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Old 01-12-2014, 07:11 AM   #1
bearbear
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Default Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

I've been realizing lately that many of those leaving the LCs have a damaged idea of who God is and end up knowingly or unknowingly blaming and mistrusting Jesus when the anger should really be directed towards Satan and the deception he wrought in Witness Lee's life and teaching. I believe we can recognize who is behind good fruit and bad fruit based on John 10:10. Satan comes to kill steal and destroy, but Jesus came to give life and give it abundantly.

I believe Witness Lee seriously misrepresented who Jesus was in the way he lived and taught, and this has done incredible damage to the reputation and person of Jesus among those who really invested and poured out their lives into the LRC.

One of the ten commandments is to not take the Lord's name in vain. To me this goes beyond using God's name as a swear word- and extends to those who carry the label of being a "Christian" or even more, a minister, pastor or other leader in the Christian church. Those who claim to follow Christ can either glorify or shame God's name based on how they live their lives.

Warnings about wrongly slandering God's name via an unrepentant sinful lifestyle is found throughout scripture. I'll put some references I can think of at the top of my head here:

"For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”" - Romans 2:24

".. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake" - Psalm 23:3

"Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered" - 2 Peter 2:2

With this introduction I'd like to do a quick bible study of 2 Peter 2 in the New Living Translation and relate how it connects with many accounts of Witness Lee's life and teachings in this forum. Also when I mention Witness Lee please note that I'm also trying to expose the spirit that was deceiving him, and not necessarily his person. Our war is not against flesh and blood but the satanic spirits and principalities and powers of the air.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

2 Peter 2
New Living Translation (NLT)
The Danger of False Teachers

Verse 1: "But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves."

Commentary: Many of you may disagree but let me just speak from a Lordship Salvation adherent's point of view. Witness Lee taught that we shouldn't worry about whether something is good or bad, but whether or not it has God. This sounds biblical, but it overrides commands in many scriptures throughout the OT and NT which tell us to pay attention to righteousness and to live holy lives (eg Romans 6, Ezekiel 18, James, Titus, 1 2 Timothy etc.). Furthermore he distorted the biblical definition of good fruit (recruiting more LSM adherents) and bad fruit (being disloyal to the ministry). The NT clearly teaches that good fruit are works born of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, kindness etc.) and bad fruit are works of the flesh (greed, sexual immorality etc.). Because the NT teaches that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cast down and burned (Matthew 7:19, Luke 3:9), I believe the value system he set in place is destructive and leading many of his followers to hell whether or not they think they are saved and believe in Jesus.

Another one is easy-believism. Witness Lee taught you are saved once you simply say "O Lord Jesus!" regardless of the condition of your heart and knowledge of the gospel. This teaching only encourages false converts to think they are saved of which I may have been one for over twenty years of my life. http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/lc.html does an excellent analysis of this:

----------------------------------------------------------------------
"We have seen that to reach the unbelievers, no preaching is necessary. If we help them say "O Lord" three times, they will be saved. If they open the window, the air will get in. All they have to do is to open their mouths and say, "O Lord, O Lord." Even if they have no intention of believing, still they will be caught! Regardless of whether they have the intention or not, as long as they open the window, the air will get in. It is not a matter of teaching; it is a matter of touching the seven Spirits of God." Witness Lee, Stream Magazine, Vlll: l, Feb l, 1970, 6.

I was recently at a gospel meeting when one was sharing about a story of a man in China who used to ride his bike around and simply call out "O Lord Jesus" and tried to get other people - who had no knowledge of Christ to do the same so that by doing so they would be saved, having "called on the name of the Lord." Ac 2:21 "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." In this phrase they take "calling on the name" out of context, not considering the figure of speech being used. But they should have realized their error if they simply read Romans 10

Romans 10:13,14
"for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"

To call on someone's name is not simply to mouth the words, as they advocate. One must first know the person. In reality what happens in such conversions is that a person is given the phrase "O Lord Jesus", and then sticks it on whatever idol the person has built in their own mind of what a "Jesus" is, rather than conforming their definition of Christ to the Bible. (But then again I find similar practices quite common in other evangelical churches too)
Secondly in teaching unbelievers to say "O Lord" they are teaching people to lie. To call Jesus "Lord" without the intention of doing what he said, that is to practice lying. Jesus said,"Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?"Luke 6:46 According to Jesus what he thinks calling him "Lord" means is that, perhaps among other things, you are agreeing to to what he said. In fact there are perhaps many Christians who likewise are lying, not having the right to call Jesus "Lord", as allegedly "believing in Christ" but without the intention of doing what he said.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm sure many of you can think of other destructive heresies Witness Lee taught, but these are two that come to mind.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

2 Peter 2:2a "Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality."

The Blended Brothers who are carrying the mantle of Witness Lee's teaching and living shamelessly lie and slander folks like Steve Issit and others who have brought to light the history of their iniquity.

2b "And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered."

Many who leave the LRC end up disowning their Christian faith altogether because of LSM's misrepresentation of what Christian fruit should look like.

3 "In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed."

Witness Lee shamelessly solicited investments and donations for DayStar and he made false promises that the investments would be solid because they had the Lord's annointing.

In his recorded phone conversation with Sal Benoit, Witness Lee showed that he clearly knew what he was doing by setting up the money laundering operation via Phosphorus which ensured he would never lose money at the expense of the saints who poured their life savings into his operation
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

2 Peter 2:12
"These false teachers are like unthinking animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed. They scoff at things they do not understand, and like animals, they will be destroyed."

Witness Lee scoffed at a lot of biblical teaching found in "Christianity". There are too many to name here so I'll just point out one. He laughed at the conventionally accepted view of the trinity as three distinct persons who are not each other, but are God and therefore one. He insisted that his own preposterous view was the correct one-- in which Jesus became the Holy Spirit and the whole Triune God had to go through a process and become flesh.

13 "Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals."

With little apology, in regards to the DayStar debacle, Witness Lee said "the saints lost their virginity" - e.g. he had raped them spiritually and financially and they should have expected it. Does this sound like words that would come from a man of God? or someone who is being influenced by evil spirits?

He shamelessly covered up his own son's sexual immorality and defended them even when he admitted what they were doing was wrong to John Ingalls and many others.

He did all this shamelessly while eating with the same people he was sinning against in LRC's love feasts.

14 "They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God's curse."

Many reported Witness Lee becoming altogether a different person when he would come and do his pitch for DayStar. It sounds like he was possessed by a spirit of greed who manifested himself whenever WLee obeyed this lust. Not only did he lead many otherwise honest saints into sin via depression and anger when the whole DayStar debacle blew up, but he also tempted everyone under him with sycophantic tendencies to sin by selling out the righteous co-workers such as John So, John Ingalls et al. in order to bring themselves up in the LSM hierarchy.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

2 Peter 2:15-16
They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong.

Balaam was torn between serving God and money. He ultimately chose money to his own destruction when he taught Balak how to tempt the children of Israel to worship idols and commit sexual immorality. Witness Lee may have genuinely been torn between serving God and money via DayStar. He ultimately chose the latter based on his actions (money laundering, selling out the saints who lost their investments etc). Witness Lee may have taught some good biblical things, but so did Balaam when he blessed the Israelites, but look where he ended up in the end.

Jesus taught us to judge a tree by its fruit. It's evident from this analysis that Witness Lee's tree bore bad fruit, therefore he should not be thought of as someone who represents God and bears his name.

In John 14, Jesus clearly lays out two conditions for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. First is that we must obey God and the second is we must love Him. When someone lives in unrepentant sin it shows that they neither love or obey God, hence they do not have the Holy Spirit in them and cannot be considered a good tree. The source of the bad tree is Satan himself, therefore he deserves the blame for the sad history of the LRC and not Jesus, our precious Saviour who laid up his life for us.

Sorry if I sounded really harsh on Witness Lee, and I'm open to correction if I have not been accurate with this assessment. I would also try to encourage all of us including myself to let all the bitterness go and forgive everyone who hurt us, looking at the Author and Perfecter of our faith in all of this. My point is in trying to expose the works of Satan so that God's name would not be associated with Witness Lee's works.

Ephesians 5:11
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

I've summarized everything in a blog post here:

http://nodustybunnies.blogspot.com/2...-of-false.html
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

I wanted to add that I can speak of this from experience. My Dad once preached the gospel to his brothers, my uncles. They received the gospel and got baptized some twenty to thirty years ago. It wasn't less than a year later that they all fell away.

The reason was one of my aunt in laws was some kind of relative in law of Witness Lee. She was privy to a lot of the immorality that was openly being practiced. Witnessing this kind of fruit being produced by a so-called Christian leader stumbled her and all my Uncles to stray away from the faith. To add insult to injury, they probably think they are saved because they believed in Jesus once due to the teachings on free grace.
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”
2 Peter 2:20-22

Directed more towards the blending brothers. They knew the way of righteousness, but turned away. My point of reference is from Speaking the Truth in Love.
Benson Phillips and Ray Graver knew of the office immorality yet considered it to be a local matter.

Upon coming together we attempted amid protests to mention the matter of the misconduct in the LSM office. They steadfastly refused to hear about it, but we proceeded to speak. Ray Graver then quickly rose and exited the room. Benson (in whose home we were meeting) also rose to register his displeasure. We felt that they had knowledge relevant to the matter and wanted to confer with them about it. Benson admitted that the same sister from the LSM office (mentioned previously) had come to him in Taipei to disclose a related event, but he strongly protested our bringing this matter before them. They argued that this affair was exclusively under the jurisdiction of the church in Anaheim, and they had no business being involved. We felt, as we mentioned earlier, that it was more than local, and that since that they were leaders in the LSM operation, they could be consulted. Some time later, however, I apologized to Benson and Ray for this, feeling that if they chose not to hear, we should not have forced the issue. Page 24

On page 12 the author refers to "misconduct and irregeularities" Dan Towle had heard of.

"Dan had also heard some things concerning misconduct and irregularities related to the ministry office that greatly upset him, and he had serious concerns as we did for the Lord’s recovery. At one point he told me that he considered to resign from the work and to leave. We confirmed his feeling that the situation was indeed serious.
Godfred, Dan, and I came together a few times, joined also by Ken Unger on a couple of occasions to fellowship about the situation and what should be done. Ken Unger, who was an elder in Huntington Beach, had himself also become very concerned. We conferred about our burden to speak with Brother Lee, mentioning a number of our concerns that involved aberrations of truth and practice. When we touched the matter of the full-time training in Taipei, Dan responded by saying that if you touch the FTTT, you touch Brother Lee himself, and according to his observation of Brother Lee’s practice, Brother Lee will consider you if you become in his eyes a problem, and then he will proceed to carry out his burden without you. Godfred confirmed this by saying that he had the same realization, that Brother Lee considers anyone who criticizes him a troublemaker and will consider whether or not that one is expendable. This was indeed a most serious consideration concerning Brother Lee. But we did not care to maintain any position or standing for ourselves. We felt that for the Lord’s sake and for the sake of all the brothers and sisters, we must open our hearts to Brother Lee, no matter what it cost us.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

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Originally Posted by bearbear View Post
The Blended Brothers who are carrying the mantle of Witness Lee's teaching and living shamelessly lie and slander folks like Steve Issit and others who have brought to light the history of their iniquity.
To my awareness, there has never been any repentance and asking of forgiveness for what has been in print (against John Ingalls) or what has been spoken (against Steve Isitt among many others). Steve Isitt in particular Ron Kangas singled out at an international conference.

"One of the most evil of these persons, his name is Steve Isitt. He is a man of death."

“Oh, this man of death, Steve Isitt, he wrote something. And someone else is sending it everywhere. I need to figure this out; oh, I never heard these things. Could this be true? Did the brothers behave like that?”

Reading the text does not account for the tone spoken against Steve Isitt. It can be heard at
http://www.blendedbody.com/_cl/_audi...servidores.mp3

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
2 Peter 1:5-9
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

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To my awareness, there has never been any repentance and asking of forgiveness for what has been in print (against John Ingalls) or what has been spoken (against Steve Isitt among many others). Steve Isitt in particular Ron Kangas singled out at an international conference.
Doesn't this situation remind you of Pharoah? The more Moses tried to bring Pharaoh to repentance, the more he hardened his heart. Because he could not yield to his pride, Pharaoh's end was a baptism of death in the red sea.

One sign of someone being a child of God is not that he is perfect or sinless but that he is able to turn and repent when the Holy Spirit convicts him. With all this said, I acknowledge that it's possible Witness Lee's repentance at the end of his life was accepted by our merciful God.

But we have to face the reality that this repentance didn't bring any real change to the movement. The idol LSM has set up is Witness Lee pre-repentance. And it may only be worthwhile analyzing the fruit he bore in his life because he is still alive in spirit to many in the LSM who read his words as if they were canon daily.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

Acts 20:29
I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.

A sign of a false shepherd is that he is more than willing to slaughter his own sheep to save his own life. This fairly describes what happened to John So, John Ingalls et al who were thrown under the bus when they confronted witness lee.

Jesus showed an example of what a true shepherd would do by laying down his life for the sheep, the exact opposite of the work of a false shepherd. Satan always turns things upside down.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

Quote:
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Acts 20:29
I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.

This fairly describes what happened to John So, John Ingalls et al who were thrown under the bus when they confronted witness lee.

Jesus showed an example of what a true shepherd would do by laying down his life for the sheep, the exact opposite of the work of a false shepherd. Satan always turns things upside down.
This is an excellent observation of Witness Lee's history of dealing with "problems." Lee was willing to sacrifice the "99" in order to save the "one," his own ministry and reputation. Every one of God's sheep was expendable and disposable except for his own profligate son, Philip.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

BB,

I follow your premises here quite well. And in the broad view, I believe that we are of mostly a similar mind.

But while there have been few comments back to your posts, let me point out one thing that I expect to bring some push-back. It might be a small point, or not even the main point, but it will be a distractor from your primary thoughts (as I read them).

In your second post, you said:
Quote:
I believe the value system he set in place is destructive and leading many of his followers to hell whether or not they think they are saved and believe in Jesus.
I honestly believe that this is an overstatement. This is a thought that grows out of the discussion that has already been set aside a few weeks back concerning loss of salvation.

Lee's teachings are quite destructive. They are as insidious as you labeled them. But unlike the thoughts of the moderators of the other forum, who believe that such groups may not even be following the God of the Bible, I think that the problem is that Lee teaches the God of the Bible, but ignores the parts he doesn't like.

He is clear as to the core of the start of salvation, but totally baffled (or at least baffling) as to the path forward from there. He believes and teaches that there is no need to positively do works because he believes that if you have waited long enough for the right amount of "dispensing" it will naturally flow out of you without any conscious effort. And since it does not, then it must not be intended.

Lee exchanged the whole gospel for a cheap gospel that turned up the lexicon of spiritual-sounding mumbo jumbo. That replaced the kind of fruit that the Bible talks about with uplifting meetings. That avoided the world around them (except to find "good material") and turned inward.

But to suggest that the failures of the bankrupt teachings of Lee and the LRC is a path to hell is to bring back the argument we abandoned concerning what is salvation and can you lose it.

I think that the better view is to revisit a passage that Lee so thoroughly destroyed and see the view of the teacher and the followers. (I will start by noting that the outcome for the follower is not mentioned. But here goes.)

In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul is continuing his discussion about the teachers that they have been lining up behind and fighting over. Now he keeps making mention of three pretty good ones. But I suspect that these were not the only ones in play. He mentions Peter, Apollos, and himself. At one point he makes a turn in his rhetoric. He refers to the teachers as farmers and builders. And he refers to the Corinthians as the farm and the building.

He then turns back to the teachers and discusses how they might build (continuing with the metaphor of building). Sort of a Three Little Pigs comparison. Straw, sticks, or brick. You know the materials he actually mentions.

Paul does make mention of their foundation in the faith which was Christ. (And while Paul was the one who had brought them that foundation, he is not suggesting that only he could provide it.) Then he talks about how the teachers might build. In the end (on "the day") their work would be tried. In terms of their reward, or lack thereof, the nature of what they built would be the evidence for or against them. The building that met the standard would gain them favor, while the building that did not would cause them loss, but not of salvation.

Now if the building in such a poor manner does not result in the loss of salvation of the builder, do we suppose that those on whom he built are still, nonetheless, lost? It might be easy to confuse the materials with which the teacher built as being the people. But then it would indicate that the materials (wood or stones) are the people rather than what was added to them.

There was a foundation of Christ. That is not burned in the fire. So the core of the believers' faith withstands the fire of the day. However, Paul does not provide any hint as to their fate. But he does not seem excessively concerned about it. At least not within this particular passage. He does provide them a lot of sound advice for moving forward. Things about a sinner, gifts, meetings, the life to come, and other things.

But he never suggests that their status before God is at risk.

Since we are talking about Christians (mostly) I can only accuse Lee of being a purveyor of flammable materials. Outside of the question about those who wandered into a Love Feast, got excited and stood and called "Oh, Lord Jesus" three times then disappeared, I believe that we are talking about people who have the foundation that Paul laid. Even those who started in that tenuous position of simply calling three times, but who stayed and began to mature a little, surely they came to truly believe in the one that they only sort of met by chance when those 9 words were spoken.

- - -

I mainly go through all of that to say that what you said about Lee's casting aside of the truth of "fruit" is very real. And there is a cost to failing in that arena. But your discussion will be hijacked by this one point. Despite my agreement on so much of your argument, I fear you undercut it by returning to send the followers to hell.

Of course, maybe you only meant "hell" as a level of extremes when we compare what our outcome may be (saved, yet as through fire — as mentioned about the teachers) compared with what we are being lulled into believing. If that is the case, then you can ignore what I wrote above. Just note that it might be better to be more direct in your writing. Or spell it out if you want to use such a term in a way other than as perdition.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

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In your second post, you said:
I honestly believe that this is an overstatement. This is a thought that grows out of the discussion that has already been set aside a few weeks back concerning loss of salvation.
Hi OBW, I can see where my statement about Witness Lee leading people to hell would have been confusing and I should have expounded on it, but I was afraid of getting side-tracked.

From a Lordship Salvation + Calvinist's perspective someone who is truly born again and walking in the faith would be bearing good fruit. If someone had no discernment on what is actually good vs bad fruit he'd have no way of testing himself if he is of the faith (2 Cor 13:5) and may therefore be deceiving himself into thinking he is born again preventing him from taking the action of pressing forward in surrendering his whole heart to Jesus.

From an arminianism point of view, the test of good fruit vs bad fruit would effect how someone would make sure he or she is staying on the narrow path that leads to life, and staying in the faith etc.

I lean towards Calvinism, but I respect the Arminianism perspective because both have so many scriptures that support it. I think this topic is beyond the scope of this forum though so I won't delve into it again I like how one pastor who I know who's also in between these views put it: "All I can say is once you get saved, make sure you stay saved!" This would coincide with 2 Peter 1's admonition for us to confirm our calling and election by growing in holiness everyday. This comes by spending time in God's presence and receiving his love, whereby we can blast this love that we have stored up to others through practicing God's word.

Regarding 1 Cor 3, I have some thoughts in regards to that also which I want to share later.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

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Hi OBW, I can see where my statement about Witness Lee leading people to hell would have been confusing and I should have expounded on it, but I was afraid of getting side-tracked.
I have found that there are certain types of people that tend to jump to condemning others -- usually disagreeable's -- to hell.

I think hell is a side-track. Take a look at every instance of the word hell in the Bible and tell me with no ambiguity what hell is.

Knock, knock ...
Oh no, it's Jehovah's Witnesses at the door!

I charge out the door saying, "Y'all take the fun out of everything."

JWs : stepping back ... "How do we take the fun out of every thing?"

"Because you don't believe in hell. Now we can't tell people to go to hell. And we just love doing that.

So I can't tell y'all to go to hell. The most I can hope to tell y'all is, "Go be nothing." And that's no fun.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

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I have found that there are certain types of people that tend to jump to condemning others -- usually disagreeable's -- to hell.

I think hell is a side-track. Take a look at every instance of the word hell in the Bible and tell me with no ambiguity what hell is.
I'll take a stab at this I believe there are two hells. One is in Sheol which is inside the earth and is a holding tank for the second hell which is the lake of fire. Sheol is described in Luke 16 so I'll skip to the lake of fire:

Revelation 21:8
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The Greek word rendered faithless here is "apistos" (Strong's greek word 571).

http://biblehub.com/greek/571.htm

571 ápistos (from 1 /A "not" and 4103 /pistós, "faithful," see there) – properly, not faithful because unpersuaded, i.e. not convinced (persuaded by God). 571 /ápistos ("faithless, unpersuaded") does not always refer to the unconverted – see Jn 20:27. 571 (ápistos) describes someone who rejects or refuses God's inbirthings of faith (note the root, faith, 4102 /pístis).

This is the same word used in John 20:27 when Jesus described Thomas, someone who was his disciple!

John 20:27
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

It should be noted that the list given in Revelation 21:8 is similar to the ones given in 1 Cor 6:9-10, Gal 5:19-21, Eph 5:3-5 which describes conditions for not inheriting the kingdom of God. Is it possible that not inheriting the kingdom of God implies going to hell? Jesus seems to confirm this idea by juxtaposing hell versus inheriting the kingdom of God in Mark 9:

Mark 9:47-48
And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

It's also interesting Revelation 21:8 mentions the cowardly. This should remind us of the ten spies (who were the handpicked cream of the crop of their respective tribes) who saw the giants in Canaan and disbelieved in God's promise. Even though they were Israelites who "believed" in Jehovah and were children of the promise, they were severely judged by God due to their cowardice.

