" and "fallen".

Or, when Samuel slew Agag, or David slew Goliath. No panning of the protagonist as lacking grace. No lectures about turning the other cheek. Yet in the Psalms footnotes you can repeatedly see this kind of commentary.

So Drake et al will say, "some is natural, some is spiritual" but not mention that Lee violated NT reception precedent (the OT author was indeed fallen, but still pointed to Christ, not self [e.g., Peter in Acts 2 referencing Psalms 16]), or that Lee was inconsistent and arbitrary in application. The bottom line is, Lee said it, therefore it must be so.

This makes it, not "the" Bible, but the "Lee Bible". Not the same thing. The difference is too great, as Lee himself would say. Crucial!
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:49 AM   #617
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aron>"How do we assume that Witness Lee was so transformed by this "life long process" that all his judgments were true"

That is true for all of us. Includes mine and your posts.

So now what?

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Old 01-05-2018, 11:00 AM   #618
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-1

ZNP, all scripture is God breathed and profitable. Satan's thoughts and deeds are recorded there, man's words are recorded there, man's concepts about God and the things of God are recorded there. ... Satan's infiltrating man thoughts are recorded there, and God's words are there, God's speaking through psalmists, prophets, and servants is recorded there even when they sometimes do not get it right.
We know Satan's thoughts infiltrated Peter's because Jesus told us and it as recorded in the Bible. We know what the serpent said because it was recored in the Bible. But who decides when the Psalmists and Prophets didn't get it right? You have put that person above the Bible. No longer is the Bible the sole arbiter (something I was told), no longer is all scripture God breathed and our highest authority. Now, when WL says they got it wrong WL becomes a higher authority than the word of God. Anyone who has anything to do with the LRC needs to be aware of this. If they still want to remain then that decision will be on them.

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Consider it this way. Today men have something they did not have in the Old Testament. ., we have the Spirit Himself within to guide, inspire, and speak according to the Spirit's leading in every situation. And yet, everything a man of God says may or may not be the Lord's speaking. Even Paul said things he did know if it was Lord speaking or himself. Still, whatever he said was recorded in scripture and profitable for us. Similar with Peters words which were a personification of Satan's thought.... still recorded and still profitable... even as a warning to us. So, we have the Spirit to divide soul from spirit and it is a life long process. The OT prophets and psalmists did not. Not everything they said was spirit and not soul.

Drake
According to who? Who decides what is of Spirit and what is not? This is a very different explanation of how it is usually spun. The NT says "Judas hanged himself" doesn't mean we should do likewise. Satan asked a question, not the quote of God, but it is God who is quoting Satan to reveal something to us so we are not ignorant of Satan and his devices.

But you have taken this to a very different place. Now WL can proclaim that this prophet was not speaking in the Spirit but according to his natural concept. God didn't say this. Jesus didn't say this. Nowhere in the Bible is it recorded that this is the case. Instead Witness Lee said this. Once you accept this you have "the Bible according to Witness Lee". Proverbs lacks the "vision", minor prophets speak according to the natural concept, the Psalmists speak according to natural concept, James didn't have a clear vision, etc.

Again, I point out, if you are in the LRC you must be aware of this and then you will be held accountable for how you respond to this fact.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:31 AM   #619
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ZNP,

It seems to me that if one believes that everything in the Bible is God's divine concept and thought except what is specifically called out as not then there are many things that we will never learn from in the Scriptures... it is as important to see the error of others and learn from them. In my view it is all divinely inspired to be in the Scriptures but it does all represent God's concept and thought even when it is not called out specifically.

Brother Lee was a gifted teacher. I agree with his viewpoint on this and his examples in psalms. That is not elevating him above the scriptures anymore than any bible teacher that uses the scriptures to comment on and apply the scriptures to any situation. His point is to look for the divine concept and thought when you read the psalms or the prophets and not lose sight that Christ is the centrality and sum of all spiritual matters. For me, I believe that is right and my sense before the Lord is that it is right and that it is alright. No one is usurping His headship. He gave some apostles, prophets, and teachers. If Witness Lee is not a gift in your christian walk then find those that are. He does the giving and we do the receiving. Just follow the Lord and consider the gifts He gave to the Body.

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Old 01-05-2018, 02:08 PM   #620
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-1

aron>"How do we assume that Witness Lee was so transformed by this "life long process" that all his judgments were true"

That is true for all of us. Includes mine and your posts.

So now what?

Drake
So now, when Ed Marks is giving a conference message, he can say, "I see something Witness Lee didn't see.", or "Here, Witness Lee was entertaining natural concepts", or "Here we can see Witness Lee being inconsistent in his interpretations", or "Here we can see Witness Lee violating the NT principle of scriptural reception", etc.

How come we can say this with Martin Luther, but not with Witness Lee? How come Witness Lee can pan Peter or James or Malachi or David, but nobody in the conference can stand up and say, "Wait a minute here - not so fast"?

So now what? If that's true with Witness Lee why don't we see any evidence of that? All I see is evidence of him dismissing scripture as natural concepts, but nobody being able to do the same with him.

None of us presume to be so "transformed by the life process" that we are beyond further correction. Why can nobody correct Lee?
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:18 PM   #621
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No one is usurping His headship.
If Peter stood with the eleven, and said, "David was a sinner. His word was just fallen natural concept", and dismissed the assembly, what kind of a gospel would that be? (Acts 2:14-36). Yet this is what Lee did. He said, "Nobody can keep the law" and dismissed the scripture as fallen and natural.

