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Old 07-23-2020, 03:53 AM   #1
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Default The Trinity Thread (To be a merged thread)

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Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Well, I have to say it's one thing to admit we may not be able to be crystal clear on the nature of the TG, but it's another to see all the verses in the New Testament that talk about the Son and the Father in ways that are undeniably distinct one from the other and yet take one verse from the OT to undo all that.

"I am in the Father" - two things can't be in each other if they are each other.

"I am in the bosom of the Father" - pretty hard to be in your own bosom.

"I don't do my will but the will of Him who sent me" - they have different wills!

I could go on and on, but it would just be more of the same.

As for John 14:9.....well.....Jesus is the image of the invisible God. God is invisible, but Jesus is His image. So if you've seen Jesus, the image of God, you've seen God, because Jesus is His image.

As far as Isaiah 9:6 - this is not a question to challenge anyone, but a real question of curiosity. If the child in that verse "will be called...everlasting Father", then where do we see that fulfilled? Is there a record of Jesus being called "The Father" somewhere later on? I'm not aware of it, but it seems like if "the Son is the Father" is true, then this prophesy should be shown to be fulfilled somewhere.
ANY and ALL discussion on the Trinity of God MUST ALWAYS begin with the single premise that there is ONLY one (ONE) God. Otherwise, there is no point to the discussion.

If there is only ONE God, and that God is the Father, but Jesus is also God, then they are the same, unless Jesus is a second God.

Amen
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:39 AM   #2
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But let's keep asking questions. How can the Son sit at the Father's right hand, if the Son is the Father?

"Well, it's a mystery"

Okaaay....
Even modern science which denies a creator acknowledges and has even demonstrated that one object can be in two places at exactly the same time (yeah, google it). How much more God.

Please stop letting your imagination be limited by its three-dimensional confines and unidirectional linear thinking.

Its as if the question you ask is any less astounding than turning two fishes and seven loaves into enough food to feed 5000 people. Why doesn't anybody shrug their shoulders at this resignedly and say "oh, it's a mystery". Instead, they don't question it and just praise God for his wonderful ways!
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:47 AM   #3
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I have said this before, and will repeat again. After we finally see the Lord Jesus, some will STILL ask Him to "show us the Father."

Folks, there is really nothing more to "see." And the greatest wonder, at least to me, is that our Great God, the Creator of the Universe, Who upholds all things by the word of His power, is now a man, *almost* like you and me. He could almost hide in a crowd. Don't expect halos or flashing lights to identify Him. Did the two on the road to Emmaus notice any of this?
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Quote from today's Witness/Watchman Wednesday

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ANY and ALL discussion on the Trinity of God MUST ALWAYS begin with the single premise that there is ONLY one (ONE) God. Otherwise, there is no point to the discussion.

If there is only ONE God, and that God is the Father, but Jesus is also God, then they are the same, unless Jesus is a second God.

Amen
And we MUST ALWAYS accept the same exact logic where Jesus said, "that they [unreg guest, aron, Ohio et al] will be one (ONE) even as we [Jesus and the Father] are one (ONE)". Which of course can mean ONLY that aron is Ohio and Ohio is unregistered guest. Because they are all one (ONE) even as Jesus and the Father are one (ONE). ~John 17:11(c)

Or do we abandon our logic when it is no longer convenient to our argument? What amazes me is 1) how quickly people abandon their own logic when it no longer serves them, and 2) how oblivious they are to their own inconsistency, even as they insist it MUST ALWAYS be applied to others. This it the same kind of self-serving 'logic' that Witness Lee brow-beat so many dear Christians into submission with.

"You MUST ALWAYS agree with me, even when I don't agree with myself. Otherwise, there is no point to the discussion"

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don't question it and just praise God for his wonderful ways!
Right - don't think, it only causes confusion. I remember that line. Just praise God.

But Jesus asked questions. "If the Christ is David's son, how then does he in spirit call him 'Lord', saying that the LORD said to my Lord, 'sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet'... if David calls him 'Lord', how can he be his son?"

Don't you think that God gave us minds for this reason, to examine, question, and say, "how", even if the answers are not always immediately forthcoming?

Questions can be helpful.

1. How can Witness Lee teach that women have no authority to teach in church, as he does, yet then he sells a book "God's Plan of Redemption" by a woman who had the "vision of the age" in the "three parts of man" before Watchman Nee?

2. How can Witness Lee be the Apostle of the Age when he lets his unspiritual sons feather their nests with the church members' money (Timothy) and prey upon Church women (Philip), which makes him unfit for eldership per Titus 1:6? How can one be unfit for local church eldership and be minister of the age?

3. How does 'The Bible and church history' show us one vision per age an ministry of the age, when Paul said that Peter was 'apostle to the circumcised and I (Paul) to the uncircumcised'? How can there be two apostles of the age? Paul said there was one Cornerstone (Christ) binding two walls together (gentile and Jew), yet Paul's gentile wall was the vision of the age and Peter's Jewish wall didn't count?

4. How come Witness Lee could teach that large sections of the Bible were "fallen human concepts" yet nobody could say that likewise Witness Lee's teachings were by and large "fallen human concepts" themselves? Are his writings a higher standard than scripture itself?

etc etc - there are lots of questions to be asked, here.
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:56 PM   #5
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I have said this before, and will repeat again. After we finally see the Lord Jesus, some will STILL ask Him to "show us the Father."

Folks, there is really nothing more to "see."
This is pretty much what I said to Ohio a few weeks back. And he refused to "see". Even when Jesus said, "You will see", in John 1:51. Ohio said, "I don't see". I tried to show Ohio the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man, but Ohio said, "No, I don't see it. It is just about faith."

Doesn't matter that the Centurion said, "I also am a man under authority" - no, it was just about faith to Ohio, and men under authority is extraneous detail. Fine print which can (must) be ignored. Doesn't matter that the Centurion said, "I also have servants under me"; no, again that is superfluous detail, without meaning, even though Jesus marveled at it. No, it's just about faith, says Ohio. Nothing more to see here. Move along, folks.

Jesus said, "When you see me, you see the Father", and when the servants saw the Centurion, they saw the Caesar. But no, it's just about faith. Not about deputy authority.

(and it's interesting that the same 'spooky action from a distance' occurred here - when Jesus said, "It's done", that same moment the Centurion's servant was healed)

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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Don't expect halos or flashing lights to identify Him. Did the two on the road to Emmaus notice any of this?
Seems like the two on the road to Emmaus noticed that their hearts were burning when he opened the scriptures. Forgive me if my heart doesn't burn when Witness Lee and others impose their skewed, self-serving logic on others. "You MUST ALWAYS agree with me" etc

What matters here is not that you are "right" and I am "wrong" or vice versa. What matters is that everyone sees what they see... and how can we all be one when we insist that we can only be one when everyone else sees exactly what we see? When we insist that what we see is the sum total of objective reality, and what we don't see doesn't exist, even when it is the same scripture we cling to so obstinately elsewhere? Which is why discussions of the Trinity, in this vein, are fruitless and pointless unless your goal is beating others into submission, and feeling good about yourself in the process.

Because Jesus said, "You will see", and I see, I can't be beaten into submission by your logic or anyone else's. I just see. My heart is burning and I see.

(And yes, we are one (ONE). Whether we see it or not, we are one... because he said so.)
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:16 PM   #6
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This is pretty much what I said to Ohio a few weeks back. And he refused to "see". Even when Jesus said, "You will see", in John 1:51. Ohio said, "I don't see". I tried to show Ohio the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man, but Ohio said, "No, I don't see it. It is just about faith."

Doesn't matter that the Centurion said, "I also am a man under authority" - no, it was just about faith to Ohio, and men under authority is extraneous detail. Fine print which can (must) be ignored. Doesn't matter that the Centurion said, "I also have servants under me"; no, again that is superfluous detail, without meaning, even though Jesus marveled at it. No, it's just about faith, says Ohio. Nothing more to see here. Move along, folks.