In the OT, the judgment of the lake of fire is also alluded to which is different from the Jewish understanding of Sheol (the place you go after you die):

Daniel 12:2
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

So putting these verses together: The lake of fire is the second death where one experiences everlasting shame and contempt where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:30 AM   #17
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571 ápistos (from 1 /A "not" and 4103 /pistós, "faithful," see there) – properly, not faithful because unpersuaded, i.e. not convinced (persuaded by God). 571 /ápistos ("faithless, unpersuaded") does not always refer to the unconverted – see Jn 20:27. 571 (ápistos) describes someone who rejects or refuses God's inbirthings of faith (note the root, faith, 4102 /pístis).

This is the same word used in John 20:27 when Jesus described Thomas, someone who was his disciple!

John 20:27
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”
At this point in time, one whole week after the resurrection, two of the twelve original disciples were not yet believers. The first was Judas, who had perished by his own hand. The second was Thomas, who would not believe, not until he could "see" and "put his finger into the nail holes" of our risen Savior.

So this would not be a good verse to use in order to prove that the disciples, who have genuinely believed, could eventually go to hell.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:20 PM   #18
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At this point in time, one whole week after the resurrection, two of the twelve original disciples were not yet believers. The first was Judas, who had perished by his own hand. The second was Thomas, who would not believe, not until he could "see" and "put his finger into the nail holes" of our risen Savior.

So this would not be a good verse to use in order to prove that the disciples, who have genuinely believed, could eventually go to hell.
Good point, if there is no resurrection of the dead our faith is in vain (1 Cor 15:14). We have to believe in Christ's resurrection which means believing that he is alive even though he died on the cross-- so we have faith that he is alive in heaven as our heavenly high priest interceding for us. And we have faith that because we're born of God, we can overcome the world (1 John 5:4) as Jesus did-- and in doing so overcome death and inherit everlasting life as Christ the firstfruits did (1 Cor 15:20).
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:44 PM   #19
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BB,

In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul is continuing his discussion about the teachers that they have been lining up behind and fighting over. Now he keeps making mention of three pretty good ones. But I suspect that these were not the only ones in play. He mentions Peter, Apollos, and himself. At one point he makes a turn in his rhetoric. He refers to the teachers as farmers and builders. And he refers to the Corinthians as the farm and the building.

He then turns back to the teachers and discusses how they might build (continuing with the metaphor of building). Sort of a Three Little Pigs comparison. Straw, sticks, or brick. You know the materials he actually mentions.

Paul does make mention of their foundation in the faith which was Christ. (And while Paul was the one who had brought them that foundation, he is not suggesting that only he could provide it.) Then he talks about how the teachers might build. In the end (on "the day") their work would be tried. In terms of their reward, or lack thereof, the nature of what they built would be the evidence for or against them. The building that met the standard would gain them favor, while the building that did not would cause them loss, but not of salvation.

Now if the building in such a poor manner does not result in the loss of salvation of the builder, do we suppose that those on whom he built are still, nonetheless, lost? It might be easy to confuse the materials with which the teacher built as being the people. But then it would indicate that the materials (wood or stones) are the people rather than what was added to them.

There was a foundation of Christ. That is not burned in the fire. So the core of the believers' faith withstands the fire of the day. However, Paul does not provide any hint as to their fate. But he does not seem excessively concerned about it. At least not within this particular passage. He does provide them a lot of sound advice for moving forward. Things about a sinner, gifts, meetings, the life to come, and other things.

But he never suggests that their status before God is at risk.

Since we are talking about Christians (mostly) I can only accuse Lee of being a purveyor of flammable materials. Outside of the question about those who wandered into a Love Feast, got excited and stood and called "Oh, Lord Jesus" three times then disappeared, I believe that we are talking about people who have the foundation that Paul laid. Even those who started in that tenuous position of simply calling three times, but who stayed and began to mature a little, surely they came to truly believe in the one that they only sort of met by chance when those 9 words were spoken.
...
My dad said the same things to me when we were discussing 1 Cor 3. I'll just describe my understanding of this matter.

Hebrews 12:29 says God is a consuming fire. Isaiah was the most holy man of Israel, a man who lived in repentance and obeyed the Lord. Yet when he appeared before God's presence he was totally undone simply because he dwellt among sinners.

Isaiah 6:5 ESV
And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"

The presence of God is so holy that it seems to have a nature of obliterating everything that is not holy. You get a sense of this when Uzzah laid his hand on the ark of the covenant and got blasted to death because he did not go through the proper consecration rituals laid out in Leviticus (2 Samuel 6).

If God's holiness has this effect on people who are pretty righteous, what effect would it have on mouth professing Christians who say they believe in Jesus, go to church on Sundays, but live like heathens the rest of the week?

In 1 Cor 6:13 Paul says that God will destroy the stomach along with the food that is inside it. He then relates this analogy to the Corinthian believers who may be practicing sexual immorality. This is interesting because earlier in 1 Cor 3:16-17 Paul states that the believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit and warns that God will destroy them along with the practice of sin that has defiled it if they don't repent:

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Now if Jesus' blood has washed our sins away, not just from a legal standpoint, but also tangibly whereby the power of sin is no longer over us and we are freed from being slaves of sin (Romans 6) whereby we can become slaves to Christ, then we have nothing to worry about because our temples will be clean and spotless. In this case, our temple would pass through God's consuming fire without a problem.

So in the preceding verse 15 Paul is talking about two things getting burned when we are judged: our works and our temples. Our salvation is not based on works, so whether or not our works are burned has no bearing on our status for inheriting eternal life. However whether or not our temples can make it through the fire *DOES* matter for salvation.

15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1 Corinthians 6:13
"Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food"--and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

Matthew 10:28
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Regarding works, I believe the only works that will pass through God's fire are those that were born out of faith working through God's love.

Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

A great story to read on this is Howard Pittman's testimony. He was a baptist preacher who helped raised 32 orphans, preached the gospel etc. but God showed him none of his works would pass through the fire because he did those things to soothe his own conscience and they were not born out of love.

http://www.freechristianteaching.org...#axzz2qJFbbs4h
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:20 PM   #20
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My dad said the same things to me when we were discussing 1 Cor 3. I'll just describe my understanding of this matter.
Presumably your association of these verses has something to do with the use of the English word "destroy" in them.

However, the words translated "destroy" in 1 Cor 3:17, 1 Cor 6:13 and Matthew 10:28 are actually three completely different Greek words.

In 1 Cor 3:17 the word is phtherei, which means literally "SHALL BE CORRUPTING." The meaning is that if you attempt to corrupt the temple of God you will only succeed in being corrupted yourself.

In 1 Cor 6:13 the Greek word is katargEsei, which literally means "SHALL BE DOWN-UN-ACTING" or, anglicized, "shall be discarding." It implies doing away with something that isn't needed anymore. It isn't about judgment. Food and stomachs will not be needed in the next age.

In Matthew 10:28 the Greek word is apolesai, which this time does directly translate to our English "destroy."

bearbear, I wish you'd worry less about free grace* and more about your free misuse of scripture to back your pet doctrine. Seriously.


* All grace is free, by definition. So to complain about free grace is to complain about grace itself. Mocking free grace makes as much sense as mocking wet water.

This reminds me of Calvinists who argue (cleverly they think) that "free will" is not found in the Bible. Well, duh. Will is not will unless it's free. If it's not free it's programming, not will. Likewise grace isn't grace unless it's free. Let's try to keep things straight.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:36 PM   #21
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This reminds me of Calvinists who argue (cleverly they think) that "free will" is not found in the Bible. Well, duh. Will is not will unless it is free. If it's not free it's programming, not will. Likewise grace isn't grace unless it's free. Let's try to keep things straight.
Hi Igzy, I'm just presenting my views as I see it and don't mean to push it on others. I think my "pet doctrine" while possibly viewed as heresy in dispensational circles is widely considered to be orthodox in Christianity as it is held by those in both Reformed and Armininist schools.

When I explain to other Christians how I grew up with free grace but changed to where I am now, they often look at me like I was ignorant for adhering to this doctrine in my youth. However when I do the same here it seems like everyone is ready to raise their pitchforks which I expect because maybe I would have done the same. The background of salvation doctrine a Christian was raised under has a huge effect on the way they perceive other teachings and how they read the bible.

According to wikipedia, adherents of Free grace doctrine are the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Grace_theology

"Its prominent present-day expressions are the Grace Evangelical Society, the Free Grace Alliance,[11] the Plymouth Brethren, and the local churches."

Outside of evangelical Christianity, it seems like free gracers are in the minority. Yet even then there are tons of other evangelicals who openly say that free grace is heresy such as Francis Chan.

If you think my espousal of this doctrine is heresy, would you also brand other well known Lordship salvationist servants of God such as David Wilkerson, John MacArthur, John Piper and Paul Washer as heretics?

What I like about you guys though is that you respect the word of God and aren't afraid of having a debate from scriptures. It's sometimes hard to have the same level of conversation and debate with other Christians because they just believe whatever their pastors say. This is something I really appreciate from those that come from LC backgrounds.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:48 PM   #22
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This reminds me of Calvinists who argue (cleverly they think) that "free will" is not found in the Bible. Well, duh. Will is not will unless it's free. If it's not free it's programming, not will. Likewise grace isn't grace unless it's free. Let's try to keep things straight.
I agree the definition of grace is unmerited favor. I don't necessarily disagree with your definition, however I do disagree with free grace's definition of faith which only goes as far as mere credence that Jesus is who he says he is. This is important because we are saved by *faith* alone in Christ Jesus.

I adhere to the biblical definition of saving faith in Hebrews 11:1 which I have written more about here:

http://nodustybunnies.blogspot.com/2...-save-you.html

and what it means to believe into Jesus here:

http://nodustybunnies.blogspot.com/2...nto-jesus.html
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:57 PM   #23
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Hi Igzy, I'm just presenting my views as I see it and don't mean to push it on others. I think my "pet doctrine" while possibly viewed as heresy in dispensational circles is widely considered to be orthodox in Christianity as it is held by those in both Reformed and Armininist schools.

When I explain to other Christians how I grew up with free grace but changed to where I am now, they often look at me like I was ignorant for adhering to this doctrine in my youth. However when I do the same here it seems like everyone is ready to raise their pitchforks which I expect because maybe I would have done the same. The background of salvation doctrine a Christian was raised under has a huge effect on the way they perceive other teachings and how they read the bible.

According to wikipedia, adherents of Free grace doctrine are the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Grace_theology

"Its prominent present-day expressions are the Grace Evangelical Society, the Free Grace Alliance,[11] the Plymouth Brethren, and the local churches."

Outside of evangelical Christianity, it seems like free gracers are in the minority. Yet even then there are tons of other evangelicals who openly say that free grace is heresy such as Francis Chan.

If you think my espousal of this doctrine is heresy, would you also brand other well known Lordship salvation believing servants of God such as David Wilkerson, John MacArthur, John Piper and Paul Washer as heretics?

What I like about you guys though is that you respect the word of God and aren't afraid of having a debate from scriptures. It's sometimes hard to have the same level of conversation and debate with other Christians because they just believe whatever their pastors say. This is something I really appreciate from those that come from LC backgrounds.
bearbear,

I appreciate you being such a good sport.

However, please tell me. Wasn't at least part of the strength of your previous post supposed to hinge on tying those verses together with the word "destroy?" And isn't it true you were not really aware the Greek words were completely different and demonstrated none of the connection between the verses that you tried to imply?

Also, if grace by definition is free, then "Free Grace" is a redundancy. So I wonder what kind of grace "non-free-gracers" must have--since there isn't any other kind other than the free kind. Do "non-free-gracers" practice taking back birthday and Christmas gifts if recipients don't measure up? One would think they should, since this would indeed be the "living out" of their theology and expression of what they think God is like. Unless of course they are embarrassed to behave as shabbily as they believe God does.


Just keeping you on your toes, son.
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:59 PM   #24
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I'm just presenting my views as I see it and don't mean to push it on others. I think my "pet doctrine" while possibly viewed as heresy in dispensational circles is widely considered to be orthodox in Christianity as it is held by those in both Reformed and Armininist schools.
How does someone like me know if he lives in a "dispensational circle?"
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:09 PM   #25
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The free (gracious) gift of God is eternal life. But eternal life implies living forever. So if the gift is revoked, one was never given eternal life in the first place, because one didn't live forever. But the Bible says we were indeed given this gift. Therefore it cannot be revoked.

"For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable." Romans 11:29
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:21 PM   #26
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bearbear,

I appreciate you being such a good sport.
...
Just keeping you on your toes, son.
I recently repented before the Lord for expecting others to adhere to my view of salvation so quickly. It's because I realized that my own journey out of free grace was a gradual one.

First, I got curious what exactly I needed to do to make the rapture in case Jesus was coming soon. Some folks out there were saying that you need to live in repentance and holiness. After some bible study I agreed that this view had merit.

After this stage of belief I noticed that some out there were saying repentance and holiness were also required for salvation (Arminianism), or results from being born again (Calvinists). I then did a pretty serious bible study which led me gradually to disbelieve in free grace after I read the whole bible again with different assumptions.

Regarding your points on Greek word study for destroy, I gotta get back to you on that because I never did word studies on them. Thanks for pointing that out.

Regardless of us disagreeing, I've found that I've been able to press into more revelation from all these questions I get and points that you guys bring up which I feel the urge to respond to

It's been a great source of inspiration for my blog, so thank you all!
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:22 PM   #27
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How does someone like me know if he lives in a "dispensational circle?"
If you believe in something known as the "age of grace" you're probably in it this concept originated from Darby and was passed to many evangelicals in the US via the Scofield reference bible.

That said, I still believe we are in the "church" age, the time of the gentiles that Jesus alluded to which is the pause after the 69th week of Daniel's 70 weeks.

The irony is that while I disagree with Darby's view of grace, I have great respect for his teachings on eschatology which stem from his dispensationalism.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:02 PM   #28
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I think that the problem is that Lee teaches the God of the Bible, but ignores the parts he doesn't like.
This has been my sense too. Especially when it comes to the Life-Studies. Hardly authoritative or comprehensive. When tested, the Life-Studies are a prime example of parts of the Bible he didn't like were left out.
Wit many local churches being currently based on the person and work of Witness Lee, LSM ignores parts of Lee's ministry they don't like.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:41 PM   #29
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Acts 20:29
I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock.

A sign of a false shepherd is that he is more than willing to slaughter his own sheep to save his own life. This fairly describes what happened to John So, John Ingalls et al who were thrown under the bus when they confronted witness lee.
I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. 3 John 1:9-10

Growing up in the local churches it was Max Rapoport who was likened to Diotrephes (who loved to be first). Now when taking more than just a phrase into context I realize who the type of Diotrepehes really was.
For Lee's sake brothers were quarantined. These quarantined brothers were "unjustly" accused "with wicked words". Brothers and sisters were warned not to receive quarantined brothers. What became of those that did? Were they set aside from fellowship?
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:17 PM   #30
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This has been my sense too. Especially when it comes to the Life-Studies. Hardly authoritative or comprehensive. When tested, the Life-Studies are a prime example of parts of the Bible he didn't like were left out.
Indeed, and it was worse than just the parts he didn't like. I think all preachers have pet philosophies, ideas and theses they like or avoid, and this should be welcomed in a diverse faith community; if this was all Lee was doing, espousing his different view, then fine, his books would have likely earned a place on many a Christian or spiritual bookshelf…. but, with Lee, there is more to the LifeStudy than this.

The whole ministry had a hidden agenda, a self-perpetuating sales agenda which was engineered into every volume produced. In LifeStudy it seeped from every page: get the young ones in, keep them controlled, organize sisters and brothers, get their money, don't let them give it to charity; LifeStudy is not ministry material but propaganda, an instruction manual.

There is no place for this in spiritual books - if the author has an agenda, it becomes worthless or worse.

What value there was in Nee's theology, Lee poisoned it in trying to make the books serve his purpose. And it's difficult to see where the poison ends and the clear water begins, so stirred up has it been over a couple more generations of cult members spreading the word. LifeStudy is some of the ugliest propaganda you will read and it pained me it was the only reading allowed at the Church in Hong Kong.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:12 PM   #31
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What value there was in Nee's theology, Lee poisoned it in trying to make the books serve his purpose. And it's difficult to see where the poison ends and the clear water begins, so stirred up has it been over a couple more generations of cult members . . .
So true james73. But I can't help but think that since the local church movement was founded by more than a duplicitous Nee, that, he was therefore the fountainhead of where the poison originated. That it was bad from the seed.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:47 PM   #32
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The free (gracious) gift of God is eternal life. But eternal life implies living forever. So if the gift is revoked, one was never given eternal life in the first place, because one didn't live forever. But the Bible says we were indeed given this gift. Therefore it cannot be revoked.

"For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable." Romans 11:29
God also gifted the promised land to the Israelites, but they were expected to receive this gift by trusting in God's promises via walking by faith all the way into their everlasting inheritance. Many were called into this promise, but few were chosen. The Israelites who did not have faith in God that went beyond mere credence perished in the wilderness. God expected them to actually *believe* in him and not just intellectually acknowledge his existence.

From God's perspective he never revoked the gift because he is doing everything he can to deliver the good land to the Israelites despite their unfaithfulness.

Genesis 17:8
And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”

Many of the Israelites who perished would have had it better if they'd stayed in Egypt. At least they'd enjoy life a little even though they'd be slaves. In Luke 14, Jesus tells his followers to count the cost before deciding to follow him. He warned that if they weren't willing to give up their whole life to follow him, it wasn't worth it. It'd be better for them to return to the world and be slaves to their careers or whatever idols or lusts they lived for previously.

Regarding eternal life, Lordship salvation's view of eternal life is that it is something that can only be obtained *in* Christ Jesus. They look to John 15 as one of their major proof texts:

John 15:5-6
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

From their perspective, we will inherit eternal life as long as we remain in Christ since we cannot obtain eternal life by ourselves. David Pawson, a very listenable bible teacher and an Arminianist covers this in his talk here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy3tSIg7Gi0

The writer of Hebrews also alludes to this:

Hebrews 3:14
For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

Since we can only obtain eternal life in Christ, we can only inherit eternal life if we endure to the end, just like the Israelites were expected to endure all the way into the promised land and conquer it by faith.

Matthew 24:13
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:56 PM   #33
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Indeed, and it was worse than just the parts he didn't like. I think all preachers have pet philosophies, ideas and theses they like or avoid, and this should be welcomed in a diverse faith community; if this was all Lee was doing, espousing his different view, then fine, his books would have likely earned a place on many a Christian or spiritual bookshelf…. but, with Lee, there is more to the LifeStudy than this.
The irony in all this was Witness Lee wrote and spoke several times that the saints should read his and Watchman Nee's ministry exclusively because he did not want the church to possibly go astray due to their lack of discernment. Who knew that it was Witness Lee and Watchman Nee's own ministries that required tremendous discernment for filtering out the leaven found in their teachings.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:38 PM   #34
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Presumably your association of these verses has something to do with the use of the English word "destroy" in them.

However, the words translated "destroy" in 1 Cor 3:17, 1 Cor 6:13 and Matthew 10:28 are actually three completely different Greek words.

In 1 Cor 3:17 the word is phtherei, which means literally "SHALL BE CORRUPTING." The meaning is that if you attempt to corrupt the temple of God you will only succeed in being corrupted yourself.
Being corrupted sounds like you become blemished and unholy. That's not reassuring to me because it reminds me of verses like these

Hebrews 12:14
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Matthew 5:48
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Philippians 2:15
That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Ephesians 5:27
so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

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In 1 Cor 6:13 the Greek word is katargEsei, which literally means "SHALL BE DOWN-UN-ACTING" or, anglicized, "shall be discarding." It implies doing away with something that isn't needed anymore. It isn't about judgment. Food and stomachs will not be needed in the next age.
This is not reassuring either because things you don't need anymore are thrown into the garbage. Jesus may have wisely chosen the word Gehenna which was a garbage dump, when making references to hell and it reminds me of verses like these

Luke 14:34-35
“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?. It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Matthew 7
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.

Revelation 20:15
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Also, overcoming is required to make sure your name stays in the book of life:

Revelation 3:5
'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

They may be different Greek words for destroy, but they all seem to be pointing to the same result: Not inheriting the kingdom of God, and thereby perishing for eternity in either outer darkness or the lake of fire.

I'm sorry I don't enjoy being a debbie downer at all. I think I will do something positive now like pet a puppy. Perhaps what keeps me going is Revelation 3:8 where God admonishes us to not deny his word.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:37 PM   #35
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I recently repented before the Lord for expecting others to adhere to my view of salvation so quickly.
"So quickly"?? Haha. Delete those two words and you might be onto something.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:13 PM   #36
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"So quickly"?? Haha. Delete those two words and you might be onto something.
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!

That said I have given up trying to convince anyone and am perfectly content with writing down my viewpoint to add color to the discussion in this forum.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:03 AM   #37
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Do "non-free-gracers" practice taking back birthday and Christmas gifts if recipients don't measure up? One would think they should, since this would indeed be the "living out" of their theology and expression of what they think God is like. Unless of course they are embarrassed to behave as shabbily as they believe God does.
It may have seemed like I laid down the hammer pretty hard on Witness Lee, but my aim is not to speculate where he ended up, after all he seemed to make some effort to repent near the end of his life-- but I think scripture admonishes us to expose false teachers and false shepherds. I think after you peel away the sheep's clothing, it's apparent Witness Lee was a wolf whether or not he knew it; it's evident once you compare his fruit to what scripture says to expect from false teachers. The reason it is important to get the word out is because the lives of the sheep are at stake. We should be willing to extend grace to him just like God would, but it's evident that instead of repenting when confronted, Witness Lee only hardened his heart and made things worse. His publishing of the "Fermentation of the Present Rebellion" may have sealed his own "rebellion" against God.