In this way Witness Lee usurped the headship, by deviating from the clear pattern of scriptural reception in the NT. He deviated from the headship because nobody in the crowd could say, "Wait a minute". In other words, Witness Lee wasn't just another bozo with an opinion, possibly right and possibly wrong. Witness Lee was defining doctrine for the church, and defining which scriptures were "revelatory of Christ" and which were "natural".

So if Ed Marks gives a message on the Father's delight in the Son, and shows NT verses, he can't get light and show, say, Psalm 18's "He (the Father) rescued Me (the Son) because He delighted in Me". No, Lee shut the door on the light. We can't see Christ there because Lee said it's just a fallen sinner presuming falsely before God. So Ed Marks' mouth is shut, as is everyone in the LSM church. Because Lee has spoken.

If Lee was just another bozo with an opinion, occasionally right and occasionally wrong, we could profit somewhat, and make the necessary corrections, and go on. But in the LSM church we can't make any corrections. So we're stuck.

So now what? You say, "Go somewhere else where you get light"? Is that the new ground? "The local church of Lee isn't for everyone"? How do we all arrive at the one new man?
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:37 PM   #622
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aron>"o now, when Ed Marks is giving a conference message, he can say, "I see something Witness Lee didn't see.", or "Here, Witness Lee was entertaining natural concepts", or "Here we can see Witness Lee being inconsistent in his interpretations", or "Here we can see Witness Lee violating the NT principle of scriptural reception", etc."

Yet, what if Ed doesn't see that way at all?

I think you are doing it here... is your question why shouldn't any member be able to just stand up in the meeting and say those things?

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Old 01-05-2018, 04:43 PM   #623
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Suppose we were in a meeting and the presence of the Spirit of Christ put us into fits of ecstasy, and thousands pressed around us, wondering what was going on: what would we tell them? That we were going to talk of the vanity of the law-keepers, and that we were going to exclude Christ?

Because, you see, "No one can please God." What kind of a gospel message is that?

Or would we tell them that the frail, feeble and failing sinners who wrote scripture were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and were anticipating the promised Coming One?
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:47 PM   #624
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aron>"o now, when Ed Marks is giving a conference message, he can say, "I see something Witness Lee didn't see.", or "Here, Witness Lee was entertaining natural concepts", or "Here we can see Witness Lee being inconsistent in his interpretations", or "Here we can see Witness Lee violating the NT principle of scriptural reception", etc."

Yet, what if Ed doesn't see that way at all?

I think you are doing it here... is your question why shouldn't any member be able to just stand up in the meeting and say those things?

Drake
Not strictly Ed Marks and what he sees, but rather why can't the Holy Spirit enlighten anyone, including the current Blendeds? Suppose someone sees Christ. Ed says the Father delights in the Son. Someone, anyone, sees Christ. Yet Witness Lee taught us to exclude Christ, that he isn't there, that the scripture, say Psalm 18, is vain concepts. What to do? How to function in this environment? What if you see Christ? You have to pretend to be blind.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:53 PM   #625
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Not strictly Ed Marks and what he sees, but rather why can't the Holy Spirit enlighten anyone, including the current Blendeds? Suppose someone sees Christ. Ed says the Father delights in the Son. Someone, anyone, sees Christ. Yet Witness Lee taught us to exclude Christ, that he isn't there, that the scripture, say Psalm 18, is vain concepts. What to do? How to function in this environment? What if you see Christ? You have to pretend to be blind.
Why yes,aron. Thst should be what happens. That doesn't mean He will and it doesn't mean you throw everything else out if and when He does.

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Old 01-05-2018, 06:18 PM   #626
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Why yes,aron. Thst should be what happens. That doesn't mean He will and it doesn't mean you throw everything else out if and when He does.

Drake
But if you try to function, you are accused of being independent, rebellious, or ambitious. you have to be a tape recorder. And if the tape excludes Christ, and denigrates the scripture as fallen human concepts, you have to still record the tape, and play back.

This is the essence of the "oneness" church. If the leader goes into the ditch, you have to follow.
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:22 AM   #627
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The following was on another thread but I hear the theme often, and I think it can wrongly color understanding and interpretation of OT scripture. And Lee abused it, whether deliberately or unconsciously, and led us astray.
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If we say "no one can obey the Father" this is normally understood to exclude Christ.
Suppose you're reading the OT text in Psalm 40 and you come to the part where the writer says, "I come to do your will O God - behold, in the scroll of the book it is written concerning me". And you go, "Hey, this looks like Christ". The Spirit reveals the Son and you hear the voice of the Shepherd and get life.

John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 15:26 "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father--the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father--he will testify about me.

1 Cor 2:10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

John 5:25 Truly, truly, I tell you, the hour is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Etc.

But then someone from the LSM-affiliated 'local church' (LC) comes by and says, "No, sorry; that's just the vain and natural concepts of the psalm writer. You see, the psalmist was a sinner and couldn't please God, or do His will."

And you go, "But what of Christ?"

And the LC person says, "It's naturally understood that we're excluding Christ, here."