Jesus said, "When you see me, you see the Father", and when the servants saw the Centurion, they saw the Caesar. But no, it's just about faith. Not about deputy authority.

(and it's interesting that the same 'spooky action from a distance' occurred here - when Jesus said, "It's done", that same moment the Centurion's servant was healed)

Seems like the two on the road to Emmaus noticed that their hearts were burning when he opened the scriptures. Forgive me if my heart doesn't burn when Witness Lee and others impose their skewed, self-serving logic on others. "You MUST ALWAYS agree with me" etc

What matters here is not that you are "right" and I am "wrong" or vice versa. What matters is that everyone sees what they see... and how can we all be one when we insist that we can only be one when everyone else sees exactly what we see? When we insist that what we see is the sum total of objective reality, and what we don't see doesn't exist, even when it is the same scripture we cling to so obstinately elsewhere? Which is why discussions of the Trinity, in this vein, are fruitless and pointless unless your goal is beating others into submission, and feeling good about yourself in the process.

Because Jesus said, "You will see", and I see, I can't be beaten into submission by your logic or anyone else's. I just see. My heart is burning and I see.

(And yes, we are one (ONE). Whether we see it or not, we are one... because he said so.)
Well, well, welcome back aron. I am so glad you came out of retirement to set me right, and let me know how badly I see, or don't see. I hope you feel better! I really do.

Why are you the only one here who gets to provide ***disclaimers and caveats as to your own opinions? Did I just declare myself the Minister of the Age? Neither do I remember writing any of the other things you apparently quoted from me.

I know you like to explain the mystery using agency or proxy. Perhaps I just "don't see it" your way, all the time.


*** Notice to all posters: feel free to reject all of my posts when they differ from aron. ***
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:21 AM   #7
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*** Notice to all posters: feel free to reject all of my posts when they differ from aron. ***
I don't think it's about rejecting posts that differ from one another, but rather if someone says that one MUST ALWAYS accept some premise or another, then doesn't follow it themselves, how impressed should we be? Not very much.

You don't seem to have issue with the unregistered poster doing a heavy-handed all-caps assertion, so my question was, what do you do with that assertion when Jesus says that you and I are one (ONE) just as he is one (ONE) with the Father? Do we ignore it? Pretend our all-caps rule doesn't exist anymore?

Unless one grapples with all the niceties of scripture people aren't going to take your interpretations very seriously. And the heavy-handedness of the unregistered poster reminded me a lot of Witness Lee and the LC. So I was reacting to that, more than you or the unreg.

And I was trying to provide an alternative reading. Suppose the Son of Man is "a man under authority" like the Centurion. Notice the Centurion's wording: "I also am a man under authority". Right? Notice the word "also".

So I am saying, Suppose the reason it's so easy to conflate Jesus on earth with the Father in heaven is because he's "also a man under authority". Suppose being "under authority" makes him "in authority", and he tells his servants "go" and they go, and "come" and they come, and "do this" and they do it. So Jesus can just give the command, and the Centurion's servant will be healed.

My point is this: when you see Jesus, you see the Father. When he speaks, you hear the Father. Because whatever he does, is what he sees the Father doing in heaven. Jesus is the "man under authority". From an operational perspective, i.e. from you and I as believers and disciples, he is "God" because everything he is, does and says, is "God manifested among us", i.e. Immanuel. God is with us in the Son of Man, Jesus Christ from Galilee, who is the "man under the Father's authority".

Notice how often Jesus says that he is sent by the Father, and then he says, that he likewise sends us. Notice that he says, "As the Father commands me, so do I command you." Just as the Son of Man is the extension of the Father's will, so is the sent disciple the extension of the Son. But nobody conflates the disciple with the Son. Yet in our obedience, when we speak, Christ speaks through us. When we pray, Christ prays through us. When we obey, it is the Spirit of the Son dwelling in us that is the motive force of obedience,

Yet nobody says, "aron is Jesus Christ", and nobody says, "Jesus is the Father". But if they are "one" (ONE) then they might be operationally substituted. But they are, ontologically-speaking, still distinct, still distinguishable. So Jesus with the Father, and the disciples with Jesus.

My point is, that any first-century reader, unburdened by theological propositions derived centuries hence, would see this. It's not very complicated once one sheds theology and simply reads the words that are there. Jesus was sent by the Father; thus when we see Jesus we see the Father hear the Father, know the Father's will. But Jesus is not the Father, but rather the Father's expression of love, holiness, peace, redemption, mercy, etc. The Father is the Father, and Jesus is the Father's Word.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:49 AM   #8
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Default The Trinity Thread (To be a merged thread)

Let's keep all discussions regarding the Trinity/Triune God (including Modalism and related subjects) on this one thread. If I could bother all the members to please point us to other threads that could be merged into this one, that would be great.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:55 AM   #9
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And we MUST ALWAYS accept the same exact logic where Jesus said, "that they [unreg guest, aron, Ohio et al] will be one (ONE) even as we [Jesus and the Father] are one (ONE)". Which of course can mean ONLY that aron is Ohio and Ohio is unregistered guest. Because they are all one (ONE) even as Jesus and the Father are one (ONE). ~John 17:11(c)

Or do we abandon our logic when it is no longer convenient to our argument? What amazes me is 1) how quickly people abandon their own logic when it no longer serves them, and 2) how oblivious they are to their own inconsistency, even as they insist it MUST ALWAYS be applied to others. This it the same kind of self-serving 'logic' that Witness Lee brow-beat so many dear Christians into submission with.

"You MUST ALWAYS agree with me, even when I don't agree with myself. Otherwise, there is no point to the discussion"
.
It's curious how Aron must always lash out at people who say others must always do this or that, or believe that or the other simply because Witness Lee must alwayed that the church must always believe him!

That notwithstanding, Musting Always is not Witness Lees invention as much as Aron's tirade would have us believe. No, not at all. And it is not always a bad thing in the way that Aron has demonized it.

The idea that I was introducing is not my own and I was simply re-echoing a principle that has been passed down in the Church through the centuries right from the early church fathers to the modern day: and that is, as Christians, there are certain irrefragable, irreducible, and nonderogable tenets that must be dogmatically held to no matter what the case. Again, this is not my idea (and neither was it Lee's)

What are these tenets? What are these articles of the faith? And are they founded firmly upon the revelation of the Word of God? Well, here goes:

[We] believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth and all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, GOD OF GOD, LIGHT OF LIGHT, VERY GOD OF VERY GOD, begotten, not made, being of the very substance of the Father, by whom all things were made, et cetera, et cetera...

To deny any of the above. To be in contention in particular with the points considering the nature of the Son of God as Aron so obviously is nothing less than to demean Christ, to rob Him of His Deity, and to make Him out to be just another fellow of the stock of Adam as fallen as us, and so whose blood is not precious at all, which herefore implies it cannot cleanse us of our sins.

Why then am I wasting my time and your time discussing the nature of the Trinity with you? What kind of christian are you? Are you really even a christian? And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? What fellowship does Light have with Darkness? What part hath he that believeth with an infidel? Aron, If we don't have a baseline, a ground of commonality, a MUST ALWAYS set of beliefs, then all the preceding questions in reference to you are legitimate questions.

And so I reiterate...

"In the beginning...
...was the Word...
..the Word was with God..
..the Word WAS God..
..And the Word became flesh..
..and dwelt among us...and we beheld His glory.." (Jn 1: 1,14)

And later on in the book (from a chapter you misdivided & misapplied)

"Jesus... lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee...And this is eternal life, that they might know thee, the ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent...". (John 17: 1- 3)

I just don't see how anybody could read these verses and in putting them together still fail to come to the undeniable conclusion that Jesus is indeed the Father. This is the very mystery of godliness.