The level of scrutiny that Jesus applied to teachers of the law who had influence over people's souls cannot be applied to lay people who are just trying to survive in this harsh world. That's what the pharisees did and it's exactly the type of thing I believe can send you to hell.

To refuse a gift from someone in that context would be messed up and likely cause them to stumble in their faith. This is the kind of thing I'm afraid God would smite me for. If anything I've come to love other people even more after my journey out of free grace because I know now how narrow the road really is the eternal life (though I admit I often make mistakes in my attempt to "love" on others and I'm sorry for that). We can't rely on anything other than God's love to change people-- and as vessels of God's love we can lavish this love on others in the hope that their hearts will be changed. Transformation doesn't result from behaviour modification but a born again experience by which someone receives a new heart and new spirit (Ezekiel 36).

Heck recently I was reading accounts of people's born again experiences. Many of them felt a wave of love or peace wash over them after surrendering their life to Jesus. Despite "believing" Jesus died for my sins all my life, it was then that I realized I was never born again until my journey out of the LC.

After I left the LC, as a result of rediscovering the truth in God's word, I totally surrendered my heart to Jesus and desperately wanted him to be my Lord not just in name but tangibly in every area of my life because I realized apart from Him I had no hope of making the rapture or as I discovered later on, walking the narrow road that leads to life.

It was that midnight while visiting my in-laws in Hong Kong where I felt a tremendous feeling of peace invade my heart during this prayer. I knew it was the peace that surpasses all understanding described in Phil 4:7. At the time I wouldn't have traded that feeling of God's rest for a billion dollars. From that moment on I really felt like a new creation and I was finally able to overcome all sorts of addictions I was struggling with. When I compare who I am today in Christ against my old self, I can barely recognize who I used to be.

If I had stayed in the LCs all my life, blindly thinking that I was okay because I merely intellectually acknowledged Jesus' deity, went to the church meetings and even served but lived like everyone else in the world the rest of the time, I would have never had that experience and beginning of a new transformation.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:11 AM   #38
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With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!

That said I have given up trying to convince anyone and am perfectly content with writing down my viewpoint to add color to the discussion in this forum.
bearbear, I've been realizing lately that perhaps you don't have the same view of us ex-LC members as we do. You attribute it to "free grace" errors which came from "dispensational circles" such as those loosely connected with Darby. As a passive, entitled, 2nd generation, know-it-all, who has recently come of age, I believe your views are quite different from many of us, at least for me.

I jumped into the LC in Cleveland headlong in 1976. After my first meeting, I stayed the whole weekend at the "farm house" on the church property. I soon moved in with Norm M. and his family, attending morning watch every morning and some meeting or service every night. Many of us preached the gospel regularly, if not every day. No one could say that I (or others) enjoyed some "easy-believism," which you are constantly assigning to us.

In those days, we nearly made no decisions on our own. Everything we did was surrounded by much prayer, fasting, and fellowship with the brothers. Twice I totally uprooted my life to join a migration to another city in order to start a new church from scratch. I seriously suffered much from outsiders because of my faith and the narrow way I was pursuing. Most ex-LC-members I know from the "old days" have similar experiences.

For you to come along and project your past life in the LC to ours is neither fair nor justified. I consider myself more like an aging, wounded veteran of foreign wars, wondering if the wars were even worthwhile. I constantly battle a life of discouragement and disappointment, all the while struggling to keep my love and faith fresh and new. This is why you are struggling so hard to convince us of your point of view. You are like a newly saved messianic Jew coming to us every day with the message that circumcision, Sabbath, and kosher are now meaningless. Who knew?

I do think, however, that you have a message for other second generation Christians. And I have taken to heart the message you have brought to the forum. I thank the Lord that you have found your "voice" in Christ. Take heed to your ministry from the Lord. That said, it is not the only message in the Bible. All men need to repent and believe, but Jesus did not use that same message with every person He met on earth. He knew the audience, and matched the message to them. Paul also said he was all things to all men.

And yes, you do add some very nice "color" to the forum.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:33 AM   #39
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

bearbear,

You answered neither of the questions I asked in post #23.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:37 AM   #40
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bearbear, I've been realizing lately that perhaps you don't have the same view of us ex-LC members as we do. You attribute it to "free grace" errors which came from "dispensational circles" such as those loosely connected with Darby. As a passive, entitled, 2nd generation, know-it-all, who has recently come of age, I believe your views are quite different from many of us, at least for me.

I jumped into the LC in Cleveland headlong in 1976. After my first meeting, I stayed the whole weekend at the "farm house" on the church property. I soon moved in with Norm M. and his family, attending morning watch every morning and some meeting or service every night. Many of us preached the gospel regularly, if not every day. No one could say that I (or others) enjoyed some "easy-believism," which you are constantly assigning to us.

In those days, we nearly made no decisions on our own. Everything we did was surrounded by much prayer, fasting, and fellowship with the brothers. Twice I totally uprooted my life to join a migration to another city in order to start a new church from scratch. I seriously suffered much from outsiders because of my faith and the narrow way I was pursuing. Most ex-LC-members I know from the "old days" have similar experiences.

For you to come along and project your past life in the LC to ours is neither fair nor justified. I consider myself more like an aging, wounded veteran of foreign wars, wondering if the wars were even worthwhile. I constantly battle a life of discouragement and disappointment, all the while struggling to keep my love and faith fresh and new. This is why you are struggling so hard to convince us of your point of view. You are like a newly saved messianic Jew coming to us every day with the message that circumcision, Sabbath, and kosher are now meaningless. Who knew?

I do think, however, that you have a message for other second generation Christians. And I have taken to heart the message you have brought to the forum. I thank the Lord that you have found your "voice" in Christ. Take heed to your ministry from the Lord. That said, it is not the only message in the Bible. All men need to repent and believe, but Jesus did not use that same message with every person He met on earth. He knew the audience, and matched the message to them. Paul also said he was all things to all men.

And yes, you do add some very nice "color" to the forum.
I agree, that's a good observation. My experience is also shaped by the fact that I was pretty involved in the LCs from 2005 to 2011 in the west coast. It's probably a wholly different experience than coming to know Jesus in the midwest LCs in the 1970s where the Holy Spirit was moving. From what I read, Witness Lee was less involved in those days and the problem seems to be that he became "more involved" later on.

I like how Leonard Ravenhill put it - You can have all your doctrines right but still miss the presence of God. Whether or not you have the Spirit of God is the most important thing.

I'm sorry I didn't mean to attribute easy-believism to everyone here, but I do believe it's what Witness Lee taught and he should be held responsible for it. And I still have to speak to the destruction I saw it cause especially among church kids (as I realize now). And if you thought I was entitled then, I would like you to introduce to you some of the young people I was serving here in the west coast

There's a reason I believe that many youth are leaving evangelical churches. When you take your salvation for granted, it's easy to fall into many pitfalls like exalting doctrines which don't really matter such as one church in one city, or God's economy or political issues above the love of Jesus. It can also become easy to be tempted by the enemy and leave our first love by returning to loving the world. While it's easy for us to judge the younger generation, we also have to realize this world has become much more scary in its ability to steal their hearts away for things like video games, facebook and other lusts of the flesh that have become more alluring with technological advances.

If you already believe you've obtained eternal life but haven't developed intimacy with Jesus, you really don't stand a chance growing up in this world today.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:40 AM   #41
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bearbear,

You answered neither of the questions I asked in post #23.
Didn't I do this in post #32,34 and 37 ?
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:41 AM   #42
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At 83 I appreciate almost everything I read on this forum. I am not enough of a theologian to even understand all that is written but. My wife and I were raised for 30 years in the Assemblies of God and of course they are Armenian. We both switched to the other side somewhere along the way. Our teaching was such that you could be a believer for 40 years and just before the end someone throws a rotten banana in your face, you curse, and thereby go to hell. Believe me I have heard this sort of thing spoken. Where is the eternal life of John 3? If you live with the constant fear of either living a good life and going to heaven or being like most of us and certainly going to hell, what a living. On his death bed, David told Solomon to kill Joab. That has never set well with me, but the Lord quite clearly tells us he will make it.

My senior year in college was dreadful. After makingall A's and B's for three years, I worried all year long about making a C in P chem. In fact two days before graduation I went to the prophessor an asked him if I made it. His answer was, Oh buddy you know you made it. That was a miserable year. If I had to live like that.... The same is somewhat true to me in the Christian life. I don't have any confidence that WL, WN, or anyone else can put all the NT together and come to an inteligent conclusion. I strongly believe the Bible is a speaking word and if it speaks to us and we hear it is life. But if we pull a WL know it all and try to live by him, we are not thnking, we're hoping.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:45 AM   #43
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bearbear, I've been realizing lately that perhaps you don't have the same view of us ex-LC members as we do. You attribute it to "free grace" errors which came from "dispensational circles" such as those loosely connected with Darby. As a passive, entitled, 2nd generation, know-it-all, who has recently come of age, I believe your views are quite different from many of us, at least for me.

I jumped into the LC in Cleveland headlong in 1976. After my first meeting, I stayed the whole weekend at the "farm house" on the church property. I soon moved in with Norm M. and his family, attending morning watch every morning and some meeting or service every night. Many of us preached the gospel regularly, if not every day. No one could say that I (or others) enjoyed some "easy-believism," which you are constantly assigning to us.

In those days, we nearly made no decisions on our own. Everything we did was surrounded by much prayer, fasting, and fellowship with the brothers. Twice I totally uprooted my life to join a migration to another city in order to start a new church from scratch. I seriously suffered much from outsiders because of my faith and the narrow way I was pursuing. Most ex-LC-members I know from the "old days" have similar experiences.

For you to come along and project your past life in the LC to ours is neither fair nor justified. I consider myself more like an aging, wounded veteran of foreign wars, wondering if the wars were even worthwhile. I constantly battle a life of discouragement and disappointment, all the while struggling to keep my love and faith fresh and new. This is why you are struggling so hard to convince us of your point of view. You are like a newly saved messianic Jew coming to us every day with the message that circumcision, Sabbath, and kosher are now meaningless. Who knew?

I do think, however, that you have a message for other second generation Christians. And I have taken to heart the message you have brought to the forum. I thank the Lord that you have found your "voice" in Christ. Take heed to your ministry from the Lord. That said, it is not the only message in the Bible. All men need to repent and believe, but Jesus did not use that same message with every person He met on earth. He knew the audience, and matched the message to them. Paul also said he was all things to all men.

And yes, you do add some very nice "color" to the forum.
Great post Ohio ....

We all came up differently. I was raised, for example. in the Southern Baptist church. Before I could read the Bible I was taught it was the word of God. Before I was saved (at 8 yrs old) I was taught once saved always saved.

Now I'm being told that I may not have been saved and am going to lake of fire.

I learned on my own about the Calvinism/Arminianism debate. bearbear is telling me nothing new.

But I settled the matter. I figure if I abide in God I have nothing to worry about.

He can make my bed in hell ... and He will be there.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:48 AM   #44
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I'm sorry I didn't mean to attribute easy-believism to everyone here, but I do believe it's what Witness Lee taught and he should be held responsible for it.
Witness Lee's teachings about overcomers placed us all under a bondage of never being able to do enough to please God. Coupled with his exclusive views about the Recovery, we also believed that every effort we expend in serving God must be directed towards building up his ministry and churches. All other service was a waste of time and not pleasing to the Lord.

I don't think that the second generation in the LC's got this teaching of "easy-believism" directly from Witness Lee. Perhaps I am wrong. It seems to me that a passive youth culture inevitably developed as a result of promoting Witness Lee and his ministry rather than Jesus Christ and His word.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:00 AM   #45
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Witness Lee's teachings about overcomers placed us all under a bondage of never being able to do enough to please God. Coupled with his exclusive views about the Recovery, we also believed that every effort we expend in serving God must be directed towards building up his ministry and churches. All other service was a waste of time and not pleasing to the Lord.

I don't think that the second generation in the LC's got this teaching of "easy-believism" directly from Witness Lee. Perhaps I am wrong. It seems to me that a passive youth culture inevitably developed as a result of promoting Witness Lee and his ministry rather than Jesus Christ and His word.
From my understanding, it's this passive culture that is preventing many from being truly born again. My understanding of scriptures and my own personal experience is that you don't become born again after acknowledging Jesus' existence as a deity who died for our sins, but after you surrender your whole heart to God in repentance.

I agree Witness Lee severely misrepresented what it means to overcome and it seems like him and others abused it to make people loyal to his ministry. John taught that overcoming is simply being born again by which we receive a new heart and new spirit from God.

1 John 5:4
"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith."
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:07 AM   #46
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"easy-believism"
There was nothing easy in the local church. I eventually developed a consistent knot in my stomach from trying so hard. Seemed I couldn't give enough to Christ and the church. I was, in fact, working out my salvation. Easy-believism wasn't part of the local church when I was in it.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:16 AM   #47
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There was nothing easy in the local church. I eventually developed a consistent knot in my stomach from trying so hard. Seemed I couldn't give enough to Christ and the church. I was, in fact, working out my salvation. Easy-believism wasn't part of the local church when I was in it.
From my own experience I thought I was living a life pleasing to God in the LC because I had "works". I was attending Lord's day, Friday night and prayer meetings and serving youth on and off. However my heart was really for the world. My goal in life was to make money quickly so I could play video games for the rest of my life. Yet I knew and accepted that Jesus was real, so I still convinced myself that I had to be involved because I didn't want to end up in that 1000 year dark closet.

It wasn't until I left and fully surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ that I believe I became born again and a new creation. I could have stayed in the LCs all my life and lived in this deception, missing out on the beginning of a new transformation.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:45 AM   #48
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It wasn't until I left and fully surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ that I believe I became born again and a new creation. I could have stayed in the LCs all my life and lived in this deception, missing out on the beginning of a new transformation.
I was born again via the living and operating word of God. I was instantly a new creation unrecognizable to my family and friends. My heart changed, along with my personality. I no longer lived a life in darkness. God gave me a love for Him, His word, and His people, which I never had before. After less than a year, however, I was struggling to follow the Lord by myself in a world contrary to God. One day I heard about being baptized in the Spirit. That night in bed I prayed fervently to receive this from the Lord. I was filled with the Spirit. Almost immediately after that, I was driving by the Cleveland meeting hall, and met the saints planting flowers in front on a Sunday afternoon. That was an answer to my prayer based on I Cor 12.13, "in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body."

bearbear, the churchlife which you and I left, was no longer recognizable to those of us who remember those early days. It was the Spirit of god who led me to salvation, and it was the Spirit who led me to the local church. Both were accompanied by great joy, and an enlightening of the scriptures. In between those early days and my final days in the LC's, was all the sad stories of Witness Lee and company usurping absolute control of the Recovery, elevating himself to a place of highest prominence, hiding a history of corruption, and attempting to destroy any and all who got in his way.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:57 AM   #49
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From my understanding, it's this passive culture that is preventing many from being truly born again.
Do I think the culture I grew up in was any less passive? It was a sexual revolution of new found liberties and casting off long accepted social mores, without the fear of some 35 known STD's. Alcohol was more than prevalent ... without the limitations of DUI's. Drugs were everywhere, and they were cheap. You could smoke cigarettes anywhere you wanted, even on airplanes.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:02 AM   #50
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I was born again via the living and operating word of God. I was instantly a new creation unrecognizable to my family and friends. My heart changed, along with my personality. I no longer lived a life in darkness. God gave me a love for Him, His word, and His people, which I never had before. After less than a year, however, I was struggling to follow the Lord by myself in a world contrary to God. One day I heard about being baptized in the Spirit. That night in bed I prayed fervently to receive this from the Lord. I was filled with the Spirit. Almost immediately after that, I was driving by the Cleveland meeting hall, and met the saints planting flowers in front on a Sunday afternoon. That was an answer to my prayer based on I Cor 12.13, "in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body."

bearbear, the churchlife which you and I left, was no longer recognizable to those of us who remember those early days. It was the Spirit of god who led me to salvation, and it was the Spirit who led me to the local church. Both were accompanied by great joy, and an enlightening of the scriptures. In between those early days and my final days in the LC's, was all the sad stories of Witness Lee and company usurping absolute control of the Recovery, elevating himself to a place of highest prominence, hiding a history of corruption, and attempting to destroy any and all who got in his way.
My grandma had similar stories of her experience in the LCs in the 50s and 60s in Taiwan. I wrote a blog post about some of the stories here:

http://nodustybunnies.blogspot.com/2...-lee-were.html

It would have been awesome to be there with her and to be part of the church-life you experienced.

It seems like whenever there is a good thing born of the Holy Spirit, Satan always focuses his attacks on this work. All Satan needs is a little opening. He knows if he can tempt a church leader into obeying his temptation, he'll have the legal right to control him if he doesn't repent (Romans 6 says we are slaves of the one we obey).

Whenever a spiritual leader has entered in the kingdom of darkness it seems like the whole congregation is often doomed if he was the only man in charge. Perhaps that's why popery was not encouraged in the early church, instead they had a plethora of leaders and apostles.

I think that's why the apostle James says not many of us should be teachers because we'll be held to a higher standard (James 3:1). This is something that scares me personally because my church is giving me more and more responsibility for youth ministry. I try to pray often that God will not let me yield to temptation but deliver me from the evil one so that I will never stumble my sheep the way Witness Lee did. It's also why we should pray for our church leaders and pastors. They need every bit of help they can get.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:33 AM   #51
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Do I think the culture I grew up in was any less passive? It was a sexual revolution of new found liberties and casting off long accepted social mores, without the fear of some 35 known STD's. Alcohol was more than prevalent ... without the limitations of DUI's. Drugs were everywhere, and they were cheap. You could smoke cigarettes anywhere you wanted, even on airplanes.
You're right every generation is probably as wicked as the next. However I can't shake off the fact that sexual immorality is only a click away on the internet now.

You also have all these highly accessible games on facebook, iPad, smart phones that are engineered to addict young people because they are free to play. The only way these companies can make money is if they can suck you in and get you to play most of the day so you can justify opening your wallet. I know youth who have starved themselves so they can use lunch money to buy gaming cards from CVS for these F2P games. It's interesting that Satan can get kids to fast for him unknowingly-- isn't this outright idol worship?

But where these temptations abound, so does God's grace. We can do all things in Christ who empowers us. Greater is he that is in us than the one in the world. Hallelujah!
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:40 AM   #52
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Didn't I do this in post #32,34 and 37 ?
Not really. But never mind. I'll just say that if you interpret every warning in the Bible as a threat to be sent to hell, then I can see why you believe the way you do. But it is not necessary to do that. It's basically a stance motivated by deep fear and uncertainty. But, suit yourself.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:56 AM   #53
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It seems like whenever there is a good thing born of the Holy Spirit, Satan always focuses his attacks on this work. All Satan needs is a little opening. He knows if he can tempt a church leader into obeying his temptation, he'll have the legal right to control him if he doesn't repent (Romans 6 says we are slaves of the one we obey).

Whenever a spiritual leader has entered in the kingdom of darkness it seems like the whole congregation is often doomed if he was the only man in charge. Perhaps that's why popery was not encouraged in the early church, instead they had a plethora of leaders and apostles.
The biggest danger to the church of God are her leaders. The ones who are most blessed by god, are the ones we should fear the most. The ones who appear to be the most influential and fruitful, are the same ones who have the potential to do the most damage.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:56 AM   #54
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Not really. But never mind. I'll just say that if you interpret every warning in the Bible as a threat to be sent to hell, then I can see why you believe the way you do. But it is not necessary to do that. It's basically a stance motivated by deep fear and uncertainty. But, suit yourself.
In my own testimony, I've come to experience God's love in my fear of him. God never wants us to stay in a state of fear, it's just for our own good and a beginning. In God's mercy he's gradually replaced the fear I had for him with love. But without a fear of God to start with, there is no wisdom.

Psalms 147:11
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

http://nodustybunnies.blogspot.com/2...-out-free.html

If there's anything I left out in my answers, please restate what I left out and I'll do my best to give my perspective.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:04 AM   #55
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The biggest danger to the church of God are her leaders. The ones who are most blessed by god, are the ones we should fear the most. The ones who appear to be the most influential and fruitful, are the same ones who have the potential to do the most damage.
I've learned through this that we should pray for our pastors and leaders. Every now and then I pray to God that our church leaders will not yield to temptation and to give them a spiritual covering of protection.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:13 AM   #56
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Not really. But never mind. I'll just say that if you interpret every warning in the Bible as a threat to be sent to hell, then I can see why you believe the way you do. But it is not necessary to do that. It's basically a stance motivated by deep fear and uncertainty. But, suit yourself.
Actually that's interesting you say this because of a recent event that happened to me. Since I know you guys are uncomfortable with charismatic stuff I haven't shared it, but here goes.

During a recent church conference for new members, which I procrastinated in attending (I have a phobia of trainings due to my past with LSM as you all can probably relate to) but was somewhat forced to go because of service in youth ministry, our church had a prophecy team come and pray and prophesy over everyone individually.

One of these brothers whom I've never met because he meets in a different ministry, prophesied over me.

He repeated a weird prayer and conversation I have with the Lord every morning and gave me the answer to it.

The prayer / conversation goes like this every morning:
I've been telling God to show me more of his love and if it were possible to give me assurance that I'm on the narrow path that leads to life. I also told the Lord I know he showed he loved me by answering so many of my prayers and caused supernatural things to happen in my walk with him that showed me he loved me. I knew that God loved me doctrinally, yet I couldn't bring myself to believe that he really loved me. I also pray everyday that he would prevent me from falling into the world again and to keep me walking in the faith until the end. The darkness of my past sometimes haunts me and my greatest fear is yielding to temptation and falling into the world again like Demas did.