My refrain from the first post of this thread has been, why do we so assiduously exclude Christ from our reading of OT scripture? Witness Lee, more often than not, called the Psalms "natural concepts" and "fallen" and "mixed sentiments", not considering if the writer, admittedly a sinner, looked ahead to the promised Messiah, under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Yet the reception of the above OT text by Hebrews 10:7-9, strongly indicates an example of this trend. Yet Witness Lee went against the clear and repeated pattern of NT reception and panned the majority of the psalms. He excluded Christ from consideration, either deliberately or unconsciously, and nobody could say anything.

So my question has been, How could several thousand people sit in a conference hall, and listen to message after message in this vein, and not one of them could be bothered, and stir, and raise a question? This is the dark side of the "oneness" movement - when the leader errs, the whole thing goes into the ditch.

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19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter said that David was a prophet and looked ahead to the God-promised holy seed (Acts 2:30). The clear pattern of NT reception of OT scripture follows this. Yet Lee ignored it. And the whole LC assembly sat there, passively absorbing it all without one peep of protest. What kind of gospel has been preached, here? And what kind of ministry is this? I say that it's full of human error.

We all err. But if we build a man-honoring system that denies any correction, eventually the error will grow and grow and consume everything.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:41 AM   #628
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The following was on another thread but I hear the theme often, and I think it can wrongly color understanding and interpretation of OT scripture. And Lee abused it, whether deliberately or unconsciously, and led us astray.


Suppose you're reading the OT text in Psalm 40 and you come to the part where the writer says, "I come to do your will O God - behold, in the scroll of the book it is written concerning me". And you go, "Hey, this looks like Christ". The Spirit reveals the Son and you hear the voice of the Shepherd and get life.

John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 15:26 "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father--the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father--he will testify about me.

1 Cor 2:10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

John 5:25 Truly, truly, I tell you, the hour is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Etc.

But then someone from the LSM-affiliated 'local church' (LC) comes by and says, "No, sorry; that's just the vain and natural concepts of the psalm writer. You see, the psalmist was a sinner and couldn't please God, or do His will."

And you go, "But what of Christ?"

And the LC person says, "It's naturally understood that we're excluding Christ, here."

My refrain from the first post of this thread has been, why do we so assiduously exclude Christ from our reading of OT scripture? Witness Lee, more often than not, called the Psalms "natural concepts" and "fallen" and "mixed sentiments", not considering if the writer, admittedly a sinner, looked ahead to the promised Messiah, under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Yet the reception of the above OT text by Hebrews 10:7-9, strongly indicates an example of this trend. Yet Witness Lee went against the clear and repeated pattern of NT reception and panned the majority of the psalms. He excluded Christ from consideration, either deliberately or unconsciously, and nobody could say anything.

So my question has been, How could several thousand people sit in a conference hall, and listen to message after message in this vein, and not one of them could be bothered, and stir, and raise a question? This is the dark side of the "oneness" movement - when the leader errs, the whole thing goes into the ditch.



On the day of Pentecost, Peter said that David was a prophet and looked ahead to the God-promised holy seed (Acts 2:30). The clear pattern of NT reception of OT scripture follows this. Yet Lee ignored it. And the whole LC assembly sat there, passively absorbing it all without one peep of protest. What kind of gospel has been preached, here? And what kind of ministry is this? I say that it's full of human error.

We all err. But if we build a man-honoring system that denies any correction, eventually the error will grow and grow and consume everything.
Lee says Psalm 40 speaks about Christ so I'm not sure what your problem is:


The first book of the Psalms comprises Psalms 1—41. We should not forget that in this first book there are seven psalms which speak concerning Christ: Psalm 2, Psalm 8, Psalm 16, Psalms 22—24, and Psalm 40.
~Life study of Psalms.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:53 AM   #629
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Why yes,aron. Thst should be what happens. That doesn't mean He will and it doesn't mean you throw everything else out if and when He does.

Drake
Hence this forum.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:36 AM   #630
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Lee says Psalm 40 speaks about Christ so I'm not sure what your problem is:


The first book of the Psalms comprises Psalms 1—41. We should not forget that in this first book there are seven psalms which speak concerning Christ: Psalm 2, Psalm 8, Psalm 16, Psalms 22—24, and Psalm 40.
~Life study of Psalms.
Sorry if my presentation skills don't match the subject. My question has been, Why use one metric, that of the sinful psalmist pointing to Christ, in those few psalms, and in the rest disqualify them because the psalmist is a sinner and can't fulfill his statement?

I tried to show out the absurdity of using the "sinful psalmist" metric to disqualify the text, when the NT writer had explicitly used it to mine revelation. I know Lee didn't reject Psalm 40 as natural; NT usage wouldn't let him. But elsewhere he did just that, and not occasionally.

Why is Psalm 16 revelatory of Christ and Psalm 18 - " He rescued me because He delighted in me"- not? The same frail, sinful man wrote them both.

And you're telling me that several thousand people sat in front of this guy and not even one of them had this question? It's not that Lee's logic was unassailable but
that his person was. He'd departed from the clear pattern of NT reception of OT scripture, yet none could say a word.
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:08 AM   #631
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And you're telling me that several thousand people sat in front of this guy and not even one of them had this question? It's not that Lee's logic was unassailable but that his person was. He'd departed from the clear pattern of NT reception of OT scripture, yet none could say a word.
Many DID speak up, and were silenced. Made an example of! So that subsequent "questioners" preferred to leave quietly rather than endure the shame of public humiliations.