And I quote:

"And without controversy [beyond all contradiction] great is the mystery of godliness:
...God appeared in a body [was manifest in the flesh]...
...[and was] received up into glory". (1Timothy 3:16)

And just as a loving word of caution, we would all do really well to carefully consider just precisely what it was that John meant in his first epistle when he wrote:

"Who is a liar but he that denieth Jesus is the Christ. He is ANTICHRIST, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father, he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.".

What does it really mean to acknowledge that Jesus IS the Christ? Does it simply mean that Jesus second name is Christ like in Jones for Joshua Jones? I'm sure that even Aron doesn't accept that. Or does it only mean that we understand that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, a man, an anointed king, promised to the Jews in the Scriptures to save them, and indeed the whole world, from their sins. Of course, this is true.

But John expounds and elucidates this point further on in the epistle in the fourth chapter by declaring:
"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ IS COME IN THE FLESH is of God: and every spirit that confesseth NOT that Jesus Christ IS COME IN THE FLESH is not of God, and this is that spirit of ANTICHRIST" (John 4: 2-3)

It seems clear that John equates acknowledging "that Jesus is the Christ" with "the spirit that confesseth that Jesus is come in the flesh". And as was laid out earlier on, the significance of Jesus 'coming in the flesh' is that it is the 'great mystery of godliness' that implies that the Father is the Son.

I don't want to push anything down anybody's throat, least of all Aron's, but I just think these verses taken together are worthy of some serious pondering, especially when considering whether or not the Son is the Father, and the Father the Son. No pressure.

Thank you for reading me.

FYI, aron, just to address your facetious comments on 'Oneness'. It is, of course, nonsensical to say that the scriptures imply that Ohio is aron and Aron is Ohio, and they are unregistered, etc, etc, But don't you know that when Jesus prays that they may be ONE, he means that they may be in ONE BODY. We are all members of His ONE body. And the hand is not the eye. And the foot is not the nose. They are all distinct. But they are ONE.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:17 AM   #10
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OK, a few more comments here aron . . .
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I don't think it's about rejecting posts that differ from one another, but rather if someone says that one MUST ALWAYS accept some premise or another, then doesn't follow it themselves, how impressed should we be? Not very much.
I don't know where I ever said "MUST ALWAYS" with respect to my views here, but it now seems that you are saying this regarding your views of agency regarding the Father and the Son. I think you make a great point, but now are upset that I may have a differing but not contradictory opinion on a few things.
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You don't seem to have issue with the unregistered poster doing a heavy-handed all-caps assertion, so my question was, what do you do with that assertion when Jesus says that you and I are one (ONE) just as he is one (ONE) with the Father? Do we ignore it? Pretend our all-caps rule doesn't exist anymore?
I'm not sure where this "heavy-handed all-caps" post by unregistered is, but I do believe that we will share the same oneness that the Father has with the Son, and may even have a foretaste in this age. When did ignore these verses?

Btw, is there some rule about All CAPS? Where did I pretend? Isn't ALL CAPS a way of highlighting a point? Did I even use all caps? I usually use bold, italics, fonts, or colors to help the reader. Just trying to emphasize.

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My point is this: when you see Jesus, you see the Father. When he speaks, you hear the Father. Because whatever he does, is what he sees the Father doing in heaven. Jesus is the "man under authority". From an operational perspective, i.e. from you and I as believers and disciples, he is "God" because everything he is, does and says, is "God manifested among us", i.e. Immanuel. God is with us in the Son of Man, Jesus Christ from Galilee, who is the "man under the Father's authority".
OK, let's get back to this original point. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. (Col 1.15) And in Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell. (1.19) And just in case we missed this, Paul repeats "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (2.9)

So, as you said "unless one grapples with all the niceties of scripture people aren't going to take your interpretations very seriously." Your words go both ways, eh?

But I don't see any conflict here. Yes, agency is a helpful description of the Father-Son relationship, but don't get the impression that we will ever "see" a separate Father and Son. The Father now dwells in the Son bodily. The Son is His image. The Father's image in the Son now has human form, not a decaying one like my own, but the resurrected spiritual body of Jesus Christ.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:24 AM   #11
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Hey Unregistered. If you are a registered member of the forum could you please sign in so we can know for sure that these "Unregistered" are coming from the same person?

If you are not a registered forum member, could you please take a minute and shoot an email to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com requesting membership and be sure to include your desired Username.


Thanks in advanced.

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Old 07-24-2020, 08:31 AM   #12
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Moderator Note: Let's keep the tone civil. Be passionate, but be patient. Be uncompromising, but be understanding.
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Old 07-24-2020, 12:51 PM   #13
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But don't you know that when Jesus prays that they may be ONE, he means that they may be in ONE BODY. We are all members of His ONE body. And the hand is not the eye. And the foot is not the nose. They are all distinct. But they are ONE.
And Jesus is not the Father. But they are ONE. And I am not Jesus. But we are ONE. Etc.

We are all distinct. But we are ONE.

Notice how Jesus places us in the same position vis-ŕ-vis himself as Lord and Christ, as the Father has placed him as the Only Begotten Son of God?

"As 'A' is to 'B', so 'B' is to 'C' " - so if A IS B, then B IS C. So if Jesus IS the Father then I also AM Jesus. But I am not Jesus. We are distinct. But we are ONE.

"Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." John 20:21. These are relations of equivalency. If Jesus is the Father and I have he same relation to Jesus as Jesus to the Father, then I am also Jesus, and also the Father. Which makes no sense to me, because I am a redeemed sinner. How can the Father be a redeemed sinner?

See also John 17:18 "As You sent Me into the world, I have also sent them into the world." As Jesus manifested the Father to the world, so also we manifest Jesus (or should). Yet we are distinct. Yet we are ONE.

John 15:10 " If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love"

We are in a relationship of subservience to Jesus - he is our Master and Lord, just as he was in relationship of subservience (keeping/obeying the Father's commandments) on earth. He was, as the Centurion said, "also a man under authority, with servants under him, who obeyed".

None of this seems too strange to me. Pretty straight-forward, fairly understandable to first-century readers unhampered by centuries of theological baggage.

And yes of course he is God, the VERY GOD. The Bible makes that CLEAR. Yet he is not the Father. Yet when we see him, we see the Father. When he speaks, the Father's very command comes through him.

Remember, the Angel said, "I Jesus have sent my angel". Yet the angel who said, "I Jesus" was not Jesus. Yet when the angel spoke, you heard Jesus. When agency works well, as it does in the kingdom of heaven, then the Sender and the Sent are ONE. Yet they are distinct. Like you said, it's a mystery. But there it is. ~John 22:16

And the Centurion spoke, and Caesar spoke through the Centurion. When the servants heard the Centurion, they heard Caesar. They obeyed the Centurion because when he spoke, Caesar spoke through him. But the Centurion was not Caesar. They were distinct, yet they were ONE. ~Matthew 8:9
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Old 07-24-2020, 01:20 PM   #14
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Neither do I remember writing any of the other things you apparently quoted from me.
I was thinking of this reply, in particular.

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I lived in that militaristic, self-sacrificing, family-forsaking, regimented soldier life way too long. I really don't want to hear your teachings about Roman Centurions any more. In my mind the punchline for Jesus in that story was about faith. Faith in God.
Jesus believed the Father, that the Father could raise him from the dead. "He [Jesus] trusted in God [the Father]; let Him [the Father] save him [the Son] now". Psalm 22:8; Matt 27:43

The 'militaristic self-sacrificing, family-forsaking regimented soldier life' was Jesus', not yours, not mine. It's his faith that saves us, not ours. It is the "faith of Christ", not the faith of aron or Ohio. And it is this faith that now indwells our mortal bodies, giving life. You got fed the lie, that's why you got fed up. You believed in you, and in Brother X. But it was about Jesus, all along. Jesus and his relationship with the Father. Once you see that, you are free. When the Son sets you free you are free indeed.