So this guy basically repeats the prayer I have every morning word for word and gives me the answer. He also said I would be ministering to "depressed" people in 2014 and giving them words of encouragement.

I recorded the prophecy in chinese on my smartphone and had my wife translate since I could only understand half of it. Here's my wifes translation:

"God wants to tell you that he delights in you, you are the one I love. You are altogether lovely. I feel that God has shown you very clearly that you are altogether lovely. You don’t need to work hard to win his love for you, he is very satisfied by you. He sees you as a very beautiful one. I feel that God wants to use the word in Isaiah to tell you, your days of sadness have passed. God has never left you, he is always with you. I feel that He wants to use Jeremiah 31 to tell you you used to come with tears, but your love one, your God will lead you as you have asked to walk on the righteous path next to the stream. He will surely gift you with streams of living waters flowing abundantly in your home. You will walk in the path of righteousness along this stream. you will not ever fall again, because your love, the one leading you is the Father of Israel, he is your God. He has called you so he will look over you. He has anointed you. He has blessed your mouth to become a blessing to many others. in the year 2014, the Lord has brought those who are depressed to you, you will open your mouth to speak words of blessing to them to encourage and console them. you will extend your hand to heal them, because you are an anointed one, you are full of power, praise God. "

So God really convicted me then that I was so willing to have faith in heaven and hell, but I couldn't have faith that he really loved me and I was his child. This gave me so much peace. It's also opened me eyes to see that if God could love someone with a past like mine, he surely loves everyone else.

The assertion that I would never fall again is something I've been meditating on. It sure sounds Calvinist! But my church is Arminian hmm.. Here is my over-active doctrinal mind working again. Lord have mercy.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:16 AM   #57
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:32 PM   #58
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

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My grandma had similar stories of her experience in the LCs in the 50s and 60s in Taiwan. I wrote a blog post about some of the stories here:
If your grandma is still living, perhaps she knew of the events Richard Chi wrote about (in Chinese). Basically in the 50's church property in Taipei was used to pay Lee family debt (another failed business venture). After what apprently happened in the Philippines and Taiwan, he wasn't well-received which led to the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:43 PM   #59
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The irony in all this was Witness Lee wrote and spoke several times that the saints should read his and Watchman Nee's ministry exclusively because he did not want the church to possibly go astray due to their lack of discernment. Who knew that it was Witness Lee and Watchman Nee's own ministries that required tremendous discernment for filtering out the leaven found in their teachings.
Talk about discernment. PriestlyScribe began a thread titled LC's Flawed Basis of Discernment.
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=1153

Furthermore, I read several times on afaithfulword only the blended brothers are "qualified to discern".
It was passed on to me once before a LSM publication from the early 90's where Witness Lee said regarding the late 80's turmoil he has done all the research. There is nothing new to be learned and that it was a closed matter. When I find it, I will post the excerpt.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:16 PM   #60
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BB,
And now you see the reason for my comments. Since you did not simply back away from the kind of position that you were taking, it seems that the most important part of your original posts is being ignored.

Nee and Lee were false teachers. They deserved to be cast aside (in terms of teaching, not necessarily salvation). But everyone is focused on whether their followers might be going to hell.

The real problem, as I see it, is whether following these men, and others like them, is cheating Christians out of their rightful place on this earth in this age. We were created to be the image bearers of God. But those who are taught that refusing works is spiritual are effectively sidelined from the job of image bearer. They may argue that God sees it so it is good.

But Jesus said to let your light shine before men. He said to live righteously in the midst of perverseness. He said to obey. He said to love your neighbor as yourself. That does not really happen without what some might call works.

I agree that God sees all we do. But he called us to be out doing, not sitting on the sidelines. If we live our lives righteously before men, then we are doing what God has called us to. Even if the world does not take notice, God does. And he is pleased because that activity is part of what was originally declared to be "very good." When you skip that part and try to just push on through to the NewJ without even giving lip service to those works, you are living a gospel not found in the Bible (except as pointed out among the Pharisees and other "my religion is what counts" kind of people).

If we make that abundantly clear. If we point to its importance and clear command in the scripture, then the people who have enough vision to cut through the fog of Lee/LSM/LRC dogma will find their way out and live that life.

If they live that life, it will not matter whether you ultimately turn out to be right or wrong because they will be fully engaged in living the true Christian life. Only those who refuse such an obedience are potentially at risk. And the clarity of that risk is not a certainty. The ultimate outcomes are determined by God. The judgment of everyone is according to God. Not according to our understanding of it.

For that reason, it is too often the case that just taking the kind of "you'll go to hell" argument fails because those who didn’t agree probably also don't agree in the "going to hell" part. And that part is the hardest to pin down. Probably because that is strictly God's domain.

But the clear parts talk about our living. They give us commands (even in the NT era). It is much easier to deal with teachings that go directly against the clear commands.

And suggesting that the church is not about helping the poor is in direct opposition to the clear word of Christ. Suggesting that people should not try to be righteous, but wait around for enough "dispensing" is in direct opposition to the clear word of Christ as reiterated by several of the other writers, with both James and Peter being strong among them.

I might still tend to believe that there is a base level of salvation that does not require much (and that doesn't just get a free pass to the "streets of gold") and that still cannot be lost. But that is a far distance from what Jesus continually demanded of those who would follow him — whether close up as literal followers, or as believers who remained where they were. Just get that to be acknowledged and you don't have to worry about whether your position is correct. It will become a moot point.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:19 PM   #61
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

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If your grandma is still living, perhaps she knew of the events Richard Chi wrote about (in Chinese). Basically in the 50's church property in Taipei was used to pay Lee family debt (another failed business venture). After what apprently happened in the Philippines and Taiwan, he wasn't well-received which led to the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle.
Pretend for the moment that it's not bearbear talking but your token Lordship Salvation + Calvinist theologian who is analyzing Witness Lee's life from his point of view:

For one to be born again of the Holy Spirit, he must be willing to surrender every area of his life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and by doing so his heart will become the good earth ready for the divine seed to grow to its full measure. It's possible that Witness Lee may have surrendered many things, but withheld the Lordship of Jesus Christ over his self-ambition, money and the desire to see his sons succeed. Under this definition he may never have been born again, but Satan would continue to deceive him to think that he is.

Now looking back at many of the Life Studies he authored and some of the conferences he held you might think that his speaking was very anointed. However it's happened in the past where the Holy Spirit fell on people who were not obeying God such as Saul and they would prophesy with the Spirit of God on them. This is what Lee came to coin as the "economical" Spirit. My theory is that God allowed this because He loves the brothers and sisters meeting in the LCs and wanted to feed them regardless of Witness Lee's state.

My Grandma once told me a true christian would never live in sin because the spirit of God in them would bother them so much that they would eventually repent. I've experienced this many times after my born again experience, including recently on this forum. When I got into an unhealthy argument with some on the forum earlier, I felt no peace or rest in my soul and was instantly driven to repent so I could find peace again.

Now place yourself in Witness Lee's shoes. Could any of you really do the same things he did without repentance? How long could you live with the shame of using church funds to pay off your debt, pilfer the life savings of saints in a money laundering scheme, overlook your son forcing himself on women in your ministry etc? Would any of you have the gall to proclaim yourself to be the MOTA and have no shame?

It's possible Witness Lee was never born of the spirit of God until maybe the end of his life where he mouthed an attempt at repentance. The reason why so many of us here and elsewhere who've left the LCs have become so disgusted with the debacles produced from Witness Lee is because we have the spirit of God inside us! The Holy Spirit hates sin and cannot stand it. A sign that witnessing sin grieves you is a sign that you are born again because the Holy Spirit is grieved by unrepentant sin.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:07 PM   #62
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

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Actually that's interesting you say this because of a recent event that happened to me. Since I know you guys are uncomfortable with charismatic stuff I haven't shared it, but here goes.
I think I can speak for others here -- we are only uncomfortable with falsehood and hypocrisy.

I have found that most "prophets" can say most anything you want them to say, mainly quoting O.T. promises made to Israel. Recently the pastor (because the church needed money to pay their bills) fellowshipped with the congregation about sowing a special seed offering to the Lord. The pastor promised that we all would receive our blessing from the Lord within 90 days.

Think about it. There were no specifics about the details of your "blessing," or even if it was something that was even prayed for. It was just the promise of a vague blessing to all who sowed the special "seed" offering. Now this is not just any old pastor, but a well respected one. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Christian TV station. How good is that?

My wife happens to believe that the first parking spot at the grocery store is a "blessing" from the Lord, which probably occurs several times a year. And so the trap is perfect -- Pastor promises something guaranteed to happen in the next 90 days, God "honors" his prophecy by blessing my dear wife with a good parking place, and I am out the face value of the "seed" offering. And so I ask the question: How is this any different than Witness Lee claiming to be the Minister of the Age?
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:16 PM   #63
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I think I can speak for others here -- we are only uncomfortable with falsehood and hypocrisy.

I have found that most "prophets" can say most anything you want them to say, mainly quoting O.T. promises made to Israel. Recently the pastor (because the church needed money to pay their bills) fellowshipped with the congregation about sowing a special seed offering to the Lord. The pastor promised that we all would receive our blessing from the Lord within 90 days.
Hi Ohio I understand where you're coming from. I'm ashamed of a lot of the Pentecostals and Charismatics out there that have given a bad name to the gifts of the Holy Spirit by working for money and doing shameful things like asking money for prophecy. They may be false prophets and false teachers who are probably demon possessed.

However this guy that prophesied over me is not a self proclaimed prophet. He's just a regular dude like you and me who probably has a full time job and is a regular member of the church. There were like ten people on the prophecy team that were there because they have proven prophetic gifting that they've developed. I talked to him after and asked how he was able to prophesy and he told me "I don't know, I just asked God and the words came to me". He came across as a pretty humble guy. Actually I saw him get ordered around a bit by the prophecy ministry leader and felt sorry for him.

There was one other sister who prophesied over me and she went into a bit more detail and described an area in my life that the Lord wanted to correct me in. I've never met her before, yet she was speaking to me about top issues I've been dealing with before the Lord. She also knew I was ministering to a lot of folks. If you saw me in real life you'd think I was just some punk based on my outward appearance, especially since it was a conference for new church members. Yet she had never met me or talked to me before but she knew I was and would be discipling a lot of folks.

Regardless, I experienced spiritual fruit from the first prophecy and felt so much joy love and peace.

1 Cor 14:24-25
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

I also wanted to add that even though my church is pretty loaded because everyone tithes their 10%, the pastors on staff live by faith and do not take salary. Instead, the church sows a lot of the excess cash into missionaries and organizations that feed the poor and homeless. They are really paranoid when it comes to not letting money become a temptation. The concept that we can only either serve God or money is pretty ingrained in the leadership.

The leading pastor for example is quite well known and her books and CDs are widely consumed by Christians throughout the world. Yet she signed all the royalties over to the church.

One time I was sharing the gospel to a barber near my brother in laws house. The barber told me she was already a Christian and asked what church I went to. It turns out she was already listening to my pastor's ministry which helped her greatly. She had me set up our church's app on her iPad later so she could listen to more of her stuff haha.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:19 PM   #64
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It's possible Witness Lee was never born of the spirit of God until maybe the end of his life where he mouthed an attempt at repentance. The reason why so many of us here and elsewhere who've left the LCs have become so disgusted with the debacles produced from Witness Lee is because we have the spirit of God inside us! The Holy Spirit hates sin and cannot stand it. A sign that witnessing sin grieves you is a sign that you are born again because the Holy Spirit is grieved by unrepentant sin.
Possible, but highly unlikely. The idea that WL was not born again is off-the-charts far-fetched for anyone who witnessed his preaching. If he was not a Christian, then I'm completely lost and don't understand anything.

Lee's emphasis was imbalanced, but he was not fundamentally wrong. He believed the gospel. Although he chose to focus on more esoteric things, I don't think he ever lost sight of the fact that Christ was his Savior.

In one sense, Lee was similar to Austin-Sparks, in that he chose to emphasize "deeper" things of the inner life. There is room for that. No one condemns Austin-Sparks for it. Lee went off the deep end (pun intended) with it, but that doesn't mean it was essentially wrong. All things in their measure.

Lee will be in the heavenly kingdom. He was flawed, like the rest of us. But he still lived for Christ with his mind fully persuaded. Not excusing his flaws, just emphasizing God's grace and mercy.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:38 PM   #65
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Now place yourself in Witness Lee's shoes. Could any of you really do the same things he did without repentance? How long could you live with the shame of using church funds to pay off your debt, pilfer the life savings of saints in a money laundering scheme, overlook your son forcing himself on women in your ministry etc? Would any of you have the gall to proclaim yourself to be the MOTA and have no shame?
I guess my previous post requires I comment on this as well. I think the answer to your question is that Lee did not look at these things the way you do. He probably rationalized all of them away. This was based in his deep conviction that he was a man of destiny, for whom--practically speaking--the rules themselves existed, and so could be adapted.

In his defense--and I guess in the defense of current leaders--he did not ask for such a mindset. It was passed onto him by a mentor he dared not question. That is how such a baffling mental stronghold can get formed.

The question is, where did Nee get it?
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:47 PM   #66
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

In short, Lee's view of himself and his movement was "Too Big to Fail," thus a whole different set of rules existed for him and it.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:11 PM   #67
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In short, Lee's view of himself and his movement was "Too Big to Fail," thus a whole different set of rules existed for him and it.
Hi Igzy, I appreciate your hope for Witness Lee's soul. I should say the same and hope that he's in heaven from repentance in his later years. God desires that all men be saved and does not delight in the punishment of the wicked.

Your analysis is intriguing and not something I considered.

But then he was using his MOTA license to do whatever he wanted? This sounds like something the devil would do to me more than our Lord Jesus who submitted himself to the Father's will in all things.

1 John 3:8
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:12 PM   #68
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My Grandma once told me a true christian would never live in sin because the spirit of God in them would bother them so much that they would eventually repent. I've experienced this many times after my born again experience, including recently on this forum. When I got into an unhealthy argument with some on the forum earlier, I felt no peace or rest in my soul and was instantly driven to repent so I could find peace again.
With all due respect to your grandmother, there are many exceptions to this rule. Elvis Presley comes to mind. He loved God and would sing gospel and love songs to the Lord. (We had this CD.) Yet he later became swallowed up in the sinful indulgences of stardom. So Elvis was never born again, nor saved?

bearbear, many of us were also idealistic in our younger days ... and judgmental. I have heard that a Christian could never commit suicide, yet a close friend of mine in the LC did just that not too long after I left. He loved the Lord and spoke the gospel to all his friends and family. Will he then go to hell for such a massive failure on his last day on this earth?

Shortly after I got saved, I visited a brother who was filled with love and joy. He greeted me with a big hug when I first walked in his door. I felt so special in his presence. He loved the word and was sharing with us. About an hour or so later, he sheepishly asked to be excused to go out smoke a cigarette. I thought how could this be? Well ... buddy ... wake up, were not perfected yet, but we are on a wonderful journey!

Things happen. The Christian life is not perfect. God is much bigger than we are. We all are prone to failure. Who is without sin? So we have nothing to boast in but the Lord who loves us and has saved us.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:24 PM   #69
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With all due respect to your grandmother, there are many exceptions to this rule. Elvis Presley comes to mind. He loved God and would sing gospel and love songs to the Lord. (We had this CD.) Yet he later became swallowed up in the sinful indulgences of stardom. So Elvis was never born again, nor saved?
My grandma is still a free gracer and she told me this when I was discussing Lordship salvation with her haha.

Gonna put my LS+C hat on again:

We never know what happens before someone dies. It's possible the Holy Spirit will convict everyone to repentance before they die. Jesus said he would not lose anyone that belonged to him. Saying this I also realized It's possible WLee was born again and that's why he was driven to repentance at the end of his life.

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bearbear, many of us were also idealistic in our younger days ... and judgmental. I have heard that a Christian could never commit suicide, yet a close friend of mine in the LC did just that not too long after I left. He loved the Lord and spoke the gospel to all his friends and family. Will he then go to hell for such a massive failure on his last day on this earth?

Shortly after I got saved, I visited a brother who was filled with love and joy. He greeted me with a big hug when I first walked in his door. I felt so special in his presence. He loved the word and was sharing with us. About an hour or so later, he sheepishly asked to be excused to go out smoke a cigarette. I thought how could this be? Well ... buddy ... wake up, were not perfected yet, but we are on a wonderful journey!

Things happen. The Christian life is not perfect. God is much bigger than we are. We all are prone to failure. Who is without sin? So we have nothing to boast in but the Lord who loves us and has saved us.
Cigarette smoking is one thing, but whatabout sins that involve hurting your brother or sister deeply? If this brother went and set up a money laundering operation to defraud saints of money would that be okay?

I guess at what point do we draw the line? What if Ron Kangas pulled out a machine gun and started mowing all the FTTA grads down during the winter training? Could we still accept him as a child of God and brother in Christ if he didn't repent and continued his murderous rampage?
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:42 PM   #70
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My grandma is still a free gracer and she told me this when I was discussing Lordship salvation with her haha.

Gonna put my LSS+C hat on again:
LSS+C hat?
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:45 PM   #71
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LSS+C hat?
Sorry I was typing with one hand due to multitasking so I had to abbreviate.

Lordship Salvation + Calvinism
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:01 PM   #72
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With all due respect to your grandmother, there are many exceptions to this rule. Elvis Presley comes to mind. He loved God and would sing gospel and love songs to the Lord. (We had this CD.) Yet he later became swallowed up in the sinful indulgences of stardom. So Elvis was never born again, nor saved?
Another perhaps more sadder perspective on this is provided by the parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:20-21
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:03 PM   #73
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Hi Igzy, I appreciate your hope for Witness Lee's soul. I should say the same and hope that he's in heaven from repentance in his later years. God desires that all men be saved and does not delight in the punishment of the wicked.

Your analysis is intriguing and not something I considered.

But then he was using his MOTA license to do whatever he wanted? This sounds like something the devil would do to me more than our Lord Jesus who submitted himself to the Father's will in all things.

1 John 3:8
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
See my new thread on delusion.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:33 PM   #74
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In his defense--and I guess in the defense of current leaders--he did not ask for such a mindset. It was passed onto him by a mentor he dared not question. That is how such a baffling mental stronghold can get formed.

The question is, where did Nee get it?
In the same way that the Apostle Paul imparted his anointing via the laying on of hands to Timothy (2 Tim 1:6), I believe that evil spirits can also generationally influence a leader's disciples once they come to obey the same temptations that stumbled their predecessors.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:21 PM   #75
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We never know what happens before someone dies. It's possible the Holy Spirit will convict everyone to repentance before they die.
And therein is the real issue. We don't even "know" what happens as far as the time between death and the resurrection. While there are inferences here and there, it is not really spelled-out. Even in the strongly metaphorical way that the end-times are spoken of for so many chapters of Revelation.

But Paul speaks about the dead rising at the last trumpet (in one account) so the idea that some have about going straight to "heaven" (however you want to define that) seems off the table. And with so little to fill in the gap. (Mind the Gap)

So how sure are we concerning the actual spiritual condition of everyone around you? Are we really sure that the person that seems to just attend church and go home is really not engaged in the true spiritual living? How do we tell?

We would like to be able to look at isolated incidents and presume that it colors the whole. He speeds so he must be a poor Christian (if at all). I see him/her out doing real ministry to the poor, so they must be living as Christ would have them. Either of these are superficial and limited in scope. I do not presume that some failure (a tendency to speed) is clear evidence of a lack of spirituality (or even salvation). Neither do I presume that obvious acts of charity are clear signs of spirituality and salvation. While we are to let our works be seen, it remains tied to the source of love and obedience to Christ to be of any merit. And at the same time, we do not presume that any of us will achieve some level of sinless perfection, so the idea that we somehow keep dealing with failures is not sure-fire evidence of a lack of salvation. It may be sure-fire evidence that God is happy to keep us humble in our self-assessments.

That is not an excuse for being a spiritual slacker. It should only exist in an ongoing round of failure and repentance. But who am I to declare what constitutes rejection v evidence of love of God for one of his children who is (typically) only partly transformed in this age?

So I leave the declaration concerning who is in and who is out to God. I reject attempts at certainty on things which are, at best, uncertain. Just like I am willing to go along with a definition of the Trinity that is not entirely consistent with all relevant scripture, but that seems reasonable enough that I can live with it. Just not ready to fight for it (unless you want to suggest a God that is just not in the Bible). Whether "persons" and "essence" is the best descriptor is not as important as whether I believe in Christ.

And like we have already covered before, belief is more than just mental agreement. Satan believes and fights it anyway. So we are not talking about something so simplistic as a line-in-the-sand, once-in-a-lifetime praying of a sinners prayer (or calling on the Lord three times) and then go back to your old life (whether a good secular life or an evil one).
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:29 PM   #76
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Another perhaps more sadder perspective on this is provided by the parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:20-21
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
While I did not have the time to dig up the reference, what about the parable of the tares? At some level (not necessarily every level), we are requested to leave it for the judgment. Let God be the one who winnows out the wheat from the chaff. The crop from the weeds.

That does not mean to tolerate simply anything and everything. But it does take aim at such edicts as to excommunicate someone for using an unpreferred publisher or wanting his sheets to be clean. Paul didn't excommunicate Barnabas. He didn't excommunicate James. He didn't even say to excommunicate the wannabe teachers who he said should be refused.