I wonder what would have happened at the Whistler Quarantine Kangaroo Court if Titus Chu and a few of his outspoken supporters would have been there.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:56 AM   #632
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Many DID speak up, and were silenced. Made an example of! So that subsequent "questioners" preferred to leave quietly rather than endure the shame of public humiliations. .
And yet Drake tells us that questioning the status quo is the norm in the LC, or should be, if error emerges.

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Why yes, aron. That should be what happens.
But it doesn't happen, because Witness Lee's logic was so impeccable? Please. I've seen posts on this thread from people who were at the Psalms training, who lowered their heads and made faces at each other while Lee delivered his clunkers. But they said nothing, because nobody questions the Guru.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:14 AM   #633
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And yet Drake tells us that questioning the status quo is the norm in the LC, or should be, if error emerges.

But it doesn't happen, because Witness Lee's logic was so impeccable? Please. I've seen posts on this thread from people who were at the Psalms training, who lowered their heads and made faces at each other while Lee delivered his clunkers. But they said nothing, because nobody questions the Guru.
Drake gets upset when I challenge his accounts, but many have questioned Lee's and LSM's leadership in the past. How could Lee direct the actions of LC's, when supposedly they are "local?" How can he exercise apostolic authority over LC's which he had never even visited? How can he demand that all the LC's teach only from his trainings?

Many, many mature men of God were convinced that LSM was taking over all the LC's and completely changing the nature of the Recovery. Receiving from LSM was no more optional. Receiving from other ministries was forbidden. Then the "straw that broke the camel's back" was the many reports of abuse and the molesting of sisters by Philip Lee.

Drake knows that he could never call out his leadership to be accountable. If Lee and LSM operate above the law, and can create new laws, then how would he ever know if "error emerges."
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:20 PM   #634
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Aron>“And yet Drake tells us that questioning the status quo is the norm in the LC, or should be, if error emerges.”

Aron,

It’s only the way you state it that makes it an odd thing. I mean, we are not a debate club in the meetings.

Consider this: Over four decades statements have made, practices were advanced and recommendations to service were suggested that I did not always agree with. I may have missed the excitement, or I may have not understood, or I just might disagree with something. In one situation the local church I was in had two different practices..., that went on for about a month and then we all realized it wasn’t working so we did something different. We fellowshipped about it, openly, and what we decided what we would do was different than what was being suggested.

No one got called on the carpet, no one made demands, no one got fired. What was being advanced just did not work for us. In my view, this is the corporate experience of the four living creatures in Ezekiel. Here, then there, backwards, then forwards, then sideways..... just hang on, Gods move is His.

Now I suppose, had we wrote letters, phoned people up, called conferences to discuss, campaigned against it and tried to overturn it, then we might have been creating an incident and then there would something to discuss.

At the individual level, people tend to think whatever they want. In my locality a brother used to stand and read aloud poetry. It was not particularly good poetry because it was his own and he was not that good at it. Nevertheless, no one told him to stop and read instead the HWMR or get out. Today, I love to hear this brother speak. He is so clear cutting straight the word of God. In the case of a psalms I happen to agree with Brother Lee’s teaching there. It’s chicken to me. If I thought they were bones I’d spit them out.

That is why, I don’t really know the church experience you describe.

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Old 01-07-2018, 12:40 PM   #635
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Ohio>”Drake gets upset when I challenge his accounts,....”

Ohio, I thought we worked through this.

No, Drake does not get upset when you challenge his accounts. Drake objects when you resort to personal attacks like labeling him a deceiver, a liar, or a dope.

In baseball terms, Drake welcomes your fast ball, your slow ball, your curve ball, or your spit ball. Bring it on. What Drake objects to is when you engage in pitching like this.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XH7zpffBsJ0

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Old 01-07-2018, 01:29 PM   #636
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Ohio>”Drake gets upset when I challenge his accounts,....”

Ohio, I thought we worked through this.

No, Drake does not get upset when you challenge his accounts. Drake objects when you resort to personal attacks like labeling him a deceiver, a liar, or a dope.

In baseball terms, Drake welcomes your fast ball, your slow ball, your curve ball, or your spit ball. Bring it on. What Drake objects to is when you engage in pitching like this.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XH7zpffBsJ0

Drake
Ouch! Some of those pitches are nasty. Baseball and hockey are way to violent for me! I prefer football and basketball. But kidding aside, none of my posts could ever be represented by these pitches.

Dear Drake, you have watched Witness Lee go after "batters" just like in the video. Look at what Benson Philips did to Jane Anderson 40 years ago. Public rebukes, humiliations, slanders, and then books and lawsuits. I could go on and on. Why don't you comment about all the lawsuits against Midwest LC's?

You justify the "bad pitches" when it's your team, but scream bloody murder when you're on the receiving end. That's not right.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:03 PM   #637
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-1

Brother Ohio,

Those arent bad pitches in the video... they are mostly intentional pitches directed at the batter to inflict personal injury. That’s what makes them so nasty. If you were frequently referred to as a deceiver, a liar, or a dope you’d understand the batters perspective and might be inclined to head straight for the mound too.

But look, it takes a lot of effort to make ones thoughts and attitudes clear in a post in a public forum like this one. Face to face there are many more signals available for effective communication.

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Old 01-07-2018, 03:19 PM   #638
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In baseball terms, Drake welcomes your fast ball, your slow ball, your curve ball, or your spit ball. Bring it on. What Drake objects to is when you engage in pitching like this.
"Slow ball"?