The reason I brought up the story of the Roman Centurion in the first place, was Jesus said, "You will see" - you will see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man". ~John 1:51. And I was wondering, where do I see that? Then I remembered the story of the Roman Centurion. Jesus, as a "man under authority", had an open heaven above him, and he had the angels of God ascending and descending upon him! He also had "servants under me", as the Roman Centurion did, and could tell them "go" and they would go, and "do this" and they would do it! So he could just speak the word, and the servant would be healed! No wonder Jesus marveled! Yes the Centurion had faith, but it was in the faith of Jesus. Jesus was the Obedient Lamb of God, who believed the Father's command. So Jesus could just speak the word, and it would be done.

No wonder Jesus marveled. Such insight. Good, first-century theology, unburdened by the centuries of speculation and religious wars.

Adam and Eve disobeyed, and humankind fell. Jesus obeyed, and humankind was redeemed. The faith of Christ has redeemed us, restored us. The Roman Centurion 'saw' the open heavens, the angels of God ascending and descending. He saw the obedient Son.
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Old 07-25-2020, 01:31 AM   #15
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I just don't see how anybody could read these verses and in putting them together still fail to come to the undeniable conclusion that Jesus is indeed the Father.
I just don't see how anyone can read Jesus's own words in John 8:17-18 and fail to come to the undeniable conclusion that Jesus is indeed NOT the Father.

Even in your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am One who testifies about Myself, and the Father, who sent Me, also testifies about Me.”

Jesus explicitly states that He and His Father are two separate beings in the way "two men" would be considered in their law. Each bearing individual testimony concerning Himself. There is no way to conclude that Jesus IS the Father, or else it would not be testimony of two.

There is no normal manner in our human experience in which someone's son can be his own father. It is ludicrous to conclude that Jesus the Son IS the Father. It renders the father/son relationship as we know it meaningless in our human life and makes it a deceptive use to describe the Son and the Father if they are in fact each other.
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:42 AM   #16
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Untohim, am I now able to join in this discussion, or is it still reserved only for those who support the 4th century orthodoxy, and argue just about the degrees of trinitarianism?
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Old 07-25-2020, 10:44 AM   #17
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John 8:17-18 Even in your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am One who testifies about Myself, and the Father, who sent Me, also testifies about Me.”


Jesus explicitly states that He and His Father are two separate beings in the way "two men" would be considered in their law. Each bearing individual testimony concerning Himself. There is no way to conclude that Jesus IS the Father, or else it would not be testimony of two.

There's no normal manner in our human experience in which someone's son can be his own father. It is ludicrous to conclude that Jesus the Son IS the Father. It renders the father/son relationship as we know it meaningless in our human life and makes it a deceptive use to describe the Son and the Father if they are in fact each other.
An aspect of agency – being sent, and sending others – is that if done well, one may easily conflate the Sent One with the Sender. “If you see me [the Sent Son] you see the [Sending] Father. When I [the sent Son] speak, the [Sending] Father speaks through me” etc. And we should stress here that agency is done well in the kingdom of God. The great scandal of the gospels was that a man, a human being on earth, claimed to represent the Creator in Heaven, in fact that earth-dwelling Son and Heavenly Father were operationally one. Remember that sin and disobedience had shut humankind apart from that Creator and had created a gap – “You are altogether born in sin”, a la John 9:34. Yet here was a man claiming absolute fealty and obedience: “I [Christ the Son] come to do Thy [Father] will, O God, behold in the scroll of the book it is written [law, prophets, psalms] concerning me.”

The Son on earth and the Father in heaven are distinct, yet they are One. The Sender in heaven gives command, and the Sent One comes to earth, and obeys without murmuring or delay. And Jesus extrapolates this to the disciples: "Just as I obeyed my Father's commands, so ye obey mine. Just as the Father sent me, so I send you" etc.

Some may question my “experience and enjoyment of Christ”, and even my person, but this is what I see being written. The Son comes forth from The Father, and does the Father’s will “on earth as it is done in heaven”, and then at the conclusion of the gospel, is raised to glory and seated at the Father’s right hand, far above all rule and authority and power, and every name which is named, both in this age and that which is to come. And we the disciples are expected to follow the pattern.

The NT writer says, “we see Jesus”, and “we” means both the writer and the readers, including you and I. We see Jesus. And “see” means now, today, not some point in the past. It’s an immediate and universal bequest to the believer, to see Jesus. Hebrews 2:9 says, “We see Jesus, made a little lower than the angels” – how can the Father be lower than the angels? If the Father is lower than the angels, then who’s running the show? No, rather, “He [the Sending Father] will give His angels charge concerning you [the Sent Son], to bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone”. It is the Son’s absolute obedience that brings the Father’s delight, and support.

“This is my Beloved Son, in whom I [the Sending Father] delight – you must hear him.”

Cf, Psalm 18:18 “the LORD was my support. 19 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he [the Sending Father] delighted in me [the Obedient Son]. 20 The LORD has dealt with me [Jesus the Sent One] according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I am not guilty of turning from my God. 22 All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. 23 I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. 24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, etc” The Son’s obedience brings the Father’s delight, and rescue from death. Peter went into this in detail at Pentecost in Acts 2, and Paul followed suit in Acts 13:33-41.

Back to the idea of conflating the Sent One with the Sender: the Sent One who does a good job becomes operationally equivalent to the Sender. They're distinct, not the same entity, yet they're functionally one. “No one has ever seen God, yet the Son has declared Him to us” – if the Son is the Father, the statement makes no sense. But if the Son, while distinct from the Father, is yet fully representational, then the statement makes perfect sense. Those who see the Sent Son see the Sending Father, because the Son fully declares the Father to us.
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Old 07-25-2020, 11:13 AM   #18
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So when Thomas saw the resurrected Christ, worshiping Him saying "My Lord and my God," he was actually only seeing an agent of God, obeying His commands. But this agent of God accepted his worship without hesitation.

Then when an obedient angel appears to John in his Revelation, and John falls down to worship him, why is he rebuked by the obedient angel, who was also acting as an agent of God?
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:04 PM   #19
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Untohim, am I now able to join in this discussion, or is it still reserved only for those who support the 4th century orthodoxy, and argue just about the degrees of trinitarianism?
And am I able to bring over this post that I made on the modalism thread? No one commented on it, and it was the very last post, so I thought that surely I must have nailed it! (And I wondered why there wasn't much fanfare & acknowledgement that someone had finally gotten to the bottom of this grand *mystery*)

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I had a realization during my not-so-quiet-time with the Lord this morning (there was singing, praising and shouting!). There's been two basic ideas about the nature of God on this thread: The traditional Trinity vs the Modalistic view. But what if both are right?!

There are many things in the Bible that different ones latch onto and say "this & this is so," to the exclusion of the scripturally-based ideas that others latch onto. The infamous case in point I always think of is the Calvinists and Armenians. One says it's all God's doing and things are completely about His predestination (Calvinists); the other group says it's really about man's free will (Armenians). Which one is right? My answer is both, because we can certainly find both aspects in scripture. Can we understand this? Not so well, because we are trying to grasp an infinite God here.

Likewise, we can quote many verses that support one view or the other regarding this thread's topic. So what came to me this morning, regarding the Trinity and Modalism, is that both are perhaps true. God became a Man, and then after doing the work and going through the necessary experiences (life, death, resurrection), then as The Spirit He can get into other men. However, during all of this, God the Father still exists eternally and the four gospels record the Son's interaction with His Father. Does this make perfect sense to us? Of course not - we can't grasp the infinite God (otherwise I don't think He would be God)!