Only the one who openly sinned in such a manner that even the world would point to it and declare it to be an abomination was excommunicated. Yet he was never declared to be unsaved. Only to be treated as such.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:39 PM   #77
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Cigarette smoking is one thing, but whatabout sins that involve hurting your brother or sister deeply? If this brother went and set up a money laundering operation to defraud saints of money would that be okay?

I guess at what point do we draw the line? What if Ron Kangas pulled out a machine gun and started mowing all the FTTA grads down during the winter training? Could we still accept him as a child of God and brother in Christ if he didn't repent and continued his murderous rampage?
I'm not understanding this post. Perhaps you been *multitasking* again.

I gave a more serious example than smoking ... suicide. What do you mean, "would that be okay?" I am not condoning any sin or damage done to God's children.

Where do we draw the line? The line for what? Sin is sin, and some sins are far worse than others. But we should address the real point here -- Is there any sin(s) by God's children too great for God to forgive? Too horrible for the sacrifice of His Son on the cross? Too grave that God would be forced to send His child to the lake of fire?

I'd like to know where you stand on this. Maybe we should have had this discussion long ago.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:41 PM   #78
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Cigarette smoking is one thing, but whatabout sins that involve hurting your brother or sister deeply? If this brother went and set up a money laundering operation to defraud saints of money would that be okay?

I guess at what point do we draw the line? What if Ron Kangas pulled out a machine gun and started mowing all the FTTA grads down during the winter training? Could we still accept him as a child of God and brother in Christ if he didn't repent and continued his murderous rampage?
Interesting question. The easy answer (easy to write from a place with less than one or two gun deaths per year) is, there is no line. In theory, we should let the law handle the machine-gunner, but we need to keep loving the guy, still accept him, forgive him 77 times 7 or whatever that number was...and I don't mean, his 540th victim or rampage we say, OK, that's enough, you crossed a line buddy, you're out! 77 times 7 is pretty much infinite forgiveness, no matter what.

I'm aware it's very easy to preach forgiveness when the crime is remote from you, or hypothetical. Still, I believe it's a powerful message and one which can also prevent us becoming too judgmental.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:42 PM   #79
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I'm not understanding this post. Perhaps you been *multitasking* again.

I gave a more serious example than smoking ... suicide. What do you mean, "would that be okay?" I am not condoning any sin or damage done to God's children.

Where do we draw the line? The line for what? Sin is sin, and some sins are far worse than others. But we should address the real point here -- Is there any sin(s) by God's children too great for God to forgive? Too horrible for the sacrifice of His Son on the cross? Too grave that God would be forced to send His child to the lake of fire?

I'd like to know where you stand on this. Maybe we should have had this discussion long ago.
Sorry I should have specified. I meant in the context of when do you start confronting the brother since you said you realized you shouldn't have confronted the smoking brother which was the right call IMO. For example: Would you confront a brother if he was trying to defraud the saints of money?

And also in the case that they don't repent when confronted, I was asking if we should still accept them as a brother and child of God.

This scripture comes to mind:

Matthew 18:17 (NLT)
If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won't accept the church's decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:47 PM   #80
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Interesting question. The easy answer (easy to write from a place with less than one or two gun deaths per year) is, there is no line. In theory, we should let the law handle the machine-gunner, but we need to keep loving the guy, still accept him, forgive him 77 times 7 or whatever that number was...and I don't mean, his 540th victim or rampage we say, OK, that's enough, you crossed a line buddy, you're out! 77 times 7 is pretty much infinite forgiveness, no matter what.

I'm aware it's very easy to preach forgiveness when the crime is remote from you, or hypothetical. Still, I believe it's a powerful message and one which can also prevent us becoming too judgmental.
I agree we should always forgive (even if the person doesn't repent) and we should always accept a brother back into fellowship after they repent.

But what if they continue to sin against others and refuse to repent? Should we still fellowship with them as a brother? In the case you brought up, the brother is asking for Peter's forgiveness, implying that he repented.

Luke 17:4
and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

I believe there's a difference between forgiveness, which means to cancel all the debt the person owes you (and is necessary to remove bitterness from our soul), and actually receiving someone as a brother if they haven't repented of a heinous ongoing sin.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:51 PM   #81
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Sorry I should have specified. I meant in the context of when do you start confronting the brother since you said you realized you shouldn't have confronted the smoking brother which was the right call IMO.
At the time, I was smoking too, so I never had the thought to confront the brother. On the contrary, I was set free from condemnation -- so I'm not the only Christian with problems, praise God! Not praise God for smoking, but praise God I'm not condemned for smoking.

But what about my other questions ...

Is there any sin(s) by God's children which is (are) too great for God to forgive? Too horrible for the sacrifice of His Son on the cross? Too grave that God would be forced to send His child to the lake of fire?

Put on one of your hats and answer that. I'd like to know, since you seem to disagree with all my other beliefs on salvation.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:57 PM   #82
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At the time, I was smoking too, so I never had the thought to confront the brother. On the contrary, I was set free from condemnation -- so I'm not the only Christian with problems, praise God! Not praise God for smoking, but praise God I'm not condemned for smoking.

But what about my other questions ...

Is there any sin(s) by God's children which is (are) too great for God to forgive? Too horrible for the sacrifice of His Son on the cross? Too grave that God would be forced to send His child to the lake of fire?

Put on one of your hats and answer that. I'd like to know, since you seem to disagree with all my other beliefs on salvation.
I believe that all sins can be forgiven after the person confesses and repents of the sin and asks for forgiveness.

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In the case of unforgivable sins like blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and taking the mark of the beast, I believe at that point the person's heart is so hard that it is impossible for them to repent since only the Holy Spirit can convict someone to repentance-- so it's kinda self fulfilling.

So someone who is afraid he/she has committed the unforgivable sin should never worry because if they are repenting/confessing it then they haven't committed it.

Now if the person has committed the sin in an ongoing manner without repentance then that is a different story. After Jesus told the woman who committed adultery "your sins are forgiven", he also added "go and sin no more". Jesus put the burden on her to stop whatever affair she was having.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:57 PM   #83
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I agree we should always forgive (even if the person doesn't repent) and we should always accept a brother back into fellowship after they repent.

But what if they continue to sin against others and refuse to repent? Should we still fellowship with them as a brother? In the case you brought up, the brother is asking for Peter's forgiveness, implying that he repented.

Luke 17:4
and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

I believe there's a difference between forgiveness, which means to cancel all the debt the person owes you (and is necessary to remove bitterness from our soul), and actually receiving someone as a brother if they haven't repented of a heinous ongoing sin.
Nope I was thinking of Matthew 18:21-22, and I got the number wrong, it was 77 not "7 times 77" as I remembered. Still, the message is: forgive, a lot and much more than you think is reasonable. Peter probably thought seven times was being a "good" person, amply forgiving. Jesus showed him the way.

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Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
If you are looking for excuses to not receive someone as a brother, you won't find them in the words of Jesus. There's no limit to the number of times you must forgive a brother; even if he keeps on saying "I repent" and then goes back to whatever he was doing, you cannot get frustrated with him, you gotta keep on accepting (as the verse you gave from Luke shows).
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:58 PM   #84
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Interesting question. The easy answer (easy to write from a place with less than one or two gun deaths per year) is, there is no line. In theory, we should let the law handle the machine-gunner, but we need to keep loving the guy, still accept him, forgive him 77 times 7 or whatever that number was...and I don't mean, his 540th victim or rampage we say, OK, that's enough, you crossed a line buddy, you're out! 77 times 7 is pretty much infinite forgiveness, no matter what.
After you put on your LSSC hat, bearbear, what do you think about those horrific serial killers like Jeffrey Dalmer and Ted Bundy who repented for their sins and believed in Jesus before their deaths? Will they go to hell or does God forgive them their sins?
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:02 PM   #85
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After you put on your LSSC hat, bearbear, what do you think about those horrific serial killers like Jeffrey Dalmer and Ted Bundy who repented for their sins and believed in Jesus before their deaths? Will they go to hell or does God forgive them their sins?
They go to heaven just like the thief on the cross did. God is only worried about the condition of our hearts. Once we die there is no more chance to repent and have our hearts changed.

To Witness Lee: and no they don't have to go through 1000 years of outer darkness! Jesus' blood is enough for everything! To teach that you have to suffer in outer darkness before entering heaven is adding works to salvation.

Check out this near death experience, it's one of my favorite ones:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvaKqtSH_9s

Hebrews 9:27
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:07 PM   #86
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Nope I was thinking of Matthew 18:21-22, and I got the number wrong, it was 77 not "7 times 77" as I remembered. Still, the message is: forgive, a lot and much more than you think is reasonable. Peter probably thought seven times was being a "good" person, amply forgiving. Jesus showed him the way.

If you are looking for excuses to not receive someone as a brother, you won't find them in the words of Jesus. There's no limit to the number of times you must forgive a brother; even if he keeps on saying "I repent" and then goes back to whatever he was doing, you cannot get frustrated with him, you gotta keep on accepting (as the verse you gave from Luke shows).
I'm all on board with you on forgiveness. We should forgive even when folks don't repent.

But still, these are the words of Jesus which I cannot deny.

Matthew 18:17
If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won't accept the church's decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

And the apostle John:

2 John 1:10
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:16 PM   #87
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In the case of unforgivable sins like blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and taking the mark of the beast, I believe at that point the person's heart is so hard that it is impossible for them to repent since only the Holy Spirit can convict someone to repentance-- so it's kinda self fulfilling.
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit precludes any repentance as you have indicated. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, as I understand it, is to condemn the Spirit of God for all the good He does, and then give all the credit and the glory to Satan.

Taking the "mark of the beast" is another matter. Unfortunately I think too many Christians will take this mark out of necessity or ignorance. I hope I am wrong. Revelations speak of "taking the mark and worshiping the beast and his image." That is a huge difference. I have always imagined Christians repenting ("coming to themselves, like the prodigal son") during this time, and removing the mark from their hand or forehead.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:21 PM   #88
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I'm all on board with you on forgiveness. We should forgive even when folks don't repent.

But still, these are the words of Jesus which I cannot deny.

Matthew 18:17
If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won't accept the church's decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
At risk of getting into verse wars… how did Jesus treat pagans or tax collectors? Luke 5:27:

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After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
He ate with them. He did not give up or shun them.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:28 PM   #89
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At risk of getting into verse wars… how did Jesus treat pagans or tax collectors? Luke 5:27:



He ate with them. He did not give up or shun them.
Good observation That Jesus ate and drank with the sinners confused the Pharisees but he explained he was simply a Physician looking for sick patients to heal. Now if sick people go to the hospital but stay sick, that's not normal. Jesus was trying to win them over to repentance through love. These guys were getting little love because the Pharisees went to extremes to avoid them.

We should never give up loving on them, but we do so with the hope that they will be won over to repentance. But to turn a blind eye to unrepentant sin that hurts others is to accept it. We wouldn't be doing that person any favors if he went to his grave while practicing immorality without him realizing the need to repent.

1 Cor 5:12
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:35 PM   #90
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Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit precludes any repentance as you have indicated. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, as I understand it, is to condemn the Spirit of God for all the good He does, and then give all the credit and the glory to Satan.

Taking the "mark of the beast" is another matter. Unfortunately I think too many Christians will take this mark out of necessity or ignorance. I hope I am wrong. Revelations speak of "taking the mark and worshiping the beast and his image." That is a huge difference. I have always imagined Christians repenting ("coming to themselves, like the prodigal son") during this time, and removing the mark from their hand or forehead.
I've heard all sorts of theories on the mark of the beast. All I can say is I would still by all means necessary not take the mark!

On the topic of God's forgiveness, did you know some bible scholars say that the fallen angels tried to repent but God wouldn't forgive them?

2 Peter 2:4 alludes to this
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

Peter was making a reference to the book of Enoch which was read by all the NT writers and Jews at that time. In the book of Enoch, the fallen angels who had sex with the women on earth gave birth to the Nephilim, or giants. These angels realize they have sinned and ask Enoch to petition God for forgiveness. Enoch brings the petition to God but Yahweh will have none of it and chooses not to forgive the fallen angels.

Jude also alludes to this and quotes Enoch in two places:

Jude 1:6
And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—

Jude 1:14
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,

The topic of the Nephilim is interesting because it would explain why God commanded the children of Israel to commit genocide on the Cannanites, even ordering that the infants would be killed. The theory is that the Canaanites were not fully human but had fallen angel DNA and thus were beyond redemption. And that's why there were giants like Goliath in David's time.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:41 PM   #91
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I've heard all sorts of theories on the mark of the beast. All I can say is I would still by all means necessary not take the mark!

On the topic of God's forgiveness, did you know some bible scholars say that the fallen angels tried to repent but God wouldn't forgive them?

2 Peter 2:4 alludes to this
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

Peter was making a reference to the book of Enoch which was read by all the NT writers and Jews at that time. In the book of Enoch, the fallen angels who had sex with the women on earth producing the Nephilim, or giants asked Enoch to petition God for forgiveness. Enoch brings the petition to God but Yahweh will have none of it and chooses not to forgive the fallen angels.

Jude also alludes to this and quotes Enoch in two places:

Jude 1:6
And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—

Jude 1:14
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,
God never sent His Son to become an angel, and to die for fallen angelic sinners.

In this regard, it really is the law of God that condemns us for our sins. God is the righteous judge who administrates the penalty for sin acc. to the law. Our repentance for sin, no matter how sincere and heartfelt, actually would mean nothing to God. It is our identification with His Son, the Lamb of god, thru faith, which releases us from the penalty of sin. It is strictly a legal matter when it comes to sins and the law.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:50 PM   #92
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God never sent His Son to become an angel, and to die for fallen angelic sinners.
My understanding also is that the angels have perfect knowledge and by spending time in the undiluted presence of God, they knew exactly what they were turning against so they have no excuse for turning to sin and rebelling against God. Humans on the other hand all have to look through a mirror dimly. Plus we are God's children and He loves us like family so Jesus came and died for us.

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In this regard, it really is the law of God that condemns us for our sins. God is the righteous judge who administrates the penalty for sin acc. to the law. Our repentance for sin, no matter how sincere and heartfelt, actually would mean nothing to God. It is our identification with His Son, the Lamb of god, thru faith, which releases us from the penalty of sin. It is strictly a legal matter when it comes to sins and the law.
How would you respond to the verses here?

http://christianity.stackexchange.co...-for-salvation
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:31 PM   #93
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At 83 I appreciate almost everything I read on this forum. I am not enough of a theologian to even understand all that is written but. My wife and I were raised for 30 years in the Assemblies of God and of course they are Armenian. We both switched to the other side somewhere along the way. Our teaching was such that you could be a believer for 40 years and just before the end someone throws a rotten banana in your face, you curse, and thereby go to hell. Believe me I have heard this sort of thing spoken. Where is the eternal life of John 3? If you live with the constant fear of either living a good life and going to heaven or being like most of us and certainly going to hell, what a living. On his death bed, David told Solomon to kill Joab. That has never set well with me, but the Lord quite clearly tells us he will make it.
Wow that is amazing you are 83 and still going strong and browsing this forum! God bless you! I've never grown up in Arminianism but I can see how it can be easily abused to judge people. I'm thankful that although my church adheres to this, they are a lot more loving then I am and discourage judging at all costs. But I lean towards Calvinism and 1 John is probably the strongest proof text for this.

Regarding John 3:16 the verb used for believe is in the present continuous tense so one has to remain in this "pisteuo" (which is better translated as trusting or committing oneself to Jesus). Many translations say "shall" or "would" not perish but have eternal life, but if you do a careful Greek word study the correct translation is "should" which would imply possibility.

So read in the Greek the verse would say something like "that whoever continually trusts and commits himself to Him should not perish but have eternal life". This reading is consistent with the later verse 36:

John 3:36
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:39 PM   #94
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Good observation That Jesus ate and drank with the sinners confused the Pharisees but he explained he was simply a Physician looking for sick patients to heal. Now if sick people go to the hospital but stay sick, that's not normal. Jesus was trying to win them over to repentance through love. These guys were getting little love because the Pharisees went to extremes to avoid them.

We should never give up loving on them, but we do so with the hope that they will be won over to repentance. But to turn a blind eye to unrepentant sin that hurts others is to accept it. We wouldn't be doing that person any favors if he went to his grave while practicing immorality without him realizing the need to repent.

1 Cor 5:12
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
I disagree. I agree we should never give up on loving them, but it should be without any hope or condition of repentance. I love the Hindu scriptures on this, the Bhagavad Gita - never be attached to the results of your actions. Do your job, let it go
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:47 PM   #95
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My understanding also is that the angels have perfect knowledge and by spending time in the undiluted presence of God, they knew exactly what they were turning against so they have no excuse for turning to sin and rebelling against God. Humans on the other hand all have to look through a mirror dimly. Plus we are God's children and He loves us like family so Jesus came and died for us.



How would you respond to the verses here?

http://christianity.stackexchange.co...-for-salvation
There are more than a dozen verses there, and I agree with them all.
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:27 PM   #96
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I disagree. I agree we should never give up on loving them, but it should be without any hope or condition of repentance. I love the Hindu scriptures on this, the Bhagavad Gita - never be attached to the results of your actions. Do your job, let it go
Dunno , I'd say Jesus seemed pretty attached here in hoping for the repentance of the Jews:

Matthew 23:37
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:50 AM   #97
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So how sure are we concerning the actual spiritual condition of everyone around you? Are we really sure that the person that seems to just attend church and go home is really not engaged in the true spiritual living? How do we tell?
Hi OBW, I appreciate your insight and you had a good point about us getting sidetracked.

But to clarify my intentions, I think we should never have a spirit of scrutiny or judgment over the spiritual condition of our brothers and sisters. I do however think scriptures teaches us to be as wise as serpents but as gentle as doves. Why do we need to be wise? It's because savage wolves comes in with sheep's clothing to destroy the sheep. The bible relates these wolves as false teachers and false prophets, so I believe scripture admonishes us in numerous places to beware of these folks and exercise our discernment.

So I believe the bible teaches that the same level of scrutiny that we'd be withholding from our brothers and sisters in Christ should not be withheld from teachers and prophets who are unrepentantly sinning against the flock and teaching things that can lead people astray. These are folks who by exercising spiritual authority over others, have influence on their souls, so they are held to a higher standard in judgment (James 3:1). Jesus practiced scrutinizing teachers when he openly rebuked the scribes and pharisees, but he never spoke a word of condemnation to lay people. Both Paul and Peter gave similar warnings against false teachers. Apostle John went further than that and told us not to even greet such a person! (2 John 1:10)

Jesus also wants to have nothing to do with these people in eternity in Matthew 7, even telling them that they were deceived in thinking they knew him when they didn't. These people are calling him "Lord, Lord", but Jesus called them workers of lawlessness! Implying that they were confessing him as Lord all along with their mouth but not with their actions and therefore deceiving themselves into thinking they had a relationship with Christ when they didn't.

Apostle James tells us that if we just hear the word but not do it, we're deceiving ourselves. For those that do not accept James' teaching (a concept Lee held which I'm baffled by because all scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, correction), the Apostle Paul said the same things in Romans 2:13, it's not the hearers that are justified but the doers.

So Witness Lee by teaching that we just had to be "hearers" who are awaiting the divine dispensing but not "doers" was really encouraging both himself and the saints to live in deception! By this definition he was clearly a false teacher people should avoid not even counting the iniquity he shamelessly and unrepentantly practiced.

Why is this important? A lot of people here including myself felt shame from having been deceived so long and we left the LCs full of mistrust. If we don't learn from our past we're bound to repeat the same mistakes. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

My theory here is that if we learn how to identify false teachers and prophets according to scripture, it will help a lot of us heal because we'll be able to trust again after building up our own discernment in the word and by the Spirit of God.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:33 AM   #98
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My theory here is that if we learn how to identify false teachers and prophets according to scripture, it will help a lot of us heal because we'll be able to trust again after building up our own discernment in the word and by the Spirit of God.
Why don't we just learn to be independent critical self thinkers and then false teachers and prophets will have no power over our hearts and minds.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:38 AM   #99
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My theory here is that if we learn how to identify false teachers and prophets according to scripture, it will help a lot of us heal because we'll be able to trust again after building up our own discernment in the word and by the Spirit of God.
This is why ideas like MOTA are so destructive, because they force you to take teaching that you would otherwise reject.

For me, simply knowing that no prophet or teacher is right all the time goes a long way toward having the right attitude toward teachers and what they teach. God speaks through teachers. But that doesn't mean every teaching is God's speaking. Therefore no one is up to the mantle of MOTA or anything approaching it. If someone teaches something that your spirit rejects, forget it and don't give it another thought. Certainly don't worry that you've damaged your relationship with some "ministry."
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:39 AM   #100
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Why don't we just learn to be independent critical self thinkers and then false teachers and prophets will have no power over our hearts and minds.
Took the words out of my mouth.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:02 AM   #101
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Why don't we just learn to be independent critical self thinkers and then false teachers and prophets will have no power over our hearts and minds.
It's because as I wrote in another thread that if we rely on our own human wisdom we can become easily deceived by Satan. Satan is the Father of lies, the ancient dragon who's been deceiving people for ages. He's been living for a lot longer than we have and he knows which lies work and which don't. I also have a huge tendency to rely on my own wisdom. It hurts to be deceived. All of us want to stand of some solid foundation to have assurance that we won't be hurt in the future. Unfortunately many of us can fall into the trap of relying on ourselves, when the only firm foundation in this world is Christ.