You must be one of the 2,000 Canadians.

Sorry I couldn't help myself. Love you Drake!
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:49 AM   #639
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"Our soul is escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we are escaped" ~Psalm 124:7.

The fowler tricks the bird - he puts corn or some other grain on the ground. Perhaps a bread crumb. The bird sees it and flies down, and lands. But the bird doesn't see the noose. There's a bit of string and an entangling web of threads hidden there. The fowler pulls the string and the bird is caught.

When one footnote in the RecV says that the psalmist crushing his enemy's skull and bathing his feet in their blood is a type of Christ v/v the accuser Satan, while elsewhere in the same text (psalms) such sentiments are rejected as not "Christian" (i.e., love your enemies and forgive them, turn the other cheek), then a red light should go off for the reader, or hearer.

My question has been (and I apologise if I posed it too starkly & was disrespectful), what does this show about the system where these kinds of teachings were/are put forth? A training or seminar is held somewhere, and thousands of people fly in from around the country. At some point in the lecture series the speaker suddenly reverses field and what was once declared "Christ" now is "fallen", or vice versa, and among the many personal testimonies afterward, none step up to the microphone and make note of the glaring discrepancy. What's one to think, here?

It seems that the entire audience has suspended their critical thinking faculties via repetitive shouting, and/or those few who notice the problem are intimidated into silence. The birds all flew in for "food", but suddenly the string is pulled and the net falls.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:11 PM   #640
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Why was David wrong to wish his enemies harm in Psalm 3, and yet in Psalm 68 wishing enemies harm was a type of Christ's victory over his enemies? The RecV footnotes are not consistent.
Evangelical says he covered this issue at length on this thread. I'd appreciate someone pointing it out for us.

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Znp, sometimes the same writer expressed human concept and sometimes divine.

Happens all the time even here.
This is the kind of answer that Steel and Drake came up with. I'm not sure Evangelical even replied to the question.

How do we know if some of the RecV footnotes in the Psalms aren't merely expressing fallen human concepts? It sure looks plausible from here. Otherwise we'll have to assume that David often expressed such natural concepts in his writings, while Lee did not.

What kind of a Bible is that, based on such unchallenged assumptions? An idiosyncratic, personalised Bible. The ultimate vanity project.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:45 PM   #641
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Evangelical says he covered this issue at length on this thread. I'd appreciate someone pointing it out for us.



This is the kind of answer that Steel and Drake came up with. I'm not sure Evangelical even replied to the question.

How do we know if some of the RecV footnotes in the Psalms aren't merely expressing fallen human concepts? It sure looks plausible from here. Otherwise we'll have to assume that David often expressed such natural concepts in his writings, while Lee did not.

What kind of a Bible is that, based on such unchallenged assumptions? An idiosyncratic, personalised Bible. The ultimate vanity project.
We discussed Psalm 16 and others in "Repetition, Ritual, Religion".

I explained that not everything Lee wrote is found in the bible footnotes. Some of what you are looking for is found in his books.

This response might answer any and all questions you have on perceived inconsistencies or omissions in the Psalm footnotes.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:30 PM   #642
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Aron asked:

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Why was David wrong to wish his enemies harm in Psalm 3, and yet in Psalm 68 wishing enemies harm was a type of Christ's victory over his enemies? The RecV footnotes are not consistent.
I have already explained to Aron that not all the answers to his questions are in the footnotes, but in the ministry books.

The short answer is that Psalm 3 is about David, his enemies and his life, and Psalm 68 is about God's enemies. Obviously there is a difference between wishing evil on our enemies, and asking God to deal with His enemies.

I will now give a more detailed answer to show how Aron's question about perceived inconsistency between Psalm 3 and 68 may be addressed.

LIFE-STUDY OF THE PSALMS MESSAGE FOUR explains that the Psalms were arranged in a certain way to show us that David needed correction. This is the book that Aron could have consulted to find a plausible reason for a perceived inconsistency in the footnotes.

Psalm 3 (Psalms 1 to 7) were about David's need for correction and discipline following his adultery. So these Psalms do not portray the sinless Christ but the human life of David and his reaction to God's correction.

In Psalm 1 David appreciates the law, but he was a law-breaker himself.
David committed adultery/murder with Bathsheba, repented, but is now suffering consequences for his sins at the hands of his rebellious son Absalom. In Psalm 3 he is calling for God to judge the wicked. Had he forgotten that he himself was a law-breaker and needed God's forgiveness?

Psalm 68 on the other hand is quite different. Psalm 68 starts with "May God arise, may his enemies be scattered". Psalm 68:18 and Ephesians 4:8 also shows us that this Psalm is about Christ's ascension. It follows logically that Psalm 68 would be about victory over Christ's enemies in His ascension.

In summary, there could be very good reasons why two apparently similar concepts may mean completely different things. Psalm 3 is about David, and Psalm 68 is about Christ.

To apply Psalm 3 to Christ would be as if to say that Christ needed correction or suffered because of his sins, when Christ was in fact sinless. To apply Psalm 68 to David would not make sense because it is clearly about God's enemies, not David's.