Any way, that's what came to me - for what you may think it's worth . . .
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Old 07-25-2020, 05:43 PM   #20
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So when Thomas saw the resurrected Christ, worshiping Him saying "My Lord and my God," … But this agent of God accepted his worship without hesitation.
Good point, and potentially valid objection. In the NT, Jesus is treated as the functional equivalent of GOD, the VERY GOD, as our unregistered friend put it so strongly, including veneration/worship. If anyone says, “Jesus is God”, I say “amen” since the NT supports that. But what I was objecting to was the “Jesus is the Father” statement. WL tried to paint it as, “Well, how many God’s are there?” as if one had to pick either “We worship two Gods” or “Jesus is the Father”. But that’s a false dichotomy, a crass attempt to manipulate us into his thought-swamp.

So, how to deal with worship by Thomas? Because Jesus is, functionally speaking, “God among us” and “God made flesh” - in the NT we see Jesus treated from a functional or operational perspective as God. Yet that does not entail “Jesus is the Father”. I'll give a prosaic example: the servants under the Roman Centurion treated him exactly as if he were his boss, Caesar (or whatever General stood in between them). The Centurion, as a “man under authority”, was functionally “one” with Caesar and could be treated as the operational equivalent of Caesar. Yet the Centurion was not Caesar. But does the servant say, "Well, if you were Caesar I'd obey."?

So, why worship Jesus and not an angel? Because Jesus is not “just another angel” or some intermediary between man and God. Both John in Revelation 22 and the author of Hebrews go out of their way to make this explicit. “But to which of the angels has he ever said, ‘You are my Son – this day I have begotten you?”. There are many mediating angels but only one Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Living God.

“There is one mediator between man and God – the man Jesus Christ.” From a functional perspective, as Sole Mediator, Jesus is God to us. Think how scandalous all this would have seemed to the Jews, in the gospels. They were looking for Messiah, but not like this! Even John Baptist didn’t get it – “Are you the Christ, or should we expect another?” John was looking for an Earthly Great Leader, the New Moses, but Jesus was the Heavenly Leader, the Final Moses, actually the Only Law-giver. Moses was merely type or shadow. Grace and reality itself came through Jesus Christ ~John 1:17

(On a related point, WL’s “one apostle per age” paradigm completely misses that Jesus is the Only True Apostle of the Age. WL proposed “Jesus as the Father” yet by then hypothesizing a series of Great Church Leaders WL lost that The Great Church Leader is Jesus alone. We are, all the rest of us, “small potatoes”. Paul was apostle to the uncircumcised, Peter to the circumcision, Jesus the Apostle to Humanity and Saviour of the World. Church History is not a series of Great Men. Church History is One Great Man, and his followers.)

Let me come at it from a different direction. On Patmos, John turned and saw the One on the throne. Then, in front of the Throne, was the Logos of God, walking among the lampstands. The two are distinct yet functionally equivalent. Because there's only one Logos, that One Logos is treated by his disciples as worthy of veneration, which no angel, no prophet, no Great Human Church Leader can receive. This may be scandalous to some but it's our faith. He has a name above every name, and we place Jesus' name next to God, treat him as God made flesh (including worship/veneration/adoration) yet this doesn’t mean he’s the Father any more than the Roman Centurion was Caesar. (Yet to the servants, they are one [ONE], and when you see the Centurion you see Caesar, operationally).

One final point. The angel Gabriel said, “I am Gabriel, and I stand before God. Because you didn’t listen to my voice, you will be silent.” ~Luke 1:19. Now, the reason that Gabriel could silence Zechariah the priest in the Holy of Holies is that Gabriel’s word is, functionally speaking, God’s word. When the angel speaks, God speaks. Yet Gabriel is not God. Yet as God’s envoy, his word should have been received as “from God”. Gabriel is clearly not just another un-named angel. Yet Jesus is so much higher than Gabriel, as Son of God, that there's no comparison, really. Gabriel is not worshipped, and Jesus is.

Of course all of this is the musings of a pilgrim on the path, not doctrine defined. I don’t say that people MUST ALWAYS think as I do. But now you know why I RESIST those who'd impose their thoughts the way I once let WL do with his.

There are many priests, prophets, even kings. There is one Logos, which makes him, from a functional or operational perspective, God to us. "I am the Way home to the Father. There is no other." High words which no angel can speak.
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Old 07-26-2020, 03:16 AM   #21
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Default The 'Christ is Everything' paradigm

One of the tenets of the LC programme was phrased as "Christ is everything". I remember the folk ditty composed in the "Grey Book" of LC songs. "Christ is everything/I need him/He is everything you need/Believe him/Life is a person/Receive him" etc.

Christ is everything. But eventually Christ became the Father, the Spirit, the Body, the Ministry, the Church, the hymnal, the soil, the air, the trees, the clouds and the video projector. Christ became everything and nothing. Christ was whatever you needed him to be today. Christ was manipulable, a malleable cipher to be re-packaged endlessly. Whatever seemed good to the Minister of the Age at the moment was "Christ" to us.

That was the environment in which "Jesus is the Father" emerged. It was neither helpful to anyone's walk, nor a restoration of some hidden truth once known only to Paul, and now (at last!!) revealed by today's Seer of the Divine Revelation, who had a new book to sell, and a conference message to fill out.

Matthew 21:33-46 (NIV)

“Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

“The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

“But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

“Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

“He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.


So, here we go, LC-style:

Christ is the Father. He's the landowner who planted the vineyard. He's also the vineyard. He's the soil, the vine, the fruit, the crop. He's also the sent Son, the heir. Christ is the rent that's due. He's the labor in the vineyard, the care and husbandry. But my question here is, where does the illogic and absurdity become so manifest that it's patently obvious to all but the most mind-bended?

In the "Christ is Everything" paradigm, at some point fallen human nature insinuates itself, and we invent a "Christ" to meet our perceived needs. It is no longer the Father's will being done on earth as in heaven, but ours. And it's pretty obvious to the casual observer. Only the die-hard fist-pumping and heel-rocking chanters still gulp the Ministry Kool-Aid.

In the parable above, common sense tell us that Christ is not the planting and sending landowner, but rather the Sent Son, the Heir. There's differentiation, distinction, in the gospel Kingdom of Heaven narrative of Jesus. It's not a Christ is Everything Smoothie. The "Jesus is the Father" narrative helped Witness Lee, and no one else.

I know some of the defenders of the paradigm will say, "But Jesus is the vine! He said so! It's there in writing!" But my question here is, "Where did Jesus self-identify as the Sending Father?" Rather I see him continually portrayed in the gospels as differentiated from the Sending Father, as the Son who came from the Father in heaven. Only the Christ is Everything Smoothie effaces these clear distinctions.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:07 AM   #22
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Good point, and potentially valid objection. In the NT, Jesus is treated as the functional equivalent of GOD, the VERY GOD, as our unregistered friend put it so strongly, including veneration/worship. If anyone says, “Jesus is God”, I say “amen” since the NT supports that. But what I was objecting to was the “Jesus is the Father” statement.
Also a good point, and a very valid objection.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:17 AM   #23
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I'll give a prosaic example: the servants under the Roman Centurion treated him exactly as if he were his boss, Caesar (or whatever General stood in between them). The Centurion, as a “man under authority”, was functionally “one” with Caesar and could be treated as the operational equivalent of Caesar. Yet the Centurion was not Caesar. But does the servant say, "Well, if you were Caesar I'd obey."?
But it seems that this story was a one off event used by the Lord to demonstrate spiritual principles, like faith and obedience, and not something taken to an extreme. WL was famous for taking metaphors beyond normal limits, making extra-biblical inferences where none should have been made.

Thus your "one with Caesar" inference kind of collapses when we watch Pilate in operation at the crucifixion, being manipulated by the Jewish High Priests.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:26 AM   #24
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“There is one mediator between man and God – the man Jesus Christ.” From a functional perspective, as Sole Mediator, Jesus is God to us. Think how scandalous all this would have seemed to the Jews, in the gospels. They were looking for Messiah, but not like this! Even John Baptist didn’t get it – “Are you the Christ, or should we expect another?” John was looking for an Earthly Great Leader, the New Moses, but Jesus was the Heavenly Leader, the Final Moses, actually the Only Law-giver. Moses was merely type or shadow. Grace and reality itself came through Jesus Christ ~John 1:17
John clearly and definitely "got it" one day while baptizing in the River Jordan when he proclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God!" (John 1.29-36)

Later on when asking, "Are you the Christ, or should we expect another?" John obviously had lost his way and decided to challenge Jesus, hoping for a release from prison.