The only hope we have is to rely on the wisdom which comes from God's word and his spirit. And the word of God teaches us to beware of false teachers in many places. It also provides guidelines for us to discern whether or not someone comes from God or the devil. Many of these are in 1 John and in Jesus' teachings.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:09 AM   #102
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It's because as I wrote in another thread that if we rely on our own human wisdom we can become easily deceived by Satan. Satan is the Father of lies, the ancient dragon who's been deceiving people for ages. He's been living for a lot longer than we have and he knows which lies work and which don't.

The only hope we have is to rely on the wisdom which comes from God's word and his spirit. And the word of God teaches us to beware of false teachers in many places. It also provides guidelines for us to discern whether or not someone comes from God or the devil. Many of these are in 1 John and in Jesus' teachings.
I think what awareness is saying is that our wise discernment needs to be our own, not someone else's. Reading the Bible is not enough to avoid deception. Ultimately one must be able to trust one's own interpretation of what the Bible really means. We should be open to other's ideas, but ultimately we are on the hook for what we decide to do. So our decision must be our own, not something inherited. Certainly this requires prayer and the Holy Spirit. But when push comes to shove the decision about just what is truth is ours to make. No way around that.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:18 AM   #103
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I think what awareness is saying is that our wise discernment needs to be our own, not someone else's. Reading the Bible is not enough to avoid deception. Ultimately one must be able to trust one's own interpretation of what the Bible really means. We should be open to other's ideas, but ultimately we are on the hook for what we decide to do. So our decision must be our own, not something inherited. Certainly this requires prayer and the Holy Spirit. But when push comes to shove the decision just what is truth is ours to make. No way around that.
My Grandma told me that when she became a new believer, the gospel was spreading so fast that everyone was pretty much a new believer in the church she was meeting in Taipei in 50s. Back then there wasn't as much ministry being passed around and people just had their bibles.

People would read books like Romans or Ephesians and admit they would have no understanding of it. Yet the Holy Spirit still developed in them and my Grandma a hunger to read the word of God regardless of understanding it. They were still "living" on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God like Jesus said we should, despite their lack of "ministry" training.

My Grandma never attended any trainings or FTTAs back then, yet her personal ministry had the power of God no FTTA grad could ever muster (Romans 1:16). Often when she was out preaching the gospel, casting out demons or praying for healing and she wasn't sure what to do, a verse she had read earlier would pop into her mind which she never understood previously and she would instantly have discernment on what to do. Of course after seeing God's word operate in her like this, she would come to know the word of God from experience and not just head knowledge.

God honored her faithfulness in his word by giving her wisdom when she needed it. It wasn't built up by any of her own wisdom, but by the Spirit of God who was guiding her.

But unlike what Witness Lee taught, that's not to say we shouldn't develop our minds when approaching the word of God. I think God had mercy on my Grandma because she was a new believer. We should still come to the full knowledge of the truth, and I agree it's possible to build up our own Godly wisdom by interpreting and digesting the scriptures according to the Spirit of God who gives us understanding and guides us to all truth.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:25 AM   #104
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That's not to say we shouldn't use develop our minds. I think God had mercy on my Grandma because she was a new believer. We should still come to the full knowledge of the truth, and I agree it's possible to build up our own Godly wisdom by interpreting and digesting the scriptures according to the Spirit of God who gives us understanding and guides us to all truth.
I think all kinds of knowledge can be helpful. Wisdom (and humility) also comes with experience, some hard won.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:28 AM   #105
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I think all kinds of knowledge can be helpful. Wisdom (and humility) also comes with experience, some hard won.
Amen. I'm reminded of scriptures that say all good things come from God (James 1:17). Paul even quoted Greek philosophy in Titus.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

That said I will still contend that the basis of discernment should still rest on the word of God. We shouldn't be pouring our time into things like Hindu scriptures, unless it's just to understand them for the sake of Gospel.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:21 PM   #106
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It's because as I wrote in another thread that if we rely on our own human wisdom we can become easily deceived by Satan.
I think Satan has a better shot at us if we don't think.

For this reason critical self thinking was more than suppressed in the local church. The hive mentality better allowed Lee to usurp Christ, and replace his headship in our life ... which is a trick of Satan. Satan hates self thinkers. Cuz we have free will we are able to reject him ... just as we're free to reject God.

Bro bearbear, and for this reason I think you should go with as much gusto to think for yourself as you put into pinning everything to the Bible, book chapter, and verse.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:51 PM   #107
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By its very operation, decision-making requires we believe we know what we are doing. Whether we think we are God-inspired or not, the last thing we think before we do anything is "I believe I know what I'm doing." Otherwise, we wouldn't do it. No matter how much you pray, read the Bible or sense the Spirit, in the end you have to decide. So a certain amount of developed aptitude and self-confidence is necessary. A person who truly had zero self-confidence could never even make the decision to tie his shoes.

So we shouldn't interpret the Bible, or anything else, in a robot-like fashion. And we should not kid ourselves that we can ever be completely out of the picture. The mantra, "The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it." sounds good until you ask the question "What does the Bible actually say?" We have to decide, which puts us right back in the middle of things.

We have to decide to do whatever we do, even if the decision is to do nothing. The Spirit isn't going to animate us like the well-worn image of a hand animating a glove. It doesn't work that way. And it wouldn't be any fun--for us or God--if it did.

So awareness' point is well-taken. We need to learn how to think.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:02 PM   #108
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I think Satan has a better shot at us if we don't think.

For this reason critical self thinking was more than suppressed in the local church. The hive mentality bettered allowed Lee to usurp Christ, and replace his headship in our life ... which is a trick of Satan. Satan hates self thinkers. Cuz we have free will we are able to reject him ... just as we're free to reject God.

Bro bearbear, and for this reason I think you should go with as much gusto to think for yourself as you put into pinning everything to the Bible, book chapter, and verse.
I think there is some nuance involved in how we balance our own thinking against applying the word of God, and I'm sorry if I gave the impression of promoting one of those extremes. We all know many have abused the word of God for their own means and Satan even uses the word to tempt Jesus. The word has to be "rightly handled" (2 Timothy 2:15) and I think that comes from us reading it in a way which we first humble ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit who guides us to all truth to give us understanding.

I agree that God gave us a mind which we use to think for ourselves. However I believe we should also make sure that our mind is renewed by the word of God, whereby we gradually take on the mind of Christ as we live and meditate on his words. And what I've come to appreciate is that even though God lives in us, we still get to retain our personalities. I think God delights in diversity and that's why he created everyone to be so different. We can adopt the mind of Christ and still retain the qualities that make each one of us unique. The prophets in the OT all had their own individual styles of speech, yet they were still speaking God's word. Witness Lee on the other hand tried pretty hard to stamp out individuality. Looking at the FTTA trainings is like witnessing Star Trek's Borg but for Christians.

As you alluded to, the problem with the LRC was that Witness Lee was preventing us from using these minds that God gifted us and insisting that we adopt his mind instead whereby we'd become Witness Lee clones knowingly or unknowingly. Instead we should be adopting the mind of Christ through taking in the words that were breathed out by God.

Most of the times when I write my responses, verses just keep popping in my head so I can't help but to write them out. I think the word is living and operative. Once you start meditating on God's word, it can't help but to bust out when you need it. That's been my experience at least, it could be different for everyone else with different giftings.

One book I really enjoyed along these lines was "They Thought For Themselves"

http://www.theythoughtforthemselves.com/

It's a compilation of stories of how Jews came to know Jesus as their Messiah once they started reading scriptures and thinking for themselves, rather than adopting the mind of their Rabbis and Jewish religion which taught them they weren't able to understand scripture by themselves. Jews today are instilled with the idea that they needed the Talmud, the life study for the Jews, in order to receive revelation from God to understand his word.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:25 PM   #109
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I think there is some nuance involved in how we balance our own thinking against applying the word of God, and I'm sorry if I gave the impression of promoting one of those extremes.
Well we're not a bunch of Hebrews sticking to 613 laws found in the Torah. The gospels have Jesus quoting scripture but I don't think he lived by matching everything to scripture. I'm pretty sure that he was guided by The Father directly ... which is the living word, not the dead letter.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:40 PM   #110
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Well we're not a bunch of Hebrews sticking to 613 laws found in the Torah. The gospels have Jesus quoting scripture but I don't think he lived by matching everything to scripture. I'm pretty sure that he was guided by The Father directly ... which is the living word, not the dead letter.
Agreed. it's always better to get revelation straight from the Guy who authored the bible, and that's why the Jews were stumbled when Jesus seemed to violate their interpretation of Torah when he violated the Sabbath according to their traditions.

That said Jesus made a bold statement when he said heaven and earth will pass away but my words never will. He also told us the only way we could bear fruit and not be cast into the fire was to remain in him and his words in John 15
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:54 PM   #111
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Agreed. it's always better to get revelation straight from the Guy who authored the bible, and that's why the Jews were stumbled when Jesus seemed to violate their interpretation of Torah when he violated the Sabbath according to their traditions.

That said Jesus made a bold statement when he said heaven and earth will pass away but my words never will. He also told us the only way we could bear fruit and not be cast into the fire was to remain in him and his words in John 15
Yes, he said :

"I have called you friends; for all things that I have read in the scripture I have made known unto you. Jn 15:15
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:08 PM   #112
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Amen. I'm reminded of scriptures that say all good things come from God (James 1:17). Paul even quoted Greek philosophy in Titus.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

That said I will still contend that the basis of discernment should still rest on the word of God. We shouldn't be pouring our time into things like Hindu scriptures, unless it's just to understand them for the sake of Gospel.
And what is the "Gospel"? Isn't it the good news that the Law is not necessary for salvation, that eternal life is not reserved exclusively for Jews? That literally anyone, gentile, tax collector, can be saved and all they need is love for God and their fellow man to achieve that?

In which case we are entirely free of religious dogma and biblical canons. So what if I read Hindu scriptures and meditate in Buddhist monasteries? Eternal life is too wonderful to constrain to one religion. The "way" should not be caged and paraded around like an animal, it should be lived and shared.

When I was with LC, there was a young guy being sent to India, he joined our English speaking group first to practice his English (which was poor). All he really knew in life was Cantonese and the Witness Lee Life Study. And he was being sent as a missionary . I advised him to read the Gita, so he could relate to the Hindus he would be meeting. I am sure by the expression on his face that this advice was ignored. He's probably still praying for my soul…..

But it's important. Jesus COULD NOT have liaised with the Jewish people in such a way had he not been a Jew. Likewise, a dogmatic Christian is going to get nowhere with people of other faiths. If you wanted to relate to a Buddhist, bearbear, how would you go about it? Start quoting them verses from a bible they don't believe in? Scare them with stories of hell? Tell them resistance is futile? "You will be assimilated…"
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:13 PM   #113
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And what is the "Gospel"? Isn't it the good news that the Law is not necessary for salvation, that eternal life is not reserved exclusively for Jews? That literally anyone, gentile, tax collector, can be saved and all they need is love for God and their fellow man to achieve that?

In which case we are entirely free of religious dogma and biblical canons. So what if I read Hindu scriptures and meditate in Buddhist monasteries? Eternal life is too wonderful to constrain to one religion. The "way" should not be caged and paraded around like an animal, it should be lived and shared.
This sounds like new age teaching .. we should be careful because the new age movement is definitely birthed by Satan.

Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation

* Jesus' name in Hebrew, Yeshua, means the Lord is our salvation! The bible authenticates who Christ is by his fulfillment of 351 prophecies.
* Just as there is only one telephone number you can use to reach a house, there's only one way you can reach the God of heaven.
* Jesus confirms this unequivocally in John 14:6 saying "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."


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When I was with LC, there was a young guy being sent to India, he joined our English speaking group first to practice his English (which was poor). All he really knew in life was Cantonese and the Witness Lee Life Study. And he was being sent as a missionary . I advised him to read the Gita, so he could relate to the Hindus he would be meeting. I am sure by the expression on his face that this advice was ignored. He's probably still praying for my soul…..

But it's important. Jesus COULD NOT have liaised with the Jewish people in such a way had he not been a Jew. Likewise, a dogmatic Christian is going to get nowhere with people of other faiths. If you wanted to relate to a Buddhist, bearbear, how would you go about it? Start quoting them verses from a bible they don't believe in? Scare them with stories of hell? Tell them resistance is futile? "You will be assimilated…"
Hi James, I was in agreement with you. I'm all for reading Hindu scriptures if your intention is to learn more about the culture to preach to them. Paul said to the Jews he'd be a Jew, to a Greek he'd be a Greek. The gospel is so important that we should be willing to take any means necessary to communicate it in a context understandable in their culture, even if we have to dress like them. Hudson Taylor and many other missionaries who understood this practiced this.

There is actually quite a bit of intersection with Buddhism and Christianity. Here's a testimony I've enjoyed from an ex-Buddhist turned Pastor.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=157UxWDprFQ
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:23 PM   #114
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That's a very juvenile and disingenious teaching of Buddhism… either through ignorance or deliberate deceit. I would say it is more a Cliff Notes on a distorted branch of the religion, with the emphasis on karma, 311 rules etc…. it is to Buddha's enlightenment as Jehovah's Witnesses are to Jesus' teaching. And it's quite ugly trying to tie Buddha's supposed teachings back to Genesis 3, in a "we got their first" kinda way.

Imagine a Buddhist taking to a stage and teaching about Christianity and only using Jehovah's Witnesses or LDS as the example, presenting it as "the faith" with their beliefs in bullet points as if that's all Christians believe? Sad to say, they do, I have been in monasteries where the youngsters are warned away from Christianity by precisely such tactics. Neither Jesus not Buddha would approve - lies are lies!
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:24 PM   #115
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This sounds like new age teaching .. we should be careful because the new age movement is definitely birthed by Satan.

Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation

* Jesus' name in Hebrew, Yeshua, means the Lord is our salvation! The bible authenticates who Christ is by his fulfillment of 351 prophecies.
* Just as there is only one telephone number you can use to reach a house, there's only one way you can reach the God of heaven.
* Jesus confirms this unequivocally in John 14:6 saying "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Yes, Jesus is the Logos. That's how Abraham, and all the OT patriarchs, even the pagan King priest of Salem, Melchizedek, came to the Father.

The Logos is a real force in the universe. It created the universe and sustains it ; as the pagan philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, who coined the word logos, 600 yrs before the gospel of John was penned in Ephesus, defined it.

Our minds aren't capable of understanding the universal extent of the Logos, all it does, and who it comes to. The wind blows where it will. Shame on us for being so arrogant to think we can pin down the Logos. Just who do we think we are?

Joh_10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:34 PM   #116
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Yes, Jesus is the Logos. That's how Abraham, and all the OT patriarchs, even the pagan King priest of Salem, Melchizedek, came to the Father.

The Logos is a real force in the universe. It created the universe and sustains it ; as the pagan philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, who coined the word logos, 600 yrs before the gospel of John was penned in Ephesus, defined it.

Our minds aren't capable of understanding the universal extent of the Logos, all it does, and who it comes to. The wind blows where it will. Shame on us for being so arrogant to think we can pin down the Logos. Just who do we think we are?

Joh_10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
I actually lean towards this being a reference to aliens in other worlds and universes that God may have created.

http://youtu.be/jqJECcP04Ls

That said for our world, I still believe Jesus who is the logos become flesh is the only way to salvation for this plane of existence. Before his incarnation it may have been a different story, but to much has been given much is also expected. Jesus came to die for us already, we either accept him as Lord and savior or we don't. I would never budge from this even if a gun were pointed to my head, or that of my daughter.

Acts 4:12
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

John 8:43
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:06 AM   #117
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God's name YHWH written in the ancient Hebrew alphabet when it was in its pictographic form means "the hand revealed, the nail revealed"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUvGlAccRB4#t=0

Jesus is God, there is no one else that can save you. He has to live in you through the Holy Spirit in order for you to inherit eternal life. Heaven and earth will pass away but his words never will. You have to have to logos become flesh abiding in you in order to overcome the grave. That can only come by believing and repenting.

Mark 1:15
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:18 AM   #118
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I actually lean towards this being a reference to aliens in other worlds and universes that God may have created.

http://youtu.be/jqJECcP04Ls

That said for our world, I still believe Jesus who is the logos become flesh is the only way to salvation for this plane of existence. Before his incarnation it may have been a different story, but to much has been given much is also expected. Jesus came to die for us already, we either accept him as Lord and savior or we don't. I would never budge from this even if a gun were pointed to my head, or that of my daughter.
If you accept there are different paths to salvation for different alien races, why is it so hard to accept there are different paths to salvation right here on earth?

Just think how complicated things would become if alien visitors with different salvation belief (but holding that belief directly from the same God you believe) came to visit earth. How would you discern whether they were in fact alien "Christians" and not alien "Muslims" or alien "Buddhists". How would you discern whether they even actually believed in the same God?

Or maybe they have a picture of a tablet with "YHWH" written on it, which you could claim to be proof they are of the same God - how do you then prove they are not alien "Jews" or alien Jehovah's Witnesses or alien Lord's Recovery? (oh, that one's easy, they'd all be wearing the same clothes )

Would you try to convert them to Jesus or accept that they have a different salvation model?

Philosophical questions for you, not to be taken too seriously but fun to ponder
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:32 AM   #119
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If you accept there are different paths to salvation for different alien races, why is it so hard to accept there are different paths to salvation right here on earth?

Just think how complicated things would become if alien visitors with different salvation belief (but holding that belief directly from the same God you believe) came to visit earth. How would you discern whether they were in fact alien "Christians" and not alien "Muslims" or alien "Buddhists". How would you discern whether they even actually believed in the same God?

Or maybe they have a picture of a tablet with "YHWH" written on it, which you could claim to be proof they are of the same God - how do you then prove they are not alien "Jews" or alien Jehovah's Witnesses or alien Lord's Recovery? (oh, that one's easy, they'd all be wearing the same clothes )

Would you try to convert them to Jesus or accept that they have a different salvation model?

Philosophical questions for you, not to be taken too seriously but fun to ponder
That's assuming the aliens sinned. I know I am going off the deep end here so take this with a grain of salt. In NDEs of people who've been to heaven where God showed them beings from other worlds, it was made known to them that the aliens never sinned and fell like we did, we are the exception.

But Because humans had to go through much more by overcoming sin, we'll also be rewarded with much more. God gave us the right to be royalty as his children, an offer that was not extended to anyone else.

Now the bible says we are royalty and we will rule and reign with Jesus. In eternity he is The Lord of lords and the King of kings. Who are these lords and kings? They are us. This concept of us being royalty would have much more meaning if we also reigned in life over other all types of beings in eternity as servant-kings.

Of course I could be wrong and I certainly would not die for this theory

1 Cor 2:9
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:04 AM   #120
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I just love you guys ...
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:04 AM   #121
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Sorry guys, please, let's have no more talk of aliens and pagan philosophers. There are probably thousands of forums out there where you guys can get into this kind of speculation, but this forum is not one of them.

The original proposition does have merit....let's stick to the topic at hand.

I think bearbear's original proposition here is worth discussing:
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I believe Witness Lee seriously misrepresented who Jesus was in the way he lived and taught, and this has done incredible damage to the reputation and person of Jesus among those who really invested and poured out their lives into the LRC.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:08 AM   #122
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Sorry guys, please, let's have no more talk of aliens and pagan philosophers. There are probably thousands of forums out there where you guys can get into this kind of speculation, but this forum is not one of them.

The original proposition does have merit....let's stick to the topic at hand.

I think bearbear's original proposition here is worth discussing:
True. Unless we can find even just a claim that Witness Lee was an alien from outer space, or a closet pagan, such talk is off topic.

I apologize for my part in it. Sometimes I get carried away. My bad. Thanks for your kindness Untohim.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:03 AM   #123
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True. Unless we can find even just a claim that Witness Lee was an alien from outer space, or a closet pagan, such talk is off topic.

I apologize for my part in it. Sometimes I get carried away. My bad. Thanks for your kindness Untohim.
Let me kindly disagree, talk of aliens is still relevant.

As God's elect, we're all aliens. We don't come from this planet. We're "heavanians". Our true home is in heaven, our home world. We're merely sojourners passing through this dark world known as earth which is slated for destruction. We're ambassadors of Christ who have been sent on a mission from our home planet to convince others of their true heavenly home so they can return to it after they leave their earthly bodies.

Our mission is dangerous because there are impostor heavanians who pretend to be from our planet, but really come from the pit of hell. One of our tasks is to identify and avoid such interlopers so that our mission can proceed unhindered. Our mission commander has taught us how to recognize these false heavanians. He said you will know them by their actions, and if we look at Witness Lee's actions the answer is not clouded in mystery. Hence he may have very well been a false ambassador who was not worthy of representing our mission commander and Savior, Jesus Christ (until *possibly* the end of his life).

I believe my mission commander has sent me a message to those who were deceived and thereby hurt by this false one to restore his Holy Name:

"Witness Lee did not represent me. I am your lover and Savior Jesus Christ. I love you more than any lover you have ever known or dreamed of. You are beautiful to me. Come to me and let me embrace you, my lover. Do not listen to the enemy's lies. Those who are mine are full of love, joy and mercy. And if you come to me I will show you my love joy and mercy and goodness. Enter the joy of your master, lover and mission commander."

The mission commander's Father has also sent a communication to us through his messengers, he left it at this website:
http://www.fathersloveletter.com/

References found in the Holy Manual

Philippians 3:20
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 2:11
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

2 Corinthians 5:20
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Ephesians 2:19
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:09 AM   #124
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bb ... LOL ... so are LCers aliens or not?
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:30 AM   #125
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bb ... LOL ... so are LCers aliens or not?
Membership of any organization does not necessarily guarantee or exclude the status of citizenship in our home world.