As a general comment about the Psalms - some Psalms are attributed to David and his life and do not prophesy about the Messiah. They show the human condition, the need to obey the law, the inability to keep it. They are part of the Old Testament which shows us our need for a Savior. On the other hand some Psalms or even just some verses in a particular Psalm are prophetic in that they foreshadow the Messiah or some New Testament truth. They foretell and affirm God's plan in giving us a Savior in Christ.

The Old Testament in general, does two things - 1) shows us our human condition and need for Christ. 2) Points us to Christ as the solution to our human condition. I think most wrong doctrines such as keeping the law for salvation or wishing evil on enemies are as a result of confusing the two purposes.

We must read the Old Testament from the New Testament perspective looking backwards and consider how it is related. Rather than doing what Aron is doing in comparing both Old Testament verses against each other - "these two verses in the Psalms say similar things but the footnote says different things, it's an inconsistency!".
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:32 PM   #643
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How do we know if some of the RecV footnotes in the Psalms aren't merely expressing fallen human concepts? It sure looks plausible from here.
I find it the height of hypocrisy, deception, and arrogance that Witness Lee could challenge Scripture to be expressing "fallen human concepts," yet his own footnotes and messages could not likewise be challenged.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:39 PM   #644
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I find it the height of hypocrisy, deception, and arrogance that Witness Lee could challenge Scripture to be expressing "fallen human concepts," yet his own footnotes and messages could not likewise be challenged.
Let's test them then.

Is it Lee's fallen human concept to think that David's desire for God to slay his enemies was wrong? I would say no considering that David's rebellious son was God's correction for David's own adulterous behavior. And the New Testaments says to pray for and bless enemies, not curse. If David lived in the NT time and experienced God's grace and forgiveness, then perhaps David would have prayed for his sons salvation rather than defeat.

Is it Lee's fallen human concept to apply Psalm 68 to Christ? I would say no, considering that Psalm 68 is well recognized in Christianity to apply to Christ - verse 18 in particular.

If you disagree, how exactly are these footnotes "Lee's fallen human concept"? Let's keep it on topic - applied to Psalm 3 and Psalm 68.

What is fallen or human about Lee saying that David wishing evil on his enemies is wrong and Christ's victory of his enemies is right?
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:21 AM   #645
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The Psalm topic is something Aron and I have gone back and forth on for a while.
Well I for one am happy to get closure. So let's see, 34 of the first 41 Psalms are disqualified as divine revelation because: A) the psalmist is a sinner and could not fulfill his declaration of fealty and reward (which would also disqualify Psalm 16); or B) because the psalmist expressed sentiments lacking the charity of the NT life (which would also disqualify Psalm 68).

Okay, got it. Sorry if I think that is arbitrary, disjointed, and contradictory but I do.

As far as "using this as an excuse to attack the recovery", there's this thing called the Bible, see? Aka "the word of God" and "scripture". To dismiss it wholesale as mere human concept is serious, and should have basis. Jesus said, "man . . . shall live by every word", not by a select few. There's no indication that Jesus dismissed scripture thus. Nor Paul or John. Lacking clear NT precedent, one should have some strong basis. I don't see it.

"David the sinner" should have disqualified Psalm 16. If you read Acts 2 and 13, it did not. What basis then did Lee have?

I do apologize if my own writings have lacked charity and grace.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:52 AM   #646
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As far as "using this as an excuse to attack the recovery", there's this thing called the Bible. . .to dismiss it wholesale as mere human contrivance is serious, and should have basis.
Back to the title. Paul called the Psalms "the word of Christ", and nowhere do I see him (or others) indicating that this pertains only to 25% of the text.

What is astonishing is that thousands would fly in from around the world, and not one single question or objection like the ones I've raised here came forth in the training. This suggests that there's some powerful mind control going on, under the rubric of "oneness".

And the fact that my concerns are so breezily dismissed as, "Perhaps this is so", confirms my suspicions. We do not take the Bible seriously; rather we take "oneness" seriously.
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Old 09-18-2018, 04:01 AM   #647
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What is fallen or human about Lee saying that David wishing evil on his enemies is wrong and Christ's victory of his enemies is right?
I've addressed this repeatedly - Paul said, "We fight not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces".

If you disqualify David on such grounds then you must also disqualify Samuel for striking Agag and David for causing physical harm to Goliath.

We are 600+ posts into this thread. Nowhere have I seen you, or Lee, grappling seriously with the implications if these issues. Instead we merely see arbitrary and conflicting dismissals of scripture as being of none effect.

Maybe you need to carefully pray-read those two NT words -"we fight". Or, "there was war in heaven". . .
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Old 09-18-2018, 04:29 AM   #648
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Well I for one am happy to get closure. So let's see, 34 of the first 41 Psalms are disqualified as divine revelation because: A) the psalmist is a sinner and could not fulfill his declaration of fealty and reward (which would also disqualify Psalm 16); or B) because the psalmist expressed sentiments lacking the charity of the NT life (which would also disqualify Psalm 68)...
Why should David the sinner have disqualified Psalm 16? Psalm 16 is about Christ because of Acts 2. Psalm 2 is also about Christ because of New Testament quotations.

A good test of whether a Psalm is about Christ or not is whether or not it is quoted in the New Testament. Here is a list of the Psalms which are quoted in the New Testament:

http://www.biblestudyguide.org/comme.../htm/xxxvi.htm

Notice that Psalm 2, Psalm 8, Psalm 16, Psalms 22 and 24, and Psalm 40 and Psalm 68 are in that list. These are the same Psalms that Lee said were about Christ.