Yet none of us can criticize John the Baptist, since we too, being tested, have been guilty of the same "faith-failures" forgetting what the Spirit of God has revealed to us.
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:29 PM   #25
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But it seems that this [Roman Centurion] story was a one off event used by the Lord to demonstrate spiritual principles, like faith and obedience, and not something taken to an extreme. WL was famous for taking metaphors beyond normal limits, making extra-biblical inferences where none should have been made.
Of course I’m reading between the lines, and providing my own interpretation. How can Jesus be “God” and “not the Father”? That is how, sez I, pointing to the Centurion v/v Caesar.

But note that the “Jesus is the Father” interpretation is doing the same thing. Jesus didn’t say, “I am the Father”, he said, “I and the Father are one”, and then he said, “I and the Father are one, just as you and you and you are all one”. So we have to figure out what “one” means, in all these contexts. We can’t insist that it must mean something in one place, and then in another passage we forget all about our interpretive rule because it doesn’t fit that particular scripture.
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Thus your "one with Caesar" inference kind of collapses when we watch Pilate in operation at the crucifixion, being manipulated by the Jewish High Priests.
In this case I’d say that the exception doesn’t prove the rule, but rather shows that the rule of representation doesn’t always work well. Especially here on earth! But that is why Jesus is who he is – with him, the rule of representation always works – he always does the Father’s will. “Thy will be done on earth as in heaven” – with Jesus this word is fulfilled.

But in the Bible we do see representation break down. A famous case is Gehazi and Elisha in 2 Kings 5. Gehazi was sent with a message, but he corrupted the message by trying to cut a side deal. An even more famous and portentous event occurred in heaven, in Genesis 6. The angels sent to watch over the human flock then took upon themselves to come and mingle with that fallen race, producing the most monstrous offspring. Jude 1:6 mentions this, “And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.” (2 Pet2:4 also). Just because you’re sent with a message, doesn’t mean that you're out of danger. No, indeed.

The failure of Pilate before the Sanhedrin is another example of breakdown of representation because of the corrupting influences on the ground. And none of us are exempt from failure. Only Jesus has passed the veil, perfected forever.

And yes, this was me taking liberty with the text. But that’s nothing more than most pastors do on Sunday morning. They use the text as basis of insight, or inspiration, or exhortation, or clue to understanding God’s kingdom. Where I protest is where someone tries to impose their concept on me as if it were the sum total of objective truth, and suggests that either I’m mentally or spiritually deficient when I question their thinking. I find that disrespectful, and because it was Witness Lee's MO I call it out.

And of course I probably overstate my own case sometimes, and react with manufactured amazement when others “don’t get it”. If this occasionally makes me a vexing read, I apologize... I do try to bear with others, as well. All of us are fumbling our way forward.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:26 AM   #26
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I was the one who started this thread, commenting on one of "Witness Wednesday" quotes.

Here's the portion in question:

"In the heavens, where man cannot see, God is the Father; when He is expressed among men, He is the Son; and when He comes into men, He is the Spirit. The Father was expressed among men in the Son, and the Son became the Spirit to come into men. The Father is in the Son, and the Son became the Spirit - the three are just one God." From the book "Concerning the Triune God" pp 8-9.

I objected to the statement "In the heavens, where man cannot see, God is the Father". I wasn't trying to say something on the 'trinity' and it's unfortunate that the conversation veered off so strongly, and part of it is my doing as well. I was just trying to say, Here you have a statement that is flatly contradicted by Jesus.

John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."

John 12:50 "And I know that His command leads to eternal life. So I speak exactly what the Father has told Me to say."

How can you read these verses and say, "Man cannot see the Father"?
How could Witness Lee speak these things in front of thousands and nobody ever corrected him?

That's what I was trying to talk about.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:58 AM   #27
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John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."

John 12:50 "And I know that His command leads to eternal life. So I speak exactly what the Father has told Me to say."

How can you read these verses and say, "Man cannot see the Father"?
How could Witness Lee speak these things in front of thousands and nobody ever corrected him?

That's what I was trying to talk about.
So what about John 1:18: "No one has seen God at any time . . ."?

Look, as has been pointed out, scripture has lots of verses concerning the nature of God that seem to be contradictory, right? So what if both the traditional Trinity view and the Modalistic view are both correct? And while our minds have difficulty grasping this, we are talking about the un-graspable God here! What pot of clay can really comprehend it's maker? It would be like sheep getting together and trying to understand their shepherd. Some would say he's this way, and others would argue he's another way, based upon their individual perceptions.

Again I see this as being akin to the Armenian vs. Calvinistic perspectives - they're both right! It's God we're talking about, and as my dad would say, "It's like trying to corner Jello."

And as UntoHim has pointed out a number of times, WL promoted Modalism in one speaking, and then in the next speaking he advocated the traditional Trinity. Dare I ask this: What if WL was actually right, and both views are correct concerning the Almighty?
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:51 PM   #28
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So what about John 1:18: "No one has seen God at any time . . ."?
John 1:18 says, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (ASV). Who can read that verse and say that Jesus has never seen the Father?

"Oh, but we're not talking about Jesus" is the reply. But why, in a verse that's talking about Jesus with the Father, seeing and knowing and declaring the Father, and making him known, do you not talk about Jesus? How can you say, "No one has seen God at any time" and leave it at that, as if this negation includes Jesus? Because by avoiding Jesus, by presenting that scripture without Jesus for necessary context, you're cheating the listener and cheating yourself, condemning a human race without Jesus, even when the same Bible verse talks about sending Jesus to save the human race.

Or, "All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"... does this show Jesus the sinner who's fallen short of the glory of God? No - obviously Jesus is the exception to this 'blanket statement'. And were it not for this exception, this qualifier, what would we be? Lost! So, how can anyone say, "No man has seen the Father in heaven" when Jesus was right here on earth, among us, telling us about seeing the Father? And how can anyone listen to that pseudo-gospel, that Jesus-avoiding narrative?

"Christ" was a cipher in the hands of Witness Lee, paraded then hidden, occasionally praised and often ignored, in a ministry of ministerial convenience, of commodity and expediency. The reason the dupes took it in without question is because it followed 40 minutes of repetitive shouting, and then Lee could say anything he wanted. Those of us who've been there remember the heel-rocking, arched back, eyes closed, fist pumping forward, "We have GAAWWWWWWDDDD!" "Ayyyyeeeemennnnnn GAAWWWWWDDDD!!" Glassy-eyed, dissociated and disconnected, in the "enjoyment" and the "exercise".. then, MOTA speaks and we take it in without discernment. The Minister of the Age presents an abstraction, a home-made Christ, and Jesus is hard to be found.

After the shouting, the message - a few boilerplate 'truths' to soften them up, then proprietary abstraction needing 4 or 5 qualifiers to make any sense, but the qualifiers aren't given. Just a blanket statement that contradicts the scripture, contradicts what was spoken 15 or 45 years ago, makes little if any sense on its own, and no Jesus. Just "man cannot see God" or some non-Christian absurdity.

Jesus said, "These things were written about me" but the Bible expositor is selling a "high peak" Jesus-less abstraction, and promoting our participation in and 'enjoyment' of that abstraction. Jesus is now just a stage prop in the play. And if you went into the Lee Mind Meld like I did, you got stumbled by taking your eyes off Jesus. Your thoughts were negated, dissociated, and Lee's thoughts usurped your own. You got merchandised, jobbed, taking in this Commoditized Christ, and becoming a commodity in the Ministry Market.