Instead one's host body must be made alive by the spirit that comes from the breath of our mission commander. Once this entity enters the host body, he will start receiving messages from our commander and by reading the Holy Manual he was given, the bible, he will come to know of his true home. His old operating system will also be replaced with a new one so he can obey the commands given by our commander.

Changes in his life will become apparent immediately. As the newly recruited ambassador spends more time with the Mission commander and his Holy Manual he will become increasingly effective in his assigned mission. His skill sets and craft that were gifted to him by the Commander will also improve. He will spread the attributes well known from his heavenly home world: love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, and his actions will reflect the culture of his original birth place.

However he will still come under attack from unseen agents of the enemy planet, including seen agents the enemy commander has infected and controlled. However if he dons the invisible yet impenetrable spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6 and wields his combat weapon, the sword of the Spirit which is the words of the heavenly manual and mission commander (verse 17), he will have no problems.

Our mission commander who is in us is greater than the enemy commander who is temporarily holding this dark world hostage (1 John 4:4). We trust not in what our eyes see but in the promises of our mission commander which never fail. We just have to carry out our mission here. One day our mission commander will come back and invade this terrible planet and give the enemy commander and his minions the justice they deserve. He will even bring our home world and capital city, the New Jerusalem, to this plane of existence and bring all things to its proper place.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:02 PM   #126
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Hi All,

On a happier note, I wanted to share with you my non-alien related testimony which is somewhat relevant to this thread. My church asked me to share my experience with a recent conference I attended, however I will be out of town this weekend, so I recorded a youtube video instead.

At the very least, y'all have a chance to see me in real life and understand why I type with one hand sometimes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hds_XROzxtg
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:33 PM   #127
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I only answered these because it is my dear friend Ohio.
THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME I ADDRESS ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT IS THE MAIN THEME OF THIS THREAD.

LET'S CARRY ON!



If only I was a Juris Doctor.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:05 PM   #128
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If only I was a Juris Doctor.
I felt the hair stand up on the back of my neck, so I came over to this thread. Then I realized it was only Ohio.

Carry on.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:20 PM   #129
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That's assuming the aliens sinned. I know I am going off the deep end here so take this with a grain of salt. In NDEs of people who've been to heaven where God showed them beings from other worlds, it was made known to them that the aliens never sinned and fell like we did, we are the exception.

But Because humans had to go through much more by overcoming sin, we'll also be rewarded with much more. God gave us the right to be royalty as his children, an offer that was not extended to anyone else.

Now the bible says we are royalty and we will rule and reign with Jesus. In eternity he is The Lord of lords and the King of kings. Who are these lords and kings? They are us. This concept of us being royalty would have much more meaning if we also reigned in life over other all types of beings in eternity as servant-kings.

Of course I could be wrong and I certainly would not die for this theory

1 Cor 2:9
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—
Hey Sam!

(I use your name only as you revealed it publically in another thread)

I don't write, here, to challenge any of the content your writing about (aliens etc...). I only ask this:

In what way, if at all, does it change the way you live your life each day as a Christian? Would you live it differently if there were no aliens? Do you change your behavior (not just your thoughts) to think that there are aliens?

In other words, what is riding on your belief in this regard, aside from a theological playground (regardless of how interesting or even sound).

These are not challenges. They are questions, as posed.

In Love,

Peter

P.S. What's Paul up to these days?
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:34 PM   #130
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Hey Sam!

(I use your name only as you revealed it publically in another thread)

I don't write, here, to challenge any of the content your writing about (aliens etc...). I only ask this:

In what way, if at all, does it change the way you live your life each day as a Christian? Would you live it differently if there were no aliens? Do you change your behavior (not just your thoughts) to think that there are aliens?

In other words, what is riding on your belief in this regard, aside from a theological playground (regardless of how interesting or even sound).

These are not challenges. They are questions, as posed.

In Love,

Peter

P.S. What's Paul up to these days?
Hi Peter,

I have revealed my identity already so it's alright and I respect that you wear your name so proudly. I realized later it is better to come forward with my identity and be transparent because God works best in the light and I have nothing to be afraid of because God is my protector. That's not to say I respect others for staying anonymous because that has advantages for those who feel it would help them open up about their struggles.

I don't feel dogmatic about my view of aliens and really it's not something I bring up in conversations unless I'm talking to other like minded folks who are deeply studied in bible prophecy and end times. However when the verse was brought up, I felt like I had to respond to it. I feel like it always helps to have an open mind as long as the theories do not violate the bible. Being close minded makes it likely we'll be rejecting truth and also stumble others when it's not necessary.

One of my hobbies is delving into bible prophecy. I've studied a lot of bible prophecy teachers such as Chuck Missler, LA Marzulli, Gary Stearman, Tom Horn, Cris Putnam. The book that got me interested in the subject of UFOs being an end-time demonic deception is Exo-Vaticana. So my process of getting into this was a gradual one.

The benefit of course is that this knowledge could be a witnessing tool for the gospel to those who are involved in new age and believe in UFOs. I have a DVD that clearly exposes the UFO phenomenon as being demonic and I prayed a short prayer once for the Lord to show me a person to give the DVD to. He hasn't given me an answer yet but it's the kind of prayer God always answers from my experience.

This is a legitimate concern because according to a recent National Geographic survey more Americans believe in UFOs than they believe Jesus Christ is the son of God.

http://thetruthwins.com/archives/mor...the-son-of-god

Here's a video from a Christian perspective in case I have piqued your interest enough:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EbhHRxmLrA
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:15 PM   #131
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Hi Peter,

I have revealed my identity already so it's alright and I respect that you wear your name so proudly. I realized later it is better to come forward with my identity and be transparent because God works best in the light and I have nothing to be afraid of because God is my protector. That's not to say I respect others for staying anonymous because that has advantages for those who feel it would help them open up about their struggles.

I don't feel dogmatic about my view of aliens and really it's not something I bring up in conversations unless I'm talking to other like minded folks who are deeply studied in bible prophecy and end times. However when the verse was brought up, I felt like I had to respond to it. I feel like it always helps to have an open mind as long as the theories do not violate the bible. Being close minded makes it likely we'll be rejecting truth and also stumble others when it's not necessary.

One of my hobbies is delving into bible prophecy. I've studied a lot of bible prophecy teachers such as Chuck Missler, LA Marzulli, Gary Stearman, Tom Horn, Cris Putnam. The book that got me interested in the subject of UFOs being an end-time demonic deception is Exo-Vaticana. So my process of getting into this was a gradual one.

The benefit of course is that this knowledge could be a witnessing tool for the gospel to those who are involved in new age and believe in UFOs. I have a DVD that clearly exposes the UFO phenomenon as being demonic and I prayed a short prayer once for the Lord to show me a person to give the DVD to. He hasn't given me an answer yet but it's the kind of prayer God always answers from my experience.

This is a legitimate concern because according to a recent National Geographic survey more Americans believe in UFOs than they believe Jesus Christ is the son of God.

http://thetruthwins.com/archives/mor...the-son-of-god

Here's a video from a Christian perspective in case I have piqued your interest enough:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EbhHRxmLrA

Thanks for responding, Sam.

As I said before, I don't have particular comment on your UFO discussion. Rightly or wrongly, I just don't have much interest (to my detriment, perhaps).

I did hone in on your desire to reach certain people with a particular ministry. Paul did make him self a man for all men. To the Athenians, he argued from a philosophical base. To the Jews, he even had his companion circumsized, just to fit in.

That said, I wonder the value in our age in doing so. Unlike Paul's time, the message of Christ is not rare. Our public message perhaps falls on tainted ears, even to targeted audiences who we are catering to.

Instead, I wonder if the message is best carried by how we live our lives, and how we engage with our fellows.

I did notice in your YouTube that you have a particular concern for the afterlife. Can I ask you, I all sincerety, how come? I know this is an odd question, given the stakes at issue in the afterlife (heaven or hell). But I am curious why the afterlife theology takes precedence over how to live richly today (if you don't think these are incongruous, tell me so). Of course, they might not be contradictory. I'm open.

What do you think?

Peter
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:23 PM   #132
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Thanks for responding, Sam.

As I said before, I don't have particular comment on your UFO discussion. Rightly or wrongly, I just don't have much interest (to my detriment, perhaps).

I did hone in on your desire to reach certain people with a particular ministry. Paul did make him self a man for all men. To the Athenians, he argued from a philosophical base. To the Jews, he even had his companion circumsized, just to fit in.

That said, I wonder the value in our age in doing so. Unlike Paul's time, the message of Christ is not rare. Our public message perhaps falls on tainted ears, even to targeted audiences who we are catering to.

Instead, I wonder if the message is best carried by how we live our lives, and how we engage with our fellows.

I did notice in your YouTube that you have a particular concern for the afterlife. Can I ask you, I all sincerety, how come? I know this is an odd question, given the stakes at issue in the afterlife (heaven or hell). But I am curious why the afterlife theology takes precedence over how to live richly today (if you don't think these are incongruous, tell me so). Of course, they might not be contradictory. I'm open.

What do you think?

Peter
The Lord dealt with me for being so obsessed about my own salvation because it got to a point where it was clearly unhealthy. He's put an end to it because I suspect he wants me to move on in ministry unhindered.

That said I'm not ashamed of being concerned about my eternity and I point to Ecclesiastes 3:11 for this: "he has put eternity into man's heart"

After my born again experience I noticed I started caring less for the world and more for things of eternal value. Paul tells us to focus our mind on the things above and not on the earth below. It's because as the Apostle John stated the world is passing away with it's lusts but he who does the will of God abides forever. All the money and material things we work for in this age isn't going to make it with us for eternity. However people's souls that we save will make it with us. That's why Jesus told his disciples to be fishers of men, but to let the dead bury the dead (eg let those going to hell go there anyway, but preach the gospel so that the elect can be saved). This is why I still consider myself an evangelical because I often frame how I live my life in terms of the gospel.

Regarding my own fear, this may be hard to relate to for someone from an LC background, but once I disbelieved in free grace from my heart, the fear of hell overcame me.

But since then I've been concerned not only about my own eternity but those of others.

If you are interested in how I came to leave free grace and believe in Lordship Salvation, I have a website here that compiles my thoughts:

http://eternityinourheart.com/salvation

And also my blog:

http://nodustybunnies.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:10 PM   #133
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T

Since then I've been concerned not only about my own eternity but those of others. This may be hard to relate to for someone from an LC background, but once I disbelieved in free grace from my heart, the fear of hell overcame me.

If you are interested in how I came to leave free grace and believe in Lordship Salvation, I have a website here that compiles my thoughts:

http://eternityinourheart.com/salvation

And also my blog:

http://nodustybunnies.blogspot.com/
Sam,

I don't mean to be flippant (truly, I am in the midst of reading everything you're referencing), but here's how I read this:

Those enslaved by the LC background need to be liberated in order to be properly gripped by the fear of hell.

I just had a longer questioning post deleted in another thread , so I'll ask, in short, here:

Is there any humanly recognizable indicator of salvation or is that for God to sort out? In other words, can you asses whether you're saved? Can you assess whether I'm saved? Or is it ongoing? Does the presence of continued sin (as Jesus describes in Matthew 5) have any bearing on that question? If not, why not?

What is the relationship between sanctification and salvation?

Still open questions.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:59 PM   #134
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Sam,

I don't mean to be flippant (truly, I am in the midst of reading everything you're referencing), but here's how I read this:

Those enslaved by the LC background need to be liberated in order to be properly gripped by the fear of hell.

I just had a longer questioning post deleted in another thread , so I'll ask, in short, here:

Is there any humanly recognizable indicator of salvation or is that for God to sort out? In other words, can you asses whether you're saved? Can you assess whether I'm saved? Or is it ongoing? Does the presence of continued sin (as Jesus describes in Matthew 5) have any bearing on that question? If not, why not?

What is the relationship between sanctification and salvation?

Still open questions.

Thanks,

Peter
Hi Peter those are really good questions.

First of all I don't think my experience is necessarily generalizable enough to everyone who was ex-LC since there are plenty of born again Christians counted among these folks. My grandma still adheres to free grace and she is still the most loving Christian I know. I think as Ohio stated, my experience may be more applicable to lukewarm Christians or second generation church kids rather than fiery LC types who were saved during the early LC days.

Also everyone is built differently, and I've been born with greater faculties for fear and accountability than most others, however I believe this is common among men. There are plenty of folks I think who come to love God with all their heart without having to pass through a stage of fear like mine, IMO not be sexist, but it's mostly women from what I have observed.

I've also done a lot of research on NDEs and this has greatly magnified my fear that Jesus wasn't kidding around when he said the road to eternal life was narrow and few find it. When someone asked him if few were saved, rather than giving him assurance, He said to make every effort to make it through the narrow way because a lot of folks strive to enter but few make it through.

So in a lot of these near death experience accounts anywhere from between 1 to 25 out of 1000 people made it to heaven versus hell (1 on the lowest end, 25 on the highest). I give credence to these experiences after reading this article:

http://www.newsweek.com/proof-heaven...fterlife-65327

In other words between .1% to 2.5% of folks make it to heaven versus hell.

So the question on how do you know if you're born again is probably one of the most important questions you can ask yourself. I believe Jesus answered this clearly in his teachings, the other NT writers also addressed including Peter, Paul, James and John.

Jesus said a bad tree cannot produce good fruit and vice versa. Numerous places throughout the gospels (such as Luke 3 and John 15) say that all the bad trees are cut down and cast into the fire. This tree is our heart which can only be made new via a born again experience (see Ezekiel 36, Psalms 51). So what Jesus was really saying was the way you tell someone is saved is if you look at their actions which are produced from the heart.

I believe scriptures clearly shows that our actions, or our works are considered "good fruit" if they're born of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self control. If these qualities of yours are growing everyday it's probably because you have a new spirit and new heart God gave you which you are feeding by spending time in God's presence and doing his will by practicing his word.

Actions that are bad fruit are works of the flesh. This is also in Galatians chapter 5.

Galatians 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

So if you are enslaved to any of these kinds of things, you may be in eternal danger and this is when we need to cry out to the Lord to save us. This is the true context of the verse "he who calls on the Lord will be saved". It's realizing that we can't save ourselves because of our flesh and we need the Lord to deliver us which he will tangibly through his Spirit and not just on a legal level. So basically when you do this, it's part of your full hearted repentance, and not just blindly calling on the Lord's name.

So Galatians chapter 5 is a wonderful chapter on this question. There are many others as well. Peter tells us that if we practice righteousness and are increasing in "good fruit" qualities with each passing day, we will "confirm" our calling and election and never fail.

2 Peter 1:5-11
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


But the most important thing is we must be born again to begin with. Jesus says to Nicodemus in John 3 that unless someone is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

My take on what it takes to be born again is to first make your heart the good earth in the parable of the sower. This is done through repentance by turning from all wickedness and turning to the Lord in full surrender. At this point the word of God will grow in you into it's full measure because you will have been given a new heart and new spirit which will cause you to irresistibly (speaking as Calvinist here) love and obey Jesus which are the conditions for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (see John 14) not just mere belief in Jesus. You won't be perfect because as James said we all stumble in various ways, but the Holy Spirit will convict you to repentance every time because you will have no peace in your soul when you sin.

1 John 3:6 is relevant:
No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.

The strongest verse for turning from wickedness is probably in 2 Timothy 2.

2 Timothy 2:19
But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from wickedness.”

There's a firm foundation that cannot budge and a seal that cannot change. Everyone that belongs to the Lord has to depart from wickedness. If you are practicing wickedness, you probably don't belong to the Lord and that's important because Jesus promises that he won't lose any that Father has given him. Only those that belong to Jesus can make it with him in eternity.

So you can now understand my theory why Witness Lee was probably never born again. He was confronted so many times on many different levels to repent when his iniquity was exposed, yet he never repented but instead he hardened his heart like pharoah did and shamelessly made things worse by publishing a book of unwarranted character assassinations of righteous brothers and false reports known as "Fermentation of the Present Rebellion". It's possible however that God accepted his repentance at the end of his life, so I am not trying to speculate where he ended up, just that he was a false teacher who has damaged the reputation of Jesus among those folks who left the LRC due to his behavior.

If you put yourselves in his shoes and imagine yourself doing things like using church funds to pay off family debts, be on record for constructing a money laundering operation for defrauding saints of their life savings, overlook your son forcing himself on married women who gave their lives to your ministry, etc. and yet have the gall to insist you are the MOTA, how long could you live with that shame and not repent?
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:17 AM   #135
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In other words between .1% to 2.5% of folks make it to heaven versus hell.
So 99.9% of people are Lake of Fire bound? Isn't it terribly irresponsible to have children, in that case?
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:22 AM   #136
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So 99.9% of people are Lake of Fire bound? Isn't it terribly irresponsible to have children, in that case?
.1% is the extreme number but it's probably 2.5%. I included 1 of 1000 because that's what one South Korean Presbyterian mega church pastor reported. The guy was loaded with over 150m net worth from book sales. After his NDE he sold everything. He could have had a real NDE but judged the ratio inaccurately when he was out of body.

Regarding having children, they're not God's children which I'll get to later.

Jesus uses the term "dead" to refer to those folks who die from the second death in the lake of fire. It sounds harsh but these people are pretty much dead to God.

Jesus never used the word "death" when referring to those who would resurrect again. He showed this by saying Lazarus was only sleeping and for the dead girl who passed away in Mark 5:39, he also said she was "only sleeping". But he didn't hesitate to use this word "death" for people living at the time who were destined for hell (let the dead bury the dead).

If that sounds harsh to you it's because God is holy. His holiness is like the part of him that's the incredible hulk. He cannot control it beyond the bounds of the conditions he set for salvation. Hell is simply his undiluted wrath, yet he still desires all men be saved and does not delight in the punishment of the wicked. That's why he needed folks like Moses to intercede for him in Exodus and Numbers, if Moses hadn't stepped up he would have wiped out all the Israelites due to their rebellion. This scenario happened more than once.

These people that died were never God's to begin with also. They are children of the devil, which they show by obeying him rather than God. We're mastered by those whom we obey, so we belong to whoever we listen to (Romans 6). This is the legal authority all the demons, angels and God himself recognizes.

1 John 3:8
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Romans 6:16
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

1 Cor 6:12
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:17 AM   #137
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So 99.9% of people are Lake of Fire bound?
It must be more than that since I never met any who have plucked out their eyes or cut off their arms.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:50 AM   #138
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Sam,

I don't mean to be flippant (truly, I am in the midst of reading everything you're referencing), but here's how I read this:

Those enslaved by the LC background need to be liberated in order to be properly gripped by the fear of hell.
I am beginning to think that Lee was not as narrow as I once thought -- his teachings only condemned the whole of Christianity.

Based on bearbear's latest teaching, it seems impossible for any to enter into the kingdom of God in heaven. With all the demands and evidences of salvation placed upon mankind, none can be saved. It is only the hypocrite who believes that his life is somehow satisfactory.

Jesus has commanded us to "sell all and follow him." All we need to do is find just one item in a person's possession, and he is deemed disobedient and unfaithful, and is not worthy to enter into life.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:55 AM   #139
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It must be more than that since I never met any who have plucked out their eyes or cut off their arms.
I give the most credence to 2.5% which is from Howard Pittman's testimony which reads to me as one of the more credible accounts. This implies about 10% of Christians are born again if you divide by 1/4 since about one quarter of the population self identifies as Christian.

This number seems realistic since about this ratio of Christians seem to have surrendered their life to Jesus from my personal experience. This is what I hope for but maybe I'm biased for the sake of my own sanity. Regardless Jesus made it sound like it wouldn't seem like a whole lot and if it turns out that way we can't really blame him because he warned us.

According to my current theological understanding if you are not free of porn you cannot enter heaven. Given that so many men are, just on the basis of this one addiction alone, many will not make it if they die without overcoming this addiction by the power of the blood of Jesus.

Jesus of course was giving us an idea of the extreme measures we have to take to be free of sexual immorality. We don't have to pluck our eye out but we can go to other extremes like move our computers to the living room and practice accountability partners. But on a literal level I don't think he was wrong about it either.

It's actually not as hard as it sounds because our flesh is like a monster which requires food to survive. All you have to do is stop feeding it and feed your spirit instead. In the beginning it is hard because the monster will be hungry and ask you for food. You just keep ignoring that thing and run to Jesus and others who call on his name out of a pure heart instead. Eventually it will die and we will realize only Jesus could ever satisfy us. Satan started out as a serpent in Eden but ends as a huge dragon in revelation. That's because someone's been feeding that sucker with their free will. In the battle of flesh vs spirit the one who wins is the one we choose to feed the most.

If we stumble we don't give up but confess our sins and keep trying and call on the Lord to save us. The Christian life is compared to warfare in the bible so we should expect grenades to blow up in our faces from time to time.

Another thing that helped for me was to have faith in the verse that says we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. Paul said he had become a spectacle to angels. There are invisible beings who are always watching us, we are never alone even when we think we are. Not only that but Sin always starts from a thought in our mind so we have to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus. Rebuke every temptation that comes into your mind. Remember that Jesus lives in you. Don't do anything you wouldn't be comfortable if Jesus was holding your hand, because he's even closer to you than that.

All the tips of how we can become free from sin and slaves to Christ is in the holy bible. We just have to learn to wield it as a weapon against the enemy's attacks. Without the Spirit and the word we don't stand a chance because we were created to be lower than the angels. But greater is He who is in us than the one in the world. It just takes faith!
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:01 AM   #140
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I am beginning to think that Lee was not as narrow as I once thought -- his teachings only condemned the whole of Christianity.

Based on bearbear's latest teaching, it seems impossible for any to enter into the kingdom of God in heaven. With all the demands and evidences of salvation placed upon mankind, none can be saved. It is only the hypocrite who believes that his life is somehow satisfactory.