Notice that Psalms 1, 3,4,6,7, 9,15, 17,21 are not in that list - those Psalms that Lee said contained human concepts.

I think this is strong proof that "human concept" Psalms are typically those which are not cited much (if at all) in the New Testament. Whereas the divine concept Psalms are those which are often cited in the New Testament.
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:13 AM   #649
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Wow! I mean Wow! Using this same logic most of the OT chapters are human concepts! No wonder he is called the "MOTA" because he alone is able to tell us which parts of God's word are the God's word that he agrees with.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:04 AM   #650
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Wow! I mean Wow! Using this same logic most of the OT chapters are human concepts! No wonder he is called the "MOTA" because he alone is able to tell us which parts of God's word are the God's word that he agrees with.
Lee with the secret MOTA decoder ring could see "Christ" in the windows of Noah's ark. In the badger skins of the tabernacle. But not in the tree growing by the streams of water, whose leaf never withers, in Psalm 1:3. No, that was just a natural concept. You see, it wasn't cited in the NT. Sorry, Charlie.

And the presentation was apparently so impeccable, so faultless, so convincing, that not one of the audience stirred uneasily, suspecting something amiss. No, they all lined up afterward to praise the 'oracle'.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:37 AM   #651
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Let's test them then.

Is it Lee's fallen human concept to think that David's desire for God to slay his enemies was wrong? I would say no considering that David's rebellious son was God's correction for David's own adulterous behavior. And the New Testaments says to pray for and bless enemies, not curse. If David lived in the NT time and experienced God's grace and forgiveness, then perhaps David would have prayed for his sons salvation rather than defeat.

Is it Lee's fallen human concept to apply Psalm 68 to Christ? I would say no, considering that Psalm 68 is well recognized in Christianity to apply to Christ - verse 18 in particular.

If you disagree, how exactly are these footnotes "Lee's fallen human concept"? Let's keep it on topic - applied to Psalm 3 and Psalm 68.

What is fallen or human about Lee saying that David wishing evil on his enemies is wrong and Christ's victory of his enemies is right?
It is "Lee's fallen human concept," a prideful arrogance, that challenges the authority of Scripture by exalting his own "Minister of the Age," acting God, Deputy Authority. Apparently you can't make this distinction. Lee applied this same dynamic to the book of James, demeaning the truths in his epistle also.

But where does Lee's authority come from to challenge the scripture? It is a self-assumed authority much the same as that conferred to the Pope. Lee's authority basically only lines the walls of the LSM campus in Anaheim. The Blendeds claim that his authority has passed on to them much the same as the Papal Conclave convenes to select the apostolic successor to Saint Peter.

The Christian evangelical church, however, rejects these false "authorities." The Church only recognizes the authority established in scripture, and maintained according to the principles laid out in the New Testament. The true church recognizes no Pope nor MOTA, neither the false distorted oneness they employ in order to condemn other churches.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:25 AM   #652
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But where does Lee's authority come from to challenge the scripture? It is a self-assumed authority much the same as that conferred to the Pope. Lee's authority basically only lines the walls of the LSM campus in Anaheim.
Nowhere in NT reception of OT scripture to we see an invitation to the wholesale dismissal that it received at Lee's hands. Rather we consistently see the opposite.

Apparently he had a special dispensation as 'today's Paul', that allowed him to carve scripture into 'divine' and 'human' sections; the same 'apostolic privilege' that allowed him to place the selfish and carnal interests of his unspiritual sons above those of the flock. And this special dispensation allowed him to 'sail on' once the unpleasant truths came out. All these points are related, as poor theology allows bad behaviours.

Scripture is a mine to find the riches of Christ. Here's something from reading Psalm 9 several years ago, while we were discussing the "Outer darkness" thread. Scripture is higher, deeper, broader than the MOTA decoder ring can ever search out.

There was a man, and there were the jaws of death, the gates of Hades. The man won. Every one of us faces these jaws, and every one of us, while facing these jaws, gets to see (by faith) the man who won (by faith and obedience), the man who overcame. The Son of Man. The gates of Hades are now riven apart. Revelation 1:18

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Psalm 9:13 "LORD, have mercy on me. See how I suffer at the hands of those who hate me. Snatch me back from the jaws of death." (NIV)

When God snatched Jesus back from the jaws of death, it was validation of the life that Jesus had lived. Jesus' moment-by-moment living in the Father's presence was validated by the Father in saving Jesus from the power of the grave.

Acts 17:31 "For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead."

Romans 1:1-4 "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."

I believe that the release of the man Jesus from the power of the grave was a divine appointment; it was irrefutable proof to all that this is God's Son, the Lord and Christ. His living was entirely according to the will of God the Father. If you didn't realize this, and like Peter you set your mind on the things of the flesh, you got a quick and unequivocal, "Get behind Me, Satan!" To Jesus, the struggle to abide in the Father's kingdom was not the great bye-and-bye, but it was real, and immediate.

The 1,000 year 'interregnum' of John's Apocalypse is real; it is there in the holy revelation. But its exclusion isn't some crude Hollywood B-movie prison. The darkness of disobedience presses upon us continually. Jesus made it through alive and well, and His example is a clear invitation for us to follow. It is real, it is now, it is immediate, the power that raised our Saviour from the dead. Theology won't save us, no matter how many verses we've carefully arranged to "prove" our position. Salvation is now.
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:38 PM   #653
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Back to the title. Paul called the Psalms "the word of Christ", and nowhere do I see him (or others) indicating that this pertains only to 25% of the text.