Let me put it differently - why come to a Bible that's presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ and use that Bible to avoid Jesus Christ? Lee's trick was to make you take your eyes off of Jesus, to look at yourself in his conceptual world. Then he could take you wherever he wanted.

Once there was a man on this earth, always beholding his Father in heaven. His testimony is clear, the gospels bear this out. What was lost in Adam's fall was now regained, and given to all. Who'd want to see anything else? Don't take your eyes off this one, even for an instant. He's the way home.
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Old 07-29-2020, 10:49 AM   #29
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John 1:18 says, "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (ASV). Who can read that verse and say that Jesus has never seen the Father?

Once there was a man on this earth, always beholding his Father in heaven. His testimony is clear, the gospels bear this out. What was lost in Adam's fall was now regained, and given to all. Who'd want to see anything else? Don't take your eyes off this one, even for an instant. He's the way home.
Well AMEN to that!

But you didn't mention the main thing I put forth in the post you responded to. Namely the idea that the two views of God's nature - the traditional Trinity view of God and the Modalistic view of God, might both be correct.
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:24 PM   #30
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Well AMEN to that!

But you didn't mention the main thing I put forth in the post you responded to. Namely the idea that the two views of God's nature - the traditional Trinity view of God and the Modalistic view of God, might both be correct.
I don't think that's a tack Jesus would take. "I'm okay, you're okay, I'm' partly right and so are you." Instead, Jesus said, "If you, being evil, know to give gifts to your children..." if he called his disciples evil, I doubt he'd engage in equivocation or relativism. Not that we can't or shouldn't, but I doubt he would.

One option is that both views are incorrect, and exist as failed attempts to mitigate the other's failures and weak points.

One option is that both views are partly correct, and together create some sort of synergistic whole.

One option, probably held by Jesus and NT writers, was that there was truth and then there was unfounded speculation and error. So, who was the Christ? Not always clearly shown to us. So we should stick to what is clearly shown.

God loved us so much that he sent his Only Begotten Son. Repent and believe into Jesus, and be baptised confessing his name. Etc. Those, to me, seem to be fairly definitive "truths" per the NT revelation.

Beyond that, my sense is that true religion is very much what James said it was - to visit widows and orphans and alleviate their affliction. Let them know God loves them, hasn't forgotten them. My only reason for discussing the Roman Centurion as a "man under authority" like Jesus - "for I also am a man under authority" - is to show that there are other possible readings for the statements about being "one" with the Father that don't violate the Sh'ma that Jesus being a Jew clearly affirmed. As I said, there's functional oneness, operational oneness, which he clearly expected that we should have with him and each other, just as he had with the Father.

My purpose in commenting on the "Witness Wednesday" quote was that "No man has seen the Father in heaven" was invalid if Jesus' words "I always see my Father in heaven" mean anything to us at all. Jesus said that he did what he saw the Father doing. So when you saw Jesus, you saw the Father, doing. You saw God's love, God's holiness, God's righteousness, God's mercy. The Father sending of Jesus Christ as our Saviour told John everything he needed to know, and us likewise, I think.

To say "No man has seen the Father in heaven" means you have to ignore Jesus, which I think is most unwise. And the fact that Witness Lee would make such bald categorical assertions in front of thousands, without ever being corrected, tells a lot about what kind of group he ran. It wasn't a fellowship of peers. It was a personality cult dominated by a fallen human being, with all the unquestioned ignorant presumption, covered-over error, and repressed and transferred fear that go along with such groups. I was there and I saw it. I could feel the little frisson of fear that ran through the group when he made his assertions. I thought it was holy and godly fear at the time, but now I see it as transferred pathological forces. He needed us to feel bad, so that he could feel better.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:59 AM   #31
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I don't think that's a tack Jesus would take. "I'm okay, you're okay, I'm' partly right and so are you." Instead, Jesus said, "If you, being evil, know to give gifts to your children..." if he called his disciples evil, I doubt he'd engage in equivocation or relativism. Not that we can't or shouldn't, but I doubt he would.
This seems like a non sequitur reply, and here's why - let's take the proverbial blind men feeling different parts of an elephant analogy. I grasp the tail and say the critter is like a rope. You grasp a leg and tell me that actually the elephant is like a small tree. Both of us are right and our respective explanations are true, at least as far as our limited perception is.

So if the bible says God is such & such in one place, and in another place it seems to contradict that idea, it just means we don't see or understand the full picture.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:51 AM   #32
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This seems like a non sequitur reply, and here's why - let's take the proverbial blind men feeling different parts of an elephant analogy. I grasp the tail and say the critter is like a rope. You grasp a leg and tell me that actually the elephant is like a small tree. Both of us are right and our respective explanations are true, at least as far as our limited perception is.

So if the bible says God is such & such in one place, and in another place it seems to contradict that idea, it just means we don't see or understand the full picture.
I think your example here is just far too difficult for most people to intellectually grasp. This seems to regularly occur in all walks of life, among all types of relationships.

I seem to have spent a sizable chunk of my life explaining how two apparently contradictory events can both be true at the same time.
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Old 07-31-2020, 01:39 PM   #33
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Good point, and potentially valid objection. In the NT, Jesus is treated as the functional equivalent of GOD, the VERY GOD, as our unregistered friend put it so strongly...

Of course all of this is the musings of a pilgrim on the path, not doctrine defined. I don’t say that people MUST ALWAYS think as I do. But now you know why I RESIST those who'd impose their thoughts the way I once let WL do with his.
Pretty sure that the unregistered poster actually quoted the first part of the Nicene Creed...word for word exactly (at least in my search engine)...ie Jesus is the Very God, etc. Didn't you pick up on to that Mr. Theologian? And therefore, I believe his (or her) point was that there are certain pillars of the christian faith that are just simply indispensable (as laid out in the Nicene Creed) and that all genuine Christians necessarily need to subscribe to "always". I think trying to make out that the unregistered poster was "imposing his/her thoughts" (I certainly did not receive this impression) on you is a dishonest misrepresentation of his/her views as well as maliciously disingenuous on your part (I'm sorry for this rather strongly-worded indictment but having lurked' here for a while I'd noticed that this is an unfortunate pattern with you and I'd kept my silence for long enough). And so, I'm afraid whatever kind of 'resisting' you imagine yourself to be offering to anybody is at best a resisting of yourself if not just plain old school-yard bullying...
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Old 07-31-2020, 01:58 PM   #34
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I think your example here is just far too difficult for most people to intellectually grasp. This seems to regularly occur in all walks of life, among all types of relationships.

I seem to have spent a sizable chunk of my life explaining how two apparently contradictory events can both be true at the same time.
Yes, I too have seen this occur over & over. among Christians, historically and on here! This is the danger when we read the bible and too quickly try to come up with an apparent explanation to neatly encapsulate things.

But just so we are all clear on here - due to copious amount of research, I can say 100% that the elephant is unequivocally like a rope!
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:20 PM   #35
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Even modern science which denies a creator acknowledges and has even demonstrated that one object can be in two places at exactly the same time (yeah, google it). How much more God.

Please stop letting your imagination be limited by its three-dimensional confines and unidirectional linear thinking.

Its as if the question you ask is any less astounding than turning two fishes and seven loaves into enough food to feed 5000 people. Why doesn't anybody shrug their shoulders at this resignedly and say "oh, it's a mystery". Instead, they don't question it and just praise God for his wonderful ways!
Unregistered, this is a fascinating point you brought up and really made me smile in thinking about the complexities of the crazy world of quantum mechanics......it's like as you get down the spectrum into the almost unseen realm at the electron level you can just imagine going even further down until you drop off the spectrum into the completely unseen realm. The immaterial, spiritual realm. It isn't a big leap under that paradigm to imagine how much more God could be in two places at exactly the same time. So I do love your comment and hope you contribute more.