Jesus has commanded us to "sell all and follow him." All we need to do is find just one item in a person's possession, and he is deemed disobedient and unfaithful, and is not worthy to enter into life.
He never placed that burden on us but only on the ruler who made material wealth his idol. We do however have to surrender everything to him from our heart. If God asks us to give, we have to give. Yet his yoke is easy and his burden is light. He will lead us to love him more and become less attached to the temporary possessions of our world as we build our faith and trust in him and thereby enter his rest.

The wisdom of God sounds like foolishness to men. That God can allow so few to be saved may be beyond our human wisdom but Jesus said what he said: few are saved. Yet God also gave us a lot of promises in his word we can hold on to. We just need to have Hebrews 11:1 faith in Christ Jesus.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:40 AM   #141
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He never placed that burden on us but only on the ruler who made material wealth his idol. We do however have to surrender everything to him from our heart. If God asks us to give, we have to give. Yet his yoke is easy and his burden is light. He will lead us to love him more and become less attached to the temporary possessions of our world as we build our faith and trust in him and thereby enter his rest.
You are surmising that the rich young ruler made material wealth his idol. Jeus never said that. Compare that to people today. I seriously doubt that idolatry in this world has shrunk since Jesus first walked the earth. Are you trying to say that Jesus' command to "sell all" only applies to this one person? If that is true, then please tell me how many other verses only apply to the audience spoken to, and not to me?

I don't understand how you can say that Jesus never placed this burden on us. Even those hearing what Jesus said commented, "who then can be saved."
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:50 AM   #142
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You are surmising that the rich young ruler made material wealth his idol. Jeus never said that. Compare that to people today. I seriously doubt that idolatry in this world has shrunk since Jesus first walked the earth. Are you trying to say that Jesus' command to "sell all" only applies to this one person? If that is true, then please tell me how many other verses only apply to the audience spoken to, and not to me?

I don't understand how you can say that Jesus never placed this burden on us. Even those hearing what Jesus said commented, "who then can be saved."
This is a good discussion to have.

Jesus is concerned about our heart. He couldn't have that rich ruler follow him and still think about his possessions all the time. He would have backslidden eventually when Jesus went to the cross and it would be better for him to just enjoy his wealth. Jesus tells us to count the cost before we decide to follow him. We have to be willing to let go of everything when push comes to shove.

Also God desires obedience and not sacrifice. Ananias and Sapphira gave most of everything away but still got smited by God when they lied to the Holy Spirit. There were plenty of folks who didn't sell everything in the early church and did fine because they didn't lie. Practicing Lying is breaking the commandment, not giving away all your wealth isn't. Yet if we see a brother in need and do not give him anything when we have lots of stuff, we need to check our heart.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:51 AM   #143
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I give the most credence to 2.5% which is from Howard Pittman's testimony which reads to me as one of the more credible accounts. This implies about 10% of Christians are born again if you divide by 1/4 since about one quarter of the population self identifies as Christian.

This number seems realistic since about this ratio of Christians seem to have surrendered their life to Jesus from my personal experience. This is what I hope for but maybe I'm biased for the sake of my own sanity. Regardless Jesus made it sound like it wouldn't seem like a whole lot and if it turns out that way we can't really blame him because he warned us.
I just don't see how you can say that you have surrendered all of your life to Jesus, when you still have not "left all" to follow Him. Neither have you taken to heart the Lord's command to sell all. Following this, the Lord tells Peter about leaving homes, wives, families, grandmas, and children for the sake of the kingdom of God. He also compares this to eternal life in the coming age.

You are also living in the Bay Area of NoCal, which surrounds the present day Sodom and Gomorrah. I don't see how realistic it is that you would extrapolate these statistics of your limited experience there to the rest of the inhabited earth.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:01 AM   #144
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I just don't see how you can say that you have surrendered all of your life to Jesus, when you still have not "left all" to follow Him. Neither have you taken to heart the Lord's command to sell all. Following this, the Lord tells Peter about leaving homes, wives, families, grandmas, and children for the sake of the kingdom of God. He also compares this to eternal life in the coming age.

You are also living in the Bay Area of NoCal, which surrounds the present day Sodom and Gomorrah. I don't see how realistic it is that you would extrapolate these statistics of your limited experience there to the rest of the inhabited earth.
My understanding is Jesus didn't say it was a prerequisite for eternal life but just added it to the list because eternal life is the greatest gift, but if the Spirit leads you to go you still have to obey.

God has called me to minister to the youth here and I have received quite a few confirmations of that. He has also perfectly equipped me to feed them because I can relate to their life experience and love them instead of judge them because I know their struggles. If God calls me elsewhere I am willing to go. I have become pretty detached from this world. Still It wouldn't be easy but I know God's grace is sufficient.

The disciples also had to go through a training period with Jesus. It probably wouldn't hurt to get some experience here before I go to some remote village in Africa. Also there are probably fewer true Christians in rich countries than there are in poor countries where folks are desperate for Jesus. I still see a lot of opportunities for ministry here to wake up folks to love Jesus with all their heart. If they believe in Jesus already and the authority of God's word that is a huge stepping stone to work from. My pastor said wisely that One person who loves Jesus with all their heart is more useful than a thousand lukewarm christians. Jesus throws out the flavorless salt because it's useless.

My goal is to bring the flavor back to that salt!
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:15 AM   #145
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It's actually not as hard as it sounds because our flesh is like a monster which requires food to survive. All you have to do is stop feeding it and feed your spirit instead. In the beginning it is hard because the monster will be hungry and ask you for food. You just keep ignoring that thing and run to Jesus and others who call on his name out of a pure heart instead. Eventually it will die and we will realize only Jesus could ever satisfy us.
If only a couple people out of every hundred are truly born again, and have starved their flesh of every lust, then it sounds a lot more difficult then you are letting us on to believe. Personally I would question whether even 2% can make it into the kingdom for reasons I mentioned before.

I think we should tell everyone about how truly difficult it is to enter heaven. It seems to me that if more people knew the real facts about how many others have failed in their best attempts to live by faith, then they would not even have started on the journey. If, as you say, most Christians have not truly repented, then why even try?

Have you ever considered how all the evangelists on earth have failed in their message? They continually emphasize how by faith the blood of Jesus takes away all our sins, while they should be informing us of the demand to depart from unrighteousness, how your fruit must be a strong evidence of your being born again, that we should not attend funerals (let the dead bury the dead,) and so forth.

If one is not willing and able to meet all the demands of scripture, then that one should not even be allowed to hear the gospel, since the Lord has told us that "no one who puts his hand to the plow is fit for the kingdom of God."
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:22 AM   #146
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If only a couple people out of every hundred are truly born again, and have starved their flesh of every lust, then it sounds a lot more difficult then you are letting us on to believe. Personally I would question whether even 2% can make it into the kingdom for reasons I mentioned before.

I think we should tell everyone about how truly difficult it is to enter heaven. It seems to me that if more people knew the real facts about how many others have failed in their best attempts to live by faith, then they would not even have started on the journey. If, as you say, most Christians have not truly repented, then why even try?

Have you ever considered how all the evangelists on earth have failed in their message? They continually emphasize how by faith the blood of Jesus takes away all our sins, while they should be informing us of the demand to depart from unrighteousness, how your fruit must be a strong evidence of your being born again, that we should not attend funerals (let the dead bury the dead,) and so forth.

If one is not willing and able to meet all the demands of scripture, then that one should not even be allowed to hear the gospel, since the Lord has told us that "no one who puts his hand to the plow is fit for the kingdom of God."
I guess it depends what type of Christians you hang around with. I tend to stick to evangelicals like David Wilkerson and Francis Chan who have been preaching this message all their life.

All you need to do is abide in Christ and his words by putting them into practice. Let God work on your heart and the rest will follow. Spiritual growth is organic. We all start out as babies. I'd never expect my 6mo old daughter to start running when she can barely crawl.

That said, this is a sermon which touches on so many issues you bring up which are all really good questions the Christian community needs to ask itself:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=havd_RVXOEM
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:29 AM   #147
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Salvation by faith alone is proven by the thief on the cross. Do you think he had overcome all his shortcomings? No. He reached out in desperate faith and faith alone and was promised paradise with the Lord.

Not overcoming porn before one dies, as much as anyone should do that, is not an unforgivable sin. There is only one unforgivable sin--blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And that sin boils down to the ultimate rejection of truth. And anyone who has received the Lord can no longer ultimately reject the truth because the truth, the Spirit of Truth, has been joined to their inner being, i.e. part of their being is now truth.They are no longer their own. They are chosen, bought, redeemed, they are sanctified, they are glorified. That's what Romans says.

It seems the only one lacking faith around here is bearbear. Who seems to think in some cases God is not able to keep that which we've committed to him concerning that day. You need an infusion of faith, son.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:34 AM   #148
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Salvation by faith alone is proven by the thief on the cross. Do you think he had overcome all his shortcomings? No. He reached out in desperate faith and faith alone and was promised paradise with the Lord.

Not overcoming porn before one dies, as much as anyone should do that, is not an unforgivable sin. There is only one unforgivable sin--blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And that sin boils down to the ultimate rejection of truth. And anyone who has received the Lord can no longer ultimately reject the truth because the truth, the Spirit of Truth, has been joined to their inner being, i.e. part of their being is now truth.They are no longer their own. They are chosen, bought, redeemed, they are sanctified, they are glorified. That's what Romans says.

It seems the only one lacking faith around here is bearbear. Who seems to think in some cases God is not able to keep that which we've committed to him concerning that day. You need an infusion of faith, son.
The thief's story is very touching if you meditate on what he said and how Jesus responded.

He defended Jesus on the cross by saying he and the other sinner deserved their punishment but Jesus was righteous and did not. Then he said to Jesus "remember me when you come into your kingdom!"

The thief expected to get his punishment in hell, he prepared in his heart to go there. All he wanted Jesus to do was to maybe put in a good word for him to his Father, he wasn't expecting much.

The thief humbled himself. These are the words of a man who has let everything go in his life and fully surrendered his heart.

Pride comes before the fall but honor before humility. God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud. It's a reminder to stay humble so God can extend mercy and grace to us and boy did Jesus do that when he looked at him and said

"Truly truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise"
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:43 AM   #149
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If only a couple people out of every hundred are truly born again, and have starved their flesh of every lust, then it sounds a lot more difficult then you are letting us on to believe. Personally I would question whether even 2% can make it into the kingdom for reasons I mentioned before.
If we only starve our flesh then that's basically Buddhism. God doesn't want us to quench all desire but to direct it towards him. He gave us the ability to love things because we were designed to love Him. Only God can truly satisfy us and give our souls true peace, rest and eternal satisfaction and enjoyment. Everything in the world including porn is the bootleg or the counterfeit for what can truly satisfy our soul. The desires of the world trick us into thinking they can satisfy us when they can't. It only leaves us wanting more. That's why the woman at the well had seven husbands. This is the deceitfulness of riches Solomon, possibly the richest man who ever lived, described in his writings.

So we starve our flesh but we also feed our spirit by spending time in God's presence and his word and doing his will. I've been able to experience God's presence so much while preaching the gospel at times. The high you get when someone responds positively is indescribable.

I remember after one time I was feeling such a spiritual high after a homeless man responded to my ministering, I noticed it was lunch time but I felt full, I didn't need to eat because my spirit was filled! Jesus said his food was to do the Father's will. He wasn't kidding! It was uncanny. I live for that high. It's what we were made for. We were made for eternity and to bring others into that reality.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:49 AM   #150
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Salvation by faith alone is proven by the thief on the cross. Do you think he had overcome all his shortcomings? No. He reached out in desperate faith and faith alone and was promised paradise with the Lord.
Igzy, did you not know that Jesus was in extraordinary pain and shock at this point. Most certainly He was suffering from the horrible effects of repeated concussions, and perhaps early stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

So we should not read too much into that story of the "thief" on the cross next to Jesus. Remember that robber did not properly repent for his sins, and live a faithful life in Christ, crucifying all the lusts of his flesh. Jesus probably did not hear both robbers on the other crosses reproach Him and mock Him, as the gospel writers Mark and Matthew record.

We all know that mockers and revilers will not inherit the kingdom of God, so this thief could not possibly enter into eternal life.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:55 AM   #151
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Igzy, did you not know that Jesus was in extraordinary pain and shock at this point. Most certainly He was suffering from the horrible effects of repeated concussions, and perhaps early stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

So we should not read too much into that story of the "thief" on the cross next to Jesus. Remember that robber did not properly repent for his sins, and live a faithful life in Christ, crucifying all the lusts of his flesh. Jesus probably did not hear both robbers on the other crosses reproach Him and mock Him, as the gospel writers Mark and Matthew record.

We all know that mockers and revilers will not inherit the kingdom of God, so this thief could not possibly enter into eternal life.
Perhaps he was an immaculate thief and was born without sin, like Mary. That would explain Jesus letting him into paradise.

Encephalopathy! Nice.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:57 AM   #152
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Igzy, did you not know that Jesus was in extraordinary pain and shock at this point. Most certainly He was suffering from the horrible effects of repeated concussions, and perhaps early stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

So we should not read too much into that story of the "thief" on the cross next to Jesus. Remember that robber did not properly repent for his sins, and live a faithful life in Christ, crucifying all the lusts of his flesh. Jesus probably did not hear both robbers on the other crosses reproach Him and mock Him, as the gospel writers Mark and Matthew record.

We all know that mockers and revilers will not inherit the kingdom of God, so this thief could not possibly enter into eternal life.
The word needs to be handled carefully, with humility and allowing the Spirit of God to speak to us during. It's possible to take Jesus at his word and still make everything work. That's why we need the Spirit of God to guide us to truth because to take Jesus at his word would be insane when held against our human wisdom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=havd_RVXOEM
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:04 AM   #153
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At the end of Matthew, Jesus gives the great commission. He doesn't tell his disciples to convince people of the status of his deity and his work on the cross, instead he tells them to make disciples of Christ and to teach them everything Jesus commanded them to do. There is still an expectation that we take Jesus' commands seriously.

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus clearly said unless you are willing to take up your cross, give up your life, you cannot be my disciple. Jesus puts a high demand on discipleship, yet that's what he wants. This is the message we should be including in the gospel.

Ohio, what you're pointing to may have a lot of truth to it. A lot of people meet Jesus at the door to eternity expecting to get in but they can't. The scenario you described perfectly fits this narrative.

Matthew 7:21-23
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=havd_RVXOEM
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:30 AM   #154
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Matthew 7:21-23
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

The Greek root of knew and know in Matt 7:23 and Jonn 10:27 are the same--ginosko. Which means personal, experiential knowledge.
http://www.teknia.com/greek-dictionary/ginosko

Do you think there is any Christian who has been born again and had the simplest, nascent relationship with Christ of whom Christ could say "I never knew you," however much he or she eventually failed?

These are his words "I never knew you," not "I used to know you, but don't know you now."

I know the Lord knows me. So he can never say to me, "I never knew you." That would be a lie. He does know me. (John 10:27)
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:39 AM   #155
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"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

The Greek root of knew and know in Matt 7:23 and Jonn 10:27 are the same--ginosko. Which means personal, experiential knowledge.
http://www.teknia.com/greek-dictionary/ginosko

Do you think there is any Christian who has be born again and had the simplest, nascent relationship with Christ of whom Christ could say "I never knew you," however much he or she eventually failed?

These are his words "I never knew you," not "I used to know you, but don't know you now."

I know the Lord knows me. So he can never say to me, "I never knew you." That would be a lie. He does know me. (John 10:27)
Those people were calling him Lord, Lord, Lord. They were doing many works for him that Jesus commanded they do (eg Matthew 10:8). These aren't even lukewarm Christians, but they're out on the streets doing mighty works in Jesus name. Yet they were deceived into thinking they had a real relationship. They misunderestimated Satan's ability to deceive. I wrote a whole article on this

http://eternityinourheart.com/heart

Here is a related testimony of a Ugandan pastor who had a ministry of 4000 and thought he was saved because of his works. Yet God told him he would be one of those in Matthew 7:21-23 if he didn't repent. God told him he had self ambition and was lusting after women in his ministry in his eyes, so he repented. Now he travels the world preaching the need to repent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tsrCVvkn6U
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:57 AM   #156
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Those people were calling him Lord, Lord, Lord. They were doing many works for him that Jesus commanded they do (eg Matthew 10:8). These aren't even lukewarm Christians, but they're out on the streets doing mighty works in Jesus name. Yet they were deceived into thinking they had a real relationship. They misunderestimated Satan's ability to deceive. I wrote a whole article on this

http://eternityinourheart.com/heart

Here is a related testimony of a Ugandan pastor who had a ministry of 4000 and thought he was saved because of his works. Yet God told him he would be one of those in Matthew 7:21-23 if he didn't repent. God told him he had self ambition and was lusting after women in his ministry in his eyes, so he repented. Now he travels the world preaching the need to repent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tsrCVvkn6U
Not to lay it on thick, add injury to hurt, and cause you, Sam, more fear and loathing but:

Fear based Christianity does work. For example it's likely fear drove the First Great Awakening in the mid-18th c.

Here's a quote from Jonathan Edwards, one of the movers of the first great awakening :

From "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," by Edwards

Quote:
"The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string; and justice directs the bow to your heart, and strains at the bow: and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood."
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:03 AM   #157
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Not to lay it on thick, add injury to hurt, and cause you, Sam, more fear and loathing but:

Fear based Christianity does work. For example it's likely fear drove the First Great Awakening in the mid-18th c.

Here's a quote from Jonathan Edwards, one of the movers of the first great awakening :

From "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," by Edwards
Amen in the words of Mary during her song of praise (Luke 1:50)

"And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation."

It's interesting it says fear of God is relevant from generation to generation. Could this perhaps also include the church age?
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:05 AM   #158
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The word needs to be handled carefully, with humility and allowing the Spirit of God to speak to us during. It's possible to take Jesus at his word and still make everything work. That's why we need the Spirit of God to guide us to truth because to take Jesus at his word would be insane when held against our human wisdom.
That's exactly what we have been trying to tell you.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:31 AM   #159
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That's exactly what we have been trying to tell you.
Amen, I need to realize my own need for humility lest I be disqualified. Satan is prowling like a roaring lion. Lord have mercy!
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:16 PM   #160
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Let me say it again. Matthew 7:23 is not talking about anyone who has ever been born again. Please stop using this verse to try to scare Christians. That is not who the Lord is talking about. He is talking about people he "never knew," which does not include one real Christian because he knows all real Christian, even if they backslide. (John 10:27)

And fear-based Christianity does not work. Sorry. Fear of the Lord does not mean that going around being afraid you are going to be sent to hell is how you should live.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:17 PM   #161
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Salvation by faith alone is proven by the thief on the cross. Do you think he had overcome all his shortcomings? No. He reached out in desperate faith and faith alone and was promised paradise with the Lord.
Actually, an unclear example.

The thief was about to die. His belief, though of uncertain ability to be sustained over a long period of time, was sufficient for the short time he knew he had to live. And he believed for it.


So the problem becomes whether believing enough at one point in time translates into:
  1. A free pass for the future because salvation is by grace alone.
  2. A free pass to eternal life, but not necessarily to reward or avoiding some level of cost (not a Catholic perdition).
  3. A step in the right direction which, if maintained at a sufficient level (that we probably are incapable of defining) then when we die we will find ourselves on the right side of the "heaven/hell" divide . . . otherwise eternity will be really warm.
In other words, under virtually any analysis of salvation that we have undertaken here, the thief gets in. But if his result had been that suddenly the Romans realized they had the wrong guy and helped him down, worked to heal his wounds, and sent him on his way, what would his life have been like afterward? We don't know. We would like to think that he would remain faithful. But it may not be so. So where does he fall out under those three scenarios (or any other we might throw out there) in that case?

In other words, the thief does not possess enough characteristics common to that of a healthy, 21st century person who manages to live another 50 years after some kind of serious encounter with God to provide a definitive answer.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:25 PM   #162
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That is not a Spirit-inspired exposition as far as I'm concerned.
"Make every effort to enter in through the narrow gate for many I tell you will strive to enter but not be able to."
This isn't saying that it's hard to get saved. It's saying it's impossible without Jesus. It's saying the "many who strive" are those who are trying to get to heaven by a way other than the Gate, Jesus.

God wants to save people. He is not looking for excuses to condemn people, as the writer of this "interpretation" seems to think.

Really, bearbear, you are starting to sound like a Mormon or something. Truly, this stuff you are preaching is not the gospel. It's salvation by works.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:41 PM   #163
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Actually, an unclear example.
...
In other words, the thief does not possess enough characteristics common to that of a healthy, 21st century person who manages to live another 50 years after some kind of serious encounter with God to provide a definitive answer.
I think you guys are over-analyzing.

Look, if there was any chance that salvation wasn't eternal then do you think God would deliver his message in a way they gave anyone but fringe nuts the idea that it is eternal? But a huge portion of his people do believe it's eternal. Why? Because there is a whole bunch of Biblical evidence that it is! Don't you think God knew how that would be interpreted?

What's worse, believing salvation is eternal and finding out it isn't, or believing it isn't and finding out it is? Obviously it's those believing the first option that have the big problem. So that being the case it stands to reason that God would not give people any reason to believe the first option. But he does. That tells me something.

God isn't trying to trick us. Salvation isn't a puzzle. He isn't trying to keep us guessing to keep us on our toes. What kind of God do you guys know, anyway? I believe in a God who wants to save people, not in one who is trying to trip them up.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:43 PM   #164
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Default Re: Does 2 Peter 2's warning of false teachers describe Witness Lee?

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