What is astonishing is that thousands would fly in from around the world, and not one single question or objection like the ones I've raised here came forth in the training. This suggests that there's some powerful mind control going on, under the rubric of "oneness".

And the fact that my concerns are so breezily dismissed as, "Perhaps this is so", confirms my suspicions. We do not take the Bible seriously; rather we take "oneness" seriously.
Aron,

Other plausible explanations is that you are wrong or that you take yourself too seriously. What I mean is that often I don’t accept your stated beliefs, I think they are off a little, or they are overstated in that you are dismissive of any other viewpoints... But I don’t think all of them are worthy of addressing. You might interpret silence as confirming one thing, but it might very well mean something entirely different.

For instance, there are human concepts expressed in the NT. Of course, there will be some in the OT. Why not? You appear to have a view of scripture not supported by scripture.

On what basis do you believe there are no human concepts in the Bible? Humans were involved in writing it... and copying it... and interpreting it.

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Old 09-18-2018, 03:02 PM   #654
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Aron,

Other plausible explanations is that you are wrong or that you take yourself too seriously. What I mean is that often I don’t accept your stated beliefs, I think they are off a little, or they are overstated in that you are dismissive of any other viewpoints... But I don’t think all of them are worthy of addressing. You might interpret silence as confirming one thing, but it might very well mean something entirely different.

For instance, there are human concepts expressed in the NT. Of course, there will be some in the OT. Why not? You appear to have a view of scripture not supported by scripture.

On what basis do you believe there are no human concepts in the Bible?

Drake
Fair enough, lets accept your suggestion that there are human concepts expressed in God's word and let's also accept that there are human concepts expressed in God's word in the OT.

But how are you to know which is which? Evangelical's test is that if it is quoted in the NT that proves it is of God and worse yet, if it isn't that is conclusive proof that it was natural. This is a test that takes it out of the hands of a "MOTA" and can be determined with a concordance. The problem is that this makes the majority of the OT natural concepts.

Or you could take the WL approach which is that he has determined which is natural and which is "the high peak revelation". He has targeted, a couple of books in the OT he doesn't like and a couple of verses in the NT he doesn't like. But the only rhyme or reason is that these verses and books don't fit his overall thesis that well. Unless WL is God this suggests to me that the issue is with his thesis and not the Bible.

But perhaps you could enlighten us on how we distinguish which parts of God's word are truly inspired by God and which are simply the musings of the natural man.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:27 PM   #655
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On Pentecost, Peter told the story of a man who broke the power of death. This was exemplified in Psalm 16, but nowhere do I see Peter (or others) suggesting that this also doesn't apply to Psalm 3, or 9, or 18. Yet Lee with his hermeneutical program said this was so. Why? Because David was a sinner, whose grave is with us today? Peter already answered that. Because the man expressed vituperation towards his foes? Paul spoke to that.

And what "high peak narrative" causes you to look beyond the resurrection of Jesus from the dead? The whole NT obsesses over this theme (pun intended).

Hebrews 1 and 2 quotes the Psalms extensively (without implying "use these and no more") and then says, "we see Jesus made a little lower than the angels, and crowned with glory and honour"; you instead imply there's some exegetical construct superior to this, one whose prosperity demands that we reject 2/3 of the Psalms, or more, as "natural".
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:31 PM   #656
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I don't know why some people react in horror when it is mentioned that the Bible contains human concepts.

The Bible is including humanity, God and also Satan - the three main parties that were introduced in Genesis.

Not only are human concepts found in the Scripture, but Satan's concepts are found in the Scripture as well. The Bible tells us what we need to know about God, about Satan, and about ourselves and humanity.

If human concepts were not found in Scripture, we would not have to "rightly divide it" (2 Tim 2:15).

2 Tim 2:15 means to rightly divide or cut the text into its proper parts.

One way to rightly divide the Word is to distinguish between words of man, words of Satan, and words of God.

My fear is that if Christians were handed a bible that was 100% the words of Satan they would follow it unquestionably under the belief that it is "God's Word". That is why we need to rightly divide it.

One way to divide the Old Testament is to consider which passages are referenced by the New Testament that concern Christ.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:36 PM   #657
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It is "Lee's fallen human concept," a prideful arrogance, that challenges the authority of Scripture by exalting his own "Minister of the Age," acting God, Deputy Authority. Apparently you can't make this distinction. Lee applied this same dynamic to the book of James, demeaning the truths in his epistle also.

But where does Lee's authority come from to challenge the scripture? It is a self-assumed authority much the same as that conferred to the Pope. Lee's authority basically only lines the walls of the LSM campus in Anaheim. The Blendeds claim that his authority has passed on to them much the same as the Papal Conclave convenes to select the apostolic successor to Saint Peter.

The Christian evangelical church, however, rejects these false "authorities." The Church only recognizes the authority established in scripture, and maintained according to the principles laid out in the New Testament. The true church recognizes no Pope nor MOTA, neither the false distorted oneness they employ in order to condemn other churches.
What about the particular Psalms in question. Do you think that David was justified in desiring death upon His enemies when those enemies were sent as a punishment from God (i.e as a consequence of David's sin)?
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