However, even so, even in the famous double-slit experiment, some inherent uncertainties notwithstanding, they are still calling one object (electron) just one object. And that object isn't taking on different roles or anything, like the Son and the Father are represented to us in the Word. They are saying it is one object in two different places, and that one object is not represented ever as two different objects. The Son and the Father, though, are repeatedly represented as distinct from each other - different wills, one planning the other carrying out, one invisible and the other the image, the throne of God AND of the Lamb, eternal life is knowing both God the Father AND the Son, etc. There isn't any normal case in our lives where someone's son IS his own father, so it seems completely misleading of God to use this kind of relational language to represent Himself in a way where everything comparable to it in our human lives shows us they are distinct beings, and not just the same being in two places at once.

Just my thoughts though, and it's a delight to contend with.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:51 PM   #36
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I posted this on the modalism thread in Alt-Views, so this may get deleted, which is fine and understood, but to me, this goes a little way toward resolving the issue of Jesus being God but not being God the Father. C.S. Lewis is commonly hailed by apologists, so this may be kosher enough to stay on the main forum, I'm not sure. Either way is fine.

With C.S. Lewis' rationale, God the Father is God, and Jesus the Son of God is also God in the sense that what is begotten of God is also God (but is not the thing that begot it). And I would further add, that since we are speaking of immaterial beings, spiritual beings, they can also be "one" in ways that we currently, as material physical beings, cannot. Just thinking out loud.

post:

Here is an excerpt from C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" that I think better explains what I was trying to say in my previous post. He speaks of God the Father, and the Son of God, but then clarifies that since the Son is begotten, and not made or created, the Son of God is of the same "kind". In other words, just as man begets man, so does God beget God. It doesn't mean the thing begotten IS what begot it, but simply that they are the same kind.

Here is the quote. Thoughts?

=========excerpt============

We don't use the words begetting or begotten much in modern English, but everyone still knows what they mean. To beget is to become the father of: to create is to make. And the difference is this. When you beget, you beget something of the same kind as yourself. A man begets human babies, a beaver begets little beavers and a bird begets eggs which turn into little birds. But when you make, you make something of a different kind from yourself. A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, a man makes a wireless set—or he may make something more like himself than a wireless set: say, a statue. If he is a clever enough carver he may make a statue which is very like a man indeed. But, of course, it is not a real man; it only looks like one. It cannot breathe or think. It is not alive. Now that is the first thing to get clear. What God begets is God; just as what man begets is man. What God creates is not God; just as what man makes is not man. That is why men are not Sons of God in the sense that Christ is. They may be like God in certain ways, but they are not things of the same kind. They are more like statues or pictures of God.



The last chapter was about the difference between begetting and making. A man begets a child, but he only makes a statue. God begets Christ but He only makes men. But by saying that, I have illustrated only one point about God, namely, that what God the Father begets is God, something of the same kind as Himself. In that way it is like a human father begetting a human son. But not quite like it. So I must try to explain a little more.
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:00 AM   #37
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Here is an excerpt from C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" that I think better explains what I was trying to say in my previous post. He speaks of God the Father, and the Son of God, but then clarifies that since the Son is begotten, and not made or created, the Son of God is of the same "kind". In other words, just as man begets man, so does God beget God. It doesn't mean the thing begotten IS what begot it, but simply that they are the same kind.


The last chapter was about the difference between begetting and making. A man begets a child, but he only makes a statue. God begets Christ but He only makes men. But by saying that, I have illustrated only one point about God, namely, that what God the Father begets is God, something of the same kind as Himself. In that way it is like a human father begetting a human son. But not quite like it. So I must try to explain a little more.
That makes sense to my widdle mind. Therefore the Son is not created, but rather begotten. Therefore He is unique. "By the visions of our Father, touched by His loving Son!" (Let's see if OBW-Mike catches that . . .)
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:34 AM   #38
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That makes sense to my widdle mind. Therefore the Son is not created, but rather begotten. Therefore He is unique. "By the visions of our Father, touched by His loving Son!"
Ahhh! "You and me" getting a little "moody" this morning, StG?
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:52 AM   #39
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Ahhh! "You and me" getting a little "moody" this morning, StG?
We look around in wonder
At the work that has been done
By the visions of our Father
Touched by His loving Son.


The Moodys were certainly one of my fav bands from "back in the day!" I haven't listened to them for a while, as I became more & more aware of the mixture in their music (since most of the members were not professing Christians). But this verse was perhaps the clearest indication of a Christian belief in their music. The mention of the Father & Son in that song just came to me yesterday when I made that post.

The Father & Son is the one, unique relationship in this universe, and hallelujah, we've been brought into that relationship!
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:05 PM   #40
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This is the danger when we read the bible and too quickly try to come up with an apparent explanation to neatly encapsulate things... due to copious amount of research, I can say 100% that the elephant is unequivocally like a rope!
What is sin? Sin is disobeying God. Sin cuts us off, and we become blinded, and lose sight of God, lose perception, awareness, memory. We become like the prodigal who's on his hands and knees fighting for scraps with the hogs. And this is the universal dilemma. The Pharisees said, "You are altogether born in sin" but that was their situation as well. They also were blind.

Yet there is One who says, "I always see my Father". Either he is mad, or Messiah. He is megalomaniac or Saviour of the World. The testimony of many NT witnesses is that God raised him from the dead and gave him glory, as was foretold by the prophets. Jesus knew the Father, remembered the Father, saw the Father, obeyed the Father, was raised by the Father and returned to the Father in glory.

My point is, if you want to see the Father, go see Jesus. If you want to hear the Father's voice, listen to Jesus. Mary sat at his feet, listening and gazing up. John leaned against him. If you wanted God, just go to Jesus.

But even here there are difficulties. He taught in parable, in riddle, and privately to the disciples he'd explain the riddle. There was an "exoteric" or plain Jesus and an "esoteric" or hidden Jesus. And not all the riddles were explained in the gospels. I once wrote of the "introduction of leaven" on this forum, assuming leaven was bad, signifying corruption. I was using the parable of the woman who hid leaven in two measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. One poster said, "Not so fast". Perhaps I was dragging one meaning across to another section. Perhaps leaven was negative in one parable, or teaching, but context in another parable or teaching was different.

So even with the Jesus of the four gospels we probably can't say that we understand every word's 'true meaning'. Today at work I was explaining that the box I had was the right size. Like Goldilocks, I said neither too big nor too small. I was referencing the porridge of the folk tale - neither too hot nor too cold. Just right. My co-worker said, "I adopted my son from Cambodia. He doesn't get the Goldilocks story." How much of the NT is Jewish in context, with loss in translation to Greek? Look how John continually has to explain Hebraisms to his Greek readers. "for the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans" etc.

But it gets worse. What happens after the gospels, when you want to know the God of Jesus? You go to Paul, or John, or Peter. Or you hang out with someone who knew them. Papias writes that he'd rather be with someone who sat with Thomas, than read some paper. Because speculative papers were already circulating. The Gospel of Adam and Eve. The Acts of Paul and Thecla. The Gospel of Thomas. Etc. Speculative theology inserts itself.

Then you have the Manicheans, the Gnostics, and so forth. Everyone tries to synchretize the gospel of Jesus into their own scheme. Just like today with the Rastafarians, the Moonies, the Mormons. Each one with a proprietary revelation and a proprietary Jesus. A re-invented Christ. And yes I include the LC in this - when they went to China, the slogan was, "The age of the Word is over - it is the age of the Spirit". In other words, don't waste your time on the Bible, just forget about those 'dead letters' and call, call, call!

What I'm trying to say is that when you get Jesus you get 100% God. But how many of us can claim to get 100% Jesus? So circumspection is in order. Whether trinitarianism is partly right and modalism is partly right is irrelevant. It's like two fleas arguing over space flight. It's a waste of time.
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